Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State is confident that the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency will end within the duration of his tenure which expires in 2023.
The governor stated this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday where he appraised the president of progress regarding the surrendered insurgents.
He disclosed that the surrendered terrorists, numbering 30,000, are a combination of Boko Haram and ISWAP members.
According to him, dealing with the insurgents would not only require kinetic measures but political solutions as well. Although the Borno State governor declined to give details about the motivating factor behind the willing defections, he believes adequate intelligence is being garnered from the already surrendered insurgents.
The governor was also optimistic that with more cooperation from the Federal Government, the insurgency, which has lasted for many years, will end.
Zulum’s comments come a few days after one hundred and four members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and their families surrendered to troops of the Nigerian Army. According to the army, the former ISWAP fighters surrendered their weapons to troops of the 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa town of Borno State.
A breakdown of the figure shows that 22 of those received by the soldiers are men, 27 of them are women and the remaining 55 are children. The Director of Defence Media Operations at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, while confirming the development, said troops in the North East have continued to gain successes over the activities of ISWAP fighters in the region.
In a more recent briefing on Thursday, the Defence spokesman revealed that in the last three weeks, troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralized 120 Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province Terrorist (ISWAP) fighters within the theatre of operation in Borno State. He added that 50 other terrorists were arrested within the period under review, while the troops also captured 5 gun trucks, 50 assorted arms, and 200 rounds of different calibers of ammunition. Additionally, the troops rescued 25 abducted civilians.