GOVERNOR Bello Mohammed Matawalle of Zamfara State has approved the suspension of a senior district head of Gummi Alhaji Abubakar Bala Gummi following allegations that he is one of the masterminds behind banditry within his domain.
Over recent years, Zamfara State has been plagued with banditry, as well-armed gunmen have terrorised rural villages, kidnapping people for ransom. It was alleged that the district heads who holds the traditional title of Bunun Gummi, is one of the sponsors of the reign of terror within his domain, prompting the state government to suspend him with immediate effect.
Alhaji Aliyu Bello Maradun, Zamfara State’s permanent secretary, cabinet affairs and general services, said: “Alhaji Abubakar Bala Gummi is suspended with immediate effect, pending the investigation of the alleged act of misconduct arising from the recent killings of innocent people of Karaye village.”
Governor Matawalle has already set up a committee to investigate the remote causes of the recent killings of innocent people in Karaye village. He has vowed to deal decisively with any person or groups that tried to undermine the security arrangements put in place by his administration.
Of late, since the introduction of the peace process, normal life and security have returned to Zamfara State with people now moving about freely without fear of being killed or kidnapped, until last Sunday when Karaye village was attacked by Fulanis who wanted to avenge the killings of their nine kinsmen by a vigilante group. According to a police report, a vigilante group killed nine Fulani people they suspected to be bandits which led to a reprisal by the Fulani, who murdered14 people, injuring 10 others and burnt down the entire village of Karaye.
Zamfara State police commissioner Usman Nagogo has lamented the fact that cattle sellers and Fulani people are yet to adhere to the peace accord and reconciliation initiatives by the state government. Addressing cattle sellers and market leaders at the state police command in Gusau, the state capital, the commissioner said that Fulani people should not be engaged in reprisal attacks, killing innocent citizens who have committed no crime.
He added that the security agencies did not want to use fire for fire, hence they resorted to peaceful negotiations for bandits to have a second thought. Mr Nagogo urged the Fulani leaders, cattle sellers as well as the market leaders to educate their members as a way of embracing peace and ensuring respect for the peace accord and reconciliation initiated by the state government.
Mr Nagogo said: “We would not want the security agencies to be pushed to the wall but if we are pushed to the wall, we will use force of arms and we will have no alternative than to react negatively because we were trained. There is nowhere in the whole world where development and progress can reign without relative peace.”
He asked community leaders to help both the security agencies and the government as a matter of necessity, to consolidate on the peace currently being enjoyed across the state. Fulani leaders, market traders and cattle sellers agreed to give their members sound education in order to ensure peaceful and harmonious living.