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Since 2020, we have followed the rise and trajectory of banditry especially in the North Western part of Nigeria that comprises Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara States with a special focus on Zamfara State which has undoubtedly remained the epicentre of banditry in Nigeria.

We have equally x-rayed Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle’s so-called peace accord and its attendant achievements or otherwise since his assumption of office in 2019. In a twist of event, we have uncovered a strong collaboration between State Officials including traditional rulers and security agents with bandits. These collaborations enjoyed the full backing of the outgoing Governor of Zamfara State.

The peace accord the outgoing Governor parades as his major achievement is nothing but a high-wired deception to divert attention from the real issue behind the root cause of banditry, its sponsors, and enablers. The outgoing Governor nurtured the banditry and pampers the bandits as tools for his political survival. Alas, he was wrong, as he was rejected by the conscious people of Zamfara State.

You may recall sometime in 2009, the Governor sets up a fact-finding committee on the remote and immediate causes of banditry to unravel actors, agents, and triggers of the banditry. The Committee was constituted and headed by the former Inspector General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar, MNI; other members of the committee include Sen. Saidu Dansadau, Dr. Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi among others. The committee has since concluded its reports and submitted same to the Governor with far-reaching recommendations including but not limited to dethroning of some indicted Emirs, District Heads, and Village Heads, other recommendations include dismissal and decommissioning of some security agents found to have aided banditry in one way or the other. But, the reports never see the light of day because those indicted had threatened to expose the Governor’s role in the escalation of the banditry and how he profits from it.

The committee further recommends the setting up of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to address all forms of banditry in Zamfara State. However, 3 years after the submission of the reports, Governor Bello Matawalle has turned a blind eye as he neither set up a judicial commission nor implement any of the recommendations of the MD Abubakar’s Committee Report. The banditry remains the only justification for the Governor’s broad daylight stealing using the instrumentality of security votes in the name of his illusory fight against banditry.

In a most revealing expose, Governor Matawalle set up committee after committee as a way to buy time to divert attention from the content of the reports; these committees are often a duplication of one another. Matawalle was all out as it were to deploy friendly bandits to help him win re-election and to protect state-sponsored illegal mining of Gold, Rhodium, Manganese, and Lithium in Maru, Talata, Anka, Maradun, and Bukkuyum LGAs in defiance to the Federal Government banned against all forms of mining in Zamfara State.

The Governor used the so-called peace accord to get into the good books of President Muhammadu Buhari and through an effective media suppression strategy that involves financial inducement and the instigation of transfer of journalists whose conscience cannot be bought over. The resurgence of banditry in Zamfara State is on a scale never witness before his ascension, as thousands of refugees wander in parts of Zamfara State with no one to cater for them.

Matawalle’s strategy has empowered and emboldened bandits to carry more heinous crimes against humanity in the way and manner he relates with them through regular phone calls and monetary and vehicular gifts to bandits kingpins operating in Zamfara State. Until very recently one of the notorious bandit’s kingpins who go by the name Bello Tagoji was housed in a 4-bedroom apartment in the Zamfara State Government House, the apartment is called Kebbi House where he dwells for about 2 years. Bello Tagoji alongside Ardon Zuru serves as the Governor’s special envoy to bandit’s kingpins.

During the Jangebe School girls’ abduction, Governor Matawalle through the help of Bello Tagoji and Ardon Zuru doles out over 100m to the abductors and emissaries with hundreds of bags of rice, jerry can of palm oil and groundnut oil, and other assorted food items to several bandits camps as a means of pacifying them. Governor Matawalle has instituted payment for ransom as a state policy, as hundreds of payments for ransom were handled through the government house and the Ministry of Security and Home Affairs. Not too long ago, over 40m naira was paid for the release of Furfuri girls through the government house negotiators.

In 2019 and 2020 the Governor gifted many assorted vehicles ranging from Volkswagen golf saloons, and Sharon buses to Toyota Hilux to different bandits kingpins within and outside Zamfara State, some of the beneficiaries include Halilu, Alhaji Auta, Smally, Ali Kawaje, Dan Nigeria, Alh Shadari, Ado Aleru, Haro.


Regrettably, they in turn deployed these vehicles to carry even more daring attacks on several communities across Zamfara State including Governor Matawalle’s local government area of Maradun. Prominent Districts in Maradun such as Faru, Gora, and Gidan Goga among several others are now governed by bandits. The main reason the outgoing Governor was humiliated by voters in his local government area.

Multiples source revealed how Matawalle has been cozy with the bandit spending hours on the phone with them through the following mobile phone numbers 08131111113, 08068877888, 08032888811, 08133333330, 08132888777, 08189772222, 09088888899, 07044331155, 09071719582, 07012799995, 07010772971 and 08133333332 while bandits he regularly interacts with are Dan Nigeria on 09122577149, Alh Shadari on 09130405375, Ado Aleru on 09133697081, Ali Kawaje on 09154970516, Bello Turji through Musa Kamarawa on 08036386655.


Understandably, the Governor profits from his symbiotic relationship with bandits’ commandants. We urge that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Department of State Services (DSS), Office of the Chief of Defence Intelligence (OCDI), and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) run checks and cross-reference these numbers to listen to a heart-wrenching conversation between the Governor and bandits warlords.

As the outgoing Governor lost all forms of immunity, we call on security agencies and corruption commissions, to as a matter of urgency arrest, investigate, and prosecute the Governor or hand him over to the I International Court of Justice (ICJ) to answer for his heinous crimes against humanity. We have it on good authority, the Governor has perfected a plan to exit the country to evade arrest and prosecution as soon as President-elect Bola Tinubu is sworn into office. This is his known strategy as he did during the Dasuki-Arms money saga when run to exile in Niger Republic.

More atrocities are to be rollout in the coming days, exposing further, how the Governor committed crimes against humanity, while in office. Stay glued to your media channels.


Concerned Citizens for Peace, Security, and Development













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