THE Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, has reinstated a monarch, Aliyu Garba Marafa, who was suspended for turbanning a notorious bandit leader, Ado Aleiru.
Marafa, the Emir of Birnin Yandoto, was suspended shortly after giving the bandit leader a chieftaincy title in 2022.
In a statement on Sunday, April 23, the Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Kabiru Balarabe Sardauna, announced that Marafa has been reinstated as the Emir of Birnin Yandoto.
The statement reads: “This is to inform the public that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, MON, (Shatiman Sokoto), has approved the reinstatement of Alh. Aliyu Garba Marafa as the Emir of Birnin Yandoto.
“His reinstatement is based on the recommendations of the committee constituted to investigate all issues pertaining to the conferment of a traditional title to a repentant bandit, Ado Aleiru. The committee found no evidence of any ill motive or collaboration between the Emir and the bandit.
“Based on the findings of the committee, the traditional title was conferred on the repentant bandit as part of peace-building efforts between the repentant bandit and banditry-affected communities in Tsafe and Gusau Local Government Areas, which include Yandoto town. The reinstatement takes immediate effect.”
In July 2022, the Zamfara State Government announced the suspension of Marafa as the Emir of Birnin’ Yandoto, in Tsafe Local Government Area, for turbanning the bandit leader.
Secretary to the State Government, Kabiru Sardauna, announced the suspension in a statement.
Marafa conferred Aleiru with the title of leader of the Fulani.
According to the Emir, Aleiru was conferred the title for his pivotal role during a peace process between the Emirate and the bandits terrorising Tsafe Local Government Area.
Following the development, the state governor, Matawalle, set up a committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the Emir’s action.
Zamfara State, in Northwestern Nigeria, is one of the strongholds of armed bandits who have been terrorising residents of many northern states.
The Zamfara incumbent governor, Bello Matawalle, lost his reelection bid to Lawal Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded governorship election.
The returning officer for the election, Kasimu Shehu, said Dare scored 377,726 votes to defeat Matawalle, who polled 311, 976 votes.