Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, has alleged that the Nigerian Army allowed, through its actions, bandits dislodged in Zamfara State to enter his state.
Governor Tambuwal made the allegation when he received a delegation of the Federal Government who came to commiserate him and the state over the killing of 23 passengers by bandits.
A total of 23 travellers were burnt to death when some gunmen opened fire on a bus in Sokoto on Monday.
Members of the Federal Government’s delegation included 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,
According to Governor Tambuwal, the influx of bandits into his state is due to the clearance exercises carried out by Operation Hadarin Daji in Zamfara.
He said: “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.”
Governor Tambuwal noted that the state government is also trying its best to curtail security challenges.
He said: “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.
“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.”
In his response, Monguno reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to effectively tackle banditry and protect citizens from all forms of criminal activities in the country.
He said: “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.
“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.”