Boko Haram insurgents, not bandits attacking Niger – Gov. Bello

April 27, 2021
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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has disclosed that Boko Haram members were responsible for the attacks on communities in the state.

The governor told newsmen that the Boko Haram elements had taken over the Kaure axis in Shiroro Local Government Area in the state.

Bello spoke to newsmen when he visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at IBB Primary School in Minna on Monday.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 3,000 IDPs from Kuchi, Kabula, Kazai Guni, Gini, Fuka Dan Daudu and Chiri in Munya and Shiroro local governments areas are taking refuge in the camp.

Bello said Boko Haram elements had hoisted their flag over the Kaure axis, forcing women from communities around the areas to be members of the terrorist group.

“The implication of that is that the territory now belongs to them,” he added.

The governor said action must be taken to dislodge the insurgents otherwise “with the way things are going, not even Abuja is safe.”

“We have been saying this and no action has been taken, the boko haram elements are trying to see this place as their home, just like they did in Sambisa.

“Kauri is less than two hours drive to Abuja, nobody is safe, not even Abuja,” he said.

According to the governor, he had engaged the Federal Government several times, but no action was taken to address the insecurity challenges bedeviling the state.

He expressed optimism that the resurgence of banditry would lead to coordinated military action “to confront the severe and very serious situation.”

He directed the IDPs who abandoned their communities out of fear to return to their homes, while those who were attacked should remain in the camp.

One of the IDPs, Mr Bulus Yusuf, from Kuchi in Munya LGA, said communities around Kuchi have witnessed several attacks and abduction of their women, with the whereabouts of many still unknown.

“These bandits attack us, take away all our belongings including our women. Some of our women were raped, and abducted and we had to pay ransoms amounting to millions for their release,” he said.

He called on the Federal and state governments to deploy a strong military presence to the area to dislodge the insurgents, so that they could return home.

Another victim, Mary Dauda, also said the bandits had invaded their community on several occasions.

“At first, when they came, we thought they would not come back, but the attacks became a daily affair which forced us to run for our lives,” she told the governor.

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