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Boko Haram: Borno presents 10 demands to Buhari

From left: President Muhammadu Buhari; Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State; the state APC Governor Candidate, Alhaji Babagana Umara-Zulum; Shehu of Dikwa, Muhammad Masta II Ibn Alami El Kanemi; Emir of Gwoza, Mohammed Ibrahim Idris Timta; Emir of Shani, Mohammed Nasir Mailafiya and others, during a visit by a delegation of Borno Elders to the president at the State House in Abuja yesterday.

A high powered delegation comprising traditional rulers, religious leaders, women groups and politicians led by the State Governor,  Kashim Shettima yesterday presented 10 requests to President Muhammadu Buhari on how to tackle the resurgence of Boko Haram in the state.

Governor Kashim Shettima, who led the delegation, said the demands and observations were the outcome of an extraordinary security meeting which he convened in Maiduguri last week Monday.

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Though the content of the letter was not disclosed, it was gathered that it contained measures the delegation hopes could help in the efforts to end Boko Haram insurgency.

The delegation comprised of traditional rulers, elders, national and state assembly members, ‎local government chairmen, women groups, the Nigerian Union of Journalists and labour unions, all from Borno State.

Shettima, in his opening remarks, said both the demands and observations were not made public because they were “matters of security.”

He said, “Your Excellency, we came with some observations and 10 specific requests for urgent presidential intervention. These observations and requests are products of discussions in the aftermath of our extraordinary security meeting held one week ago.

“We didn’t rush to come after the meeting. We felt the need to travel to northern Borno, interact with displaced persons and the military so as to strengthen public confidence.

“I will seek the understanding of journalists by not making public, any of our observations and 10 requests. They are matters of security, which we hope to discuss with Mr President in closed door.”

The Governor also explained that the people of Borno state have demonstrated the highest commitment to the fight against Boko Haram by donating their sons and daughters who have been fighting as volunteers under the Civilian JTF.

He said since 2013, more than 20,000 youth volunteers, including young women, have offered themselves in fighting Boko Haram under the Civilian JTF.

“These youths are sons and daughters of the same people of Borno State that were accused of undermining the fight against Boko Haram.

“From 2013 to date, our administration has been solely responsible for funding hundreds of successful operations carried out by the Civilian JTF. We have been responsible for their recruitment after thorough vetting by the DSS,” the governor said.

Borno State, Shettima said, suffered its worst times between 2013 and 2014.

“In that period, Boko Haram abducted our children, attacked and took firm control of 20 out of the 27 local government areas of Borno.

“On the other hand, from 2015 to 2018, the Nigerian military, with you as Commander-in-Chief, was able to liberate all the 20 local government areas hitherto under the Boko Haram,” he added.

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