By Shehu Danjuma and Zubairu Idris (NAN)
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has said that cattle rustlers and bandits have been granted amnesty by the North-west governors as part of measures to restore peace in the zone.
Masari made the disclosure in a communique read at the end of a one day security and reconciliation meeting with security agents, vigilante and volunteer groups, herdsmen and farmers on Thursday in Katsina.
“As from today, no vigilante group member or volunteers should attack or kill any herdsman, as sacrifice must be made by both sides to ensure peace reign.
“Herdsmen and their families should be allowed to go for their normal businesses, attend markets and worship places without molestation provided they don’t carry arms.
“Those bandits who rustled animals from communities should immediately return them to the government or Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
“Bandits should surrender their weapons and immediately release all those kidnapped and now under their custody.
“We are happy that we have seen some releases of kidnapped victims from Zamfara and other States,” he said.
The governor also said the states would intensify efforts to provide necessities that would make nomadic life meaningful like hospitals, schools, grazing reserves among others.
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara said that the states would provide grazing reserve for the herders for them to settle in one place in the zone.
Matawalle said: “we are concern that herders are always roaming around with their animals thereby exposing themselves to different kinds of hazards.
“The governors took a uniform measure, you should also take a uniform decision not to rustle animals, kidnap or kill anyone.
“You should immediately release all people in your custody in order to show the world that you have truly repented,” he said.
In his remarks, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said that nobody is allowed to attack or kill anybody in the name of vigilante or volunteer group.
He also said that anybody caught killing innocent people would be pursued by the police and prosecuted.
Adamu said that any herdsman that indulged in kidnapping or other acts would equally be arrested by the police and made to face the full wrath of the law.
Secretaries to the State Governments attending the meeting would remain and continue discussion with security agents and herdsmen on modalities to go about measures to be adopted.