New Telegraph

Insecurity: 90% of bandits from Zamfara – Niger

The Niger State Government has said more than 90 per cent of the bandits terrorizing the state are from neighbouring states, especially Zamfara. Condemning the activities of the hoodlums, the Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, said the cattle rustled in Niger are moved into Zamfara. Speaking exclusively to our correspondent, Matene said: “Banditry has become well-structured with a high level of communication that enables bandits to call for reinforcements when under attack. “Over ninety per cent of these bandits live in Zamfara from where they carry out their activities across states bordering Zamfara, including Niger.

“The cattle rustled in Niger and moved to Zamfara and they are in thousands. In only one local government last year over 18,000 cows were lost and in the last few weeks, we estimate that between 10,000 and 15,000 cows have been lost. “All the attention has shifted to one direction and that is towards Zamfara. There are a lot of economic gains in banditry and because of that it will be difficult to cut it off since it has become an enterprise.”

According to him, the locals are not the only ones involved in the business but that they (bandits) hire mercenaries from outside the country to carry out their activities and they are paid off as they go back.” He added: “The landmass of the state is huge, there are times a community will tell you that we have sighted bandits in a particular location, but it will take two to three hours before you can mobilize to respond by which time the bandits would have finished their operations.”

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