Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, on Sunday said Friday’s announcement of the fall of dreaded Sambisa Forest’s Camp Zero to the Nigerian Army in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents is so far his best since assuming office five years on May 29, 2011.
The Governor also said there was no better Christmas and New Year gift to the people of Borno State better than the fall of the Sambisa forest which served as headquarters of the Boko Haram fighters since 2009.
Shettima spoke at the official re-opening of Maiduguri-Gubio- Kareto-Damasak road and Maiduguri -Monguno-Baga road leading to the northern part of Borno State at a mini ceremony attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai on Sunday afternoon along Gubio road in Maiduguri, a statement said.
“I would want to start by declaring, that since I became the Governor of Borno State in over five years, this is the best Christmas season I have witnessed; this is the best December I have witnessed and the year, 2016 is my best year so far, as Governor of Borno State. 2016 is for me, Nigeria’s year of victory and Borno’s year of Hope and Resurrection.
“It is in this 2016 that we began to have access to major towns like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno and Damasak following their liberation by our gallant armed forces. It is in the year 2016 that major highways began to be re-opened.
“It is in the year, 2016 that we accelerated our major reconstruction of liberated communities; it is in the year 2016 that IDPS began to return to communities; it is in the year 2016 that we recovered some of our daughters abducted at Government Secondary School, Chibok in 2014; and fellow Nigerians, it is in the year 2016, that the Federal Republic of Nigeria established it’s supremacy over the Sambisa headquarters of the Boko Haram,” he stressed.
The governor also said both re-opened roads have significant economic benefits to the people of the state, being “an important economic road through which hundreds of trailers convey agricultural produce from farming communities in northern Borno to markets in different parts of Borno State. We are extremely happy to have this road added to the list of other major roads re-opened earlier in 2016.”
He therefore prayed that God makes the year 2017 “more prosperous in the fight against insurgency, more prosperous in the fight against militancy, kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed robbery and more prosperous on the recovery of our Nation’s economy”.
Governor Shettima appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, service chiefs, officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their different roles in the fight against insurgency.
“Many persons made sacrifices, including giving up their lives for us to have peace and for these roads we are about re-opening, to be freed from the control of insurgents” Shettima added.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, warned against extortion of motorists plying the road, just as he advised against inducement of soldiers, who he said are well taken care of by the Army command.
Both roads were closed by the military in 2014, following the activities of the deadly sect.