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Nigeria Governors' Forum

Boko Haram escapees work as bandits in NW, kidnappers in SW: NGF

The Nigeria Governors Forum, has said that insecurity all over Nigeria is largely due to Boko Haram escapees from North-Eastern Nigeria, who infiltrate other parts of the nation to operate as bandits and kidnappers.

This was disclosed by the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, on Sunday.

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Since the most recent Boko Haram attack in which 78 rice farmers were beheaded in Borno State by the insurgents, there has been an outcry by many Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari should declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the North-East.

However, while speaking on the issue on Sunday, Governor Fayemi said insecurity in Nigeria is not limited to Borno State or the North-East. Contrary to that opinion, Fayemi said that the terrorists’ activities in the North-East and the banditry in the North-West is heavily linked to the kidnapping in the Southern part of the country.

Consequently, Fayemi, while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme on Sunday evening, called for a holistic approach to tackling insecurity.

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Fayemi said, “If a state of emergency were to be declared, I have no opinion on that, we haven’t discussed state of emergency as far as the Governors’ Forum is concerned. And that is not something that our colleagues who are at the receiving end of the insurgency has proposed to us. Governor (Babagana) Zulum or our North-East colleagues have not said anything about state of emergency.”

He also added, “Insurgency is not limited to Borno State. We will be making a mistake if we do not draw a correlation between what is going on in Borno State and what is happening in other parts of the country – banditry, kidnapping, militancy, they are inextricably intertwined. Some of the insurgents that escaped from the Boko Haram territory are the ones prosecuting the banditry in the North-West, some of them are involved in the kidnapping in the South-West.

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“ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) insurgents coming down from Sudan, from Niger (Republic) are involved in what is going on. How many states are you going to declare state of emergency on then? So, we must take a holistic view on this.”

The NGF chairman also said that the state governments should be given more powers to handle the security of their domains, emphasizing that anything that will help Nigerians overcome the insecurity in the country, the Federal Government and the National Assembly must do.

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