North East Governors Forum have backed the call on the Federal Government to engage mercenaries in the fight against insurgents in the region.
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, stated this on Tuesday on behalf of his colleagues during a visit to Borno State to condole with the government and the people over the recent killing of farmers in the state.
According to him, the governors are in support of the recommendations made by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on how to win the war against Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents terrorising the region.
“Our dear brother, we are here to condole you over the killing of farmers by Boko Haram insurgents; we are indeed saddened and traumatised,” Governor Ishaku said.
He added: “I will key into your request, which you said that the Federal Government should invite some mercenaries to come and help us out of this problem because what you cannot do, what you cannot solve, I think we should invite who can solve it for us.”
The visit was in the wake of Boko Haram’s beheading of more than 43 farmers from Zabarmari community who were attacked on Saturday last week at Koshobe, a village in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno.
Apart from engaging mercenaries, Governor Zulum proposed the immediate recruitment of youths into the military to boost its strength, as well as the provision of mine resistance armoured personnel carriers and other equipment for the military, police, and other security agencies involved in the insurgency fight.
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum with counterparts from Taraba and Gombe States, Darius Ishaku and Inuwa Yahaya, at the Government House in Maiduguri on December 1, 2020.
During Tuesday’s visit, Governor Ishaku said, “We cannot continuously be mourning, there has to be a time to stop the mourning.
“All of us in the North East Governors Forum, we are pleading with the Federal Government to find a solution to the issue of Boko Haram.”
The Taraba governor also appealed to the Federal Government to look into the infrastructural deficit in the region and give it the needed attention.
According to him, it is embarrassing that the North East has an allocation of 0.35 per cent in the nation’s budget despite the problems of insurgency and others in the region.
“This is very unfair; I will once again call on the Federal Government that the issue of Mambila hydropower project should be looked at as matter of urgency.
“Without this power, we will not indeed have any meaningful development,” Governor Ishaku Stated.
Governor Zulum, in his response, extended his appreciation to the delegation for the visit.
Other governors on the visit included Ahmadu Fitiri of Adamawa, Bala Mohammed from Bauchi, and Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State.