Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has dismissed a report on the appointment of a governor over some territories in his domain by Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).
Last week, videos of the alleged appointment of a Boko Haram governor went viral on social media.
The interim council of the terrorist sect was said to have named one Abba Kaka governor of some territories in Borno.
But speaking with State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, the governor said the claim lacks substance.
He stressed that “he is fully in charge of the state.”
Zulum said his administration was not investigating the issue.
“We are yet to validate the authenticity of this report that ISWAP appointed governor in Borno state. So, as the governor of the state, I think it’s not right for me to speak on something that I don’t have full knowledge of.”
Asked whether he would investigate, Governor Zulum said no, blaming the report on the social media.
He added: “Not investigating. This report is not authentic. You have just seen somebody writing something on social media… I think on Facebook… You’re a journalist, I think we have to prove reports beyond reasonable doubts, before commenting on such reports.
“As far as I’m concerned. I’m the governor of Borno State and I don’t have any information that we have another government in the Nigerian state. Yes. And I’m very much in charge.”
The governor said he was at the presidential villa to seek the president’s assistance to repatriate the over 200,000 Borno indigenes who fled to Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic as a result of insurgency.
He stressed that he needs to bring them back because the security situation in the state has improved.
He said: “Now that we have started witnessing gradual return of peace to Borno State, these people that are taking refuge in our neighbouring countries are willing to return home.
“Therefore, Borno State government picked a date of 27th of November 2021 for the commencement of the repatriation process, especially to local government areas of Abadam and Guzamala.
“So, I came to brief Mr. President, to solicit his support, with the view to ensuring hitch-free repatriation exercise.”
The governor, however, declined to place a figure on what it might take to implement the repatriation, saying: “I can’t quantify, but I think the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs with its agencies; NEMA, the Refugee Commission and indeed the Northeast Development Commission, lastly the Borno State government, have the capacity to shoulder the responsibility of the repatriation exercise.”
Governor Zulum, while speaking on the fate of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) still in camps in the state, said government was also working on returning them to their communities.
“On the issue of internally displaced persons, yes the IDP camps are not palatable, that is why the government of Borno state and indeed the federal government, are exploiting the potentials of resettling them back to their own communities or relocating them to areas that are safe,” he said.