A man who identified himself as Adamu Ayuba has released a song to praise and celebrate the leader of a gang of deadly bandits, Bello Turji.
The song is trending in northern Nigeria, PREMIUM TIMES reports, but not among people who have been victims of banditry, who find the 14-minute long song distasteful.
Turji, who is from Shinkafi in Zamfara State, has been identified as being behind several attacks on communities in Sokoto, Zamfara and parts of the Niger Republic.
He and his gang have been identified as being responsible for killings, abductions and theft in his areas of operation.
The about 14-minute long song was rendered in Hausa by Ayuba, along with a female chorus describing Turji as a hero among heroes.
SaharaReporters on Monday reported that an Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), said it had identified Turji as the bandit behind the recent killings in Sokoto State.
The group said Turji, a bandit leader, had earlier vowed to kill about 150 people.
MURIC, however, called on the Nigerian Army to fish out the bandit leader either dead or alive.
According to MURIC, getting Turji is integral to defeating banditry in Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Last Monday, 23 travellers were burnt and killed by bandits in Sokoto.
The group's director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Monday, said sources had identified Turji as the bandit behind the killings.
The group said, “Sources close to the Sokoto branch of MURIC have reported the strong nexus between one Bello Turji, a notorious bandit, and insecurity in Sokoto and Zamfara states.
“He coordinates almost all attacks and he was allegedly behind the barbaric shooting and burning of passengers in a bus in Sokoto last week.
“Currently, he is believed to be somewhere in the Eastern part of Sokoto.
“He was the one who challenged the government sometime in August 2021 demanding the release of his father or else about 150 people kidnapped around Shinkafi would be slaughtered.
“More than 500 people have been killed by bandits under the leadership of Bello Turji within the last six months between Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah and Goronyo local governments.
“Hundreds of bandits take their inspiration from him. The Nigerian military needs to find this dangerous man.
“Nail him and bandits in Sokoto and Zamfara zone will be in disarray. A commando-style operation may become necessary in order to neutralise Bello Turji. But he must be found at all cost, dead or alive.”