The Shehu of Borno, Abubakar El-Kanemi, Monday, said the people of Borno State were lucky to have President Muhammadu Buhari in government as his reign has changed the tide against insecurity significantly.
This is as the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan has also lent his support to the Boko Haram terrorists turning themselves into the Nigerian troops, saying the move should be seen as a welcome development and should be encouraged to end insurgency in the NorthEast.
The Shehu of Borno, who spoke when Lawan paid him a courtesy call over the loss of his elder brother, said his people had “seriously suffered as a result of Boko Haram crisis,” but added that they were “lucky” to have the Buhari government, which eventually changed the tide.
According to him, all the local government areas in the state, which were under the control of Boko Haram had been taken back by the troops, adding that normal business activities had also returned in the state.
He also rejoiced at the news that Boko Haram elements were surrendering, saying, “it’s a welcome development”, because “Borno is a home of peace and we are for peace.”
Recently, there had been reported cases of thousands of Boko Haram insurgents laying down their arms and surrendering to government troops in the North-East zone.
Specifically, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State disclosed last week at the State House, Abuja, that 2,600 repentant Boko Haram insurgents were currently being profiled in Maiduguri by the state government in collaboration with the military and other security agencies.
But Lawan, who spoke Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, at the Palace of Shehu of Borno, in company with the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, used the opportunity of the visit to reassure the Borno people that the federal government would continue to work with the state to restore peace and stability in the region.
“I want to take this opportunity to mention that the federal government of Nigeria will continue to work with Borno State government to ensure that there is restoration of peace and stability in this state and in this part of the country,” he said.
He stressed that the recent surrender by Boko Haram elements was a good development for the security of the country.
Lawan emphasised that the federal government needed to work with the Borno State government and other states in the North-East geo-political zone to ensure that the Boko Haram elements that have been received were appropriately processed.
He said: “Those that have no issues to answer are sanitised and taking back to their communities. Those that may have issues to answer should be taken through the legal processes but we must ensure that we encourage Boko Haram elements and those they have taken by force to come out to surrender so that this unnecessary insurgency placed on us comes to an end.
“I believe there is no need for any controversy over what we need to do with people, who surrendered. In any war, in every war, surrender is the ultimate and if we can achieve it, we should do everything and anything possible to encourage more and more to come out so that we are able to come to the end of this unnecessary insurgency that has taken our states back for so many years in terms of development.
“Your Royal Highness, I want to also commend the Governor of Borno State, our brother and friend, who has shown so much commitment, dedication and leadership in ensuring that Borno State, as much as possible, is safe and the people of this state are protected from the insurgency.
“The federal government is devoting so much resources for our security agencies to fight and bring insecurity to an end. Recently, the National Assembly approved over 800 billion naira for our security agencies in a supplementary budget and Mr President has assured us that he will bring more requests for more resources for our security agencies in the 2022 appropriation bill, which may be presented at the end of September by the Grace of God.
“We pray Almighty God to continue to guide our leaders at all levels, to protect our leaders at all levels and of course, to protect the people of this country,” Lawan said.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja