An armed preacher group instilling fear into bandits has surfaced in Dansadau Emirate of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Members of the group were recently seen on motorbikes at Dandalla community which is located 15 kilometres south of Dansadau town.

Farther south of the community lies a forest straddling Birnin Gwari axis of neighbouring Kaduna State. Communities, especially in the south, east and west of Dansadau town have for many years been under the siege of bandits who even adjudicate between people whenever there is any dispute.

Daily Trust reports that members of the group, who wore long beards, performed their Jumat prayer separately last Friday after which they began preaching to the bandits to stop attacking communities.

They preached that rather than attacking peasant farmers and stopping them from working on their farmlands, the bandits should turn their guns against government officials.

The Wazirin Dansadau, Alhaji Mustapha Umar, said a resident of the community confirmed the development to him.

“It is true the armed men came to the community. There is a fear in the minds of the residents that they might be motivated by the Boko Haram ideology,” he was reported as saying.

Allah Mustapha, who was once kidnapped by the gunmen but released after ransom was paid, said one of the group members was shot by a bandit after he preached to them.

“The killing of the member of the group sparked a deadly fight between them, with many of the bandits killed. Even the bandits themselves are frightened by the activities of this armed group in the forest and this is what I learnt from their conversation when I was under their captivity,” he said.