Borno state Governor, Babagana Zulum, has raised alarm over how equipped fighters of Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) are while also rating them better armed than those of Boko Haram.
The governor made this disclosure on Wednesday after receiving members of the senate committee on army led by Ali Ndume, in Maiduguri, the Borno capital.
Despite commending the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and security agencies for major gains recorded in Borno, Zulum said he was deeply worried about the increasing presence of ISWAP in parts of the state, especially in southern Borno.
“Borno state has started witnessing the gradual return of peace to the state. This will not be possible without the support of the federal government,” he said.
“The service chiefs are giving us the desired cooperation. Indeed, the current theatre commander and the GOCs have been giving their cooperation.
“Honestly speaking, we have to do something about the operations of ISWAP in Borno state. If nothing is done to check them and chase them out, it may be bad not only for people of the north-east, but the entire nation at large.
“ISWAP’s fighters are better armed, better equipped, more intelligent and more sophisticated than Boko Haram and they grow spontaneously. Hence, the need to pursue the ISWAP now.”
The governor also said stability, especially in the area of agriculture, has been recorded as a result of the recent surrender of insurgents to troops.
According to him, since the surrender of the insurgents, increased access to farms has grown by 700%.
He added that he supports the continued combination of military warfare and political approach towards disarmament, deradicalisation and safe reintegration.
In his remarks, Ndume said the visit to Borno was to commend Zulum for the support he has been rendering to the army towards restoring peace.
“We are here on oversight, and to thank your excellency for the support that you have been giving to the army, which they themselves have acknowledged,” Ndume said.