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‘I’m very much in charge,’ Zulum reacts to appointment of governor by Boko Haram, ISWAP in Borno

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Monday, declared that he is not aware of the reported appointment of a governor over some territories in the state by Boko Haram terrorists, and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).

He stressed that he is fully in charge of the affairs of the state.

Speaking while briefing journalists shortly after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, he stated that the claim by the terrorists was unauthenticated, pointing out that his administration is not investigating the issue.

This is as the insurgents had claimed that one Abba Kaka has been appointed as the governor under a new leadership restructuring by an interim council.

Zulum said: “We are yet to validate the authenticity of this report that ISWAP appointed governor in Borno state. So, as the governor of the state, I think it’s not right for me to speak on something that I don’t have full knowledge of.”

When asked if he would investigate the report, he said: “Not investigating. This report is not authenticated. You have just seen somebody write something in one of the…I think it’s on Facebook or something like that. You’re a journalist and I think we have to prove reports beyond reasonable doubts, before commenting on such reports.

“As far as I’m concerned. I’m the governor of Borno State and I don’t have any information that we have another government in a Nigerian State. Yes. And I’m very much in charge.”

The governor, however, disclosed that he was at the Aso Rock Villa to solicit the President’s help in repatriating the over 200,000 Borno indigenes who fled insurgency to Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.

Read also: Troops arrest suspected Boko Haram informant in Yobe

He affirmed that the security situation in the State has improved, hence the need to bring them back.

“Now that we have started witnessing the gradual return of peace to Borno State, these people that are taking refuge in our neighbouring countries are willing to return home.

“Therefore, the Borno State Government picked a date of 27th of November 2021 for the commencement of the repatriation process, especially to local government areas of Abadam and Guzamala.

“So, I came to brief Mr President, to solicit his support, with the view to ensuring hitch-free repatriation exercise,” the governor said.

On how much the repatriation would cost, he said: “I can’t quantify, but I think the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs with its agencies – NEMA, the Refugee Commission and indeed the Northeast Development Commission, lastly the Borno State government – have the capacity to shoulder the responsibility of the repatriation exercise.”

Speaking on the fate of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), still in camps in the state, he said: “On the issue of Internally Displaced Persons, yes, the IDP camps are not palatable, that is why the government of Borno state and indeed the federal government, are exploiting the potentials of resettling them back to their own communities or relocating them to areas that are safe.”

By John Chukwu …

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