Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has promised to change the narrative in Borno from one besieged by insurgency to one of the most peaceful states in the country.
Zulum, who spoke in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Friday, while receiving a formal invitation to the 2021 NUJ Summit, organised by the State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, said that he was able to contain the activities of the insurgents at the city centre.
He added that it was a matter of time beofre the insurgents are stopped statewide.The governor will also be bestowed with a Distinguished Leadership award during the ceremony on May 25.
Zulum, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant on Media, Baba Shiek Haruna and the Special Adviser on Community Relations, Chief Kester Ogualili, said, “Though we’ve been experiencing a lot of challenges, we are working hard to change the narrative in Borno State.
He added, “As I am talking to you, a lot of transformation is taking taking place despite the crises.“This has been overshadowed by what’s currently happening, but I assure you that it’s only a matter of time we will have these problems behind our us.”
He stressed that he is currently grappling with problem of resettling the persons displaced by the insurgents in the state and expressed optimism that peace will return to the state.
The Governor said that he thought it fit to send representatives to collect the letter of award and invitation because of the importance he attached to the recognition coming from an independent body like the NUJ.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser on Community Relations, Kester Ogualili, described Zulum as one of the most detribalised Nigerians, stressing that the Igbo community in Borno State are so proud that the honour was coming from south east.
He described Borno as second home to them, adding that the Igbo community have enjoyed immense benefit from Zulum right from his days as the rector of Ramat Polytechnic.
He said, “We the Igbo community in Borno thought it heartwarming for you to have remembered our principal.“
We are at home in Borno. Zulum does not call us non-indigenes, but tax payers. We live in Borno and that’s where we train our children. He is a true bridge builder and a certified nationalist.
He added that Igbos’ relationship with him did not start as Governor but Ramat Polytechnic, saying there are many Igbo teachers.He added,
“Igbo are doing well in Borno because they are not being marginalised.“
We have benefited from Borno entrepreneurship programme and during Christmas, he provided vehicles for us to go home and also parcel for widows in our communities.
“No discrimination in admissions in Borno state University. Equal chance for everyone and no discriminatory fees.”
The Vice-Chairman, Imo NUJ, Emma Odibo, while handing over the letter, said the council was proud to be associated with Zulum’s achievements in Borno, especially the fight against insurgency.