Residents of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on Wednesday booed President Muhammadu Buhari when he paid a condolence visit following Sunday’s gruesome Boko Haram attack.
Naija Buzz News had reported the Sunday gory attack in Auno, a village few kilometers away from the Borno State capital, that left over 30 persons dead and many women and children abducted by the terrorist group.
Buhari who was out of the country on a five-day trip to Ethiopia for an African Union summit when the incident happened, flew direct to Maiduguri to condole with the people of the state who are his staunch supporters.
What was however unbelievable was that the people of Maiduguri who gave Buhari over 90% of their votes during the 2015 and 2019 elections booed him when he entered the city. In the February 2019 Presidential Election, Buhari got 836,496 votes out of 955,205 total votes, while his closest rival, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, got just 71,788 votes.
These same people who voted massively for President Buhari lined up on Wednesday along the Maiduguri airport road chanting “Bamaso”, “Bamayi”, meaning “we don’t want”, “we are not interested”.
The terrorist the government says has been “defeated technically” keeps causing havocs in the North-East. They sect had carried out many attacks even in this year.
We reported how the terrorist group invaded Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, abducted the branch Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Andimi, who they eventually beheaded.
Common Nigerians who are mostly victims of these attacks, elites in the society, religious groups including CAN and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Northern Elders and many have expressed concern over the spate of insecurity in the nation.
Lawmakers have called for the resignation and change of service chiefs who many feel have ran out of ideas on how to tackle the challenges. But Buhari isn’t budging by the outcry.
The people of Maiduguri say they feel like prisoners in the city because they cannot leave the city because of fear of being ambushed by the group. Maiduguri appears to be the safest place in Borno State.
President Buhari in his statement noted that the Boko Haram terrorists cannot attack without the cooperation of residents.
He consequently urged the cooperation of the people of the state with the military to win the war against the sect.
“The cooperation of your people with our troops and other security agencies by providing credible information could end insurgency not only in Borno but other states of Yobe and Adamawa,” Buhari said at the Palace of Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi.
“This Boko Haram or whoever they are, cannot come up to Maiduguri or its environs to attack without the local leadership knowing,” he said.
After meeting with monarchs and the Shehu of Borno, he proceeded to the Government House to meet with the Governor of the State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, and other government officials before proceeding to Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Shehu of Borno who acknowledge that the security situation in the state had improved at a point until recently when it resurfaced.
“We appeal to your Excellency for urgent attention. You have done well for us and you are still doing much for us and we appeal to you continue in that direction. The people of Borno are very grateful that you have to cut short your engagement in Addis-Ababa to come and visit us,” the monarch said.
Governor Zulum in his statement thanked President Buhari for his efforts, saying that the state is better compared to 2015 under the administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
He noted that people have “so quickly forgotten the past; some have tried to compare the situation in Borno now with what it was prior to the 29th May 2015 when all the major roads leading to Borno were closed except the Maiduguri-Kano road”.
“There were sporadic killings and attacks even here in the Maiduguri metropolis. About 20 local government areas of Borno State were displaced.
“But from May 2015, we have recovered most of the displaced local government areas. By the year 2016 and 2017, we have almost celebrated the demise of the Boko Haram insurgency. But from March 2019, we have started recording simultaneous attacks and increased activities of the insurgents which have resulted in the loss of lives of our people.
“We are calling on the Nigerian military to retrace their steps and replicate the successes they have recorded in 2016 and 2017 so that we can end this insurgency once and for all. We want them to take the war to the insurgents in the fringes of the Lake Chad. We also want the Nigerian military to foster unity between themselves and the civil populace. Also, (we) call on the Nigerian military to assist our people to gain access to their farmlands.”
Buhari’s response to Shehu of Borno and Governor Zulum
“I am delighted with what the governor of Borno State and the Shehu of Borno have said; especially both of them have recognised the efforts this administration in the area of security by comparing the situation in 2015 and now,” the president said.
“I am happy that the governor has advised the military to work hard to restore the situation in the state. But it cannot be done without good intelligence. And to my understanding, good intelligence by my experience, having been a soldier before, means cooperation with the local population.
“This Boko Haram or whoever they are, cannot come up to Maiduguri or its environs to attack without the local leadership knowing; because traditionally the local leadership is in charge of the security in their own respective areas. In my understanding of our culture, I wonder how Boko Haram survives up to this time.
“As commander in chief, I campaigned in both in 2015 and 2019 on three fundamental issues and one is security because you cannot properly preside over a country without security, even those who don’t go school know that.
“Secondly, it is the economy; we have vibrant and energetic youth in this country where 60 per cent are below the age of 30. We have to remind them that they must help us to stabilise this country so that they can have a better future. If they don’t cooperate with the government, they are endangering their future. I am already 77 years old and how many more years do I expect under normal circumstances.
“As the commander in chief, I will deal with the security situation. I believe there is an improvement in security. Economy-wise we worked hard in the area of agriculture and have seen the result in the agricultural sector; three results. One, which is fundamental, is food security. Officially, we don’t import rice because we want to defeat the smugglers; and we saved hundreds of millions of dollars. And this happened because the farmers went back to the land.”
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.