The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Sunday praised the gallantry of Nigeria soldiers who stood their grounds as Boko Haram terrorists attempted to invade Maiduguri, the state capital.
Mr. Shettima also called on citizens, especially residents of Maiduguri, to give more support and cooperation to the security operatives whom he said were sacrificing their lives to ensure peace return to the state.
The governor, who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri, also urged residents to be more vigilant and prayerful in their collective quest for return of calm to the troubled state.
Mr. Shettima said he felt pained by the attack on Monguno, headquarters of Monguno Local Government Area in the northern part of Borno State, which resulted in the loss of lives and displacement of many citizens now taking refuge in different parts of the state. He said some survivors sustained injuries in addition to losing property.
“Our armed forces gallantly repelled attacks on parts of Borno State today. We must commend their patriotic efforts. We are very much in touch with leaders of security forces and we will continue to afford them all the support they need as we have always done from our first day in office till date,” he said.
“So long as we have the resources, we will continue to regard the efforts to reclaim peace, our number one area of commitment. I want to reassure the good people of Borno State that we will never abdicate from our responsibility as those they entrusted with leadership.
“I was supposed to be in Abuja this morning for an important engagement but I have cancelled all engagements outside Borno State. We will remain behind with our people through thick and thin as we have been doing as a matter of constitutional and moral covenant.
“I condole with families, friends and associates of any innocent citizen that might have lost loved ones as a result of the unfortunate incident in parts of the state. I commiserate with those that might have suffered injuries and lost property.
“I assure the people of Borno State that we are very committed to our duty as their leaders. We have never forgotten about the situation of things in Borno, not for one second.
“My heart bleeds whenever I remember the deaths, the injuries, the lost communities and the displaced persons of Borno. I know the burden of leadership on my shoulders as Governor of the State and I know my responsibilities within the limits of my constitutional powers, influences and resources. I have been deploying all, within my limits as governor and I will continue to do, including making continued efforts to get more influences that are beyond me.
“I urge the good people of Borno State to remain optimistic and vigilant. We should open our eyes wide to take note of any strange person and movement in our midst which we should promptly report to authorities without causing panic. Parents and guardians should kindly watch over their children to monitor where they go and who they move around with or bring home. School authorities should take proper control of pupils. Residents should cooperate with armed forces and always regard them as partners that put their lives on the line so we all can be alive”.