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Governor says Boko Haram outgunned the Nigeria Military

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The governor of Nigeria’s embattled Borno state warned President
Goodluck Jonathan on Monday that the military is outgunned in its fight
against Boko Haram and more troops are urgently needed.

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Governor Kashim Shettima travelled to the capital
Abuja for talks with Jonathan and Nigeria’s security chiefs following
the latest massacre in Borno of 106 people in the mostly Christian
village of Izghe on Saturday.

“We are in a state of war. That is
what I came to tell the president,” Shettima told reporters after the
meeting.”I made it emphatically clear to Mr. President that Boko Haram
are better armed and better motivated,” than the security forces, he
added.

Unless more troops and more resources are deployed to
Borno, “it is absolutely impossible for us to defeat Boko Haram,” the
governor said.

Borno along with two neighbouring northeastern
states was placed under emergency rule in May, when the military
launched a major offensive aimed at crushing the Islamist uprising which
has killed thousands since 2009.Attacks have continued despite the
beefed up military presence. Borno, where Boko Haram was founded in
2002, has been the hardest hit area.

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The extremist militia has
said it is fighting to create a strict Islamic state in the country’s
mainly Muslim north.Shettima said the Islamists have been able to attack
defenceless civilians with ease and made reference to a slaughter last
week in the town of Konduga where gunmen seemingly killed residents
at-will “for over five hours”.

“Have we ever succeeded in
thwarting any of their plans?” the governor further said.He provided a
death toll of 106 for the Izghe attack, supporting figures given by
other area officials.”Some were hospitalised with very great injuries,
so I am afraid the figures might climb,” he added.

The attackers
reportedly went door-to-door looking for residents who were hiding,
undeterred by the security forces.Those who were found were dragged
outside, gathered together and slaughtered, witnesses told AFP.While
Jonathan has at times sought to portray the military offensive as a
success, outrage in the region is building following the repeated
failure of the security forces to prevent major attacks, including some
in the heart of Borno’s capital Maiduguri.

The Nigerian defence
headquarters said on Monday that fighting patrols by air and land were
being stepped up “in the forests and hills” in the northeast where the
militants were hiding.”The security forces will continue to employ
necessary fire power to enhance the effectiveness of the mission until
the terrorists are duly curtailed,” it said in a statement in reaction
to recent deadly attacks.

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Some suspected perpetrators of the
recent attacks have been arrested, it said, without given
details.Locations that are prone to attacks are being reinforced while
general areas has been placed “under heightened surveillance and
patrols,” it boasted.Jonathan replaced his entire military brass last
month, a move analysts said was linked to frustration with the
anti-insurgency campaign.

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