A popular bandit kingpin, Bello Turji, has said he feels betrayed by the military’s decision to raid his camp in Zamfara.
TheCable had reported how the raid, conducted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), left many dead.
The bandits were said to be attending a wedding ceremony with Turji in Shinkafi LGA when the area was bombed.
Turji was, however, said to have escaped.
In an audio recording obtained by PRNigeria on Saturday, the bandit kingpin reportedly expressed his bitterness over the airstrikes on his camp despite his acceptance to abandon banditry.
“There have not been any attacks in the last five months since we reached a truce with the government but now that the military has attacked our home, we feel betrayed especially after the death of vulnerable people in the airstrikes,” he was quoted to have said.
“For the past five months, we didn’t attack or kill anyone around Shinkafi. As a result, farming and other business activities were flourishing without any hitches.
“I feel embarrassed when my name is mentioned after attacks by other bandits and terrorists.
“Apart from my house that they destroyed, many other buildings belonging to innocent citizens in the forest, were also affected.
“Peace is priceless and I am ready to be a peace advocate unless the government wants me to be a warmonger.
“I am ready for either peace or war. Whatever the government wants, we can give them a multitude”.
The development comes less than a month after Hassan Nasiha, deputy governor of Zamfara, said Turji has embraced peace overtures by the government.
Nasiha had said the bandit kingpin is no longer attacking residents, but his unrepentant colleagues.
He said Turji’s repentance has brought about peace in Birnin Magaji, Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs in the state.
The Zamfara committee on prosecution of bandit-related offences, however, had said the criminal kingpin must publicly surrender his arms before his repentance can be recognised.
The committee added that it would not be a party to any dialogue with bandits because “most of them are not sincere.”