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‘Invade and Neutralise’: North East Governors’ Forum Urges Aggressive Action on Insurgents

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who also serves as the chairman of the North East Governors’ Forum, made an urgent appeal to the Nigerian military on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

Speaking in Maiduguri at the Forum’s 8th meeting, Zulum called for aggressive military action against insurgents who refuse to surrender, urging the military to invade their hideouts and “neutralize” them.

The call marks a shift toward a more combative stance on insurgency and comes amid increasing public scrutiny over the government’s efforts to restore stability in a region plagued by violence.

“Let me use this auspicious occasion to commend our brave military in the fight against the insurgency which remains unquestionable while their determination to succeed is very glaring,” said Governor Zulum during the meeting.

The governor acknowledged the military’s successes in quelling violence and restoring a degree of normalcy to many areas of the troubled sub-region.

“No doubt, they have considered and acted upon a wide range of options in the fight against terrorism, thereby recording tremendous progress which has clearly indicated that the end to the insurgency in the sub-region is fast approaching,” he added.

However, Zulum stressed that more needs to be done to root out the remaining insurgents who have not yet laid down their arms.

“I want to call on the Nigerian military to reach into the enclaves of the insurgents who are not ready to lay down their arms. We must pursue them to their hideouts in the remote nook and cranny and neutralize those who refuse to surrender,” he insisted.

Governor Zulum also highlighted the prolonged insurgency’s detrimental impact on social and economic activities in the sub-region.

“Until the terrorists are subdued, efforts to improve things will be slowed down,” he noted.

As the country continues to grapple with the complexities of counter-terrorism, the Forum’s call for decisive action adds another layer to the ongoing national conversation about how best to handle an insurgency that has deeply scarred the North East region.

Whether the military will heed the call and escalate its actions against the insurgents remains to be seen.

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