Posted by Muhammed Sabiu, Kaduna | 20 April 2019 | 1,594 times
No fewer than seven Emirs in Zamfara State believed to have links to bandits involved in the rising insecurity plaguing the state are currently being closely watched by security operatives.
At the core of the suspected involvement of the Emirs in banditry is illegal gold mining in their domains which, it is gathered, they may be profiting from.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had recently declared that some highly placed traditional rulers in the restive communities were assisting bandits to perpetrate crimes.
The minister accused the concerned traditional rulers of compromising military operations and warned them of dire consequences should they continue to aid bandits to commit grievous crimes against innocent Nigerians.
But the council of traditional rulers in Zamfara State under the leadership of the Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmed, challenged the minister to name such Emirs that were helping bandits in their domains.
However, informed sources told Saturday Tribune that three of the seven Emirs that have been placed under surveillance by the security authorities are first class, traditional rulers.
The security source told Saturday Tribune that covert security agents have been detailed to track the activities of the affected Emirs around the clock and leave no stone unturned in establishing their levels of involvement in banditry in their respective domains with a view to bringing them to justice.
“No one will be spared, I assure you. Enough of this bloodbath,” the source said.
One of the suspected first class Emirs is said to have only recently given away one of his daughters in marriage “and the wedding was attended by some known bandits.”
A source disclosed that the musician that sang at the event came from Niger Republic and was equally close to the bandits.
The source disclosed that a proof of the traditional ruler’s fraternity with bandits also came to light recently with the kidnap of a popular nutritionist’s wife in the emirate.
According to the source, the Emir saw to the eventual release of the abducted woman after placing a direct call to the bandits and giving them instructions.
Another one of the first class Emirs, it was learnt, is rich and influential and very well connected.
A source alleged that the Emir was responsible for the inability of security agents to arrest some bandits who had recently planned an attack in the emirate by warning the hoodlums of a planned security invasion of their hideout.
The source said that plans to arrest the bandits had been perfected but the bandits were tipped off and fled before the security agents could raid their camp.
It was learnt that the development created a shock in security circle which saw many security agents agreeing that a serious mole was the one who gave them and their plans away to the bandits.
According to the source, after an analysis of the development, the security agents narrowed the focus of their investigation to the traditional ruler, who thereafter disappeared to Kaduna State for two weeks after discovering that he was being tracked.
Security operatives are still on the track of his movements, the source added.
The third top traditional ruler is alleged to have a relationship with the successor of Buharin Daji, notorious and dreaded head of a gang of bandits who was killed some time ago.
Although there is said to be insufficient evidence to nail the monarch over his involvement with the bandits, his constant communication with the criminals is said to be suspect.
Another affected Emir, a second class traditional ruler, was recently invited to Abuja to explain his alleged involvement in the rustling of cows in his emirate.
The traditional ruler is suspected of linking the bandits with stolen cattle buyers in neighbouring states like Kaduna, Kano and Katsina.
He has since returned to his emirate but it was gathered he is currently being watched by security agents.
The fifth Emir, also a second class traditional ruler, is believed to be directly involved with the bandits.
It was learnt that when some bandits were arrested recently, security operatives were able to obtain a recorded conversation between the bandits and some of the Emir’s close aides.
The remaining two second class rulers are said to be involved in illegal mining with bandits acting as their ‘business boys.’
•Excerpted from Tribune report
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