Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State on Tuesday said the appointment of indigenes of the state as security chiefs has underlined the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to take the Boko Haram insurgency to the cleaners.
Shettima believed that the battle to end insurgency that had bedeviled the nation, especially the North-East, was now in safe and efficient hands, noting that “the fight to overcome insurgents is now or never.”
The governor said this in Maiduguri while receiving members of the Insurgency Victims Support Fund, led by its chairman, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma.
He urged the IVSF to desist from playing to the gallery and bring about solution to the problems of millions of displaced persons.
Shettima described the appointment of two citizens of Borno as security chiefs by Buhari as one of the “happiest moments” in his lifetime, saying with the duo, Nigeria now had the best chance to overcome the challenges of insurgency facing it since 2009.
He noted that the President’s choice of Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.) and Maj. Gen. Tukur Buratai as National Security Adviser and Chief of Army Staff respectively” was a classic case of putting square pegs in square holes.
He explained that the security chiefs possessed ancestral knowledge of the terrain of Borno in addition to being direct victims of insurgency attacks with their relatives killed, their residences destroyed and their towns raided.
The governor said, “Yesterday was the happiest moment of my life. President Muhammadu Buhari made a strong statement by his decision to appoint two highly competent sons of Borno to the offices of the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Army Staff. I think his strategy is to get people with ancestral knowledge of the Borno terrain.
“Major General Tukur Buratai is even a direct victim of Boko Haram attacks. He lost family members when his residence was attacked earlier this year in Buratai, a town in Biu Local Government Area. Monguno was destroyed and once occupied by Boko Haram and that is where the new NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno, hails from.
“In fact, a key family member of General Monguno is still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents. These two Generals are from Borno; they know exactly where it pinches and most importantly, they understand the terrain and can easily connect with communities to get local support.”
Shettima added, “Added to them is also the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who hails from Bauchi also in the North-East. AVM Abubakar has spent many of his formative years in the military here in Borno State.
“He has spent over 10 years in Borno. He knows the terrain very well also and connects with the people. I think for us, it is now or never because the President has generously put sons of Borno and the North-East to lead the battle for the freedom of Borno, the North-East and rest of Nigeria, from the murderous threats of insurgency.
“With the combined efforts of other competent service chiefs and all Nigerians, the war on terror will soon be won by the supremacy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Executive Director of Nigerian Foundation for the Support of Victims of Terrorism, Prof. Sunday Ochoche, had earlier said the focus of the foundation was the “economic empowerment of women and the education of children” in the communities affected by Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State and the North-East.