One of the bandits ravaging Zamfara communities has disclosed that they have information feeding them with every move of the military against them.
This was disclosed in a tape recording the conversation of a bandit (yet to be identified) with an emir in Zamfara, obtained by the Punch newspaper.
During the phone conversation, the bandit also claimed that there would continue to be bloodshed as long as the Nigerian government continues to send in more troops to the state.
The bandit said: “God has already given you a position (as an emir) and when you talk, people listen. You have some poor masses in the bushes. This violence started happening in our state about six years ago or so.
“They killed my people; they killed my relations; they killed my wives, my children. They killed some of my cows. I ran away when they killed my people. Then I involved myself in the activities of these terrorist groups. Now, I have escaped and back in my community. Will you not accept me as a member of this community?”
The emir replied, “Aka ne (yes, that is it).”
The bandit continued: “You should call your chiefs and bring your people from the bushes and from the village. Anywhere you meet us, advise the people of the community to join hands with the Miyetti Allah association. This land will be peaceful.
“If they make it this way, peace will reign. But to say you will call police and soldiers to Zamfara, this will not bring peace. It will continue to cause more bloodshed.”
The emir replied again, “Aka ne (yes, that is it).”
The bandit said: “Sometimes, you hear that they bombed a place where the bandits are camping. But the next day, the bandits will still come and strike in another place, close to where they bombed.”
The emir responded: “We also are not in support of the bombings.”
The bandit continued: “The reason why their bombing will not work is because before their helicopter comes around, information has already reached us. Before the helicopter leaves any base, the information will reach us, and even where it will land. If they bomb any place, they will kill only birds and animals, which are there.
“Also on land, soldiers were sent to attack us. But before they come, information has reached us. We know how we will attack them and know all areas where they will follow. We want you to ban anything vigilante.
“People are surprised that they use airplanes to attack us but we are just like ants. They can’t see us; it is God that is helping us.”
The emir replied: “Killing human beings is not good. I have heard your grievances and it is a load on me and I will try to unite the people of the community. We will still call you together to deliberate on it. I will try to ban vigilantes in any other place and I will give the feedback to the government.”
The Nigeria government had earlier in the week claimed that some Zamfara chiefs and monarchs were conniving with the bandits.
The chiefs dispelled the claim, alleging that the military airstrikes have been targeted at homes of innocent villagers.