15 cops, five soldiers killed, Governor says Abuja not safe
The spate of insecurity in the country assumed a more dangerous dimension on Monday as Boko Haram insurgents made inroads into Niger State and gunmen killed two students of Greenfield University in Kaduna state.
Also on Monday, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Professor Richard Kimbir, said kidnappers attacked the institution on Saturday night.
In Kebbi State, the police said nine of their personnel were killed by bandits in the Sakaba Local Government Area of the state.
In Niger State, the state Governor, Sani Bello, in an interview with journalists on Monday, said Boko Haram terrorists had taken over a part of the state, hoisting their flag in Kaure village from where they had made incursions into more than 50 villages.
He said Abuja was not safe with Boko Haram’s presence in Niger State.
The governor lamented that over 50 villages, which were overrun by the terrorists and bandits, had been deserted by original inhabitants.
He said, “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements around Kaure in the Shiroro Local Government of Niger State. They have taken over the territory. They have hoisted their flag. I am confirming to you now that they have taken over the wives of people by force.”
Bello, while describing the situation in the state as critical and pathetic, said over 3,000 villagers escaped to Minna on Sunday night alone, while several others were in camps in Gwada and other places.
“The 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 and bandits. Their wives have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram elements,” he said.
He warned that the Boko Haram terrorists were trying to make Kaure their home and headquarters like they did in Sambisa forest, adding that while Sambisa forest is several kilometres away from Abuja, Kaure is only two hours drive to Abuja.
He explained that his administration had been asking the Federal Government to come to the aid of the state in dealing with the insecurity, adding that such efforts had not yielded desired results thereby making it possible for the terrorists to occupy a part of the state.
Addressing the governor at the IDP camp, a youth leader, Bulus Esu, said his people in Kuchi, one of the most populated towns in the Munya Local Government Area, had been displaced by the terrorists.
He said, “For three weeks now, there is no person living in Kuchi town and there is no food for the fleeing residents. The bandits have entered very deep into the area and have overrun several villages. They have occupied Kuchi.”
Esu said the bandits two weeks ago demanded N5m ransom from the people of Kampana to prevent them from being kidnapped.
He added, “The people did this to avoid kidnap. However, when they came back, they asked the women to cook food for them after which they still raped the women.”
In Benue State, the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Kimbir, said the abduction in the school took place at 10:30pm on Saturday.
The state Police Command Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, said that the students were kidnapped while reading near a lecture theatre.