Nigeria: Angry Sokoto Residents Go After Bandits, Kill Six

19 September 2021

The bandits were traced to their hideout in the forest, captured and later killed.

About 12 hours after bandits kidnapped and later killed two persons in Tangaza community of Sokoto State, residents tracked down and killed a total of six of the gunmen.

Members of the vigilante in the community, armed with weapons such as cutlasses and local guns, and working with the police, also arrested four of the suspected kidnappers who were later taken to a police station.

However, angry residents of the community retrieved the arrested suspects, lynched them and burnt their bodies.

The bandits' attack

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the bandits initially attacked the town Friday night.

The police spokesperson in the state, Sanusi Abubakar, confirmed that attack to journalists.

The bandits stole foodstuff from the community and also kidnapped two people, residents said.

The Retaliation

On Saturday morning, residents, mainly the youth of the community, gathered themselves and joined police officers from the area to go after the bandits in their forest.

Two of the bandits were killed during the retaliatory attack while four of them were arrested.

"The people of Tangaza have shown that they are serious. It is becoming obvious that this will soon be the trend because people are tired and no longer afraid," a resident, Basharu Altine, said.

Another resident, Aliyu Madi, said the residents were angered by the effrontery of the bandits.

He said when the bandits attacked the community, they kidnapped two residents whom they later killed.

"After the efforts made by our vigilante members and security agents to save some of those kidnapped, the bandits sent a message to the people that those two residents with them would be killed and that no matter how much we offer them, they would not accept. And they went ahead to kill the two people," he said.

How they were killed

Mr Madi said a team of vigilante members and police officers was dispatched into the forest. They killed two of the gunmen and apprehended four others, he said.

He said when they were brought into the town, residents followed the team to the divisional police station and demanded the bandits must be killed in their presence.

"The youths were angry and despite pleas from the DPO and the local government chairman, they insisted that if the policemen did not kill the bandits in their presence, they would burn down the police station.

"It was a very complicated situation for the DPO because the youth were adamant. They had their way and took the bandits outside of the town, killed and burnt them to ashes."

PREMIUM TIMES has seen a video clip of the incident.

The police spokesperson in the state, Mr Abubakar, did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him on the issue.

Bandits routinely attack communities in Sokoto and other states in North-west Nigeria such as Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara. Thousands of people have been killed or kidnapped by the bandits despite the efforts of security operatives.

The governors in the affected states were initially working at cross purposes, with some calling for dialogue with the bandits and others declaring total war on them. However, all the governors are now working together and have ruled out further negotiations with the armed bandits.

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