Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has described 2016 as his best year in the last five years, because of the major breakthrough in the ongoing fight against the boko haram insurgency.
The Governor said the fall of the Sambisa forest, which served as the headquarters of the boko haram fighters, was the best Christmas and New Year Gift to the people of the State.Speaking at an official re-opening of major roads leading to the northern part of Borno, the Maiduguri-Gubio-Kareto-Damasak road and Maiduguri-Monguno-Baga road, Governor Shettima said 2016 was for him Nigeria’s year of victory and a year of Hope and Resurrection for Borno State.
He paid glowing tributes to President Muhammadu Buhari, service chiefs, officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their different roles in the fight against insurgency, which led to the conquest of the Sambisa Forest.
The re-opening was also attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
Two Major Roads leading to the northern part of Borno State, the Maiduguri-Gubio-Kareto-Damasak road and Maiduguri-Monguno-Baga road have been re-opened.
It will be recalled that the two roads were closed by the military following the activities of Boko Haram since 2014.
Reports have it that the insurgents had taken over population centres of most local government areas along the two major roads, including Damasak, Malam-fatori, Baga, obbar, Marte and other communities, all of which have been liberated by the military.
The last stronghold was Malam-fatori, where Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali was killed.
Governor Kashim Shettima said the two roads re-opened were important economic roads, because through them, hundreds of trailers convey agricultural produce from farming communities in northern Borno to markets in different parts of the State.
According to him, the government and people of Borno State are extremely happy to have the roads added to the list of other major roads re-opened earlier in 2016.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, however cautioned his men against extortion of motorists, who would ply the road and also advised those who ply the roads against inducement of soldiers, maintaining that troops are well taken care of by the Army command.
On the fall of the Sambisa Forest, the boko haram Headquarters, Governor Shettima described the victory by the Nigerian military, as the best Christmas and New Year Gift the state and its people had received.
He also described 2016 as the best year of the last five years, because it was in the year that the military began having access to major towns like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno and Damasak and their liberation.
Governor Shettima also described 2016 as the year major highways started re-opening and the acceleration of major reconstruction of liberated communities, the year IDPs began to return to their communities, the year some of the abducted daughters at Government Secondary School, Chibok in 2014 were recovered and the year that the Federal Republic of Nigeria established its supremacy over the Sambisa headquarters of the Boko Haram.
He prayed to God to make the year 2017 more prosperous in the fight against insurgency, more prosperous in the fight against militancy, kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery and more prosperous on the recovery of Nigeria’s economy.
After the mini ceremony, Governor Shettima cut the tape mounted by the military to declare the road re-opened for motorists.
The Chief of Defence Staff, who was represented by the Chief of Administration, said counter insurgency efforts would be sustained to prevent re-grouping of Insurgents.