By Bukar Bolori
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to spare no effort or resources in ensuring that the widows and children of fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in defence of the country, are well cared for.
The President made this promise while addressing the officers and men of the Armed Forces in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital during a visit to assess the security situation of the country and to commission some projects.
He said he would love to use the occasion to condole the families of the nation’s fallen heroes and pray for the souls of the departed, said: “I want to assure you that this administration will spare no effort or resources to ensure that the widows and children of our fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in defence of our beloved country, are well cared for.”
He, however, charged the men of the Armed Forces to continue the good work of defending the nation, he said: “We should not allow our adversaries the opportunity or breathing space to challenge or undermine our national interests and core values. The defence and security agencies should rest assured of the Federal Government’s unalloyed commitment to winning the battle against terror and criminality.”
He side by side the efforts of the Armed Forces and security agencies, his Administration is already developing a strategy for post-war reconstruction and peace-building.
He said: “Concerted efforts are being made to fast-track re-construction and development programmes in the affected communities in the North East.”
He said he would continue to ensure that our wounded comrades get the best medical attention towards their full recovery.
He told the soldiers that their collective efforts at decimating and degrading the terrorists and reaffirming the inviolable sovereignty of our nation is acknowledged, stressing that their steadfastness and untiring efforts in the face of the difficulties they experience in the Theatres of Operation is to his knowledge.
He said: “Your collective efforts have resulted in the relative peace being enjoyed in the region today. Under my watch, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been provided a firm strategy and clear sense of direction to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.”
He added that: “I am particularly happy to note the increasing understanding and cooperation within the military, as well as the inter-agency cooperation in the fight against the terrorists and other criminal elements in the North East.
The President said: “Alongside investment in development and reconstruction, we will sustain our investment in the Armed Forces in a manner that balances the “carrot and stick”.
He said the outcome of this synergy is evidenced by the successes recorded in the ongoing Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO which has so far degraded the insurgents’ capabilities in the Timbuktu Triangle, Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Region. I am therefore pleased to acknowledge that the military and other security agencies including civilian stakeholders are adhering to the true spirit of Operation HADIN KAI which implies “jointness, synergy and cooperation.”
He revealed that the repairs and maintenance of some of these vital weapons are now being carried out in the country thereby saving the nation a lot of foreign exchange and also creating jobs for our teeming population, stating that: “As personnel of our Armed Forces and security agencies, you must understand that these items of equipment must be put to good use against the terrorists and other criminal elements. There is no room for complacency, and no need to be less than 100 per cent alert at all times.”
The President had touched down at the Nigeria Air Force Base in Maiduguri at 10.15am where he was welcome by Governor Babagana Zulum and other top dignitaries.
He was greeted by the massive crowd of people including students, civil servants and other section of the society who have lined the streets to have a glimpse of their President.
The President was able to commission seven projects out of the massive 556 capital projects delivered by the present administration of Prof. Babagana Zulum in the last two years at the helm in the state.
Some of the projects commissioned include a Vocational Training Institute, protects at the Borno State University, where Zulum administration completed the senate building, constructed two large hostels with 150 rooms for 1,200 students; 34 units of duplexes and bungalows for Professors.
The President also commissioned two mega-size Government Day Technical Secondary Schools in, Njimtilo and Goni Kachallari and a higher Islamic School, near the Shehu’s palace, all of which have 60 air-conditioned classrooms for at least 2,400 students; vocational workshops, laboratories for sciences and ICT, auditoriums and sporting facilities.
Zulum has built 16 of such schools across Borno.
Also commissioned were Abbaganaram Maternal Healthcare Centre, which has 50-bed spaces, theatres, diagnostic equipment, blood banks and laboratories. It was one replicated in Gwange.
The President also commissioned roads and drainages constructed in Jiddari Polo and the first phase of 10,000 resettlement houses he had approved for Borno State, from which 4,000 have been completed.
The President who could not hide his impression at the number and quality of projects of the Governor, said: “I am highly impressed by the very dynamic leadership that His Excellency Governor Babagana Umaru Zulum has been providing in Borno State in the last two years.
“He is very selfless and has been taking a lot of personal risks in order to guarantee the safety and welfare of his people. I wish that every other person who has responsibility for the people at various levels will emulate Governor Zullum, instead of squandering so much time on unhelpful buck-passing and blame games. I have gone round to commission some of the capital projects executed by the Zulum Administration in two years. I am very happy with what I saw.”
The President also directed the Federal Ministry of Health to work with Borno Government in identifying areas through which the Federal Government can support ongoing construction of Borno State University Teaching Hospital through interventions equipment and manpower.
President Buhari who have had his Service Chiefs waiting a day earlier for him in Maiduguri, was accompanied on the visit by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Governor of Yobe state Mai-Mala Buni, Managing Director NNPC Mallam Kolo Kyari and former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Sheriff, among others.