Boko Haram has allegedly taken over communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
Daily Trust reported that the insurgents who ordered residents of the communities not to recognise any constituted authority, also told them to marry off their daughters at the age of 12.
Resident of the area and Co-Convener of Concerned Shiroro Youths, Bello Ibrahim told the publication;
“At a time, they were in Kawure, the village of former Senator Representing Niger East, David Umaru.
“But there was operation to dislodge them by the joint military task force.
“Fortunately they were dispatched but after a while, since military base is not stationed there, they reconvened.
“So now, they are not only in Kawure, they have also extended their tentacles to Communities like Kuregbe, Awulo, and host of other Communities.
“In Awulo and Kuregbe Communities, they assembled the locals, both Muslims and Christians, and gave them marching order that any girl that is 12 years old should be married off.
“There is no any form of law in the area, aside Boko Haram’s… If locals have any feud, either Family issue of community problem, they report to them for resolution.
“No any case should be reported to police or court or any constituted authority for resolution.”
Another resident alleged that the insurgents operate freely in the communities without being challenged.
“They have become constituted authority in those villages. And Kaure, Awulo and Kuregbe are their operational grounds. They coerce locals to obey them as their authority.
“In the entire Chukuba and Kuregbe ward, it is Boko Haram elements that are operating there not bandits that we know.”
Chairman of Shiroro Local Government, Suleiman Chukuba also confirmed the influx of Boko Haram elements, and further added that the residents were made to believe that they were Boko Haram elements because of their mode of preaching.
“On the issue of influx of Boko Haram in shiroro, only four wards have been affected.
“They told villagers that they have money to help them and that they have guns to give them to fight Government. And that is the same doctrine we know Boko Haram elements promote.”
Residents of the area however denied the claim, saying the insurgents have only coerced villagers into not reporting any case or feud to police or court and fixed marital age for girls.