Disarmament: Zamfara Militias Surrender Sophisticated Weapons- Police
I was able to brought into fore the progress achieved in the disarmament process. Since then, It has been steady progress in terms of receiving arms from both sides of the divide; that is the local militia groups popularly known as “Yansakai” and bandits who operate in the forest. The disarmament process itself comes after a phenomenon and unprecedented release of captives that runs into hundreds. It is important to stress here that the issue of arms goes beyond the only perceived bandits but also includes the local militia groups. Both sides have amassed weapons for different reasons and different purpose. Where as the bandits said to have acquired their weapons mainly for banditry, cattle Rustling and the so called defence of Fulani race.
The “Yansakai” or militia groups on the other hand were said to have acquired their light weapons to defend their farmlands, cattle and villages against the bandits and other related violence.
The battle line is that these weapons are being used to cause havoc, destruction, deprivation of freedom, stealing and other forms of negative tendencies.
It is Instructive to note that, the surrendering of weapons was as a result of building trust, confidence and absence of stigmatization on the part of the committee solely responsible for this disarmament. In all this, the energetic and intellectual ability of the Zamfara State Government played e key role in having both sides of the conflict to see reasons to begin surrendering the weapons. The Governor in his wisdom and unique sense of humour was able not only guide the committee but has given it absolute support in all its ramification.
The committee has between 25th July to 5th September, 2019 received rifles and ammunition from bandits for various reasons.
The first category of rifles received were three (3), these rifles were brought by some of the relations of the recalcitrant bandits who refused to tow the line of disarmament and amnesty but their relations were able to silenced them, collected the rifles and handed over to the Commissioner of Police.
The second category which constitutes the larger percentage of the rifles and pistols were the ones that were voluntarily brought by the bandits as a sign of accepting the peace process wholeheartedly.
While the local den guns or what is generally referred as light weapons were surrendered by the local vigilante groups “Yansakai”. The weapons so far received are just the beginning of the disarmament as more weapons are expected in the coming days.
The first category of weapons received were from bandits who engaged in banditry activities. Thus, the following weapons showcased the level of seriousness of the bandits to embrace peace in the state. Thus, a total number of forty nine rifles were surrendered to the committee.
The weapons are:-
1. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 701883/1988 with 4 rounds of live ammunition
2.AK-47 rifle with breech No. 56/1210035/00
3.AK-47 rifle with breech No. 0701421
4. Light machine gun (LMG) rifle breech number erased
5.AK-47 rifle with breech No.35372
6. FN rifle breech No. 167119
7. FN rifle with breech No.212108
8. Ten (10) rounds of live ammunition
9. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1141 with empty magazine
10. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1975 with empty magazine
11. FN rifle breech No.2112
12. Light machine gun (LMG)
13. General purpose machine gun (GPMG) rifle with breech No.10378
14. AK-47 rifle with breech No. L941207436
15.AK-47 rifle with breech No.1973-AA8536
16.AK-47 rifle with breech No.1984-NX6832
17. AK-47 rifle with breech erased
18. AK-47 rifle with breech No.02304
19. AK-47 rifle with breech No.56-3776116
20. AK-47 rifle with breech No.34-274407282
21. AK-47 rifle with breech No.81-112105200
22. AK-47 rifle with breech not clear
23. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 07022746
24. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1980-BA13925
25. AK-47 rifle with breech No.56-24012873
26. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 07014378
27. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 56-22624882 42PMF
28. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1983 NH9137
29. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1984 M20B1147151
30. AK-47 rifle with breech No.
31. AK-47 rifle with breech No.56-24010243
32. AK-47 rifle with breech No.56-20051301-06729
33. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1969 N39609
34. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1977 CK20156
35. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 1983 NK7605
36. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 64G 2645
37. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1978-GL 25628
38. AK-47 rifle with breech No.1987
39. AK-47 rifle with breech No. 1994 LZ08785
40. LAR rifle breech No.FAL cal.7.62 ANC1968 7092
41. Pistol breech No. erased
The second category was the light weapons received from the local vigilante groups “Yansakai”. These weapons as the name implies does not have breech number or any other symbols that could make identification easier. However, the weapons are as dangerous as conventional rifles because the number of people that lost their lives through these weapons could hardly be imagined. The den guns are of different Calibre and were much an imitation of AK-47, RPG, LMC and other sophisticated weapons that are known to constitute weapons of mass destruction. The number of the guns surrendered is also just the beginning of what to expect as disarmament process progress. Thus, the total number of these weapons surrendered stood as one hundred (100).
These weapons will be displayed for the press as evidence of the foregoing.
However, it would be recall that, in one of my press conference, I stressed that the fighting of banditry and other related crime would not divert our attention from other heinous crimes being perpetrated in the cities and towns. As a morale booster, the state Governor Dr. Muhammad Bello Matawalle MON has released six (6) Hilux Patrols vans out of Two hundred and six (206) purchased vehicles by the state Government to the leading security agents in the state.
The patrol itself is going to be joint between the police, military, DSS and Civil Defence. The personnel have already been drawn from these services and are due to commence the duty today.
The state was sectorized into six and each team will cover a sector. This was done in order to make it easier to manage, control and also identify any lapses from a particular sector.
Already an impact has been felt, if some of the arrest that was made is anything to go by. The police public Relations officer will brief the press on the land mark arrest that was are painmade. The vehicles supplied ted white with inscription of the words Eagle Eye in each of the vehicle and will be shown to the press for easy identification by the general public.
I will not end this press without given honour to whom it is due. The heads of our various agencies deserved commendation for having absolute trust in us to carry out this onerous task. We owed a lot to them and continue to seek their guidance in discharging our duties.
Finally let me use this platform to thank the press for their continued support and collaboration with the police and other security services in the state.