Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has raised the alarm that Boko Haram is recruiting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from their camps to sustain terrorists’ activities in the state.
According to him, the recruitment was fuelled by the inability of 1.76 million IDPs to return to communities for farming.
Zulum spoke on in the Hausa Service of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) monitored in Maiduguri at the weekend.
“Truly, the Boko Haram terrorists are working on people to join them in the ongoing war,” he said, adding that the development should be nipped in the bud before the country loses more lives.
“If IDPs living in camps and host communities are not given the opportunity to return to their communities to resume farming, they may be forced to join Boko Haram,” he warned.
According to him, the terrorists are hibernating in Sambisa Forest, Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Council and the shores of Lake Chad.
On how to end the war, he said: “Until the military and other security operatives take the fight to three main terrorists hideouts, the Boko Haram war may not end.”
He added that his administration had returned over 5,000 IDPs to Mafa and Kukawa councils.
MEANWHILE, governments of Borno and Diffa region of Niger Republic have strategised to secure border communities in the Lake Chad region against terrorists.
The decade-long terrorism had displaced over 8.56 million people who now take refuge in IDPs’ camps of border communities of the state and Diffa.
While unfolding the strategies in Maiduguri at the weekend, the Diffa Regional Governor, Isa Liman, disclosed: “We’ll continue to collaborate in with our strategies to secure the border area communities to defeat our enemies, the Boko Haram terrorists.”
Even as the visit to Maiduguri was diplomatic and fraternal, according to him, Governor Zulum was encouraged to continue with what he had been doing to secure people’s lives in border communities.
“You are to continue with what you are doing to secure border communities irrespective of their nationalities,” Liman said.
Responding, Zulum said Borno and the Nigerien region shared the same culture, religion and others.
He assured Liman that the relationship would be sustained until all the IDPs and refugees were returned to their communities.