Following a renewed onslaught that has claimed 44 lives in the last few days, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has pleaded with the security forces to intensify efforts in their operations in the State as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
His plea, in the face of incessant attacks by terrorists in Shiroro, Munya, Rafi and Paikoro Local Government Areas, and especially in Galadima Kongo, Erena Chukuba, and Allawa in Shiroro local government where the terrorists killed 27 persons mostly women and children, abducting dozens of others.
Another attack claimed the lives of 17 people in the early hours of Saturday.
Numbering over 60, the terrorists attacked Guni, Zanzaga, Dazza, communities in Munya local government where they abducted 45 women and children.
The affected communities in the two local government areas are now ghost towns as the villagers have taken refuge at the internally displaced persons camp (IDP) in Central primary school in Gwada.
Youths in the affected areas have raised alarm over the new wave of attacks in the last three weeks.
A statement by the spokesperson of the group Comrade Ibrahim Ango Kurebe, in Minna, the state capital strongly condemned government inability to end armed banditry and cattle rustling in the areas.
But in a statement from his office by his spokesperso, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, the exasperated state chief executive, Sani Bello, lamented the constant attacks on many communities and consequential loss of lives and property including military bases in Allawa and Galadiman Kogo.
He expressed displeasure over the heightened nefarious activities of the terrorists , noting that the criminality is carried out with reckless abandon and undermining efforts of the security agencies drafted to the area.
“With these recent attacks, the terrorists are daring the capability and capacity of the military, hence we must demonstrate our military might through the approved coordinated Air and ground assault to flush out the miscreants from our forests, their hideout”, he said.
However, the terrorists have dared the military with their increasing activities in recent times which have affected more communities and led to more loss of lives and property while many more have been rendered homeless and left to seek refuge in other communities and IDP camps.
“If we must win this battle against the terrorists (which we will), we must increase and sustain military operations to comb the forests. This is expedient because our people are dying and the living are becoming more agitated and hopeless”, the Governor added.
While appreciating the efforts of the Joint Security Taskforce stationed in the embattled communities, the Governor renewed his call to the people to assist the security agencies with credible intelligence that will enhance effective operations against the terrorists.
Kurebe, the spokesman for the youth group, pdescribed as painful the way and manner in which the operational activities of armed men have displaced villagers from their home and are now taking refuge in IDP camp.
“The armed bandits have displaced our people from their homes. These villagers can no longer harvest their farm products. These villagers who are mostly farmers have abandoned their farm lands as the armed men warned them to stay away from their farms.
“Yet the government has failed in its responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizens. We are calling on the relevant security agencies to live up to their duty by protecting the people from the attacks on them by the armed bandits” he stated.