Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State has called for the deployment of more military personnel to flush out Boko Haram insurgents from their enclaves in Borno and other northeastern states.
Zulum made the call while hosting the Minister of Defence, Mohammad Badaru Abubakar, and the service chiefs in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
He said the Nigerian borders to Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon in the northeast need to be secured to prevent infiltration of ISWAP members and the smuggling of small arms and light weapons into the country.
“We still need your support in the area of having more manpower in the state, which is very critical. Yes, we know we have a problem of insurgency in Northern Nigeria, North Central and other parts of the North but insurgency in the Northeastern states is very critical to the security of the entire nation because of the porosity of our borders.
“Borno State is sharing borders with the Republic of Cameroon, Chad and Niger, so we have to be sure that we don’t have safe heavens in Borno State, otherwise the proliferation of small arms and ammunitions will increase and the presence of ISWAP will also increase as a result of porosity of the Sahelian region. The Sahel region is our major problem.
“Therefore, we want you to double your action with a view to clearing the shores of Lake Chad, the Sambisa game reserve and the Mandara hills,” he said.
The governor also appealed to the military authorities to send troops to the enclaves of the insurgents, who were not ready to lay down arms.
“This is very important because the only way that we shall complete the degradation of the insurgent is by continuing military operations,” he said.
Zulum also observed that Lake Chad shores have the potential to provide food to the entire nation, especially when taking advantage of the ongoing irrigation scheme of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
“There is no area that has more massive land for wheat cultivation than Borno State in Nigeria. Therefore, addressing the insecurity in Borno State entails food production in the entire country,” he said.
Earlier, the Minister of Defence, said the high-level delegation was assigned by President Bola Tinubu to visit the governor, Borno people and the troops on the frontline to discuss the challenges and areas to improve in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
“It’s our resolve that in no distant future, we will insha Allah see the end of this situation of insecurity, and life will come to normal in the Northeast,” he said.