The Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has rubbished reports that terrorists of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram have appointed a new governor in the state.
He described as unfounded, the reports making round that the terrorists have taken over some areas of Borno, installed a governor, and started collecting taxes from the communities in the area.
Zulum declared that he was fully in charge of the state and news about a parallel government formed by the terrorists should be ignored.
The governor stated this while speaking to State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He however added that his government has no interest in investigating the issue which he blamed on social media.
“We are yet to validate the authenticity of this report that ISWAP appointed governor in Borno state. So, as the governor of the state, I think it’s not right for me to speak on something that I don’t have full knowledge of,” he said.
Asked by newsmen if he would investigate the report, he said “(I am) not investigating. This report is not authenticated. You have just seen somebody written something in one of the…I think it’s on Facebook or something like that. You’re a journalist and I think we have to prove reports beyond reasonable doubts, before commenting on such reports.
“As far as I’m concerned. I’m the governor of Borno State and I don’t have any information that we have another government Nigerian state. Yes. And I’m very much in charge.”
Speaking on why he visited the President, Zulum said that he was at the presidential villa to seek Buhari’s support in repatriating the over 200,000 Borno indigenes who fled insurgency to Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic as the security situation in the state has improved.
According to him, “Now that we have started witnessing gradual return of peace to Borno State, these people that are taking refuge in our neighbouring countries are willing to return home.
“Therefore, Borno State government picked a date of 27th of November 2021 for the commencement of the repatriation process, especially to local government areas of Abadam and Guzamala.
“So, I came to brief Mr. President, to solicit his support, with the view to ensuring hitch-free repatriation exercise.”
Meanwhile, the federal government of Nigeria has assured the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo socio-cultural organization that it will be allowed to monitor the trial of the re-arrested leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The FG in a statement on Monday through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami also assured that Kanu will get a free trial.
The government gave the assurances in response to the communique issued by Ohanaeze after the meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held on Saturday in Enugu and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia.