A notorious leader of bandits in Zamfara State, Ado Aleru, has been turbaned as Sarkin Fulani (Chief of Fulanis) of Yandoto Emirate by the Emir of Yandoto Daji Emirate, Aliyu Garba Marafa.
The turbaning ceremony took place on Saturday evening, 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 told Channels 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.
An official from the palace who pleaded anonymity also told Channels Television that 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.
Efforts to get reactions from the state government were not successful as the Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Mamman Tsafe, who is also from the local government area neither responded to several phone calls put across to him, nor reply to the text message sent.