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Generals Buratai, Danjuma and Mrs. Abacha conferred with awards

Mrs. Abacha advocates for peace through dialogue
Source: Haruna Isa and Ibrahim M.A.
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The Chief of Army Staff Lt. General T.Y Buratai and Mrs. Abacha were among the eighteen distinguished Nigerians that were conferred with awards of recognition at the Northeast Star magazine third awards night which was organized in collaboration with the Arewa Journalists Forum. The event took place at the Merit House, Abuja and it was chaired by Professor Abba Gambo, the Agricultural Consultant to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Secretary Presidential Task Force on Food Security.

While General T.Y Danjuma was honored as the Northeast Star magazine Man of the Year, Mrs. Maryam Abacha received the Woman of the Year award because of her efforts towards peace building and family support initiatives. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai bagged the Colin Powell Meritorious Award for Soldiering because of his meritorious leadership in spearheading the war against insurgency in the northeast region. It might be necessary to add hear that ten women associations came all the way from Borno to show solidarity for Gen. Buratai because of the award of recognition.

General Danjuma who was ably represented by Chief Obadiah Ando, the former Minister of Resources and an elder statesman of impeccable repute said that he was delighted with the award and it shows that all hope is not lost for the northeast. “These young men were able to bring together to unite for the betterment of our region. I think the northeast region is a very rich region that has produced gallant soldiers like Brigadier Zakariah Maimalari, Sir Kashim Ibrahim and other distinguished personalities. We need to come together and see how best we can move this region forward; we need to work towards harmony and peace.”

When giving her remarks, Mrs. Abacha called for peace through dialogue to end the insurgency in the northeast. “War is more expensive and dangerous at all times but even though peace is priceless, peace doesn’t cause much. It is war that is expensive. None of us was consulted upon to select our parents or where or how we would be born but everything happened according to Allah’s plan and will so why are we hating and fighting each other? We all must learn to be tolerant of one another and make efforts at all times to live in peace. I as a person value peace and that’s why I was instrumental in the formation of the Firstlady’s peace mission when we were in Government. Guns and bullet alone cannot give us peace. We must make use of dialogue and negotiation to achieve peace,” said Mrs. Abacha.

The Publisher of the magazine Dr. Abubakar Mohammed said that the magazine which was started five years ago came into existence to promote peace and social cohesion in the northeast region. He admonished the politics leaders of the region to make effort towards negotiations so as to bring an end to the Boko Haram menace once and for all. “We want this insurgency to end and this time around the Borno State Government needs to be actively involved in resolving this matter through dialogue and negations,” said the Publisher. “We have human resources that are more than competent to solve all the challenges of the region but we are either ignoring them or under valuing them. Someone like Mama Abacha or General Danjuma can be very resourceful in proffering solutions to the challenges of the region. I see no harm in Boko Haram transforming into a political party like the Islamic Brotherhood did in Egypt. If people want them then let them vote for them. I should also like to say that most times violence starts from our tongues. We as a people must desist from calling each other derogatory names. I am not comfortable with Muslims calling Christian arne or the kabila or whatever. The reverse is also the case when you hear some Christians calling Muslims kuturu or masa dungure. This has to stop. We in this magazine believe in religious tolerance and social cohesion,” he added.

Barr. Ibrahim Mainasara, the Guest Speaker at the occasion delivered a talk titled Elections in our Contemporary Society and Its Challenges called on Nigerians to see that their votes count in 2019 by making sure that they vote peacefully for credible and worthy Nigerians to represent them. “Our elections are too expensive. There is need to adopt modern technologies that can improve efficiency and reduce costs,” said Barr. Mainasara.

Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Gambo lamented on the myriads of challenges that are now loading it over the northeast region which was once a glorious domain. He commended the organizers of the event and charged the entire award recipient to do more in their various fields of endeavor. Other personalities that were awarded at the event include Prof. Babagana Umara Zullum as Best Commissioner of the Year, Prof. T.M Dabkana with the General Excellence Awards in Orthopedics, Hajiya Zara Goni as the Humanitarian of the Year and DCP Abba Kyari as the Best Police Officer of the Decade. Also among the awardees is Hon. Usman Chiroma of the Borno State Community and Social Development Agency who bagged the Gambo Jimeta Servant Leader Award. The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) was also honored with the Five Star Medal of Efficiency because of the giants’ strides PICA has been doing to block leakages and wastages, whistle blowing policy and so on under the Buhari administration.