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Fall Of Sambisa,Christmas Gift To Borno People – Gov Shettima
By Musdapha Ilo
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has described the capture of Sambisa Forest by Nigerian soldiers as the best Christmas and New Year gift the people of the state could have hoped for.
President Muhammadu Buhari in a Christmas message to the nation had announced the capture of Sambisa Forest, the base of the Boko Haram insurgency group, from which it struck terror across the North east.
Governor Shettima, who spoke on Sunday at the re-opening of Maiduguri-Gubio- Kareto-Damasak and Maiduguri -Monguno-Baga roads, observed that the year 2016 witnessed a major breakthrough in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
He described the year as the best in the five years he has been in office, adding that there was no better Christmas and New Year gift to the people of Borno State than the fall of the Sambisa
“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,” the governor declared.
Shettima noted that it was in 2016 that the people regained access to major towns in Borno State such as Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno and Damasak after their liberation from insurgents.
He added: “It is in the year 2016 that major highways began to be re-opened. It is in the year, 2016 that we accelerated our major reconstruction of liberated communities; it is in the year 2016 that IDPs began to return to communities; it is in the year 2016 that we recovered some of our daughters abducted at Government Secondary School, Chibok in 2014; and fellow Nigerians, it is in the year 2016, that the Federal Republic of Nigeria established it’s supremacy over Sambisa, headquarters of the Boko Haram.”
Shettima also spoke about the economic importance of the two roads reopened over the weekend to the public.
“This is an important economic road through which hundreds of trailers convey agricultural produce from farming communities in northern Borno to markets in different parts of Borno State. We are extremely happy to have this road added to the list of other major roads re-opened earlier in 2016.”
He commended President Buhari, the service chiefs, officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for the roles they played 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 said.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General, cautioned soldiers 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.
The re-opened roads were closed by the military about two years ago following incessant attacks on motorists and residents by Boko Haram insurgents.