Former president Olusegun Obasanjo arrived Maiduguri yesterday on a two-day visit and paid courtesy calls on the state governor and the Shehu of Borno.
He commiserated with insurgency victims and later attended a luncheon in his honour organised by the University of Maiduguri.
Speaking during the courtesy visit to Governor Kashim Shettima, Obasanjo commiserated with the people of the state over the Boko Haram insurgency.
“There is no family in this state that has not really suffered in one form or the other,” he said.
He commended families of victims on their resolve to resist the evils of insurgency. He prayed for the souls of those who died.
Obasanjo noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was very concerned about insecurity in general, and was doing his best to end it.
“The massive socio-economic rehabilitation and development of all the areas that have been affected by insurgency will have to take place,” Obasanjo said, noting that the state and federal government were currently working to establish programmes that would fast revive socio-economic activities.
Governor Kashim Shettima said it was a rare privilege and an honour to welcome one of Nigeria’s genuine leaders.
“At some point, Baba Obasanjo was the loudest voice against poor handling of the security situation in Borno and the rest of the North-east. He regularly spoke in our interest at different times within and outside Nigeria. I recall that Baba Obasanjo was the first leader to have made a bold effort towards peaceful resolution of the Boko Haram crisis.
“When others saw Maiduguri as a no-go-area, Obasanjo risked his safety and flew into Maiduguri in September 2011 and drove to a daring location to interface with the in-laws of the late Mohammed Yusuf so that he could establish a channel of negotiation to nip the insurgency in the bud before it later grew out of hand,” Shettima said.
The governor said the fight against Boko Haram had largely been result-driven under the Buhari administration and they were most hopeful that the end of Boko Haram was closer than it ever was.
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