Prof. Babagana Zulum, the Borno State Governor, has said there is no hope that the military can defeat Boko Haram.
The governor made this statement on Monday during his visit to Jakana where about 35 commuters were abducted by Boko Haram on Friday.
He said, “So, if the military cannot secure an area that is 20 kilometres away from the state capital, how can they give us the hope that they will defeat Boko Haram?”
The governor expressed his total disappointment over the inability of the Nigerian military and security agencies to secure 20 kilometres from the state capital on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway despite heavy investment in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
The governor also expressed anger over what he said had become routine attacks on travellers and villagers by Boko Haram, including the Friday abduction of about 35 commuters.
The governor said, “I have had occasions to defend the Nigerian military in order to boost the morale of commanders and their troops at the front lines because I know the true picture of things. However, I am really disappointed that despite all support from both the Federal Government and from us in Borno State, our military is failing to secure an area of 20 kilometres, which is the distance between Auno and Jakana. And incidentally, majority of Boko Haram’s attacks along this Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road keeps happening between Auno and Jakana.
The governor also berated the state’s Rapid Response Squad comprising policemen, vigilantes and local hunters, for lack of visibility along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road, which he said made it possible for Boko Haram to keep having a field day.
He said, “We drove from Maiduguri to here, Jakana. We did not see soldiers on the road, we did not see even our own Rapid Response Squad on this road and they were trained, employed, kitted and paid to protect all Nigerians within their areas of operation and these Nigerians include travellers plying this busy and important road.”
Zulum, however, assured residents along the road that he was going to hold a security meeting and come up with more measures to secure the highway.