By Bukar Bolori
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum has read riot act to politicians in the state, warning that anyone found harbouring or sponsoring thugs would be dealt with.
The governor gave the warning on Monday at the Government House, Maiduguri while addressing leaders of political youth groups associated with thuggery known as ECOMOG in Maiduguri.
He said: “Any politician, no matter how highly placed he is, if found harbouring or sponsoring thugs, we will deal with him accordingly. This administration will not condone any act of indiscipline.”
Zulum had at different times in the past approved series of vocational jobs and empowerment programmes for the groups to make them have access to lawful means of livelihood.
The governor was however unhappy that despite these various measures taken to get the youths of thuggery, they still seems to prefer political thuggery as a means of livelihood.
The governor said: “Borno is the only place we have, we can’t allow few of you to destroy the state. I believe you are not the only people in Borno, we have over six million people in the state. We can’t allow you to continue terrorizing the population, we can’t tolerate that anymore.
“We will not continue to give you money, you cannot hold us to ransom. The security agencies have been directed to deal with anyone found parading himself as ECOMOG, either at the airport, graveyard, at wedding receptions or anywhere. You have been disturbing the public peace, constituting nuisance.”
Also speaking Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, said in recent days, there has been increasing cases of theft and house burgling. He warned that any person or group of persons found contributing to the insecurity within the state capital and its environs, will be dealt with.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdu Umar, and the State Director of DSS, Munir Mamman, pledged to act in line with the governor’s policy.
It would be recalled that in July 2019, which was two months after assuming office, Governor Zulum had announced a ban on political thuggery in Maiduguri which had, in the mid 2000s, come under bloody clashes between rival thugs including killings. He launched a vocational employment scheme to support the youths.
In 2020 and 2021, Zulum extended his ban on political thuggery to Biu and Gwoza, both of which have had notorious prevalence of thuggery. The governor later announced a statewide ban on the menace.