John Adams, Minna
More than1,000 villagers who were displaced from their communities: Manta and Jiko in Shiroro local government area of Niger state following bandits attacks are to be repatriated to their trouble villages for fear of Coronavirus infection.
The displaced people, mostly women and children fled their homes on Tuesday/Wednesday as a result of the onslaught of heavily-armed bandits. They are currently taking refuge at Bosso Primary School in Minna the state capital.
It was gathered that the decision to repatriate them to their trouble villages was as a result of fear of the Coronavirus pandemic, and this was agreed between the state government and the their local government chairmen on Thursday in order to avoid the displaced people contracting the coronavirus if left at the temporary Internally Displaced Peoples Camp.
Following the agreement reached between the state and the local government areas, security will be reinforced in the affected communities.
According to source close to the camp, “any moment from now the people will be returning to their villages.
“We have assured them that adequate security will be put in place for them to live their normal lives” the source a highly placed government official told our correspondent on phone.
The source further said “there is pandemic everywhere now and we cannot afford to have a twin problem on our hands which is why we are asking them to go back”.
When contacted the Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga confirmed the story but did not say when the villagers will start moving back to their ancestral homes.
Inga said their local government council will provide drugs and other medication to the villagers while the state government will provide them with palliatives.
It would be recalled that in the attacks by bandits on Tuesday/Wednesday not less than six people were killed in Rafi and Shiroro local government areas where several others were injured in addition to those kidnapped.
The bandits also rustled over 500 cattle during the attacks.