BY YUNUSA BUNU, JUNE 27, 2019, | 10:58 AM
The Borno state governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum along with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai have visited Damboa, one of the 27 local governments in Borno and previously Boko Haram's major stronghold.
Background to tour
The governor was on an operational visit to the local government in order to assess its readiness for restoration of civil authority and to inspect the ongoing clearance of the Maiduguri - Damboa - Biu road.
On June 12, the governor in his Democracy Day address announced that major roads in the state be opened with immediate effect to facilitate the speedy commencement of socio-economic activities such as farming, trade and commerce, among other things.
In his first four days in office, the governor took his first tour to Gwoza, Bama and Konduga local governments, visiting villages to interact with local leaders and listen to their problems.
In his second week, his trip was to Ngomboru Ngala, one of the major commercial towns in the state, along with Dikwa and Kala-Balge local governments.
Similarly, he was in Biu and Hawul local government last week where he visited Kwajafa, Marama, Azare, Sakwa and kwayabura villages.
The governor rode on the back of a promise to restore peace and normalcy in the state to win the governorship election.
Trip to Damboa and major problem of the people
During his visit to Damboa, Prof. Zulum interacted with local authorities, Civilian JTF and local hunters on the problems facing their operations and how best to address Boko Haram disturbances in the axis.
The community said their major problem is the restrictions and difficulties they face in plying the Maiduguri - Damboa - Biu Road.
Other problems they face include insufficient water supply, inaccessibility to their farmlands and markets, among other things.
Governor's response to their complaints
'I have been informed that access road from Maiduguri to Damboa and Biu is your biggest problem.
'I am also told that you need schools, electricity, sufficient water supply, access to your farms and markets, as well as the resettlement of Sabon Gari.
'Here, we came along with the leader of Army, Lt. Gen. Buratai, we promise you that the road will be cleared,' the governor said while addressing the people in Kanuri.
Restoration of civil authorities While assuring them of his commitment to providing the dividends of democracy to them within the means of the state, he also stressed on the issues of displine in the civil service and attitude towards work.
He told YERWA EXPRESS NEWS that the reason his administration has been visiting local governments and villages as priority is 'to ensure the establishment of civil authorities,' noting that there is no reason civil servants will not return to their duty posts with several security operatives in those communities.
'Anyone who is not present at his duty post is on his own,' Zulum warned.
Inspection of the ongoing clearance of Maiduguri - Damboa - Biu Road
The governor further noted that the ' main mission to Damboa is that we came along with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) purposely to inspect the ongoing work on site of the Maiduguri to Damboa Road.'
The governor was received by several members of the Civilian JTF and hunters operating in the town.
Immediate evacuation of policemen 'taking refuge' at Government Lodge
He also directed the policemen 'taking refuge' in the Government Lodge to immediately return to their respective stations / duty posts, emphasizing that there is no reason for them to be staying there if people in the community will agree to stay in their homes.
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