March 2, 2023

Zulum deserves second term – Buhari

……. unviels 50 megawatts Emergency Power Plant, other projects in Maiduguri

By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

President Muhammadu Buhari has called upon the people of Borno state to give governor Babagana Zulum a second chance by voting massively for him in the forthcoming March 11th 2023 gubernatorial election, as according to the President, he cannot count the number of developmental projects he commissioned after executions by the present administration in the state.

Buhari stated this on Thursday during his One -Day official visit to Borno, purposely to sympathize with victims of Maiduguri Monday Market which was razed down by fire last Sunday, with goods worth billions of naira destroyed and rendered thousands of traders hopeless.

The President also used the opportunity and commissioned the multi billion naira Maiduguri, Emergency Power Project, MEPP along Baga road, dualization of Ahmadu Bello Way, Shehu Sanda Kyari, Lafiya and Mogoram roads, New Tashan Bama Motor Park/Market and Doctors’ Quarters at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

Apart from the 50 megawatts Gas Turbine Power Plant which was executed by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NNPCL) with the directive of the President to electrify Maiduguri, all the other projects lined up for commissioning on Thursday were executed by Governor Zulum in his first tenure.

President Buhari who arrived Presidential Wing at the Maiduguri International Airport at about 11:10am inspected a Guard of Honour by the Military, before proceeding to the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Dr. Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi expressed deep grief over the fire disaster, Sunday, February 26, which razed the entire international market.

While paying brief homage to the Traditional Ruler, he said, “I am here to commiserate with you over the fire incident at the Maiduguri Main market,” the President told the Shehu.

“I am mainly here to go and see the market, but the governor has hijacked me to commission his projects,” he stressed.

Earlier, the Shehu expressed gratitude to President Buhari for standing with the people of Borno in their trying times.

The President after departing the palace of the Royal Father, commissioned the newly dualized Ahmadu Bello Way. He then inspected the razed down market, but did not make any comment.

Thereafter, Buhari and his entourage inaugurated the Bama Motor Park and Market completed at over N2 billion by the Borno state government. 

The park has also 475 lockup shops with various parking lots. The Commissioner of Trade, Investment and Tourism, Hon. Yerima Lawan Kareto, while conducting the President round the unveiled Bama Motor Park, said that the inaugurated motor park will serve travellers and tourists from Nigeria to Cameroon and Chad among others.

The President was also at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, where he commissioned Doctors’ Quarters executed by Governor Zulum and a Cancer Centre facilitated by Hon. Muktari Aliyu Betera, who is the Chairman House Committee on Appropriation, representing Biu/Kwaya Kusar/Bayo/Shani federal constituency of Borno state.

Buhari while unveiling the Maiduguri Emergency Power Project, MEPP, hailed Governor Zulum for his good work, which he said, “I cannot count the number of people oriented projects executed by Borno State Government which i personally commissioned in the last three and half years.

“As you were all aware, the insurgents have been attacking the Damaturu- Maiduguri and Maiduguri -Damboa- Biu Transmission lines which had caused serious economic hardship to the people of Maiduguri and its environs for over a year ago, as economic activities have been crippled.

“This unwholesome development neccessitated government to provide an alternative source of power to the people in this part of the country. Therefore i directed the Group Managing Director, GMD of the NNPC ltd, Mele Kyari to immediately embark on this project we are commissioning today.

” I want to commend NNPC ltd for following my directives in restoring power supply to Maiduguri and its environs.

“Let me use this opportunity to commend His Excellency, Governor Babagana Zulum for keeping to his campaign promises. Today itbis my pleasure to commission some projects including the dualized Ahmadu Bello Way, Shehu Sanda Kyari, Lafiya and Mogoram roads, New Tashan Bama Motor Park/Market, Doctors’ Quarters and Cancer Centre at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

” Infact, i cannot remember or count the number of projects i commissioned during your first tenure as Governor. I also acknowledged your contributions and that of stakeholders working closely with the Federal Government by bringing back our refugees from Cameroun and other neighbouring countries following the relative peace currently witnessed in this part of the country.

” To this end, Governor Zulum deserves a second term”. Buhari stated.

In his keynote address at the site of the MEPP, Governor Zulum commended the federal government for providing an alternative source of power supply through the completed 50MWs Power Plant.

He also thanked President Buhari for his support which has ameliorate the economic hardship faced by the people of the North East.

The President was also at the Government House where he inspected food items donated by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Managament and Social Development, through the office of the North East Development Commission, NEDC.

Briefing the President, Minister Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Managament and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk said, support was provided through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and the NEDC.

“They worked hand-in-hand with the Borno government to recover some goods, but unfortunately, there was nothing to recover. Assessment is still on-going.

“We have provided 30,000 bags of rice, 30,000 bags of maize, 50,000 cartoons of sphaghetti and condiments among others as immediate succour.

“I have also directed that the assessment should continue and we shall provide more support with building materials,’’ Farouq said.

Responding, Governor Zulum said that “the Sunday’s fire at the Maiduguri Monday Market destroyed 13,000 shops, the fire ruined the livelihoods of at least 20,000 traders.”

He commended the Federal Government for its quick intervention, which he said, the relief items would be distributed judiciously to the victims.

In addition to this, Zulum said, the Borno government also provided immediate humanitarian support of N1billion to mitigate the sufferings of the victims.

He expressed the appreciation of the government and people of Borno of the president’s visit over the incident and said the people of Borno would remain indepted to Mr. President for all the support from the federal government. 

Among the dignitaries on Mr. President’s entourage are the Vice -President Elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, Minister of Power,  Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, Speaker Borno State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abdulkarim Lawan, some  national assembly members among others.