Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has debunked claims about an alleged appointment of a governor over some parts of Borno State by Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province, reaffirming that he is fully in charge of the state.
Zulum said this on Monday while briefing State House Correspondents on the purpose of his meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He debunked the claim, dubbing it as unauthenticated, and added that his administration is not investigating the issue.
Earlier, Boko Haram and ISWAP had claimed that it appointed one Abba Kaka as the governor under a new leadership restructuring by an interim council.
However, Zulum said “We are yet to validate the authenticity of this report that ISWAP appointed governor in Borno state.
“So, as the governor of the state, I think it’s not right for me to speak on something that I don’t have full knowledge of.”
Quizzed if he would investigate, he said he would not, calling it a fake report on social media.
He said, “Not investigating. This report is not authenticated. You have just seen somebody written something in one of the…I think it’s on Facebook or something like that.
You’re a journalist and I think we have to prove reports beyond reasonable doubts, before commenting on such reports.
As far as I’m concerned. I’m the governor of Borno State and I don’t have any information that we have another government in a Nigerian state. Yes. And I’m very much in charge.”
Zulum disclosed that he was visiting the presidential villa to seek the president’s assistance to repatriate the over 200,000 Borno indigenes who fled insurgency to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
He said, the security situation in the state has improved and it was high time the refugees returned home.
“Now that we have started witnessing a gradual return of peace to Borno State, these people that are taking refuge in our neighboring countries are willing to return home.
Therefore, the Borno State government picked a date of the 27th of November 2021 for the commencement of the repatriation process, especially to local government areas of Abadam and Guzamala.
“So, I came to brief Mr. President, to solicit his support, with the view to ensuring hitch-free repatriation exercise,” he said.
When asked about how much it would cost to implement the repatriation, the governor said the government has the capacity to make it happen.
He said, “I can’t quantify, but I think the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs with its agencies; NEMA, the Refugee Commission and indeed the Northeast Development Commission, lastly the Borno State government, have the capacity to shoulder the responsibility of the repatriation exercise.”
About the Internally Displaced Persons still in camps in the state, Governor Zulum said his government is also working on returning them to their communities.
“On the issue of internally displaced persons, yes the IDP camps are not palatable, that is why the government of Borno state and indeed the federal government, are exploiting the potentials of resettling them back to their communities or relocating them to areas that are safe,” he affirmed.