Kano – A notorious gang leader in Nigeria has accepted a truce offered by local authorities in northwest Zamfara, a state wracked by deadly violence for years, a top official said.
Heavily-armed criminals have been terrorising communities, raiding villages, killing and kidnapping residents and looting their homes before burning them.
Bello Turji agreed to stop attacks and kidnappings for ransom, Zamfara state deputy governor Hassan Nasiha told a news conference on Sunday.
“We have succeeded in reaching a peace deal with Turji, and in the past six weeks not a single person was killed in the areas he operates,” Nasiha said.
He also said Turji had now turned his guns on other gangs who refused to lay down their arms.
In June, Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle had asked Nasiha to lead a peace committee to negotiate with criminal gangs after an escalation of violence.
In exchange for laying down their arms, Nasiha said the criminal gang asked for an end to extrajudicial killings of members of their ethnic community and for the release of arrested gang members.
Since many of the members are herders, they had asked for the restoration of watering holes and grazing reserves as well as the return of their farmlands seized as booty by local communities during the peace talks.
Local authorities agreed to all the demands.
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