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Notorious bandit leader, Bello Turji expresses anger over attack on residence

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Notorious Zamfara State bandit kingpin, Bello Turji, has expressed his anger and betrayal over the action of the Nigerian military after he had offered to embrace peace.

In a leaked audio clip, Turji vowed to carry out devastating reprisal attacks following recent aerial bombardment of his residence and stronghold by the Nigerian military fighter jets where several of his followers were killed.

The bandit kingpin is heard accusing the government of breaking the peace pact they signed with him wherein he had promised to stop banditry and protect the people of Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara from any attack.

Turji further expressed his bitterness over the air raid on his abode and the killing of “vulnerable and defenseless people.”

“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,” the bandit leader said in Hausa.

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“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,” he added.

The Nigerian military had, last week through its air components of the Operation Hadin Kai, carried out several air strikes on bandits locations in the Fakai area of Shinkafi where scores of armed bandits belonging to the Turji camp were killed in what the Army called “Operation Forest Sanity”

The coordinated attack was carried out by two Nigerian Air Force fighter jets, upon receiving credible intelligence, according to the Army.

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