Abuja – Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, has commended the Federal Government for its efforts to implement the “Bama Initiative’’ aimed at rebuilding lives and infrastructure in the North-East.
The governor made the commendation on Monday in Abuja while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
He described the meeting as “exploratory’’ meant to cross pollinate ideas on how to rebuild the North-East
“The Federal Government has magnanimously decided to support us in the Bama initiative; a very beautiful pilot scheme, which we hope will be replicated in all parts of the devastated North-East.
“It’s an exploratory discussion and once it comes on stream you will be informed.
“The Bama Initiative is all about restoring the dignity of our people, about rebuilding lives, infrastructure, schools and clinics.
“It’s about giving hope to the hopeless,’’ he added.
The governor, who expressed hope that the federal government was committed to the implementation of the initiative, described it as `a game changer.’
He said that the federal government was desirous of assisting the North-East in rehabilitating infrastructural facilities “so that the people can get back on their feet once and for all.’’
Shettima, who refused to confirm if the recent bombings in IDPs camp in Borno was discussed at the meeting, said, “these suicide bombings are signs of weakness on the part of Boko Haram.’’
He said that the security agencies in collaboration with the state government had put in place measures to address the menace of Boko Haram in the state and beyond.
“Two years ago, they were holding unto 22 out of 27 local government areas; but now they have been sufficiently decimated.
“I’m not under rating their capacity; these are lunatics who bask on the opportunity of publicity to kill and maim so that they can get greater regard in the global Jihadist community.
“So, definitely we are also coming up with robust response to address this issue of suicide bombing.
“We have challenges no doubt about it, I am not actually discounting that fact, but when you put it in proper contest, you will see that a lot has been done.
“They have been sufficiently decimated that they can no longer hold on to any territory in the Nigerian federation.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting, presided over by the acting President Yemi Osinbajo, was attended by some cabinet ministers, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno also attended the meeting. (NAN)