President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he has directed the nation’s Armed Forces to take the anti-terrorism fight to the insurgents.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President disclosed this in a message he sent through his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, to the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum; the Shehu of Borno and the Zabarmari community where 43 rice farmers were killed by insurgents on Saturday.
The statement was titled, ‘High powered government delegation visits Maiduguri, President Buhari vows to end terrorism’.
According to Shehu, the President, in his message, described the massacre as “senseless, barbaric and gruesome murder.”
He further quoted Buhari as giving assurances of his continuous commitment to fighting insurgency and all forms of insecurity in Borno State and all over Nigeria.
He said Buhari committed himself to making more resources available to the military to prosecute the war, adding that he will “work closely with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.”
According to the statement, the President said, “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of the people. Everything is secondary when security is at a stake.
“As we mourn the loss of our sons in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis until we root out the terrorists.”
The President also commended Zulum for his leadership in running the affairs of the state.
The presidential aide said apart from the message from the President, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, spoke for the government team to the state.
Zulum was also quoted as thanking the President for “ensuring relative peace since his assumption of office,” stating that the situation is better than he met it.
The statement added, “The governor presented a number of requests on behalf of his people, including that the youth of the state should be enlisted in military and paramilitary organisations to play their roles in the defence of the nation.
“He called on the Federal Government to assist in the repatriation of Borno indigenes in camps in neighbouring countries and requested the National Assembly to tweak the draft budget now before them to allow better allocation of resources for the North East sub-region, which he alleged is being side-lined.
“At the palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Eminence Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai, the traditional ruler described as ‘madness,’ the gruesome killings and urged his subjects to pray and offer useful information to the security agencies.