Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno says two local government areas in the state are still under the control of Boko Haram terrorists.
Mr Zulum’s new position has punctured repeated claims of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration that no Nigerian territory is under the control of the terror group.
The governor who noticed significant improvement called for more efforts to totally ameliorate the security situation in the North-East region.
“I am pleased to inform you that we have started witnessing gradual return of peace, but more need to be done, because, presently, Guzamala and Abadam Local Government Areas are still under the control of Boko Haram,” he said while playing host to the Chairman Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who led his fellow lawmakers and some military officers from the army headquarters to a courtesy visit.
“Although, the current Service Chiefs, the Theatre Commander, and indeed our General Officer Commanding 7 Division are up and doing. We want to commend the military and other para military personnel for their gallant efforts to see to the end of terrorism in this part of the country.
“Unfortunately, Government and people of Borno state, especially those from southern and northern parts of the state are worried over the increasing number of ISWAP groups who have been terrorizing their communities.
“Just few days ago, I recieved a security report that in some communities of Mandaragirau axis in Biu Local Government Area, there are reports that over 500 Boko Haram/ISWAP groups have been converging with over 300 motorcycles and even celebrating parties/marriages amongst themselves without confrontation.
“ISWAP are more equipped, sophisticated, intelligent and dangerous as they grow from strength to strength.
“ISWAP are collecting taxes along major roads in Damboa and other axis in southern Borno. It is very unfortunate.
“But the good news is that about 11 local Government areas of Gwoza, Bama, Marte, Monguno, Kaga, Gubio, Mafa, Dikwa, Ngala and host of others are becoming more peaceful than before, and this could be attributed to about 20,000 surrendered members of Boko Haram who are now in our custody.
”I want to use this opportunity to solicit for prayers from all and sundry for total restoration of peace not only in Borno state, but the country as a whole,” the governor added.