$6 billion property lost in northeast Nigeria since 2009

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Borno state in northeast Nigeria has lost property worth about $6 billion to the war against Boko Haram since 2009.

A Special Assistant to the state Governor, Mr Isa Gusau, said that 956,453 houses were destroyed across the 27 local government areas, about 30 per cent of the number houses in the state.

“It would take a long time to rebuild the infrastructure of Borno state, ” he said.

The Boko Haram militants claimed responsibility for the wanton destruction in the region, with the aim to create Islamic State and prevent western education, ChannelsTV said.

The governor’s aid said there was a need to preserve Islamic scholars who are against the ideologies of the Boko Haram sect.

Speaking about the Chibok girls, Mr Gusau explained that the governor and his wife were working tirelessly to ensure the safe return of the remaining girls.

“Any true parent will hardly give up on a missing child. Since the governor and his wife also have children, they can feel the pain of the parents of the missing girls.’’

The mood in the state, he said, is that of “strengthened hope”, especially with the miltary’s recent success in capturing Boko Haram stronghold, Sambisa forest.

“We believe that we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

“If the military can strengthen the success and build on it, then we think the end of Boko Haram is near,” he added.

Meanwhile, Governor Kashim Shettima has described the fall of Sambisa Forest which served as the headquarters of ‘Boko Haram’ insurgents as a “Christmas and New Year gift” to the people of the State from President Muhammadu Buhari.

The News Agency of Nigeria said Shettima made the description at the official re-opening of Major roads leading to Northern part of the state in Maiduguri.

The roads include Maiduguri to Gubio to Kareto to Damasak road and Maiduguri to Monguno to Baga.

“I would want to start by declaring that since I became the Governor of Borno State in over five years, this is the best Christmas season I have witnessed.

“This is the best December I have witnessed and the year, 2016, is my best year so far, as Governor of Borno State.

“The year 2016 is for me, Nigeria’s year of victory and Borno’s year of Hope and Resurrection,” he said.

Enumerating the historic events of the year in the fight against insurgents, Shettima said 2016 “is the year that we began to have access to major towns like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno and Damasak following their liberation by our gallant armed forces”.

“It is in the year 2016 that major highways began to be re-opened; it is in the year 2016 that we accelerated our major reconstruction of liberated communities; it is in the year 2016 that IDPS began to return to communities.

“It is in the year 2016 that we recovered some of our daughters abducted at Government Secondary School, Chibok in 2014; and fellow Nigerians, it is in the year 2016, that the Federal Republic of Nigeria established it’s supremacy over the Sambisa headquarters of the Boko Haram,” he added.

The Governor also said that two of the roads re-opened were of significant economic benefits to the people of his State as it was through them that trailers conveyed agricultural produce from farming communities.

He paid glowing tributes to President Muhammadu Buhari, Service Chiefs as well as officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their different roles in the fight against insurgency.

“Many persons made sacrifices, including giving up their lives for us to have peace and for these roads we are about re-opening, to be freed from the control of insurgents,” he said.

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