The Borno governor gave a cash donation to soldiers in Marte.
Borno and other neighbouring states in northeast Nigeria may face serious draught of staple foods next year as Boko Haram has prevented farmers from tilling their rice fields this year, officials of the Chad Basin Development Authority, CBDA, have said.
The Managing Director of CBDA, Garba Iliya, made this known in the border town of Marte while briefing the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, on how the terrorists’ recent occupation of the area had stalled farming and other irrigation projects being supervised by the CBDA in the area.
Mr. Shettima had Wednesday visited Marte Local Government Area, an area that was recently taken over by Boko Haram terrorists before the Nigerian troops deployed to the area dislodged them.
The governor, who was accompanied by a large retinue of aides and security chiefs including the Brigade Commander, 21 Armoured Brigade, Maiduguri, visited all areas destroyed by the sect members and later condoled the people and donated three trucks of assorted food items.
At the irrigation project site of the CBDA, Mr. Iliya revealed that the Boko Haram terrorists had interrupted the harvest of 5000 hectares of wheat jointly cultivated by his organisation and the Borno State Government.
“Only 1500 hectares of wheat have been harvested before the terrorists came to chase the farmers and our workers away,” said the Chad Basin boss.
He also pointed out that ‘there would be no rice farming this year because the activity of the insurgents have interrupted the preparation of rice cultivation’.
“We normally commence the planting of rice by mid July, but that cannot be possible now because it has become too late to prepare the fields,” he said.
Governor Shettima, who had earlier visited the military command in Marte, pleaded that adequate security be provided around the wheat fields so that the remaining 3500 un-harvested hectares of wheat could be harvested by the farmers.
The Commander of Marte Combat Force, Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel, assured Governor Shettima that the area was 100 per cent safe for all residents to return. He ruled out the possible regrouping of the dislodged terrorists in the area.
The governor had shared a cash gift of N10, 000 to each security personnel deployed to take over the control of the area from the terrorists,
Governor Shettima also had a stopover at Kirenowa Village, where he commissioned the flag-off of polio vaccine administration on children – an exercise that was made impossible three months back.