Fred Itua, Abuja
Over 5,000 Nigerians in troubled parts of Sokoto State have relocated to Niger Republic following increased attacks by bandits.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir stated this, yesterday, during his contribution to a motion on security on the floor of the Senate.
His revelation stunned the Senate as he said a section of the state was left at the mercy of Nigerien soldiers for protection against bandits, alleging that Nigerian soldiers have abandoned the area.
Gobir said within the last three months, no fewer than 300 people in Sokoto East district have either been killed or kidnapped by bandits.
“In fact, based on very reliable and verifiable information from the area, many times the people of the area called on Nigerian Army for help and protection against the bandits there has been no response. But graciously, the Nigerien army has been assisting in warding off the bandits, the very reason while not less than 5,000 people in the affected areas have migrated to Niger Republic for safety.
The affected people cannot be perpetually be at the mercy of Nigerien soldiers and still expected to proudly see themselves as Nigerians. Very urgent drastic action is required from President Buhari through the military in form of expansion of anti- banditry operation currently being carried out in Zamfara and Katsina to Sokoto State,” he said.
He lamented further that besides the 300 people who had fallen victim to banditry attacks in the area through kidnapping or outright killing, hundreds of cows and other animals estimated at N2.5 billion have been rusted.
Sabi Abdullahi had in the motion anchored on orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing rules, lamented the daily occurrence of banditry in Niger State requiring urgent intervention from President Muhamnadu Buhari.
Though the Senate in its resolutions commended President Buhari for the anti -banditry operations going on in Katsina and Zamfara States, it urged him to urgently expand the exercise to Sokoto and Niger states to stem the tide of the ugly situations.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the security challenges were enormous but surmountable.
“Nigeria is definitely up to the task and Mr. President will deploy military to the areas for restoration of sanity as gradually being witnessed in Zamfara and Katsina states,” he said.