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Niger govt raises the alarm over rise in Boko Haram camps within communities

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BORNO: Death toll from deadly ISWAP assault rises to 69

The Niger State Government on Tuesday raised an alarm on the establishment of camps by the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram terrorists.

This was disclosed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Ahmed Matane, while briefing reporters in Minna, the state capital.

He decried the escalated rate of attacks by bandits on innocent residents in recent weeks, saying they were now collaborating with insurgents to worsen the security situation in the state.

Matane further disclosed that bandits have begun to align with insurgents to indoctrinate residents in some communities of Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) to imbibe strict Islamic ideology and ban women from going to schools.

He listed some of the communities visited by the insurgents to include Koki, Madaka, Kurebe, Kusare, and Chukuba, where residents were assured of protection but asked to embark on civil disobedience and reject western education.

“These people (Boko Haram) often go to communities to communicate with them (residents) and assure them that they will not harm them, and join them during Friday congregational prayer to preach to them on the need to forsake western education and embark on civil disobedience.

“These are some of the attributes of Boko Haram that are perpetrated in the North East and the Sambisa Forest axis,” he said.

He added that ISWAP fighters were also making an attempt to establish a permanent camp at Babana Forest around the Kaiji National Park in Borgu LGA.

He stated that the insurgents, said to be spotted in communities bordering Nigeria and Benin Republic, have started going around to indoctrinate the people.

“They also made a video claiming that they are not kidnappers, but engaging in religious activities. They have assured us that they are ‘God sent’ to establish an Islamic caliphate. Despite their rapprochement, we are not negotiating with them,” he said.

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