Governor Ibrahim Gaidam
* Sect now kidnaps teenage girls, says JTF
*Turaki: we will continue to dialogue
Yobe State Government Thursday revealed that it had expended over N4 billion on security of lives and property in the state since the
commencement of Boko Haram insurgency that have claimed many lives and property.
The Governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, made this declaration while receiving members of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Kabiru Taminu Turaki, at the government house.
Gaidam who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, said since November 2011, many lives and property belonging to government and private individuals were destroyed.
He said many government schools which would take over N2.5 billion to rebuild and private structures that would need N629 million to put in place were torched by the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said: “Within the span of one year, commencing from November 2011 to October 2012, in addition to the loss of lives, public buildings
like schools, mosques and churches and vehicles were razed down by the insurgents.
“About 209 government school buildings, comprising classrooms, hostels, workshops, laboratories, administrative blocks, vehicles were destroyed by the insurgents costing an estimated of N2.5 billion. This is in addition to the office of government agencies belonging to both state and federal governments. Similarly, private houses with estimated value of over N629 million were also burnt.”
He however said over 200 patrol vehicles have been procured and distributed to security operatives; while N200 million were also expended on logistics and monthly allowances and other needs of security operatives in the state.
The governor while calling on all to continually pray for the end of the crisis, said with prayers, efforts of security agencies and the community, peace had returned to the state, as schools have fully picked up, while economic activities are moving uninterrupted.
He said the recent attack on the government secondary school in Damaturu came as a surprise as the state had gone ten months with uninterrupted peace and commended the federal government for the deployment of more security personnel to the state.
He also commended the gallantry of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and called on the communities to accord the security operative the needed support.
He said so far, 17 women and 21 children were released by the JTF and handed over to their next of kin as they will be empowered through the state women development centre for gainful ventures.
Government, he said would continue to give security agencies the needed assistance in the quest for a sustained peace.
Meantime, the JTF in Borno State, Operation Restore Order, yesterday said the Boko Haram sect had evolved a new strategy of kidnapping teenage girls on the streets of Maiduguri town.
The task force said it was able to rescue three teenage girls from the terrorist group in the last ten days within the Maiduguri metropolis.
In a statement by its spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, the JTF said: “Information available indicates that Boko Haram terrorists have
started using taxi mostly Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Starlet cars with a driver and usually one deceptive passenger in the car soliciting for
passengers along major township roads and highways to kidnap teenage girls.”
It further read: “In view of this ugly development, the JTF wish to alert and sensitize members of the public of this Boko Haram method of kidnapping citizens particularly girls and young women.
“For instance, three teenage girls were at different times and places kidnapped in Maiduguri metropolis in less than ten days using this method as a decoy. Luckily, all the kidnapped girls were rescued by JTF troops and handed over to be careful in kind of vehicles they board particularly on routine township shuttles.”
Meanwhile, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki< Chairman of the committee and Special Duties Minister, has reiterated federal government commitment to dialogue and reconciliation between it and the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said it is a known fact that crises are resolved on a roundtables and not in battle fields and the Boko Haram crisis that the country is presently enmeshed cannot be different.
He argued that even the Nigeria civil war was settled on round table and that the the current crisis in Afghanistan and Syria being taking to the roundtable for dialogue.
He said the Federal Government is still determined and committed to the peaceful resolution of the crisis in the North and that it will
not be deterred by the activities of some sect members, noting that there may be some hardliners who may not want peace among them.
The chairman of the committee said “the impression of the members of the committee is that the security agencies in the area are working in order to protect lives and property of law abiding citizen, both the federal and state governments are working hard to ensure that they
support the security agencies that are engaging the insurgents.”
He praised the security agencies for doing a great job in the areas, revealing that when the security operatives engaged the insurgents in
one area within the metropolis, they had to evacuate some law abiding citizens who are mostly women and children for their safety.
He assured the people that as soon as the security agencies are sure that the place is safe and peaceful, the people will be allowed to return back to their homes.
The committee had been in Borno State since Sunday on a fact finding mission to the state wherein members met with the state government, victims of the crisis, religious and traditional leaders to get their inputs on the way forward in the quest towards
attaining lasting peace in the country.