Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum has accused Arab countries who are all Muslims of shunning his state in the face of long-running terrorist attacks.
According to him, only western countries have shown more concerns and support in more than a decade of crisis.
Speaking on Tuesday evening in Maiduguri while receiving the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Saleh Fheied Saleh in his office, Zulum “countries from the west have shown more concern for the plight of Borno people than rich Arab nations whose people share the similarity of religion and culture with the majority of Borno citizens.
“I am a practical person. I work with the realities I see on the ground. In the face of our challenges over the years, we have received humanitarian support from the UK and other parts of Europe, the United States, Canada, from Japan and a host of others who have demonstrated concern and have made efforts to support our traumatized citizens in many ways especially on food, medicals and livelihoods.”
He, however, singled out Palestine for being an exception.
“That level of concern never came from Arab countries with whom millions of Borno people share a similarity in religion and culture. We even have indigenous shuwa Arabs in Borno and this shows how our histories are tied,” Zulum said.
“We have made severe efforts, written and visited embassies of Arab countries, especially those that are rich and not dealing with crises, but obviously, majority of the Arabs do not care about our situation, neither do they support us.
“The Arabs have not shown concern to us. Your visit, however, has renewed our hope especially and we are very grateful for your visit.”
Earlier, the Palestinian ambassador had disclosed his country’s plans to support Borno State in certain identified areas.
“There are a lot of Palestinian companies in Nigeria, they are willing to work with the Borno State Government. We are ready to cooperate with you, we are ready to help in anything you want us to do that we can do,” Saleh said.
According to Saleh, many Nigerians especially from Borno State were residing in Palestine and contributing responsibly to the development of the country including diligently serving the government and people of Palestine.
“Among Borno people in Palestine, a lady called Fatima Barnawi was once a minister and a police chief.”
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