Armed bandits killed 22 people including a village head in separate attacks on Sunday and Tuesday in Rabah and Sabon Birni local government areas of Sokoto State.
The victims include 21 members of a vigilante group who were killed in Yartsakuwa village of Rabah local council during a shootout with the bandits on Sunday. The village head of Sabon Birni, identified as Umar Sanda, was killed in the Tuesday attack.
The bandits, on Tuesday, reportedly blocked the SabonBirni-Shinkafi highway, robbed local merchants of millions of naira and rustled many cows.
The governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, who visited one of the attacked communities, on Monday, confirmed that 21 persons were killed in Rabah council.
He sympathised with the residents and families of the deceased vigilantes and pledged to restructure vigilante groups in the state.
In a statement, by his media aide, Muhammad Bello, the governor said: “We are going to restructure and reposition the vigilante groups in Sokoto State. We are going to make sure that we provide them with motorcycles and communications gadgets.”
Also, the governor said his administration will also provide allowances to the vigilante members “for the sacrifices they are making towards providing security to their localities, the state and the country.
“The 21 victims of the recent onslaught were among the vigilantes recognised by the security agencies in the state, Governor Tambuwal pledged that the state government will advance a token of gifts and cash assistance to the families of the victims to ameliorate their sufferings,” he said.
Attacks by armed bandits have become rampant in many states in North-west and North-central Nigeria, including Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara. Fewer attacks have occurred in Sokoto compared to those other states.
The attacks, involving killings and kidnappings, have continued despite the increased deployment of security officials to the affected states.