By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
To put an end to the increasing strength of insurgents in some parts of Northern Nigeria, especially the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP), the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has advised the federal government to consider hiring mercenaries.
According to the governor, there is nothing wrong in seeking external support to defeat insurgency in Nigeria.
The governor gave the advice on Thursday at a virtual press briefing monitored by Persecondnews, while speaking on the state of internal security, relocation of IDPs and collaborations between the state and the federal government.
He said the military needed to restrategize on how to defeat ISWAP, adding that the group will wreak more havoc than Boko Haram did if allowed to grow.
Zulum further called for stronger solidarity among the security forces to “finish up the remaining insurgents in the North-East.”
He said: “The growing number of ISWAP in some parts of the state is a matter of great concern to everybody. They are In the shores of the Lake Chad and in Southern Borno.
“Luckily, I was told there was military deployment to southern Borno yesterday, to fight the insurgency. But I think this is an early warning system.
“We shouldn’t allow ISWAP to grow. ISWAP is more funded, sophisticated and educated, and we shall do everything possible to defeat ISWAP otherwise, what Boko Haram did will be child’s play.
“I have said it several times, that there is need for the government of Nigeria to rethink and look into the possibility of hiring mercenaries.
“There is nothing wrong with it; America, Britain, many other countries that are stronger than Nigeria used to seek support outside”
“The problem has been compounded, and it’s not easy for us to solve the security challenges that we are having now. There is need for us to seek support from external agencies to defeat this insurgency once and for all.
“Whether we like it or not, we have an existing gap that we need to fill and that gap cannot be filled without external support,” Zulum said.
On the recruitment process into Nigerian armed forces and police, the governor called for the need to sanitize the process.
“Our recruitment process has to be looked into. You can see in these recruitments, people collecting notes from governors, ministers and others.
“As long as we are not willing to sanitize our recruitment process or procedures to the armed forces, police and others, we shall never get it right,” he noted.
He listed some of the achievements recorded by his administration as the return of IDPs, reopening of major markets and roads, provision of functioning healthcare facilities and improved access to education.
Speaking on the return of the IDPs to their homes, Zulum said: “In Borno state, we are in a very difficult situation. If we allow the people to stay back in the camps without food, they will get support from Boko Haram and now go and join them.
“If we return them home, we have to be very careful for fear of attacks. That is why we are communicating very well with the Nigeria army to protect them.
“So far, all the areas that we have resettled, we have received over 90 percent success.”