Urban violence has reduced significantly in Borno – Commissioner
Urban violence which engulfed Maiduguri and environs has reduced drastically, the Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof. Usman Tar has said.
Tar made this known on Sunday while giving an update on the security situation in Borno.
”Activities of gang groups prompted Gov. Babagana Zulum to order a security clampdown on criminal elements in the state.
“These kinds of urban violence and criminality have subsided significantly. In Maiduguri, the so-called ‘Marlian thugs’ are being curtailed through concerted surveillance, apprehension and prosecution of suspects.
“A synergy between the theatre command, law enforcement agencies, communities and civil volunteers (Civilian JTF) has decimated the threats of youths bulge, associated violence and criminality,” Tar said.
On the mass surrender of insurgents, Tar said the Disarmament, Demobilization, Deradicalisation, Rahabilitation, Reconciliation and Reintegration (DDDRRR) programme of the surrendered insurgents known as “Borno Model” was on course.
He said that the programme was designed to provide a “root and branch” approach to ending the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Under the DDDRRR programme, the Borno Government has so far received over 100,000 Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters, farmers, women and children.
“Out of this figure over 50 per cent are women and children, about 42 per cent are captive farmers, less than eight per cent are conscripted fighters and commanders,” Tar said.
According to him, government has since inception of the programme, reintegrated 6,900 minors and low risk back to their communities in six batches
While commenting on closure of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and relocation of IDPs and refugees back to thier recovered areas, Tar said many had been successfully resettled in northern and central parts of the state.
“Resettlement of IDPs to remote locations is being implemented in the longer term, subject to reconstruction of houses and improvement of security on the ground”, Tar said.
In Yobe where there is no pronounced cases of urban violence while insurgents attacks has drastically reduced, the Director of Community Outreach, Mr Idris Baffa lauded the relative peace in the state but raised concerns over possible suprise attacks on soft targets.
Baffa said that there have been reports of suspicious movements from some areas of the state that needed security attention.
“Farmers and herders are telling us that there are movements of these terrorists in Futchimiram, Garin Tura, Bulabulun and Bultuwa; In some of these areas, the insurgents are imposing taxes on herds and grains,” Baffa said.
The director called for deployment of troops to Geidam town to step up patrols in the hinterland, particularly in wards like Fejina/Fukurti, Zurgu Ngelewa/Borko and Futchimiram that were still inaccessible due to activities of the insurgents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on July 26, Gov. Zulum directed security operatives to crack down on the notorious ”Marlian” group believed to be terrorising residents in some parts of Maiduguri and Jere within the metropolis.
The ”Marlian group”, which is populated by some youths associated with drug abuse, has gained notoriety for engaging in a wide range of criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, drug and substance abuse, and acts of terrorism, including the killing of security operatives.
Zulum during an emergency security meeting in Maiduguri, said:” I summoned this emergency security council meeting to address the emerging security threat that is bedevilling the Maiduguri metropolis and parts of Jere Local Government, with a view to coming up with additional implementable strategies to guarantee the needed peace and security.
“Intelligence reports reaching my office from different sources have indicated increasing activities of youth gangsterism operating in some parts of the state capital and Jere Local Government.
”This syndicate specialised not only in phone snatching in broad daylight, robbery and possession of locally made weapons, but has now graduated into the killing of innocent lives, including security operatives,” the governor declared.
Zulum, who was deeply concerned about the escalating violence, expressed the government’s determination to restore peace and ensure the safety of all residents.
“I want to assure the general public that the government of Borno, under my leadership, will not allow such a matter to deteriorate. I have received assurances from the security operatives of their commitment to tame such dastardly acts, and our administration is ever committed to dealing with such matters within the shortest possible time,” Zulum said.