GOVERNOR Abubakar Bello of Niger State has revealed that he is no longer on control of large swathes of territory in the state after Boko Haram terrorists recently took over the town of Kaure in Shiroro Local Government Area and hoisted their flag there.
Daring in the extreme, Boko Haram operate in a very brazen manner, taking over whole local government areas at times and using the headquarters or the local emir’s palace as their command centre. At one stage in 2014, Boko Haram controlled as a many as 17 local government areas in Borno State.
Although the terrorist sect no longer has such influence, it mounts sporadic raids now and again and is still in control of large tracts of territory. Speaking yesterday when he paid a visit to over 3,000 internally displaced persons from Shiroro and Munya local government areas who are taking refuge at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Primary School, Minna the state capital, Governor Bello said the terrorists are in Niger State.
Governor Bello added: “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements in Niger State, around Kaure. I just heard that they’ve already hoist their flag in Kaure, which means they’ve taken over the territory and this is what I have been engaging the federal government over but unfortunately it has now gotten to this stage that if care is not taken, not even Abuja is safe.
“They’ve taken over the territory, they’ve installed their flag. They’ve taken over the wives of people by force.”
He said Boko Haram elements are trying to use these areas as their home just like they did in Sambisa Forest in Borno State. He, however, said the government has been taking steps on the issue and will not relent on its efforts to curb the situation.
According to the governor although he has not lost hope in the federal government, he is not going to wait anymore, adding that time has come to see reasons for a coordinated military action to take place. Although the governor said he would act, he did not specify what specific actions he would take.