- Nigerian troops backed by gunships and fighter jets are carrying out an offensive against kidnap gangs in Zamfara
- Federal authorities had earlier shut down telecom services, security sources to carry out the raids in the northwest state
- Villagers say the fleeing bandits are now abducting community dwellers in neighbouring Sokoto state
Sokoto - Bandits suspected to be fleeing Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aerial bombardments in the Bakura-Talata Mafara axis of Zamfara state on Tuesday, September 7 stormed Dange Shuni local government area of Sokoto and kidnapped at least 20 residents.
Residents of the Dange Shuni local government area, however, told BBC Hausa that communities in the area were witnessing an influx of bandits recently.
Daily Trust newspaper reports that many bandits’ leaders and their foot soldiers have been killed during the military raids.
They were reportedly killed by ground troops and through aerial reconnaissance since the blockage of communication and restriction of movement in the state.
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FG moves to end escalating attacks in Zamfara
Recall that the federal government had ordered telecom networks to shut down services operating in Zamfara for two weeks over the worsening security situation in the state.
The directive was issued on Friday, September 3, by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to all telecommunications providers in the country.
The order was issued in a letter signed by the executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta.
In a related development, the minister of communications and digital economy, Professor Isa Pantami, has disclosed that the telecommunications sector prioritises security over economic benefits.
He made the disclosure on Tuesday, September 7 in Abuja during the official launch of the NCC Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2026, podcast, and a compendium of Danbatta speeches.
Professor Pantami said that the telecoms sector does not joke with security, adding that while aiding the security institutions, the sector even compromises the economic benefits that should have accrued to it.
'Terrorists not bandits'
Meanwhile, Abubakar Bagudu, the governor of Kebbi state has expressed concerns over the activities of bandits causing havoc across the country.
Bagudu on Thursday, September 2, asked the Buhari-led government to declare the bandits as terrorists.
According to the governor, whoever carries arms and terrorises people in an organised manner should be also declared terrorist.