Telecommunications ban: bandits now use Nigerien networks to coordinate attacks – Lawmaker

The bandits are now using the network service of the Republic of Niger to coordinate attacks, according to Aminu Almustapha Gobir, member representing the constituency of Sabon Birni North in the Sokoto House of Assembly.

As part of the anti-banditry measures, the Nigerian government shut down telecommunications services in three states – Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina.

This would have cut off communication between the bandits and their informants.

But to bypass the security measure, the bandits are now using the telecommunications service of the neighboring country which shares the border with Nigeria via Sokoto..

Gobir said he received a threat from one of the bandits who was using the Nigerien network service.

“The bandit was threatening to lead his gang to attack me and my community,” he told Daily Trust.

Gobir also confirmed the attack on a military base in the local government area of ​​Sabo Birni, in the state.

Daily Trust had reported how bandits raided the military base, killing security personnel and torching patrol vans.

“It is true that they attacked a military base in Dama and killed around 12 of them while many are still missing.

“That’s why I blamed the government for shutting down the GSM network in the eastern part of the state without a serious military operation taking place.

“The bandits are now using the Nigerien network to communicate within themselves and carry out their heinous activities in the region.

“I expect our governor to provide divisional police officers and military personnel deployed to Sokoto-Est with a Thuraya phone that could allow them to communicate within themselves and with their senior officers if they need assistance. because there is no GSM network.

“This is what the governor of Zamfara did and it is bearing fruit,” he said.

Nigerian Army 8th Division spokesperson Major Yahaya Ngulde could not be reached for comment at the time of filing of this report.

But police public relations officer ASP Sanusi Abubakar said he was unaware of the attack on the military base.

He also did not comment on the use of the Nigerian telecommunications service.

However, the transport and security commissioner Colonel Garba Moyi (rtd) confirmed the attack on the military base but was unsure of the death toll.

Regarding bandits using foreign networks to coordinate attacks, he said this might be possible due to proximity to the Republic of Niger.

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