The Sokoto State Command of the Nigeria Police has denied reports that armed bandits have taken over some communities in the state and imposed heads and fines on the residents.
The Police said it was aware of the news in circulation claiming bandits have taken over Sabon Birni villages and subjected the residents to tax payment.
Naija News reports that Sabon Birni, a local government area in Sokoto State has experienced multiple attacks by gunmen in recent times.
However, the spokesperson of the Sokoto Police Command, ASP Sanusi Abubakar in a statement on Monday issued on behalf of the State Commissioner of Police said bandits have not imposed new heads or fines on the people of the community as claimed in some reports.
According to him, Police embarked on an investigation after the rumours emerged in some sections of the media and found the claim to be false.
Abubakar further urged the press and members of the public to continue to support all security agencies working to defeat banditry and restore normalcy to affected areas.
He said the police is working with other sister agencies including the army, airforce and special forces to resist activities of bandits in Sokoto.
The full statement reads: “The attention of Sokoto State Police Command has been drawn to the above purported story in circulation online and other media outlets that bandits impose new heads on Sabon Birni villages and payments of fines.
“The command is using this medium to reassure members of the public particularly residents in Sokoto state that, the command did not rest on its oars in fighting against banditry and other criminality in the state.
“Investigation reveals that the above claim of bandits imposing heads on Sabon Birni villages is not substantiated. We equally device so many proactive strategies and intelligence policing to ascertain the genesis of such claims. However, there is an ongoing operation which the driven force is under “Operation Hadarin Daji” including the military, Police, Airforce, and special forces. Soonest, this operation will be taken to the bandits camp and normalcy will be restored in areas affected by banditry activities.
“Members of the press as well as the general public are enjoined to continue to support the security operatives in the ongoing Operations against banditry and other criminal elements in the State.”