Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, has pleaded with the federal government to seek the support of the Chadian army in the fight against insurgency.
According to Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, spokesman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Zulum spoke when he hosted some governors in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Wednesday.
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have attacked his convoy twice in the last five days.
The governor reportedly said despite the attacks, he would not be deterred from pursuing his goals.
“Zulum pleaded with the federal government to ensure that Chadian soldiers are invited to join the Nigeria Army in the fight against insurgency if any meaningful success is to be recorded on the battleground,” the statement read.
“Zulum rationalised that no single army anywhere in the world has ever succeeded in quelling insurgency and requested that the government looked into ways of complementing the efforts of the Nigeria Army with the Chadian soldiers, emphasising it is not to undermine the Nigerian soldiers but to help them in finishing the job within a realistic deadline.
“The situation in our State has become very dire because, everything calls for endurance, commitment and dedication if our people were to be drawn out of the woods.
“Chad Basin used to employ about 10 million people while the Sambisa Grazing Reserve and the Mandara Mountains used to employ about 3 million people but the insurgents have made these places inaccessible to the people.”
Kayode Fayemi, chairman of NGF who led the delegation, said “an attack against one is an attack against all” while expressing support for the Borno governor.
Fayemi also announced a donation of N100million to the state government.
“Dr Fayemi admonished Prof Zulum to exercise caution in his activities in the state, even though he narrated how the Borno Governor always responded by saying that his life was in the hands of Allah and that death will only come when Allah wills,” the statement read.
“The NGF Chairman announced a donation of one hundred million Naira to the Government and people of Borno State from the NGF before handing the cheque over to the Borno governor.”
About 1200 Chadian troops deployed in the Lake Chad area in the north-east alongside Nigerian troops withdrew from the area in January after the end of their mission.
Later in April, the Chadian troops launched an offensive against Boko Haram in the Goje-Chadian area of Sambisa forest, capturing arms store believed to be one of the largest owned by the insurgents.