Boko Haram may be child’s play to ISWAP, Zulum warns FG
• Says $6.9b lost to terrorism in N’ East, 5000 classrooms, 900,000 homes destroyed
• Urges govt to deploy mercenaries as govt ‘uncovers 96 sponsors of terror’
Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently tame growing threat posed by the militant group, Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), or else the Boko Haram insurgency could become a child’s play.
He sounded the alarm at the State House in Abuja, yesterday, while briefing newsmen on rehabilitation plans by the Presidential Committee on Repatriation, Return and Resettlement of IDPs in the North East.
He said: “This is an early warning system. We shouldn’t allow ISWAP to grow. ISWAP is more sophisticated, more funded and more educated. We should do everything possible to defeat ISWAP; otherwise, what Boko Haram did will be a child’s play.
“The Nigerian Army has to re-strategise and defeat ISWAP. ISWAP will be a threat to the entire nation. Because of the proximity of Sub-Saharan Africa, they are coming from Libya and others to resettle here.”
He advised the Federal Government to engage the services of mercenaries, stressing: “There’s nothing wrong. There’s need to seek external support, while effort is ongoing to sanitise the security structure.”
Zulum said the North East has lost about $6.9 billion to terrorism. He noted that over 5000 classrooms were destroyed, while 900,000 homes were burnt down. He also said 713 energy distribution centres and 1600 public water sources were destroyed.
THIS came as Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) reportedly uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism, including 424 associates of the financiers.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known during a briefing on the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, yesterday.
The minister also said the fraud unit unmasked 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change linked with terrorism in the country.
He, however, did not give the names of the sponsors and companies linked with terrorism.
He said: “On terrorism financing, NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries.
During the same period, 2020-2021, the organisation returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling $103,722,102.83, £3,000; 7,695 Singapore Dollar and €1,091 to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”