Repentant bandits in Nigeria’s north-western state of Zamfara are being offered two cows for every AK-47 they surrender.

It is an attempt to encourage them to give up a life of crime and live a normal life as responsible citizens, Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle says.

Motorcycle-riding armed bandits operating out of abandoned forest reserves are ransacking communities in Zamfara and nearby Katsina and Sokoto states.

They often loot shops, steal cattle and grain, and take people hostage for ransom.

In a recent attack in Zamfara state, 21 people were killed in Talata Mafara town by armed bandits.

Most people are into agriculture in Zamfara state, where the motto is “farming is our pride”.

“These bandits who choose to repent initially sold their cows to buy guns and now that they want a life free of criminality we are asking them to bring us an AK-47 and get two cows in return, this will empower and encourage them,” Mr Matawalle said in a statement.

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