A notorious bandit leader,  as Bello Turji has,  has been identified as the masterminder of killings in Sokoto and Zamfara states.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) who made the disclosure, however, tasked the Nigerian Army to find Turji dead or alive.

The group said it believes that Bello Turji is the key to the defeat of banditry in Sokoto and Zamfara states.

MURIC threw the challenge to Nigerian Army in the statement issued by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 13th December, 2021.

The statement reads:

“Sources close to the Sokoto branch of MURIC have reported the strong nexus between one Bello Turji, a notorious bandit, and insecurity in Sokoto and Zamfara states. He coordinates almost all attacks and he was allegedly behind the barbaric shooting and burning of passengers in a bus in Sokoto last week.

“Currently, he is believed to be somewhere in the Eastern part of Sokoto. He was the one who challenged the government sometime in August 2021 demanding the release of his father or else about 150 people kidnapped around Shinkafi would be slaughtered.

“More than 500 people have been killed by bandits under the leadership of Bello Turji within the last six months between Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah and Goronyo Local Government.

“Hundreds of bandits take their inspiration from him. The Nigerian military needs to find this dangerous man. Nail him and bandits in Sokoto and Zamfara zone will be in disarray. A commando style operation may become necessary in order to neutralize Bello Turji. But he must be found at all cost, dead or alive.”

Bello Turji is a 27-year ruthless bandit operating in Sokoto and Zamfara States. He had on different occasions rejected peace deals from the state government.

The only time he said he was open to dialogue was when Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmed Gumi, visited his camp in Zurmi (Zamfara State).

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