Zamfara state government has deposed the Emir of Zurmi, Atiku Muhammadu, and the Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, over their alleged links with bandits.
The government also sacked the district head of Birnin Tsaba, Sulaiman Ibrahim, for the same alleged offence.
Babangida Zurmi, the press secretary to the deputy governor, told PREMIUM TIMES that the decision was taken Wednesday evening following the recommendations of a whitepaper by a committee on insecurity in the state.
In 2021, the government suspended two Emirs who were accused of frustrating efforts to arrest suspected bandits and aiding cattle rustlers.
Zamfara, like other areas in Nigeria’s north-west region, is convulsing under the attacks by gunmen locally called bandits who attack mostly rural communities and travellers.
These bandits have been blamed for killing thousands of people. They have also abducted many more in what is shaping to become one of the worst kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the history of the country.
The news of the sack of the emirs came weeks after the governor came under criticism for distributing 260 luxury cars including 17 Cadillac escalades to the traditional rulers.
During a ceremony to distribute the cars to the traditional rulers, the governor said the car gifts were part of the efforts of the state government to solve the lingering security challenges in the state.
The traditional rulers were first suspended in June last year. They were charged to court this month but the judge refused to read the charges against them. He advised the state government to rewrite the charges against the emirs.
Following the court appearance, on Monday, the committee set up by the government to investigate allegations of aiding and abetting banditry submitted its report to the state government.
The government had set up two committees to investigate and provide recommendations on how to tackle the insecurity in the state.
The head of one of the committees, Mamman Tsafe, who is the state’s commissioner for security affairs, formally presented the report to Zamfara State Deputy Governor Hassan Nasiha.
The committees, however, did not make public the findings of their investigation.
Mr Tsafe said the committees had carefully complied with the laid down terms and references enshrined by the state government during the inauguration of the committees.
“The committees exhausted all avenues of the probe before submitting their recommendations. The accused monarchs were also invited by the committees to defend themselves against the allegations against them,” Mr Tsafe had told the deputy governor.
In his response, the deputy governor, Mr Nasiha, thanked members of the committee for their commitment to putting up the reports and assured them that the state government will do what is needed to implement the reports of the two committees.
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