Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has said his State is the worst affected by terrorism occasioned by Boko Haram attacks, which has left many citizens still in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
The Governor stated this on Thursday while inaugurating the Tukur Buratai Institute for War and Peace built as part of the concerted efforts to overcome the challenges of insurgency in the Northeast.
Further in his remark, Zulum lauded the foresight of the Nigerian Army in building the institute, located in Buratai, Biu Local Government Area of Borno state.
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The Governor expressed regret that the insurgency had “inflicted debilitating impact” on the state and the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
He said: “I’m not unaware of where we were before the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the successes recorded by the military in the war against terrorism.
“With the level of destruction of infrastructure and displacement of people from their communities, we have the task of rehabilitating them.
“The task before us now is to return the people to their communities and restart their means of livelihoods,” he said.
The Governor, who determined to see displaced people in Borno return to their homes said that it was for such reason that the state government was devoting its limited resources to empower and encourage the people to return to their communities.
Zulum, reckoning that “the army is a reliable partner in this endeavour,” assured that his government shall work with the institute to design a template and programmes for peace building, reconstruction and development of violence-riddled communities.
Restating his commitment to continually support the Armed Forces, and appreciating the sacrifices of gallant troops, Zulum said: When we occasionally criticise them, we do so with a view to improving on our successes and not out of lack of appreciation”.
Also speaking at the event, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, regretted that one of the greatest challenges facing the world today is terrorism with its huge toll on human lives.
He noted that Nigeria has had its fair share of terrorism in the form of Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast part of country.
He stated that to rout out terrorism and return peace to the affected areas, the military had been working substantially with the support of government and other security agencies.
The Army Chief said that the success of the troops would enable the IDPs to go back to their communities and resume their normal productive activities.
“This is the surest way to put in a nail on the coffins of insurgency,” he said.
He commended the troops for their sacrifices in defending their country, saying the Nigerian Army would continue to treat their welfare and families with topmost priority.
He also commended the people of northeast for their continued support, without which the successes achieved would not have been possible.
“Continue to support our security agencies with timely intelligence as the war on terror is a collective responsibility of all,” he admonished.
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Giving more detail on the project, He said that the institute was part of Nigerian Army’s aim of understanding all forms of warfare, particularly new forms of asymmetric conflict, including terrorism and insurgency.
He added that the institute has six centres, including research, documentation, counter-terrorism and insurgency, cyber security, strategic communication and centre for museum and archives.
“The Tukur Buratai Institute aims at training and capacity building for military personnel as well as civilians in counter-terrorism and insurgency, humanitarian responses, peace building and construction”, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) said.