Zamfara State Government has disclosed that plans have been concluded to begin clampdown and property owners aiding and abetting criminal elements, including bandits and kidnappers in their property across the state.
It stated that while security operatives have been directed to arrest property owners and landlords renting and leasing their houses out for criminals, relevant authorities have also been directed to pull down such buildings identified to the housing the terrorists.
The State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, said that the move was in line with the government’s commitment to protect lives and property of residents across the state.
Through a statement yesterday, the commissioner also approved self defense strategy for residents, saying people across the state should rise in defending themselves against bandit attacks in line with law of the state.
According to him, the state government has accepted people in the bandits vulnerable areas in the state to come out enmasse to defend themselves when ever bandits attack their community.
“People must not take laws into their hands, but should take due legal process in protecting their respective communities when attacked by any group of hoodlums,” Dosara said in a statement.
Furthermore, he urged traditional rulers and community leaders to critically asses people in their domain and ensuring thorough findings are done before property are leased or rent out to people across their communities.
“The state government also strongly warn traditional rulers to keep vigil eyes to landlords who give out their houses to people with suspicious character within their domains, as government will soon start to arrest any landlord found giving out his or her property on rent to bandits, kidnappers, informants and dealers of weapons for the bandits. Government will not hesitate to demolish any house given out on rent to criminals,” Dosara said.
Meanwhile, the commissioner disclosed that police have apprehended 35 criminals “comprising mostly kidnappers, informants and those aiding and abetting banditry in the state.”
“The criminals have since been interrogated and have confessed to their various crimes and have already been transferred to Abuja for further action before prosecution. Some of the criminals arrested are civil servants.
“Government therefore seriously warn bandits to renounce the criminality and embrace the state government dialogue and peace initiative to become good citizens, stressing the government intention to take punitive measures against criminals, as a matter of urgency,” the commissioner said.