A Nigerian governor has denounced the Boko Haram terror group as an older version of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the West African country.
This is in view of the deadly insurgency by the Islamist group, which has claimed an estimated 30 000 lives since it began attacks in 2009 while displacing three million others.
Hence, Babagana Umara Zulum, governor of the northeastern Borno State, described Boko Haram as "COVID-2009."
Borno is the region worst affected by the terror.
"No one knows the exact thousands of persons killed by this dangerous 'COVID-2009'," the governor said in his Easter message to residents.
"The Boko Haram is equally contagious through the spread of violent ideologies and links with terror groups around the world. It is also contagious by creating permanent fear and agony for millions of people.
Zulum urged the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify the fight against both COVID-19 and Boko Haram.
Nigeria has confirmed 323 cases and ten deaths from the virus as of Monday (today).
"We must be simultaneous and consistent in applying and sustaining tough measures against COVID-19 and 'COVID-2009'," Zulum said.
He warned the Boko Haram could exploit the government prioritising on the COVID-19 crisis and intensify attacks.
"We must never let this happen. We cannot afford to be distracted," the governor stated.
Nigeria imposed a 14-day lockdown and curbed inter-state movement on March 31 to tackle the spread of the virus.
The Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first case of COVID-19 on February 27.