From John Adams, Minna
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents hoisted the flag of the terror group in Kaore village in Shiroro Local Government Area.
The governor also said that the insurgents have extended the attacks to communities in Munya local government area of the state.
The governor disclosed this in Minna on Monday when he visited Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camp at Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) primary school in Minna, the state capital.
No fewer than 50 communities across the two local government areas have so far fallen under the Boko Haram control with about 3,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.
Three military camps in Allawa, Bassa and Zagzaga in the two local government areas have been sacked by the insurgents in the last one months of renewed attacks.
‘I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements around Kaure in Shiroro local government of Niger State. They have taken over the territory. They have equally installed their flag. I am confirming to you now that they have taken over the wives of people by force,’ he said.
Governor Sani Bello who described the current situation in the state as ‘critical and pathetic’, added that over 3,000 villagers escaped to Minna on Sunday night alone while several others are in other camps in Gwada and other places.
‘Majority of the displaced persons will have to remain in this camp in Minna because their villages have been taken over by Boko Haram terrorists/bandits. Their wives have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram elements.
He warned that the Boko Haram terrorists are trying to make Kaure their home and headquarters like they did to Sambisa forest, stressing that the danger is that while Sambisa forest is several kilometres away from Abuja, Kaure is only two hours drive to Abuja.
This, he warned, makes the federal capital unsafe if nothing urgently is done to curtail the situation
He explained that his administration has been engaging the federal government to come to the aid of the state in dealing with the insecurity which has brought the state to its kneel in the last six years, adding that such efforts have not yielded desired results thereby making it possible for the terrorists to now occupy area of the state.
‘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.’
Addressing the governor at the IDPs camp, a youth leader, Bulus Esu said his people in Kuchi one of the most populated town in Munya local government have been locked down by the terrorists for the past three weeks.
According to him, ‘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 overran several villages. They have occupied Kuchi where they now sleep as their homes.’
Esu said the bandits two weeks ago demanded five million 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.’