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Gov Zulum Holds First SEC Retreat in Damasak Despite Boko Haram Threats

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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Borno State Government has held its first State Executive Council (SEC) Retreat in Damasak town, the Local Government Headquarters of Mobbar LGC and the former stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists with a view to acquaint the people of the area with the reality of post insurgency challenges of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the post insurgency rebuilding process.

Speaking at the retreat which was held at the Conference Hall of the Mobbar Local Government Council Secretariat, Damasak Sunday, the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum who presided over the meeting said “you would be wandering why we brought this retreat to Damasak. This is to remind us of the enormous challenges of insurgency and governance in crisis “.

”Retreats are usually carried out in Serene and comfort zones. We may hold this retreat in Obudu Ranch but we are holding this retreat in Damasak which used to be a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgency, to remind us that governance is not about comfort “, Zulum said.

He said ” We are here to stay for few days but our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are permanently living here. Many decisions are taken in serene environment. But I am of the view that sometimes, better decisions are even in crisis environment “.

” We are gathered here to bring us face to face with reality of the security challenges we found yourselves in. On our way coming we saw many villages and towns that used to be beehive of activities but are now deserted and shadows of themselves, ” Zulum said.

The governor further said ,“We are also here to review and restrategize on how best to face the enormous challenges of post insurgency governance in line with my ten point pact “, Zulum added.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa said, ,"it is indeed a global best practices for political leaders and business executives to go on retreat away from familiar working environment and routine social and domestic pressures to serene locations to brainstorm on policy issues and come up with pragmatic strategy for effective and efficient programme implementations.

"This practice is abandoned for years even before the security challenges. We sincerely appreciate the ingenuity and foresight of Governor Zulum for reintroducing this activity. ”

" The current political disposition, the momentum and style of leadership requires a serious reorientation of all of us. We need to understand the philosophy of the new leader., the goals and objectives before we can be effective members of the transformation team, ” Shuwa said.

He also said: ” the issues to be discussed ranges from governance in crisis situation, policy articulation, programme implementation, protocol and procurement, laws and accountability, most importantly, the discussion is triggered by and led by no other person but his Excellency himself.. He is going to make open his vision and aspiration for the people of Borno State through his well articulated 10 point Agenda"..

Also speaking, the Borno State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Babakura Abba Jatau said ” the reason of being here is for His Excellency to tell us how to go about implementing his ten point agenda “.