Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, thursday vowed to deal with bandits that killed 74 people in the state.
No fewer than 74 people lost their lives when the bandits attacked Garki, Dan Aduwa, Kuzari and Katuma, all in Sabon Birni Local Government of Area of the state on Wednesday night.
According to an eyewitness, “The bandits, estimated to be in their hundreds, stormed the villages on motorcycles, shooting sporadically, which led to the death of not fewer than 74 people.”
In his reaction to the attacks, Tambuwal commiserated with those who lost their loved ones.
“Yesterday, I received with rude shock and maximum displeasure the killings of many citizens of Sabon Birni by bandits.
“This development is most discomforting considering the fact that myself and the entire security architecture of the state had on Tuesday visited the area and had fruitful discussions with the traditional leaders and other stakeholders on how to nip this unfortunate incidents in the bud.
“Nonetheless, under my watch, no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book,” he said.
The governor assured the people that the state government was working closely with the federal government and the security apparatus in the state to find more ways and means to halt this development.
“As we work concertedly to tackle this problem, I commiserate and console, once again, the resilient and peace-loving people of Sabon Birni and environs.
“These losses of lives and destruction of property are not yours alone but that of the entire people of the state.
“I, therefore, on behalf of the government and good people of Sokoto State, crave your indulgence to remain patient and continue to cooperate with the government. Insha Allah, we shall overcome these travails,” the governor explained.
Sokoto State Police Command has confirmed the attack, saying the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Sani Kaoje, has ordered the deployment of more mobile policemen in the areas.
Kaoje urged the people to remain calm, saying police in collaboration with other security agents would continue to protect them.
He urged the people to provide police with information that would help in identifying criminals in their communities.
The police had last week foiled a similar attack by bandits, killing two of the gunmen.
Meanwhile, a coalition of concerned Sokoto citizens has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently save the people of the state from consistent bandits’ attacks.
The coalition also appealed to Tambuwal to save his people.
Professor Nasiru Gatawa told journalists in Sokoto yesterday that between January and now, more than 20 deadly attacks had been unleashed on the people of the zone, in which over 270 lives were lost.
Gatawa said: “We have eight local governments in the zone, which includes Gada, Goronyo, Gwadabawa, Illeila, Isa, Rabbah, Sabon Birni and Wurno local government areas.
“Part of each of these local governments is under the control of bandits whose heinous activities have crippled social and economic activities, which has led to loss of hundreds of lives and property running into billions of naira in the zone.
“The most terrorised local government in the zone is Sabon Birni where bandits operate freely and in a broad daylight for several hours with little and in many cases no help from the government.
“Each of the 11 wards under Sabon Birni Local Government Area has parts of it under the total control of bandits whose permission and consent the villagers need to conduct a wedding or naming ceremonies or even have a market day.
“As we speak today, even the local government headquarters of the eight local governments in the eastern zone of Sokoto State are in total fear.
“The situation is getting so serious that even Sokoto metropolis cannot boast of being safe from the attacks of bandits because the activities of these bandits are gradually expanding to villages a few kilometres to Sokoto city.
“On the eve of Sallah, suspected bandits attacked and killed a prominent businessman in Ummaruma, a village not far away from Sokoto city.”
He, however, appealed to the federal and Sokoto State governments to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and SEMA respectively to immediately provide support to the victims of the attacks.