Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has assured residents of the North-Eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri that the entire country is solidly behind them in this time of trial.
The number three citizen spoke when he led a delegation of the Senate to the state on a one-day on-the-spot assessment of the security situation in Borno State.
The senate president also donated a cash sum of N10million in support of the upkeep of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Senate delegation was received by the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kassim Shettima at the Government House, after welcoming the team at the Maiduguri International Airport at about12.10pm.
Saraki said: “We have come to feel your pains, to hear what you have been going through firsthand. To seek to understand the severe bloody struggle you have had to endure and go through emotionally, physically, financially and in many other ways which can hardly be put in words.”
Saraki, who also led the team, in company of Governor Shettima to pay homage to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Khanemi, assured the people that the Senate will ensure that life returns to the state and the zone.
While welcoming the Senate President and his team, Governor Shettima, stated that the visit was historic and unprecedented, he added that the visit is the first of its kind by any senate president.
He said: “I would like to express my sincere and profound welcome to the Senate President and our respected and distinguished senators over this official visit to Borno State, which is the first of its kind by any Senate President since the advent of civilian administration in 1999.
“This is a clear manifestation of your concern for the plight of the people of the North-East region and Borno State in particular.”
Shettima said: “The people of Borno State view this day and this visit as most apt and most significant. I have no doubt in my mind about the seriousness of this administration to putting a permanent end to this senseless bloodletting and madness of a few misguided elements, who hide under the canopy of Islam to perpetuate this heinous crime against innocent and defenceless citizens.
“The action of these criminals are completely at variance with the tenets of Islam. Borno has seen the worst of this insurgency and the problem is still there rearing its head with its attendant bloodletting and carnage.
“The measures so far taken by this administration have rekindled our hope for a better and more secured future. We hope your coming to see the IDPs will translate into a more robust legislative action that will bring about safety, security and succour to our people,” Shettima stated.
The Senate President and the delegates later visited the troops and internally displaced people’s (IDP) camps located at the Umaru Shehu College of Education and the Government College in Maiduguri which had over 4,000 inmates respectively.
The delegation also visited the Dalori IDPs Camp housing over 18,000 displaced persons from Bama local government of the state.
Saraki said the resolution of the Senate to send a high powered delegation led by himself was a demonstration of the commitment of the Upper Chamber to find a lasting solution to the plight of people in the North-East.
“We will be working closely with our counterparts in the House of Representatives to make sure that we rebuild the economy of the North-East. We will not rest on our oars until normalcy is returned to this troubled region.”
Shehu El-Knenemi called for more support to flush out the insurgents from the North-East and to achieve rehabilitation, empowerment of the IDPs, and urgent restoration of power supply to the area. He said that over two million IDPs are being sheltered in Maiduguri alone.
Some members of the Senate delegation include Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena; Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Senator Hassan Mohammed, Senator Abubakar Kyari and the Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Senator Isa Galaudu.