A foreign armed group has reportedly taken over a Sokoto community, and further imposed levies on residents of the community.
A resident of the area, Mallam Bello Tangaza, who spoke with Saturday Sun on the development said that the foreign armed group was invited by the leaders of the Tangaza Local Government Area of Sokoto State few months ago. According to him, though only ten members of the armed group were invited for security purpose, but they ended up mobilizing others to terrorise the communities.
It was learnt that the group went round the community with weapons applying strange laws and punishing defaulters.
“What actually happened was that our communities were infringed by the activities of armed bandits from Zamfara State; we were inundated with cases of kidnappings, cattle rustling and our Nigerian securities were not doing much to curtail the situation,” Tangaza said. “So, our people were fed up and decided to contact these people, whom we all known as vigilance group. “The invitation became necessary when some armed bandits kidnapped our community leader (village head). This group came to our land during last Salah celebration (Eid el-Kabir). They came after police failed to rescue the victims. Our leader was rescued alive and we also recovered all our cattle and sheep earlier stolen by these bandits.
“Along the line, we accommodated them and even gave out our daughters to them in marriage. We also agreed to be contributing some stipends for their welfare since they are now our guests as security guards. All these were pre-arranged on just mutual understanding and in appreciation of their defence drive. But suddenly they broke this understanding and started going beyond their bounds. Now, they are forcing us to pay some levies without our volition. They have turned against us,” Tangaza explained.
The Local Government Information Officer, Bala Ibrahim Gidan-Madi however confirmed that the State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Murtala Mani, has visited the communities as part of effort to beef up security measures.
The State command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Cordelia Nwawe, however advised the people to go about their lawful business and desist from causing panic.
She said, “There is nothing like bandits and there is no need for people to be scared. The CP and his deputy in charge of operations went and saved the situation. There is no need for people to be apprehensive because whatever happened to Niger Republic has nothing to do with Nigeria. Those people are not operating in Nigeria but in Niger Republic. Tangaza is a boundary community. Even though people alleged that they saw strange people in the area with camels, donkeys and wives, it is not in Nigeria.”