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Zulum tells Buhari to hire mercenaries like Jonathan over Boko Haram

Governor Zulum, right with FG delegation, led by Ahmad Lawan

Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum has urged President Buhari to emulate predecessor Goodluck Jonathan by hiring mercenaries to fight the Boko Haram terrorists.

Jonathan had cleared many parts of the state of the terrorists for the 2015 election, using mercenaries from South Africa.

But the Buhari administration sent them away, reposing confidence in the Nigerian military.

More than five years after, in a seeming lack of confidence in the military, Borno governor has asked the government to bring in the hired guns, once again.

Zulum’s recommendation also reinforced the belief among Nigerians that claims by the Buhari administration about Boko Haram being technically defeated were lies.

And the lies are collapsing daily, the latest being the daring killing by terrorists of between 43 and 110 villagers of Zabarmari in Jere LGA of Borno at the weekend.

Governor Zulum demanded that the mercenaries be brought back to clear the entire Sambisa forest, where the terrorists are hiding.

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Zulum made the suggestion when he met a delegation of the Federal Government, led by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The delegation came to pay a sympathy visit, on behalf of President Buhari, following the Zabarmari massacre.

Zulum gave five other key recommendations on how to win the war against Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), terrorising the state.

Among the suggestions is the immediate recruitment of youths into the military to boost its strength.

Second, he asked the Buhari government to enlist the help of neighbouring Niger Republic, Chad, and Cameroon to clear the remnants of the insurgents in the Lake Chad region and the Mandara mountains.

Third, Zulum asked for the provision of mine resistance armoured personnel carriers and other equipment for the military, police, and other security agencies involved in the insurgency fight.

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Fourth, he asked the government to support the repatriation of internally displaced people in Cameroon and Niger Republic, as well as increase the livelihood support for the people of Borno State.

Fifth, he called on President Buhari to increase federal support for residents of Borno State.

The governor said though the insurgency had dragged on for 11 years, it was persistent because efforts have not been well coordinated.

He described Saturday’s killings and many others as avoidable occurrences if adequate support and infrastructure had been provided for the Northeast and military.

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who led the delegation, condoled with the government and people of the state over the ugly incident.

He informed the governor that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked him to assure the people of Borno of his commitment to fighting insurgency.

The Senate President added that the armed forces have been given marching orders to go and fight the insurgents wherever they are hiding.

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Members of the delegation include the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Ministers of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Pantami and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Baba Shehuri.

Other members are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Senior Special Assistant(Media and Publicity) to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu.

The delegation was received on arrival at the Airport by the Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Umar Gadafu.


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