Why I Became A Bandit – Bello Turji

Why I Became A Bandit - Bello Turji

Why I Became A Bandit – Bello Turji

Bello Turji, the notorious bandit leader, has said that he turned to banditry in order to defend the lives of his people, who are being slaughtered by a gang known as the Yan Sakai.

Turji, in an interview with Trust TV, said that he became a bandit as a result of the repeated assaults on his village, Fakai village in Shinkafi Local Government in Zamfara State, which he claims was the result of the attacks.

He said that members of the Yan Sakai gang attacked his village and rustled over 1,000 cattle, injuring numerous locals, and killing six children. He also claimed that the organization’s actions prompted him and some other Fulani youngsters to join bandits.

Furthermore, the bandit leader accused members of the Yan Sakai tribe of working in collusion with security officers to harass and extort Fulani people in the state.

He said: “Over 1,000 cattle were taken away from us. On that day, six of our little siblings were killed.

“Our parents went through all the courts, but they couldn’t get back their cattle. They also connived with Yan Sakai and slaughtered my uncle. Where then does a commoner seek redress?

They arrest innocent people and lock them up, and if you ask, they say it is because of corn stalks. You will be fined N500,000, and you must pay, for fear of incarceration.

“I will swear with the Qur’an that the Emir of Shinkafi knows about this. My father was involved in a court case for seven years over corn stalks. Just for corn stalks!”

The infamous bandit said that anybody who knew him would not believe that he had turned to crime, and that his first encounter with a human being occurred on a market day in Shinkafi.

He said: “I hadn’t taken up arms by then. I was herding cattle. Then, if my father wanted to sell any of his cows, I would take it to the market for him. After I sold it I would come to the emir’s compound before returning home in the evening.

“The Emir of Shinkafi knows me. He knew me from many years ago. If he is told that Turji would become a bandit he would not believe it because he knew we Fulani could not become rustlers. But it was what they were doing to us that became unbearable.”

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