Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum says over 100,000 people have been killed in the state in the last 12 years.
He said this on Tuesday contrary to other claims on the numbers of persons killed by Boko Haram insurgents as he said, 10 per cent of the population of Borno State is unaccounted for as many people in many communities in the state are still nowhere to be found even as government is working towards resettling the communities returning after they had fled their homes at the peak of the crisis.
Professor Zulum said this after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the state house in Abuja where he briefed the President on the activities of terrorists in the Northeast and particularly in Borno State and on the successes being recorded especially with the fighters currently submitting to the Nigerian troops.
“Those fighters who surrendered should be accepted and treated well and should not be rejected in their communities. That is the only way to show them the difference by loving them because they have repented from their mistakes,” the governor said.
Zulum also said, 2,600 former terrorists and fighters have surrendered to the Nigerian military and are currently in custody of the military.
He said ” Not all of them are criminals. Some of them are also victims, as such the need for communities to understand and welcome the fact that they have realised their shortcomings and are now turning in to be good citizens.”
He explained that many of those who are surrendering to troops are people who were forcefully conscripted and that they had to stay with the terrorists to stay alive.
” Some of them were small children when they were taken to join the terrorists, ” he added.
The governor further told journalists that, he was attacked over five times by the terrorists in Borno State, a sacrifice which he said is also yielding result with terrorists giving up and coming out to submit themselves.