Borno Governor commissions brick buildings to replace thatch homes

The 22 buildings were built in Wulari-Lafia.

The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Saturday commissioned 22 one-bedroom brick houses for rural dwellers living in thatched homes at the outskirts of Maiduguri, the state capital.

The brick homes were donated to settlers of Wulari-Mafa, a makeshift community located outside Maiduguri along Maiduguri-Bama road in Jere Local Government Area.

Mr. Shettima said the commissioning of the brick houses will kick-start one of his ambitious pet project code-named Borno State Stalk Houses Eradication Programme, which is aimed at eradicating all thatched houses in the state.

Borno State, with an estimated population of about 4.6 million, and a land mass of 70,898 square kilometer, has at least 50 per cent of its houses made of thatch and stalk.

Mr. Shettima made the decision to replace the Wulari-Mafia stalk homes with bricks in early 2013 when he made an unscheduled stop by at their community.

Speaking at the commissioning, Mr. Shettima said “I am happy today that we are gathered to allocate houses to our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children in a community that for nearly fifty years lived under the rains and the sun, they lived in neglect, they lived in submission to what they thought was their destiny; their world of extinction, they never even thought for one day, that as humans, Nigerians and citizens of Borno State, they were entitled to shelter, water, healthcare and electricity which are the most basic of human needs.

“To these people you see here, they never expected anything from any Government; to these people, they were born to live under houses made of assembled stalks of corn, wheat and millet. That, they thought, was their portion. But as a Government, we say NO, NO and NO again, a life of anguish is not their portion. A life under stalk houses is not what they deserve. They are like all of us, they are humans, they are Nigerians, they are citizens of Borno; they deserve model shelter at no cost whatsoever, they deserve water, healthcare and liberty; they deserve to be treated with dignity.

“Let me also say this with emphasis and strong passion, that when we respect our followers, the vulnerable, the poor, the disabled, the sick and even the mentally challenged amongst us, we are not doing anything special to them. For me as a Muslim, it is divine for me to respect every human …”


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