President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja met a delegation from Borno, and restated his administration’s unwavering determination to equip the military to overcome the insurgency in the northeast.
The President also told the delegation led by Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno that the collective safety and security of civilians would continue to remain paramount in the administration’s strategy to restore peace and stability in the region.
He said: ‘‘Having been a former Governor in the North East, a GOC in the region and very familiar with the terrain, I assure you that as Commander-in-Chief, I’ll raise the standard of the Nigerian Armed Forces and get the resources to encourage them to do better than what they are doing. ’’
The President also told the delegation comprising political, traditional, religious, women and media leaders in the State that he was impressed by their leadership roles and participation in helping the government deal with the insurgency in the North East.
He commended the contributions of the stakeholders from the State particularly the need for more air support for troops on the ground and coordination among different security agencies.
‘‘I am getting at least a weekly situation report from the services and of course from other sources.
“I encourage the commanders to remain committed,’’ he said.
Buhari thanked the governor for demonstrating leadership in the State during difficult times.
‘‘I have an idea how much you are doing and I very much appreciate it. I’m sure that has earned you more respect from the people,’’ he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Gov. Shettima, who almost broke down in tears, recounted that before 2015, Boko Haram had almost completely overrun the State, occupying many local government areas because the state government did not receive the necessary support and succour from the then Federal Government.
He said: ‘‘we are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your presidency in the firm belief that with you as Commander-in-Chief, Boko Haram will become history.
‘‘We are here because you have demonstrated empathy for Borno people and the overriding commitment to end Boko Haram.
‘‘We are here because we knew you would welcome us without any suspicion or contempt.’’
Other stakeholders from the State who made comments included Bishop Mohammed Naga, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Borno State; Dr Bulama Mali Gubio, Secretary, Borno Elders’ Forum and Maina Ma’aji Lawal, former Governor of the State.
Others, who spoke at the event included the Emir of Dikwa, Muhammad Masta IIbn Al-Amin El-Kanemi, represented the Shehu of Borno as well as some members of the National Assembly from Borno.