The government of Borno state has disagreed with the UN over a report which suggests that some areas in the state are still under the control of Boko Haram.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA) had reported that despite efforts by the Nigerian military, some locations in the state remained inaccessible to aid workers due to threat posed by the terror group.
However, Governor Kashim Shettima maintains the terrorists have been defeated. "Honestly, I disagree with the UN report because we have been on ground for quite some time, we are the sitting administration and we should be in a better position to tell the world the ground realities in the state,” he said.
"The Boko Haram are there in the Sambisa forest, I’m not disputing that fact; the Boko Haram are scattered in almost all parts of the state but that they no longer have the strength to hold on to any territory in the Federation of Nigeria.
"For now, I will allow almost all our people to go back to their communities except two local government areas where the peace is still fragile. Like in Abadam (LGA), it is the military that are holding onto the town.
But Abadam is not far off from the highland where the Boko Haram are residents. If we allow the people of Abadam to go back for instance, the Boko Haram can easily come and infiltrate and get destruction on the people.
"So until those highlands are cleared of the remnants of the Boko Haram, the people of Marte, the people of Abadam will have to exercise some patience.
But with all sense of responsibility, I’m telling you Abadam, Malam Fatori, Marte are in the firm grips of the federal troops,” he said.