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Boko Haram: FG Interested In Ceasefire, Says Sambo

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 02, (THEWILL) – Vice President Namadi Sambo, Saturday, declared that the Federal Government was interested in the ceasefire recently declared by Boko Haram, saying the Federal Government was exploring the option and would come out with a stand soon.

Daring the odds as he paid a visit to Maiduguri two years after his last visit to the troubled capital of Borno State, Sambo said the Federal Government was in support of the effort of the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, in breaking the truce that led to the declaration of ceasefire by the sect.

He assured that the Federal Government was ready to work with Shettima to ensure that peace finally returns to the state and country.

However, residents of the town were prevented from the moving about the streets by stern looking policemen and soldiers who were deployed to the town.

Only few students who were brought to wave at the vice president’s convoy were seen on the streets.

"We are happy with the ceasefire, the president has always advocated for dialogue, even after a long drawn war combatants still come to the roundtable to discuss peace. We are happy that this has been achieved in a short time and the Federal Government is ready for dialogue," Sambo said.

He however maintained that the presidency had at no time left the people of Borno to their fate, insisting that the state had always have the deserved attention.

"People want to politicise the issue that the president and myself have not visited Borno, but I must say the state and its people have been on our heart.

"In fact, this visit should have been made a month earlier but due to the exigencies of office, but here we are today, God's time is the best," he said.

Sambo said he brought them condolences of President Jonathan, stressing that "he directed me to come and commiserate with those that have lost their lives and property in Borno."

Sambo also said that he brought the condolence of the president to the Shehu of Borno whose life was also as well as the victims of last year's flood in the state, whom he promised of Federal Government's assistance.

He equally promised the people of the state that the oil exploration will soon start in the state, noting that $75 million was spent on the exploratory study last year alone and $100 million budgeted for the same purpose this year.

He disclosed that three oil blocks have been found in the state and that before the end of this year or during the first quarter of next year drilling of oil will begin in the state.

Sambo disclosed that $10 billion is needed for regenerating the receding Lake Chad even as he said that $5 billion had been spent so far on consultancy on the receding work.

After Sambo had commissioned some projects including roads, hospital and housing project, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai El-Kanemi, and the governor, Shettima, brought the demand of the people of the state before him.

The demands include assistance on issues of oil exploration, federal assistance on the Chad Basin, improvement of the national grid, security at the borders, among others.

The Vice President also had a close door meeting with the elders of the state where he is believed to have discussed the issue of Boko Haram with them.