President Mohammadu Buhari and other key government officials on Monday watched helplessly as Bornu state governor, Kashim Shettima, broke down in tears while leading a delegation of the state’s stakeholders to discuss the setbacks being recorded in the war against Boko Haram in the north east.
The governor and members of his delegation met with president Buhari at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, in the company of the country’s key defence officers.
Following governor Shetima’s unexpected outbursts, Journalists were excused from the meeting.
The governor in his opening remarks stated the people of the north east believed that President Buhari’s emergence as commander in chief will bring an end to the nefarious activities of the terror group.
He, however, said that the leaders and the people have not lost all hope that the president will bring to an end the insurgency in the northeast.
He said, “Between 2013 and 2014, we witnessed the most daring and most vicious evil of the Boko Haram, losing 20 Local Government Areas.”
“However, we rushed here because of the recent upsurge in the activities of the demented monster called Boko Haram especially in northern Borno senatorial district. We are here because since 2015, Mr. President, you were able to restore our hope.
“Sir, you have demonstrated empathy for Borno and the overriding commitment to ending the Boko Haram. This is why we rushed here on witnessing some setback.
“We are here because we thought that Allah will use you to fully reclaim Borno traditional glory of being the home of peace. We are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your Presidency in the firm belief that with you as the Commander In Chief, Boko Haram will become history in Borno.”
“Mr. President, we have not, and Insha Allah, we will not lose hope in you because we have witnessed and survived worse moments before you came. We do not feel hopeless. Our hopes are very much alive and they are very high.
“We came with some observation and 10 requests for urgent presidential intervention. These observations and requests are products of discussion in the aftermath of our extra-ordinary security meeting held one week ago.
“We didn’t rush to come after the meeting. We felt the need to travel to northern Borno, interact with displaced persons and the military so as to strengthen public confidence.
“I will seek the understanding of the journalists by not making public any of our observation and 10 requests. They are matters of security which we hope to discuss with Mr. President in a close door.”
Monday’s meeting was attended by Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser; Gabriel Olonisakin, chief of defence staff; Yussuf Bitchi, the director general of Department for State Services (DSS), and Ahmed Abubakar, acting director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).