The recent killing of North West most dreaded criminal kingpin by security agents, Buharin Daji, has, in no small measure brought respite to the region and his home state of Zamfara. ANKELI EMMANUEL (Sokoto) reports on the life and death of the criminal gang leader.
His name is Buhari, but many called him ‘General Buhari’ for his brevity in perfecting evil against humanity in the most cold and calculated, inhumane way. He killed without any feeling of compassion. He maimed and ripped off life off anyone or group who dared to stand his way.
He was alleged to be a threat to humanity and peace. No doubt, the name rings a bell in the minds of those who knew his story, majority of whom live in Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger and Kaduna states. His atrocities resonated fear in communities, villages and towns along his corridor of terror.
Buhari’s personality and dexterity in plotting evil which caused bewilderment, pains and agony is of course no news to even the citizens of Niger Republic. This is because his foot soldiers equally operated trans-border criminality.
For those that knew him or must have heard his story, General Buhari was believed to be the brain behind a good number of the atrocities that were committed in the north western region of Nigeria. This included cattle rustling, armed robbery, revenge attacks on communities among others, leading to deaths in their dozens.
His prowess in executing set targets, especially within marked areas, earned him the simple nickname of Buharin Daji (Forest Buhari).
And for others who continue to imagine the strength of his clandestine act, Buhari is allegedly seen as super human because of the myths surrounding his existence.
Giving credence to his mystical prowess, many who spoke to LEADERSHIP Friday on conditions of anonymity, said they preferred to call him ‘Buharin Daji’, because he was until his death, a “Lord” over several happenings in most forests within North West states of the country and beyond.
“His existence all through was confined to the forest. He was a super hero in deciding what happens in most forest, either good or bad, especially within this region. That was why they simply nicknamed him General Buharin Daji.”
Though efforts to trace General Buhari’s genealogy proved unsuccessful, LEADERSHIP Friday, however, learnt from those who claimed to know a bit about him that he was a Fulani man in his late 60s.
They said General Buhari hailed from Dangulbi village of Dansadau in Zamfara State.
He was said to have taken after his parents as a cattle rearer all through his life.
“To the best of my knowledge, Buharin Daji had no formal education. But he was until his death, very vast in Islamic and metaphysical understanding.
“Buharin Daji is so diabolical to a point that many concluded he was no human being rather a ghost,” said Musa Danlami, a resident of Anka in Zamfara State.
On possible reasons why Buharin Daji became a threat to humanity in his days, the source said, “it’s not far from the assumption that he grew up as a member of cattle rustling syndicate.
“You see, it’s normally said that those rearing cattle in the bush often bully each other by forcefully confisticating cattle that are not theirs just to increase their herds.
“They often form groups that sometimes embark on stealing cows from fellow Fulanis. These groups have syndicates and operate even beyond their immediate vicinity.
“Most cattle rearers know about the group. They also know how deadly the group could be if faced with resistance in any of their attempts to rustle cows from a particular settlement.”
On why the group continued to exist in spite of government’s efforts to pin him down, Danlami, who is a Fulani said, it existed basically because of two reasons.
“First, the group existed because of greed. Secondly, it existed because some joined to ward off any further attempt at rustling cows from their occupied domain (Ruga).
“Not every member of these cattle rustling group join with the intention to steal. Some join just to prevent others from stealing their cows,” he said.
When asked why some of them ended up commiting series of criminal acts, he said that was simply the outcome of greed.
For Buharin Daji, he was not only a leader of one of such cattle rustling syndicate but an internationally acclaimed dark horse whose presence sent fears into the minds of many that knew him.
Records have it that, his gang had over the years threatened the peace in most of the forest of north western states with Zamfara his hometown the worst hit.
Aside threatening the peace of the forest, General Buharin Daji’s group is equally alleged to have been behind most of the unrests on some of the roads within these states.
His dexterity in unleashing terror became so disturbing to a point that Zamfara State government was said to have entered into an amnesty deal with him.
He and his group were said to have accepted the amnesty deal, submitted their weapon and repented.
However, since it only takes divine intervention for a dog not to bark, Buharin Daji reneged on the amnesty deal and went back to his old ways even with circulated threat that he was going to unleash more mayhem on the people than ever before.
He was alleged to have declared in one recorded and circulated mobile communication that, there would be no more farming in Zamfara. He also affirmed that peace was going to elude the people and that Maiguduri would have more peace than Zamfara.
General Buhari while basking in the euphoria of his metaphysical prowess after reneging on the amnesty deal bit more than he could chew.
Some of his unrepentant boys were said to have gone to rustle cows from a man believed to be an in-law to one of his closest ally, Dogo Gide, who, honestly embraced the amnesty deal.
Buhari’s boys in the process of rustling cows were said to have killed some members of the man’s family before carting away large herd of cows.
Dogo Gide, an in-law to the robbed Fulani man, being a repentant member of the group went to Buharin Dali to demand for an unconditional release of those stolen cows.
He was, however, disappointed when told that those cows had been shared amongst his boys.
If the forest General had any premonition that death was lurking around, he would have simply toed the path of peace with Dogo Gide.
But like the stubborn fly whose penchant for foul smell often becomes the source of its death, Buharin Daji proved uncaring until Dodo Gide was said to have embarked on getting rid of him and some of his boys.
The Zamfara State has witnessed several attacks by armed bandits leading to scores of deaths. In recent time, bandits suspected to be cattle rustlers attacked Birane villa in Zurmi local government area, killing 18 persons, according to police source.
The Buhari Daji was said to have been killed at a village in Dansadau Emirate in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Zamfara State deputy governor, Ibrahim Muhammad, commended the repentant bandits for saving the state from the horror of Buharin Daji and his gang.
Yes, jubilation greeted the story of the death of Buharin Daji’s , especially in Zamfara State and beyond.
However, the very disturbing question begging for answer is, are some of his disciple still within the state? Would another Buharin Daji Zamfara spring up? Observers have expressed worry over this dilemma.