Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima,has revealed that Boko Haram militants are occupying two local governments in his state, contrary to the impression that the militants are not in control of any Nigerian territory.
The local councils under effective boko Haram occupation are Abbadam and Mobar.
Indeed, Shettima, in his shocking revelation, said the militants are also in partial control of a third local council, Marte.
The governor made the shocking disclosure at the weekend while briefing a visiting Federal Government delegation led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Babachir David Lawal.
Shettima said: “They(Boko Haram) are at present controlling two local governments in Borno State; Abadam and Mobbar and they are partially in Marte.”
He added: ”At some point, Boko Haram overran 20 out of our 27 local government areas in Borno State. They overran four local government areas in Adamawa and two in Yobe.”
Lt. Gen Buratai, the chief of army staff has disputed Shettima’s claim.
“No Boko Haram is holding any territory in Nigeria at the momment, I have not heard any Boko Haram member or leader making such claim, they are no more in control,”, Buratai told reporters in Jos yesterday after addressing troops at the Headquarters of 3 Division, the Marxwel Khobe Cantonment.
“We are more determined and we have more professional soldiers on the ground, we have been trained and equipped and ready to face the challenge, if any, posed by Boko Haram”, he added.
He also reiterated that the military would keep faith with the December deadline given by President Muhammadu Buhari to root out Boko Haram: “I can confidently say we are on course, we are mindful of our target, and we know we have two months to achieve that target. We don’t have doubt in our minds, we will achieve our target by December 31.”
Governor Shettima had once incurred the wrath of the military and former President Goodluck Jonathan when he said the Nigerian military was ill-equipped to fight the Boko Haram insurgents. He was abused in return.
But months after, top military brass admitted he was correct.