Sokoto bandits have started appointing and posting their members to head some villeges in Sabon Birni Local Government of Sokoto state.
Daily Star investigations revealed that the Bandits, suspected to be in the camp of Turji, have posted village leader for Gangara village who was sent after the bandits invited the villagers to a meeting in Saturu village on Thursday October 4.
In attendance at the meeting were five Turji’s commanders namely: Ɗan Baƙƙwalo, Boka Tamisƙe, Hassan Ɗan Ƙwaro, Dogo as well as Jammu Baƙi.
Gangara villagers were asked to select one from the five bandit commanders to serve as their village head.
The villagers selected Ɗan Baƙƙwalo, after which they were given some conditions by their ‘new District Head’.
The conditions are: there should not be a single Police officer in the village, there should be no military or Vigilante Group members seen in the village and all disputes must be brought to the ‘head’.
The final condition was that the villagers must contribute the sum of 1.5 million naira and hand it to the new head in three weeks.
On Friday October 5th, Ɗan Baƙƙwalo ordered the immediate reopening of three Juma’at mosques and the resumption of weekly (Tuesday) market activities in Gangara village, against the order of Sokoto state government of closure of all weekly markets.
At Maƙwaruwa village, bandit commander Boka Tamisƙe declared himself the new district head and he summoned a meeting where he asked the ‘ousted’ district head, one Ɗan Sani, to tell the villagers, by himself, who was now in charge.
Ɗan Sani told the people there that Boka was now the new head of the village.
“The villagers have no option but to obey these bandits” one of the villagers told Daily Star.
“They are now in charge and every case or dispute must be reported to them”, he added.
Meanwhile, 85 villages in Burƙusuma, in Gatawa ward, have been taxed 300 thousand naira each for not farming enough food that the bandits could use.
The villagers were given a timeline within which to contribute the money or face the wrath of the gunmen.
All efforts to speak to Sokoto state Police Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Sanusi, were unsuccessful as he did not respond to a text message sent to him by our reporter, up to the time of filing this report.
Hundreds of villages in Sabon Birni Local Government have fled due to the activities of bandits.