Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has described the outgoing year, 2016 as one that witnessed a major breakthrough in the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, saying the year is so far his best in the last five years, since he assumed the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2011 and reelected in 2015.
The Governor also said there was no Christmas and New Year Gift to the people of Borno State better than the fall of the Sambisa forest which served as headquarters of the Boko Haram fighters.
Shettima spoke at the official re-opening of Maiduguri-Gubio – Kareto-Damasak road and Maiduguri -Monguno-Baga road leading to the northern part of Borno State at a mini ceremony attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai on Sunday afternoon along Gubio road in Maiduguri.
“I would want to start by declaring, that since I became the Governor of Borno State in over five years, this is the best Christmas season I have witnessed; this is the best December I have witnessed and the year, 2016 is my best year so far, as Governor of Borno State. 2016 is for me, Nigeria’s year of victory and Borno’s year of Hope and Resurrection. It is in this 2016 that we began to have access to major towns like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno and Damasak following their liberation by our gallant armed forces.
“For Government and the good people of Borno State, there is no better Christmas and New Year Gift that is more precious than the conquer of Sambisa Forest by our sufficient military” Shettima said.
The Governor paid glowing tributes to President Muhammadu Buhari, service chiefs, officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their different roles in the fight against insurgency.
“Many persons made sacrifices, including giving up their lives for us to have peace and for these roads we are about re-opening, to be freed from the control of insurgents” Shettima noted.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai who spoke before Shettima, cautioned against extortion of motorists who would ply the road. He also advised against inducement of soldiers, maintaining that troops are well taken care of by the Army command.
The Chief of Defence Staff who was was represented by the Chief of Administration said counter insurgency efforts would be sustained to prevent re-grouping of insurgents.
While Emergency workers have evacuated the dead body of the female bomber, Nigerian soldiers took the other away for interrogations.
A spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North-East with an office in Maiduguri Abdulkadir Ibrahim confirmed the incident saying that “Emegency workers were immediately drafted to the scene at Kasuwar Shanu, a market in Maiduguri where cattle and other domestic animals are sold.”