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Borno: Saraki Assures Of End To Boko Haram, Donates N10m to IDPs

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 03, (THEWILL) – Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Monday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, assured that the Boko Haram insurgency would soon come to an end.

Saraki gave the assurance when he led a Senate delegation to the state to assess the level of destruction by the insurgents and see how the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are faring.

The delegation of Senators touched down in Maiduguri in a Nigerian Air Force aircraft at exactly 12:10pm. On the delegation with the Senate President were Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume , Senate Deputy Chief Whip Francis Alimikhena, Senators Mohammed Hassan, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Danjuma Goje and Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Senator Isa Galaudu.

On arrival in Maiduguri, the delegation proceeded straight to the State Government House where they paid a courtesy call on the governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima.

Saraki informed Shettima that they were in the state for an “on-the-spot assessment of the situation on ground,” saying they were there “to empathise with our people who are victims of the violent activities of the misguided elements who call themselves Boko Haram.”

According to Saraki, ” We also want to use the opportunity of a visit to appreciate those of you who have been providing leadership, both political and military, in the fight against this strange phenomenon -insurgency- in which some individuals, for no just reasons, continue to unleash violence on the populace.”

Continuing, he said: “I express our sympathy to you and our people for the agony, suffering and unnecessary diversion which this menace has subjected our people to. It is obvious that this negative occurrence has impeded development in this state.

“Specifically for you as Governor, it is painful that while you aspire to occupy this office because of a development agenda which you have for the purpose of improving on the standard of living of our people here in the state, you have been forced, compelled and restrained to slow down on the implementation of this lofty programmes while you focus on tackling the security issues.”

Saraki said the visit became imperative because the legislators decided to follow up their extensive deliberation and debate on the security situation in Borno State in particular, and the North East in general, with a visit to the epicenter of the crisis.

According to the Senate President, “On behalf of the Senate of the Federal Republic, I want to say that myself, my colleague-senators as individuals representing various districts and the Senate as an institution promise you today that we will do anything required of us and within our capacity to help restore normalcy in this area, rehabilitate the people and their environment, rebuild the economy and provide necessary social services.

“We will not only provide the needed legislations to halt the carnage going on here, we will also continue to suggest ideas through motions and resolutions that can help us put this problem behind us. This delegation will go back and brief the Whole House and you will hear from us what personal and institutional contributions we will make towards making life a little better for the inhabitants.”

The Senate delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El Kanemi. They also visited three of the 26 IDPs camps in the state where Saraki assured the people that they were not alone and that if they have been abandoned in the past, they should know they have an ally in the Senate and should equally know that the Presidency led by President Muhammadu Buhari is now with them. He also donated the sum of N10million for the upkeep of the IDPs in the state.

Responding earlier, Governor Shettima called for the establishment of the Northeast Development Commission to anchor the rehabilitation of the troubled region even as he lamented that the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan made the people of the zone feel as if they were second class citizens of the country.

Shettima lamented that the Borno people were left as an orphaned child without consolation even by the Senate which leadership did not feel it right to visit them whereas states without the level of misfortune as that of Borno were frequently visited.

The governor said the over five-year-old insurgency has left thousands of people dead, and property worth billions of Naira destroyed, disclosing that his administration has been spending huge sums of money for the upkeep of the IDPs in the various camps in the state.

According to Shettima, the state government had also rendered support to security agencies which sacrificed lives of its men in the fight against Boko Haram.

While expressing gratitude to the Senate President for donating the sum of N10 million to assist in the upkeep of the IDPs in the state, he lamented that the lingering crisis has led to the sacking of over 20 Local Government Areas of the state with over a million people displaced, hundreds of women forcefully turned into widows prematurely, children made orphans as well as public structures such as schools, hospitals, roads also destroyed .