BOKO HARAM ESCAPEES OPERATE AS BANDITS IN NORTH-WEST, KIDNAPPERS IN SOUTH-WEST - GOVERNORS FORUM
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has said that Boko Haram Insurgents who fled military onslaught in the North-East are responsible for banditry attacks and kidnappings in the North-West and South-West regions respectively.
The NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, stated this, on Sunday, December 6, while speaking on the recent massacre of at least 78 farmers in Zabarmari, Borno State, by the Boko Haram fighters.
Recall that after the gruesome murder of the 43 rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram, some concerned persons opined that President Muhammadu Buhari declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the North-East.
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But speaking on Sunday, Fayemi said the insecurity in the country is not limited to Borno State or the North-East as there is a nexus between terrorists’ activities in the North-East and the banditry in the North-West as well as the kidnapping in the Southern part of the country.
He said, “If a state of emergency were to be declared, I have no opinion on that, we haven’t discussed state of emergency as far as the Governors’ Forum is concerned. And that is not something that our colleagues who are at the receiving end of the insurgency has proposed to us. Governor (Babagana) Zulum or our North-East colleagues have not said anything about state of emergency.
“Insurgency is not limited to Borno State. We will be making a mistake if we do not draw a correlation between what is going on in Borno State and what is happening in other parts of the country – banditry, kidnapping, militancy, they are inextricably intertwined. Some of the insurgents that escaped from the Boko Haram territory are the ones prosecuting the banditry in the North-West, some of them are involved in the kidnapping in the South-West.
“ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) insurgents coming down from Sudan, from Niger (Republic) are involved in what is going on. How many states are you going to declare a state of emergency on then? So, we must take a holistic view on this.”
The Governor said that State Governments should be given more power to handle the security of their domains, adding that the Federal Government and National Assembly must be ready to do anything to protect Nigerians.