Herdsmen: Niger communities threaten to relocate over plan to withdraw troops


No fewer than eighty communities across five local government areas in Niger State ‎have pleaded with the federal government of Nigeria not to withdraw troops deployed to the communities.

The communities, which cut across Shiroro, Munya, Paikoro, Gurara, Raffin and Chachanga said the withdrawal of the military troops may bring renewed onslaught to their communities.

Speaking to newsmen in Minna, one of the community leaders, Alhaji Malam Imam Abdulaziz Usman of Zagzagga Community, threatened that they will relocate from the communities if the military troops were removed.

“We were planning to relocate from our communities when the military arrived; and since they came, we have enjoyed peace and the hoodlums have been chased away. But, as it is now we are already planning to leave again because we heard the military is leaving on Thursday.

“Just four days ago, some of our youths who are mining, saw eight trucks of these herdsmen entering from Zamfara state and they are presently in the bush.

“The herdsmen will attack us as a form of revenge on how the military dealt with them. We appreciate the presence of the military, we want to appeal that the planned withdrawal of soldiers should be put on hold and instead we want permanent security presence in the affected local government areas,” he said.

Abdulaziz said that his community lost a lot of people before the military troops came on board and they are not ready to lose anybody again.

The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator David Umaru on his part urged the government and the military authority not to be in haste to withdraw troops from the areas, especially now that there is an on-going military activity in neighbouring Zamfara state.

He said, “We are raising the alarm now so that the government will be proactive. Because if the military leaves, there will be attacks on our communities.”

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