BY NDAHI MARAMA
COMMERCIAL activities yesterday came to a standstill for about 10 hours in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, when Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo paid an official visit to the state, the base of the Islamist group, Boko Haram.
It was Sambo’s first visit since Governor Kashim Shettima assumed the mantle of leadership in 2011. He met Borno elders on the dicey security situation in the state.
The visit, which took place amidst tight security, paralysed economic activities as most residents of the state capital stayed indoors.
Namadi landed at the Maiduguri International Airport at about 11:20 a.m. At the airport, security officials, suspected to be SSS personnel, brutalised some journalists.
Some residents told newsmen that the visit of the second citizen was a bad day as business activities were brought to a standstill.
”This is a sad day for me. The security has blocked all the road and there is no business going on,” 65- year-old charcoal seller, Abba Musa Yaro.
The VP, accompanied by Shettima and other dignitaries from within and outside the state, commissioned/inspected projects within Maiduguri.
He commissioned the newly constructed Maduganari Bye- pass road and the renovated Maiduguri Nursing Home, named after General Muhammad Shuwa, who was assassinated by terrorists last year.
Sambo paid a courtesy call on the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, at his palace.
At the palace, the royal father thanked the VP for the visit and called on the Federal Government to reduce the military check points on the streets of Maiduguri as, according to him, security situation has improved in the state.
Responding, the VP assured the Shehu that government remained committed to the protection of lives and property and enhancement of socio- economic development in the state.
He also held a closed – door meeting with Borno elders at the Government House where the issue on how to tackle the insecurity in the state and the North in particular topped the agenda.