By Salim Yunusa
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has blamed the military for the incursion of bandits dislodged from Zamfara into his state.
There has been an upsurge in bandits attacks in Sokoto in recent times but the attack of last week took many by surprise, especially the burning of passengers.
The lone survivor of the attack, which happened along Sabon Birni-Isa road in Sokoto, had told Daily Trust how armed gang believed to be loyal to a terror kingpin known as Bello Turji, opened fire on the bus they were travelling in until it somersaulted and burst into flames.
The 30-year-old woman said she watched four of her children, her mother and three other relative were burnt to ashes.
Shortly after the interview, the woman died at the Usman Danfordiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, where she was receiving treatment following the injuries sustained in the attack.
Tambuwal had gone to the area where the attack happened but after he left, bandits invaded the community and gunned down three persons.
When the governor received the high-powered delegation that President Muhammadu Buhari dispatched to the state as a result of the disturbing incidents, Tambuwal attributed the rise in attacks to Operation Hadarin Daji, a military exercise in Zamfara.
“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.”
“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 center, but I believe that something can be done, and, that should be done urgently and expeditiously because our situation is getting out of hand.”