***Reveals Two LGAs Still Under Boko Haram control in Borno.
By Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Wednesday cautioned Senator Ali Mohammed Ndume, Senator representing Borno South, over what he described as inciting comments capable of endangering repentant terrorists.
The Governor also revealed that Abadam and Guzamala Local Government Areas in Borno state are still under the control of Boko Haram sect.
He spoke when playing host to Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Army, in who led other senators including military officers from the army headquarters for a courtesy call on Governor Zulum at the Government House.
He said, while it may be true that some of the repentant terrorists may be faking their repentance, Ndume’s comments may have a blanket effect on all others.
Governor Zulum who could not hide his displeasure with the reports which quoted the Senator as calling for total rejection of the returning insurgents as a gimmick, said the state does not have a better alternative to accepting the offers of surrender, given years of crisis.
According to him, the fact that Senator Ndume cannot go to his home town without security escort, and with his home town, Hambagda totally deserted for over seven years, Ndume should be the last person to discredit the acceptance of repentant Boko Haram insurgents back into the society.
Meanwhile, Zulum said; ” I am pleased to inform you that we have started witnessing gradual return of peace, but more need 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 para military personnel for their gallant efforts to see to the end of terrorism in this part of the country.
“Unfortunately, Government and people of Borno state, especially those from southern and northern parts of the state are worried over the increasing number of ISWAP groups who have been terrorizing their communities.
“Just few days ago, I recieved a security report that in some communities of Mandaragirau axis in Biu Local Government Area, there are reports that over 500 Boko Haram/ISWAP group 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 are collecting taxes along major roads in Damboa and other axis 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 for prayers from all and sundry for total restoration of peace not only in Borno state, but the country as a whole.” Zulum stated.
Ndume had earlier in his address told the governor that they were in 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 north east region.