By Yelmi Luka, Bauchi
A governor of one the 36 states in Nigeria has advocated invitation of foreign fighters to confront terrorists, bandits and other violent groups causing havoc in many parts of the country.
Babagana Zulum, a professor and governor of Borno state who doubles as Chairman of the Northeast Governors Forum made the suggestion to the federal government at the opening ceremony of the forum’s 4th meeting in Bauchi on Wednesday.
Zulum who assured of government’s determination to end security challenges in the region, called for synergy between Nigerian government and the neighbouring Chad and Niger republic.
“With the current escalation of deadly attacks by the terrorists, the various courses of actions seem to have some limitations in terms of the expected impact, hence the need for a new set of pragmatic and result oriented initiatives to completely subdue the terrorists and ultimately end the insurgency”, the Borno Governor noted.
He added that, “again, I want to use this opportunity to call on the federal government to seek for support from our neighbors, especially the Republic of Chad, Cameroun and Niger with a view to providing a joint action that will lead to the possibility of ending this crisis”.
“Furthermore, federal government has to look into the possibility of involving mercenaries with a view to ending the insurgency”, he pointed out.
Zulum, who said the Northeast Governors Forum has now become a rallying point noted that in their determined efforts they are have identified the challenges confronting the Northeast sub-region and the country as a whole as well as ways of addressing them.
“We have in our previous meetings, identify most of the daunting challenges facing the region individually and collectively and the possible actions to be taken through shared responsibility commonality of purpose in order to arrive at a desired result”, he further said.
Governor Zulum who said that the challenges ranges from deep seated and pervasive poverty, cattle rustling, Gender based violence, youth restiveness insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, among others, added that despite the huge and endless challenges, there are possibilities of surmounting them.
“The very fact that we have been able to identify most of the major challenges facing us is an indication that we are on the right tract to overcoming them”, he said.
The Borno Governor who said that the daunting security challenges which seem to be defying solution and has impacted negatively in the lives of Nigerians, hoped that with the appointment of the new service chiefs, a new set of strategic initiatives is expected to be deployed as the insurgency is now taking a new turn for the worst.
Zulum who lamented that violence still being perpetrated by the insurgence seems to be on the increase, called on the new service chiefs to device new offensive strategies in order to counter the current attack or forestall any future attacks.
“Because it seems the commitment is not there. For us to end the insurgency we have to be committed enough, we must to bring in external support, ensure mercenaries are hired to end this insurgency”, he maintained.
He said, “on our part, in addition to the logical and financial support we have been rendering to the armed forces in their fight against general insecurity in the sub region, we should also look into the possibility of forming a security outfit within the ambit of constitutional precedent and operational feasibility as has been done in other parts of the country”.
Zulum however, said that such arrangement has to be done in consultations with the Nigerian military and the Nigerian police forces.