By Michael Olugbode
The Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has read a riot act to politicians in the state and warned that anyone found harbouring or sponsoring thugs would be dealt with.
Zulum gave the warning on Monday at the Government House, Maiduguri while addressing leaders of political youth groups known as ECOMOG in Maiduguri, which was allegedly associated with thuggery.
He said: “Any politician, no matter how highly placed he is, if found harbouring or sponsoring thugs, we will deal with him accordingly. This administration will not condone any act of indiscipline.”
Zulum had at different times in the past approved series of vocational jobs and empowerment programmes for the groups to make them have access to lawful means of livelihood.
The governor was, however, unhappy that despite these various measures taken to get the youths out of thuggery, they still preferred political thuggery as a means of livelihood.
He said: “Borno is the only place we have. We can’t allow few of you to destroy the state. I believe you are not the only people in Borno. We have over six million people in the state. We can’t allow you to continue terrorising the population. We can’t tolerate that anymore.
“We will not continue to give you money. You cannot hold us to ransom. The security agencies have been directed to deal with anyone found parading himself as ECOMOG, either at the airport, graveyard, at wedding receptions or anywhere. You have been disturbing the public peace, constituting nuisance.”
Also speaking, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Kaka Shehu Lawan, said in recent days that there has been increasing cases of theft and house burgling.
Lawan warned that any person or group of persons found contributing to the insecurity within the state capital and its environs, would be dealt with.
Speaking in the same vein, the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdu Umar, and the Borno State Director of DSS, Mr. Munir Mamman, pledged to act in line with the governor’s policy.
It would be recalled that in July 2019, which was two months after assuming office, Governor Zulum had announced a ban on political thuggery in Maiduguri.
He also launched a vocational employment scheme to support the youths.
In 2020 and 2021, Zulum extended his ban on political thuggery to Biu and Gwoza, both of which have had notorious prevalence of thuggery. The governor later announced a statewide ban on the menace.