Zulum Addresses Troops on Christmas Day

Calls for collective effort to end insurgency and criminality in Nigeria

The Executive Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum graced this year’s CAS Christmas Launcheon held on Monday, 25 December, 2023 at Headquarters Air Component JTF (NE) Operation Hadin Kai, Maiduguri.

Gov. Zulum was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof. Usman Tar, who was received by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall HB Abubakar, to celebrate Christmas with officers and men of the Air force co-deployed for Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK).

The BOSG delegation led by Prof. Tar included the Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Sugun Mai Mele; Commissioner of Youths, Sports and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Sainna Buba and Commissioner of Works and Housing, Engr. Mustapha Gubio.

In his welcome address, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar who was accompanied to the occasion by high ranking officers of the force expressed his happiness as he joined officers and men to celebrate the 2023 Christmas which he described as a special time to share love and affection. Air Vice Marshall Abubakar appreciated the troops for their selfless service to the nation and took time to pray for the souls of the fallen heroes who laid down their lives for the sake of Nigeria.

He further highlighted the efforts of the NAF in the fight against terrorism so far and stated that with the acquisition of new fighter jets and other veritable platforms, the air force is repositioned to sustain the fight against terrorism.

The air chief specially thanked President Tinubu, Ministers of Defense, Chief of Defense Staff, Governor Zulum and the Shehu of Borno for their foresight, purposeful leadership and unalloyed support to the air force.

In his address to the troops, Gov Zulum expressed the appreciation of BOSG to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his commitment towards security of lives and property, which is a strong pillar of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

Gov. Zulum also thanked the Nigerian Armed Forces for their sacrifices in the fight against violent extremism and prayed for the souls of the departed heroes who paid the supreme price in the lines of duty. He assured that BOSG is committed towards collaboration with the Armed Forces and other defence and security agencies with a view to clearing the remnants of the Boko Haram who have been largely defeated.

He also affirmed that Borno state will continue to invest in Non-kinetic approach with a view to ending the insurgency.

Prof Tar highlighted Gov. Zulum’s Christmas message to the Christian community in Borno State:

“I will like to felicitate with our Christian brothers and sisters in Borno State at the Christmas celebration. I will like us to also remember our history and how we have been tested by the challenges that confronted our state, especially since 2009. The security challenges we faced affected us as citizens, regardless of our faith.

Boko Haram insurgents attacked dozens of mosques and churches as well as communities, killing Muslims and Christians at various times. They rendered many of our brothers and sisters homeless across the north, south and central parts of Borno State.”

“As Governor, I have, on numerous occasions, paid humanitarian and reconstruction visits to diverse communities of all faiths in the south, north and central because the attacks by insurgents mostly did not take religion into account. Everyone who did not share the Boko Haram ideology was a target, regardless of whether the victim was Muslim or Christian.”

“I have paid countless visits to communities in Chibok, Askira-Uba, Hawul, Biu, Gwoza, Monguno, Baga, Kala-Balge to mention but a few and at all times, my consideration has always been about critical humanitarian needs and not religion.”

“We have worked hard to rebuild and resettle communities with the consideration of fairness to the most affected portions of our 27 local government areas.”

“While majority of citizens seem to appreciate all that we are achieving together, there are few amongst us, who in recent times are trying to undermine our core values and the religious tolerance that exist across Borno State. These few persons appear to ignore the truth that in Borno State there are many families with mixture of Muslim and Christian members, sometimes from same family.”

We must resist any attempt to divide us along religious lines, especially now that Borno is on the part of economic recovery, growth and development.”

“As Governor of Borno State, I pledge not to be distracted and I pledge to remain fair with the guiding principle of considering the urgency of humanitarian needs as they affect communities in all our continued responses across Borno State.”

Highlights of the event were unity dance performance by the Borno State Cultural Troupe, display of tactics NAF special force, press-up by the CAS and uniformed officers and group photograph.