By Henry Umoru, Abuja
Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno South has hailed what he described as tremendous efforts of the Military in working assiduously to bring peace to the War ravaged Borno State in the North East geo Political zone of the country by the Boko Haram Insurgents.
Ndume who noted that the Military are going extra mile to put things together for the return of the hitherto Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs to their ancestral villages, said that the Soldiers in Borno, especially his Senatorial District must be commended for going out of their statutory responsibility to providing other things that are giving the people Succour to once again bounce back to life and live a well fulfilled one.
The former Senate Leader who noted that he has just returned from tour of his constituency, said that the Military deserve serious commendation against the backdrop that they are doing well to ensure the security of lives and property, said that with the hard work of the Military, students wrote the West African Examinations, WAEC for the first time after six years.
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja, Ndume who noted that the Soldiers beside their statutory duties, have also engaged in teaching of Children in Chibok and other places in Borno South, said that the Military also sink Boreholes for the people, reconstruction of burnt buildings, waiting the arrival of the people.
According to him, if the Army must perform effectively and efficiently in the War torn zone, there was the urgent need for the Federal Government to provide funds, modern equipment and additional personnel, adding that the government should complete the Renovation of Chibok Secondary School especially as the people are returning as Internally Displaced persons, IDPs to their native homes.
On his recent tour of his constituency, Ndume said, ” I have been at home for the most part of the vacation and I’ve been able to go round and also talk to my people. First of all, with the assistance of the, military which provided security in Chibok, the students of Government College Chibok, for the first time in six years, were able to write their Senior Secondary School Examination at Chibok.
” I commend the military especially the GOC of the 7th Division who was assured us that the students would write their exams in Chibok and they did that successfully. Other military commanders and personnel are also doing everything possible to make sure that peace return to Chibok town.
We hereby appeal to the Federal Government to complete the renovation of the Chibok College which was burnt by the insurgents, six years ago. The Federal Government took over the school and it had yet to complete its renovation up till now.
“In the course of my interaction too, I discovered that the military has been supporting the state Government’s bid to return the internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes. So far, the people of Kukawa, Kawuri, Ngwoche, are in the process of returning while some of them had returned already.
“Just last week, over 1, 000 Kawuri people, along the Maiduguri-Bama Road, about 40 kilometers away from Maiduguri, returned to their town. Kawuri was where the insurgents massacred 85 people in one day sometime in February 2014.
“I was at Ngoshe with the governor and preparations were at the final stage to return the displaced persons on October 15. The government is also making efforts to return the people of four other communities at the various IDP camps by the end of the year.
“We call on the federal and state government to provide the people with farm implements, fertilizers and other agricultural extension services for them to engage in dry season farming because they have missed the raining season now.
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“Despite the difficult challenges confronting the military operation in my area, the soldiers deployed to fight the insurgents have been very wonderful. At Ngwoche for instance, the military personnel there are, apart from repelling the attacks from the insurgents, have mobilized resources to start rebuilding, through direct labour, houses that were destroyed by the Boko Haram fighters. The soldiers did not know the owners of the houses they are rebuilding.
“In Gwoza, one Colonel Lamidi, a Yoruba man who has been there now for three years as the battalion commander, bought two golf cars and converted them to gun trucks due to lack of equipment to fight the insurgents. The same Colonel Lamidi has been going after the insurgents with the golf cars he reconstructed to gun trucks.
“Apart from this, the soldiers are also engaging in civil activities. Some soldiers with diploma and degree certificates are now teaching school children whose parents have returned to some of the affected communities. They even hired 50 volunteers, who they are paying about N30,000 per month from their salaries and allowances, to teach in some schools also.
“The former Brigade Commander built about two boreholes in Gwoza as his own contribution. The Nigerian Army are doing their best but they don’t have enough personnel, resources and adequate equipment to really execute the war effectively.
“In Damboa where we lost about 24 solders as a result of the ambush by the insurgents. The Army deployed a battalion to the area and since then, the incidence of ambush had stopped.”