…as residents, visitors laud NNPC GMD, Kyari, IRT boss, DCP Abba Kyari, others for hosting wedlocks
Incontestably and indisputably, peace, order, security and constitutional government have been restored to the beleaguered and war-ravaged Northeastern part of Nigeria in the last few years of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The retired Army General left no one in doubt as to his capacity to curtail the insurgency which broke out in the twilight of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 or thereabouts.
An accomplished soldier and former military Head of State had deployed in collaboration with his Service Chiefs deployed military strategies and launched multipronged offensives against the scourge of insurgency in the zone.
In restoring order and governance to the area, the over 100 Chibok girls who were seized, evacuated and “spirited’’ out of the country into Sambisa forest and neighbouring countries of Chad, Mali and others, were rescued by the Buhari administration.
Several local government areas that were captured by the insurgents with the hosting of their flags were freed and liberated. The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a clear statement, announced to the world: “The insurgents have been degraded’’.
Years after the proclamation, mass wedding were organized in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Saturday, December 28, 2019, the city came alive and agog as thousands of visitors stormed the once-dreaded city for the ceremonies.
As a first-timer, the allure of the city is something to behold; the luminosity of streetlights and the well-paved intra-city roads in the night are equally welcoming with people going about their businesses without let or hindrance.
Again, the wedlocks had attracted thousands of visitors from across the country to the hitherto dreaded state.
Persecondnews recalls that it was a weekend of mass wedding and flurry of other social activities in the ancient city including the wedlocks of two children of the Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, and the younger sister of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) boss, Deputy Police Commissioner Abba Kyari.
The audacity of Kyari and others to take the weddings of their children and relations as well as other notable events to the city underscores the improvement in the prevailing security situation and the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram. It also smacks of the confidence that Kyari and others have in the enthronement of peace and order in the state.
Methinks that they should be commended and appreciated for identifying with their home state and bringing people from all walks of life to come and see for themselves.
Apart from traffic calming in some parts of the city, generally there was free flow of human and vehicular movements as the social events constituted no nightmare to motorists and residents.
Movements around the city from the airport to various locations were unimpeded both on tricycle and vehicles with armed security personnel in strategic points not harassing bystanders, pedestrians and motorists.
Again, the airport witnessed a manageable traffic as some aircraft flew in and out of Maiduguri International Airport.
Excited city dwellers said the ceremonial splendor of the occasions had added colour to Maiduguri as it played host to the well-meaning people across the country including Africa’s richest man, Dr Aliko Dangote, former Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, Senator Andy Uba, former NNPC GMD, Dr Baru, Ogun Gov. Dapo Abiodun, Kebbi Governor and Sokoto Governor.
Others are the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki, Senator Bassey Albert, Senator Andy Uba, Minister of Steel and Mines Development, former Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Uche Ogah, as well as MDs of multinational oil companies like Shell, Mobil, etc.
To give credence to the return of peace and security in the zone following a successful degrading of the insurgents, the Federal Government had on Monday (Dec. 30) announced that as from 2020 it will begin a phased withdrawal of the military operations in the zone.
A decade-long operations in the area, according to the military authorities and the government, had routed or degraded the Boko Haram terrorists that had been unleashing blood-letting and all forms of violence on the people.
Their modus operandi also includes kidnappings and ransom-taking, gruesome mass murders and all forms of inhuman acts.
Borno state was one of the states manned by combat forces. They endured countless attacks including ambushes, blasts from improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists and smaller insurgent factions.
But today’s Borno is a different place.
Ali Mohd, a resident of Maiduguri says that peace gradually returned after the Military and residents made it clear to the insurgents that their violence was not welcome.
The withdrawal of troops will be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace has returned to enable civil authorities assume full control of security, the government said.
The decision was part of the fall-outs from the Security meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
The pullout will allow civil authority – police and civil defense to assume their responsibility in the affected areas “since the terrorists have been degraded.”
The Council decided that in place of the military, the Nigeria Police Force, which has the primary responsibility of providing internal security, will assume its duties fully in such areas
Briefing to State House correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting, the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas Obok said the council agreed that “the security agencies have performed well in 2019″.
“It is our wish to have the insurgency and terrorism ended in 2020 so that the military will focus on other areas.
“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will support the police to provide internal security.
“Also, you will remember that additional 10,000 personnel were approved for the police recently for recruitment,” he said.
Obok said after the pull-out gradually, the military would then face other “emerging threats” if any, while the police will move in.
Persecondnews recalls that the military had mounted several joint operations in various parts of the country under different code names to combat the various security threats.
Several other attendees had also tweeted about their impression of the events including a woman, Dr Mairo Mandara, who said on her twitter handle:“Thank you Alh. Mele Kyari GMD NNPC for taking your daughter’s wedding Fatiha home to Maiduguri.
“Thousands of Nigerians visited the city today (Dec. 28) and experienced the hospitality of Borno, from Sinisir to Biski, Kunun gyada and lamb BBQ.
“Please share your good experiences of Maiduguri.’’
The city allurement was irresistible to a first-time visitor who had the impression of a post-insurgency beleaguered city and state.
“I find the allure of the big city highly irresistible, I can see and savour a peaceful city and hospitable people,’’ said Mr Olutunde Bayode.