Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Irish rock star, Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono, has made a commitment to be involved in the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of insurgency-ravaged Borno State.
Bono, an ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the leader of the rock group, U2, who came on the invitation of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, promised to come back to the state with assistance.
He equally promised to use his connection worldwide to attract aids to the troubled state.
The Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, used the opportunity of the visit to reward Dangote for his interventions to the victims of insurgency. The governor renamed a popular street in Maiduguri, Baga road after the billionaire entrepreneur.
An estate to be built for victims of the insurgency would also be named after him. The road, according to the governor, would be called Aliko Dangote Road and the estate when completed, would be addressed Aliko Dangote Village.
The estate, an ongoing project of 6,000 one-bedroom flats for victims of insurgency donated by the Dangote Foundation, is estimated at N2 billion.
Shettima, in his address at the Dalori Camp in Maiduguri which is currently being occupied by 37,000 IDPs from Bama Local Government Area of the state, expressed gratitude to Dangote for his empathy to the people of the state who had suffered untold hardship in the hands of insurgents in the last seven years.
“I want to his this opportunity and on behalf of the good people of Borno State to extend our appreciation to Dangote Foundation. During the last Ramadan season, 230 trucks of assorted food items were donated to our people by Dangote.
“Dangote Foundation has also donated the sum of N2 billion to our dear state for reconstruction and rehabilitation of our destroyed communities, in addition to N400 million donated to us by the same foundation to assist our people.
“We in Borno are ever grateful and pray Allah to continue to guide and protect Dangote and his family and peace to return to our dear state. We also want to call on well to do individuals and corporate organisations to assist Borno in this our trying moment,” Shettima said.
The governor during the visit, also took his August visitors to Bakassi camp which had IDPs from Nganzai, Monguno, Gwoza and other local government areas, after which, the visitors paid a sympathy visit to families of Boko Haram combatants that were rescued by troops and now taking refuge at a secular place in Maiduguri.
Addressing the rescued women and their children, both Dangote and the popular musician, Bono advised the families especially the women to support government policies and programmes as Dangote Foundation would do everything possible to ensure the safe upbringing of their innocent children educationally.
Dangote also called on the rescued victims to continue to pray to Allah to grant peace not only in Borno, but the country as a whole.