Borno state Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, has assured that his administration will provide all necessary support to the military, civilian JTF and hunters, to defeat the Boko Haram sect.
Zulum made this statement while receiving Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, who visited him in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Monday.
He promised that the state government would rise to the challenge of defending the people by supporting the military in terms of intelligence and logistics.
“The chief of army staff, count on me. Believe me, the government of Borno state will spend its last Kobo in ensuring that our civilian JTF and hunters are strengthened,” he said.
“We cannot afford a situation whereby two persons (terrorists) come with motorcycle or vehicle, ransacking town and killing hundreds of people.”
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The governor commended the military, particularly the army for their efforts so far in dealing with insurgents, saying it is “very difficult to deal with an enemy you do not see”.
“People do not understand; it very difficult. Considering the land mass of Borno state, about 76,000 kilometers; it is not easy.’’
He pleaded that military operation should be followed with stabilisation, saying “once an area has been liberated, there is the need for the government and military to work out modalities for reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement”.
He added that this should be done with the support of the military and paramilitary organisations
“Without this, an area liberated can be taken over by insurgents.’’
The governor said to achieve success in the fight against insurgency, the root causes of Boko Haram must be addressed.
He listed some of them as unemployment, endemic poverty, high illiteracy, poor socio-economic infrastructure and climate change.
“Right now, over 80 per cent of our population (Borno), including the youth and able bodied men, are unemployed,” he said.
“The situation is catastrophic, and unless we address the root causes of these problems, I think we cannot make any meaningful progress.”
Zulum said that the mainstay of the state’s economy was agriculture but regretted that over 90 percent of the population did not have access to farmland due insurgency.
“The area under cultivation in the last 10 years is less than that of the last two years. We are getting some significant improvement. This year, 2019, we are also getting more significant improvement,” he said.
“One area that the people of Borno wish to collaborate with the military and the police is to have access to their farmland,” he stated.