No fewer than 19 assorted rifles recovered from repentant bandits in Zamfara State by the police were handed over to the state government on Friday.
Police Commissioner, Usman Nagogo, who displayed the retrieved firearms to Governor Bello Matawallen said they were recovered between August 30 and September 5.
According to him, the firearms were surrendered by repentant bandits under the disarmament process, noting that the amnesty exercise was yielding results.
Nagogo noted that the command had been able to secure the release of over 375 hostages through the exercise.
The police chief said information available to him showed that about 90 per cent of the bandits were ready to surrender their weapons without financial gratification.
Nagogo said that one Abdullahi Yellow, a native of Dansadau Emirate in Maru Local Government Area (LGA) surrendered four sophisticated firearms, ammunition and military camouflage on August 30.
He said: “The firearms recovered from Yellow included a Light Machine gun (LMG) rifle with breech number erased, AK47 rifle with batch number 35372, FN rifles with numbers 167119 and 212108 as well as 10 rounds of live ammunition and a military camouflage.
“On September 4, one Kachalla Halilu, a repentant bandit from Sububu forest in Maradun Local Government Area submitted four rifles to the Commissioner of Police, a sign of receiving government offer of amnesty wholeheartedly without any condition.
“They include two AK47 with empty magazine, FN and LMG rifles. These are rifles that
were received from remorseful bandits who have also promised to surrender their arms and ammunition without government paying a dime.
“Similarly on September 5, the same remorseful bandit surrendered six caliber of different assorted automatic rifles to the Commissioner of Police including a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and five AK47 rifles.
“It is instructive to note that all these rifles were received as tip of the iceberg. The real disarmament has not even started. The contacts we made gave us a hint that more than 90 percent of the repentant bandits are ready to surrender their arms.”
Nagogo said the gains of the disarmament exercise were already proving critics wrong, adding that most bandits that fled the cities were relocating to smaller towns and suburban areas to start normal lives.
“They are interacting with the people and security agents about their future plans. This itself has proven that the amnesty offered by the government is working and actually it will boost the economic activities of the state,” he added.