The House of Representatives said on Thursday that some local government areas and villages in Borno State remained under the control of Boko Haram insurgents with thousands of residents still displaced.
The House noted that the security situation in the affected local government areas was still precarious, contrary to claims by the Federal Government that Nigerian troops had reclaimed them from the insurgents.
The House, in a motion passed in Abuja, observed that since August and September this year when the insurgents invaded the local governments, they had remained under their control.
A lawmaker from Borno State, Mr. Abdulrahman Terab, who moved the motion, named Bama, Ngala, Kala-Balge and “other adjoining local government areas around Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge Federal Constituency” as the affected areas.
Terab, who represents the affected areas, recalled that about 200,000 villagers sacked by the insurgents were still living in the Republic of Cameroon without basic amenities like food.
He spoke further, “Contrary to earlier reports that the said local government areas were reclaimed by the Nigerian Government and are now under the control of Nigerian troops, they are still under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“Young women and teenage girls in those areas are not being spared, as they are facing all sorts of abuse, torture and forced marriages. The insurgents are enforcing all manner of laws and are also arbitrarily killing their captives.
“Those refugees who fled to Cameroon Republic, numbering almost 200,000 and who are mostly from Ngala and Kala-Balge local government areas are living without basic requirements like food and shelter.”
The House called for “additional manpower” and security beef up to flush out the insurgents.
It also asked the National Emergency Management Agency to liaise with their Cameroonian counterparts to provide relief materials to the refugees in “Fotokol, Kusuri and Garwa in the Republic of Cameroon.”
However, the motion was not passed without some opposition.
A member from Anambra State, Mr. Fort Dike, kicked against the motion on the grounds that the issues raised by Terab had been “overtaken by events.”
Dike argued that it was possible the lawmaker did not contact his constituency for an update on the exact security situation in the local governments before moving his motion.
“Mr. Speaker, we have seen several reports indicating that these areas are now under the control of the Nigerian troops. The motion has been overtaken by events and we should throw it out,” he added.
Many members murmured as Dike spoke, in a bid to interrupt him but he continued.
The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, also interjected, saying that as the member representing the affected areas, Terab was in a better position to know the security situation of his constituency.
But Dike insisted that it was not possible that Terab’s position would be completely correct.
The motion was later passed in a majority voice vote. Only Dike voted against it.
Borno is one of three North-East states under emergency rule, owing to the activities of the insurgents. The other two are Yobe and Adamawa states.