Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has declared today a day to pray for peace to return to his troubled state as well as the defeat of Boko Haram terrorists, who have terrorised the state for 11 years now.
This is the second time the governor would make such declaration, with the first one made on February 24, 2020.
Zulum made the declaration after separate meetings at the weekend with Islamic and Christian leaders in the state.
The governor, in a statement after the meetings with the clerics, explained that his regular trips to front lines were not out of pride or to attract attention, but to satisfy his conscience and discharge his obligations to the people of Borno State.
The governor said: “I will like to start by registering our depth of eternal gratitude to the good people of Borno State for the overwhelming support and sincere goodwill our administration has been accorded in the last 17 months.
“Nothing I say here or anywhere else can best describe the extent of my gratitude to the people of the state and many Nigerians outside the state.
“We have been shown enormous love and support from day one till date. Above being loved and supported, the people of Borno State have proved to trust us and have faith in what we do.
“For me, one of the greatest feats a leader can attain is to earn the trust and confidence of those being led. On the other hand, the worst thing that can happen to any leader is to lose the trust and confidence of the people.”
He added: “Trust is a burden. When people trust you, they invest their fears and hopes in you and they leave you to your own conviction, your own decisions, and most importantly, they leave you to your fear of Allah or the lack of it.
“We are grateful for the trust the people have shown to us, and I do solemnly reaffirm that Bi-iznillah, we will not betray the trust and confidence reposed in us by the people of Borno State.
“Fellow citizens of Borno State, in the midst of our firmness, individual and shared commitments to the state, we must always recognise that the kind of challenge the state is facing, is a complex one.”
Zulum said: “One of the easiest ways all the citizens can continue to help is never to associate with the insurgents; to pass useful information to security forces and to consistently pray for our armed forces and volunteers. Our prayers should include those who are risking their lives, including humanitarian workers, and those who undertake reconstruction works in communities.”