President Muhammadu Buhari and his entourage on Wednesday arrived Maiduguri, the Borno state capital to attend the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference.
Although, it was not the first time visit of Mr. President to the State since he assumed office in 2015, but this would be a special one where Buhari and his entourage would pass through the city of Maiduguri with virtually all major streets closed down for motorists amidst tight security.
The President is in Borno State to declare the Conference open which was originally slated for Benin, Edo State.
The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima received the President at the Maiduguri International Airport around 11:30am.
The President proceeded to the Palace of His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi and paid the Monarch a courtesy call, after which, he proceeded to the venue of the Conference at the Command Guest Inn, Baga Road, Maiduguri to flag off the Conference.
While at the Shehu’s palace, HRH, thanked the president for the visit and federal government’s concerted effort in the fight against Boko Haram.
He assured that the traditional institutions would continue to give their maximum support in the fight against terrorism in the country.
In his welcome address, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali said, the Conference usually brings serving and retired Commanders and other Security agencies to brainstorm on the state ongoing operations against terrorists and other criminals in the country.
He expressed gratitude to President Buhari for giving enormous support to the military forces to confront series of security challenges bedevilling some parts of the country, especially north east and the Lake Chad Region.
The Minister also commended the service chiefs and other stakeholders for their unrelenting efforts in the fight against Boko Haram and other related security challenges confronting the country. He therefore called for a coordinated joint operations amongst the security agencies to ensure total peace in the land.
Dan Ali however prayed God to grant eternal live to the souls of gallant officers and soldiers who paid a supreme price to restore peace in the north east and the country in general.
Governor Shettima in his brief remarks commended all security agencies and members of the Civilian JTF towards degrading remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in the north east.
He said, before the coming of President Buhari, virtually all major roads leading to Maiduguri were deathtrap, as nobody venture to move out of the city by few kilometres away without being confronted or attacked by insurgents, noting that the present administration came as a saving grace to people of the state.
He pledged that his door would continue to remain open for all security agencies so that the support needed to end the lingering crisis of insurgents would be given necessary consideration by his administration.
He cited poverty, illiteracy, and climatic and other changes in the lake Chad region responsible for emergence of Boko Haram, which according to him, if not properly addressed, youths may become easily convinced join Boko Haram and other nefarious activities.
President Buhari who is the Special Guest of Honour while declaring the Conference opened, commend the leadership of Nigerian Army for moving out the Conference earlier slated to hold in Edo to Maiduguri.
He noted that his administration would continue to give its maximum support to the military, adding that one of the cardinal objectives of this government is to ensure adequate security of lives and property of the citizenry.
“This Conference is timely, considering fact that this government is determined to end security challenges in the North East, Niger Delta and farmers/herdsmen clashes in some parts of the country.
” I want to convey our deep condolences to the families of heroic gallant officers and soldiers who paid the supreme price while maintaining law and order in our fatherland.
“As we approach the 2019 general elections, I want to urge members of our security forces to remain non partisans and leavel up to the expectations on the rules of engagements.
” I want to specifically condole with family of late General Idris Alkali and the Nigerian Army for his untimely death in the hands of some evils doers, as government, I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.
“As President and by the powers conferred on me, I assured you that government will procure modern fighting equipment end madness of Boko Haram and other acts if our enemies. I want to also assure you that government is doing everything to increase the welfare of our Nigerian Army”. Buhari stated.