AN ARMY officer, names withheld, is currently under investigation for conniving with bandits in terrorising citizens in Zamfara.
Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr. Bashir Maru made this known at a press briefing on the matter in Gusau on Friday.
He said, the army officer was engaged in the crime along with his girl friend, who had also been arrested and is in custody.
“An issue of topical importance is a recent arrest by the military of an army officer and his girlfriend who are engaged in assisting bandits with military uniforms and ammunitions in active connivance with other saboteurs.
“This arrest was only made possible through community driven intelligence. While the state government awaits the action the military will take on this matter and make an official statement, the development has further proved the position of Gov. Bello Mohammed that unless the fight against banditry is cleansed of bad eggs and saboteurs, we may not record the desired success in the fight.
“Let me use this medium to salute the courage and patriotism of the individual who came forward with information that led to the arrest of these traitors. Our gratitude knows no bound,” he stated.
Also while speaking on a recent media reports on the abduction of 60 persons by a gang of bandits from Ruwan Tofa, killing 40 persons and burning half of the village, the deputy chief of staff who described the report as misleading also said it was a “fabricated information.”
He however noted that “the true account of what happened was that a group of suspected armed bandits arrived Tungar Baushe on Tuesday, 2nd, March, 2021, this week and sought to fuel their motorcycles through act of intimidation and coercion, which they did and took along with them food, drugs, water, soft drinks and thereafter left without recording any casualty.
“As they moved out of the village towards the next village of Ruwan Tofa, information spread-out and the Ruwan Tofa community prepared defense of their territory and in the ensuing melee, a large number of the suspected armed bandits were resisted and ambushed and many of the incursors were killed and others escaped with different degree of injuries.
“Two people from Ruwan Tofa sustained gunshots injuries and are recuperating in an undisclosed hospital for reason of security.
However, the suspected armed bandits were not done, and the following day, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, they returned to Tungar Baushe. “Authoritative sources reported that the bandits attacked the village and burnt down two vehicles loaded with grains and other valuables but no life was lost. Unfortunately, they abducted a number of persons including women and children,” he explained.
He further said most of the abductees have since returned safely to their village and that concerted effort are well underway by the Zamfara State Police Command Surveillance Unit to ascertain the exact number of those still in captivity.