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Borno Gov. casts doubt on military capacity against insurgents, suggest mercenaries recruitment

By Idowu Abdullahi,

The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to consider recruiting mercenaries to fight insurgents across the country as part of strategies to be adopted toward winning the war against insurgency and all other forms of terrorism.

Aside from hiring mercenaries, the governor also urged the apex government to explore its bilateral option by seeking help from neighboring countries in the fight against terrorists and terrorism in the country.

Zulum noted that the country’s need for mercenaries in dueling with the insurgents had become imperative after available evidence showed that the terrorists are ahead in terms of planning and execution of their act of terrorism in Nigeria.

“Violence been perpetrated by the insurgents seems to be on the increase both in scope and viciousness and it has become a matter of tactical necessity for the new service chiefs to devise new strategies to counter the current attacks and forestall any future attacks.

“Undoubtedly, the commitment of our military to the war against insurgency is unquestionable and the determination to succeed is undeniable.

“However the current escalation of deadly attacks by the terrorists and the various causes of actions being pursued seems to have some limitations in terms of the expected impact. Hence, the need for a new set of a pragmatic approach to completely subdue the terrorist and ultimately end the insurgency,” Zulum said while speaking at the North East Governors’ Forum held in Bauchi, on Wednesday.

He added that though the Nigeria Military was doing their best in the fight against insurgency in the country, it was time for the country to explore other options to augment the gains already recorded.

“Again, I want to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to seek support from our neighbors, especially the Republic of Chad and Niger with a view to providing a joint action that will look into the possibility of ending this crisis.

“Furthermore, Federal Government has to look into the possibility of employing mercenaries with a view to ending this insurgency.

“For us to end this insurgency, we must be committed enough. We must bring in external support; ensure mercenaries are hired to end this insurgency,” the governor said.

Zulum, who is also the Chairman of the North East Governors’ Forum urged the newly appointed service chiefs to devise new strategies and initiatives in tackling insecurity in the country.

He also faulted the concept of deradicalisation of Boko Haram terrorists known as Safe Corridor adopted to absorb repentant terrorists and reorientate and reunite them with the public.

The governor maintained that those behind absorb in the programme often rejoin the terror group after they have allegedly spied on their host communities.

“Your Excellencies, another aspect of the war against the insurgency that needs to be urgently reviewed or modified, is the issue of deradicalisation of Boko Haram terrorists, who have been captured or have willingly surrendered themselves to the authorities.

“It has been confirmed that the concept of de-radicalization or Safe Corridor is not working as expected. Quite often, those who have passed through the Safe Corridor Initiative, or have been de-radicalized, usually go back and rejoin the terror group after carefully studying the various security arrangements in their host communities, during the reintegration process.

“In addition, the host communities where the reintegration process is going on usually resent the presence of Boko Haram terrorists, even if they have been de-radicalized, because of the despicable and atrocious activities they have committed in the past. So the idea of deradicalisation, as currently being implemented, needs to be reviewed because the main goals and the underlying objectives behind the initiative are not being achieved.

“The best option is to immediately prosecute the terrorists, in accordance with the Terrorism Act. However, those people who, ab initio, were forcefully recruited but have been rescued or have escaped from the group, should be the ones to be subjected to the deradicalisation process,” he said.

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