Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has asked the Federal Government to ensure that Chadian soldiers are invited to join the Nigeria Army in their fight against insurgency if any meaningful success is to be recorded on the battleground.
Governor Zulum made the request when the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, visited him in Maiduguri, to demonstrate solidarity and commiserate with him on the recent attacks on his convoy.
The NGF’s delegation, which included Governor of Sokoto State and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Simon Bako Lalong, assisted the government and people of Borno State with N100million.
Zulum, who said no single army anywhere in the world has ever succeeded in quelling insurgency, requested that the government looked into ways of complementing the efforts of the Nigeria Army with the Chadian soldiers.
He stressed in a statement issued on Wednesday by NGF spokesman, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, that the request was not to undermine the Nigerian soldiers but to help them in finishing the job within a realistic deadline.
Governor Zulum, who spoke in a somber mood, explained that he would not be deterred from pursuing his goals of emancipating his people because, according to him, “security and development are two sides of the same coin”, arguing that Borno “people had been forced to be unproductive and depend on aid.”
The governor, who promised to be careful in the way he traversed his state, vowed that that did not mean that he would be forced to chicken out of pursuing his goals of returning his people to their ancestral homes.
While addressing the embattled governor earlier, Dr Fayemi admonished Prof Zulum to exercise caution in his activities in the state not minding the frequent response that his life was in the hands of Allah and that death will only come when Allah wills.
He stressed that Nigeria owes the Borno people a duty to end this insurgency and nip it in the bud.
The Ekiti State governor described how Gov Zulum attempted to dissuade them from visiting his state but the Chairman of the NGF insisted that it is not just a duty but the most realistic thing to do because “an attack against one is an attack against all”.
The NGF Chairman announced a donation of one hundred million Naira to the Government and people of Borno State from the forum before handing the cheque over to the Borno Governor.