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Banditry expert rejects DHQ claim ISWAP attacked military base, reveals bandits leaders wax stronger in forests



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A lecturer and expert on banditry at the Department of History, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, has contradicted the Defece Headquarters in its claim ISWAP attacked the military Forward Operating Base in Sabon Birni LGA, Sokoto, last Saturday.

Major General Bejamin Sawyerr, director of defence information, on September 27 said terrorist took advantage of the leanness of the base to launch an early morning attack, the federal troop’s swift reinforcement thwarted..

But Dr Murtala Rufa’i insisted bandits leaders, who have remained untouched in the on-going military offensive did it, and ISWAP terrorist don’t operate in Zamfara forests.

“The only history of ISWAP we have in the state was between 2018 and 2019 when some jihadists who have elements of ISWAP and Ansaru lodged in some places around Tangaza, Gudu and Illela, but were cleared by the Nigerian military in a joint operation with the Nigerien army and since then, nothing is heard about them,” he told the Daily Trust.

According to the author of research work entitled ‘I am a bandit’, the commander of vigilantes in Sabon Birni had said that a notorious bandits’ leader in the eastern part of Sokoto, Turji claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Basically that attack was engineered by Turji because he and Halilu and Dankarami have buried their differences and are united now because of the ongoing military operation in Zamfara.

“Before this operation, they were not together, Halilu was alone, Turji was alone and Dankarami was alone. And because of this military operation, they’ve united.

“And reports coming from Zamfara show that there’s no single leader of bandits so far killed, or injured or left his base. They only left their base temporarily and they would go back.

Rufai said the bandits simply united and launched an ambush, and killed soldiers, civil defence and police.


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