Arewa: Zulum Lists 5 Steps To Address Banditry, Insecurity

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, spoke at the 10th Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial lecture and Merit Award on Saturday. During his speech, he outlined 5 steps that can address the lingering insecurity in parts of the north.

Zulum delivered a keynote address at the event held at the Government House in Maiduguri. Vice President Kashim Shettima was represented by the Special Adviser to the President, Political Matters, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.

Also in attendance were Governors Mohammed Inuwa Yahya of Gombe, and Mohammed Bago of Niger State, as well as the Senate President, represented by Senator Kaka Shehu Lawan, and Shehu of Borno Abubakar Umar Garbai Elkanemi.

The Governor stated: “The chosen theme for this year’s lecture, ‘Creating Pathways for Peace: Tackling Banditry and Insurgency through Good Governance for Sustainable Development,’ is both relevant and timely. It highlights the challenges we have faced over the years, particularly in the wake of Boko Haram crisis. It is evident that good governance is crucial in curbing future insurgencies.”

Governor Zulum outlined 5 steps, including infrastructural development, educational reform, healthcare enhancement, empowerment and job creation, and security collaboration.

Zulum acknowledged that while his administration combined both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to addressing Boko Haram crises, the root causes of insurgency have also been looked into critically.

He stressed that to contribute to curtailing banditry, insurgency, and other forms of insecurity, Borno has undertaken projects in many key sectors.

“Here in Borno State, we have undertaken various projects since assuming office with the aim of promoting good governance and tackling all forms of insecurity,” Zulum added.

The Governor highlighted the successes achieved in the last 5 years while emphasizing the 5 key steps to addressing insecurity.

Regarding infrastructure, Zulum noted that the rebuilding and reconstruction of critical infrastructure were undertaken. This includes the rehabilitation of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other essential facilities that were destroyed during the peak of Boko Haram insurgency.

The Governor also emphasized the prioritization of education with various initiatives implemented to revitalize the sector. These initiatives include the establishment of new schools, recruitment of qualified teachers, provision of learning materials, and scholarships for students.

“By investing in education, we aim to provide opportunities for the youth, making them less susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by insurgents,” Zulum explained.

He further highlighted the significant improvement in access to quality healthcare delivery, which contributes to the social stability in Borno. Comprehensive reforms, such as the renovation and equipping of health facilities, recruitment of medical personnel, and provision of essential drugs.

Zulum highlighted the critical need for job creation and empowerment in order to deter young people from engaging in criminal activities. He said various empowerment programmes such as skills acquisition training through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs), entrepreneurship support, and youth employment schemes have been implemented by his administration.

Zulum also stated that in the last 5 years, he has maintained active collaboration with security agencies to enhance the security situation in Borno State. This includes providing support and resources to the military, police and other security forces to strengthen their capacity to combat insurgency.

“We have shown that through effective governance, a conducive environment can be created to tackle the challenges of insecurity and pave way for lasting peace and sustainable development,” Zulum said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman Board of Trustees, SABMF and former Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said the rise of banditry and other forms of insecurity is a direct consequence of deep-rooted socio-economic and governance issues and urged everyone to come together and address it.

The guest speaker, Prof Tijjani Muhammed Bande, Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, presented a paper titled “Beyond Lamentation: Uprooting Banditry and Insurgency Through Good Governance For Sustainable Development.”

The event was also attended by the Deputy Governor of Borno, Umar Usman Kadafur, the Deputy Governor of Bauchi, Mohammed Auwal Jatau, Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume, Engr Bukar Talba, Speaker Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan and the Shehu of Dikwa, Bama and Emirs of Biu, Gwoza, Askira, Shani and Uba among other dignitaries across the 19 states of the north.