By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Tuesday said that following the technical defeat of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, its fleeing members had found a haven in his state.
Bello made the disclosure in Abuja while speaking at the seventh edition of the National Security Seminar entitled: “Consolidating on the Gains of Counter Terrorism Operations in Nigeria’’.
He, however, warned that the insurgents had chosen a wrong place because he was ready to collaborate with the military to rout them out of the state.
“Kogi is now a haven for Boko Haram, because many of them have relocated to my state.
“Just last night, four high profile Boko Haram members were arrested in Kogi by the military.
“I want to assure them that they have chosen a wrong place to relocate, because we will never allow them.
“We will work together with the armed forces to consolidate on the victory and gains recorded in the North-East,’’ he said.
The governor commended the military for their efforts at “technically defeating’’ the insurgents in the North-East, and underscored the need to consolidate on the victory to avoid a relapse.
Bello said the government had actually done a lot in safeguarding lives and property and in reclaiming the territorial integrity of the country.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, said that for the nation to consolidate on the gains of counter terrorism operations, national security agencies must work in synergy.
Abubakar also appealed to the government to look into and implement several suggestions made by experts at previous security seminars held in the country.
He said it was high time the government developed the political will to implement suggestions proffered by experts to prevent making security seminars mere talk shows.
Meanwhile, Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Temlong, the President, Alumni Association of National Defence College, described terrorism as a global threat that had affected over 65 million people globally.
He commended the armed forces for the victory recorded against the Boko Haram, but emphasised the need to brace up and consolidate on the exploit in order to put a final end to the threat.
The seminar is jointly organised by the National Defence College of Nigeria, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Alumni Association of National Defence College.