Adamu (not real name) is one of the indigenes of Kurebe village, Shiroro Local Government of Niger State, who often give Alhaji Haruna, the Kurebe village head who fled to Minna over unending invasion by Boko Haram terrorists, situation reports on their terrorist-troubled village.
The last time he visited Haruna, the message was that the terrorists had ordered villagers not to leave the Kurebe for fear of attacks, and that “Anyone who had left should not come back, hence they would regret it”.
When he spoke with FIJ on Tuesday, Adamu could not recall the last time villagers lived without the fear of attacks in Kurebe. Apart from Fridays and Saturdays when the terrorists are expected in the village, no one can predict their invasion.
On Fridays, villagers anticipate the presence of Boko Haram insurgents. “They come to lead Jumat service in an open space with a few of the villagers,” Adamu said.
“Saturday is the day we open our market, and for over a year now, we no longer trade with ourselves alone, but with gun-wielding men,” Adamu told FIJ. “We trade as if we are mourning. Life in Kurebe is bitter.”
FRIENDS OR PREY?
The terrorists, in a bid to endear themselves to Kurebe residents, feigned cordiality with them.
“They said our people are peaceful and obedient and that would make us have a good time with each other,” Adamu said. “They claimed we are good friends. But how do we say no?”
Meanwhile, the friendship is cold. The brazen terrorists abduct Kurebe villagers for ransom.
Last month, FIJ detailed how a Boko Haram fighter married a 17-year-old girl in Kurebe. “Such unfortunate scenarios would not have ceased to happen if the village elders had not advised young girls to seek asylum in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps,” Adamu said.
In October, a seven-year-old Abba was abducted in the village. A few weeks later, his abductors visited Aminu, his father. “They told him his son had been enrolled in an Islamic school with them,” Alhaji Haruna told FIJ, adding that the minor was also undergoing a Jihad training as announced by the terrorists. “Over two months now, Aliyu has not set his eyes on his son.”
NURSE TREATS TERRORISTS BY FORCE
Ali Kurebe, a nurse in a private clinic situated in the village, has been threatened several times.
“The Boko Haram fighters often bring their sick wives and injured members to his clinic,” another village source told FIJ. “When the nurse refuses to treat them, he is threatened to be taken away with them.”
Ali then responds by prescribing drugs and dressing the terrorists’ wounds when necessary. The source disclosed that whenever the terrorists cannot get the drugs prescribed, they go to Minna on a motorcycle to get them.
In April, Abubakar Sani Bello, the Governor of Niger State, had raised the alarm that Boko Haram elements had hoisted a flag in Kaure village, Shiroro Local Government. FIJ’s findings showed that Kurebe and Kaure are just about six kilometres apart.
In October, Suleiman Chukuba, the Shiroro Local Government Chairman, told newsmen that Boko Haram had taken over 500 communities spread across eight wards in his council.
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