Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has reiterated commitment towards ensuring the return of all Displaced Persons by insurgents to their ancestral homes.
Governor Zulum gave the assurance while addressing a delegation from Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by its Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who visited Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to demonstrate solidarity and commiserate with him on the recent attacks on his convoy.
Federal Government to ensure that Chadian soldiers are invited to join the Nigeria Army in their fight against insurgency if any meaningful success is to be recorded on the battleground.
Governor Zulum rationalised that no single army anywhere in the world has ever succeeded in quelling insurgency, tasked Federal Government on the need to look into ways of complementing the efforts of the Nigeria Army with the Chadian soldiers, emphasising that it is not to undermine the Nigerian soldiers but to help them in finishing the job within a realistic deadline.
The Forum also donated the sum of N100 million to the government and people of Borno State.
Governor Fayemi was accompanied on the trip by the Governor of Sokoto State and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong.
In his address, Governor Fayemi admonished Prof. Zulum to exercise caution in his activities in the State, even though he narrated how the Borno Governor always responded by saying that his life was in the hands of Allah and that death will only come when Allah wills.
Governor Fayemi emphasised that Nigeria owes the Borno people a duty to end this insurgency and nip it in the bud.
The Ekiti State Governor described how Gov. Zulum attempted to dissuade them from visiting his State but the Chairman of the NGF insisted that it is not just a duty but the most realistic thing to do because “an attack against one is an attack against all”, to which the Government House Maiduguri erupted in a thunderous applaud.
The NGF Chairman announced a donation of N100 million to the Government and people of Borno State from the NGF before handing the cheque over to the Borno Governor.
While responding, Governor Zulum r who thanked the NGF for its kind gesture, noted that it is not the amount of money but the gesture behind the donation that matters.
He thanked the NGF on behalf of the Borno people and goes further to explain the dire condition into which the insurgency had thrown the Borno people.
Governor Zulum who spoke in a sombre mood vowed not to be deterred from pursuing his goals of emancipating his people because, according to him, “security and development are two sides of the same coin”, arguing that Borno “people had been forced to be unproductive and depend on aid.”
Painting a very gory picture of the situation of the population in Borno State, Governor Zulum observed that the Chad Basin employs about 10 million people, the Sambisa Grazing Reserve and the Mandara Mountains employ 3 million people but no one is farming there because the insurgents have made these places inaccessible to the people.
“The situation in our state is has become very dire,” the governor of Borno stated, “because, everything calls for endurance, commitment and dedication if our people were to be drawn out of the woods.”
He further stated that more than 800,000 people are resident in Monguno and all of them are under the age of 20 yet all of that population is lying idle, making them susceptible to going astray if nothing is done to engage them positively.
He added that Gajiram Local Government has over 300,000 internally displaced persons, all of them bereft of education and employment.
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