With the resettlement of some residents of Baga, Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum, has urged the military to reopen the Baga naval base in order to provide more security on Lake Chad.
Zulum made the call on Monday while receiving the new theatre commander of Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai, Major-General Christopher Musa, who paid him a courtesy call in Maiduguri, the state capital.
Zulum stated that by reviving the base, more security will be assured for fishermen and farmers on the lake shores to resume farming in the area.
“The resumption of fishing activities in Baga is very dear to us and that is why we must see how we can support the immediate relocation of the Maiduguri naval base to Baga,” said the governor.
Governor Zulum also urged the theatre commander to work towards creating a safe and peaceful environment for farmers to resume farming in reclaimed areas for a living, stressing that the greatest insecurity is food insecurity.
The Governor stressed that as can be observed, 90 per cent of his people are farmers who needed to return to their farming occupation and other activities to normalise their lives.
The governor also mentioned the need to activate the critical border towns recovered like Malumfatori, Abadam, Gudumbali, Kareto as well as the reopening of the Damboa-Maiduguri, Bama-Banki and Dikwa-Gamboru roads for normal transport activities, and also the selling of products.
Zulum reiterated that his administration is ever committed to continue resettling IDPs in the state, which will be in accordance with the Kampala Convention, adding that the continued dependence on handouts from international organizations is not sustainable and has started to make some of the people lazy, he stressed that the people need to be self-reliant by doing what they know how to do best.
“Developing resilience is critical. If communities were allowed to engage in normal activities, they would help fight the insurgents.
“When the number of inhabited villages and towns increases, Boko Haram will no longer have the capacity to attack them and we will be able to get more information about insurgent movements,” he said.
Zulum added that Musa’s appointment as theatre commander is a welcome development, this is due to the commander’s experience in Borno state over the years.
Zulum further assured the commander of the people’s and government’s full support to help him and his troops succeed in their mission.
The theatre commander in his response said the purpose of his visit to the Government House is to make some official presentation as well as to assure the government and good people of Borno about their commitment to keeping their promises.
Musa said the operation has now involved both military, paramilitaries, hunters and a civilian joint task force for maximum result, adding that they would use both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to ensure a safe environment for the people.
“The farming season is approaching; hence we need to create the right atmosphere for farmers to return to their farms.
“Everything will be done within the limits of our powers to ensure peace and normalcy is certain for people, as they return to their farms.
“Your Excellency, I want to assure you and my team that you will see the difference.
“We are determined to bring peace to Borno and throughout the northeast,” the commander said.