Banditry: Sokoto bars GSM services in 14 LGAs

The Sokoto State Government has shut telecommunication networks in 14 of the 23 local government areas of the state as part of effort to check banditry.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal announced the measure on Monday, in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service.

Tambuwal said the state secured approval from the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isah Pantami, before enforcing the ban.

He said the affected council areas were the most vulnerable to bandit attacks in the state.

The situation in Sokoto came after that of neighbouring Zamfara, where all parts of the state were affected; and Katsina State where 13 local government areas were also affected.

The governments of the two North-west states announced the suspension of telecommunication networks and banned weekly markets and sale of petrol in jerry cans, among other drastic measures to rein in the bandits.

Tambuwal said following the ban in Zamfara, bandits had intensified attacks on Sokoto.

He said the ban on GSM networks proved successful in Zamfara, as a result of which the bandits were fleeing from the state to Sokoto.

“Due to the ongoing military successes in Zamfara State, the bandits are fleeing to Sokoto,” the governor also remarked.

Tambuwal said the network ban is effective in Dange Shuni, Tambuwal, Sabon Birni, Raba, Tureta, Goronyo, Tangaza and Isa local government areas amongst others.

Isa local government area shares boundaries with Shinkafi LGA in Zamfara State, while Goronyo and Sabon Birni from west and north respectively have borders with the Republic of Niger in the east.

Tambuwal said the measure was long overdue, adding that the seven governors of the region had agreed on the network ban to flush out the bandits but this could not be carried out as planned.

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