Security

Police react as bandits appoint village District Heads in Sokoto

The police have denied reports that bandits sacked villages in Sokoto and appointed District Heads.

A resident of one of the affected communities in an interview with VOA Hausa Service disclosed “yesterday the bandits’ leader celebrated the Maulud in Makwaruwa, where he declared himself the District Head.

“The event took place in the presence of the bona fide District Head. But when they asked if he had any objection, he, Dan Sani, paid allegiance to the bandits’ leader who usurped power”.

The resident identified as Idris Muhammad Gobir also claimed that “in Gangara town the bandits summoned a meeting which was attended by all the inhabitants and the bandits.

“They selected Dan Kwaro and he is now the District head of that town.

“He was in the town on Thursday and ordered mosques to reopen.

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“He directed that the inhabitants should stop going outside the town for prayers, that they should be performing their prayers in the town.”

“They control the local justice system and others. He ordered that markets be reopened next Tuesdays,” he said.

Another resident of an affected village, Bashir Altine Guyawa, told the VOA Hausa that the bandits have been controlling the villages prior to them even appointing District Heads.

According to him, “from Dama where there was an encounter between the bandits and security agents, up to Zango and Gatawa, the bandits are in total control in these areas and dictate daily affairs.

“So even if they announced the appointment of District Heads or not, they’ve already established their presence and they are in control.

“So anybody who had traditional authority can no longer exercise that power,” he said.

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