Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
President Muhammadu Buhari has shelved plan to visit Auno, the scene of Sunday night massacre by Boko Haram in Borno State.
Buhari who was initially expected by the residents of Maiduguri to visit the troubled Auno town, along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, some 24 kms to the state capital, rather paid a condolence visit to the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi and the state governor.
The president told the Shehu that he came from Addis, Ethiopia to Maiduguri.
He said Boko Haram cannot be curtailed without good intelligence sharing by the civil populace. He said the traditional leaders were fundamental in the success of military operation and strategy.
“This Boko Haram or whatever they are cannot come out to Maiduguri or its environs without the local leadership knowing because traditionally the local leaders are in charge of security in local areas,” he disclosed.
He said he was surprised how Boko Haram still survives. “So I wonder how Boko Haram has survived up till this time,” he said.
He said government cannot deliver good governance without security. “We need to stabilise this country,” he said. He urged the youths not to support anyone planning to destabilise the country.
“That is why we are asking our youths not to allow themselves to be used.
“I am already 70 years old; and how many years do I have in a normal circumstance?” he asked as he promised to deal with the security situation.
Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum while welcoming the president urged the Federal Government to open a vista of opportunities for people affected by insurgency in the state to have access to their farmlands.
“We want the military to foster greater unity between themselves and civil authority with a view to closing existing transparency gap between the military and the civil authority.”
About 30 travelers were believed to have been killed by Boko Haram at Auno on Sunday night after the military close a security gate.
Military authority in Maiduguri, however, put the casualty at 10.
Residents of Auno and Maiduguri were outraged about the incident.
But Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media, Garba Shehu, has told journalists the president would not visit Auno.
“The president has already paid a condolence visit to the Shehu of Borno and the state governor and as such, it is a visit to Borno State.”
Buhari was accompanied by the governors of Cross River State, Ben Ayande and Imo, Hope Uzodinma; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Fatima Farouk.