By Sumaila Ogbaje
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has commended the Army for its renewed vigour in counter-insurgency operations by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, in the North East.
Zulum gave the commendation when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, on Monday, in Abuja.
He said that the military had achieved some level of success in the fight against Boko Haram and the Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in recent times in the state.
The governor said the current effort of the military had been yielding positive results, adding that more needed to be done to ensure that more farmers had access to their farmlands.
He called for increased support by troops to the government’s efforts of resettling the displaced persons back in their communities.
Zulum assured that the state government would continue to support the army in all areas, to return peace and stability to Borno and the entire North East.
“Honestly speaking, we have achieved some level of peace within the last two months not withstanding the recent attacks, but a lot still has to be done because we need to put heads together to say the right thing.
“We are here to interface with Nigerian Army, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff, with a view to letting them know the actual situation on ground because it is only when you are apprised of the facts and figures on ground that you can think of the kind of intervention.
“By and large, we are optimistic that insurgency will come to an end and we plead with the military to ensure the filling of the existing gaps.
“Most importantly, we have to look into the political, cultural and economic dimensions of this war, which is very key because farmers need to back to their farm lands during this rainy season so that they can earn their means of livelihood,” he said.
The governor also assured that the government had put in place a robust institutional arrangement for effective flow of information from the locals.
Responding, the Chief of Army Staff, Attahiru, commended the governor for the visit, saying it would afford them the opportunity to interact and discuss issues that would bring peace to Borno and entire North east.
Attahiru also commended the government for its continuous support to the operation Lafiya Dole and the Nigeria army in general, as well as the wounded troops and families of fallen troops.
He assured that the Nigerian army was determined to defeat boko haram and conclude the operation, within the shortest time possible.
According to him, he had authorised a review of some of their activities, operations and strategies, adding that the issue of manpower, arms and ammunitions were being addressed.
He appealed to the governor to consider the rehabilitation of some roads in the state to enhance army operations.
“Let me assure you that the Nigerian Army, under my watch, will continue to do its best to support all your programmes and activities aimed at bringing peace that would enable socio-economic activities to thrive in Borno.
“Having said that, let me use this medium to appeal to you to, as a matter of urgency, consider the rehabilitation of roads and main supply routes that link some of the local government areas in the state and indeed the humanitarian hubs.
“This will facilitate passage, keep open humanitarian corridors, as well as enhance our operations. It will equally reduce the threat posed to our troops by improvised explosive devices,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Zulum was accompanied by the three Senators representing Borno in the National Assembly, Kashim Shettima, Ali Ndume and Abubakar Kyari. (NAN)