Zulum: ISWAP Would Become Deadlier Than Boko Haram If Allowed To Fester

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno state, expressed concerns over the increasing strength of the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP).

The governor spoke on Thursday while briefing journalists on the state on internal security, relocation of IDPs and collaborations between the state and the federal government at the state house in Abuja.

Zulum had in January warned that if nothing was done about the operations of ISWAP in Borno, “it may be bad not only for people of the north-east, but the entire nation at large”.

Speaking on Thursday, he said the military needs to restategise on how it will defeat ISWAP, adding that the group will wreak more havoc than Boko Haram did if it is allowed to grow.

“I’ve said it before that the growing number of ISWAP in some parts of the state is a matter of great concern to everybody. Where? In the shores of the Lake Chad and in Southern Borno. Luckily, I was told there was military deployment to southern Borno yesterday to fight the insurgency. But I think this is an early warning system,” Zulum said.

“We shouldn’t allow ISWAP to grow. ISWAP is more funded, sophisticated and educated, and we shall do everything possible to defeat ISWAP otherwise, what Boko Haram did will be child’s play.

“The Nigerian Army has to restrategise and defeat ISWAP. ISWAP will be a threat to the entire nation because of the fragility of the south Saharan Africa.”

The governor thanked the federal government for its support in helping to restore peace and normalcy in certain areas of the state.

He listed the return of IDPs, reduction in number of bombing incidents, reopening of major markets and roads, provision of functioning healthcare facilities, improved access to education, as some of the feats recorded by his administration.

Zulum said his statement on the state of two LGAs in Borno was misinterpreted.

He clarified that he meant the LGAs “are not occupied by human population”, not that they are under Boko Haram.

“It means the capacity is not there to protect the human population in these LGAs. We are not saying that these LGAs are under the control of Boko Haram. We need the support of the federal government to see to the relocation of people to these LGAs,” he said.

He asked the federal government “to rethink and look into the possibility of hiring mercenaries”, saying there is nothing wrong in seeking external support.

Cable News

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