By Femi Adesina
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Damaturu urged Nigerians to develop strong confidence in the country, its security institutions and never allow any terrorist groups to destablise Nigeria again.
Speaking at the palace of the Emir of Damaturu, Hashimi II El-Kanemi, the President said government will continue to protect the right of every Nigerian child to education, particularly the children displaced from their homes by Boko Haram.
‘‘With the four months I have left as President, I’ll continue to be steadfast and I hope that I will retire in peace.
‘‘We must develop strong confidence in our country. Let us make sure we do not compromise security at all in any form because security and economy are the most important things.
‘‘We have gone through so much as a country and I appeal to you to be steadfast and make sure that we will not allow anybody to disorganize us again,’’ he said.
Expressing delight at the return of peace and normalcy in Yobe State and Northeast Nigeria, the President thanked Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and his Borno State counterpart, Professor Babagana Zulum, for their persistence in reconstructing schools, health centers and institutions destroyed by the misguided terrorists.
The President noted that ‘‘there was a deliberate attempt to destroy Nigeria but God did not permit it,’’ adding that ‘‘God has helped Nigeria to bounce back.’’
He also commended members of the Armed Forces and the Police for their sacrifices in protecting the country.
The President recounted that having fought to defend Nigeria’s unity during the Civil War, those who were part of that experience would never ‘‘allow anybody to fiddle with this country again.’’
Governor Buni told the President that in the heat of the battle against insurgency, the Palace of the Emir of Damaturu was overrun by terrorists.
‘‘However, today and worthy of note is that Yobe State is one of the States you liberated from the clutches of Boko Haram terrorists.
‘‘Before, in this Palace even if you placed one billion dollars for someone to come and pick it, nobody dared to come near but your coming onboard has made that history and the people of Yobe are enjoying relative peace.’’
The Emir also thanked the President for improved security in the country, saying ‘‘we have had bitter experiences in the past, but your administration has unified the country.’’
After the courtesy visit at the Emir’s palace, President Buhari proceeded to the commissioning of several projects executed by the State government and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force.
They include the ultra-modern State Command Headquarters, the Police Tertiary Hospital and access roads, and Police Secondary School, conceptualized and completed under Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.
He also inaugurated Damaturu ultra-modern market, Maternal and Child Health Complex at the Yobe State Teaching Hospital, the 2600 Housing Estate in Potiskum and the Damaturu Mega School at new Bra-Bra, executed by Governor Buni.
Earlier and immediately after his arrival from Yola, Adamawa State, the President had inaugurated Yobe International Cargo Airport, named after him.
@views exclusive rights: Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President,Media and Publicity, January 9, 2023.