By Hamza Suleiman
Maiduguri – The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari, over the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
El-kanemi made the commendation when members of House of Representatives’ Special Security Assessment Committee, in company of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Maiduguri.He noted that the gesture of the president to join 53 other African Head of States to facilitate establishment of free trade market for the continent, was a welcome development.
He expressed optimism that the gesture would fast-track growth of trade and re-invent the long established social and economic ties between Nigeria and other Lake Chad states.
“We are very optimistic that the free trade agreement would no doubt provide jobs, address insecurity and encourage commercial activities in our borders, as well as curb terrorism in the region,’’ he said.
The monarch called on the National Assembly to support Buhari’s policies and programmes toward peace building in the country.
“With your support, insurgency will end and people would go back to their normal way of life,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Gbajabiamila, said he was in the palace to pay homage as part of a one-day committee visit to assess security situation in the state.
He said that the House of Representatives had deployed an assessment team to appraise the security and humanitarian situation in the state.
“All hands must be on deck to bring back peace and security to Borno, so that the state will go back to what is known to be, ‘Home of Peace’.
“We intend to set up a House of Representatives’ Dialogue Forum, with a view to finding a lasting solutions for peace.
“Our visit is the first step, which is to visit the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps,so that we can holistically address the situation, based on what we see on ground,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gbajabiamila also inaugurated distribution of food items to 1, 850 households at Gubio Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.
Gbajabiamila was accompanied by the Chief Whip, Alhassan Doguwa, Chairmen House Committee on Defence and Army, Babajimi Benson and Abdulrazak Namdas, respectively.
Others were lawmakers from the state including Mr Ibrahim Lawan; Zainab Gimba, Satomi Ahmed, Aliyu Betera, Haruna Mshelia, Ahmadu Usman Jaha, Usman Zannah, Mohammed Monguno and Abdulkadir Rahis, among others.