By John Ikani
Sokoto State Government has shut down telecommunications networks in 14 Local Government Areas in its bid to fight banditry.
Among the affected local governments are Tambuwal, Dange Shuni, Goronyo, and Tangaza, where some bandits were burnt to ashes on Saturday.
The development in Sokoto followed that of the neighbouring Zamfara, where all parts of the state are affected; and Katsina State, where 13 local government areas are affected.
Announcing the shut down in an interview with the Voice of America Hausa Service on Monday, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal said the state sought approval from the Federal Government before enforcing the network ban.
While noting that the affected council areas are the most vulnerable to bandit attacks in the state, Tambuwal added that Sokoto had to adopt the measure as bandits affected by earlier shut downs in Zamfara and Katsina states were fleeing to his state.
Bandits have terrorised many parts of the northern region, especially the north west over the past couple of years, killing thousands and abducting more for ransom.
The success of shutting telecommunications services to fight the bandits is currently disputed by critics, and is not widely accepted yet.