Boko Haram establishing camps in Niger State – Official

A breakaway group of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram terrorists are establishing camps in Niger State, the state government has said.

The Secretary to the state government, Ahmed Matane, raised the alarn at a press conference in Minna on Tuesday.

Mr Matane said armed bandits were aligning with insurgents to indoctrinate residents in some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area.

The group has been preaching a strict Islamic ideology and banning women from going to conventional schools.

The official identified some of the communities visited by the armed groups as Shukuba, Koki, Kusare, and Madaka.

Mr Matane said the group was assuring residents of protection but asked them to reject western education as well as government directives.

“These people often go to communities to communicate with them 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,”

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

Specifically, Mr Matane said “ISWAP is trying to establish a camp at National Park at Babana in Borgu Local government Area of the State.”

The official said the collaboration between the armed bandits and Boko Haram has escalated attacks on innocent residents in recent times.

Mr Matane, who said the state had spent over N5 billion in tackling security challenges, said the government was worried the situation has continued to escalate.

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