Vigilantes and bandits preyed on specific groups in local markets.
At least 32 people were killed in two attacks in Sokoto State’s Gwadabawa and Sabon Birni Local Government Areas on Wednesday and Friday.
Residents of the affected areas provided the number of people killed in the attacks, while the state government confirmed the attacks but did not comment on the number of casualties.
According to residents, the tragic chain of events began on Wednesday when members of a banned vigilante group killed at least 12 Fulani people at the Mamande Market in the Gwadabawa council area.
Following the incident, suspected armed bandits on Friday launched a reprisal attack at ‘Ungwan Mai Lalle’ market in Sabon Birni local government area, killing more than 20 persons and leaving many others injured.
The state government had suspended markets in the affected council areas as part of measures to check the activities of bandits.
The police spokesperson in Sokoto, Sanusi Abubukar, did not return PREMIUM TIMES’ several phone calls to comment on the development.
But the state’s commissioner for Security Matters, Garba Moyi, blamed the attacks on defiance of the ban on local markets in the area.
Mr Moyi said all rural markets in the eastern part of the state were banned as part of measures to curtail banditry.
“Some communities are not complying with this temporary measure despite the fact that it is for their own good,” he lamented.
He said a task force comprising security agents, local government chairman and representatives of district heads are enforcing the ban in each of the affected local government areas.
“We will find out why they are not enforcing this order in their respective areas,” Mr Moyi, a retired military officer, said.