From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Col. Samaila Yombe Dabai (rtd), has vowed to fish out criminal elements among the “Yan-Sakai” Volunteer Vigilante group in Zuru Emirate, who were involved in various criminal activities and obstruction of court processes.
Dabai on a tour of some areas in the emirate stated this while speaking with newsmen in Birnin Kebbi. He identified areas he said were hotspots of banditry, adding that they had discovered that criminals were disguising as “Yan- Sakai” to perpetrate evil, and tarnish the image of the people of the area.
According to him, “if you recall, we share borders with Zamfara and over the years Zamfara has been faced with banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and all the rest. That never manifested itself in our area. But the recent years have shown that there is a spillover of this crime wave into Zuru land specifically Bena, Manci and Fakai. These areas share boundaries with Sokoto and Zamfara states. It has continued to the extent that a whole village was attacked, its residents have driven away and properties carted away. They not only drove people away, but they also killed residents of other villages I visited recently. It is unfortunate that such incidents happened.
“These unfortunate incidents are happening because security agents have been overstretched. They are spread all over the nation trying to fight insecurity. There is no state including Kebbi where you don’t find soldiers fighting crimes – armed banditry.
“But as limited in number as the soldiers are, they are doing a wonderful job. But because of the continuous attacks, the natives have decided to help themselves by coming together, arming themselves so as to defend their areas. They nicknamed themselves “Yan-Sakai” meaning, a voluntary organisation to help themselves.
“But unfortunately, some scrupulous people now wear Yan-Sakai uniforms to commit atrocities. They will kidnap an individual from Zuru and take him away for ransom. They are getting involved in judging cases to the extent that they are harassing judges and lawyers. These people are not Yan-Sakai; they are criminals and we cannot tolerate that. We would not tolerate that.”
The deputy governor who apologised to the Chief Judge of Kebbi State over the incident, disclosed that they had concluded and designed a military strategy to flush out those behind the criminal acts.