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Residents flee into Niger Republic as bandits kill 15, sack 14 communities in Sokoto State

It has been a reign of terror particularly in Sabon Birni Local Government Area (LGA) of Sokoto State where bandits killed 12 persons and sacked 14 villages.

Sabon Birni is located in the Eastern part of Sokoto State, which has been terrorized by bandits for years.

Sources confirmed that because of the consistent violence, destruction and killings, many residents of the area have fled into Niger Republic for safety.

A former chairman of LGA, Idris Gobir, said that more than 10 people were killed in one week in the area, while over 1,000 animals rustled.

According to him, the villages sacked by bandits include Garin abara, unguwar abzin ,Garin namaimai, Garin amadu, garin danjari, Gidan buta, Kalage , Kaihin aska,, Rukkumi and Garin dubu.

Others were Kyara, Naguliya, Garin buka, and Kyalkyale.

“You cannot find a single human being in any of these villages. Most of the villagers are currently taking refuge in the neighbouring Niger Republic,” he said.

Another resident of the area who pleaded for anonymity said 12 people were killed in the area within two weeks.

It was also confirmed that at Tsamaye village, five men were shot by the bandits, but only one died while the rest were receiving treatment in the hospital.

Three more killed

However, three persons were killed on July 7 when bandits raided Kurawa village around 11 pm.

The names of the deceased were given as Alhaji Aware, Zayyanu Dalha and Malama Ladi.

The bandits also attacked a village called Dangari in Gatawa district on Friday, July, 30 and killed three persons who were identified as  Alhaji Amadu, Sanusi  Dan Biba and Malam Janyo (Fulani man).

They killed other three persons at Kalage village on August 4, whose names were given as Bilya Agada, Isaka Suntau and Rufa’i Ibrahim.

At Zurudu village, they killed one Shamsu Halilu and wounded one Dahiru Rabi’u on August, 7th.

They killed one person, who was identified as Ayuba Muhammad and robbed his son of his motorcycle at Garin Idi village same day.

They also wounded one, Abdussalamu umaru who is now admitted in a hospital in Maradi, Niger Républic.

It was said that three persons were killed in a raid on  Tarah and Garin Hullo village on Sunday, August, 8 around 11:30 pm.

According to him, the gunmen had forced residents of Makuwana village to N2 million to avert an attack.

There were also reported killings and abductions in other parts of the zone.

Allegations tissue of lies

The Commissioner for Carrier and Security Matters, retired Colonel Garba Moyi, who confirmed the attacks, said the bandits were also attacking places in Tangaza, Illela and other parts of the state.

“Residents are complaining that security operatives, especially the Army, are not responding to distress calls.

“In fact, they said most of the attacks came after army show of force in their areas,” he alleged.

However, the Spokesman of the 8 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major Adamu Yahya Ngulde, dismissed the allegations as a tissue of lies, saying the Army were always in hurry to respond to distress calls as directed by the General Officer Commanding the division.

“The GOC had directed them Army to respond to any distress call and to ensure timely rescue of kidnapped victims but in doing so they should be cautious of ambush.

“Just last two weeks, the Garrison Commander led a clearance operation along that axis,” he said.

On the alleged withdrawal of troop deployed to the area, he said there was nothing like that.

“In fact, the current Chief of Army Staff has injected more troops to deal with banditry in the region,” he said.

This story first appeared in Daily Trust,

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