Insurgency: Shettima Moves Office to Bama, Begins Major Reconstruction

  • Inaugurates 500 Civilian JTF, vigilantes to compliment soldiers

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State wednesday temporarily relocated the administration seat of the state outside Maiduguri, the state capital, to spearhead the ongoing reconstruction of Bama and two other local government areas of the state-Gwoza and Askira-Uba-destroyed at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency.

The governor would be administering the state from Bama, which was totally laid waste by the Boko Haram insurgents. He would be moving from the town to the other local government areas to supervise the ongoing reconstruction work there.

Bama, a commercial town was worst hit by the insurgency as there was no building left standing when the insurgents were pushed out of the town. Also, Gwoza was named as the headquarters of the caliphate at the heights of Boko Haram expansionist plan.

The governor, while speaking in Bama, said he decided to move from Maiduguri in order to fast track the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of his government.

He said he would be spending between a week and two to ensure that the reconstruction work was delivered on schedule.

Shettima noted that people tried to dissuade him from making the journey to Bama because of the perceived insecurity but decided on the contrary, insisting that one should have the courage to follow his/her conviction.

He said: “Any life that is not worth taking some risks is not worth living. I told asked about our soldiers who are here putting their lives on the line…”

The governor promised that there would be no political consideration in the choice of houses to be rebuilt as his government was planning rebuilding every destroyed infrastructure.

Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Dr. Babagana Umara, disclosed that the governor has graciously directed his ministry to move to Bama for the reconstruction of the town.

He said 700 people have been deployed on the town to commence the reconstruction work which include 500 labourers, carpenters, masons and painters.

Shettima noted that people have already started the reconstruction work in the town, promising that within the next two weeks, the first phase of reconstruction work would be completed in Bama.

He disclosed that a lot of building materials have been deployed to the town but appealed to the people of Bama to ensure that none of the materials is stolen.

The governor asked the security personnel to keep an eye on the material and ensure the security of construction workers while they are at the work.

The acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Victor Ezugwu, assured the governor of the security of lives and property in the town.
He revealed that trenches have been dug round the town and that the military would soon be vacating the town for the civil authorities.

Ezugwu praised the governor’s effort to ensure that Bama, which was worst hit by the insurgency was rebuilt.