Senator Ibrahim Gobir, lawmaker representing Sokoto East in the National Assembly, has said some parts of his constituency was under the control of bandits.
Gobir said criminal gangs had sacked traditional and political institutions in most villages and towns in the area, claiming that government forces told his people they could not protect them from the bandits because the hoodlums had better weapons.
In an interview with PUNCH, he said those whose villages were not too far from the border between Nigeria and Republic of Niger are a bit safe because they are usually protected by Nigerien soldiers.
He said, “Our biggest problem now is that the bandits have taken over many villages and are having a field day.
“They have constituted themselves as judges. They have sacked the traditional and political institutions there, so there are no judges at all.
“The bandits now settle disputes between people. They resolve quarrels between husband and wife and so on.
“If you look at the situation in that area, there is no farming because if the bandits find you on the farm, they will shoot you.
“If you sell a cow, the following day or at night, someone will come and collect the money.
“They sometimes surround a whole town or village and kill as many as they can and then take away whatever they want and burn the whole place.
“There was even a time bandits stormed our area and our people ran away into the bush. The bandits still pursued them and set the bush on fire and killed all our people there.”