Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum yesterday met President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to strengthen security and means of livelihood in his state.
According to Zulum, the aim is to address the root causes of insurgency.
He said: “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 the recent attacks in the state and what the government is doing to ensure the people sleep well at night, he said: “The issue of security is not one you discuss anyhow. But the government of the state is collaborating with the military and other security agencies to ensure that the citizens are well-protected.
“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.”
Asked if he was concerned that Boko Haram insurgents were no longer dealing with soft targets but attacking military bases, he said: “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 pushed for exploration of other options apart from military force to end the insurgency.
“But most importantly, there is need for the Federal Government to also open other opportunities of bringing down the crisis rather than the kinetic force.
“It is also important for those people who have been forced to join the insurgency, if they are integrated into the 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 said
by Augustine Ehikioya