Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has said that there are up to 30,000 bandits in the state.
He said they were spread across 100 camps terrorising the people.
While noting that the bandits had collected N970m ransom in the past 10 years, and killed 2,619, he noted that his approach, which was negotiating with the outlaws, was working.
During the same period, the bandits killed 2,619 people and kidnapped 1,190 others.
At a press conference on Friday, Information Commissioner Ibrahim Magaji Dosara spoke on behalf of the governor.
He said: “From available records, over 2,619 people were killed between 2011 and 2019. This is in addition to the 1,190 people kidnapped by the bandits.
“The records also show that the sum of N970 million was paid as ransom while 14,378 animals were rustled within the period and over 100,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes.
“People were traumatised. Farmers were prevented from going to their farms to cultivate the usual food and cash crops for their daily needs.
“There was general food insecurity in the state in particular and the region in general. The economy of the state was devastated by the crisis.
“This is in addition to the proliferation of both light and heavy weapons, with a high influx of bandits from the neighbouring countries and with no solution in sight. The crisis defied all forms of solution.
“This is in addition to a large number of bandits camps across the state and beyond.
“At least there are almost one hundred (100) different bandit camps in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger and Katsina, with no fewer than 300 bandits in each of these camps having sophisticated weapons with them.
“Now tell me, which is the best option for the governor? To fold his arms to watch his people being killed or to go for dialogue and continue to use the repentant bandits to convince the recalcitrant bandits to save the lives of the governed?”