After 7 days, Borno governor leaves Bama for another town liberated from Boko Haram

Governor Kashim Shettima

Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday ended his weeklong stay in Bama, a town recently liberated from Boko Haram insurgents.

He relocated last week to the town to supervise the rebuilding of its destroyed communities.

The governor left the town Tuesday morning for another former Boko Haram enclave, Gwoza, some 40 kilometres away.

The rocky Gwoza is where the insurgents declared an Islamic caliphate, after overrunning the security there and attacking residents.

Unlike Bama, Gwoza has a large number of returnees who are living only on the valley mainland.

Mr. Shettima, who arrived Gwoza at about noon, was received by the Emir, Muhammad Idrissa Timta, some returnee IDPs and officials of the local government who gathered at the destroyed palace of the Emir of Gwoza.

The governor and his entourage drove through the burnt and bushy streets of Gwoza to inspect the extent of damage caused by Boko Haram insurgents.

He directed the Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Babagana Zulum, to ensure that his ministry worked with engineers and builders from Gwoza to rehabilitate the town.

Addressing the community at the Emir’s palace, Governor Shettima assured them of speedy reconstruction of homes and public buildings destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents.

“I want to sympathise with you over the unfortunate calamities perpetrated by Boko Haram in recent past,” he said. “We are here to tell you that as government, we will do everything possible to rebuild all your destroyed houses brick by brick.” img-20160928-wa0001

“We have also come with assorted food items including 1500 bags of 25kg rice, 1500 bags of beans, 1000 cartoons of spaghetti, sugar, salt, among other relief items.

“I urge some of the IDPs from Gwoza who are still residing in resettlement camps in Maiduguri and other places to please come back and join you, because, there is no any good place than home.

“I want to thank the federal government and the Chief of Army staff as well as the entire officers and men under the Operation Lafiya Dole in the north east for their gallantry effort in degrading remnants of Boko Haram.

“My appeal to you all is to please give maximum support and cooperation to the military and the civilian JTF who are here with you to give you adequate security,” Mr. Shettima said.

Earlier, on the way to Gwoza, the governor had a brief stop-over over at a village called Pulka, few kilometers away, where about 2000 IDPs that fled the rocky mountains still controlled by Boko Haram, are now camping.

The district head of Pulka, Lawan Usman Pulka, told the governor that his people lacked potable water in the rocky terrain even as Boko Haram insurgents had blocked the area where they could access water.

The monarch pleaded for boreholes to be drilled in the camp to ease the difficulties.

Mr. Shettima promised that the state government would immediately deploy staff of the ministry of water resources to drill boreholes for them.

It is not certain how many days the governor would stay in the area, even though he had earlier said he would be moving between Gwoza and communities in the neighboring Askira-Uba local government area where the insurgents had once had under their conquest.

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