A dangerous dimension has been introduced to the bandit attacks in Niger State as Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Monday said Boko Haram terrorists had hoisted the terror group’s flag in Kaure village, in Shiroro local government area of the state, THISDAY reports.
He also said the Boko Haram fighters had forcefully taken over the wives of some of the villagers and allocated them to themselves.
Bello made the shocking revelation in Minna when he visited the Internally Displaced People’s Camp at the IBB Primary School near the Emir of Minna’s Palace.
The primary school was hurriedly turned to IDP camp following the sacking of nearly 5000 villagers from their ancestral homes in Shiroro and Munya local government areas by bandits who raided the towns over the weekend.
“I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger state, here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.
“Their wives have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members ” Bello further said, adding that” I just heard that they have placed their flags at Kaure, meaning they have taken over the territory.”
The governor declared that: ‘”This is what I have been engaging the federal government on, unfortunately it has now got to this level. If care is not taken, even Abuja is not safe.
“We have been saying this for long. All our efforts have been in vain,” he said, adding that with the latest development “I hope the time has come for a more coordinated military activity to take place”.
Bello claimed that the Boko Haram elements were trying to use this area as their home just as they did in Sambisa, warning out that “Sambisa is several kilometers from Abuja but Kaure is just 2 kilometers from Abuja. So nobody is safe anymore, not even those in Abuja”
The governor therefore told the federal government that:”This is the time to act. All hands must be on deck, it is not a fight for Niger State alone”.
He said the state government had made every effort to bring under control the series of bandits attacks in the state to no avail.
“I am not waiting for anyone anymore, I am going to take action”, he said.
On the large number of displaced persons in the camp Bello said some of them had started returning home but added that “the vast majority of them will have to remain here because their villages and towns have been taken over by bandits.”
THISDAY gathered that among the IDPs are 1447 children, 119 pregnant women and 447 other women.