Bread, drug suppliers to bandits insisted they were doing their honest job, making lots of money

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Abubakar Ibrahim a.k.a Abu Rewire of Kuregu village in Wasasa Zaria, Auwal Abubakar of Zaria City, Hassan Magaji of Galadimawa village, and Ibrahim Kabiru a.k.a. Abba of Galadimawa village ran out of luck on June 8, after at least a year of supplying food, drugs, and other logistics to Zamfara bandits.

But before the FIB-IRT caught them, they had a roaring business.

One was netting N400,000 monthly, according to the Nation that first reported it.

Their market included bandits operating at Galadimawa, Damari, Kidandan and Awala camps in Birnin Gwari and Giwa local government areas, Kaduna State.

About 1000 students have kidnapped and held hostage in forests around Kaduna in recent times.

In his confessional statement, Auwal Abubakar admitted they also supplied intelligence to the bandits, which helped them map out their banditry.

“I started the bakery business in 2018. Before then, I was an okada (commercial motorcycle) rider, but I was always losing them to bandits who sometimes ambushed us,” said another supplier, Hassan.

So he was later advised to pivot into bakery.

“I started with about N21,000 and now make about N400,000 a month.”

According to him, the boom in my business began when I started supplying bread to bandits—many of whom he knows.

“I normally stay close to the part of the forest where they are camped. It was during one of such movement in 2019 that I met Mohammed and he bought 10 loaves of bread and took my phone number.

“I sold the bread for N200 each instead of the regular market price, which was N170.  The next day, he called me, saying that the bread was so sweet and asked me to bring 20 more loaves,” he said.

They later advanced him more money to bake for them.

“They started with N20,000 worth of bread and gradually increased it to N50,000 a day. After removing the cost of the ingredients, I make as much as N150,000 in a week.

The delivery point was close to their hideout in the forest, but he wasn’t allowed in to the forest.

“They never threatened me because I minded my business. They know that people are avoiding them; that was why they normally encouraged me by paying for the bread before I baked it. So, I do not know about their kidnap business; I only sell my bread and leave.”

He would have continued his quiet business if the police team had not arrested his workers who eventually outed him.

Abubakar just became a worker at Magaji bakery in Galadinma. He is a farmer who needed to get busy while waiting for rain. He earned N500 and a loaf of bread daily.

“Most of our bread was sold to bandits. I know that they are bandits. Everyone knows them. I did not fear that they would kidnap me because we minded our business,” he said who insisted he never knew it’s a crime selling bread to bandits.

“They don’t cover their faces. We know their villages. The only thing is that they now live in the forest.

“They have no families. It is only some of their commanders that are married with children.

He said they are many in the bush, multiplying as the government kills them.

“I did not join them because of my family. My relatives had warned me that one day, the army would bomb the place and I would die.”

His co-staffer also confessed.

“Part of my job is to sell it in the neighbouring communities every day. The bandits are our best customers. Instead of trekking around and begging people to buy bread, we just deliver everything to them and go home.”

The co-workers said their own families had sternly warned them not to join the criminals.

The farthest they could go was mind their own business—of selling bread to the hungry, bandits or regular people.