Nigeria: After Amassing Wealth From Banditry, Notorious Kingpin Seeks Truce With Zamfara Communities

In 2020, after a deadly attack on Kadisau community, the Katsina Police Command placed a N5 million bounty on the head of the bandit, Ada Aileru.

A notorious banditry kingpin, Ada Alieru, has reached out to elders and intermediaries to broker peace between him and communities in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

However, security sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the initiative is a ruse by the terrorist to protect his siblings and the vast wealth he has amassed from criminality.

Mr Alieru had carried out several deadly attacks in communities under Tsafe (in Zamfara) and Faskari (Katsina State).

In 2020, after a deadly attack on Kadisau community, the Katsina Police Command placed a N5 million bounty on his head.

The then police commissioner in Katsina, Sanusi Buba, said, “Similarly, the command has placed bounty of N5 million on his head, dead or alive.

“Any person or group of persons that have useful information that may lead to his arrest, should please report to the nearest police station or call these numbers: 08033666059 or 08035448128 or 08076666207.”

Why Alieru seeks dialogue

An intelligence officer in the Zamfara State SSS office, whose identity we cannot reveal, said they received a report on the peace deal.

“Alieru has gathered a lot of money and cattle and he knows if this (fight with soldiers) continues, he may end up losing the cattle and his wealth. As the leader of most of the bandits in Yankuzo and Munhaye axis, and to a large extent, Tsafe area, he felt it would be better to reach a truce,” he said.

When asked if the State Security Service or any security agency in the state was involved in the overtures, the officer said he could not confirm but said “it seems it is the normal local stage dialogue. Dansadau has done it and it is working. So, I think they are just trying to reflect it here.”

A native of Tsafe, Abubakar Garba, said Mr Alieru is considered the ‘richest bandit’ in the area.

“It could be possible that he is protecting his wealth as you said because he has a lot of cattle and other assets that are of importance to the Fulanis. It is possible he is he doing that to protect his wealth.”

He also said he heard of the peace deal from one of the intermediaries.

All efforts made by this reporter to make Mr Garba connect this reporter with one of the intermediaries failed. “But I can confirm that he is one of the intermediaries and he informed me if the three meetings,” he said.

Fears

While not ruling out the possibility of Mr Alieru protecting his wealth, Yusuf Anka, a journalist, said the banditry kingpin is trying to protect his siblings.

“Alieru is from Yankuzo but he has siblings in Tsafe town. Alieru’s father goes to Tsafe market every Friday. Hassan Nabamamu (another bandit) also has siblings in the town. In fact, his house is in the main town. They have female siblings marrying Hausas. It is obvious that if they continue to attack innocent people, residents of Tsafe will mobilise and revenge on their siblings,” he said.

According to Mr Anka, Mr Alieru had spoken to Mr Nabamamu on the need for such a peace deal.

He said Mr Nabamamu accepted because he knew the dangers of not accepting the deal, “because his family house is in the town (Tsafe).”

The dialogue, conditions

Mr Garba said when Mr Alieru reached out to the Ardos (Fulanis chiefs) on the need for dialogue with people of Tsafe, they felt they should involve other non-Fulanis to make it more official.

“Elders from the Hausa and Fulani sides met thrice to iron all the issues and the conditions were all agreed by the parties. He told them that his cousin, Isuhu Yellow, should be reached out to because he is the one perpetrating most of the attacks. Another bandit leader, Hassan Nabamamu, should also be contacted to seal the deal,” he said.

The conditions reportedly given by the representatives of Tsafe include: bandits should stop attacking communities and motorists in the area; farmers should be allowed to go back to their farms; bandits should release all captives and communities should not be taxed again.

Mr Alieru, however, said he would not stop attacking some communities that include Bawa Ganga, Magazu and others he considered ‘hostile’ towards Fulanis.

The Zamfara police command spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, did not pick his calls or respond to an SMS seeking his comments on the development.

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