How we ‘ve curbed kidnap of students in Borno – Zulum

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum on Tuesday sadi that the successful implementation of Safe School Initiative has helped to stem the tide of kidnapping of students in the state.

Governor Zulum disclosed this while speaking to State House correspondents shortly after he met behind closed-doors with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The governor said, “We started (the Safe School Initiative) since not now, because we launched this programme about seven to eight years ago due to the insecurity situation in our state.

“I believe almost most of our schools are well fenced as part of the safe school initiative. We have also deployed the military, the civilian JTF, as well as hunters and vigilante who are working closely to ensure that our schools are safe.

“So we’re doing very well, I believe you haven’t heard much in Borno State as regards abduction of school children, it is because our school initiative is working very well. I also want to commend the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian police and all others. We’re working closely and they’re doing very well in terms of safeguarding our own schools.”

Fielding questions on the number of people so far repatriated by the state government, he said, “So far so good, within the last six to seven years, not less than 100,000 people were repatriated. This is the official figure.

“The unofficial figures might be more than this. But I want to inform you that we still have remnants of people living in Chad, Niger and Cameroon. I need to discuss with the National Commission for Refugees as well as NEMA and other organizations before coming out with a figure. 

“But the most important thing that I want to tell you is that we have started the repatriation and this administration is committed to ensuring that all our refugees living in our neighboring countries are repatriated before the end of this administration.”

Prof. Zulum declared that the take off of key institutions including the Yauri Irrigation scheme in northern Borno as well as the South Chad irrigation projects will help to consolidate the relative peace earnestly sought by the state.

This is as the Federal College of Education located in Gwoza is set to take off with the approval by the President.

Recall that insecurity has continued to weigh down the states even as the Government recently declared a one-day statewide fast to seek divine intervention as it battles the spate of landmine explosions across its major roads.

“Now that we are having relative peace in Borno state, there’s need for government to ensure reestablishment of South Chad irrigation project.

“South Chad irrigation project has tremendous potential to produce food to cater for the needs of the entire northern Nigeria or I can say even the entire country.

“But as a result of insecurity in the region, the irrigation scheme is not functioning very well for the last decade or more than a decade.”

Zulum also disclosed an assurance by the President for the establishment of a strong security outfit in the lake Chad basin to enable the people have unhindered access to farmlands.

“I spoke with them Mr. President and the President will look into the possibility of establishing a very strong security outfit in the Lake Chad Basin so that people can have access to agricultural lands.”

“Since the country is looking forward to ensuring food security in terms of quantity and quality, when these two irrigation projects are reestablished, I believe the issue of food security will be addressed not only in Borno state, but also in Nigeria.”

On the approval for the take off of the federal college of education located in Gwoza, the governor said the project “is something that is very important and very dear to the entire people of Borno State.”

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