The Northern Governors Forum, comprising of 19 Northern States, have donated the sum of N360million to Borno State Government in support of the task of addressing the humanitarian needs and re-building communities that have been affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Governors’ Forum, which was represented by Aminu Masari of Katsina, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Bindow Jibrilla of Adamawa, arrived in Maiduguri on a chartered flight to make the donation.
Speaking on behalf of the Forum, Aminu Masari said that the donation was to show support and commiserate with the Governor of the State and his people.
“At our last meeting of the Northern Governors, it was concluded that a committee was set up to visit Borno. We were nominated as members of the committee.
We are here to show sympathy to the good people of Borno and in solidarity with our brother, Governor Kashim Shettima. We are solidly behind him and we stand by him at this trying time. We have also resolved to be more united than ever before,” Masari said.
Responding to the visitation, Shettima said that the support he receives from his colleagues has been his strength amidst the trials he faced.
“Most governors have identified with us, even when Borno suffered its most severe neglect between 2011 and 2014. It was at this time that Boko Haram took over most of our local government areas, after audacious and bloody attacks. They killed thousands, destroyed communities, abducted and raped our sisters and daughters.
“They destroyed nearly one million residential houses; destroyed over five thousand classrooms and other school buildings. They destroyed over 200 healthcare centres. They bombed water and electricity installations. They set large scale farms ablaze, blocked major economic highways like the Ngala road connecting Nigeria with five countries. Wealthy traders and international transporters lost their trailers and became poor overnight”. He said.
Boko Haram insurgency has been terrorizing the North especially Borno state were series of attacks have been carried out claiming more than 20,000 lives and displacing over 2 million people from their homes and properties.
Bboko Haram have carried out series of attacks with the peak being the abduction of 276 school girls from Chibok in April 2014. After several attack, counter attacks and battles between the deadly group and the Nigeria Army, the Army succeeded in what seem like stripping the group of it base in Sambisa Forest yet the group has launched a number of attacks from there in recent time.
Borno State also received international donations from foreign bodies. In May this year, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) donated about 35,930 kilograms of seeds to the State Government as part of efforts to cushion the humanitarian crisis in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also donated $1million worth of food grains to the Internally Displaced persons (IDP) in the state.
President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has also help in the humanitarian cause by donating N2billion to the IDPs to help conquer starvation and hunger in their camps.
The Governor of Borno guaranteed that the food grains donated by ECOWAS will be disbursed properly as it is under the watch of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
In the past, reports had it that some officials were caught on video, re-bagging foods that are meant for the IDPs with the intent of selling them in the open market.
“We assure you that this food will get to the right persons, and I must commend NEMA for the good job it has been doing especially by ensuring that the right people get the food and supplies meant for them. So far, there hasn’t been any case of diversion of food meant for IDPs under the watch of NEMA,” he said.