Residents of Gudu and Tangaza local government areas of Sokoto State have recounted how bandits forced them to abandon their residence and seek refuge in the Niger Republic.
They said the bandits would raid towns in the evening, and force them to collect huge sums or identify the rich among them to kidnap.
Speaking to BBC Hausa service, a resident of Kurdula village, who preferred not to be named for security reasons, said many of them now spend the nights in the Niger Republic and return in the morning.
"The situation we find ourselves in the villages of Gudu and Tangaza local governments is indeed terrible. Every night, bandits will visit our villages with guns going house by house. If you don't have money to give them, they will force you to show them a rich man in the village to kidnap him. Even yesterday (Sunday), they kidnapped two people, and they are yet to release them since they did not pay a ransom," he said.
The state Commissioner for Defense, Colonel Garba Moi Isa (rtd), however, told the BBC that the state government had recorded success in the fight against banditry.