President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday restated his directive to security agencies to take the fight to the hideouts of the criminal elements and ensure “They are completely eliminated.’”
The president gave the directive in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day 2022.
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He said: “The men and officers of Operation Lafiya Dole, security agencies and the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) are very much appreciated for their commitment to the fight against insurgency.
“I commend their professionalism and tactical penetration to the hideout of the criminal elements, leading to appreciable improvement of the security situation in this North East Region, without which the resettlement of the IDPs would not be possible.
“I, therefore, implore you not to relent in your efforts, continue to take the fight to their hideouts and ensure they are completely eliminated.
“I also implore you to ensure adequate security for farmers in their farming activities. Agricultural activities are most needed for settlement and development of the rural areas and this can only be achieved if the farmers are sure of their safety.”
Buhari also directed the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and its agencies to come up with specific programmes to address urgent threats posed by explosive remnants in the North East region.
He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to reducing the effects of disasters, climate change, insurgency and challenges of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). On World Humanitarian Day, commemorated annually on August 19, President Buhari commended all humanitarian aid workers that provided the much-needed assistance to those afflicted by the conflict.
The president led other guests at the event in Maiduguri to observe a minute of silence in memory of all who lost their lives in disasters and humanitarian workers who died in the line of duty.
President Buhari also used the occasion to appreciate General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) for his support to Borno State government in rehabilitating many IDPs in the North East.
He described Gen. Danjuma’s humanitarian assistance as significant and patriotic, urging other Nigerians and organisations with the means to support humanitarian work.
The president also thanked the UNDP, the European Union, the government of the USA, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as other foreign establishments for their support in complementing the administration’s effort to stabilise the North East region.
He urged all relevant public, private and international agencies to support the government’s drive to rehabilitate IDPs, care for victims of insurgency as well as commitment to ‘’On-going processes concerning Boko Haram/ISWAP members willing to surrender.’’
In his welcome address, the governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, who said the state was enjoying relative peace and stability, appreciated the sacrifices of gallant soldiers, security agencies, local vigilantes and the MNJTF.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who cited figures from the Aid Worker Security Database, disclosed that since 2016, 35 aid workers had died, 22 wounded and 28 kidnapped.
She added that since the beginning of this year, six aid workers had been kidnapped in the country.
On the choice of Borno for this year’s event, the minister explained that it was meant to highlight the humanitarian situation and plight of IDPs in the region and to inspire the much-needed change.
Earlier in his remarks, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi thanked the president for his administration’s continued efforts towards the restoration of peace, rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of liberated communities in Borno State.
While in Borno, Buhari commissioned the Bulunkutu Teachers’ Quarters on Airport road and Molai 500 low-cost housing estate for IDPs constructed by the state government with the support of the federal government.
From Hassan Ibrahim, Olatunji Omirin, Maiduguri, & Muideen Olaniyi, Abuja