By Yakubu Uba
With the resettlement of some residents of Baga town in Borno, Gov. Babagana Zulum has urged the military to reopen the Baga Naval Base to enhance security on Lake Chad.
He made the call on Monday in Maiduguri while receiving the new Theatre Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa, who paid him a courtesy call.
Zulum said the revival of the base would enhanced the needed security for fishermen and those farming on the shores of the lake to resume their agricultural activities.
“The resumption of fishing activities in Baga is very dear to us and that’s why we need to see how we can support the immediate relocation of the Naval Base in Maiduguri back to Baga,” said the governor.
Zulum also urged the theatre commander to work towards creating enabling environment for farmers to resume farming activities in recovered areas for livelihood, pointing out that the greatest insecurity is food insecurity.
He observed that 90 per cent of Borno people are farmers who needed to return to farm and other activities to normalise their lives.
The governor also spoke of the need to activate recovered critical border towns like Malumfatori, Abadam, Gudumbali, Kareto as well as the reopening of Damboa-Maiduguri, Bama-Banki and Dikwa-Gamboru roads for normal transport activities.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to resettle displaced persons in line with the Kampala Convention, adding that the continuous dependence on handouts from international organisations is not sustainable and has started making some people lazy.
“Developing resilience is something critical. If communities would be allowed to engage in normal activities, they’ll help in fighting the insurgents.
“When number of villages and towns with people increases, Boko Haram will not have the capacity to attack them and we will be able to get more information about their (insurgents) movement,” he said.
While describing the appointment of Musa as theatre commander as a welcome development because of his experience in Borno, Zulum assured him of full support from the government and people of Borno to succeed in his assignment.
Earlier, the theatre commander said he was at Government House for formal introduction and to assure the government and people of Borno of his commitment to deliver.
Musa said the operation now involved both military, paramilitary, hunters and civilian Joint Task Force for maximum result, adding that they will use both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches.
“Farming season is coming, we have to provide conducive atmosphere for farmers to go back to farm.
“Everything will be done within our powers to ensure that there is peace and people go back to their farms.
“Your Excellency I want to assure you with my team that you’ll see the difference.
“We are committed to bringing peace in Borno and the entire Northeast,” the commander said. (NAN)