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Insecurity: Thousands flee Niger community as Army withdraw men


… If Army withdraws, we have no other options than to relocate our people- Shiroro LGA Chairman

Thousands of villagers have flee communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State after men of the Nigerian Army deployed to fight terrorists in the area withdrew from around 3am on Wednesday after losing some of their officers.

It should be recalled that, last Friday, terrorists killed five soldiers and a captain in Roro, Karaga and Rumace villagers in Allawa and Wednesday’s military casualties added to the list of six officers of the Nigerian Army that have lost their lives within one week to terrorists.

Speaking on the basis of anonymity, one of the villagers who told our correspondent that, some politicians in Shiroro LGA had warned them not to speak with Journalists said, “the Boko Haram terrorists have been attacking us in  Allawa for so long. They burnt more than 30 houses and looted our foodstuffs and livestock.

“They have claimed our lands, they attacked Bassa, Kukoki, Samunaka, Unguwar Sarkin Noma, and Kaliya Pangu and other villages and till this moment, the Governor is just playing lip service and do not care.”

Another villager, who simply gave his name as Isah from Allawa told our correspondent that the villagers have been left at the mercy of Boko Haram.

According to him, “the government has failed us, Governor Umaru Bago told us to return to our homes and even prepare for farming, but they could not provide security for us. Now, these terrorists have taken over our lands. It is unfortunate because this government is just full of deceit.

“We are not happy that the soldiers who came to provide security for us lost their lives, but if they (soldiers) who have the arms and ammunition to fight these Boko Haram people are leaving, then what can we armless villagers do?

“As I am talking to you, many families are scattered all over, some are in Kuta, Gwada and myself and few others I know are able to find ourselves in Minna because we have relatives here.”

While confirming the movement of his people to our Correspondent on Phone, Chairman of Shiroro LGA, Hon. Akilu Kuta said the withdrawal of the military started at about 3am on Wednesday and that “presently, we have no other options than to leave the villages to various camps in Erena, Kuta, Gurmana and other places for safety.”

According to him, “if the security who are supposed to defend our people are leaving, then we have no other options than to tell them to leave too.

“We have also provided them with vehicles so that their movements from the areas can be faster and so that they can also carry few items.”

Confirming the withdrawal of the military, State Commissioner for Homeland Security, Major General Garba Mohammed (Rtd), said the soldiers were newly deployed to the community in response to incessant attacks by terror groups operating in the area.

He added that, “they (soldiers) drove into Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) thereby losing two of their officers and about ten seriously injured and are currently at an undisclosed hospital in Minna.”

Furthermore, he explained that the withdrawal of the soldiers was in line with “administrative arrangement” for reinforcement against the terrorists.

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