The Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum has criticized a lawmaker, Senator Ali Ndume over his comment regarding the reintegration of repentant terrorists into the society.
Zulum made this comment on Wednesday during a courtesy visit by the Senate committee on army to the government house in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
According to him, the lawmaker cannot visit his hometown without a retinue of security escorts but the issue has been resolved after a phone conversation.
“I only have one discrepancy with Senator Ali Ndume. I heard him criticising the repentant terrorists and I felt that this should not have come from someone from Borno. I called him to register my disappointment with his comments. We know where we were before now. Ndume cannot go to his hometown without security escort.
“Ndume’s hometown, Hambagda has been deserted for the past seven years and no one is living there. 95 per cent of his people cannot go to their farms till this moment. But the situation is different since we started witnessing the surrender of the terrorists. Areas under cultivation have increased by seven hundred per cent and farmers have had bumper harvests this year,” Zulum explained.
Read also: Ndume dares Nigerian govt to name, arrest, financiers of terrorism
The Governor further noted that it is in the best interest of the state to reintegrate the repentant Boko Haram insurgents, noting that relative peace is returning to the state.
Zulum said, “Whether we like it or not, we have to welcome these repentant Boko Haram insurgents. Although some of them may not be genuine, quite a number of them are genuine. Relative peace is gradually returning to the state as such we should encourage them to surrender not incite the locals against them.
“Out of the over 20,000 that have surrendered, about 5,000 of them are fighters. So imagine the destructions these fighters would cause if they haven’t surrendered. Until now, two local government areas of Borno State -Abadam and Guzamala, are still under the firm control of Boko Haram.
“Some communities in eight local government areas including Gwoza, Damboa, Bama, Chibok and a host of others still have elements of Boko Haram insurgents.”
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