By Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military to root out Boko Haram from the enclaves to end the violence in the North-East.
The President gave the marching order on Monday in Maiduguri through his special delegation to Borno led by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan during a condolence visit to the Governor Babagana Zulum
‘The armed forces have been given a matching order to go and root out Boko Haram from wherever they are. This exercise is going to be continuous until we end insurgency in the country,’ he disclosed. He said security remains the most important concern of the Buhari government presently.
Sen Lawan said Buhari sent the delegation to Borno to commiserate with the people over the Saturday killing of farmers on the farmland. He said the President was grieved by the incident and would do everything within his power to end Boko Haram violence in the country.
Governor Zulum in his reaction bemoaned what he called unfair treatment of the region by the Federal Government in the past which he argued was responsible for the Boko Haram violence.
He said the 2021federal budget proposal contained patry sum of N45 billion allocated for capital projects for the North-East. ‘This constitutes 0.35 (less than half per cent of the total budget),’ he stated.
He also said most of the roads in the North-East were in bad shape even as he accused the Federal Ministry of Works of not executing road projects in the region in the last 20 years. ‘The Federal Ministry of Works has never been faired to the North-East,’ he alleged.
He maintained there was a connection between development and peace, warning that the violence in the North-East may continue if the Federal Government fails to intervene in the development of the region.
He highlighted some recommendations which he asked the delegation to deliver to the President. ‘Kindly assist in enduring that these recommendations are passed to the President,’ he pleaded.
He called for immediate recruitment of youths from the state into the Nigerian Army and police. He also called for collaboration with neighbouring nations and the use of machinery to clear Boko Haram from their hideouts. He thanked the President for sending the delegation.
The delegation includes the Chief of Staff to the president, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (retd), minister of communications and digital economy, Dr Isa Fantami as well as the FCT minister Mohammed Bello.
Others are the Ministers of State for Agriculture, Hon Mustapha Shehuri, his Works and Housing counterpart, Abubakar Aliyu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media Malam Garba Shehu, among others.