2023: Borno is 90% safe for elections, Zulum declares
With barely 49 days to the general election, Governor Babagana Zulum has declared that Borno State is 90 per cent secure and safe, assuring of a tranquil atmosphere before, during and after the elections.
Zulum gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists after a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Borno has witnessed electoral violence lately one of which was the November 2022 attack on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign train in Maiduguri, the state capital.
On what his government was doing to allay fears by residents that they may not be able to use their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) during the election due to violence, he said: “The People of Borno State voted during the 2015 election. They also voted during the 2019 election. Can you compare the security situation in 2019 and 2015 and now? The security situation has improved tremendously by over 90 per cent. So, we don’t have any problem. Eligible voters can go and cast their votes on election day, Inshallah, in Borno State, we don’t have any problem.”
Continuing, the governor added: “There is great improvement in terms of security in Borno State. We are doing very well now; rehabilitation and resettlement is also going very well. We are looking forward to see how we can rehabilitate Maiduguri-Gamborun-Gala road and then Maiduguri-Banke road with a view to opening up opportunities for the people to earn their means of livelihood.”
On what the people should expect from his government in the new year, Zulum said: “We want to see how we can sustain what we are doing. So far so good in terms of security, the Federal Government has done well; the military has also done very well. We are now looking into the possibility of rehabilitating the victims of the insurgency. A lot of them have surrendered.
“The Federal Government is supporting our mission of rehabilitating. But most importantly, we are yet to complete our resettlement project and very soon we will resettle victims of Gudubali local government area and also we will resettle all our refugees that are living in Republic of Niger, Chad and Cameroun. Mr. President has given approval to this effect and very soon we will complete the entire settlement.”
On the arrangements to complete the resettlement, the governor said: “Resettlement is not something that is easy; it will take a long time. But the most important thing is that those that are very much in need to be resettled will be resettled. But most importantly we have closed down all official IDP camps within Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Gere local government area, as I said, one year ago. For now, we don’t have any official IDP camps within Maiduguri Metropolitan Council. The unofficial camps will also be closed in the next few months.”
Zulum faulted reports claiming that insurgents were still holding some areas in the state, saying: “Even in the developed world we still have some pockets of insecurity. But by and large, we have succeeded a lot. Over 90 per cent of our security situation has been improved.”
Speaking on his re-election bid in the face of opposition in the state, he said: “It is impossible to question the destiny of God. Campaign is going on very well. Borno State is one big APC family.”