Embattled Niger communities negotiate with Boko Haram, N20m levy agreed

Following the confirmation of the presence of Boko Haram in Niger State by the Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello, it has been gathered that about 65 communities in Niger State have resorted to negotiating and signing a peace deal with the insurgent to avoid future raids.

This development came few days after the terror group displaced more than 5,000 villagers from their homes in some local government areas in the state.

Though the Nigerian Army said it was unaware of Boko Haram’s incursion into Niger State, Wasiu Abiodun, the police spokesperson in the state, said he could not dispute Bello’s claim about the influx of the terrorist group into the state.

He said, “The executive governor is the chief security officer of the state. Are you expecting the police to dispute or go against the pronouncement of the executive governor?”

Our correspondent gathered that communities in Gurmana, Manta, Bassa and Kukoki distrists in the Shiroro area of the state had negotiated with the terrorists for a peace deal after reaching an agreement to pay certain amount of money.

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The communities were said to have also purchased at least six motorcycles worth N500,000 for the terrorists.

Yusuf Sani, the co-convener of Concerned Shiroro Youth, said, “This is what most of the communities are resorting to. By my records now, communities that have signed the peace deal with the terrorists are more than 40.

“While some communities have already sealed up deals for ceasefire with the terrorists and are currently reaping the benefits, others are on the verge of finalising theirs.”

Sani also said the communities had paid “not less than N20 million to sign the peace deal with the terrorists.”

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