Security

‘ISWAP not in control of Borno; I’m still in charge’ – Governor Zulum Insists

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Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has dismissed reports that the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) is now in charge of the state.

ISWAP was alleged to have appointed one Abba Kaka as the governor of Borno, under a newly-restructured leadership by an interim council.

But speaking with state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Monday, Zulum dismissed the claim, describing it as unfounded.

“We are yet to validate the authenticity of this report that ISWAP has appointed a governor in Borno state,” he said.

“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. This report is not authenticated. You have just seen somebody writing 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 a reasonable doubt, 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 the state. Yes. And I’m very much in charge.”

On the repatriation of the displaced persons, Zulum said his administration will commence the exercise on November 27.

“I came to brief the president on the plight of Nigerians that are living in the Republic of Chad, Cameroun and Niger, especially the indigenes of Borno State, numbering over 200,000,” he said.

“Now that we have started witnessing a gradual return of peace to Borno, these people of Borno taking refuge in neighbouring countries are willing to return home.

“Therefore, Borno state government has fixed a date of Nov. 27, 2021 for the commencement of their repatriation process, especially to two LGAs of Abadam and Guzamala.

“So, I came to solicit for the support of the President with a view to ensuring a hitch-free repatriation exercise.”

He said modalities are already being put in place to ensure the safety of the returnees.

“The ministry of humanitarian affairs with its agencies; National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Refugee Commission, as well as the North-East Development Commission and the Borno state government have the capacity to shoulder the responsibility for the exercise,” he said.

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