Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, bears the marks of fierce fighting and the scars from the senseless killings still remains. A reason the residents want the new administration to address the challenge of insecurity in the state.
They also mentioned other areas they want the new administration to give priority attention, with great expectations from the State Governor, which he is mindful of.
And being the first time that the north-east Nigerian state would be having the same political affiliation with the central government, the people are optimistic that President Muhammadu Buhari would deal decisively with the insurgents.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has condemned the latest terrorist attack on a Mosque in Maiduguri, Borno State, reiterating that his administration’s resolve to degrade the Boko Haram sect is unshakeable.
He warned that his administration would not tolerate wanton and willful destruction of lives by criminal elements that are bent on anarchy.
Reacting to the latest attack, which left scores of people dead, injured and maimed, President Buhari said in a statement issued by his media team and signed by Garba Shehu that his administration meant business in its determination to tackle terrorist violence with all the resources available to his government.
The President described the terrorists as “cowardly murderers that target innocent people”.
He explained that, as the Commander-in-Chief, he had sworn to secure Nigerians everywhere.
While calling for increased vigilance by local communities, the President assured Nigerians that his administration would give security close attention.
“My government is committed to boosting the morale of our armed forces by effectively funding them and attending to their welfare,” President Buhari stressed.
He condoled the families of the victims of the latest terrorist attack on Maiduguri and assured them that the worst days of the criminal elements would soon be over.
A Bomb blast had occurred at a mosque along the popular Yan Kwali area of the Maiduguri Monday Market in Borno State in Nigeria’s volatile north-east.
The explosion occurred after the first ‘Rakaat’ prayer session on Saturday.
Details of the incidence are still sketchy, but witnesses said unspecified number of casualties were recorded.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Boko Haram terrorist group is largely suspected.
The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Clement Adoda, confirmed this to the media on Saturday.
Saturday’s bombings in Maiduguri, Borno State is the latest since security forces commenced severe operation in the northeast after the shift of the 2015 general election with a view to curtail the activities of the insurgents in the troubled region.
Earlier on Saturday, the DHQ had tweeted that troops were conducting mopping operation in Buniyadi and Bunigari, after a successful simultaneous operation concluded at dawn.
According to the military, troops had “sacked terrorists” from the two villages formerly controlled by the Boko Haram sect.
The Nigerian Army has said that the attacks on a Military barracks in Maiduguri on Friday morning was a move by pockets of terrorists to boost their depleted stock of fighters by freeing their colleagues who are being held in detention.
This is according to a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade.
The statement read: “The attack has been successfully repelled with heavy human casualty on the terrorists. Some of the victims of the terrorists’ fire in their efforts to break into the detention facility included those they came to rescue.
“Many of the terrorists and their weapons have been captured. Four soldiers were wounded and are being treated. Hot pursuits by land and air operations are ongoing along with cordon and search of surrounding localities.
“No institution has been reported attacked, although the effect of firing from the encounter could be noticed in surrounding facilities in Maiduguri.”
The military statement, while promising to give more details later, added that it believed that the terrorists’ attempt was in response to the intensity of attacks on their strongholds in camps at Talala, Monguzum, Sambisa forests, Gwoza, Mandara mountains as well as the general area of Lake Chad, where the “camps have been destroyed and many insurgents killed.”
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi says the focus of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum retreat holding in Lagos State would be to look at the dire need for the country to create an alternative economy and engage its youths.
Amaechi was speaking on our daily breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’.
While attributing the state of insecurity in the state to unemployment and illiteracy, Amaechi noted that the major areas to focus on in creating an alternative economy were developing agriculture and the power sector, which drives the rest of the economy.
He noted that in Agriculture particularly, the excuse of having no land to farm was no longer tenable as many states are willing to provide land with friendly conditions for serious farmers. He added that the Northern would give lands free to people willing to engage in farming. Therefore there was need for Nigerians to be aware that agriculture has a major role in the future of the country.
Amaechi noted that at the last National Economic Council Meeting, he suggested that the Government should take 1% of revenues from all states to fund education in the North as a means to fight insurgency in the state as he believed that illiteracy was also another major factor in the region.
He noted that although the move may seem illegal but if the state governors were willing to go back to their State Assemblies to get approval for the contribution, then it would work. He warned that there would be no way to curb insurgency if the youths in the Northeast lack education and jobs.
Governor Amaechi has been vocal in the fight against corruption recently and there has been criticisms of the timing of his campaigns, as many wonder why he did not start out with the vocal approach against corruption in the beginning of his administration.
Amaechi argued that the assumption was a product of ignorance, as people did not know him well enough, saying that there had been ongoing talks with the Presidency on the need to curb corruption which he did not deem necessary for public knowledge. He revealed that there was a time governors refused to take their allocation for 3 months to protest the alleged racketeering in the oil subsidy issue.
However, they became louder when they lost the ears of the President. He explained that they had to go public when the President became unwilling to listen to the clamour for prudence in government.
He maintained an earlier statement that the genesis of the problems was that as Chairman of the Governors’ Forum he had been very vocal about issues in the country.
Amaechi, during the week, was himself faced with the challenge of students in Rivers State protesting the non-payment of bursary allowances for 2 years and the Governor expressed his surprise at the development. He stated that he was highly embarrassed by the protest and he had summoned the Secretary to the State Government on the issue. He however, took the blame for the confusion as he promised that the funds would be made available.
He noted that his government had been consistent in paying foreign scholarships and therefore would not find it difficult to cater to the local students.
With the crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Governor Amaechi had been advised to step down for the sake of peace, and to send a message to the public that his agitation was about a desire for change rather than power. He was asked on the programme why he did not embrace this idea.
Amaechi said that he stood his ground on remaining as the Chairman of the forum because it was his democratic right and he should be commended for upholding the values of democracy rather than being criticized for not resigning.
Speaking on the purported low turnout of governors at the last NGF retreat owing to the crisis, Amaechi stated that the absentee governors have a choice to attend or not, but in the interest of the country, they need to attend.
On allegations made by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that Governor Amaechi had been squandering the funds of the state. Amaechi referred to the statement as a lie by someone “who did not go to school”.
Speaking further on the issue, he said that he personally does not like commissioning ceremonies as he did not feel right about asking people to see him doing what is supposed to be his job, but he had to start this because of allegations like the ones made by the PDP.
He noted that he invited former president, Olusegun Obasanjo to commission projects in his state in order to ensure that the several projects executed by his administration could be verified. He also made reference to his publicly criticized rail project, which he boasted was highly commended by the former president because of the number of jobs it would create in the state.
When asked about the source of funding for the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Amaechi said that they get money from donor agencies and as a club they also contribute money among themselves.
Three large explosions suspected to be a major bomb attack has just been experienced in the city of Maiduguri in Borno State.
There is no information yet on the impact of the purported attack on lives and property, but our sources say that the three explosions were heard across different parts of the city.
Eyewitness say suspected insurgents dressed in Army uniforms have laid siege on the Army barracks command located at the GRA area of Borno State, in an attempt to bomb and take over the major military base known as “Giwa Barracks” in Maiduguri.