Following alleged activities of an armed group in Tangaza area of Sokoto, the state Police command has assured that situation of the area has remained calm and that no ugly incident was recorded.
Commissioner for Police, Murtala Mani who disclosed this Saturday while speaking with journalists in Sokoto, added that the Police intelligence and combat units were at red alert.
He said that the initial apprehension had mellowed as the inhabitants of the areas were going about their daily and lawful routines without any molestation.
According to him, the police sprang into action on receiving news of the presence of herdsmen suspected to be Malians and armed men known as “Lakurawa” who were sighted around Marake Forest in Gudu Local Government Area and Wassaniya, Tunigara, Moliava, Jina-Jincti villages in Tangaza Local Government Area both of Sokoto state.
He said the police discovered that the herdsmen were not known to be violent but strongly suspected to be armed.
The Police Commissioner added that from intelligence gathered from competent authorities of the area, the herdsmen were annual visitors to the nearby forests bordering the two local government area with their cattle, but that the number of the cattle increased exponentially this year, to about 3000 from the usual figures of about 500 to 700.
He explained that the herdsmen usually stay in the forest in Niger Republic whenever they embark on such annual migration but occasionally enter the villages of Gudu and Tangaza LGAs to procure food and other essentials and retire back to the forest in Niger Republic.
The apprehension of the villagers, Mani said, stemmed largely from the activities of armed bandits in Zamfara, and that they needed to be proactive with information of such nature, particularly as the Inspector-General of police had constituted a very strong team mainly comprising of PMF personnel making it very difficult for the bandits to hibernate in Zamfara forests.
He however said the police engaged the traditional and religious authorities of the area through collaboration and that the authorities confirmed that the herdsmen together with their cows, camels, donkeys and families started leaving the forest last Monday and that as at Tuesday they had completely left the villages.
He added that the police would remain vigilant and at alert over the development.
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