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‘Hire mercenaries to wipe out Boko Haram’ — Zulum makes six recommendations to Buhari

‘Hire mercenaries to wipe out Boko Haram’ — Zulum makes six recommendations to Buhari
November 30
17:22 2020

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to recruit mercenaries in getting rid of Boko Haram insurgents.

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Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had procured the services of mercenaries to assist the Nigerian army in the war against the insurgents.

But Buhari, who had described the use of mercenaries to fight Boko Haram as “shameful” during the 2015 electioneering, had later terminated the contract with them.

Buhari had said such assistance represented the depth of weakness of the Nigerian army.

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Two years ago, Eeben Barlow, chairman of the Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection International (STTEP), a South African mercenary company, had said Buhari rejected intelligence warnings about operations of Boko Haram in Borno.

He also said Nigerian soldiers have been reaching out for help since his company’s services were terminated.

But when a federal government delegation visited Borno on Monday, over the killing of at least 45 farmers, Zulum listed hiring of mercenaries among his recommendations to the president over the frequent attacks in the state.

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Among those in the federal government delegation were Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president; Babagana Monguno, national security adviser; and some ministers.

Other recommendations by the governor include provision of armed resistant armoured personnel carriers, rehabilitation of roads and support for displaced persons.

“One of our recommendations as possible solutions to end the insurgency is the immediate recruitment of our youths into military and paramilitary services to complement the efforts of the Nigerian forces,” he said.

“Our second recommendation is to engage the services of our immediate neighbours, especially the government of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic, in clearing the remnants of Boko Haram hiding in the shores of the Lake Chad.

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“Our third recommendation is for him to engage the services of the mercenaries to clear the entire Sambisa forest.

“Our fourth recommendation is for him to provide the police and the military, with armed resistant armoured personnel carriers and other related equipment.

“We are also soliciting the support of the federal government to support the Borno state repatriation of out displaced persons currently residing in Cameroon and Niger Republic.”

Zulum added that the federal ministry of works had not constructed roads in the last 25 years “in Borno State and most parts of the North-east”.

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He said if the federal government can fix the bad roads in Borno and the north-east, “the insurgency would be reduced by 60 percent”.

Lawan sympathised with the state government over the killings, saying the Buhari administration is committed to ending insurgency.

He said “no efforts will be spared”, adding that the government will do “anything and everything until we take the fight against insurgency to their enclaves”.

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