MINNA – Palpable fears has gripped residents of Minna, Niger state capital and its environs following rumours of the infiltration of suspected members of Boko-Haram into Minna, en route to Zungeru in Wushishi Local Government.
The suspected, numbering about eight were said to have alighted from a commercial vehicle and approached some Tricycle operators (keke-Napep) and started negotiating on how to be conveyed to Zungeru.
Our correspondent gathered that, the operators was surprised that someone would be negotiating to be transported to Zungeru on Tricycle instead of cars and instead decided to direct the men t where they can get a car to continue in their journey.
While one of the men assured the Tricycle operators of handsome reward if they agree to convey them to their destination, the operators had insisted that it was not their route as it was risky traveling to Zungeru when there are vehicles and as it was getting dark.
The ‘strange looking men’ were said to have the more resisted joining commercial vehicle to Zungeru notwithstanding that it was getting darker and promised instead to pay any amount that it would require to be conveyed to their destination.
The tricycle operators were said to have become suspicious that the men who apparently do not know the distance from Minna to Zungeru tried to lure them into accepting the offer with the promise to pay any amount instead of joining commercial vehicle and continue with their journey and decided to step aside to confer with one another on the next line of action.
While they were yet to conclude their discussion on what to do since it was clear that the men prefer keke-Napep, the ‘strange men’ apparently suspecting what the Tricycle operators were coming up with quickly melted into the crowd.
The news about the strange visitors like wild fire soon spread across Minna metropolis and environs causing fears and anxiety. Boko-Haram has become topical issue discussion among residents including traders and youths especially that the government seemed helpless in checking their menace.
All efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Wasiu Abiodun confirm if there are reports of strangers into Minna enroute to Zungeru last weekend, proved abortive as at the time of this report.
Calls to the PPRO mobile phone number were ‘rejected’ with messages, ‘the number you diled is switched off’.
Meanwhile, Christians in Niger state have concluded arrangements for a three days prayer for God’s intervention in the seeming no end in sight for the security challenges bedeviling the state and which has claimed so many lives and millions of Naira worth properties destroyed.
Niger state chairman of the, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Matthias Echioda, who disclosed this in an interview said the special intercessory prayers is to call on God to have mercy on Nigeria, Niger state in particular and ‘Save our land’ from agents of darkness.
“We are embarking on three days prayers starting on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Christians from the two Local Government Areas that make up Minna the state capital; Chanchaga and Bosso will be converging in Minna for the prayers.”
Echioda who expressed optimism in the powers of prayers said, “The move has become necessary especially now when the Governor has come out publicly to say that the federal government is not saying anything concerning the increasing security siege.”
“The special prayers are expected to held simultaneously across the 25 Local Government Areas. Chanchaga and Bosso will be in Minna while 23 others will be at various Local Government headquarters,” the CAN chairman further explained.
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