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North-East governors meet on insecurity, others



The North-East Governors meet on Tuesday in a bid to find a lasting solution to the 10-year-old insurgency in the region.

At the meeting held in Damaturu, Yobe, the governors reiterated their commitment to ending the insurgency that had killed 350,000 people and displaced more than three million since 2011.

In his address at the opening of the Forum’s sixth meeting in the Yobe State capital, the Chairman of the Forum, Babagana Zulum, said the governors would do everything possible to see that people go about their businesses unhindered in the region.

He said through the strategic collaboration between the Forum and the military, thousands of insurgents had laid down their arms and surrendered to the military.

The governor said: “Recent developments seem to indicate that we have reached the beginning of an end of Boko Haram insurgency.

“That explains why the terrorists have been coming out of their enclaves to surrender.

“The situation is overwhelming in its scope and it’s gratifying in its impact.

“After sufficient consultation with the military and other agencies, we came up with strategic initiatives to exploit the situation.

“We deliberately made the insurgents feel that surrendering was the only cause of action available to them in the face of devastating onslaught by troops.

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“That frankly weakened the prospects for terrorists to accomplish their devilish actions.

“So far, thousands of Boko Haram have surrendered and we are in the process of profiling them.”

He urged the troops and other sister agencies to sustain the onslaught and ensure that they degrade the insurgents’ enclaves and end the war once and for all.

“We must pursue them because the nexus between security and development cannot be overemphasized,” Zulum added.

The governors also deliberated on efforts to end kidnapping, banditry, and gender-based violence in the North-East.

In his remarks, the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, said the speedy recovery of the region depends on the resuscitation of Lake Chad, implementation of the Great Green Wall project, and actualization of the Mambila Hydro Power project.

He said the Yobe State government had focused on revitalising the education sector, one of the key areas for post-insurgency socio-economic rejuvenation.

Buni said: “We have remained focused on the declaration of State of Emergency at the inception of our administration and the current Education Revitalization Appeal Fund, which we have raised funds above the set targets in most of the Local Government Areas.

“Simultaneously, we are gearing our efforts towards revamping agriculture to serve as an instrument for the attainment of food security, employment, and revenue generation.

“We are constructing an International Cargo airport which is almost completed, just as we are about to commission the new Modern Markets in Damaturu, Gashua, Nguru and Potiskum towns and also a Trailer Park in Potiskum.

“In addition, we would support Small and Medium Scale enterprises and encourage the formation of clusters to enable eligible people to access loans to boost their occupations.

“This august gathering may be pleased to note that, we have this year created the Ministry for Wealth Creation, Empowerment and Employment Generation.

“Chiefly to arrest youth restiveness and unemployment by providing grants to communities in the form of empowerment materials for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons, farmers, fishermen, herdsmen, persons with disabilities, women, youth and other vulnerable groups.”

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