Destructions by Boko Haram: Between Borno and other northeastern states

Destructions by Boko Haram: Between Borno and other northeastern states

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G overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, who doubles as the chairman of the northern states Governor’s Forum, is sad and worried.
Not only because of the insurgency that has taken toll on some states in the northeast for the past seven years, the pains and burden he is forced to bear, but more so because of the insincerity of the neighbouring states of Borno with regard to the exaggerated assessment of the destruction of Boko Haram and number of Internally Displaced Persons in their respective states.
Governor Shettima is unhappy that his affected sister states are making mountains out of mole with regards claims in order to draw donors’ attention.
To the governor, Borno, the epicentre of the insurgency and the most hard hit in-terms of destruction of property and infrastructure as well in the number of IDPs, is being short changed.
Shettima unburdened his predicament recently in Maiduguri when the delegation of the United Nations Organisation for Population Activities, led by its deputy regional director, Beatrice Mutali for West and East Africa, called on him at the Government House.
The delegation was in the state capital to present a review of the organisation’s operations programme. Shettima, while lamenting, told the delegation, “We truly appreciate your efforts.
But we really need you to step up your activities in the state because Borno, most sadly, is the nerve centre of Boko Haram; but when it comes to goodies, you will see states that suffer the least exaggerating the suffering inflicted on their society by Boko Haram as if such a thing is a badge of honour.
“People are even exaggerating the number of IDPs they have. And mind you, if you go to Adamawa, the IDPs are from Borno State; just like if you go to Cameroun, 95 percent of the IDPs are from Borno; so also in Niger Republic. But it is not for me to say they should be denied any support.
“However any support you give us, you are just here to complement our efforts. We in Borno are very proud and selfcontented people. We will never beg any organisation or group for support.
The destruction to lives and property in Borno state by Boko Haram is colossus. According to a preliminary validation by the World Bank officials of a Post Insurgency Recovery and Peace Building Assessment report, Borno State lost 20, 000 citizens and suffered property damage worth $5.9bn (1.9 trillion) in the last seven years.
This represents an estimate of the value of public and private property damaged by the insurgents in the 27 local government areas of the state.
The report presented by the Borno state government to the World Bank for validation revealed, among others, that out of 3, 232, 308 private houses in the state, 956, 453 or 30 per cent were destroyed by insurgents. The report also found that 5,335 classrooms and other school buildings were destroyed in primary, secondary schools and two tertiary institutions.
It also showed that 201 health centres, mostly primary healthcare clinics, dispensaries and some General Hospitals were damaged. Also Boko Haram destroyed 1, 630 water sources including motorised boreholes, hand pumps, solar powered boreholes and facilities for piped water schemes. The report further revealed that 665 municipal buildings comprising ministry and LGA buildings, prisons, police stations and electric offices were destroyed.
Also destroyed were 726 distribution substations of 11 KV/415V and distribution lines of 415-230 v in the 27 LGAs. Parks, game reserves, forest reserves, grazing reserves, green wall projects, orchards, ponds, river basins and lakes were either poisoned or bombed in 16 local government areas. In addition, 470, 000 livestock were either killed or stolen. Being the epicentre of the insurgency, President Muhammadu Buhari, on coming to power, ordered the relocation of the Command and Control Centre of the Army on the insurgency from Abuja to Maiduguri. Besides, the Nigerian Army has established two divisions, one in Maiduguri and the other in northern Borno because of the concentration of insurgents in the state. The senate, on the other hand, has approved the location of the headquarters of the Northeast Development Commission in Maiduguri. The NDC is expected to coordinate the rehabilitation of communities in the region devastated by the insurgency and provision of support for the victims.
The establishment of all these bodies with most of the headquarters in Maiduguri could not have been coincidence. Rather, it is deliberate as dictated by the circumstances of the time.

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