A famous banditry baron from northwest Nigeria, Muhammad Bello, aka Turji, moved his headquarters from Fakai to Zurmi, Zamfara state, east of the local government area of Isa in the ‘Sokoto State.
Knowledgeable sources, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, said Turji may have anticipated “impending attacks” by the military at the request of the Zamfara State government.
The 27-year-old is a ruthless bandit operating in Sokoto and Zamfara states. He had repeatedly rejected state government peace accords.
The only time he said he was open to dialogue was when Kaduna-based Islamic cleric Ahmed Gumi visited his camp in Zurmi (Zamfara state).
Turji holds the father, mother-in-law and an uncle of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Nasir Magarya, whom he kidnapped alongside others about two months ago.
This newspaper had also reported how one of its commanders, Dan Bukkolo, had rejected, on behalf of Turji, the ransom money brought by the collaborators of the speaker.
Its new headquarters, according to several sources including a security one, is located between Tozai and Suruddubu.
A source said “just four kilometers after Tozai, before reaching Suruddubu, you will find his new headquarters there.”
The leader of Rundunar Adalci, a human rights group in Sokoto, Bashir Altine, said they believed Turji had moved his headquarters to escape the fury of the soldiers.
He noted that a recent decision by the Zamfara state government also affected them.
“The backbone of the bandits, Turji, has moved his headquarters to the villages around Isa and the people in the area can’t do anything. With this relocation, he can attack Isa easily. For now, all the villages under the local government areas of Isa and Isa East are under its territory, ”said Mr. Altine.
A security source in Katsina state, who requested anonymity, said many bandits were known to move and change headquarters.
“It’s obvious. The security guards are giving them a hard time (the bandits) and you know they can’t stay in one place, hence the reason they are now switching sides. they stay too long in one place, we will attack them, ”he said.
Turji is on to something big
A source from Sabon Birni who lives in Sokoto said Turji needs to plan something big by moving to Tozai Forest.
“When you look at the situation, you will know that Turji and his commanders are getting stronger every day. We have learned that he has mended barriers with his main rival in the Shinkafi axis – Sabon Birni, Halilu Sububu. And even without Halilu’s support, Turji can attack any village, ”he said.
READ ALSO: Gang of Notorious Bandits Attacks Soldiers in Sokoto – Residents
The source added that the recent attack on a military and paramilitary camp in the village of Dama was carried out by bandits loyal to Turji and Sububu.
“But it was run by Turji himself. He sent a message to the villagers who informed the soldiers. He was also sending a message to the military and other security personnel there that his attacks would now be fatal. “
Speaking on the reported relocation of bandits to Sokoto-Est, senator representing the area, Ibrahim Gobir, said the majority of the bandits moved to the local government areas of Sabon Birni and Isa as a result. military operations underway in the Zamfara axis.
Speaking in the Senate, Gobir said bandits have now infiltrated the area due to the lack of a major military offensive against them in the region.
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