Buhari, North- East and the Uncommon Transformation

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President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
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By Goodness Adaoyiche

On the 28th of July, 2020, Nigerian governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his achievements in securing the lives and property of Nigerians. This by no means is a significant development given its emphasis by the Constitution and how past administrations have failed in that aspect.

The APC governors that gave the commendation include those of Borno, Gombe, and Yobe States which were the most affected by the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism in Northeast Nigeria between the years 2012 and 2015. The only state which has suffered almost equal devastation but was missing at the meeting is Adamawa.

The APC governors  at the virtual meeting involving the President and members of the interim National Working Committee of their party assessed the current prevailing situation in the Northeast and resolved that it would be uncharitable if they fail to commend the president for what he has done in defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and restoring law and order.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Senator Atiku Bagudu, thanked President Buhari for his initiatives which have brought peace, succour and relief to the people of the Northeast. 

Those who are not aware of the extent of devastation in the Northeast are bound to pass the commendation as a non event but the governors know what they’re pointing their fingers at.

While those who are sceptical of the achievements of the current administration are bound to underestimate the extent of the intervention of the current administration in the Northeast, the facts speak of an uncommon transformation.

At the height of the Boko Haram devastation of the Northeast, many schools were forced to shut down as they were being attacked and burnt. The number of out-of-school children in the Northeast rose to about 8 million representing 60 percent of the figure in Nigeria. 

People were compelled to live in perpetual fear with many abandoning their homes to go and squat in other parts of the country. Boko Haram  destroyed everything that represents development in the region.

It had since 2013 serially destroyed telecommunication equipment in a number of LGs in the Northeast as part of their techniques to prevent communities from alerting one another and reaching out  to security agencies.

One of the telecoms operator which quantified the damage on its facilities said 57 of its sites have been destroyes by the insurgents and require urgent attention .

Life became a living hell for the people who have been cut off from other parts of the country who were subjected to living under the most dehumanizing conditions.

The Boko Haram frustarted movements by destroying roads and blowing off bridges. Where they couldn’t destroy, they mount road blocks to kill unsuspecting travelers. 

In the past many roads in the Northeast were avoided as they had become death traps where the insurgents could appear and slaughter people at will.

Not just the ordinary people but even political leaders like governors and senators could not travel to their hometowns by road. The worse thing was that Nigeria began to lose territories as 20  local government councils came under Boko Haram control and were being administered by the terrorists as states under their caliphate. People became refugees in their own countries as they try to flee from the violence attacks.  

The loss in economic terms were enormous. But with the coming of the current administration such  attacks have been halted and people are breathing fresh air. Fear has been eliminated as major towns in the Northeast like Biu, Gombe, Ashaka, Mubi, Yola, Potiskum, Gashua, Geidam and  Damaturu, have been peaceful and cannot remember the last time it went through such terrible experiences. All the local councils in the state hitherto taken by the insurgents have been recaptured and people now live their normal lives. 

President Buhari has proven that he is concerned about the problems in the Northeast  and that he is for the masses of this country. Beyond the military conquest, the current administration has initiated interventions for rebuilding of the infrastructural facilities in the Northeast. 

The result is that schools have been rebuilt, roads reconstructed and reopened, while hospitals have been equipped and communication gadgets reinstalled. The uncommon transformation going on in the Northeast is such that taps are now running in major towns and electricity restored.

Adaoyiche is a journalist based in Abuja.

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