MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Governor Babagana Zulum, on Thursday night was on the streets of Banki to catch a glimpse of the return of night life to the commercial town after seven years of desertion.
Banki, one of Borno’s major economic hubs, is a border town between Nigeria and Cameroon, in Bama Local Government Area of the state, was famous economic activities, until it was sacked by Boko Haram in 2014, forcing residents to flee and become Internally Displaced Persons, and refugees in neighboring countries.
Zulum had visited Banki severally since he assumed as Governor and had approved reconstruction of homes, schools, hospitals and other public services and hundreds of new resettlement estates.
His latest visit was on Thursday for the launch of another phase in UNDP’s regional stabilization facility, encompassing commissioning of police and paramilitary offices to entrench civil authorities in the town; and stayed overnight to observe nightlife in the town.
He was impressed that the town at 10:30pm was bustling with social and economic activities which he described as one of his best moments since assumption as Governor of Borno state two years ago.
After interacting with the traders, Zulum expressed delight over the steady return of peace to the town and other parts of the state. He approved the distribution of additional N50m to a number of them, to enhanced their business with potential impact on the local economy.
“Alhamdulillah! It is gratifying to note that business activities have resumed in Banki town. You can see Banki’s situation at 10:30pm today. This is the kind of progress we have been looking for in a long time. I think today is one of my happiest moments because of the fact that we can walk inside Banki town at this odd time. I am very much satisfied, because, this is not 10am, this is 10:30pm. I believe anyone will be happy to note this development.
“Just six months ago, Banki was a ghost town when we came in, residents confined themselves to IDPs camp for about 7 years. But now we have seen the progress. We express our utmost gratitude to President Buhari, the Nigerian military, Police, DSS, the multinational forces, paramilitary and our volunteers and all other stakeholders for making the changes in Banki, possible.
“We pray to Almighty to bring lasting peace to this community and the entire state. Insha’Allah, we will continue to provide the needed security architecture in this very important town and other communities of the state.
“Insha’Allah, we shall continue to build the resilience of the people, we shall promote peace and cohesion among the residents in the entire state, insha’Allah,” he added.