Insurgency in Borno State has so far taken the lives of 300,000 residents, the state governor, Kashim Shettima, has said.
Shettima, who gave the figure while receiving the Nigerian service chiefs at the Government House in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said the victims cut across the 20 local government areas of the state.
“We will continue to work for the people by investing in education, so that our children and future generations do not become another new set of insurgents.
“We are saying that we are against Boko Haram, because of the establishment of our Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) to end this madness of incessant killings and destruction of people’s property, in not only in Borno State, but the neighbouring states of Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi in the North East.
“If this Boko Haram madness comes to an end; your names will be written in gold; and the country and its citizenry will be proud of all of you here in Maiduguri,” Shettima said.
The service chiefs who were at the State Government House include the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Abayomi Olonisakin and the Army, Naval and Air force chiefs of staff, as well as the Police Inspector General, Solomon Arase.
The service chiefs said they were in Maiduguri for an on-the-spot assessment of and evaluation of the security challenge in the state as a result of insurgency.
They visited Maiduguri just within 24 hours after they were decorated and after which President Muhammadu Buhari gave them three months to end the insurgency.
Speaking at the Government House, the NSA said “in less than 24 hours after we were sworn in and decorated by the President, we are here in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital for a reassessment of the military operations to end the insurgency in three months. As you can see, the President has picked the right service chiefs to end this senseless terror.
“We are to assess all the military operational details that will facilitate the various aerial and ground troops’ fight against Boko Haram . This has to be done before we can launch a consistent and rapid campaign against terror and terrorists activities in the North East and the country at large.
“We are not going to work against your interest restoring peace and unity to the North East. We are here for all of you affected by this terrorism that has claimed the lives of many of your sons, daughters, parents, guardians, including traditional and religious leaders sacked from towns and villages for over six years.”
He peaded with the people of the state to support the security agencies with credible information to help end terrorism in the North-eastern part of Nigeria.