Borno governor cuts short foreign travel over Bama attack

Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima

The governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Wednesday cut short his official trip to Sudan and the United Kingdom following renewed attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of the state.

Mr. Shettima, who left Nigeria Sunday night, returned the same day his predecessor, Ali Modu Sheriff, addressed a press conference in Abuja denying sponsorship of the Boko Haram sect.

The sect had attacked several areas with the most recent being an attempt to seize Bama town, one of the most populated areas in the state, located about 70 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital.

Thousands of residents have thronged to Maiduguri from Bama following the attacks.

Mr. Shettima had planned assessment meetings with school authorities and about 70 students sponsored by his administration to read medicine and petroleum geo-sciences, in the two countries.

The governor was scheduled to meet officials at a university in Sudan where 50 women from the state are currently undergoing state-sponsored degree programs to become medical doctors under the State Female Medical Education/Intervention Programme designed to train abroad, 300 female doctors in five years.

He was also to travel to UK to meet 20 students undergoing training in petroleum and geosciences courses in addition to signing agreements for other human capacity development programs.

He was to do a follow-up meeting with a water systems company required for domestic use and irrigation agriculture in Borno aimed at boosting jobs creation as a strategy to discourage economic based recruitment by Boko Haram insurgents.

After he returned, Mr. Shettima held meetings in Abuja on the taking over of Bama by the sect.

He also approved the setting up of a committee to coordinate the distribution of relief and management of victims.

The governor was also billed to go to Maiduguri despite the increasing attack on the city.

The governor’s media aide, Isa Gusau, explained that he returned to provide needed leadership, be with his people, build public confidence, coordinate relief for victims, step up co-funding and psychological support for military.

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