The governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum, says the federal and state administrations are striving to put an end to the insurgency by 2023.
On Thursday, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential palace in Abuja, Zulum talked with state house correspondents.
The governor stated that his visit aimed to inform the president of the state’s accomplishments in combating insurgency and rehabilitating internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Over 30,000 rebels have surrendered their weapons and are being held by police, he said, adding that given the large surrender and other security operations, efforts are being made to ensure the insurgency ends “God willing” in 2023.
“As I’ve been saying before, the kinetic measures alone will never end the insurgency. The social and political dimension of this crisis is very important. So, we have decided to engage them through dialogue and mediation, with a view to ensuring that many of them should lay down their arms,” he said.
“So far, so good, the objective has started yielding positive result. Apart from this also, in 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 ISWAP insurgents in Lake Chad. So, this has also yielded positive results.
“Things are getting better in Borno state and this is the major reason I came to see Mr President. There are some issues that should not be discussed in the public. These issues are security issues.
“The most important thing is that the federal government under the leadership of President Buhari with the Borno state government and the military, we’re all working in close collaboration to ensure that those that are willing to surrender are given the opportunity to surrender.
“The way we are going, with the support of the federal government, with good management, Boko Haram will be over very soon.”
When asked if he believes insurgency will end in 2023, he said: “Insha Allah. You know what I mean by Insha Allah — God willing”.