Abuja, November 18, 2021: Few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the deployment of more military hardware to tackle increasing insecurity in Sokoto state, North West Nigeria, rampaging bandits have killed 57 people.
The bandits attacked Goronyo Local Government Area of state and killed 43 people and killed 14 others in another attack on communities in Sabon Birni Local government between Sunday and Monday.
The Sokoto state commissioner of police, Mr Kamaluddeen Okunlola, confirmed the attacks; “they attacked some remote villages that are not accessible due to bad road. But by the grace of God, we are going to get them. We are going after them”.
Worried Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state on November 17, 2021 described the attacks as “upsetting” and said: “This is not a small occurrence. This incident really touched us.”
He commended the local government authorities, monarchs and community leaders for lawfully organising a volunteer group working in tandem with the security operatives in the area.
Appealing to the people not to be daunted by the attacks, and said that “instead, it should motivate you all to redouble your efforts, without seeking revenge, in securing your communities”.
The governor noted that the military offensice against bandits in nearby Zamfara state ought to have been holistic because fleeing bandits were relocating to his Sokoto state and unleashing their anger on the people.
The bloody attack on Goronyo is the second with a month, including that of middle of October in which 43 people were killed.
As Sokoto people mourn, bandits have sacked some communities in Zazzaga in Munya local government of Niger state in north central Nigeria and abducted 68 persons.
The Niger State Commissioner of Police, Mr Monday Kuryas, said on Thursday that the attacks took place around 2 am on Wednesday.
“Police are already on the trail of the attackers to rescue the kidnapped victims unhurt,” the commissioner said.
Mr James Jagaba, Secretary of Munya Local government, children and women were among those kidnapped.
“They came in large numbers when the victims were sleeping and took control of the community,” he said.
“A hunter was shot dead during a gun duel with the criminals. We don’t know the whereabouts of the kidnapped persons. But security personnel comprising the police, military and vigilantes have been deployed to the community,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Mr Emmanuel Bwacha, has confirmed the killing of a village head and 10 residents in the Manga community in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State by Ambazonia separatists from neighbouring Southern Cameroon.
He told Senate plenary on Wednesday that the residents were killed during an invasion of the community by the Cameroonian separatists who also razed down the village.
Bwacha, who represents Taraba South in the Senate, said the separatists’ invasion threatened Nigeria’s territorial sovereignty as their motive was yet unknown.
He, therefore, called on the military to immediately swing into action to prevent the eventual occupation of the Manga community by the separatists.
“Takum Local Government houses the 23 Battalion of the Nigerian Army and so Mr President, it is my humble submission that the Nigerian Army should rise to the challenge and curb this wanton territorial expansion.
“Their (separatists’) motive is yet unknown, whether they want to expand territory or lay claim for Southwest Cameroon is not yet clear.
“As I speak, many individuals have gone missing and their whereabouts are yet unknown; the village was also razed down,” he said.
Military in September shut down communication, markets and restricted movement and deployed ground and air troops to effectively tackle bandits in North West states of Zamfara.
The offensive, according to officials, has led to relocation of fleeing bandits to Katsina, Sokoto, and Niger states.