There were strong indications on Monday that bandits fleeing the military onslaught in Zamfara State were moving to states in the South.
Top security sources, who confided in our correspondents, said security agents in other states had been alerted to be on the lookout for the fleeing bandits.
It was also gathered that the South-West states had put the regional security outfit, Amotekun, on the alert following intelligence reports that bandits being dislodged from Zamfara State were fleeing southwards.
The Amotekun Corps commanders in Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Oyo states, in separate interviews with our correspondents, stated that residents of the states had been told to be vigilant and guard against infiltration by the fleeing hoodlums.
They said this as gunmen invaded the Kabba Correctional Centre in Kogi State, where they freed 240 inmates and killed two soldiers.
In Kaduna State, suspected herdsmen attacked Peigyim village in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of the state and killed 12 persons.
No fewer than four travellers were also abducted in Ekiti State on Monday.
The Federal Government had last week ordered telecommunications companies to shut down their base stations in Zamfara State as part of the onslaught against bandits, who were engaged in ceaseless kidnapping and killings in the state and other parts of the North-West.
The bandits had also been hit by hunger following the decision of the state government and neighbouring states to close regular markets, where they were getting foodstuffs.
There were reports that many bandits had been killed during military raids, while others were said to be fleeing Zamfara State.
A senior police officer, who confided in The PUNCH, said, “A few days ago, some of the bandits fled to Niger State and they were dealt with by the military. Some of them are moving southwards and security agents have been alerted.”
The Corps Commander, Amotekun Corps, Ekiti State, Brig Gen Joe Komolafe (retd.), said in an interview with The PUNCH that the agency had always envisaged that the dislodged bandits would want to take refuge in other states and was proactive about guarding against their incursion into Ekiti.
Komolafe said, “We have always envisaged that when dislodged, they will want to move to other states; that is why each time we come out, we talk to the citizens to report strange faces to us.
“We try as much as possible to monitor the routes and entry points; we know that the criminals may not come by road or through the main routes to enter the state; it is in view of that that we always tell our people to report strange faces to us.