From Paul Orude, Bauchi
The Governors of North Eastern States in Nigeria have appealed to the Federal Government to seek support from mercenaries to the war against Boko Haram insurgency
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 4th meeting of the North-East Governors Forum held in Bauchi from Wednesday.
He stressed that the country was fighting a war it cannot win alone, as the military might is not enough to fight the terrorists to submission.
“Federal government has to look into the possibility of involving mercenaries with a view to ending this insurgency because it seems that the commitment is not there,” Zullum said.
“Therefore , for us to end this insurgency, we must bring in external support to ensure that mercenaries are hired to end this insurgency,, on our part, in addition to the logistic and financial support we are rendering to the armed forces in their fight against general insecurity in the sub-region, we should also look into the possibility of forming a security outfit within the ambit of constitutional precedent and operational feasibility as has been done in other parts of the country,” he said.
Zulum, who is Chairman of North-East Governors Forum (NEGF) lamented the devastating effects of acts of insurgency in Borno State which is the theatre of the war.
“It is regrettable that for seven weeks now the entire Borno State has been cut off from the national grid of electricity power supply due to the damage done to the mainline of supply to the area.”
He called for action by the government at all levels particularly the North-East subregion which is mostly affected by the terrorism acts.
Zulum urged the Federal and state governments to, convert all boarding schools in the North to Day schools in the face of incessant abductions of the students due to lack of adequate security in the schools as demonstrated in the Katsina, Niger and Zamfara mass abduction of students.
He said that the current escalation of deadly attacks by terrorists and the various causes of actions being pursued to fight insurgents has some limitations in terms of the expected impact, hence the need for a new set of a pragmatic and result-oriented initiative to be deployed to completely subdue the terrorists.
“The government should also seek for support from neighbouring countries such as the Republic of Chad, Cameroon and Niger with a view to providing a joint action, that will look into the possibility of ending this crisis,” he said.
The Governor advised the new Service Chiefs to device new strategies to counter the attacks of insurgency and forestall any future acts of terrorism in the North-East sub-region.
In his welcome address earlier, the host, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, stressed the need to stand up and fight the insurgency war with all vigour so that according to him.
“Tbe insurgents when defeated will not be able to regroup again. Then peace will return to the subregion, ” he said.
“Our fight against insurgency must be total because by the time Maiduguri is subdued, then we are not safe here too. Security infrastructure must be put in place to be able to fight this war considering the sophistication of the terrorists.
“We will not just sit down and watch when terrorists will overrun us, we must stand up to fight them, chase them away and ensure that our areas are well secured. We must do everything possible to protect our people from the terrorists.
“If we must be honest, the public opinion at the moment is that we have failed, that many of our people have resorted to self-help in order to get away from this despondency. We must accept the fact that the over-centralization of the security arrangement is obsolete”