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By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri 

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state on Saturday joined thousands of citizens including traditional rulers and top Government functionaries to witness the celebration of the 62nd Independence Day Anniversary.

Recall that due to the insecurity posed by insurgents,  the State Government in the past 12 years has not marked the day with a celebration, but as a result of the gradual return of peace, a huge crowd converged at the Ramat Square Maiduguri and celebrated the day amidst fanfare.

Governor Zulum who was represented by his Deputy, Umar Kadafur commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his good leadership style in tackling the menace of insurgency and other criminalities, and for standing firm not to allow divisibility of the country, adding that It is evident the present administration of His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari as Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria has shown a strong commitment to the indivisibility of Nigeria and ensure that every citizen has access to freedom of live and basic social amenities.

“Regrettably, this auspicious occasion could not hold in Borno State for quite some time, due to the peculiar security challenges bedevilling the State.

“Notwithstanding, today’s celebration is indicative that peace is gradually returning to the State and the country at large, as a result of the successes recorded by the gallant troops of the Nigerian Military and other sister security agencies which steered the State Government to close down all Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Jere Local Government Area as well as voluntary
resettlement of many communities across the State,” Kadafur stated.

Speaking further, he said, “our forefathers and past nationalists have to be given much credence, as they have struggled for freedom and decolonization of the country, sacrificing their lives and energy to gain independence from the colonialists. They sacrificed their personal comfort, energy, time and wealth for the country to be an independent, united and indivisible entity. As such, we shall not allow these sacrifices to be in vain.”

“On this day and in the spirit of rededication, we renew our commitment to confronting the challenges of critical infrastructures
destroyed by the decade-long Boko

Haram insurgency and explore avenues to create job opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths, thereby minimizing the upsurge of social vices in society.

“We remain confident that with the massive investments Borno State Gov have made in the last three years in the expansion and strengthening of our resettlement and recovery efforts, we shall succeed in our commitment to providing the dividends of democracy.

“On a sustainable basis and attainment of our Policy Thrust. We have a duty to improve job creation, access to education, healthcare delivery services, security, and portable water supply for both human and animal consumption, among others.

 “We can do these only in a climate of peace and security. I enjoin the citizenry to remain united, live peacefully and shun all tendencies capable of plunging the nation into chaos and anarchy as the 2023 general elections is fast approaching.

“In this regards, we shall imbibe the spirit of patriotism and peaceful co-existence for a prosperous nation. We need to make a commitment beyond our hero’s past to reflect on the gains and lessons learnt over the years and face the challenges of our time.

“We must be evident in our character of selflessness and sense of responsibility that characterized the lives of our heroes. For the nation to actualize its corporate vision, there is a need for all citizens to appreciate the differences and diversity inherent in Nigeria.

“Finally, our nation is today faced with a number of daunting challenges, which I strongly believe are surmountable, however, in face of all these challenges, our resolve and abiding faith must remain unshaken for the interest of the country.

“I wish you a happy Anniversary celebration. I believe this occasion is worthy of celebration by all well-meaning Nigerians home and abroad”, Kadafur said.

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