Bandits have taken over some villages in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State and appointed their members to head the area.
This is according to information released by a Sokoto-based online newspaper, Daily Star.
The new terrorist village heads were reportedly acting on the orders of one of the most notorious bandits, Turji.
According to the report, the bandits first summoned the Gangara villagers to a crucial meeting in Saturu village on Thursday to announce the deposition of the existing heads of the villages and posting of some of their members as the new ward heads. In attendance at the meeting were five Turji commanders namely Ɗan Baƙƙwalo, Boka Tamisƙe, Hassan Ɗan Ƙwaro, Dogo and Jammu Baƙi. The new strongmen then asked Gangara villagers asked to select one from the five bandit commanders to serve as their village head. The villagers selected Ɗan Baƙƙwalo, after which they were given some conditions by their new ruler.
Reading riot act to the villagers, Mr Ɗan Baƙƙwalo said no police officer, military personnel or vigilante group members would be allowed henceforth in the village. He implored his subjects that all disputes must be brought to him for adjudication.
The new ruler also ordered the villagers contribute and pay the sum of N1.5 million tribute to him.
Mr Ɗan Baƙƙwalo ordered the immediate reopening of three Juma’at mosques and the resumption of weekly (Tuesday) market activities in Gangara village, against the order of Sokoto state government of closure of all weekly markets.
At Maƙwaruwa village, bandit commander Boka Tamisƙe declared himself the new district head and summoned a meeting where he asked the ‘ousted’ district head, one Ɗan Sani, to tell the villagers, by himself, who was now in charge.
Mr Ɗan Sani told the people there that Boka was now the new head of the village.
“The villagers had no option but to obey these bandits” one of the villagers told the newspaper.
“They are now in charge and every case or dispute must be reported to them.”
Meanwhile, 85 villages in Burƙusuma, in Gatawa ward, have been taxed N300,000 each for not farming enough food that the bandits could use.
The villagers were given an ultimatum to contribute the money or face the wrath of the gunmen.