Most of Borno under Boko Haram, says official

The militants already control several towns in the northern states of Borno Yobe and Adamawa.

Most of Borno under Boko Haram, says official

World Bulletin / News Desk

The local government in Nigeria's restive northern state of Borno state conceded late Sunday that Boko Haram fighters were in control and urged concerted efforts to undo the damage.

"At this very moment most parts of Borno state are being occupied by Boko Haram insurgents," Baba Jiddah, the state government's secretary, told reporters in the federal capital Abuja.

"Government presence and administration is minimal or nonexistent across many parts of the state with economic, commercial and social services totally subdued," he said.

"Schools and clinics remain closed," added the official.

The official said the situation in Borno is too grim to allow for any politicking.

"Most settlements in the affected areas have either been deserted or access to them is practically impossible; thus majority of the political stakeholders cannot in real fact reach their constituencies," he added.

"The threat of insecurity affects everybody irrespective of political differences," asserted Jiddah. "The enabling environment for politics and electioneering campaign is simply not obtainable at present in Borno state."

He dismissed as "absurd, callous and morally repulsive" any attempt at politicking the crisis.

The electoral commission remains undecided over whether to hold elections in the northeast, especially in Borno which has over 2 million registered voters, owing mainly to the 5-year Boko Haram insurgency.

Boko Haram militants have already overrun the towns of Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa, Bama and Gwoza, all in Borno State; Buni Yadi and Bara in neighboring Yobe State; and Madagali and most recently Gulak in Adamawa state - all in the northeast.

Residents of Maiduguri, the densely populated provincial capital of Borno, are living in fear following reports that their city would be the group's next target.

Since May of last year, the three most affected states – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa – have all remained in a state of emergency, imposed by the government with the stated aim of curbing the Boko Haram "menace."

Outlawed in Nigeria, Turkey and the U.S., BokoHaram has been blamed for thousands of deaths and scores of violent attacks, especially in the country's restive northeastern region.

Last Mod: 08 Eylül 2014, 11:12
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