Borno State, North-East Nigeria, for the first time since 2011, witnessed a very peaceful Sallah celebration following the decision by the state government and security agencies not to restrict movement as security situation in the region improves.
The state, which is worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, had been closed to vehicular movements and out-door celebration during all festivities, be it Islamic and Christian, due to fear of terror attacks.
Residents were compelled to celebrate religious festivals under curfew or restriction of movement following incessant bomb attacks and other violent acts by the Boko Haram.
Governor Kashim Shettima had made the announcement Monday July 4, allowing all citizens of the state to have a fresh breath of air during the festival.
“After extensive deliberations, the key actors in security in the state unanimously resolved that we want to give our people dignity. We want them to have a feel of what it was to celebrate and we have resolved not to restrict movement during this year’s Eid-el-Fitri,” he announced.
Shettima disclosed that the decision to allow people roam freely on the streets this year was due to an improvement in the security situation in the state in recent times.
He added that security would be intensified as security agencies and the Civilian JTF had been directed to conduct thorough search and checks on the people.
In a similar development, the Nigerian Army has reopened the Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala road; a key road that links Borno with Central African countries.
The 138-kilometer road is of great economic importance to Borno State and the nation but has been closed for three years by the military, no thanks to the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists.
The reopening of the road was witnessed by Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai and Governor Shettima as part of activities to mark the 2016 Army day celebration in Borno State.