A Fulani herdsman named Auwalun Daudawa, the repentant leader of the gang of bandits that abducted over 300 school boys in the Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State and surrendered some weapons recently has revealed that getting a gun for themselves is as easy as buying a bread.
In January, Auwalun Daudawa and six of his lieutenants surrendered over 20 AK47, ammunition and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher to the Zamfara State government.
According to his words; “We have voluntarily repented. I was convinced by the state government approaches on peace reconciliation with armed bandits. I learnt from those who repented before me that there was no single plan by the governments through use of security agencies to harm me and my boys, therefore, we are now back for normal lives like other peace-loving Nigerians,” he stated.
Speaking to Daily Trust on how he got his arms, he said, “I got it around me. It is easy to get a gun. It’s just like someone going to buy bread.” Auwalun Daudawa noted that the injustice he had experienced made him delve into crime.
According to his words; “It is because of injustice. Injustice in the sense that you had your own property and taking care of your family then government would now sends officials to cart away everything while I have family to fend for,” he stated.
“What would I do? Am I expected to survive on sand? I had a herd of cattle which I inherited from my parents but military operatives were sent to take them away from me and brought here to Gusau. So I was challenged to sit up too.”
Auwalun Daudawa and his gang had on December 11, 2020 invaded Government Science Secondary School, Kankara around 11 PM, shooting indiscriminately to scare residents. The operation led to the disappearance of over 344 students. The abduction happened when President Muhammadu Buhari was visiting his home state of Katsina.
After their release on December 17, 2020, Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara State, stated that the schoolboys were rescued with the help of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and that no ransom was paid.
Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, also stated that insinuations that ransom was paid for the release of the boys from their abductors were false.
However, in a leaked telephone conversation between Auwalun Daudawa and a former caretaker chairman of the Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, Haruna Musa Mota, the bandit’s commander admitted that the group collected N30m from the state government before the school boys were released.
When told by Mota that some government officials claimed N800 million was given to the group, he exclaimed and said, “You said what? N800m? How many millions again? Who said that? So, they paid N30 million and claimed N800m, now they have stopped cattle rearing.”
Responding, the former local government council chairman stated; “I will send you the speech and I will advise you to speak out so citizens will know you did what you did for peace and what they paid you was N30 million. This is not fair at all; they call us thieves while they are the real thieves. We want peace but this governor has no integrity.”
However, a former caretaker chairman of the Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, Haruna Musa Mota was arrested a few days later over alleged ties with the bandits.