Muhammad Bello, aka Turji, a notorious North-west Nigerian banditry kingpin, escaped an afternoon attack on guests attending a ceremony at his home in Fakai in Zurmi, Zamfara State, to the east of Isa local government area in Sokoto State.
According to reports, many people were injured in a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) airstrike on Saturday afternoon, with an unknown number of people killed.
The 28-year-old is a ruthless bandit operating in the states of Sokoto and Zamfara. He had rejected peace deals from state governments on several occasions.
He only said he was open to dialogue when a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, paid a visit to his camp in Zurmi (Zamfara State).
Turji had relocated to Fakai in 2021 to escape soldiers’ fury.
Since 2011, an estimated 12,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced across the northwestern states of Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara due to the banditry crisis, according to an October 2021 report by Abuja-based think-tank Centre For Democracy and Development (CDD).