There are foreigners among the new armed group that emerged in southern part of Dansadau Emirate of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, according to Senator Saidu Dansadu.
Newsmen had reported that the group had been preaching to bandits to stop attacking residents.
In a phone chat with our correspondent, Dansadau said members of the group believed to be apologists of ISWAP initially camped in a forest in near Shinkafi.
He said they reached out to Turji, a notorious bandits’ leader operating in Shinkafi axis about three months ago.
“Later, the armed group said the forest is not comfortable for them. They relocated to Kumyambana forest in Dansadau Emirate and began to carry out their activities there.”
“We believe the group consists of Nigerians and other foreign nationals and are making the bandits hibernating in the forest very scared and uncomfortable because bandits run away at the sight of the members of the armed group.
“It is really very frightening because they want have a base there, forget about what they are preaching, that bandits should stop attacking communities or farmers. They want get a credit of bringing back peace to the area so that they win the hearts of the highly traumatised locals there.
“In this situation, whoever is coming with a promise to stop attacks on communities will win the favour of people. Our fear is that at the end they will start carving a territory from that area.
“It unfortunate that the armed group emerged when the army are strategically eliminating the armed criminals from the area. Recently, soldiers launched attacks on the bandits in a place near Chabi community in the axis and many of the armed criminals were killed,” senator Dansadau added.
He urged the army to sustain the tempo and engage the armed groups from multiple fronts. He said coordinator attacks are what would subdue them adding that there should be synergy with neighbouring states.
“Now that the army is attacking them in Dansadau axis some of them are relocating to Birnin Gwari forest in the neighbouring Kaduna state. We are sharing boundary with Katsina state and if there is going to be operation in Dansadau axis, the security operatives in Katsina should be involved to stop the criminals from accessing escape routes,” he advised.