Dr Babangida Aliyu
Niger State Governor, Dr Babangida Aliyu, at the weekend said the leader of the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, started his ‘ministry’ at Mokwa in the state a few years ago.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, Aliyu said this while receiving traders who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Minna.
The governor said Shekau and the group’s spokesman, Abubakar Kaka, suspected to have been killed by the Joint Task Force in Damaturu, were dislodged from Daru-Islam in Mokwa by security operatives in 2009.
He said that the pictures of both Shekau and Kaka posted regularly on the sect’s Website and published in newspapers were the same pictures the security agents had before the duo were dislodged from the state.
Aliyu maintained that the proactive nature of the security agencies in the state and the support of the government had then were helpful to dislodge them.
``Otherwise Niger State would have been the headquarters of the sect,” he said adding that it was necessary for all Nigerians to rise and oppose the activities of the sect which had brought about negative effects on the economy.
``For any business to thrive it must be in a peaceful and secure environment. In view of the series of attacks on security men in the state capital, government will tighten security within and outside Minna,” he promised.
The governor urged members of the public to cooperate with the security operatives handling the exercise.
Aliyu also added that the movement of the old Minna market to its new location was to de-congest the city, noting that when the old market was established, no one envisaged the rapid growth the state capital had witnessed.