Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum says Boko Haram members are found in various ethnic groups in the country.
He spoke with State House correspondents on Saturday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Governor Zulum called for urgently addressing factors that fuel insurgency and increased military presence in exposed communities in the northeast.
“Borno shares borders with the Republic of Niger, Republic of Chad, Republic of Cameroon. You can understand these borders, this proximity to Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Libya. It is a sub-Saharan region, it is very difficult to man such areas, he said.
Poverty, occasioned by the prevailing climate change also exposed the region to new and challenging criminality, the governor explained to journalists.
“We have three major climatic regions in Nigeria – the humid region, semia region as well as the areal region. Borno State is semia region, is an extreme region in northern Borno. Rainfall is usually less than 200 millimeter, crop can hardly do well without irrigation.
No rainfall means there is no employment. But by and large, the situation has been compounded for a long time because of lack of education. Education is also a veritable tool for fighting this insurgents, he added.
“My predecessor has done well in terms of building more schools, recruiting more teachers but I think you are right that the entire problem about employment covers the entire country but because of the porosity of our borders among others, we have major problems in Borno State.
Yes, Boko Haram started in our own place, yes I admit that most of them are from my tribe but I believe their composition now cuts across almost every ethnic group in Nigeria, most importantly including the expatriates.
A war of economy
“We have people from other countries that have joined them. I think that they are rebellious now and I think it is now a war of economy, you can see them looting properties, carrying food items.
“I want to disabuse the minds of those saying it is religious, when they attacked Gubio they burnt down an Islamic school, they burnt down the house of an Islamic teacher, so that is all I have to tell you in a nutshell.” he said
On his purpose to the Villa, he said he came to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the attacks in Gubio and Magumeri local government areas, and other issues.