Shekau lived in my house. This is a statement attributed to Hon. Mohammed Monguno who represents Jere Federal Constituency of Borno State in the House of Representatives.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, in an interview, speaks on the raging insurgency in his home state and the killing of scores of soldiers by the Islamist group, Boko Haram.
As a native of Borno State, how do you describe the place that has been under siege by Boko Haram for many years now?
Borno State and Maiduguri, the state capital, in particular, because of the prevailing peace before the advent of Boko Haram insurgency, had been christened ‘the Home of Peace’.
But the coming of Boko Haram changed all that; with suicide attacks, attacks on villages, killing and maiming of people, and residents relocating to IDP camps and some to neighbouring countries to become refugees with the attendant and concomitant effects of losing their source of livelihood becoming the order of the day.
As a result of the insurgency, the economy of the state is comatose because you cannot engage in meaningful economic activities amid insecurity.
The infrastructure of the state, schools, hospitals, police stations and the rest have been destroyed; so the effect on the economy and on the psychology of the people of the state is tremendous and it is not something one can describe because a lot of women have been widowed and a lot of children have been orphaned.
So, we are witnessing a very difficult period in our history as a state and we continue to pray to God for intervention so that the situation will be ameliorated.
But with the advent of this administration in 2015, there has been tremendous improvement in the efforts to rid the state of insurgency.
Before 2015, about two thirds of the local governments in Borno were under the firm grip of Boko Haram; even my house in Borno was one of their operational headquarters, effectively occupied by one of the leaders
You mean Shekau?
Yes, Shekau! When he was in Borno, he stayed in my house.
You hosted him?
I never saw or met him personally. I don’t know the kind of person he is. But he and his fellow terrorists occupied my house when they took over Monguno before they were flushed out by the military after Monguno was liberated.