By Habibu Harisu
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state has lamented how the state became worse hit by the nefarious activities of bandits, as a result of the relentless military operations in neighboring Zamfara state.
The governor stated this when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, visited him on Monday,in Sokoto.
Tambuwal appealed for more efforts to contain the security challenges, confirming that on Sunday, a gang of bandits attacked communities in Goronyo Local Government Area in the state and killed scores of people.
He emphasised that more security presence and collective strategies were needed to contain the increasing security challenges bedeviling the state and nation at large.
According to him, bandits flushed out from Zamfara state were fleeing to border states, such as Sokoto, calling for a holistic approach to end the menace.
“From last night, yesterday evening till this morning, we were greeted with dastardly attacks in Goronyo Local Government, particularly Goronyo town, where scores lost their lives and still counting.
“We are not sure of the figure, but about 30 persons died,” the Governor explained.
Tambuwal appealed for a synergy between the army and other security operatives in the state, while requesting for the presence of more troops and deployment of resources to the state.
He described the visit by the COAS as a home coming, noting that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as COAS had been widely greeted with cheers in Sokoto, being an indigene of the state.
“You have come at a very trying moment for the army and the Nigerian nation. We are faced and bedeviled by many security challenges in our own area here, particularly banditry, kidnapping and other associated crimes.
“We shall continue to pray for your success, the army and its operatives in general, to ensure success over criminals, “Tambuwal said.
The governor pledged that his administration would continue to support the army and other security operatives toward achieving success.
Responding, COAS said the visit was part of his leadership effort of meeting men and officers on the ground, to have direct interactions and obtain relative operational information.
Yahaya said the visit was to pay homage to the Chief Security Officer of the state and other notables, to solidify the army’s relationships with them and the communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the COAS also met with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, describing him as pillar and booster of security operations.
Abubakar assured that traditional and religious institutions have intensified prayers and cooperation against all forms of criminalities bedeviling the nation, impacting on its growth, development and peaceful coexistence.
NAN reports that COAS also launched an operational vehicle for Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) at 8 Division of the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Sokoto, after a closed-door briefing with officers.