The Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has praised the courage and gallantry exhibited by soldiers and members of the local vigilante group, Civilian-JTF, by confronting and repelling Boko Haram insurgents who attempted to capture Maiduguri, the state capital, on Sunday.
“I feel very proud of these youth and other residents, I salute all of them. They have strengthened my hope, fired up my spirit and boiling passion for the survival of Borno State”, he said.
Gov. Shettima’s remark is contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Isa Umar, and made available to journalists in Maiduguri.
Read excerpt of the statement below:
I received with gratitude, information on how youths from different parts of Borno State, comprising those under the Borno Youths Empowerment Scheme otherwise called “Civilian JTF”, vigilantes and other residents of Maiduguri, came out of their homes, abandon their families and with very uncommon courage, they sacrificed their lives and moved to front lines to support our gallant armed forces in a patriotic battle to defend the soul of Borno State and its people from being seized by determined insurgents who in the early hours of Sunday, February 1, 2015, laid siege on two entry points into Maiduguri: Dalwa community from Damboa axis and from the Mafa-Dikwa axis, with a murderous intention of killing a massive population of residents and internally displaced persons, taking refuge in the state capital and destroying homes and business in what would have become an unimaginable calamity.
I have never been as proud of our youth in Borno State as much as I am today. The youth have since 2013 rose in firm defense of the good people of Borno State, and today, they have once again proved to all of us, that they have by playing complementary roles, taken our collective destiny in their hands and we are full of gratitude to them for their sacrifices that cannot be sufficiently rewarded, no matter what Government does for them by way of compensation or encouragement.
I am confident that as a people, we can overcome the threat of insurgents whose desire is to send us, our families and communities into extinction.
Borno is our land, we cannot and we must not allow anyone push us out of our land. I don’t call on citizens to take laws into their hands because that is unlawful but I encourage us to be registered and trained volunteers who offer support to armed forces in defense of all the communities and people of Borno.
I very much salute the gallantry of our armed forces who from day one that Borno started having insurgency problems in 2009, stood by our dear State with very strong commitment against all odds. Their sacrifices to Borno will never be in vain and will never be forgotten.
We are indebted to them and we shall celebrate them in many ways. I urge citizens to be calm and go about their routines peacefully and in obedience to the laws of the country and Borno State.
Our armed forces and youth volunteers have proved their worthiness and selflessness. We will, as Government, continue to afford them all they need within the limits of resources at our disposal. Reclaiming captured territories and safeguarding others that are free as well as safeguarding lives and property constitute our fundamental priorities as Government. We will continue not only to uphold these priorities but to work tirelessly towards achieving them.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I want to reassure the good people of Borno State that we will never abdicate from our responsibility as those they entrusted with leadership. I condole with citizens who may have lost loved ones over today’s fresh attack and previous ones that were unfortunate; I commiserate with those injured and those who might have lost property.
The situation in Borno is always in my mind, we will continue to work hard to change the situation for the better and to support our citizens that are affected. Let me once again, like I did last week, urge citizens to open eyes wide to take note of any strange persons and movement in their midst and they should promptly report any suspicious persons to authorities without spreading rumours to cause panic.
Parents and guardians should kindly watch over their children to monitor where they go and who they move around with or bring home. School authorities should take proper control of pupils. Residents should cooperate with armed forces and always regard them as partners that put their lives on the line so we all can be alive.
I am confident that the Borno sun will shine again and very soon. We have many years of resilient history. We will overcome this problems insha Allah.