Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has again updated President Muhammadu Buhari on latest security development in the state.
Ater the closed door meeting with the president, on Thursday in Abuja, Mr Zulum told journalists that over 30, 000 Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists have so far surrendered.
According to him, following this development, the state is relatively peaceful as the security agencies have continued to take measures aimed at checking the activities of insurgents in the North-east.
The governor expressed optimism that the insurgency in the region would soon be a thing of the past.
“I briefed Mr President on the status of Borno State as regards security as well as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and so far so good.
“I have been witnessing gradual return of peace in Borno State and I came to brief Mr President on the ongoing massive defection of Boko Haram members. This time around, we have also started witnessing the defection of ISWAP members.
“This is a welcome development and under a closed-door session we discussed a lot of issues and how the government of Borno State as well as the federal government will manage the ongoing surrender by the insurgents.
“As at now we have received nothing less than 30,000, from beginning to date.’’
The governor disclosed that the objective of engaging the insurgents through dialogue and mediation had started yielding fruitful results.
He also lauded the federal government for the heavy military deployment to Southern Borno, and expressed the hope that Northern Borno would also witness similar deployment to restore peace and law in the state.
“So far, so good, the objective has started yielding positive result. Apart from this also, in the Borno State, for example, as I told you last time, we had problems in the shores of the Lake Chad as well as in Southern Borno.
“I’m pleased to inform you that there was a very heavy military deployment into the southern Borno.
“And I hope such a deployment will also take place in northern Borno, with a view to clearing the ISWAP insurgents in the Lake Chad.
“So, this has also yielded positive results.
“And then on the relocation of the two local government areas that last time, I said were not occupied by human beings, we are also doing very well with the military to see how we can return back the population,’’ he added.
The governor dismissed the assertion that the repentant insurgents “were assured of any promissory notes before they surrendered”.
He, however, assured that those who surrendered willingly “would be treated differently from those insurgents captured by the Nigerian troops in the battle fields”.
“We don’t make, or have any promissory notes, to defectors, honestly speaking. But you have to also understand one very important thing; there is a difference between those that have been captured and those that have surrendered.
“People should understand these two situations. Go back and Google and see the international conventions, rules and regulation.
“There is a difference between those that have been captured and those that willingly surrendered. And I’m calling on all of you to give a very positive insight to this development.
“Because, there’s nowhere in the whole world such kind of war ended with kinetic measures. There must be some certain political solutions.
“And if there is peace in North-east and Borno, there will be peace in Northern Nigeria. If there is peace in Northern Nigeria, there will be peace in southern Nigeria.
“The way we are going, with the support of the federal government with good management, Boko Haram will be over very soon.’’
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