By Rabiu Sani
Northern Governors’ Forum on Tuesday donated N360 million to support humanitarian services to persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency in Borno state.
Gov. Aminu Massari of Katsina State, who led a delegation of the forum, presented the cheque to Gov. Kashim Shettima, at Government House in Maiduguri.
Masari said that each of the 18 northern state governments donated N20 million to support humanitarian and livelihoods development programmes.
“During our meeting of the Northern Governors, we resolved to set up a committee to visit Borno.
“We are here to show sympathy to the good people of Borno and in solidarity with our brother, Kashim Shettima.
“We are solidly behind Shettima and we stand by him at this trying time. We have also resolved to be more united than ever before.
“We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that this kind of crisis that affected the North-East do not repeat or escalate to other parts of the north and the country at large,” Masari said.
In his response, Shettima who commended the gesture said that such support from his colleagues had assisted him to endure and continue his work despite the security challenges in the state.
“As your brother and colleague in this state, one of the things that has kept me strong despite the calamity of Boko Haram, is the genuine empathy and encouragement I constantly receive from all of you.
“Most of the governors have solidly identified with us even when Borno suffered its most severe neglect between 2011 and 2014,” Shettima said.
The governor recalled that Borno had suffered serious neglect in the past, a trend which favoured the insurgents to overrun most of the local government areas of the state.
He said that Boko Haram insurgents had killed thousands of people, sacked communities, ravaged women and children.
He added that the insurgents vandalized over 200 healthcare facilities, thousands of schools, water points and electrical installations, as well as roads, bridges.
“Wealthy traders and transporters lost their businesses and became poor overnight.
“The insurgents coordinated series of suicide bomb attacks at Monday Market, Maiduguri.
`The attacks were aimed at cutting off economic activities in the state.
“Traders were terribly affected to the extent that we had to resort to giving some sort of support to enable them to remain in business”.
Shettima reiterated his administration’s commitment to collaborate with the Federal and state governments, development organizations and other stakeholders to address the humanitarian crisis in the state. (NAN)