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Nigeria on high alert as Boko Haram approaches Abuja

By Jude Michael
Posted on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 17:32, updated on Thursday, 29 April 2021 09:40

Nigerian soldiers in Kankara, Nigeria, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 . (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari rode into power as an army general on a wave of goodwill after promising to fight insecurity, particularly the Boko Haram insurgency that has ruined lives in northeastern Nigeria. But after six years in office, the president now faces a bigger challenge as the insurgents are gradually spreading to other parts of the country, including Niger State which neighbours the seat of power.

In Shiroro LGA of Niger State, where Aisha Abdullah has lived all her life, much of what she can remember as a child was that her family home was on the outskirts and surrounded with mountains and forests. Now, at age 23, Abdullahi, like other residents, are still in shock over the news that Boko Haram terrorists have camped in the state, using those very mountains and forests as their hideouts.

Boko Haram terrorists will surely take advantage of the land mass in Niger, establishing units across those forests.

Governor Abubakar Bello broke the news on Monday 26 April, a day after Boko Haram insurgents killed more than 30 soldiers when they attacked a military base in Mainok, Borno State.

“Boko Haram elements are here in Niger State; here in Kaure. I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here,” Bello said, adding that women from affected villages were captured and “forcefully attached to Boko Haram members.”

Boko Haram in Niger State means ‘even Abuja is not safe’

With Nigeria’s seat of power located just two hours from Niger state, Bello warned that “even Abuja is not safe” if care is not taken to flush out the insurgents who had made Nigeria the third most terrorised country in the world for six years running, according to the Global Terrorism Index.