President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja met a delegation from Borno State, during which he reasserted his administration’s unwavering support to equip the military to overcome the insurgency in the North-East.
The President also told the delegation led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State 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.
‘‘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, ’’ he said.
The President 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.
The President commended the contributions of the stakeholders from Borno 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.
President Buhari thanked Governor Shettima for demonstrating leadership in the State during these 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, Governor Shettima 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.
The governor who was moved to tears because of what he described as the recent setback in the fight against insurgency, however, noted that the leaders had not lost hope in the President’s ability to win the war and restore peace in the state.
Amidst tears, Governor Shettima told the President that the delegation came to present a set of observations and specific requests from a security meeting held a week ago in the state, which will require urgent presidential intervention.
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, Maina Ma’aji Lawal, former Governor of the State, HRH Muhammad Masta II bn Al-Amin El-Kanemi, Emir of Dikwa, representing the Shehu of Borno, Senator representing Borno North, Abubakar Kyari and Senator Ali Ndume, Leader, Borno Caucus, National Assembly.