Nigeria

Sokoto assemblyman: Bandits now using Nigerien networks to coordinate attacks

Gunmen in the early hours of Friday stormed Birshin Fulani, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, and kidnapped a nursing mother of three children, Mrs Rukayyat Odedoyin.

Bandits are now using the network service of the Niger Republic to coordinate attacks, according to Aminu Almustapha Gobir, a member representing Sabon Birni North Constituency in the Sokoto House of Assembly.

As part of measures to check banditry, the Nigerian government had shut down telecommunication services in three states – Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina.

This had reportedly cut off communication between bandits and their informants.

But as a means of circumventing the security measure, bandits have now resorted to using the telecom service of the neighbouring country which shares a border with Nigeria through Sokoto.

Gobir said he received a threat from one of the bandits who using the Nigerien network service.

“The bandit was threatening to lead his gang to attack me and my community,” he told Daily Trust.

Gobir also confirmed the attack on a military base in the Sabo Birni Local Government Area of the state.

Daily Trust had reported how bandits raided the military base, killing security personnel and setting patrol vans on fire.

“It is true that they attacked a military base at Dama and killed about 12 of them while many are still missing.”

“This is why I faulted the government for shutting GSM network in the eastern part of the state without a serious military operation taking place there.

“The bandits are now using Nigerien network to communicate within themselves and perpetuate their heinous activities in the area.

“I expect our Governor to provide Divisional Police Officers and the military deployed to Sokoto East with Thuraya phone which could enable them to communicate within themselves and with their superior officers if they need help since there is no GSM network.

“This is what the Governor of Zamfara did and it’s paying off positively,” he said

The spokesman of the 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major Yahaya Ngulde, could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.

But the Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Sanusi Abubakar, said he was not aware of the attack on the military base.

He did not also comment on the use of Nigerien telecoms service.

However, the Commissioner for Carriers and Security Matters, Colonel Garba Moyi (rtd), confirmed the attack on the military base but that he was not sure on the number of death.

On the bandits using foreign networks to coordinate attacks, he said that could be possible because of the proximity with the Niger Republic.

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