Christmas: Let's Reflect And Pray For Speedy Reconstructions, Rehabilitation, Resettlement Of IDPs, Refugees Shettima Tells Citizens

By Ibrahim-Gwamna Mshelizza

Governor Kashim Shettima has called on Borno citizens to use the Christmas and upcoming New Year season to deeply reflect, pray and be dedicated towards the speedy rebuilding of communities and public institutions for social services destroyed by insurgents, the resettlement of affected victims as well as the creation of alternative means for them.

Shettima made the call in his Christmas message issued by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau in Maiduguri on Thursday.

The Governor said while citizens who are not directly affected by the insurgency plan to enjoy the long Christmas holiday, they should make out time to think about the severe trauma faced by over 1.5 million sons and daughters of Borno State who were forced out of their communities to either become internally displaced in Government controlled camps or live in strange places that include taking refuge outside Nigeria.

"I, on behalf of Borno State Government felicitate with my Christian brothers and sisters in Borno State at Christmas and pray for a peaceful and joyful celebration. I respectfully appeal to all citizens to use the festive reason to deeply reflect on the plight of fellow citizens who currently live outside their homes following vicious attacks by insurgents in many communities across our dear State.

These affected citizens, more than 1.5 million of them, internally displaced (within Nigeria) as well as those taking refuge in neighbouring countries, are under severe trauma haven lost relations, children, sources of livelihood and forced to live outside their homes.

Many of them have been turned from highly enterprising employers of labour, importers and exporters of goods and services to becoming jobless beggars that depend entirely on alms. We should not only reflect on their conditions, comfort and support them but also pray and commit ourselves to the current efforts of Government to speedily reconstruct their communities with all essential social services put back and made functional; rehabilitation to give them new sources of livelihood and reintegrating them back to rebuilt communities.

The Borno State Government is determined to achieving these before the second quarter of 2016 in anticipation of full restoration of peace. In fact, the Government is already working aggressively in phases. All citizens have a duty to support sincere efforts towards these reconstruction works so that together we shall return our brothers and sisters to not just their ancestral homes but to remodeled and befitting homes that should be better than those destroyed.

I enjoin all citizens to be law abiding throughout the festive season and beyond. The State Government in active collaboration with security agencies, is doing everything humanly possible, to ensure a peaceful festive season" Shettima was quoted to have said.