A member of the 8th Senate from Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, says bandits have become a state within a state in the north-western part of the country.
Senator Sani raised the alarm during an interview on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm on Tuesday.
“Virtually now, bandits in the North West have become a state within a state,” he said. “They have been able to establish governance structure in the sense that they don’t just kidnap and extort money, it has reached a point where they even install.
“According to reports, they install traditional rulers and imams.”
Bandits have continued to unleash mayhem in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, and Niger among other northern states, killing many people and kidnapping hundreds of others.
The latest in the string of attacks was the incidnet in Zamfara where marauding gunmen killed scores of people.
Despite the Federal Government designating them as terrorists, the bandits seem to have intensified operations, although security agencies have given assurances of rooting them out.
While asking authorities to step up efforts against the criminals, Senator Sani believes more should be done by the government to secure the lives and properties of the people.
“This is not just happening in the Mars, Neptune, Jupiter, or Venus; this is happening in the state of the President (Katsina),” he alarmed. “Bandits have become an authority – they kill those they want to kill, they preserve those whom they want to preserve.
“In the states of Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Niger, large squat of land are virtually under the control of these bandits.”
According to the former lawmaker, the recent attacks on several villages in Zamfara were in response to the military campaign launched against the bandits.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to contact his old friends and neighbours to get the information on the ground.
“President Buhari should spare time, go through his old logbook, look at the numbers of those his old friends and people he has lost touch with in the last four to seven years, call them and ask what is going on,” said Senator Sani.