Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has said the decision of the military to establish “super camps”, is responsible for last week’s attack by Boko Haram on Gubio and Magumeri local government areas of the State.
Zulum stated this at the weekend while responding to questions from state house correspondents, after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, it had become easy for the militants to operate without resistance.
The governor said: “Well, the most important thing is that there is ongoing military strategy, according to the military authorities, what they called ‘Establishment of super camps’.
“That entails that all other smaller units in various villages and towns, shall be collapsed to form part of the super camps in some critical major local government areas.
“In our thinking as laymen not as military personnel, we thought this decision is not wise. We must ensure there is military presence in all the locations. We are very much aware of their numerical strength but nonetheless, their absence can create serious vacuum and that has informed the recent attacks.
“However, I heard that the military is now trying to re-establish the military formations in those areas and that they should not form part of the super camps.”
He further commended the efforts of the civilian JTF, adding that they lack required weapons because they are not constitutionally backed to do so.
Zulum said: “Honestly speaking, the civilian JTF are working hard, but the most important thing is that they don’t have the heavy weapons that they can use to conveniently. So the absence of the Nigerian military in a particular place will create a vacuum in such a way that the civilian JTF and hunters cannot perform effectively.
“I have told Mr. President and he has listened to our complaints. He has done a lot for the people of Borno State and it is our sincere hope that this time around, he will take necessary steps to forestall future occurrence.
“Most importantly, the presence of the Nigerian military in almost all the locations, especially in local government headquarters, need not be overemphasized.”
“On my own part as the governor, first of all I wish to call on the people of Borno State to be patient while we try to strengthen the civilian JTF, as well as supplement the efforts of the Nigerian military and the Nigerian police.
“By and large, we must also address the root causes of the Boko Haram insurgency which is not limited to endemic poverty, pervasive illiteracy, financial and economic hardship, unemployment, environmental degradation, drug abuse among others. We must ensure our youths are employed. We shall support the Nigerian police and the Nigerian military, most importantly the gallant civilian JTF and the hunters to ensure that the remnants of Boko Haram are eliminated.”