Zamfara State Emergency Management Agency (ZEMA), says a total of 25,000 persons displaced by banditry in Zamfara, have so far returned to their villages and towns.
Executive Secretary of ZEMA, Sanusi Kwatarkwashi, the made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Gusau on Friday.
Kwatarkwashi said that the state recorded 37,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the heat of the banditry, but following peace efforts by the Governor of the state Bello Matawalle, the returnees had gone back to their normal business of farming, animal rearing and other activities.
He added that the remaining 12, 000 IDPs were in Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and some part of Niger Republic.
“I believe all IDPs in the host communities want to go back to their homes rather than to continue to stay with the friends or relatives,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, one of the returnees, Sani Saidu from Gusami village in Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of the state, has commended the governor for the dialogue with the bandit.
Saidu noted that it was the dialogue that made it possible for him and others to return to their ancestral homes.
“Most of us did not have any form of disability but were forced out of our homes to live in IDP camps or with relatives as a result of the activities of the bandits.
“We depended on begging and hard labour to survive; we shunned the temptation of joining the bad gang,’’ Saidu said, and lauded the governor for the peace iniative.