AHMED MARI, MAIDUGURI
The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima and the Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Ibn- Umar Ibrahim Elkanemi yesterday visited Bama Local Government Area for the first time after it was captured on 1st September last year by insurgents.
Our Correspondent who was also on the entourage of the Governor, reports that the whole town was deserted as almost 90% of houses and other structures were virtually destroyed by insurgents.
While addressing the troops at the destroyed palace of the Shehu including the historical artifacts, governor Shettima commended the gallantry exhibited by troops to recapture and liberated most of the communities in the state, and urged them to continue to rout out terrorists from their hideouts.
He stated that the purpose of the visit together with the Shehu and other members of his entourage is to condole with the troops and the people of Bama over the unfortunate incident that have claimed several lives with property worth billions of naira destroyed.
He said, “I am here to condole with the troops and the people of Bama over the spate of killings and destruction of our Communities by insurgents. We will deploy all resources to rebuild the destroyed houses.”
“I have gone round the town and no any government structure is still standing, 90% of people’s houses, shops, places of worships, banks have been destroyed, but I can assure you that we are here to assess the level of damage so that government will rebuild them to allow our displaced people come back and continue their normal lives, Shettima stated.
He said, “We have brought in surplus of food items for our troops and men of the civilian JTF who have sacrificed their dear lives for progress of our state and the north east sub-region.”
“I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to federal government under the incoming administration of General Muhammad Buhari, international donor agencies and philanthropic organizations to come to our aide so that we can rebuild all our destroyed communities for people to go back to their homes,” the Governor stated.
“From Maiduguri-Bama road, virtually all the communities along the main road have been destroyed, but By God Grace, we will defeat the terrorists and Borno shall rise again stronger,” Shettima stated.
Shettima also made a brief stopover and addressed some groups of old aged women/men and children who were displaced from surrounding villages but now taking refuge in Bama, and promised them that government will immediately send vehicles to evacuate them to Maiduguri.
Also in his response, the Shehu of Bama thanked governor Shettima and the troops for their concern to the plight of the people who were displaced by insurgents, and prayed Allah to grant eternal rest to the souls of those who lost their lives, and for restoration of peace in the state and the north east region.
Earlier in his address, the military commander in Bama, Colonel M.J. Ahmed thanked the governor and the traditional ruler for the visit, pointing out that the visit will further boost the morale of his men, and promised them that with determination and gallantry effort exhibited by then troops, the town will soon be safe for people to return and begin their normal lives.