Michael Olugbode in Maiduguriâ€¨
The president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has said his government will continue to collaborate with the neighbouring Camerounian, Nigerien and Chadian governments in the ongoing war against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Buhari disclosed this during a visit on him by the government and people of Borno State, the state which is hardest hit by the Boko Haram insurgency.
According to a statement yesterday by the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media, Mallam Isa Gusau, the president-elect at a congratulatory visit on him by the state delegate which included the state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima; the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai Elkanemi and some elders, said he was very much aware of the problems of the North-east and would not waste time in taking them up one after the other.
Gusau said Buhari during the visit, promised that his administration would enhance collaboration with the neighbouring governments of Chad, Niger and Cameroun to curtail the trans-border movement of Boko Haram insurgents, cut supply of arms, cut recruitment and training of fresh recruits.
The president-elect, according to him, said stability of the North-east was a must project for his administration, insisting that nothing can be achieved unless peace was restored to the troubled region.
He also promised to focus on re-activating the Lake Chad in addition to deploying enormous resources to resume vigorous search for oil along the Chad Basin in parts of Borno State.
The president-elect also assured the delegation that the receding Lake Chad would be addressed through the transfer of water from the Central African Republic to the lake to boost commercial activities for fishing and irrigation farming.
He recalled that he once read a document raising fears about the receding of the Lake Chad which he handed over to then President Olusegun Obasanjo but now that he would be coming as president, he would handle the matter, insisting that . the lake has the potentials to create millions of jobs through irrigation and many other commercial activities.
Buhari, who acknowledged delays in oil exploration activities in the Chad Basin, said he was very much aware of exploration activities in the area since 1978 as Minister of Petroleum.
He also said he had visited a site in Borno State when he was Head of State to assess exploration activities, maintaining that he was very conversant with the issue and would take it up as president when he settles in office.
He said he had many years ago, suggested the need to take the search for oil in the north seriously not only to increase the export potentials on Nigeria but also to balance cross regional perceptions and manage agitations so as to enhance the stability of the country.
The president-elect promised to pay special attention to the economic potentials of the North-east so as to make it attractive for investments.
Governor Shettima who led the delegation from the state in company of all traditional rulers, elders, elected national and state assembly members and other stakeholders, had earlier disclosed that they were at the resident of the president-elect to congratulate him on his historic victory at the polls and to also remind him of the problems affecting the state which he already knew.
The governor said the people of Borno feel so much attached to Buhari given his background as someone that served as Military Governor in the state.
He said the citizens looked up to him with so much hope because the president elect was very much familiar with the problems of the state and how it has suffered in the last six years owing to massive killings of its people and extreme destructions of communities and public institutions.
He pleaded with the incoming president to pay special attention to the affairs of the state.
The Shehu of Borno appealed to the president-elect to consider making the federal government take over the welfare of youths volunteers fighting insurgency in the state.
The monarch noted that the state government has been spending so much on that in addition to huge expenditures in managing the Boko Haram insurgency.
He also appealed for Buhari’s intervention on the resumption of commercial airlines to Maiduguri International Airport, which was suspended for over a year now.