Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has disclosed that terrorist group, Boko Haram is still in control of some villages and local government areas in the state.
Zulum made the remarks on Wednesday, when he received the Chairman House Committee on Army Senator Ali Ndume and other top military officers from the army headquarters in a courtesy visit to Maiduguri, Government House. According to Zulum, peace is gradually returning to the state, but there is a need for the Army to redouble efforts in order to secure Abadam and Guzamala local government areas in Northern Borno in which Boko Haram is in control.
“I am pleased to inform you that we have started witnessing a gradual return of peace, but more needs to be done, because presently, Guzamala and Abadam Local Government Areas are still under the control of Boko Haram.
“Although, the current Service Chiefs, the Theatre Commander, and indeed our General Officer Commanding 7 Division are up and doing. We want to commend the military and other paramilitary personnel for their gallant efforts to see to the end of terrorism in this part of the country.”
“Just a few days ago, I received a security report that in some communities of Mandaragirau axis in Biu Local Government Area, there are reports that over 500 Boko Haram/ISWAP groups have been converging with over 300 motorcycles and even celebrating parties/marriages amongst themselves without confrontation.” “ISWAP are more equipped, sophisticated, intelligent and dangerous as they grow from strength to strength.”
“ISWAP is collecting taxes along major roads in Damboa and other taxes in southern Borno. It is very unfortunate.”
“But the good news is that about 11 local Government areas of Gwoza, Bama, Marte, Monguno, Kaga, Gubio, Mafa, Dikwa, Ngala and host of others are becoming more peaceful than before, and this could be attributed to about 20,000 surrendered members of Boko Haram who are now in our custody.” I want to use this opportunity to solicit prayers from all and sundry for total restoration of peace not only in Borno state but the country as a whole”, Zulum said.
On his part, the Chairman House Committee on Army Sen. Ndume said the committee visited Borno to assess the security situation and to thank Borno State Government for its unflinching support towards restoration of peace and end the carnage perpetrated by terrorists in the northeast region.
Meanwhile, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said insecurity in the North-west of Nigeria has “become an existential threat” and urged the federal government to put more effort into fighting it.
Matawalle said this when he received a federal government delegation, which paid him a condolence visit over the recent massacre of over 200 people by bandits in the state.
THEWILL had earlier reported that Members of the delegation included Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar-Faruk, National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono, the Inspector-General Of Police, Usman Alkali and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Matawalle urged that special forces be sent to some parts of the state and the region to tackle the activities of bandits.
“As part of this strategy, special forces should be deployed to some blackspots, particularly identified to be more dangerous centres of activities of the bandits.
“These blackspots are Gando, in Bukkuyum Local Government Area, Munhaye of Tsafe Local Government Area, Bayan Ruwa, in Maradun Local Government Area, Kabaro- Sangeku, of Dansadau and Magami axis. The special forces could help dislodge the bandits and block exits to the fleeing ones”, he said.
The governor said his administration has made an effort to tackle the menace but the security challenge is unprecedented.
“The security challenge in Zamfara and other states in the North-west is unprecedented. It has become an existential threat for the subregion.
“We have virtually explored and tried all workable options in our relentless effort to address this challenge. We tried the dialogue mechanism, which has worked for some time before deliberate efforts by some misguided politicians to scuttle the process.
“We employed the service of hunters and provided them with motorcycles and allowances. Only recently we paid the service hunters the sum of N53 million, in addition to their full upkeep.
“In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas, we expended the sum of N250 million to provide vehicles, and allowances for both the Civilian JTF and the conventional security outfits”, Governor Matawalle added.