The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has disclosed that the state is now no longer grappling with only the challenges of bandits, but the dreaded Boko Haram sect as well.
It would be recalled that yesterday, the Chairman of Shiroro Local Government Area of the state, Suleiman Dauda Chukuba, told journalists in Minna that 500 communities in eight wards of his council had been overtaken by Boko Haram.
Bello stated this during a visit to 12 soldiers who sustained wounds in the Kagara attack and currently receiving medical attention at the IBB Specialist Hospital, Minna.
He noted that the latest operation by the bandits, especially the way they coordinated and planned the attack, confirmed the reality of what is facing the state.
The Governor argued, “We have every reason to believe that we are not dealing with bandits. From the latest operation, the way they coordinated and planned the attack, it has also confirmed to us that they must have had some kind of training.”
“So, we want to believe that we are dealing with some terrorist elements that may kind of have some alliance with the bandits or whatever, especially with the number of bandits increasing by the day”.
Speaking on the injured victims, Bello said two soldiers lost their lives in the Kagara attack, while 12 others sustained various degrees of wounds.
According to him, among the 12 persons, those in critical condition have been transferred to Kaduna State for medical attention.
“We are highly saddened by the loss of our soldiers and those injured. Some of them have moved to Kaduna state, the ones who are more critical. We are monitoring them very well.
“We want to see them stable and in the next few days, they should be on their feet. And we hope future operations will not come this way,” the governor stated.
Asked the casualty on the side of the bandits, Bello said, “.. we can not confirm the exact number, but I understand they suffered a great casualty. Sometimes they try to recover their wounded or killed ones. That why it’s difficult to confirm their exact number”.