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Boko Haram Insurgents, Not Bandits Attacking Niger – Gov. Bello

Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello on Monday raised alarm that Boko Haram fighters were responsible for the attacks on communities in the state.

During a visit to the internally displaced persons’ camp at IBB Primary School in Minna, the governor told reporters that the insurgents had taken over Kaure axis in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

Over 3,000 IDPs from Kuchi, Kabula, Kazai Guni, Gini, Fuka Dan Daudu and Chiri in Munya and Shiroro local government areas are taking refuge in the camp.

Mr Bello said Boko Haram fighters had hoisted their flag over 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 security 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 also 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 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.

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