MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has expressed concern over the increasing presence of terrorists from the Islamic State West Africa Province, (ISWAP) in some parts of the State, and called for urgent security measures to curtail it’s growth.
He made the disclosure when he received on courtesy call, the Senate Committee on Army led by Senator Mohammed Ndume, at the Government House in Maiduguri on Wednesday
While commending the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the Nigerian Armed Forces and volunteers for major gains recorded in the State, Zulum however said he was deeply worried over the increasing presence of the ISWAP in some parts of the State, especially in southern Borno.
“Borno State has started witnessing the gradual return of peace. This will not be possible without the support of the Federal Government. The Service Chiefs are giving us the desired cooperation. Indeed the current Theater Commander and the GOCs have been giving their cooperation,” noting however, that ISWAP was threatening to reverse the successes recorded.
“Honestly speaking, we have to do something about the operations of ISWAP in Borno State, if nothing is done to check them and chase them out, it may be bad not only for people of the North-East, but the entire Nation at large.
“ISWAP’s fighters are better armed, better equipped, more intelligent and more sophisticated than Boko Haram, and they grow spontaneously. Hence the the need to pursue the ISWAP now,” he warned.
Speaking on the recent surrender of hundreds of repentant Boko Haram fighters, Zulum said it was already resulting to some stability especially in the areas of agriculture.
He said since the surrender of thousands of insurgents, farmers have increased access to farmlands by 700 per cent, reiterating his supports the continued combination of military warfare, and political approach towards disarmament, deradicalization and safe reintegration.
Earlier, the Chairman Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ndume, said they were in Maiduguri to commend Governor Zulum for the support he has been rendering to the Army towards restoring peace to the State and nation at large.
“Your Excellency, this is a Senate committee on Nigerian Army, and we are here on oversight, and to thank Your Excellency for the support that you have been giving to the Army, which they themselves (Army) have acknowledged.”
The Committee’s delegation includes; Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South; Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Hassan Gusau; Senator Kola Balogun, Oyo South Senatorial district; and Senator Bulus Amos, Gombe South.
Others are; the Director Defense Liaison to the National Assembly, Brig. General Sani Suleiman; Deputy Director Defense Liaison to the NASS, Navy Captain Shehu Tasiu; Clerk of the Committee, Lawal Sani; and Deputy Clerk, Akikomi Johnson.