Key Bandit Leader’s Grievance Behind Abduction at Zamfara University
A sidelined bandit leader orchestrated the abduction of female students at Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, due to feeling overlooked in ongoing negotiation efforts by the federal government to curb kidnappings and violence in the region.
Reports suggest that while negotiation teams engaged various bandit groups, the leader responsible for the abduction remained unapproached, prompting him to prove his influence by targeting the female students.
He and his supporters raided the university’s vicinity, abducting an unspecified number of students and locals.
The attack occurred on September 21, resulting in the students being taken to nearby bushes. Some have been rescued, but others remain missing.
Surprisingly, the abductors have not made any public ransom demands, a deviation from their typical modus operandi.
Zamfara has been severely affected by banditry in the North West, with multiple groups involved in criminal activities, ranging from kidnapping to outright community destruction.
The recent incident has exposed tensions between the federal and Zamfara state governments regarding negotiations with the bandits.
Efforts to restore peace in Zamfara involved three distinct government-backed teams, yet lack of coordination and ineffective negotiations are seen as contributors to the worsening situation.
Notably, there have been covert dialogues between government agents and the bandits, raising concerns about their effectiveness and transparency.
Professor Usman Yusuf, a former executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), criticized the government’s negotiation approach, highlighting the need for a cohesive and well-coordinated strategy to address the security challenges effectively.
In conclusion, the failure to adequately engage and coordinate negotiation efforts has played a role in the escalating insecurity in Zamfara, especially seen in the recent abduction at the Federal University in Gusau.
Addressing this issue requires a reevaluation of negotiation methods and better collaboration among stakeholders.