Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, has said his state’s security situation had improved by 85 per cent, claiming that no community was under Boko Haram control.
“Honestly speaking, none of the 27 local government areas of Borno State are under the control of insurgents,” Zulum told State House correspondents on Friday, after he emerged from closed-door talks with President Bola Tinubu, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
In the last 14 years, Borno State and its contiguous northeastern states of Adamawa and Yobe have become hotbeds of Boko Haram terrorist activities.
In June 2021, the United Nations Development Programmes estimated at least 350,000 deaths from conflicts with Boko Haram since 2009.
The UNDP cited damage to agriculture, water, trade, food, and healthcare, saying, “Many more have died from the indirect effects of the conflict.”
At least 66,768 lives were lost in states most affected by the conflict – Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Kaduna Benue, and Plateau – a September 2023 survey by the Council of Foreign Relations showed.
Nonetheless, direct deaths alone do not paint the full picture of the conflict.
Boko Haram, which aims to banish Western influence and create a Salafi-Islamist state in Northeast Nigeria and the entire nation, has also displaced over three million people, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees said.
Communities in Monguno, Banki, Jere, and Domboa council areas of the State have been the most terrorised by terrorists.
Asked about the state of things, Zulum said, “To be sincere and candid, the security situation in Borno State has improved by more than 85 percent. Economic activities are ongoing perfectly in Borno State.
“I just read some script a few days ago saying that insurgency is increasing in Borno State; the story is not right. The Nigerian army is giving us the desired cooperation, the police, the paramilitary as well as air force and all other components of the Nigerian military are supporting us.
“But most importantly, I want to assure you that as the chief security officer of Borno State, the state is doing well in terms of security. There’s a serious improvement in our security situation. And I commend the service chiefs for their efforts and I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
However, the Governor said a few local government areas still reeling from years of conflict as settlers are yet to fully return.
“Now, people are partially resettled there, especially Abadam local government and then Guzamala local government.
“But by and large, in terms of the security situation in Borno state, I think the government is doing very well, the Nigerian military is also doing very well. And then nothing has happened; we keep on improving,” he said.
On his meeting with the President, Zulum said, “I have had series of consultations with the President and he has assured the government and the people of the entire northeastern states that he will provide the necessary equipment needed to curtail the menace of insurgency not only in the North-East but in the entire country. So I think all is right.”
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.