How Boko Haram is enticing new members – Gov. Zulum

Prof. Umara-Zulum Governor of Borno State.

Richard Elesho

Boko Haram insurgents take advantage of the level of poverty and economic depression in the country to attract sympathisers.

The terrorist group sometimes offer as little as N5,000 to recruit members and spies to its fold. At other times, they may not even offer more than food and water to highly distressed people for their support.

These were disclosed on Saturday by Prof. Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State in address to mark the 2021 Democracy Day.

He said, “From records, we have experienced instances when insurgents offered as low as between 5,000 and 10,000 Naira to recruit some spies and smugglers of weapons. We needed to ensure that our good citizens had the support they needed, and they were not exposed to potential attractions for the incentives of insurgents.

“There was the risk that insurgents could, after making IDPs socially and economically vulnerable, also explore that vulnerability by offering food and cash incentives to recruit fighters who could even serve as their spies in communities,” he said.

On his achievements, the governor said, “With shared commitments and with the strong goodwill, support and prayers from you, the people of Borno State, we are delivering 556 capital projects with 70 per cent of the total already completed while 30 per cent are at various completion levels.

“Our projects, done with your support, include 194 capital projects on education, which encompass rehabilitation, completion, and fresh construction of Mega-size government technical colleges and primary schools in different communities. We have 63 capital projects on governance, and another 63 capital projects on roads, transport, rural and urban development. 59 capital projects are being delivered on water and environment; while on health, we are delivering 58 capital projects that include establishment of 74 primary healthcare centres across local government areas, rehabilitation of 8 General and specialist hospitals in MMC, Biu, Damboa, Monguno and Magumeri,” he said.

Boko Haram has been waging random attacks and war in the Northeast of the country for more than a decade. More than 35,000 people are said to have been killed and millions displaced in the crisis.