President Goodluck Jonathan has complained that his administration would have since ended the activities of Boko Haram but that external interests and forces have been thwarting such efforts, even as he swore before the Borno state monarch that will, in a matter of few days, bring the insurgency to its knees.
Jonathan, who was in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state in continuation of his Presidential campaign told the Shehu of Borno, Alh Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba El Kanemi and other traditional rulers in Shehu’s palace, assured that his administration has mapped out plans to rebuild the state after defeating Boko Haram.
He made it clear that his administration is committed to the rescue of the missing Chibok school girls
The President promised to extend the ongoing railway rehabilitation to the state and accelerate ongoing work on the Kano- Maiduguri expressway.
Jonathan said that 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 will rebuild and redesign the entire Borno state in such a way that children will 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.”
Earlier, the Shehu of Borno expressed pain over the state of security and infrastructure decay in the state, adding: “Your Excellency, we are made to understand that most federal progress in Borno state are stalled due to insecurity, e.g 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.
“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. ”
He told the President that about five emirs in the state are currently resident out of their terrains because Boko Haram members had taken over their palaces.
The monarch called on 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 President Jonathan to reconstruct the Maiduguri- Bama- Uba- Askira as well as Kukawa- Baga road and extend it to Mallam Fatori even as he also appealed for the completion of of the rehabilitation of the Maiduguri – Dikwa- Gamboru Ngala road which he said are all in a state of disrepair.
The Shehu 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, President Jonathan who ordered a minute silence in memory of those who lost their lives since the beginning of Boko Haram terror.
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.