Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, says the military operation in Zamfara is making his state “very vulnerable” to the activities of bandits.
Newsmen had reported that a total of 23 travellers were burnt to death when some gunmen opened fire on a bus in Sokoto on Monday.
Following the killing, President Muhammadu Buhari dispatched a delegation comprising heads of security agencies to the state.
Babagana Monguno, national security adviser, Yusuf Bichi, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Usman Alkali Baba, inspector-general of police, and Samuel Adebayo, chief of defence intelligence, are part of the delegation.
Speaking on Friday when he received the delegation, Tambuwal blamed the situation on the influx of bandits displaced by clearance exercises carried out by Operation Hadarin Daji in Zamfara.
The governor alleged that the resultant effect of the exercises had led to attacks and kidnappings “in broad daylight” in some parts of the state.
Operation Hadarin Daji, the precursor of the escalation of tension and crisis in Sokoto state was carried out without any blocking force around the neighbouring states, particularly Sokoto state,” he said.
Also, the timing of the operation, whereby, unfortunately, our security agents do not have enough equipment to move and curtail and contain those that would pander towards Sokoto state didn’t help the timing as well. So, the timing and the way the operation was carried out left Sokoto very vulnerable.
It does appear as if those bandits pursued from Zamfara state have relocated to Sokoto state. This is a very serious call for concern.”
There is a need for more boots on the ground. I am familiar with the situation at the centre, but I believe that something can be done, and, that should be done urgently and expeditiously because our situation is getting out of hand.”
Tambuwal added that the state is also trying its best to curtail security challenges.
Here in Sokoto state, you can verify this from the heads of security agencies, there is nothing they have asked of us that we have not done. Absolutely nothing,” he said.
Since the commencement of this administration, we have given security personnel in Sokoto state not less than 500 vehicles. We are also doing whatever it takes in terms of funding from our own end despite the lean resources that we have as a state.”
Responding, Monguno, who led the delegation, restated the federal government’s commitment to flushing out banditry and protect citizens from all forms of criminal activities in the country.
We are in Sokoto on a specific mission instructed by President Buhari, to condole you and the very good people of Sokoto State as well as the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, over the unfortunate incidents that have been occurring over the last couple of weeks,” Monguno said.
Mr President is conveying his profound condolence over the loss of all the citizens who have departed.
He also wants us to express his deep sympathy as well as his determination that the perpetrators of this gruesome, wicked activities are apprehended and brought to book.
He has charged to make sure that all the relevant agencies do not rest until we are able to flush out the perpetrators of not just these last two incidents that occurred, but also previous incidents.”