The Senator representing Borno Central, Baba Kaka Garbai has said that the story that the insurgents have been degraded is nothing but a lie as the terror group still hold on strong to about 50 percent of troubled Borno State.
Garbai who spoke to journalists on Saturday evening during a condolence visit to Dalori village where 65 persons were reported killed last week by the insurgents said, the truth about the accomplishment of the military in Borno State was never truly spoken as the Boko Haram and the Nigerian nation are presently administering about the same territories in the state.
He said both the military and Boko Haram have full control of three separate local governments in troubled Borno State and share control in all the 21 other local governments.
Garbai, who was in Dalori with financial and material assistance to the people of the village, said: “I feel highly demoralized, devastated in the sense that this is the village we came during the election and they were going about their normal business. The activities that were ongoing was like confidence building.
“They actually got the signal a few days before the attack that the insurgents were likely to attack them, they reported to the constituted authorities but nothing was done.
I will like to appeal to the military to intensify their effort in ensuring they beef up security around the villages and communities that share borders with Maiduguri metropolis. It is very important and more so that this place is porous, there could be attack from any direction.”
He said it was a lie and misconception that the insurgents have largely be overpowered by the military, insisting that: “It is a wrong assumption that most of the local governments in Borno are recaptured from the Boko Haram. In reality this is not true in the sense that apart from Maiduguri Metropolis, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar, these are the three local government that are under the occupation of the Nigerian government where the military and police are maintaining law and order.
“Mobbar, Abadam and Kala Balge are 100 percent occupied by the insurgents. There are some local governments that are partially occupied by the insurgents especially as the local government secretariats have been liberated but their hither-lands are still controlled by the insurgents.”
Garbai gave an instance of Konduga which was liberated but still has many communities in the local government area under the insurgents.
He also said “though Gwoza town has been liberated there still remain six wards in Gwoza local government area still occupied by the insurgents.”
He said: “From my count, only three local government are fully liberated, 21 local governments partially occupied by insurgents, that is there is still some level of Boko Haram occupation side by side the military or any other constituted authority. The local government fully occupied by Boko Haram are Abadam, Mobbar and Kala Balge.’
He advised that: “We should not live under the illusion that Boko Haram are decimated or weaken, these are not reality and neither a true reflection of the reality. The reality is that most of the local government in Borno is partially occupied by Boko Haram.”
On the proposed reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation in the troubled areas, Garbai said it was inadvisable at least for now.
He said: “If the people are moved back to their homelands you are making them vulnerable to attack. Unless you provide maximum security and return of law and order in these areas, relocating these people would be endangering their lives.”
The Senate Leader, Mohammed Ndume, representing Borno South in the Senate however believed that much had been achieved by the military in retrieving captured Borno communities from the insurgents.
He also said it was not out of place to begin the reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation of the destroyed communities.
He told journalists in Maiduguri on Sunday that: “I still have confidence in our military, I still want to believe that our military are on top of the situation. What is happening these days is the issue of intermittent suicide bombing and desperate attacks by the insurgents because their supply routes have been cut off and they attack in other to get supplies. They have been carting away foodstuffs of attacked communities.”
He said that the reconstruction and relocation should still continue in spite of recent attacks. He however admitted that if not immediately, at least the preparation should not be set aside.
The Senate Leader while arguing that the insurgency is winding out, said the recent setbacks are not limited to Nigeria alone, insisting that United States and recently France have come under isolated terrorist attacks.
He noted that the people of Borno displaced by insurgency are willing to go back to their homelands. He particularly mentioned that the people of Gwoza, his homelands are ready to return home, insisting that arrangements have already been concluded for this.