Armed Bandits operating along Shinkafi/Sokoto Road, Zamfara State have claimed that officials of Zamfara and Sokoto State governments provide them with information with which they strike and evade arrest by military.
The bandits disclosed this during an ongoing peace meeting with Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, on Tuesday at Makkai forest.
This marks a second meeting between the Islamic cleric and suspected bandits to broker a peace deal. Three weeks ago, over 500 bandits reportedly agreed to lay down their weapons in Kaduna after he struck a peace deal with them.
During the meeting, the gunmen reportedly claimed that officials of both zamfara and Sokoto state governments provide information on movements of troops and other operational activities discussed during security meetings to them.
The gunmen also accused the Nigerian government of not being sincere in ending instances of banditry and kidnappings.
States in the North-West region has in almost a decade faced devastating attacks from armed bandits.
According to the International Crisis Group, 11,000 people have died since 2011. Many deaths, particularly in Fulani communities however go unreported.
Several army operations have been launched by the Nigerian government, but most have been largely ineffective.
Some state governments in the region have resorted to signing controversial and secret peace agreements with the gunmen to stop the killings. But despite the accords, communities in such states are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.