A senator representing Borno Central, Baba Garbai has said that the federal government is lying when it says it has “degraded” Boko Haram that that the terrorists are restricted to only Sambisa Forest. He maintained that the deadly Islamist terrorist group controls 50 percent of the state.
Garbai spoke with journalists on Saturday, February 6, 2016 when he paid a condolence visit to Dalori, a village near Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. He said that the military was lying about the state of the war against Boko Haram and said that Boko Haram was the ruling government in the areas of Borno that they hold as their territory.
The senator revealed that the military controls three local government areas in Borno and Boko Haram controls three local government areas. The other 21 local government areas are jointly controlled by the military and the terrorist group which has been named the most deadly in the world.
Dalori was attacked by the terrorists on Saturday, January 30 in a horrific rampage that left 101 people dead including babies who were burnt to death.
The Senator said, “I feel highly demoralised, devastated in the sense that this is the village we came during the election and they were going about their normal business. The activities that were ongoing was like confidence building.
“They actually got the signal a few days before the attack that the insurgents were likely to attack them, they reported to the constituted authorities but nothing was done.
“I will like to appeal to the military to intensify their effort in ensuring they beef up security around the villages and communities that share borders with Maiduguri metropolis. It is very important and more so that this place is porous, there could be attack from any direction.”
He maintained it was a lie that the military had won the war against Boko Haram or even overpowered them as is being presented to in the media by President Muhammadu Buhari. “It is a wrong assumption that most of the local governments in Borno are recaptured from the Boko Haram. In reality this is not true in the sense that apart from Maiduguri Metropolis, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar, these are the three local government that are under the occupation of the Nigerian government where the military and police are maintaining law and order.
“Mobbar, Abadam and Kala Balge are 100 percent occupied by the insurgents. There are some local governments that are partially occupied by the insurgents especially as the local government secretariats have been liberated but their hither-lands are still controlled by the insurgents.”
Garbai revealed that Konduga which was said that have been “liberated” from the terrorists still has many communities in the local government area under the insurgents. He also said that “though Gwoza town has been liberated there still remain six wards in Gwoza local government area still occupied by the insurgents.”
“From my count, only three local government are fully liberated, 21 local governments partially occupied by insurgents, that is there is still some level of Boko Haram occupation side by side the military or any other constituted authority. The local government fully occupied by Boko Haram are Abadam, Mobbar and Kala Balge.
“We should not live under the illusion that Boko Haram are decimated or weaken, these are not reality and neither a true reflection of the reality. The reality is that most of the local government in Borno is partially occupied by Boko Haram.”
He also condemned moves to force internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their homes. He maintained that such a move was putting people at risk as they were vulnerable to attack.
He said: “If the people are moved back to their homelands you are making them vulnerable to attack. Unless you provide maximum security and return of law and order in these areas, relocating these people would be endangering their lives.”