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Borno House of Assembly Speaker urges military to liberate Guzama, Kukawa communities from terrorists

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AHMED MARI, Maiduguri

As Nigerians commemorate 2024 Democracy Day, the Speaker  of Borno State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abdulkarim Lawan has lamented the non-presence  of a single person in Guzamala local government area.

He appealed to the Federal Government and the military to liberate Guzamala and Kukawa local government areas from Boko Haram insurgents to pave way for  the restoration of civil authority and resettlement of the people to enable them enjoy dividends of democracy.

Speaking at the 2024 Democracy Day celebration held at the Ramat Square, Maiduguri, the state capital, on Wednesday, Lawan said “while commending the security agencies for liberating most local government areas, I therefore appeal to the Federal Government and  military to do the necessary to restore civil society in Guzamala and headquarters of  Kukawa ”

According to him, “for over a decade people of Guzamala, Abadam and the headquarters of Kukawa local government area, there is no single person. We have conducted 2015, 2019 and 2023 general  election in the camps.Right now our people are taking refuge in Niger Republic, Chad, Gajiram and Mauduguri.

“Though the military has liberated more areas but more needs to be done , there is no  military presence in Guzamala and headquarters of Kukawa local government area,, even Monguno it is only the local government area, but the other towns are deserted. So I urge the Federal Government and military to do something” he added.

He said “even though Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State with the support of the House has done a lot in the areas of education, water supply, health among others, across all the local government areas in the state. Unfortunately the people of Guzamala and Abadam were denied the dividends of democracy due to the town’s  inaccessibility”, he lamented.

He said “all our traditional leaders, religious leaders are taking refuge in Maidugri, Monguno and Diffa”

Responding, the Acting Governmor of Borno state, Hon Umar Kadafur informed the gathering that a committee has been set up under the Chairmanship of the Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Hon. Sugum Mai Mele, and the commander  Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF and have since been working round the clock to restore civil authority, with the relocation of the displaced people of Guzamala to their ancestral homes.

He promised that government will expedite action to resettle all Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs back to their communities before the end of 2027.

While speaking in commemoration of the  Democracy Day, Hon Kadafur said “in commemoration of the 2024 Democracy Day, 10 immates of the Nigerian Correctional Service are hereby freed”.

He added that the state government is doing everything possible to restore peace in the entire state and continue providing infrastructural development across the 27 local government areas

Earlier, the State All Progressives Congress, APC Chairman, Hon. Bello Ayuba commended the people of Borno state for standing with the government of Governor Babagana Zulum and the party in the state and the country at large.

He said that the APC government has done well in the provision of the dividends of democracy and urged them to continue to support the government.

Also speaking, the Secretary of the Borno Elders Forum, Alhaji Bulama Gubio said democracy can only stand when leaders become the servants of the people and commended Governor Zulum for working hard to serve the IDPs in the state.

However, Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has asked the Military to stamp-out insecurity in parts of the country.

Lawan gave the charge yesterday in an address delivered during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Defence to the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

The former Senate President said that inspite of several setbacks suffered by the military, every investment made by the federal government in the armed forces over the years was worthwhile in order to secure the country against internal and external threats.

He lauded the military for carrying out responsibilities outside its constitutional duties in a bid to protect the nation’s territorial sovereignty and ensure law and order in society.

Senator Lawan said, “We are partners in progress, and very much committed to ensuring that we do everything possible to enhance the resources available for the armed forces of our country. We believe that every investment in the armed forces, is a worthwhile investment in order to secure our country.

“We suffer setbacks sometimes, but I want to tell you that our armed forces have been very committed to protecting lives and the integrity of our country.

“Most times, you do much more than you are expected to do, because some of the activities you are involved in are simply not meant for you; there are so many gaps, and, therefore, you are sometimes asked to do some things that even the police should have been made to handle.”

Lawan explained that the oversight visit by members of the panel to the Defence Headquarters, was for the Committee to be adequately briefed on the implementation of the 2022 and 2023 Appropriations, including the supplementary budget passed and approved by the National Assembly, respectively, for Defence.

He expressed the willingness of the Committee to work collaboratively with the armed forces in ensuring the allocation of more resources to improve the military’s performance.

“Let me also mention, that what the Senate Committee is here to do today, is to carry out this oversight visit and to be briefed on the implementation of the 2022 and 2023 Appropriations, including the supplementary budget.

“We are here to also understand your challenges; the operations that you are involved in across the country are of particular interest to us, and, of course, your activities outside the country.

“What is of utmost concern to the committee is that we must work together to improve on your performance. As a government, we continue to insist that we must stamp out the insecurity we have across the country, but, of course, that requires more than words; that requires making resources available to you.

“We have seen the determination that our armed forces work so hard with the little that is available to you. [And] we will ensure to work harder to have more resources available.”

Earlier, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, in a brief welcome address, assured the committee of the commitment of the military to upholding the principles and ideals of the armed forces.

“Together as a team, we want to assure you that the armed forces is working tirelessly to keep the peace wherever we are.

“We believe that Nigeria is there for us, and without peace, development will be affected”, Gen. Musa said.

 

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