For the period the reign of terror unlished on Zamfara State by bandits lasted, the once sleepy and peaceful state was in a state of anomie.
The disorderliness no doubt led to the collapse of both social and economic activities in the state.
The banditry also created serious division between herdsmen and Yan’sakai, who are mostly Hausa.
The Fulani, who were termed to be bandits restrained themselves from attending weekly markets across the geographical area known as Zamfara for fear of attack.
The unfortunate development however forced Fulani to confine themselves to the forest, without having any interaction with the inhabitants of urban towns, where they used to engage in business activities.
Apart from the Fulani herders, even women who used to hawk milk developed fear in having free interaction with the people in the urban areas for fear of Yan’sakai.
Though, it is now history, as the two warring factions of Fulani and Yan’sakai have agreed to the government brokered peace initiative and resolve to surrender arms.
One of the cardinal points of the agenda of Governor Bello Matawalle at his inaugural speech was the restoration of peace in the state.
Matawalle issued strong warring to the members of the vigilante group, popularly known as Yan’sakai to stop the extra judicial killings in the open market.
In the same vein, he urged bandits to stop their nefarious act of kidnapping and killing of innocent citizens.
The governor on the occasion also promised revival of the various cultural activities of the Fulani and Hausa people during the Eid-el-kabir celebration.
The cultural activities to be revived to mark the return of peace in Zamfara, according to him included Sharo, Takkai, Langa and Dambe.
The Sharo cultural festival demonstrates the test of endurance and bravery in a most dramatic way. It is celebrated by the Fulfude speaking nomads, commonly called the Fulani and found along the northern parts of the countries that make up West Africa, spreading from Nigeria to Senegal.
It is a major event usually held twice a year within the settlements and eagerly anticipated by participants and audience alike, including national and international audience. The main attraction is the raw display of endurance.
The first of this festival happens in the dry-season during the guinea corn harvest and the second, during the Muslim festival of Eid-el-kabir.
It is commonly held in an open place, like a market square, and for a week, commencing with several forms of entertainment as well as the maidens dance, performance by minstrels and tricksters. The high point is of course the flogging sequence.
Sharo which means flogging, tests the bravery of the young initiates as they lash each other to the peak of endurance. The core of the Sharo festival begins with the arrival of bare chested young unmarried men, escort.
The governor flagged off the commencement of Fulani Sharo, Doro and traditional Shadi with a view of celebrating the return of peace in the state. The flag off ceremony was held at Gusau Tradefair Complex, bye pass road, Gusau.
The venue of the occasion was full to capacity as Fulani from all walks of life graced the colourful event, including bandit commanders who moved freely with their fellow brothers.
Notwithstanding, other infested spectators also graced the venue and exchange greetings with the bandits.
Matawalle said the aim of the Sharo celebration is to show the world that peaceful coexistence has come to stay and it will be sustained for the purpose of having a united state where everybody would move freely without fear of attack or molestation of any sort.
He added that the peace initiative of his administration will continue to ensure the protection of people’s lives and properties in the state and by extension, and the country at large.
Matawalle also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the peace and dialogue with bandits initiative in the state.
Matawalle also described Buhari as a leader that is more concerned about the plight of his people irrespective of their political affiliation.
He assured of his administration’s continued efforts in building confidence within the citizens of the State through the establishment of economically viable programmes that will have direct bearing to the people of the State.
The Governor also applauded the constant support and cooperation he is receiving from security agencies in the state and as well as from warring groups and urged for more support and understanding.
It could be recalled that the Governor promised to organize the long forgotten traditional Fulani Sharo during the Eid-El-Kabir Sallah festivities if the peace process initiated by his administration succeeded in order to show the world that peace has returned permanently in Zamfara State and rekindle the confidence of investors to come to the state and set up businesses.
The governor however, ordered the Sharo celebration to be conducted in each local government area, an avenue provided to the fulani, including the bandits to visits urban areas and celebrate freely with the Hausa people, including the members of the vigilante group.
One of the bandits’ commanders, Hassan Tawaye, expressed happiness with the peace initiative by the government.
According to him, the bandits have welcomed the peace initiative by the government.
“We are ready to support the peace initiative by Governor Matawalle, because of the display of honesty in those involved in the peace talk”, he said.
Also, a member of the late Buharin DAJI family who visited the governor said, the peace intimate was the best option to end the longstanding problem.
He said majority of the Fulani have been depreved of going to the markets for business as well as enjoying themselves with social amenities, fruits and other needs of life.
Other activities lined up in the state include Takkai, Langa and Danbe which were primarily aimed bringing together people of different background to interact freely without any misgiving.
It is on record that since the commencement of peace initiative, the issue of bandits attack of towns and villages as well as kidnapping have been put to an end.
The state commissioner of police, Usman Nagogo, who anchored the peace initiative had been in talking terms with the bandits’ commanders and leaders of the vigilante group.
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