Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, yesterday countered the senator representing Borno Central District in the National Assembly, Kaka Bashir Garbai, saying that none of the local government areas in the state was being occupied by Boko Haram insurgents.
The senator was widely reported yesterday as telling reporters at the weekend that three LGAs of Abadam, Mobbar and Kala Balge were fully under the control of Boko Haram, puncturing claims by the Nigerian military and President Muhammadu Buhari that no Nigerian territory was under the control of the insurgents.
Senator Garbai, who visited Dalori, Alomari and other villages surrounding Maiduguri, which were recently attacked by insurgents, said that “The military are not doing their best to end the war against terrorists, as only Maiduguri, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar council areas were safe and free of insurgents, while 21 of the council areas are partially controlled by terrorists with other three fully still under Boko Haram caliphate”.
Reacting to the comment, Shettima said the military and other security operatives on the platform of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, had been doing their best in the last six months as the terrorists’ capacity had been heavily degraded leaving only pockets of them remaining in the Sambisa Forest.
Governor Shettima, who just returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia where he led some other northern governors for a meeting with officials of Islamic Development Bank and Saudi authorities on rebuilding the north, particularly north east, said, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, all the 27 local government areas had been liberated by the military.
He said: “As Chief Security Officer of Borno State, I am telling you authoritatively that our military deserves commendation, because all my local government areas have been liberated. Only few insurgents that remain in the Sambisa Forest desperate to launch some pockets of attacks are what we are now witnessing as a result of the bombardment that is going on in their hideouts.
“Maybe, the statement Senator Garbai gave to the media was done out of his emotions when he visited the affected areas or he was misquoted. I have been trying to get contact with the Senator on this unfortunate statement”.
The governor later drove straight to Dalori and other surrounding villages that were destroyed by insurgents last week where he condoled with the victims and prayed for quick recovery of the injured.
He also told people of the affected communities that government had already liaised with the military to provide them with adequate security and urged them not to flee as his administration would spend N100 million to rebuild their destroyed houses.
Subsequently, he announced the establishment of a committee, headed by his deputy, Usman Durkwa, to ensure that all the houses destroyed by the insurgents were rebuilt promptly.
Governor Shettima also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment towards ending the deadly activities of Boko Haram and other terror act in the country.