University holds seminar on rural banditry in Northern Nigeria
In a view to proffering solutions to banditry and kidnappings bedeviling the northern region of Nigeria, a university in the northwestern region of Nigeria- Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto has on Thursday 9th of September 2020 organized a seminar on banditry.
The seminar which was presented by a researcher and a lecturer in the institution’s department of history, Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufai, was titled “I AM A BANDIT” A decade of Research in Zamfara State Bandit’s Den.
During the event, the Vice-chancellor of the institution, Professor Suleiman Lawal Bilbis said the seminar is a product of the presenter’s 10 years of research in bandit’s den and it is aimed at proffering solutions to the banditry situation in the region and to trigger further research
Speaking to Bunnaj, Dr. Ahmed Rufai narrates how he successfully conducted his research for 10 years, “We have problem with understanding some of these bandits, they operated in the woods and forest and at times we still have the belief that we don’t reach them, we don’t contact them.
“I started this research as far back as 2011 when I was doing my PhD on rural economy which I don’t have other options than to go to the markets. Then, I discovered that the topic of the research was news issues that were just coming up and I picked interest. I maintained a good relationship with my contacts from the markets who later became part of the bandits when the issue went out of hand. And at a point in time, they became repentant bandits, they operated freely like other citizens, and they were able to speak their minds and provide insights into what is happening in the woods. This is what I have actually succeeded in doing”
Rufai also said his research is just to create awareness and let the public know that these issues can be followed up with the bandits themselves. According to him, this forms part and parcel of the solution.