President Goodluck yesterday paid a surprise visit to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital and assured Nigerians that all the areas currently under the control of the deadly sect would be soon liberated, and for the displaced peoples to come back to their homes.
Goodluck made the promise at the camp for the internally displaced people in the Borno state capital. He asked the displaced people to bear with the Government and reassured them that his administration is making everything possible to bring normalcy to all the affected areas.
"I believe from the briefing I got from security services most of these people [the displaced] will soon be relocated to their communities," said the president. He added: "We know most of their houses have been destroyed, but immediately we take over the areas and secure [them], we will create camps within their communities and assist them financially so that they will gradually move away from the camps. We have [a] similar plan for people who are in neighboring countries, Cameroon, Niger and Chad."
According to him, "It is a sad thing to be talking about internally displaced persons. Nobody is happy that you are displaced within your own land. Of course we all know that the issue of terror is global but the excesses of Boko Haram are quite traumatic for all of us. And we know that my good friend the governor of Borno State will not sleep because when I was the governor I had some tough time too in the Niger Delta. The issue of militancy is not an easy job to manage."
Speaking further, Mr. Jonathan said, "As a president I feel traumatized whenever I hear about these excesses. I feel very burdened. Let me reassure all of you and indeed the IDPs that government is working very hard that you do not stay in these camps for too long."
President Jonathan had early visited the headquarters of the Nigerian Army at the Maimalari barracks where he assured officers and soldiers of his government's continuing commitment to the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
The president called on both federal and state agencies to cooperate and work together to assist the displaced victims of Islamist insurgents.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno thanked the president for visiting the beleaguered state, adding that Mr. Jonathan's visit had rekindled the hope and confidence of the people that the insurgency problem would soon come to an end.
The governor stated that Borno State was ever ready to cooperate with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other federal agencies to ensure that the needs of the displaced people were met.
Speaking during the president's visit to the Maimalari barracks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, said the president was in the state to interact with officers and soldiers in appreciation for the sacrifices the soldiers were making in the ongoing war against Boko Haram in the northeast.
Mr. Jonathan commended the efforts and sacrifices made by officers and soldiers in the ongoing war against Boko Haram. He said the Nigerian military was better off now in terms of equipment, adding that his government would continue to equip the armed forces even more.