I am indebted to Nigerians- Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Maiduguri, Borno State, said he remains indebted to all Nigerians for the opportunity given to serve the country, adding that all efforts will be made to improve the livelihood of Nigerians, starting with providing adequate security.
Speaking at the palace of the Shehu of Borno, President Buhari recounted how he started his administrative career as a military officer in Borno State as a governor for seven months, under Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed, before he was appointed Minister of Petroleum by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was then a military Head of State.
“My commitment to serve Nigerians is a payback for the love shown to me. I started my political adventure in Maiduguri and I always look forward to coming here,” he added.
President Buhari commended the Governor of Borno State for his forthrightness, resilience and drive in bringing development to the state, despite security challenges.
He noted that very few leaders will take the risks Governor Zulum had taken over the years to protect his people and promote peace and development, especially in putting his life on the line by spending nights with vulnerable people.
The Governor thanked the President for visiting Borno State to appraise the security situation, and commission some of the completed projects in the last few years.
President Buhari, on official visit to the State to appraise the security situation and commission some development projects, attributed recent successes recorded by the military against insurgents and terrorists at Dikwa, Damboa and Gwoza to careful planning, infusion of new equipment and other war materials as well as quality military leadership.
“I am very happy to be here in Borno State once again. I consider Maiduguri and Borno State to be my home since this is the place where I cut my administrative and political teeth, when I first arrived here as Military Governor 46 years ago.
“While I am happy to return home, I am not happy that this visit is not a normal, peacetime home-coming. I am here today first and foremost to appraise the security situation in Borno State and the North East region in order to move full speed ahead and conclude the work of restoring permanent peace to the region.
“The attacks launched by cowardly terrorists against military and civilian targets last month and in previous months were a pointer to us that the work of defeating insurgency and terrorism and of restoring permanent peace to this region is not yet over.
“We will not rest until all the millions of Internally Displaced Persons are able to return and resettle in their homes and rebuild their shattered lives,” he said.
The President said all the Service Chiefs that were appointed this year either served as Theatre Commanders or were part of the command’s operations at one time or the other.
“All of them are therefore personally familiar with the challenge of insurgency. I fully expect them to bring this wealth of personal experience to bear as we move to end this scourge once and for all.
“No doubt, these successes owe a lot to the role played by volunteers of the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes. These good people include women, who are making huge sacrifices and patriotic contributions to our peace-restoration efforts,” he added.
In his remarks, the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Garbai El-Kanemi, thanked the President for consistent response to the plight of the people in the State, pointing out that the security situation had improved significantly.
He said resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will improve their economy as many will return to the farms to further boost food security, while others will continue with their trade.