Dogo Gide, a notorious leader of a violent armed group in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria says attacks on communities by armed groups will continue so long as the military continues to conduct air raids on his hideout.
In August, the Nigerian military intensified air attacks in Zamfara and neighbouring state of Katsina, where armed bands had a field day pillaging communities and thereby created another major front for troops.
Gide has also denied having ties with the Boko Haram terror group or its breakaway factions and blamed the allegation on his rivals contrary to reports.
HumAngle had earlier reported Gide to have alleged ties with the terrorist group, known as Ansaru, operating in the Northeast region of Nigeria.
In an audio clip obtained by HumAngle, Gide said that claims by the government and the media that he was part of the terror groups were not true.
“No armed group is beyond my power in this area (referring to Kuyanbana forest which connects Katsina, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states) simply because they think they hold arms,” Gide bragged in the audio clip.
“If I want to fight anyone, I will find them in their homes and I know that God will not allow them to succeed over me.”
He explained that he declined invitations to dialogue with the Zamfara State government because of the allegation that he was a member of the Boko Haram group.
“Why I have refused dialogue is because everyday I hear them say I should be fought because I’m a Boko Haram member, this and that, I read it and I hear it on the radio,” he said.
Gide said he had also allowed different terror groups to continue their attacks because he did not want the government to come after him.
“That is why I let these groups continue their terror activities because the moment I stop them the government would come after me but the moment they come today these groups would keep them busy so they won’t see me, but nobody here is beyond me or my strength.”
The embattled leader said he was willing to stop all violent activities by his group and others in the state, particularly in Kuyanbana District of Maru Local Government Area, if the government ceased air raids on the forest.
“If the government wants peace, I want to see a month without an air raid in this area, I promise you that when this happens, I will stop all terror activities in this area,” Gide promised.
He said he was not responsible for all the attacks in the area.
“But the moment the air raids continue, we will continue, but the moment they stop for one month and bandit attacks continue then the military is free to send whatever air raid they wish to, they can call me a liar. But I Will not stop the groups now because the government is looking for me and I’m not responsible for all of the attacks in this area.”
Gide said that air raids were not having the desired effects on the terrorists because terror elements in the forest had mastered how to evade such airstrikes by government troops.
“The air raids are not even killing the terrorists, they only disperse and kill animals, the bandits have mastered the act of avoiding air raids,” Gide said.
He recalled how he overpowered some terrorists in Yar-maitaba village and freed persons held hostage.
I mobilised to seize their arms and free kidnaped people. I will seize all arms and surrender them once the air raids have ended,” he disclosed.
“I have seized 10 riffles already but I will not surrender them until I see the government’s commitment because my animals were bombed recently.”
Gide said he was not taking chances of meeting the government in person or staying in nearby towns for fear of assasination but would ensure to hold his end of the bargain if the government committed itself.
Many rural herders and farmers have complained over air raids alleging destruction of houses, animals and crops as against the real terrorists, however they seem to be the only means of getting to the bandits due to bad terrain.
HumAngle had earlier reported an air raid that injured the dreaded Gide by the Nigerian Airforce.
However, local sources believe that recent raids have grossly affected Gide’s strength contrary to his claim that none of those attacks took a single person from him.
“There were a lot of raids in his controlled areas these days. So that is giving him sleepless nights. In fact, some foreigners died around his camp recently,” a source told HumAngle.
Last week, he was seen in the Malele village of Kuyanbana District where he sought the support of the locals to eliminate another notorious terrorist, Damina, who is terrorising the area, possibly a move aimed at winning the hearts of the locals.
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