[UPDATE] Boko Haram attack: Buhari in Maiduguri on sympathy visit

• Promises more proactive measures on terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari has landed in Maiduguri, Borno State on a sympathy visit to the state government and people over the deadly killing perpetrated by Boko Haram in Auno, near the state capital last Sunday.

A tweet by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu on his personal handle @GarShehu, on Wednesday, informed that the president left Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and landed in Maiduguri at 12.45 pm.

Buhari had been in the East African country for the meeting of the African Union (AU) and a state visit when the terrorist attack occurred.

“12:45 pm, President Buhari, aboard the BBJ from Addis Ababa just landed in Maiduguri. He is paying a sympathy visit to the government and people of Borno following the recent horrific incident in which BH terrorists killed several travelers,” Shehu tweeted.

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A presidency statement released after the visit said President Buhari promised that more proactive and decisive measures are to be taken by the Federal Government to put an end to the Boko Haram menace in the country once and for all.

It said Buhari gave the assurance in Maiduguri during a sympathy visit, maintaining that intelligence sharing and synergy between law enforcement agencies and the civil populace are critical towards achieving the objectives.

The statement, signed by Shehu, quoted the president as saying: “I assure you that improvement in security will be pursued vigorously. The military will work harder and strategise with tactics to deal with the insurgents. This is however not possible without good intelligence and cooperation with local community leaders.

“Boko Haram cannot come up to Maiduguri or environs without the local leadership knowing because traditionally, the local leadership is in charge of security in their own respective areas.

“I want to call on the leadership at various levels to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and let us deny Boko Haram access to our loyal citizens.

“We will do our best and I hope history will be kind to us; to recall what was on the ground when we came and what will be on the ground when we leave.”

It said the president, who was at the palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Royal Highness Abubakar Ibn Umar Gabai, accompanied by the state Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, sympathised with him and other victims of the attack, prayed for the repose of the soul of the victims.

In his remarks, Governor Zulum thanked the President for identifying with the state in these trying times. He praised the efforts of the military so far, wondering why some people would be comparing the security situation now with what obtained before the Buhari administration came on board:

“Roads were closed, there were sporadic bombings everywhere even within the metropolis. Close to 20 local government areas were under Boko Haram. We are surprised that there seems to be resurgence in 2019.”

He tasked the military to borrow from their successes especially between 2015 and 2017, take the battle to the insurgents and push them to the fringes of Lake Chad.

He also urged the security agencies to be patient with the civilian populace and give opportunities to the Internally Displaced Persons to access their communities in order to return to their occupations.

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