“How did Bello Turji get Mopol uniforms” has been the question on everybody’s lips after photos posted by one Mamman Bashar Kanoma on Monday showed the notorious bandit kingpin moving freely around Fakai community in Zamfara State.
According to a Daily Times report, the Nigerian Airforce, NAF, bombed Bello Turji’s home during a naming ceremony on Saturday afternoon, September 17, 2022.
But the resurgence of Mr. Turji from God knows where, plus the viral photos of the notorious bandit leader and two of his men wearing the uniform of Nigerian security agents have raised more questions than answers.
It would be recalled that in August 2022, a BBC News Pidgin report by Mansur Abubakar revealed that the regional government of Zamfara state announced that Mr TurjI had now embraced peace and was vowing to fight active bandits.
“We have succeeded in reaching a peace deal with [Mr] Turji, and in the past six weeks not a single person was killed in the areas he operates,” senior Zamfara state official Hassan Nasiha told reporters.
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However, reacting to this report, Audu Bulama Bukarti, a prominent Nigerian analyst, social critique, public intellectual and human rights lawyer disagreed with the move.
In a Facebook post, Bulama Bukarti said, and i quote;
“Bello Turji’s last mass atrocity that we know of was setting 23 travellers, including a pregnant woman, ablaze in Sokoto. Now, Zamfara government says he’s repented and is helping “with killing unrepentant bandits”. Don’t be surprised if the government bought him weapons, vehicles and logistics soon in the name of helping them.
“Turji has never paid for his atrocities. He has violated similar “peace deals” in the past. This time, he’s essentially been appointed the judge & jury and executioner of alleged criminals & terrorists. He has been licensed to continue killing. Who knows whom he’d choose to kill?
“This is a deal that was stitch up by desperate politicians in a rush to score cheap political points for the coming elections. It’ll send a terrible signal to other terrorists: ‘you’ll get a good deal if you’re as brutal as Turji’. This won’t augur well for Zamfara and Nigeria,” he said.
Again, in a more recent post, after seeing the viral photos of Mr. Turji in a mobile police uniform, Bulama Bukarti wrote on his wall and said;
“How did Bello Turji get Mopol uniforms? Did he loot them from our forces after killing them, and yet the Zamfara State Government forgave him? Or was he given the uniforms and the vehicle by the Zamfara State Government after they’ve made him law enforcement agent overnight?”
Now, here is Bello Turji, one of the most wanted criminals and terrorists in the history of Nigerian. He is also the most wanted bandit commander in the North-West by our security agents.
My questions are :
- Who is backing Bello Turji?
- Where is Bello Turji hiding that makes it difficult for the DSS, Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police to track him?
- Who is sponsoring and arming Bello Turji and his killer squad?
- If a peace deal has been reached between the zamfara state government and Mr. Turji, what happened to all the money he collected from his victims as ransom payment?
- What does Bello Turji and his sponsors want to achieve by terrorizing the vulnerable in Zamfara?
- Lastly, where does Mr. Turji and his killer squad get all these sophisticated weapons used in carrying out their atrocities?
After the recent bombardment of. TURJI’S home by the Nigerian Air Force, It’s clear that the Nigerian Government and the Zamfara State government aren’t on the same page. And it’s the terrorists who are benefiting from this. Plus, a witness told BBC Hausa some hours ago that Bello Turji left his house about 30 minutes before the air strike. Could he have gotten a tip of the attack from his sources?