Insecurity: 5 Sokoto LGs Under Bandits, Terrorists’ Siege - 9jaflaver

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Insecurity: 5 Sokoto LGs Under Bandits, Terrorists’ Siege

    Posted by on September 9, 2023,

Insecurity: 5 Sokoto LGs Under Bandits, Terrorists’ Siege

Security concerns have reached a critical point in the eastern part of Sokoto State, with a surge in violence, including killings, kidnappings, and assaults on innocent community members. Communities in Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah, Goronyo, and Illela local council areas have been left in a state of dread, forced to rely on divine intervention for their safety.

Undesirable elements, including bandits and criminals, now operate freely in the region, instilling fear and defying any attempts to confront them. This growing uncertainty has led to many residents refraining from visiting or residing in their native communities, compounded by unwarranted arrests of innocent individuals by armed assailants.

In a recent attack in the area, a thriving young entrepreneur was brutally shot and killed at close range, a tragedy viewed by many as a premeditated assassination. The deceased’s only known association was that he had financially supported a prominent local politician currently serving in the National Assembly.

The situation has deteriorated further, with many residents falling victim to kidnappings, torture, and brutal assaults while trying to earn a living on their farms or at their businesses. The escalation of criminality and violence has made everyone, including security forces, farmers, locals, and visitors, vulnerable targets for terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, and armed robbers, who operate without fear of repercussions.

Even security personnel, including soldiers, policemen, and members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have lost their lives in attacks by these criminal gangs. Many communities and hamlets in the eastern part of Sokoto State have been set ablaze, compelling residents to flee to urban areas for safety, resulting in the establishment of more internally displaced persons centers in the state capital, Sokoto.

Former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Bafarawa’s residence in Bafarawa was attacked by bandits in an attempted kidnapping, during which a policeman was killed.

The insecurity has led to the abandonment and desertion of the Olusegun Obasanjo College of Science and Technology in Bafarawa, inaugurated by the former president in 2006, despite significant investments made by the state government.

In Bafarawa district, bandits openly brandish weapons without any challenge from residents, whether in civilian attire or uniforms. The influx of displaced persons in the capital has led to the conversion of unfinished structures into camps, particularly for school-age children who have been forced to stop attending school due to the loss of their parents or kidnapping.

Sokoto has emerged as one of the worst-hit states in northern Nigeria in recent years due to relentless attacks by bandits and terrorists. Just a month ago, armed individuals attacked an immigration checkpoint along the Sokoto/Illela Road, killing two immigration officers and injuring four others, all without encountering any resistance from security agents.

Residents in Isa Town describe it as a hub for bandit recruitment, with countless informants providing details and movements of people to these criminal groups. Many individuals have been forced to relocate to the state capital, Sokoto, due to the constant threat of attacks.

There is a glimmer of hope as retired military officer Col. Garba Moyi Isa (retd) has initiated efforts to clear overgrown vegetation and enhance visibility on the 120-kilometer Marnona/Isa Highway, which has been deserted for more than five years due to security concerns. His efforts, supported by a federal public officer from the area, aim to make the road safer for travel and security operations.

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