Regardless of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army’s incessant assurances to Nigerians and the international community that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated”, a senator in Borno, Baba Kaka Garbai, has stated otherwise.
Mr Garbai, a senator representing Borno Central in the National Assembly and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), maintained that the ferocious death sect still control about 50 percent of the troubled State.
Speaking to pressmen on Saturday, February 6, during a condolence visit to Dalori village – where 65 persons were reportedly killed recently – he averred that Boko Haram and the Nigerian military share equal control of Borno state.
He said: “I feel highly demoralized, 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.
“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.”
“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.”
Mr Garbai’s assertion has been disputed by the military and Senate Leader Mohammed Ndume, who on Sunday, February 7, said that a lot has been achieved by the military in retrieving captured Borno communities from the insurgents.