President Muhammadu Buhari says his government will not standstill until peace is restored in Borno, and every internally displaced persons (IDPs) are fully transferred to their homes.
The president, while speaking during an official visit to Maiduguri, Borno state capital, on Thursday, assured inhabitants of the state that his administration has taken crucial steps to secure the lives of IDPs and refugees who recently returned from Cameroon and the Niger Republic.
Buhari said that the efforts made at mitigating the suffering of displaced communities will impede the “evil attempts of terrorists and insurgents” to recruit fighters and spies from IDPs and other vulnerable populations through the use of worthless material incentives.
“While I am happy to return home, I am not happy that this visit is not a normal, peacetime homecoming. I am here today first and foremost to appraise the security situation in Borno state and the north-east region in order to move full speed ahead and conclude the work of restoring permanent peace to the region,” he said.
“We will not rest until all the millions of internally displaced persons are able to return and resettle in their homes and rebuild their shattered lives.
“It was part of these measures that I gave approval for the federal government to build 10,000 resettlement homes in Borno state; 4,000 of these homes have already been completed. Furthermore, I approved for constant release of food intervention by the Nigeria Customs Service and the North East Development Commission in order to support displaced persons.
“I wish to reassure your highness, the Shehu, all the royal highnesses, elders, the government and people of Borno state and the north-east region, of federal government’s relentless determination in the search for peace in Borno, the north-east and the rest of Nigeria. We will never rest until peace is fully restored and all displaced persons are resettled in their home communities.
“I will never forget in my life that during my career as a politician, Borno state is where I got the highest percentage of votes — more than 90 percent! The least I can do for you is to continue the relentless effort to fully restore peace to this state, the north-east region and the country as a whole.”
Pertaining to electricity supply, the president stated that his government will continue to make collaborative efforts to power the nation, noting that “Maiduguri cannot, and will not be left out”.
Speaking further, the president said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had been ordered to expedite the delivery of a 50MW power plant in order to guarantee the prompt restoration of electricity to Maiduguri and its environs.
“Furthermore, in the light of the current improvement of security in the state, I have also issued directives for the immediate resumption of oil and gas exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin. This is part of our overall effort to restore the state back to normalcy,” he said.
Buhari added that he has instructed the theatre command of Operation Hadin Kai and other security agencies to work out modalities collectively with the state government and associations of farmers, on ways to develop safe access to farms, forests and fishing grounds.
“I have also directed the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to accord special support by deploying more agro rangers, through collaboration with Borno state government, to secure additional farmlands,” he added.