The Deputy Governor of Borno state, Zanna Mustapha, said in Yola on Monday that going by the ease with which Boko Haram was capturing territories in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the three North-Eastern states would soon be history.
“If the Federal Government does not add extra effort, in the next two to three months, the three North-Eastern states will no longer be in existence,” he said. “The Federal Government has tried its best but their best is not enough because rather than going after the insurgents, it is the insurgents that are going after us. It is a big crime that the criminals are better equipped than the military and they are just few kilometres from the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states capitals.”
The deputy governor was in Adamawa to visit thousands of Borno indigenes that were forced to leave their state and schools following Boko Haram attacks in Mubi.
He said the continuous occupation of more towns by Boko Haram had confirmed the Borno state governor’s statement that the terrorists possessed superior weapons.
He disclosed that 13 local governments in Borno, three in Adamawa and others in Yobe were currently under the control of Boko Haram. He said, going by intelligence reports, if the Federal Government did not step up its security measures the fall of the three states would only be a matter of days or weeks.
Mr. Mustapha expressed his doubts on the purported ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and the terrorists.
“We are yet to believe that there is a ceasefire because the first day after the announcement was made, over 30 people were killed in Borno State, and (the terrorists) continued with their rampage in Adamawa, Gombe and only this morning there was a bomb blast in Yobe,” he said. “Let us appeal to the international community to come to our rescue otherwise in the next few months the three states may not exist.”
Mr. Mustapha accused the insurgents of committing war crimes, saying they deployed anti-aircraft missiles in killing the people against international rules and conventions.
The Borno deputy governor spoke in Yola shortly before a former Vice President and Presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, lamented, in Abuja, the ease with which towns in the North-East were falling into the hands of the insurgents.
Atiku wondered why the Nigerian government was unable to overwhelm Boko Haram despite the claim by the administration that an increase in the country’s security budget would help relevant agencies and the military tackle the insurgency.
“The situation in which we find ourselves today is grave,” the former vice president said. “Much of Borno, and the north of Adamawa and Yobe states is already at the mercy of the terrorists. It started a few months ago with Bama, which is nearly 400 kilometres from Yola, capital of Adamawa State.
“The next major town to be taken by terrorists was Gwoza, where a terrorist caliphate flag has long been hoisted. Smaller towns near Gwoza such as Pulka and Limankra are equally not free. Next was Madagali. The town is still being occupied. Then fell Gulak. Next was Michika, then Bazza. Next was the twin town of Uba which is half Adamawa and half Bornu. Its neighboring town of Lassa was also overrun. Uba was the latest town captured before the terrorists trampled on Mubi. People from these troubled areas are now pouring into Yola for safety.
“As somebody who hails from Adamawa State, you can appreciate why I feel such emotion at the fate of my people. For whatever reason, our defence forces are unable to cope and unable to defend. My sympathies go out to the soldiers who find themselves in a situation not of their making. This is a crisis of leadership.”
Also speaking in Yola, the Adamawa state governor, Bala Ngilari, who had earlier said the state was not under siege, sympathized with the people of the affected states.
“We are under siege for now, although security agents are doing their best,” he said. “With prayers, very soon, Boko Haram will become a thing of the past.”
He said that certain things in life, like the Boko Haram insurgency, defied logic.
“No matter the situation, one day it will come to an end,” he said.
He noted that the Second World War, in which about 20 million people were killed, was now history.
“The reason why we are facing this insurgency is because we have offended God, and when the rest of the world is going to space it’s unfortunate that we are left behind, plagued by insurgency and other problems,” he said.
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