Following an attack by bandits in Tangaza community of Sokoto State, stealing food items and kidnapping two people, the youths of the community on Saturday morning joined police operatives to go after the bandits in the forest, killing six.
Members of the vigilante in the community were armed with weapons such as cutlasses and local guns.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the bandits initially attacked the town on Friday night. The police spokesperson in the state, Sanusi Abubakar, confirmed that attack to journalists.
“The people of Tangaza community 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 Tangaza community 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.
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.”
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.