Despite assurances of adequate security of their lives and property, those displaced as a result of the bandits attacks on their villages in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State have rejected Governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s call to return to their communities.
The 2,583 displaced villagers from eight communities kept in six IPDs camps told the governor they are not sure of the security of their lives and property and, therefore, are not in any hurry to return to their ancestral homes.
The governor, accompanied by some top government officials flew into the IDPs camps in Erena, yesterday, one week after the attacks, to commiserate with the people; where he appealed to them to return to their homes as government, he said, has made adequate arrangements for their safety.
The governor’s appeal, however, fell on their deaf ears when the spokesman for the displaced people, who was also injured in the attack in Kwaki vlllage, Danjuma Tanko, said they would not return to their villages “because there was no security there and we are not prepared to pass through similar horror again.”
Tanko said there was no security in the entire communities when the attacks occurred but the governor told the people that security would be beefed up in the affected areas, and added that troops have already been sent to the areas.
He, however, attributed the difficulty in mobilising security to areas to the marshy, rocky and unmotorable nature of the affected communities but promised that those troops will remain in the communities until complete normalcy is restored.
“We will beef up security in the contiguous areas, unfortunately, access to these areas is almost impossible because it is mostly mashy and rocky, but, we have been able to send security personnel there so that the local people can go back to their various homes. I have spoken to a few of them and I understand their fear; they are scared to go back home and I do not blame them.
“I do not blame them for being scared but I think we have sent enough troops to these communities to provide adequate security for the time being. We are doing our best to make sure they go back home, as we look at the comprehensive plan for providing more security.”
However, contrary to a statement credited to the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet and Security, Government House, Alhaji Aliyu Isah Ekan, that only 12 people died, the governor confirmed that 37 people were killed while 27 are being treated with various gunshot wounds.
“While going round the IDP camp, I saw a few with gunshot wounds. About 37 have been killed, 27 are still with gun shot wounds,” the governor said.
Director of the Primary Healthcare Centre in Shiroro who heads the IDP Camp Clinic, Musa Idris Aliyu, told newsmen that, in the last one week, 513 patients have been treated of various degree of injuries.