Notorious Bandits’ Leader Sets Conditions For Peace In Katsina

File photo used to illustrate story.
File photo used to illustrate story.

A notorious banditry kingpin in Katsina State, Usman Idris, aka ‘Ruga Kachallah’, is asking for compensation for his burnt house and grains and the arrest of his wives as the condition for ending his criminal activities in the state.

However, the police have responded that they are not interested in negotiating with Kachallah because he had publicly renounced banditry on four previous occasions but had gone back to his old ways each time.

File photo used to illustrate story.

According to Premium Times, Kachallah is believed to be leading criminal activities in Safana Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State.

Locals and security sources in the state told the newspaper that a large army of bandits under him routinely kidnap people for ransom and rustle cattle without restraint.

However, the banditry kingpin is also involved in ‘lawful business’ that has endeared him to the local populace. He has many commercial vehicles on the road, which generate daily income for him and create employment for grateful locals.

In Tulumbusawa, ‘Yartsaku, Makera, Gimi and Chirena in Safana LGA, locals obey his orders and seek his permission to cultivate their farmlands.

In the northern fringe of Runka town, the second largest community in Safana LGA, farmers have also submitted to the reign of the banditry kingpin.

However, Kachallah is not hiding in the forest like most other bandits. He lives in Gimi with his family. Recently, the residents of the town resisted an attempt by security agents to arrest one of his lieutenants, identified only as Gulbi.

Gulbi is said to handle the sale of rustled cows for Kachallah.

The police area commander in Safana, Dutsin-Ma, Danmusa, Kurfi and Batsari LGAs, Aminu Umar-Daye, withdrew his personnel in the face of resistance by the locals when he tried to take Gulbi into custody.

The residents said the security agents would not be there to protect them from the fury of Kachallah who they were sure would blame his aide’s arrest on informants from the community.

But later on May 25, the security agents raided Kachallah’s house. Although he was absent, they got hold of two of his wives before setting fire to his house.

But residents mobilised to put out the fire. After allegedly being told that people from neighbouring Rumka helped the police in the operation, Kachallah allegedly vowed to deal with the community.

Immediately after the incident, Kachallah kidnapped Lawan Garba, a primary school teacher from Rumka working in Gimi. He held the teacher hostage and demanded the unconditional release of his wives.

On May 29, he also allegedly abducted one Murtala Umaru, a grain grinder in Gimi, who also hailed from Rumka.

On June 8, one Bishir Lola and his son, Mubarak, were kidnapped while working on the farm. The kidnappers received N300,000 and N20,000 recharge cards as ransom for their release. However, days later, the decomposed corpses of the two were found abandoned in the bush.

Residents blamed the crime on Kachallah, saying it was to scare farmers away from their farms.



Original Author

Saharareporters, New York
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