The lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District, Ali Ndume, has said the Boko Haram insurgents are demanding more ransom as condition to freeing the lone Christian girl, Leah Sharibu still in their captivity.
The lawmaker however urged the Nigerian Army to extend its anti-terrorism operations to the fringes of the Sambisa Forest and Mandara mountains to flush out the remaining Boko Haram insurgents in the area.
Ndume, who commended the military for their response to the recent attacks on Borno State, noted that the insurgency had increased recently.
Ndume, in a recent interview with The Punch also expressed suspicion that the Boko Haram faction that abducted the Dapchi girls, which was allegedly paid a ransom by the Federal Government to secure their release except Leah Sharibu, must have been responsible for the recent attacks in the state.
He said, “The stronger ones who still have the audacity to carry out major attacks are those from Mohammed Nuru’s Boko Haram faction that is operating from the fringes, which is the group that we are suspecting got money from the negotiation for the release of the Dapchi girls.
“Now they are psychologically pressing for more money through propaganda by using Leah Sharibu.
“Yes, this is true because they must get money to carry out their operations, and the only source of money is the ransom paid to them. But then, the government is in a tight situation.”
Ndume, who admitted that the insurgency had increased after the Dapchi girls were released, noted that the military had also intensified efforts to crush the insurgents.
He added, “I don’t know exactly what is happening. The truth of the matter is that there is a resurface or escalation of intermittent attacks by the insurgents, over which I have raised the alarm and to which I have called the attention of the authorities.
“But I am happy with the response of the Nigerian Army particularly after the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, ordered and relocated the operational headquarters of the Army to Gozombali in Guzama Local Government Area. That is very commendable.
“I am hoping that at the same time they will also increase and intensify the fight against insurgency in other blackspots in the Sambisa Forest and the Mandara Mountains in Gworza Local Government Area.”