Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, has promised to deal with any politician found to be harbouring thugs in the state.
This is even as Zulum warned youths against being used as political thugs, saying that his administration will not condone any act of indiscipline.
The governor gave the warning on Tuesday at the Government House Maiduguri while addressing leaders of political youth groups associated with thuggery known as ECOMOG
He said: “Any politician, no matter how highly placed he is, if found harbouring or sponsoring thugs, we will deal with him accordingly. This administration will not condone any act of indiscipline.”
Zulum had at different times approved series of vocational jobs and empowerment programmes for the groups to make them have access to legitimate means of livelihood.
Despite these measures, Zulum inferred, most of the youths preferred political thuggery as a means of livelihood.
“Borno is the only place we have, we can’t allow few of you to destroy the state. I believe you are not the only people in Borno, we have over six million people in the state. We can’t allow you to continue terrorising the population, we can’t tolerate that anymore.
“We will not continue to give you money, you cannot hold us to ransom. The security agencies have been directed to deal with anyone found parading himself as ECOMOG, either at the airport, graveyard, at wedding receptions or anywhere. You have been disturbing the public peace, constituting nuisance,” Zulum added.
For his part, the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, noted that in recent days, there have been increasing cases of theft and house burgling. He warned that any person or group of persons found contributing to the insecurity within the state capital and its environs, will be dealt with.
Also, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdu Umar, and the State Director of DSS, Munir Mamman, pledged to act in line with the governor’s directive.
It would be recalled that in July 2019, which was two months after assuming office, Governor Zulum had announced a ban on political thuggery in Maiduguri which had in the mid 2000s, come under bloody clashes between rival thugs including killings. He launched a vocational employment scheme to support the youths get gainful employment.
In 2020 and 2021, Zulum extended his ban on political thuggery to Biu and Gwoza towns, both of which have had notorious prevalence of thuggery. The governor later announced a statewide ban on the menace.