MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Indigenes of Borno and Yobe States, consisting of elders, National Assembly members, former ministers, retired civil servants and federal officials on Monday, August 17, 2020 paid solidarity visit to Governor Babagana Zulum.
Zulum, whose convoy came under attack in Baga on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 received the delegation led by the former minister of FCT Architect Ibrahim Bunu.
In his remark, Zulum expressed appreciation to the delegation for the visit, and reiterated his resolve to be at the forefront of delivering developmental agenda for the state.
He lamented the difficult situation of Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) accros the state; and called on the citizens of both states to unite to find solutions to their common problems.
According to the Governor, the Forum’s visit will give him courage to do more “insha Allah”.
“We should never be intimidated by the so-called statements on social media, I am ever committed. Its only God that gives and takes life.
“We should not be cowards, and be intimidated by any group. We should coalesce together to fight for our common destiny of destitution, of poverty among others.
“What is your joy living in Maiduguri in the Government House, in GRAs and in Abuja while hundreds of thousands of our siblings, fathers, mothers, and grandparents are dying in IDPs camps?
“When we went to Dikwa two months ago it was very pathetic, we distributed food items to over 33,000 heads of households.
“Dikwa currently have over 250,000 IDPs, but unfortunately about 98 per cent of them does not have the next meal and most unfortunately, throughout the town you cannot get a single 50 kg of maize to buy.
“We are very much delighted to have you in our midst this afternoon, purposely for commiserating with us over the recent happening in Borno State.
“Indeed, we are overwhelmed, outsiders and even insiders will be happy to note your presence in the State. It’s a mark of solidarity, it is a mark of unity that will insha Allah provide the necessary environment for peace to reign in Borno State,” he said.
Earlier, leader of the Forum, Arch Bunu, recalled when last year when the group paid a similar visit to the Governor assuring him of solidarity in the good works he was doing the people.
“This time around we came all encompassing to commiserate with you on the attack on your convoy near Baga earlier this month.
“Your Excellency, we have seen your passion, your zeal and commitment in seeing Borno free of insurgency, and to speak out various developmental activities you have embarked on.
“I personally dare say, you have demonstrated leadership qualities that can risk life to save others. You matched your words with action by going to the nooks, and crannies of the State to see it first hand for yourself,” Bunu said.
The Forum during the visit tendered it six requests from President Muhammadu Buhari, as follows:
“Military to be properly equipped and all their allowances paid on time.
“The military should be taking the war to the insurgents rather than repelling only when they attacked. This allows the insurgents time to strengthen and consolidate their positions for subsequent attacks.
“The military should enforce inter agencies corporations and coordination among various arms of the military, and other security force to draw maximum benefit.
“Ensure frequent rotation of the officers, and men to avoid acclimatization and adaptation to the local communities. That will discontinue the unnecessary accusation of soldiers for engaging in business other than their duties.
“Work on the progress made in the resettlement of IDPs to their ancestral lands.
“Federal Government should also put in place a specific and appropriate empowerment initiative to stem the menace of poverty in Borno and Yobe States. This will reduce the tendencies of easy recruitment to Boko Haram and other social vices.”