‘‘We are here because you have demonstrated empathy for Borno people and the overriding commitment to end Boko Haram.”
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday assured Borno State elders that he would raise the standard of the military and get the resources to encourage them to do better than its members were doing as regards the fight against insurgents in the North East.
He gave the assurance when he met a delegation led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State to the Villa while reiterating his administration’s unwavering commitment to equipping the military to overcome insurgency in the zone.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a statement that Buhari also told the delegation that the collective safety and security of civilians would continue to remain paramount in his administration’s strategy to restore peace and stability in the area.
“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.
President Buhari 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.
He commended the contributions of the stakeholders from Borno State particularly on the need for more air support for ground troops 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 in 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, Shettima told the President: “We are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your presidency in the firm belief that with you as Commander-in-Chief, Boko Haram will become history.
‘‘We are here because you have demonstrated empathy for Borno people and the overriding commitment to end Boko Haram.
“We are here because we knew you would welcome us without any suspicion or contempt.”
Other stakeholders from the state who made comments on the occasion 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 in the National Assembly.