Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has appealed to Nigerians to have confidence in the ability of the military to end the years-long insurgency in the country.
Buratai, while reopening the Maiduguri-Damboa road, a major highway in Borno, on Tuesday, said the military was doing its best to end the violence in the northeast and protect the lives and property Nigerians.
He said the road, shut down for over a year due to incessant Boko Haram attacks, was being reopened to boost economic and social life. He promised that more troops would be deployed to the road to ensure safety.
“The reopening of the road will not affect our usual operation. The reopening today indicate we have achieved our desire to make the area secured,” he said.
— Bulama Muh'd Bukar (@BMB1_Official) January 28, 2020
The army chief, however, said minimal incidents might occur on the road but assured that security measures have been put in place to safeguard the lives of the people on the road.
He explained that the road earlier shut down in the wake of continuous attacks by Boko Haram in 2014 was first reopened on the 27th February 2016 and later closed again until Tuesday. He said the closure at the time was done for strategic reasons and operational exigencies to halt attacks by the Islamist insurgents.
Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Olusegun Adeniyi, said the road will be opened every day. He appealed to the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) not to collect any fee from commuters or drivers with the sole aim of giving troops at the check-point money. “The army headquarters has made provisions for troops on duty, ” he said.
Borno State Deputy Governor Umar Kadafur commended the military for reopening the road. He said the state government was also pleased with the warning by the Theatre Commander to the NURTW leadership not to introduce illegal fees to bribe military troops performing their legitimate duties on the highway.
Deputy Gov, Of Borno State, H'E Usman @UmarKadafur, Accompany by Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur @Buratai_COAS, today, reopened Maiduguri-Damboa highway after 13 months of closure over insecurity. pic.twitter.com/3RD4vT4l1u
— Borno APC New Media (@B_APCNewMedia) January 28, 2020
The 187-kilometre Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road highway is a major road linking Borno with neighbouring Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe states.