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Zulum wants naval base reopened for farmers’ security

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[FILES] Zulum


Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has urged the military to reopen the Baga naval base to secure farmers and fishers in the Lake Chad region.

The appeal was made yesterday, while the governor was receiving the new Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force, Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Maj-Gen. Christopher Musa, at the Government House, Maiduguri.

Boko Haram attacked the base in December 2018 and carted away a cache of arms and ammunition from the armoury. According to him, the revival of the base will protect farmers and fishermen on the shores of Lake Chad.

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“The resumption of fishing activities in Baga is very dear to us,” he said, adding that the state government would support the immediate relocation of the base from Maiduguri to Baga.

Zulum, therefore, urged the commander to work towards creating an enabling environment for farmers to resume agricultural activities. He said that resumption of activities in the Lake Chad region could restore the lost means of livelihoods.

“The greatest insecurity in the state is denying the people the opportunity to grow their food,” he stated, noting that most of the people in camps and host communities wanted to return to their farmlands to pick up their lives.

On recovery of communities, he said: “There is the need to activate and recover critical border towns of Malam Fatori, Abadam, Gudumbali and Kareto.”

Damboa–Maiduguri, Bama–Banki and Dikwa–Gambouru roads were also to be reopened for commuters, he added. While reiterating his government’s commitment to resettle more displaced persons, in line with the Kampala Convention, he lamented the continuous dependence on food stamps from international humanitarian organisations; warning that it could not be sustained, as some people might become lazy.

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“If communities would be allowed to engage in normal activities, they’ll help in fighting Boko Haram terrorists, as the insurgents will not have the capacity to attack communities,” he argued.

In his response, Musa assured the government and people of Borno of his commitment to secure lives and property.

“These operations involve the military and paramilitary, hunters and Civilian JTF for maximum results.

“Farming season is at hand. We have to provide a conducive atmosphere for farmers to go back to their farmlands and lake. We are committed to bringing peace in Borno and the entire North East,” he said.

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