Confirming the exodus of residents from parts of Sokoto to neighbouring Republic of Niger, Governor Aminu Tambuwal has pleaded with fleeing residents to return.
The residents were fleeing the Nigerian state and relocating to communities in Niger Republic due to incessant attacks by bandits.
“I enjoin residents of Burunkuma communities and environs to stop relocating to Niger Republic.
“I will personally travel to the place and plead with those who relocated to come back home,’’ Tambuwal said.
Tambuwal made the plea when he addressed newsmen at the end of an expanded security meeting following Tuesday’s attack, which led to the killing of 82-year old District Head of Balle, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu.
He also pleaded with members of the communities to abide by President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on the ban of motorcycles as one of the measures taken to tackle banditry.
The governor said the security meeting was convened to proffer solutions to the unfortunate situation and urged residents to assist security agencies with useful information.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division of Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Hakeem Otiki, heads of Police, Department of State Services and other law enforcement agencies in the state.
Armed bandits had on May 7 attacked Balle town, headquarters of Gudu Local Government Area of Sokoto State, a hitherto peaceful community.
The bandits, according to an eye witness account, came on six motorcycles; set ablaze the divisional police headquarter in the area, patrol cars and some personal vehicles on fire; before releasing some detainees at the station.
They also gunned down an unidentified policeman along Karfen Sarki area before proceeding to the traditional ruler’s palace where they attacked and killed him.
The state had in 2018 recorded such attacks on four occasions where 90 persons were killed and dozens displaced.