By Bukar Bolori
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, on Wednesday, has admitted that Boko Haram is still in control of some villages and local government areas in the state.
Zulum raised the alarm when he received the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume who led members of his Committee in company ofother top military officers from the Army headquarters on a courtesy visit to Maiduguri, Government House.
Zulum while stating that peace is gradually returning to the state, however said 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 seems to be in control.
He said: “I am pleased to inform you that we have started witnessing a 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 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 are collecting taxes along major roads in Damboa and other axes 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, 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.