By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURI—Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, yesterday dismissed media report credited to Senator Kaka Bashir Garbai that three local government areas of Abadam, Mobbar and Kala Balge, were fully under the control of Boko Haram insurgents, insisting that none of the councils in the state was being occupied by the insurgents.
Shettima said the military and other security operatives on the platform of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, had been doing their best in the last six months as the terrorists’ capacity had been whittled down leaving only pockets of them remaining in the Sambisa Forest.
Recall that the Senator representing Borno Central, Garbai, who visited Dalori, Alomari and other villages surrounding Maiduguri attacked by insurgents who killed over 100 residents, had informed newsmen that: “The military are not doing their best to end the war against terrorists, as only Maiduguri, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar council areas were safe and free of insurgents, while 21 of the council areas are partially controlled by terrorists with other three fully still under boko haram caliphate.”
But Governor Shettima, who just returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia where he led some other northern governors for a meeting with officials of Islamic Development Bank and Saudi authorities on rebuilding the north, particularly north east, said, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, all the 27 local government areas had been liberated by the military.
He said: “As Chief Security Officer of Borno State, I am telling you authoritatively that our military deserves commendation, because all my local government areas have been liberated. Only few insurgents that remain in the Sambisa Forest desperate to launch some pockets of attacks are what we are now witnessing as a result of the bombardment that is going on in their hideouts.
“Maybe, the statement Senator Garbai gave to the media was done out of his emotions when he visited the affected areas or he was misquoted. I have been trying to get contact with the Senator on this unfortunate statement.”
The governor later drove straight to Dalori and other surrounding villages that were destroyed by insurgents last week where he condoled with the victims and prayed for quick recovery of the injured.
The governor told the people of the affected communities that government had already liaised with the military to provide them with adequate security and urged them not to flee as his administration would spend N100 million to rebuild their destroyed houses.
He immediately set up a committee headed by his deputy, Usman Durkwa to ensure that all the houses destroyed by the insurgents were rebuilt promptly.
Governor Shettima also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination towards ending the deadly activities of Boko Haram and other terror act in the country.