By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – GOVERNOR Babagana Zulum Wednesday told the Federal Government to explore other available options in addressing insurgency in the North East instead of using military force.
Governor Zulum stated this after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa Abuja.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the meeting, Zulum said that there was need for the government to open other opportunities of bringing down the crisis rather than the continued use of kinetic force.
According to him, one of such steps was to consider the integration of some young persons in the region who have been forced to join insurgent groups.
He said, ”There are opportunities in bringing down the crisis rather than the kinetic force, it is also important. 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.
”You are aware that some incidents occurred two three days ago where about 40 people were killed in Konduga. By and large we are aware of steps the President is willing to take that will virtually bring that issue to a standstill.
”There is an existing policy within the military called operation safe corridor just to strengthen the system. By and large we are optimism that Borno state will bounce back again.”
He further explained that he was at the villa to discuss with President Buhari on how possible the federal government can strengthen the current security situation on ground as well as strengthen the means of livelihood of the entire people in the state.
He said, ”We want to address the root causes of insurgency, especially the issue of access roads, access to farm lands and the issue of strengthening civilian JTF and the military to do their jobs better than before. ”
Speaking on the recent attacks in the stare and what the government is doing to ensure the people sleep well at night, the Governor said: ”the issue of security is not one you discuss anyhow. But the government of the state is collaborating with the military and other other security agencies to ensure that the citizens are 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.”
According to him, his discussions with the military has gone well while he was still making efforts to ensure that stability returns to Borno state.