Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has made an official declaration to prohibit the practice of metal scavenging within the state. This announcement comes in the midst of the chaos that erupted on Monday when a notorious criminal group called the “Marlia boys” clashed in Maiduguri, resulting in the burning of shops and multiple injuries.
It is worth noting that just last week, the Borno Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) apprehended and paraded six suspects who had vandalized a communication mast owned by the defunct NITEL in Chiki village, located in the Chibok Local Government Area.
During a visit to the Bulumkutu area of Maiduguri, Governor Zulum disclosed the ban on scavenging businesses after witnessing firsthand the vandalism of state government-owned metals by these scavengers.
Our correspondent reports that scavenging has become a popular means of livelihood in Borno, as many youths and women have resorted to this activity due to the lack of employment opportunities and the prevailing economic hardship.
“All those things are government properties; you can see street lights and communication towers.
“Such acts can sabotage the activities of state and Federal Governments.
“We can’t allow that to continue; I want to condemn and announce the ban on metal scavenging in Borno state till further notice.
“I will sign an Executive Order banning all forms of metal scavenging in Borno,” Zulum said.
Nevertheless, he noted with concern that numerous scavengers have fallen victim to insurgent attacks while venturing into abandoned communities to carry out acts of vandalism.
In a separate incident, chaos erupted on Monday when a notorious criminal group called the “Marlia boys” clashed in Maiduguri, resulting in the burning of shops and inflicting injuries on numerous individuals.
This criminal group is infamous for targeting civilians and forcibly seizing their mobile phones and other possessions. Their activities have led to the loss of many lives and caused severe injuries to innocent citizens in the state.
The Marlian group has been involved in several clashes with various rival cult groups as they compete for dominance and control.
According to sources and Mr. Zagazola Makama, a Counter Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst in Lake Chad, the clash was confirmed to our correspondent in Maiduguri.
It has been reported that the recent incident took place on 10/07/2023 at approximately 12:15 pm. The criminal groups, armed with machetes, set fire to a shop and caused the destruction of property in Maiduguri, specifically in Bolori 2, IVO, behind the Covid-19 Isolation Center.
The shop owner, who is a local hunter and remains unnamed, fled from the scene, while the residents in the area were compelled to seek safety urgently.
The attack is believed to be a retaliatory action against the shop owner, as he had a physical altercation with a member of the criminal group earlier on Monday morning. During the confrontation, the shop owner fatally stabbed the said member of the criminal group.
In response to the increasing prevalence of urban gangsterism carried out by these criminal gangs, the residents of Maiduguri have been urging the security agencies to take decisive action against the group.