Be soft on Boko Haram terrorists – Governor begs Buhari

Babagana Zulum, the new governor of Borno State, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be soft on Boko Haram terrorists.

Mr Zulum made the plea on Wednesday after meeting with Mr Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Boko Haram is a terrorists organization fighting to covert the country from a secular state to an Islamic State. Since it began its campaign, the group has killed, abducted and maimed Nigerians in a bid to drive home its demand.

When he took office in 2015, Buhari declared war on the terrorists, driving them back to Sambisa forest from where they operate from to other parts of the country. The president’s administration has severally claimed to defeat the violent group but attacks of the group recently says otherwise.

Addressing State House Correspondents, the Borno governor urged the president to shelve the use of force to clamp down on the terrorists. He urged the Nigerian leader to explore other options in curtailing the situation.

“But most importantly, there is a need for the federal government to also open other opportunities for bringing down the crisis rather than the kinetic force,” Mr Zulum said.

“It is also important for those people who have been forced to join the insurgency if they are integrated into society. I think this will be good. There is an existing policy within the military called operation safe corridor just to strengthen the system. We are optimism that Borno state will bounce back again,” he added.

The governor said he visited to discuss the security situation in the state with the president.

Babagana Zulum, Borno State governor.

“I’m basically here to discuss with Mr. President on how possible the Federal Government can strengthen the current security situation on the ground as well as strengthen the means of livelihood to the entire people of Borno State.

“Basically, we want to address the root causes of the insurgency, especially the issue of access roads, access to farmlands and the issue of strengthening civilian JTF and the military to do their jobs better than before.

“On my part, I am also trying to strengthen the locals to be resilient enough, especially by providing them with logistics like vehicles and others so that they can undertake some surveillance to support the military.

“By and large, our discussions with the military have gone well and we are doing everything possible to ensure that stability returns to Borno State.

“You are aware that some incidents occurred two or three days ago where about 40 people were killed in Konduga. We are aware of steps the President is willing to take that will virtually bring that issue to a standstill,” he added.