By Ndahi Marama
The 185 kilometre, km Maiduguri – Damboa – Biu road, which had been closed for the past one year following incessant Boko Haram insurgents’ attacks on motorists has been reopened following the orders of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Consequently, people of Damboa, Chibok, Askira-Uba, Hawul, Biu, Gwoza, Kwaya Kusar, Shani and Bayo Local Government Areas, LGAs of Southern Borno including some communities in Adamawa State would heave a sigh of relief as they can now reach their destinations within hours or a day, instead of spending two days before reaching places like Chibok or Damboa.
Speaking at the official reopening ceremony, Lt. Gen Buratai said the road which was first opened on February 27, 2016, but had to be closed for troops to curtail the incessant attacks on commuters by insurgents.
Recall that governor Babagana Zulum had recently vowed to ply the road should the military refuse to reopen it.
But speaking at the ceremony, Buratai said: “Today marks another milestone for the military and other security agencies who have sacrificed their lives in the fight against terrorism and other criminal activities in our fatherland. As you are all aware that the Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road which was first opened on February 27, 2016 had to be closed for troops to curtail the incessant attacks from Boko Haram insurgents on commuters.
“Today’s reopening of the road is a sign that the objective of its closure have been achieved, as adequate security has been provided with the combined efforts of the military, hunters and the Civilian Joint Task Force in collaboration with the Air Force which will provide air surveillance. I am optimistic that with the improved security on the road, the security of the road will soon be handed over to the Police Force to ensure safety of road users.
“On behalf of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, I express gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for all the support he has been rendering especially to the Armed forces in all their operations.
”I also want to appreciate the contributions of Borno State Government in providing hunters and the CJTF to complement efforts of the security forces to end Boko Haram menace in the north east.”
Earlier Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, while welcoming guests at the occasion, had warned members of Road Transport Workers Union to stay clear of extorting commuters under the guise of providing logistics for soldiers because the Army Headquarters have provided enough money for their logistics.
“As we witness the reopening of this road today, I have to give a strong warning to excos/members of the Road Transport Workers Union to desist from extortion of motorists and passengers under the guise of providing logistics to our soldiers, because the Army Headquarters have provided enough money for their logistics while in the theatre”. Adeniyi stressed.
The occasion was graced by Hon. Umar Usman Kadafur Deputy Governor of Borno who expressed gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff for directing that the road should be reopened after guaranteeing that adequate security will be provided at all times on the road. Ends