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Zamfara govt suspends emir for giving chieftaincy title to bandit leader



Turbaned bandit kingpin wanted for murdering 52 in Katsina, but can't go to Zamfara to arrest him - Gov Masari

The Zamfara State government has suspended the Emir of Birnin ‘Yandoto of Tsafe Local Government Area, Aliyu Marafa, for conferring a chieftaincy title to Ado Aleru, a “notorious bandit leader”.

Secretary to the State Government, Kabiru Sardauna, announced the suspension in a statement on Sunday.

Aleru was turbaned as Sarkin Fulani (Chief of Fulani) of Yandoto Emirate by the emir on Saturday.

Locals in Tsafe town of Zamfara State said over 100 bandits attended the turbaning ceremony of Aleru.

According to a source, “the bandits were going on motorcycles without their guns. It was a brief ceremony attended by a few people.

“The Emir of Yandoto, Alhaji Garba Marafa, gave the title of Sarki Fulani to the notorious bandit who operated in Zamfara and Katsina states because he was willing to embrace peace.

News of the turbaning ceremony along with photos went viral, generating outrage on social media.

Apart from suspending the emir, Governor Bello Matawalle approved the appointment of a Committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the action of the Emir.

The committee has Yahaya Goro as chairman and Musa Garba as secretary. Members are Yahay Kanoma, Muhammed Magaji, Lawal Zannah, Isa Moriki.

“In the meantime, Alh. Mahe Garba Marafa, who is the District Head of ‘Yandoto is hereby assigned to take charge of the affairs of the Emirate,” the statement said.

The turbaning ceremony took place hours after the emirate had suspended the process indefinitely.

Several bandit group leaders and lieutenants arrived at the venue of the occasion on several motorbikes to celebrate with Aleru.

A resident of the area who was at the ceremony explained to Channel Television that the decision to make the bandits’ leader a chief was aimed at finding lasting peace in Tsafe and the Yandoton Daji Emirates, and other areas that were regularly attacked by Aleru-led gangs.

“It was aimed at providing lasting peace in the emirate, the emir told us that there is a peace accord between the emirate and the bandit group,” the resident said.

According to an official from the palace who pleaded anonymity, the title of Sarkin Fulani was conferred on Alero considering his present status as a ‘peace-maker’ within the emirate.

The chieftaincy title was given to him in appreciation of the peace reconciliation” he said.


Asked if the state government was aware of the development, he responded in the affirmative.

“Of course (state government was aware), we can not do otherwise. We are terrorised, we cannot go to our farms; some of our people have evacuated from the town, and they ran away. How can we live in that situation?” he queried.

“We did not have any reinforcement from outside or from government; these people called us for peace between us and them, what can we do? It is only to accept the peace, we cannot do otherwise.

“Yandoton Daji is one of the two new emirates created by the Zamfara State government in May and was carved out from the Tsafe Emirate.”

The emirate which was created with a second-class emir comprises Yandoton Daji, Keta, Kizara, Bawa Kwanga, Kwaren Ganuwa, Danjibga, and Kuncin Kalgo districts with headquarters at Birnin Yandoto under Tsafe Local Government Area of the state.

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