Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has lauded the latest onslaught by the Nigerian Army to recapture Marte, the headquarters of Marte Local Government Area of the state, from insurgents.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, on Sunday visited Dikwa Army Super Camp in Borno State, where he directed special troops to recover Marte and its environs within 48 hours.
Zulum, who spoke at the launch of Rapid Response Initiative Projects in Borno State, organised by the North East Development Commission in Maiduguri on Monday, said he was confident of the military capacity to deliver the job.
“I wish to assure our people that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are up to this fresh challenge and I am pretty sure that Marte shall be retaken again and all the miscreants routed out,” Zulum said.
The governor also reiterated his administration’s commitment to continue with its programme of resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral home, adding that it will not give room for destructions.
He observed that keeping IDPs to continue to depend on handouts from government and organisations was not sustainable.
While lauding NEDC for its series of interventions in the North East, Zulum, who is the Chairman of North East Governors Forum, urged the commission to give priority to some critical areas, including livestock transformation by establishing things like livestock centres in all states of the region.
He observed that such centres would go a long way in addressing farmers/herders conflicts.
He said: “Borno alone has a land mass of 76,000 square kilometres.
“Together with other states of the North East, this region will provide vast arable land for livestock farmers in Nigeria.
“I am also advocating for establishment of pasture production centres.
“This is very important and we can do it.
“Each state can provide 5,000 hectares for the centres, which can provide grazing venues for no fewer than two to three million livestock.”