The Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, has refuted claims about an alleged appointment of a Governor over some parts of the state by Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), reiterating that he is completely in charge of the state.
Zulum made this known on Monday while briefing, State House Correspondents on the purpose of his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The Governor refuted the claim, calling it as unverified and said that his government is not investigating the matter.
Earlier, Boko Haram and ISWAP had claimed that it named one Abba Kaka as the Governor under a new leadership reshuffle by an interim council.
Zulum said, “We are yet to validate the authenticity of this report that ISWAP appointed Governor in Borno state.
“So, as the Governor of the state, I think it’s not right for me to speak on something that I don’t have full knowledge of.”
Questioned if he would investigate, he said he would not, calling it a false report on social media.
He said, “Not investigating. This report is not authenticated. You have just seen somebody written something in one of the…I think it’s on Facebook or something like that.
“You’re a journalist and I think we have to prove reports beyond reasonable doubts, before commenting on such reports.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m the Governor of Borno State and I don’t have any information that we have another government in a Nigerian state. Yes. And I’m very much in charge.”
Zulum said he was visiting the presidential villa to seek the president’s help to repatriate the over 200,000 Borno indigenes who fled insurgency to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
The Governor added that the security situation in the state has improved and it was high time the refugees returned home.
He said, “Now that we have started witnessing a gradual return of peace to Borno State, these people that are taking refuge in our neighbouring countries are willing to return home.
“Therefore, the Borno State Government picked a date of 27th of November 2021 for the commencement of the repatriation process, especially to Local Government Areas of Abadam and Guzamala.
“So, I came to brief Mr President, to solicit his support, with the view to ensuring hitch-free repatriation exercise.”
When questioned about how much it would cost to carry out the repatriation, Governor Zulum said the government has the capability to make it happen.
He said, “I can’t quantify, but I think the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs with its agencies; NEMA, the Refugee Commission and indeed the Northeast Development Commission, lastly the Borno State government, have the capacity to shoulder the responsibility of the repatriation exercise.”
Regarding the Internally Displaced Persons still in camps in the state, Governor Zulum disclosed that his administration is also working on returning them to their communities.
He said, “On the issue of Internally Displaced Persons, yes the IDP camps are not palatable, that is why the government of Borno state and indeed the Federal Government are exploiting the potentials of resettling them back to their communities or relocating them to areas that are safe.”
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