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Fact Check: Is notorious bandit leader Dogo Gide really dead? (Must read)

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Despite widespread reports in the media to the contrary, sources told PREMIUM TIMES that as of Sunday evening, Dogo Gide was still alive.

There were reports, especially on the social media and lately some online media, that notorious banditry kingpin, Dogo Gide, was killed by his deputy, Sani San Makama.

PRNigeria reported that Mr Gide was killed on Sunday.

Almost all the online news media that reported the story quoted PRNigeria as their source but nothing has been established yet.

Mr Gide was the mastermind of the abduction of scores of students from Federal Government College, Yauri in Kebbi State in June.

The Man Dogo Gide
Mr Gide was born as Abubakar Abdullahi. He is an indigene of Maru local government area of Zamfara State but his exact community remains unknown.

He began his criminal operation in the Kuyanbana forest, attacking villages in the areas that share boundaries with Kaduna, Niger and even Kebbi States.

Mr Gide has a notoriety for ruthless and vast connections with several bandits and terrorist organisations, especially ISWAP and Boko Haram.

He is notorious for kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery and sexual violence.

Mr Gide became known in 2018 when he killed his boss, the equally notorious Buharin Daji. He also recently killed another notorious bandit leader, Damina, according to many reports.

A historian and close watcher of banditry in the north-west region, Murtala Ahmed-Rufai, said Mr Gide has the financial capacity and connections to procure large weapons.

“Each of these groups (Gide and others) has in its possession more than 500 AK 47 or AK 49 guns. Some of the gangs like that of Gide, Mai Anguwa and Turji also have more sophisticated weapons like RPGGS and anti – aircraft guns,” Mr Ahmed- Rufai wrote in a8 seminar presentation titled ‘I am a Bandit’.

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The lecturer at the Department of History at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto continued thus: “Dogo Gide, later forged an alliance with Boko Haram in the last quarter of 2019. Thus, from his base in the forest of Wawa in Niger State, Gide was recruiting members for this group and ensuring the group has 104 stronghold in Zamfara State.”

Is he dead?
Despite the reports by PRNigeria and other online newsmedia like Daily Nigerian, it is still not established that the banditry kingpin has been killed.

Multiple sources who have good knowledge about the bandits in the north-west region told PREMIUM TIMES that as of Sunday evening, Mr Gide was still alive.

Mr Ahmed – Rufai responded to the question by this reporter on the killing of Mr Gide with a simple answer.

“It is military propaganda, please,” he said.

Yusuf Anka, a former journalist with the HumAngle media, who has written extensively on banditry in the north-west , also disputed the story in a phone interview with this newspaper.

Mr Anka insisted that nothing has been established as to whether Mr Gide is dead.

“My reliable sources in the area have confirmed to me that Dogo Gide is alive. The story has been on social media since last Wednesday and when I checked it turned out that Gide was still alive as of this Sunday,” Mr. Anka said.

He added that Mr Gide joined the Jumu’at prayers in Babbar Doka, under Dan Sadau district.

“He went to Babbar Doka in the morning last Friday and spent hours in the village before he left around 6:30 p.m. He also went back to that same community on Sunday around 1 p.m. These are what I can reliably tell you but you can cross check with other sources,” Mr. Anka said.

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Basharu Guyawa, whose organisation, Rundunar Adalci, fights human rights abuses in Sokoto and is a close watcher of the activities of bandits, said all his contacts refuted the story.

“We will be the happiest if Dogo Gide dies but as it is now, we have nothing to confirm that he has been killed,” he said.

“No refutable media organisation has reported the killing of Dogo Gide so far and no one has quoted any security source, so we assume he is not dead.”

The police spokesperson in Zamfara, Mohammed Shehu, said he had not heard the story but promised to contact his sources and revert to the reporter.

Mr Shehu later said he still had no meaningful information on the issue.

“What you are asking me is a big issue. It will take time but I get back at you when I get anything,” he said.

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