GUSAU, 10 February 2021 – A criminal leader and four of his gang members have renounced crime in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara, according to officials in Zamfara.
The gang leader, Awwalun Daudawa, and his four lieutenants laid down their weapons, reportedly handing over 20 rifles, officials said.
“I am a changed person now and my plan is to go back to school and become a normal person,” Daudawa, who is 42 years old, told reporters holding up a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
The head of Zamfara state security, Abubakar Muhammad Dauran, said of the four that they were “repentant bandits” who have, according to him, shown remorse.
Dauran described Daudawa as the “mastermind” behind the abduction of more than 300 schoolboys in Kankara town in the neighboring state of Katsina last December.
The schoolboys were later released in a town in Zamfara state reportedly after the gang had been paid hefty sums of money in ransom.
Nigerian social media platforms are awash with comments lambasting Nigerian officials for granting amnesty to individuals admitting the commission of gruesome crimes while going after petty thieves and pickpockets as well as peaceful demonstrators demanding an end to police violence.
Officials in Zamfara claim that the amnesty deals are yielding tangible fruits, adding that more than 80 kidnappers have handed themselves in since 2019.