‘Nobody Is Safe Anymore’, Gov Bello Confirms Boko Haram Invasion In Parts Of Niger
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents in Kauri Community of Shiroro Local Government Area have hoisted their flag.
“…I just heard they have already placed their flag in Kauri which means they have taken over the territory”, he lamented
Governor Bello confirmed the presence of the insurgents in the community on Monday.
He warned that the Boko Haram terrorists are trying to make Kauri their home and headquarters as they did to Sambisa forest, adding that while Sambisa forest is several kilometres away from Abuja, Kauri is only two hours’ drive to Abuja.
According to the governor, the terrorists and bandits displaced the residents at IBB Central Primary School Minna, in the company of his Deputy, Ahmed Kesto and Emir of Minna, Dr. Umar Faruq.
He described the situation as critical and terrible, noting that is high time for well-coordinated actions in order to address the problem.
“We have over 3,000 people here from communities that have been displaced by bandits and Boko Haram elements around Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas,” he said.
“However, some of them have started going to their various homes. There are some other communities that we think are safe but a vast majority of them will have to remain here because their villages and towns have been taken over by the Boko Haram elements.
“Their wives have been forcefully attached to Boko Haram elements. ”
He explained that his administration has been engaging the federal government to come to the aid of the state in dealing with the insecurity, noting that such efforts have not yielded desired results thereby making it possible for the terrorists to now occupy areas of the state.
He said, “I have been engaging the Federal Government and unfortunately it has gotten to this stage and if care is not taken even Abuja is not safe. We have been saying this for long and all efforts have been in vain.”
While lamenting the worsening security in the state and country, he called for a coordinated military action to flush out the terrorists and bandits in Niger State.
Addressing the governor at the IDPs camp, a Youth Leader, Bulus Esu said his people in Kuchi, one of the most populated towns in Munya Local Government, have been locked down by the terrorists for the past three weeks.
“For three weeks now, there is no person living in Kuchi town and there is no food for the fleeing villagers. The bandits have entered very deep into the area and have overrun several villages. They have occupied Kuchi where they now sleep as their homes,” Esu said.
He noted that bandits had demanded five million naira ransom from the people of Kampana to bail themselves from being kidnapped, adding that “the people did this to avoid kidnap. However, when they came back the next time, they asked the women to cook food for them after which they still raped the women.”
This comes a day after the terrorists hoisted their flag in some parts of the Geidam community, in Yobe state.
Also on April 24, they attacked Geidam local government area of the state, the hometown of the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba.
Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.
The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.