Boko Haram attacks: Zulum rejects military’s plan to relocate two communities

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, says his government is not in support of the plan to relocate Minok and Jakana communities in Kaga local government area of the state.

The governor said this on Tuesday when he visited the two communities that came under Boko Haram attacks during the weekend.

Zulum said he had been informed that the military was planning to move inhabitants of the communities to internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri, the state capital.

This move, the governor said, would compound the humanitarian crisis in the state.

“I call on the chief of army staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Burutai, to refrain from the action,” he said.

“In as much as possible, we need to commend the federal government’s effort in the counter insurgency operation, but we are not in support of displacing these communities.

“We are fully behind the military and police with a view to condone and search exercise in the communities to arrest and prosecute all those involved in nefarious activities.

“But we do not want the communities to be displaced. The federal and state government, the National and State Emergency Management Agencies (NEMA and SEMA), humanitarian and development partners should be notified.

“The police, Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and other security agencies should also be notified so that we can make adequate arrangements.

“I am sure that no information had been passed to the police, the Department of State Security Service (DSS), as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with respect to the planned evacuation of Jakana and other communities to Maiduguri.”

The governor said the Maiduguri-Damaturu road has not been closed since 2011, but displacing the communities along this road means that commuters plying the road are not safe.

“We are pleading with the federal government to ensure protection of the  the communities on this highway. We appeal to them to ensure protection of life and property. People should freely move around while supporting their desire to punish all those culpable,” he said.

The governor also warned the communities against collaboration with the insurgents and urged them to support the military and security agencies.

Zulum was in the news on Monday for shouting at soldiers who were allegedly extorting motorists at a checkpoint in the state.



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