The December deadline set for the ousting of Boko Haram still stands, the federal government has said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the information and culture minister made this reassurance following claims by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, that the state has been the most perturbed within the northeastern region of the country.
Governor Shettima said the state has seen the worst of terrorism, stressing that the Borno-people had been through hell.
“Borno has seen nothing short of hate, high scale of sorrow, tears and blood. We have witness unimaginable destruction. Of the 27 local government areas of Borno, there is no local government that has not had its own share of experience.”
“Honestly, our people have gone through the worst of time. Believe me, we have crossed the rubicon. The worst is over. And we are on a part to regeneration, reconstruction and certainly resettlement of our people.
“At a point, about 20 council areas were under the control of the sect, stressing that the focus of his administration now “is reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of our people.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to work for our people. Believe you me, Borno will bounce back in the next six months to one year. You’ll see the changes in the lives of the people,” Shettima said.
The governor went on to shed more light on the plight of Bama, and plans of restoring life to areas destroyed by the sect.
He said in the last few months, Bama which used to be epic epicentre of the battle had been reclaimed by troops and so, the worst is over as far as terrorism is concerned.
Shettima revealed that the state was prepared to commence reconstruction of about 5000 houses.
The minister having heard the plight of the governor, said no part of the country will be under the control of the jihadist by the end of the month.
Alhaji Mohammed pointed out that about 86 villages and towns have been liberated in the last six months.
“There will be suicide bombing. Because even other countries where insurgency has been over for so many years, we still have some pockets of attacks”.
“But, we as a government will ensure that by the end of this year, no territory of ours will be in the hands of Boko Haram. This is what the government has promised us and this we are going to delivered and I think by the end of the day, this will be achieved.”
“I must say that the military has done much better in this war. What is missing in this war is the civilian component. Many Nigerians erroneously think that this war must be fought by the military alone. Some does not even see as a national issue, sectional or religious. Terrorism is terrorism everywhere in the world”.
“We will launch national security campaign to create awareness and allow Nigerians take possession of the war, the same way they took possession during the 1966 coup. Security is virtually everybody’s business”.
“This war is not yours alone, it is our war. You are fighting it on our behalf and we will make our own contribution to ensure that your contributions are not in vain. We are going to continue from here to start our own national security campaign to ensure that every Nigerian is security conscious, every Nigerian looks at this war and ensure that when this is done with the help of the state government and federal government, when full civilian life is restored here, you will be able to go back to your family and unit”.
Commending the Borno state governor for his efforts at rebuilding the recaptured areas, the minister said: “In Bama we saw first-hand the scale of destruction; the scale of damage that the Boko Haram terrorists have done,” Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that the visit has empowered all on the entourage to see the real victims of war.
In the same vein, the information and culture minister has advised that the elites of Nigeria should not use agitation as a result of the current poor economic condition of the country to cause anarchy.
He further stressed that the government of the federation has done so much in its war to eradicate corruption and end insurgency, hence the efforts must not be put to waste.