The Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magash (Rtd) has said the Nigeria government is optimistic that the ongoing war against Boko Haram will end soon as an improved synergy has be put in place with the multinational forces.
The Minister, who was in Borno State in company of the Chiefs of Army and Air Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique said the war has gone on for so long.
Magash, who paid a courtesy visit on Borno Governor. Prof. Babagana Umara, while describing the governor as a blessing to not only his state but the entire nation at a time like this, said: “I am happy to also inform you that we have improved our synergy with the multinational forces from Chad.
” The Federal Government is doing its best in funding operations and I can assure you that we are determined to see that soon, insha’Allah, this Boko Haram crisis comes to an end. It has been on for more than ten years now, everyone wants an end to it. “
Magashi, dressed in military camouflage, said,” We are taking the insurgents head on.”
Magash said the entire military and security apparatus of the nation are lucky to have Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum as a governor of the Northeast state at a time like this.
The minister while describing Umara as highly resourceful, competent and determined, said it was a plus that Borno State, faced with the ongoing challenges, has such resourceful person as governor.
He declared: “We are very happy that you (Zulum) who is very versatile and dedicated in our operational activities of fighting the Boko Haram, happens to be the Governor of Borno State at this point in time.
” You have have been according so much support to our military on ground in this battle and we are here to thank you and to redesign the battle.
In his response Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum said he can attest to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari administration has achieve milestones in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
He said naotwithstanding the challenges still being faced in the fight against Boko Haram, the President has significantly changed Borno’s security situation from what it used to be before he was elected in 2015.
The Governor said: “We have challenges, there is no doubt about this but as Governor of Borno State and as someone who was commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement that was going round the state for four years, I can say without any fear of contradiction that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown unquantifiable and genuine commitment to helping Borno get out of the Boko Haram era.
“I also know the huge difference these commitment of the President has made in changing our situation from what it used to be to the current situation. We all knew how impossible it was to move few kilometers out of Maiduguri but these days we are able to travel to former Boko Haram strongholds like Marte, Damasak and many others.
“The President is giving tremendous support to ending the insurgency, he is doing his own bid, what is left is for those he entrusts with the responsibilities to do whatever they can to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
” The President is doing his part and we are grateful to him, to the Minister of Defense that has been to Borno four times in six months. We are grateful to our service chiefs, to the commanders on ground and most importantly to our gallant troops, Civilian JTF and hunters who are at the battle field”
The Governor while enumerating the areas of challenges still being faced, made a strong appeal for reopening of major economic roads and restoration of economic activities in some commercial towns on the shores of the Lake Chad.
He said this would check against idle citizens being recruited by the Boko Haram through economic inducements, while appealing for increased military presence along all routes in around the state.
He said about one million citizens currently living in places like Monguno, Damasak and Nganzai need to return to businesses even if it means the military has to supervise commercial activities in order to ensure insurgents do not try to hijack the economic environment to raise funds.