Zulum Suspends Ramat Polytechnic Management Team After Surprise Visit

Governor of Borno of State Professor Babagana Zulum inspects the Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri.

 

Governor of Borno of State Professor Babagana Zulum has suspended the entire management of the state-owned Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri, for a period of six months.

The suspension came after the governor, who was a student of the Polytechnic between 1986 to 1988, unexpectedly visited the Polytechnic around 9:00 am on Tuesday and found most of the laboratories out of use, with some covered in cobwebs and rodents roaming around due to neglect.

After assessing all the infrastructure and learning conditions, he directed the state’s Commissioner of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Babagana Mallumbe, to take over the affairs of the school immediately.

“As far as I am concerned, this Polytechnic is dead. Nothing is working,” he said.

“The workshops are not in existence, the mechanical workshop is not working, the agricultural workshop is not working, likewise, the entrepreneurship centre is not working. The school is facing myriads of problems, ranging from lack of funding and commitment. As a former student of this polytechnic, a former rector, I have moral stakes in this polytechnic. Insha’Allah, I will not allow this polytechnic to rot during my era as Governor of Borno State. I will do everything possible within my reach to ensure functionality of this institution Insha Allah.

“I have directed the Commissioner of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation to take over the affairs for the next six months. The ministry is to ensure that all the workshops and the laboratories are put back to use as soon as possible. The entrepreneurship centre should immediately be put back to use as well. When I was at the Polytechnic as a rector, the entrepreneurship centre was producing nothing less than 10,000 to 20,000 school desks and chairs every month. We produced hospital beddings,” Zulum said.

 

Governor Zulum inspects laboratories in the Ramat Polytechnic.

 

Thereafter, he held a closed-door meeting with the management of the Polytechnic.

He also directed the Ministry of Water Resources to drill two deep aquifers boreholes and carry out a complete water channel network within the polytechnic, which is coming after prior interventions he approved for Polytechnic in 2019, to reduce problems of water supply.

After the meeting, Governor Zulum, while addressing thousands of students at the premises of the polytechnic, assured them that payment of scholarships will commence soon.

“The verification exercise has just been completed, I want to assure you that as soon as the detailed report is forwarded to me, we will pay your scholarship immediately,” he said.

The Governor was also at the Federal Secretariat, where enrollment exercises of Batch C N-Power volunteers were being conducted.

On arrival, he addressed thousands of applicants gathered for the biometric enrollment that will enable them to get monthly stipends from the Federal Government.

He assured them of the state government’s support despite N-Power being a Federal Government programme.

Insurgency: I Was Attacked More Than 40 Times – Zulum

 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, says he has survived many attacks numbering over 40 by insurgents in the state.

He disclosed this on Tuesday at a briefing with State House correspondents shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“I was attacked more than 40, 50 times,” said the governor while responding to questions from the reporters. “I know the magnitude of this problem.”

He decried the impact of the over one decade-long insurgency which he said has gravely affected the livelihood of the people of the state.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack NDA, Kill Two Officers, Abduct One

“We have estimated a total number of over 50,000 orphans and widows; these are official figures, the unofficial figures are more than these, and we were able to cultivate not more than three per cent of our total arable land because of the insurgents.

“And right now, the whereabouts of not less than 10 percent of the people of Borno State is not known to all of us – at all. This is a very serious matter,” Governor Zulum lamented.

An Endless War?

Recently, military authorities said troops have intensified onslaught against the members of the Boko Haram sect and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the North East.

This, according to them, has forced the insurgents to flee from their hideouts with hundreds of them surrendering their arms to the troops.

A photo released by the army on August 16, 2021, shows some of the repentant Boko Haram fighters seated on the floor.

 

While the latest development has been commended by many, others want the Federal Government not to pardon the repentant terrorists. Rather, they asked that they should be prosecuted.

But this position has been rejected by Governor Zulum whose state is one of the worst-hit by the insurgency.

He believes accepting the repentant terrorists is the way to go if Nigeria wants an end to the insurgency. He revealed that about 2,600 of them have so far surrendered, including their wives and children.

The governor, however, stressed that those who have surrendered would not immediately be reintegrated into the society.

“Unless we want to continue with an endless war, I see no reason why we should reject those who are willing to surrender,” he said.

“More than 100,000 people were killed and therefore, I am in total support of this ongoing surrender by the insurgents. We will support them and those that have surrendered shall be dealt with according to the extant rules and regulation.”

Boko Haram Surrender: It Is Difficult To Accept Killers Of One’s Parents – Zulum

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum addresses stakeholders in the state on August 14, 2021.

 

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has said it is extremely difficult to decide what to do with repentant Boko Haram members.

Many Boko Haram terrorists have recently surrendered to the military as the Federal Government continues to ramp up its offensive against the insurgency in the North-East.

“Accepting Boko Haram has the risk of seriously offending the feelings of victims with the potential of civil rebellion,” the governor noted while addressing military officers and community leaders in Bama and Gwoza, a statement issued by his spokesperson, Isa Gusau, said.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Army Hands Over Another Chibok Schoolgirl To Zulum

“No one would find it easy to accept killers of his or her parents, children and other loved ones. In the last 12 years, we have been in this war, and we have lost thousands of fellow citizens.”

But not accepting the terrorists could lead to “an endless war”, he added.

Zulum said his government will engage in high-level consultations – including with victims of crimes perpetrated by the insurgents – to “come up with a workable framework.”

What Zulum said

“We (in Borno) are in a very difficult situation over the ongoing surrender by insurgents.

“We have to critically look between two extreme conditions and decide our future.

“We have to choose between an endless war or to cautiously accept the surrendered terrorists which is really painful and difficult for anyone that has lost loved ones, difficult for all of us and even for the military whose colleagues have died and for volunteers.

“No one would find it easy to accept killers of his or her parents, children and other loved ones.

“In the last 12 years we have been in this war, and we have lost thousands of fellow citizens. We don’t know the whereabout of thousands of others, we don’t know whether they are alive or dead.

“In these 12 years, millions have been made homeless and many wealthy farmers, transporters and others have been rendered poor.

“In these years, we were able to cultivate maybe around 3% of the arable land, and as a result our people became dependent on food aid amid donor fatigue and potential food insecurity, infact the repercussions of the Boko Haram crisis are enormous and as someone who has been involved with assessment of the impacts and rebuilding efforts in the last seven years, I am in position to know the endless negative impact the Boko Haram has made in Borno.”

Nigerian Army Hands Over Another Chibok Schoolgirl To Zulum

Governor Babagana Zulum received Chibok schoolgirl Hassana Adamu in Gwoza, on August 14, 2021.
Governor Babagana Zulum received Chibok schoolgirl Hassana Adamu in Gwoza, on August 14, 2021.

 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Saturday in Gwoza, received another Chibok schoolgirl who presented herself to the Nigerian Army.

The schoolgirl, Hassana Adamu, alongside her two children, was handed over to Governor Zulum by the Commander, 26 Taskforce Brigade, Brigadier General DR Dantani.

Hassana was one of over 200 schoolgirls abducted at a Government Secondary School in Chibok on April 14, 2014, by Boko Haram insurgents.

Governor Babagana Zulum received Chibok schoolgirl Hassana Adamu in Gwoza, on August 14, 2021.

 

She is the second Chibok schoolgirl to be received by the Borno State Government within two weeks.

Another Chibok schoolgirl, Ruth Ngladar Pogu and a man said to be her husband, had presented themselves to the Nigerian Army on July 28 at a location in Bama.

Seven years after

The Chibok abduction in 2014 caused a stir worldwide, leading to calls for the return of the girls by global figures, including then First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

Although a good number of the students have regained their freedom, about 100 are still believed to be in captivity.

Governor Babagana Zulum received Chibok schoolgirl Hassana Adamu in Gwoza, on August 14, 2021.

 

In April, seven years after the abduction, Zulum pledged to safely recover the remaining girls.

“As a father of all sons and daughters of Borno, I haven’t lost hope that our remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other abducted persons will be safely recovered,” the Governor said.

 

Boko Haram: Borno Govt Enrols 5,361 Children Of Killed, Missing Residents

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum enrols over 5,000 schoolchildren in Monguno town of the state on August 11, 2021.

 

The Borno State government has enrolled thousands of school children without parents in Monguno – one of the towns worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

Governor Babagana Zulum, who has been undertaking a series of humanitarian and developmental activities in northern Borno since Sunday, personally supervised the enrolment exercise on Wednesday.

A total number of 5,361 children – between the ages of seven and 13 years – were registered during the two-day exercise.

They are part of over the 50,000 children either orphaned by Boko Haram or whose parents and relations have been missing as a result of attacks on several communities by the insurgents since 2009.

Each of them will be given uniforms and writing materials, as well as free meals in their respective schools.

Some of the schoolchildren enrolled by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum

 

The beneficiaries were registered in the presence of their guardians who gave their biographic details, including places of displacement and indigenous local governments.

READ ALSO: Niger State Commissioner Abducted By Bandits Regains Freedom

Although the enrollment exercise was for orphans and children without parents, other parents trooped out with their children to demand the enrolment of their children.

Zulum, who promised to look into their request, appealed to guardians of all the beneficiaries to ensure their wards attend school regularly.

He also revealed the plan of the state government to engage Islamiyya teachers to teach guardians and other adults willing to learn.

While in Monguno, the governor also approved scholarships from primary to tertiary education for children of members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), hunters, and vigilantes fighting Boko Haram insurgents.

Some vigilantes listen to Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum on August 11, 2021.

 

He supported volunteers with cash of N5,000 each and released patrol vehicles and other working tools to ease their work.

Governor Zulum assured them that with their sacrifices, the state government would create opportunities for their children to obtain western education in order to look forward to a promising future.

He was accompanied to Monguno by Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, as well as some commissioners and top government officials.

Borno Govt Suspends French NGO Over Shooting Training At Maiduguri Hotel

Some of the toy guns seized by the Borno state government from French NGO, ACTED, on June 26, 2021.
Some of the toy guns seized by the Borno state government from French NGO, ACTED, on June 26, 2021.

 

Blessing Tunoh, Maiduguri

Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, has directed the immediate suspension of ACTED, an international Non-Governmental Organization (iNGO) following Saturday’s discovery that the humanitarian organisation was using a hotel in Maiduguri for training some persons on shooting.

Zulum’s spokesperson, Malam Isa Gusau, who announced the Governor’s directive, said the French iNGO was found using toy guns and simulators in training exercises at a hotel located off circular road in Maiduguri.

Gusau explained that residents near the hotel had reported to officials that they were hearing sounds of gunshots from the hotel, following which government officials reported the matter to GRA Divisional Police Headquarters which oversees the hotel’s location.

The police found three toy pistols at the hotel while two trainers, both Nigerians, were at the police station with investigation ongoing.

The statement said pending the outcome of police investigation, Governor Zulum has directed sealing of the hotel and suspension of ACTED from any humanitarian activity in Borno State.

Gusau noted that Governor Zulum acknowledges and deeply appreciates the roles of credible iNGOs which have been providing critical humanitarian interventions in different parts of Borno.

He assured them of government’s continued cooperation and support while also upholding obedience to prevailing laws, policies and rules guiding all activities and actions across the state.

Buhari Visits Borno, Addresses Troops Fighting Insurgency

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited Borno State and addressed troops on the frontline battling insurgency in the Northeast.

The President landed at the airport located at the Air Force base in Maiduguri, the state capital a few minutes before 10.00 am on Thursday for the one-day working visit.

He was received by the state governor Babagana Zulum and other top government officials in the state.

Students were lined up on the streets while military and paramilitary officers were also at the Headquarters of Operation Hadin Kai also to receive the President.

The President during the visit addressed Nigerian army troops at the headquarters of Theatre Command Operation Heading Kai and 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri Malari Cantonment, Maiduguri.

He also commissioned some projects including 4,000 houses which were part of the Federal Government’s housing project, as well as some local projects executed by the state government.

In a statement issued earlier, the Borno State government said “the President would commission the first phase of the 10,000 houses which he graciously approved and funded for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.”

According to the Governor, the housing project in Borno is the largest Federal Government housing intervention sited in one state.

Governor Zulum highlighted the other projects approved which he attributed to the President’s compassion and concern for the humanitarian situation in the state.

See more photos from the President’s visit to Borno…

Buhari To Visit Borno, Inaugurate 4,000 Houses Built For IDPs On Thursday – Zulum

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will arrive in Maiduguri on Thursday on a one-day working visit to Borno State, Governor Babagana Zulum has said.

Governor Zulum who disclosed this on Tuesday evening at the Government House in the state capital noted that the President would be appraising the security situation in the northeast.

During his visit, he said the President would inaugurate 4,000 houses which were part of the Federal Government’s housing project, as well as some local projects executed by the state government.

“The President would commission the first phase of the 10,000 houses which he graciously approved and funded for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.”

According to the Governor, the housing project in Borno is the largest Federal Government housing intervention sited in one state.

He, therefore, urged the resident to come out and accord the President a rousing welcome and reminds the people of Maiduguri of the President’s recent approval for the establishment of a power plant by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Borno, to address electricity problems.

Governor Zulum highlighted the other projects approved which he attributed to the President’s compassion and concern for the humanitarian situation in the state.

“Most respectfully, I urge all of us to demonstrate Borno’s creed of hospitality which we are known for, with the culture of dignity, the culture of respect, and the culture of honouring our guest.

“Let us once again show the Borno in all of us as we host our guest,” he pleaded.

President Buhari’s last visit to Maiduguri was in February 2020 where a viral video showed youths in front of the Ramat Polytechnic booing at his convoy as he made his way into the town from the airport.

His visit was to sympathise with the people of the state over the attack on stranded travellers in Auno that left many dead.

Attahiru Was Determined To End Boko Haram – Zulum

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum and other top dignitaries observe prayers at the National Mosque in Abuja during burial rites for the COAS Attahiru.

 

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum on Saturday paid tributes as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and ten other officers were buried in Abuja.

In his comment, Borno Governor, Professor Zulum said the late chief of staff was evidently committed to the fight against Boko Haram and was determined to significantly contribute to ending the insurgency.

“The commitment of the late chief of army staff to the fight against Boko Haram was very obvious. Within the short time he served, he had been to Borno on multiple occasions, meeting operational commanders and troops at battlefronts.

“In all his interactions, he regularly motivated troops. The people of Borno thank him and all our gallant fallen heroes for their unquantifiable service to Borno and the rest of Nigeria,” Zulum said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Zulum was accompanied by Senator Kashim Shettima; Senator Abubakar Kyari for the funeral prayers at the National Mosque in Abuja.

Other dignitaries at the event include the Senate President, Ibrahim Lawan; Governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala Buni; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Defence; the Sultan of Sokoto; Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Immigration, amongst other serving and former public office holders, top military officers, families, friends and associates of the late COAS.

Bodies of the late COAS and five others were brought by military ambulances to the national mosque for the funeral prayers that took place immediately after zuhr prayers.

The late chief of army staff had since his appointment, been to Borno State on several occasions to supervise ongoing military operations against Boko Haram.
He had visited different army formations, mobilize and motivated troops in front lines in peace-building efforts.

Insurgency: It Is My Responsibility To Tell Buhari The Truth – Zulum

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, meets with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on April 26, 2021.

 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Monday met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the worsening insecurity in the north-east region of the country.

“It is my responsibility to tell the President the truth,” the governor said while briefing reporters on Tuesday on the outcome of his meet with President Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Governor Zulum condemned the growing spate of attacks across the country, particularly in the renewed activities of terrorists in the North East.

According to him, there is a need for greater support from the Presidency to surmount the insurgency crisis that has left thousands killed and millions displaced in the troubled zone.

The governor decried that the military has yet to receive the equipment ordered, noting that this might be responsible for the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.

Some of the residents displaced by Boko Haram terrorists in Niger State.

 

His meeting with the President followed renewed attacks by Boko Haram/ Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters on communities in Borno and Yobe States in recent times.

Some of the affected places included Damasak town – where the terrorists attacked a humanitarian hub, and Mainok town where at least seven military personnel were confirmed killed – in Borno.

In Yobe, the insurgents overran Geidam and hoisted their flags there, forcing hundreds of residents, including women and children to flee to neighbouring villages.

The terrorists have also begun to expand their areas of operation from the North East recently as they took over some villages in Niger, a state in the north-central region of the country.

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, confirmed the presence of the insurgents in the state to reporters on Monday.

The visibly worried governor had said, “We have over 3,000 people here from communities that have been displaced by bandits and Boko Haram elements around Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas.”

“There are some other communities that we think are safe but a vast majority of them (the displaced residents) will have to remain here because their villages and towns have been taken over by the Boko Haram elements; their wives have been forcefully attached to Boko Haram elements,” he added.

VIDEO: ‘Nobody Is Safe Anymore’, Gov Bello Confirms Boko Haram Invasion In Parts Of Niger

Zulum Spends Night In Damasak, Says Boko Haram Killed 18 Residents

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, visits Damasak town on April 15, 2021.

 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, says 18 residents were killed and 21 others injured when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Damasak town.

He confirmed the figures from residents who witnessed the attack and saw several properties destroyed when he visited the town, the governor’s media aide, Isa Gusau, said in a statement on Friday.

The governor who was in Damasak on Thursday and spent the night had interactions with soldiers and others security forces involved in the counter-insurgency operations in the town.

He also sympathised with the residents and assessed the level of destruction caused by the insurgents, noting that Tuesday’s attack on Damasak was the sixth in two weeks.

A photo taken on April 15, 2021, shows a deserted community after Boko Haram insurgents attacked Damasak, a town in Borno State.

 

According to the statement, thousands of residents who had fled to border communities in the Niger Republic returned on Friday while residents to the governor that the insurgents attacked the town with three gun trucks.

The UN humanitarian hub, private residential houses, a police station, the palace of the district head, a primary healthcare centre, and a GSM Village were among property destroyed.

Governor Zulum assured the residents of robust measures to avert future insurgent attacks on Damasak, saying he has directed the strengthening of agricultural activities in the town.

A photo taken on April 15, 2021, shows some residents and cattle in Damasak, a town in Borno State.

 

As part of the measures, he held an operational meeting with soldiers and other security forces after which he presented 12 security vehicles, including an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and 11 patrol vehicles.

The governor travelled to Damasak along with the lawmaker representing Borno North, Senator Abubakar Kyari, who hails from the town, as well as some government officials.

Damasak, the headquarter of Mobbar Local Government Area in northern Borno, is located on the fringes of Lake Chad and shares a border with communities in the Niger Republic.

The town used to be a producer and exporter of vegetables to target markets within Nigeria and neighbouring countries before Boko Haram occupied it in 2014 as one of their caliphates.

In this photo taken on April 15, 2021, a bus burnt by insurgents is seen in Damasak, a town in Borno State.

I Have Not Lost Hope That Remaining Chibok Schoolgirls, Others Will Be Freed – Zulum

In this photo taken on April 14, 2021, the names of the Chibok girls still in captivity are displayed on desks in commemoration of the seven years anniversary since they were abducted by Boko Haram in Borno State.

 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, is hopeful that the remaining Chibok girls and others still held captive by Boko Haram will return safely.

He stated this as an assurance to the parents of the girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in April 2014.

“As a father of all sons and daughters of Borno, I have not lost hope that our remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other abducted persons will be safely recovered,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Isa Gusau.

He added, “Parents of Chibok schoolgirls have been devastated, yet they have demonstrated faith and strength in the hope of reconnecting with their missing daughters.

“They deserve our continued empathy, our compassion, our support and most importantly, sharing their optimism.”

Governor Zulum, as a father of daughters, said he could not imagine the pains of having one’s daughter held by terrorists for as long as seven years.

He urged parents, especially anyone with a female child, to pause for a while and imagine how it would feel to have their daughter abducted and held for more than 2,549 days.

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

Pains Of Anxiety, Depression

The governor was worried by the series of imaginations that could come to the minds of the parents and relations of the girls still held in the captivity of the insurgents.

According to him, the mental torture of not knowing the fate of one’s daughter in the hands of Boko Haram is far worse than losing a child.

“No parent can ever lose hope in a missing child and having that hope comes with so much pains of anxiety and depression,” said Governor Zulum.

He noted that he has had a series of interactions with President Muhammadu Buhari on the release of the girls, adding that the President was as concerned as their parents.

“Countless times, the President has shown me that he is not losing hope on the Chibok girls. He says to me although a number of our girls were reunited with their parents and are being catered for by the Federal Government, he is not happy until the remaining girls are freed.

“I believe the President and I urge everyone in Borno to sustain prayers for those girls and everyone in abduction to be safely freed, and for peace to be fully and permanently restored in Borno,” the governor said.

He prayed for peace in Borno and gave an assurance that the state government would not relent in its support for security agencies and funding thousands of recruited volunteers.