A group of elder statesmen in Zamfara State has raised alarm alleging the indiscriminate release of arrested bandits and their collaborators by the authorities in the state.
The group urged the law enforcement agencies to stop the act, citing it as one of the factors, responsible for the escalation of the insecurity in the state.
It stated this during its meeting in Gusau, the state capital, where it also raised alarm over the poor plight of orphaned children who are victims of banditry.
A former Senator, Saidu Dansadau, briefed reporters after the meeting.
“The committee expresses its dismay and disappointment for indiscriminate release of criminals by the authorities who either arrest them or to whom the criminals are handed-over when they are arrested by the military, vigilante group or any other security organisation,” he said.
“We appeal to the law enforcement agencies in the state to, for the sake of God, have a paradigm shift from this indiscriminate release of criminals and result to arraigning the criminals in the court of law because the meeting identified this indiscriminate and incessant release of criminals as one of the immediate causes of the escalation of criminality in the state.”
He said the group also recommended the revitalisation of community-based associations to generate funds for the establishment of primary and secondary schools to offer free education to the children who lost their parents as a result of banditry to prevent the reoccurrence of insecurity in the future.
Mr Dansadau acknowledged that the security situation in the state had improved significantly following the shutdown of telecom services.
He, however, said places like Birnin Magaji, Shinkafi and Zurmi Local Government Areas are still vulnerable to banditry attacks.
Members of the group consist of traditional rulers, religious leaders, senior citizens, and some political officeholders who came together to mobilise Muslims and Christians to pray for the return of peace in the state.
But reacting to the group’s position, the Zamfara State Commissioner for Security Affairs, Mamman Tsafe, told PREMIUM TIMES that allegation that arrested bandits and their collaborators were being released was discouraging to the security agents who are at the forefront in the fight against banditry.
Mr Tsafe said he would verify the veracity of the allegations before making further comments.
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