By: Our Correspondent
MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi, (Rtd), has said the Ministry is happy that a resourceful, competent and determined Professor Babagana Zulum, is the Governor of Borno, a state faced with challenges.
He stated this on Sunday in Maiduguri when he led the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadiq, on a courtesy call on the Governor at the Government House.
“We are very happy that you (Zulum) who is very versatile and dedicated in our operational activities of fighting the boko haram, happens to be the Governor of Borno State at this point in time.
“You have been according so much support to our military on ground in this battle and we are here to thank you and to redesign the battle. I am happy to also inform you that we have improved our synergy with the multinational forces from Chad.
“The Federal Government is doing its best in funding operations and I can assure you that we are determined to see that soon, insha’Allah, this boko haram crisis come to an end. It has been on for more than ten years now, everyone wants an end to it,” the minister said.
Magashi, who was dressed in military camouflage, said, “We are taking the insurgents head on”, saying he was in Maiduguri to assess the progress recorded by the military from the last time he was in the state.
Responding, Gov Zulum said notwithstanding the challenges are still being faced in the fight against boko haram, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has significantly changed Borno’s security situation from what it used to be.
The Governor enumerated areas of challenges still being faced with a strong appeal for reopening of major economic roads and restoration of economic activities in some commercial towns in the shores of the Lake Chad to avoid situations in which, idle citizens are recruited by boko haram through economic inducements. He called on the need for increased military presence along the routes.
He said that about one million citizens currently living in places like Monguno, Damasak and Nganzai needed to return to businesses even if it means the military getting supervising commercial activities to ensure insurgents do not try to hijack the economic environment to raise funds.
“We have challenges, there is no doubt about this but as Governor of Borno State I can say that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown genuine commitment to helping Borno get out of the boko haram era.
“I also know the huge difference this commitment of the President has made in changing our situation from what it used to be to the current situation. The President is giving tremendous support to ending the insurgency, he is doing his own bid and we are grateful to him.
“To the Minister of Defense that has been to Borno four times in six months. We are grateful to our service chiefs, to the commanders on ground and most importantly to our gallant troops, Civilian JTF and hunters who are at the battle field,” he said.