Reactions have trailed the reported repentance of a notorious terror kingpin, Bello Turji, who had killed and kidnapped many residents of Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Recall that in December 2021, the bandit kingpin reportedly wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and the Emir of Shinkafi, seeking a ceasefire.
While speaking at an event in Gusau on Sunday, the Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Hassan Nasiha, disclosed that Mr Turji had repented and embraced peace initiatives of the state government.
Mr Nasiha said Mr Turji’s repentance had resulted in restoration of peace in Birnin Magaji, Shinkafi, and Zurmi local government areas of the state.
According to him, Mr Turji is now killing unrepentant bandits who unleashed terror on innocent citizens in Shinkafi, Zurmi, and Birnin Magaji local government areas.
This claim, however, didn’t sit well with many Nigerians, especially on the micro-blogging platform, Twitter.
Many of these social media commenters criticized the purported repentance of the wanted terrorist.
A Twitter user @KawuGarba, said the purported repentance was a strategy adopted by Mr Turji to use security forces to build a greater empire and fight his rivals.
He said: “It’s ridiculous Zamfara state gov’t gave another peace dialogue offer to Bello Turji, the most wanted armed bandits gang leader. He will use our security to fight those groups he doesn’t see eye to eye with & build a greater empire afterward. It’s not happening for the first time.
Another user, @sarnchos, said the deputy governor should have allowed the terrorist speak for himself.
“Why is the Zamfara deputy governor speaking on behalf of bandits? Shouldn’t the bandits be speaking with the army instead?,” he quizzed.
On his part, @Oditaisreal, said: “Another Zamfara bandit has ‘repented’. Please, stop dispensing absolution to cold blooded murderers who’re merely restrategizing. Whenever military firepower increases, emergency repentances increase. The fellow should be taken into custody to answer for his crimes. #Deception.”
Other users reacted as thus: @OduduwaR said: “If that Terrorist bastard Turji Bello can be walking freely, given a chieftaincy title in Zamfara after killing several people and have made so many lives miserable. Our own Chukwudimeme Evans should be released also SIMPLE.”
@Omar_mustie said President Muhammadu Buhari should declare state of emergency in the state and send the governor and state officails to a fellowship course.
He said: “A proper President will declear a state of emergency in Zamfara then send the governor and deputy with and the members state House of Assembly and also local government chairmen to Kaduna for a 1 year Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship.”
@PrinceAmeerfres, said: “Bello Turji is one of the dangerous peoples and most wanted criminal in Zamfara state yet the gov’t is making alliance with him, he’s now living freely, unwanted, despite the lives and properties of innocent peoples he has taken.”