Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, seemed to have lost faith in the Nigerian armed forces when he stated on Monday that one of the major recommendations to end the Boko Haram insurgency was for the President to engage the services of mercenaries to clear the entire Sambisa Forest.
Zulum stated this when a Federal Government delegation led by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, paid him a condolence visit over the Zabarmari killings of at least 43 rice farmers.
According to the Nation, Zulum recalled that the former Goodluck Jonathan administration contracted a private army from South Africa, which helped in the recovery of some territories taken over by the Boko Haram terrorists in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
He advised the government to take more serious measures to bring the crisis to an end.
The governor said, “One of our recommendations as possible solutions to end the insurgency is the immediate recruitment of our youths into military and paramilitary services to complement the efforts of the Nigerian forces.
“Our second recommendation is to engage the services of our immediate neighbours, especially the government of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic, in clearing the remnants of Boko Haram hiding in the shores of Lake Chad.
“Our third recommendation is for the President to engage the services of mercenaries to clear the entire Sambisa forest.
“Our fourth recommendation is for him to provide the police and the military, with armed resistant armoured personnel carriers and other related equipment.
“We are also soliciting the support of the Federal Government to support the Borno State repatriation of our displaced persons currently residing in Cameroon and the Niger Republic.”
The governor called for a more coordinated approach in the fight against the insurgent.
According to him, there is a need for increased federal support for traumatized residents of Borno.
To Zulum, many of the attacks would have been avoided “if adequate support and infrastructure had been provided for the Northeast and the military”.
Borno roads, he said, have not been rehabilitated by the Federal Government in the last 25 years.
“If the Federal Government can fix the bad roads in Borno and the North-East, the insurgency would be reduced by 60 per cent,” he said.