The North-East may soon fall under the control of Boko Haram unless the Federal Government adopts more stringent measures to deal with the insurgency, Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zanna Mustapha, has warned.
The deputy governor, who gave the warning on Monday in Government House, Yola, while speaking with reporters, said the governments of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states had raised the alarm over the future of their states as a result of rising occupation of more towns and villages by the insurgents.
“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, adding that “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”.
Mustapha was in Adamawa to visit thousands of Borno indigenes that were forced to flee their state and schools following Boko Haram attacks in Mubi.
He said the continuous occupation of more towns by Boko Haram had confirmed a statement in the past by Governor Kashim Shettima that the terrorists were better armed and motivated than Nigeria’s military.
According to the deputy governor, 13 local governments in Borno, three in Adamawa and others in Yobe were currently under the firm grip 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 northeastern states would only be a matter of days or weeks.
On the purported ceasefire agreement between the federal government and terrorists, Mr. Mustapha said: “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 added: “Let us appeal to the international community to come to our rescue otherwise in the next few months the three states may not exist”.
The deputy governor accused the insurgents of committing war crimes, saying they deployed anti-aircraft missiles in killing unarmed civilians against international rules and conventions.