Nigerians should be told that Borno State is equally shared between the terrorist sect, Boko Haram and the Nigerian military, Baba Kaka Garbai, the senator representing Borno Central in the upper chamber of the National Assembly has insisted.
Garbai who spoke to journalists on Saturday evening during a condolence visit to Dalori village where 65 persons were reported killed last week by the insurgents said, the truth must be told that both Boko Haram and the Nigerian nation have full control of three separate local governments in troubled Borno State and have level of dominance in 21 other local governments.
Garbai, who went to Dalori with financial and material assistance to the people of the village, said: “I feel highly demoralised, devastated in the sense that this is the village we came during the election and they were going about their normal business. The activities that were ongoing were like confidence building.
“They actually got the signal a few days before the attack that the insurgents were likely to attack them, they reported to the constituted authorities but nothing was done.
I will like to appeal to the military to intensify their effort in ensuring they beef up security around the villages and communities that share borders with Maiduguri metropolis. It is very important and more so that this place is porous, there could be attack from any direction.”
On the conception that the insurgents have largely been overpowered by the military, he said: “It is a wrong assumption that most of the local governments in Borno are recaptured from the Boko Haram. In reality this is not true in the sense that apart from Maiduguri Metropolis, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar, these are the three local governments that are under the occupation of the Nigerian government where the military and police are maintaining law and order.
“Mobbar, Abadam and Kala Balge are 100 per cent occupied by the insurgents. There are some local governments that are partially occupied by the insurgents especially as the local government secretariats have been liberated but their hither-lands are still controlled by the insurgents.”
Garbai gave an instance of Konduga which was liberated but still has many communities in the local government area under the insurgents.
He also said “though Gwoza town has been liberated there still remain six wards in Gwoza local government area still occupied by the insurgents.”
He said: “From my count, only three local governments are fully liberated, 21 local governments partially occupied by insurgents, that is there is still some level of Boko Haram occupation side by side the military or any other constituted authority. The local government fully occupied by Boko Haram are Abadam, Mobbar and Kala Balge.”
He advised that: “We should not live under the illusion that Boko Haram are decimated or weaken, these are not reality and neither a true reflection of the reality. The reality is that most of the local government in Borno is partially occupied by Boko Haram.”
On the proposed reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation in the troubled areas, Garbai said it was inadvisable at least for now.
He said: “If the people are moved back to their homelands you are making them vulnerable to attack. Unless you provide maximum security and return of law and order in these areas, relocating these people would be endangering their lives.”
However, the Senate Leader, Mohammed Ndume, representing Borno South in the Senate believed that much has been achieved by the military in retrieving captured Borno communities from the insurgents.
He also said it was not out of place to begin the reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation of the destroyed communities.
He told journalists in Maiduguri on Sunday that: “I still have confidence in our military, I still want to believe that our military are on top of the situation. What is happening these days is the issue of intermittent suicide bombing and desperate attacks by the insurgents because their supply routes have been cut off and they attack in other to get supplies. They have been carting away foodstuffs of attacked communities.”
He said that the reconstruction and relocation should still continue in spite of recent attacks. He however admitted that if not immediately, at least the preparation should not be set aside.
The Senate Leader while arguing that the insurgency is winding out, said the recent setbacks are not limited to Nigeria alone, insisting that United States and recently France have come under isolated terrorist attacks.
He noted that the people of Borno displaced by insurgency are willing to go back to their homelands. He particularly mentioned that the people of Gwoza, his homelands are ready to return home, insisting that arrangements have already been concluded for this.