Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
A former Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji, has said that the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 will finally ensure that Boko Haram is buried and forgotten.
Abba-Aji, who was an aide to both Presidents Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua and Goodluck Jonathan and has indicated interest in vying for Borno State governorship post, said the same way Buhariâ€™s election in 2015 ensured that Boko Haram was degraded, his reelection will ensure the burial and committing to earth of the terrorist group.
The former lawmaker, whose gubernatorial aspiration received the endorsement of All Students Union and Forum of Tertiary Institutions in Borno numbering over 52 groups, said the war on terrorism in the North-east should not be seen as won just yet.
He said the mortal blow would finally be given when Buhari is reelected, telling the applauding crowd that â€œwe shall all see the day these terrorists are finally confined to historyâ€.
He said that the coming of President Buhari in 2015 was answered prayer to the people of the North-east who have benefited tremendously from his will in fighting Boko Haram and restoring peace to the region.
Abba-Aji, who welcomes his endorsement at a gathering on Thursday in Maiduguri, however decried the devastation caused by Boko Haram in Borno which has left 52,000 orphaned and 55,000 widowed.
He said if elected as governor of the state, his priority will be the provision of free education for the orphans to take them to the path of greatness and empowerment of widows through various skills acquisition which will be established by his administration to ameliorate their suffering.
He promised to tackle unemployment through creation of jobs for the youths as well as making education free in the state, adding that he will initiate various programmes that will tackle poverty and avert youth restiveness as currently experienced by the state.
He said: “Free education is your right. That is what we enjoyed in my time and you too should have it. Lack of education and poverty goes hand in hand and when they meet ignorance prevails. The coming of President Muhammadu Buhari was an answered prayer to the people of North-east. It is my belief that before the end of next year, Boko Haram terrorists will be thoroughly degraded and absolute peace restored to Borno and North-east.â€
He lamented how the Boko Haram insurgency turned Borno women to beggars contrary to the norms of the women who are known for self pride and elegance.
He commended Governor Kashim Shettima for managing the Boko Haram insurgency as well as resettlement of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) created by the insurgency, adding that Shettima’s administration has done well in the provision of infrastructure and reconstruction of schools destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists.
Speaking shortly after endorsing the candidature of Abba-Aji for Borno governorship seat in 2019, the Chairman of All Students Union and Forum of Tertiary Institutions in Borno, Mohammed Bukar Ngala, said the over 52 youth groups in Borno decided to throw their weight behind Abba-Aji’s aspiration because of his previous achievements while representing Borno Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly between 2003 and 2007.
Ngala noted that Abba-Aji was able to sponsor five students from each local government area of his senatorial district to study abroad in addition to facilitating many job opportunities for the youths of the zone at the federal level.
He assured the former lawmaker that the various groups will work and mobilise good number of votes that will ensure that Abba-Aji’s aspiration is realised.