MAIDUGURI (Sundiata Post) – President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday told the Shehu of Borno, Alh[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”8″] Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba El Kanemi and other traditional rulers in Borno State that his administration would in a matter of few months bring a total end to the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency.
The President, who visited the monarch as part of his nationwide campaign tour, regretted the [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]unfortunate security situation in the state, assuring however that his administration had mapped out plans to rebuild the state after recovering lost territories from insurgents.
The President also assured the monarch that his administration was committed to the rescue of the missing Chibok school girls, noting that the efforts that had been put in place to halt the activities of insurgents had been hampered by external interest and forces.
Responding to some of the requests made by the monarch, the President promised to extend the ongoing railway rehabilitation to the state and accelerate ongoing work on the Kano- Maiduguri expressway.
Talking about his post-war action plan for the state, Jonathan said with the use of initiatives like Victim Support Fund, Presidential Initiative for Northeast and Safe School Initiative as well as increased budgetary allocation, his administration would rebuild and redesign the entire Borno State in such a way that children would have access to education and better future.
“We feel the pain of Borno people. I personally feel more pained when people accuse me of of being involved in the problem for some political advantage. I have said it many times that my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. And I don’t think any president or human being can do what they accuse me of doing.
The Boko Haram problem is what I thought we would have ended long ago but may be external influence or interest is affecting us. I am assuring you however that it won’t take us more than a few months to end this insurgency and restore peace in Borno.
“Our people must return to their communities. Insha Allahu, we will get our Chibok girls back.
“After recovering our lost territories from Boko Haram, we will increase the budget for this area to fast-track the rebuilding process. The Safe School Initiative, the Presidential Initiative for Northeast and Victim Support Fund will also assist us to raise funds for the rebuilding process,” the President said.
Speaking earlier, the Shehu of Borno expressed pain over the state of security and infrastructure in the state, saying : “Your Excellency, we are made to understand that most federal projects in Borno State are stalled due to insecurity example the railway line project, the Kano- Maiduguri expressway, the 330 KVA power line from Gombe, the abandoned federal housing projects, the Biu dam project etc.”
He continued: “We are made to understand that regional headquarters of most federal establishments have been systematically relocated from Maiduguri to the so-called safe areas, we are not happy with these developments as Borno shall soon regain peace and restore its lost glory insha Allahu with the security efforts put in place by government and prayer. ”
Among several other demands, the monarch therefore urged the President to reopen the Maiduguri Airport for passenger flights, complete the railway project leading to Maidugiri and extend it to Baga and Mallam Fatori as well as connect northern Borno to national grid.
The monarch appealed to Jonathan to reconstruct the Maiduguri- Bama- Uba- Askira as well as Kukawa- Baga road and extend it to Mallam Fatori while also asking for the completion of of the rehabilitation of the Maiduguri – Dikwa- Gamboru Ngala road which he said were all in a state of disrepair.
The Shehu of Borno advised President Jonathan to comb and clear the Sambisa forest before insurgents re-occupy it and continue to use it as a base.
Speaking later at the Ramat Square, venue of the rally, Jonathan who called for a minute silence for those who had lost their lives since the beginning of Boko Haram terror, acknowledged the rich history of Borno State.
The President noted that with the irrigation facilities that the Federal Government is doing to support dry season farming in the state, Borno State can feed the nation in the near future.
The President also pledged to harness the solid mineral riches in the state so that it can support the Federal Government.
Also speaking at the rally, the Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, an indigene of the state, appreciated the people for turning out en masse for the rally, saying it demonstrated the love they have for the President.