The police Saturday responded to reports of some strange armed men seen in Sokoto State recently.
The public relations officer of the command, Cordelia Nwawe, told journalists on Saturday in Sokoto that police have determined that the people seen in Sokoto State were “Malian herders”.
She said the group was “nonviolent”, but added that they arrived with an “exponentially” higher number of cattle than they usually come to the state with in past years.
Nwawe said, “Our attention was drawn toward a report that some unknown herdsmen were sighted in Gudu and Tangaza local government called Jihadists fully armed to destroy the peace in the area.
“The situation was misreported based on our intelligence report.
“The herdsmen sighted are reasonably believed to be Malians who reside in a forest in Niger Republic, sharing border with Gudu and Tangaza local government areas of the state.
“The herdsmen are annual visitors to the nearby forest bordering the two local governments with their cattle and always stayed in the forest in Niger Republic.
“Even though the number of their cattle increased exponentially this year to about 3,000 from the usual figures of less than 1000, it was discovered that they are not known to be violent.
“Moreover, they occasionally enter the villages in the two local governments to procure food and other essentials and retire back to the forest,” Mrs Nwawe said.
She called on residents in the areas to remain calm and go about their normal business, assuring that police were always there to protect their lives and properties.
The spokesperson added that the situation of the areas remained peaceful and enjoined the people to always assist police with useful information that could lead to the success of the command in the state.
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