The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, has described the North is the “worst place” to be in Nigeria owing to the region’s security challenges.

Speaking at a meeting of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council on Thursday, Abubakar said something urgent must be done to address the situation before “we would lose sleep because of insecurity”.

A number of states across the north-west and north-central have been experiencing increasing attacks by suspected bandits and kidnappers.

The attackers have gone as far as kidnapping young girls — once abducting 26 — and also killing some of their hostages, including traditional rulers and politicians.

At the religious council’s meeting in Abuja, the Sultan said many attacks in the region are not reported, citing one a few weeks ago where “76 persons were killed in a community in Sokoto in a day”.

“Unfortunately, you don’t hear these stories in the media because it’s in the north. We have accepted the fact that the North does not  have strong media to report the atrocities of these bandits,” he said.

“People think north is safe but that assumption is not true. In fact, it’s the worst place to be in this country because bandits go around in the villages, households and markets with their AK-47 and nobody is challenging them.

“They stop at the market, buy things, pay and collect change, with their weapons openly displayed. These are facts, I know because I am at the centre of it.

“I am not only a traditional ruler, I am also a religious leader. So, I am in a better place to tell the story. I can speak for the north in this regard because I am fully aware of the security challenges there.

“We have to sincerely and seriously find solutions to the problem, otherwise, we will find ourselves soon, in a situation where we would lose sleep because of insecurity.”

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