Nigeria

Zulum dares Boko Haram insurgents, observes Friday prayer in Baga town by lake Chad

In Spite of the attacks of the Boko Haram insurgents against the government advance party convoy of the committee set up to take willing resident to Baga town, Governor Babagana Zulum, insisted on observing his Friday Juma’at prayer in Baga to send a message that he will not be deterred by the frequency of such attacks.

The Governor who had flown to Monguno town Friday morning with some top government officials joined remnants of the committee to drive to Baga to flag off the settlement of willing residents of Baga town, some of whom had escaped for over six years becoming Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

This is the second time Professor Zulum would be attacked in Baga for daring to break the ice around the ancient fishing town which has been a stumbling block to address for a long time because it is serving as an economic base of the Boko Haram insurgents who supervise active fishing going on making millions from the trade.

The Governor, in company of the Senator Representing Northern Borno Abubakar Kyari, his colleague from the Federal House Mohammed Monguno, Bukar Kareto and many others arrived in Baga town to inspect what was on ground to enable them move the IDPs in and begin to settle down this weekend.

According to sources, the Governor had enough time to go around for the first time and make a comprehensive assessment of the town before attending Jumma’at Prayer at the Baga Central Mosque as part of programs lined up for the commencement of the resettlement of Baga IDPs.

After the inspection, the Governor responded to enquiries of reporters by saying that he was satisfied with the rehabilitation work done so far because the once bubbling economic town was brought down to its knees with the insurgents destroying everything.

“We have seen the level of interest that have been shown by the resettlement committee, we have also seen the renewed efforts of the Nigeria Military and I think so far we have achieved the minimum threshold for the Resettlement for the Baga Community under the phase one of the relocation exercise.

“Most importantly we have seen the primary health care facility that have been rehabilitated, we have seen water supply distribution network, we have seen the educational facilities under renovation and most importantly the establishment of civil authorities on ground the renovation work on Houses of the Traditional Rulers, Police Station, Market places among others are ongoing on construction.

“With this development, I think we’re good to go. So far so good as far as I know, people started Settling in Baga since two, three days ago, So the issue is not when are we starting resettlement, we have started resettlement we shall continue Resettlement tomorrow,” said Zulum.

Commenting further on the attack on the committee members who went on as an advanced party the governor went on: “What happened today is unfortunate but this will never deter us from pulling our resources on returning back people of Baga. We shall remain resolute, we shall remain courageous, and we shall remain determined to ensure that the people that are willing to return back to their ancestral homes are returned in a dignified manner.

“Also Nigeria is not a party to the Kampala convention but we shall obey all the rules and regulations inherent in the Kampala convention with a view of ensuring the return of the civilians to Baga on a voluntary basis and safe as well as in a dignified manner.

He commended the Nigerian Military, Police, Civil Defence, Civilian Joint Taskforce and all other supporting security agencies for their continued support and collaboration with the Borno State Government adding that he will continue supporting them in the lingering fight against the Boko Haram.

Meanwhile, the remains of the three soldiers, Lance Corporals Desmond Nwobuji and Oluwaseyi Adebiyi and Private Aliyu Ibrahim killed in the ambush that led to the death of Colonel Dahiru Ciroma Bako were buried on Friday at the Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery Maiduguri.

To grace the occasion were the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Training and Operations Army Headquarters Major General Nuhu Angbazo, Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole Major General Farouk Yahaya and his Deputy, Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Abdulkalifa Ibrahim, Principal Staff Officers from Army Headquarters and other senior military officers.

General Buratai in his remark described the fallen soldiers as gallant and patriotic heroes adding that to appreciate their services the Nigeria Army has befitting plans for the families of deceased heroes.

He equally hinted that the Nigeria Army has started a new housing scheme of building 2 and 3 bedroom houses for families of deceased officers and soldiers respectively who must have fallen in the line of duty.

Buratai equally assured that the Nigerian Army has an existing policy of training four children of deceased personnel up to University level adding that this gesture would be extended to the three fallen soldiers.

General Buratai reiterated that the Army would be fair to all irrespective of rank or status so they should not be despaired that they would be deprived of anything that is rightfully theirs.

The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division Brigadier General Abdulkalifa Ibrahim equally presented the sum of 2 million naira each which was a donation by the Government of Borno State to the 3 next of kins of the fallen heroes.

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