The Speaker of Borno State House of Assembly, Rt Hon.Abdulkarim Lawan, has called on Federal Government and the military to rescue two local government Areas of the state from the control of Boko Haram insurgents.
The local government areas are Guzamala and Kukawa local government areas in the northern senatorial zone of the state.
The speaker represents Guzamala made this call at the week end while speaking with journalists on the recent state budget presentation by the Borno state governor Babagana Zulum.
Speaker Lawan said his constituency has not been benefiting from basic developmental programs of the state for many years, because all budgetary provisions for the state government projects executed transparently by governor Zulum don’t capture the needs of his deserted local government area and others like Kukawa due to lack of access and absence of security agencies.
“There is no peace in Guzamala local government, because, there is still no civilian or military presence there.
“I have consistently pleaded to the federal government to deploy security there so that the civil population can return there. This situation is not restricted to my local government alone. The situation applies in Kukawa local government as well.
“The state government had relocated the IDPs from Kukawa back to their community, but the place remains a no-go area for public officers like me or even the local government chairman and his councilors.
“In the case of Guzamala, there hasn’t been a single military presence in the entire geographical area of the local government,” he noted.
“This means the local government is still under the control of Boko Haram! The local government headquarters is deserted, no sane human being lives there, because the entire place is being controlled by Boko Haram.
The Speaker recalls that last year, the Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum inaugurated a committee on the reconstruction and resettlement of Guzamala people to safe locations – Gudumbali and Mailari villages within the LGA. But due to lack of security in the general area, the committee has not been able to access the places.
“What we are saying is that two local government headquarters – Gudumbali and Kukawa towns are no-go areas for civic activities because Boko Haram are in control, and this should worry the federal government,” he said.
“We the people from those local government areas are being affected by this set back because we have been left out for many years in the massive development projects that the state government has been deploying to other local government areas. These two council areas have received nearly zero developmental projects under the able leadership of His Excellency Professor Babagana Zulum in the last three and half years.
“Okay, for example, His Excellency said during the presentation of the 2023 budget that township roads construction would be carried out in local governments like Monguno and Nganzai among others, but places like Guzamala and Kukawa are not listed due to lack of security. This is affecting us adversely and it tells more on what the future would look like for us even when the insurgency finally comes to an end.
He said the federal government has to be worried by this negative development in two of the 774 local government areas that make up the country called Nigeria.
Guzamala is one of the local government headquarters of Borno that has been holding elections since 2015 in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps.
The Speaker said he is not even sure where his people would be voting in the coming 2023 election because the IDPs are “more scattered now” than ever before.