Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has raised the alarm that the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) are currently recruiting more fighters in the state.
The governor, who stated this on Wednesday when he received the Senate Committee on Army in Maiduguri, the state’s capital, said the ISWAP fighters are more dangerous and more funded than the Boko Haram insurgents.
According to him, if the menace is not checked on time, the effect would be disastrous to Nigeria, stressing that the fighters are better chased out of the country at the early stage.
“I must commend the Nigerian Army for the relative peace in many parts of the state but I want to appeal to the military to take the war against the insurgents and chase them out because ISWAP is currently recruiting fighters in some parts of the state.
“If nothing is done to check and tackle the growing presence of ISWAP fighters who are better armed, better equipped, more deadly, more sophisticated and receive more funds than Boko Haram, it will be disastrous not only to Borno State but the country in general.
“They (ISWAP) are growing spontaneously and it is not difficult for us to address these problems; we need to pursue ISWAP at this early stage.
“ISWAP fighters are mounting checkpoints between Damboa and Biu; they are collecting taxes from communities because just three days ago, I got security information that they held a party (ceremony) with over 300 machines. Something needs to be done especially in the axis of Askira, Chibok and Damboa.
“Another issue is that two of our local government headquarters are still under the control of Boko Haram terrorists, Malumfatori in Abadam Local Government and Guzamala.
“We want the owners of these two local governments to take over, that is the government of Borno State and the two local governments.
“I have commended the Nigerian Army for the relative peace in many parts of the state and there is nothing wrong if I ask them to wake up from the slumber in addressing the problems of ISWAP”.