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Terrorists At Large Threaten Residents As Military Campaign Persists In Sokoto

Groups of armed terrorists still move about in broad daylight on the streets of Shinkafi, Zurmi, Birnin Magaji, Tsafe, Bakura Anka and Bukuyum LGAs of Zamfara. It is the same in the eastern part of Sokoto State, Northwest Nigeria.

As residents jubilate over the recent military campaigns against terrorists in Sokoto state, Northwest Nigeria, they also fear that there will be hell to pay if remnants of the terrorist groups survive. And they have good reason to.

A message from terrorist Maniya of DanBakkwalos camp warned that: “This fight between us and the soldiers will come and go, and leave us all together with you. We have to tell you that the communities and residents of Sokoto east, particularly those of you from Isa and Sabon Birni local government areas will surely face our wrath. 

“Because the soldiers who are fighting us to death at Tusar-Biri cannot stay here with you. We will come and kill you and completely displace you.”

This is what currently gives sleepless nights to communities of Isa and Sabon Birni Local Government Areas (LGA) of Sokoto state.

HumAngle’s findings reveal that residents of the villages of Danfako, Fakai, Tamuske, Katanga, and Satiru who are neighbours with terrorist-controlled areas may be plunged into a fresh humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the ongoing military operation in Isa, Sabon Birni, and Shinkafi LGAs of Sokoto and Zamfara states, both in northwest Nigeria.

When this reporter visited Sabon Birni, Isa, and Shinkafi LGAs, it was discovered that the terrorist leader Turji’s main camp in Shinkafi, alleged to have been at the centre of military offensive, has not been affected by the military campaign.

At the moment, other terrorist camps controlled by Hassan Dankwaro, Dogo, DanBakwalo, Jammo Baki, Bako and Jammo Baki in Gangara, Zango, and other villages in Sokoto state are reportedly being hit by the military.

The threat

Mansur Muhammad Birnin Yero, a resident of Shinkafi, told HumAngle that one of the renowned terrorist leaders, Maniya, who is also identified as Bello Turji Kacallas went to Danfako, Tamuske, Tusar-Biri, and Fakai villages, located at the eastern part of Isa, and threatened them. He said the open confrontation between them and the military is not a fight to the finish, therefore, the Hausa residents who enjoy military presence will count the cost of their (terrorists) people killed by the soldiers and vigilante groups. 

Maniya delivered this verbal message to the people at the village square while on the run from their enclaves amid military operation.

Dr. Tijjani Shinkafi, a lecturer at Usmanu Danfodiyo University who is familiar with the security situation in some parts of the northwest, told HumAngle that it has been the terrorists’ culture to react this way whenever they suffer attacks either from the vigilante or the Nigerian military.

They still roam about

Gangs of armed terrorists still move about in broad daylight on the streets of Shinkafi, Zurmi, Birnin Magaji, Tsafe, Bakura Anka, and Bukuyum LGAs of Zamfara State. It is the same in the eastern part of Sokoto.

Apart from the guns on their shoulders, they move around with RPGs on their auto-bikes, sometimes in tens, other times in their hundreds.

They lurk around areas such as Fakai, Tungar Maidabo, Kagara, and Maberaya villages in Shinkafi LGAs restlessly waiting for the military’s exit so they can launch attacks on the innocent residents of the area. 

Zamfara’s terrorists compelled the state government, through a peace-deal, to dissolve vigilante groups across the state’s LGAs. This further empowered them to grow with impunity.

Call for sustained military action

Dr. Shinkafi said the current military operations by the Nigerian military alongside local vigilantes is yielding tremendous success. He, however, lamented that whenever these types of operations are carried out at first, “we feel happy and develop some hope for ending the banditry crises. 

“Unfortunately, because the operations are not sustained, the terrorists always regroup and return to the communities with strong and brutal force, thereby afflicting heavy casualties on our people after the military are withdrawn.”

He appealed that President Muhammadu Buhari gives the order for continous military presence and onslaught against the terrorists until “their hideouts are dismantled and the bandits surrender or are wiped out completely.”

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