Borno Governor Babagana Zulum has said the war against insurgency in the Northeast region would be easier to defeat when its root cause, which he identified as poverty, is dealt with.
The Governor, who spoke to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock on Friday, however tasked government at all levels to ensure youths are positively engaged with jobs to root out insurgency.
He said: “The kinetic measures will not solve the problem. There must be some certain political solutions. Among the political solutions are the issues of supporting the Nigerian youths… with a means to earning their livelihood.
“As I have earlier said, there is need for us to address the root causes of the problem. One of the greatest root causes of the insurgency is poverty.
“So government at all levels should give job opportunities to the youths, enabling environment for the poor to have access to their farmlands.
“That is what I have been advocating for since I assumed the mantle of leadership as governor of Borneo State. We want to ensure people return to their communities, people have access to their farmlands, their livestock farms, aquaculture farms. I think this is the only solution, military solution alone will never solve the problem.”
Speaking on recent developments across the country, especially the #EndSARS protest, which precipitated violent crises, the Governor warned young Nigerians to be careful not to plunge the country into another crisis.
He reminded them the circumstances that gave birth to the Boko Haram insurgency started from a mere protest.
According to him: “On the issue of #EndSARS, I am calling on all Nigerians especially the youths to be very careful.
The whole Boko Haram saga started as a result of the protest by some youths in Maiduguri against the use of helmet by motorcycle riders, you have seen the situation now.
“Over one million people have been displaced and the most affected population are the vulnerable, the youths. Some of those that led the protests have left Borno they are either staying in Abuja or Lagos or abroad. We have to be very careful.
“So in Borno, the entire situation did not take such dimension as that of Lagos because we told them to sit down and examine the situation and recall the past when the situation was so bad.
“Now, there is emerging peace in Borno State and we don’t want anybody to disrupt the peace.
“The youths are with us, we are taking very good care of them, palliatives are distributed to them as at when due, we are giving them some certain financial support and I think the best way every Nigerian should seek for his/her right is through legitimate means, otherwise we are not going anywhere. Peace is very important