President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday made a surprise visit to Maiduguri, Borno state capital, where he commended the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces currently at war with the Boko Haram insurgents.
Jonathan who also visited the Internally Displaced Persons in Teachers’ Village Camp, Pompomari, Maiduguri, assured that areas occupied by insurgents would soon be recovered, urging for cooperation and support of all Nigerian in the fight against terror.
Earlier, the President paid tributes to the fallen heroes at the occasion of the Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja before his surprise visit to the frontline of the war against terrorism and insurgency.
A statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in Abuja, Thursday, said the President was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff, Chief Alex Bade, and other service chiefs.
Others on the President’s entourage were the National Security Adviser and the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency.
The statement said, Jonathan visited officers and men of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri to thank them for their patriotic and courageous service to the nation.
“The President told officers and soldiers of the Division that the nation was very proud of them and grateful for their dedication and commitment to the defence of the civilian population against terrorists’ and violent extremists.
“He also assured the troops that the Federal Government would continue to do everything possible to ensure that they got weapons, equipment, welfare and logistic support they required to completely rout the insurgents and restore full security and normalcy to affected parts of the country.
“Describing the troops as special breed of men who were undertaking a great assignment for their fatherland, the President also assured them that all necessary action were being taken to address challenges facing them in their operations against Boko Haram militants,” it stated.
Adding that: “In terms of equipment and logistics, we have already made considerable progress since the insurgency started and we will continue to improve in that regard until your operations are successfully concluded.’’
The President toured wards of the 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services Centre, where he met with soldiers recovering from injuries sustained in operations against Boko Haram.
Jonathan wished the injured soldiers speedy recovery.
Before leaving the Borno capital, the statement said, the President had visited over 900 displaced persons from Baga at a camp in the city.
It said the President commiserated with the displaced persons on the losses they suffered during the attack on their town by Boko Haram.
He promised them that the Federal Government would strive to make their stay in the camps more comfortable while it continued to do all within its powers to restore peace and security to enable them to return to their homes soon.
He said “terrorism and insurgency have been very traumatic for all of us. I feel particularly disturbed when I hear of our people being displaced within their own country.
“I assure you and other displaced persons that government is working very hard to ensure that you do not remain in these camps for too long.
“I know that many of your houses have been destroyed. We will assist you financially so that you can rebuild your homes and return to them gradually,” President Jonathan told the displaced persons.
He thanked the Red Cross Society and other international organisations that had been assisting in the provision of relief materials to the displaced persons.
“He urged local, state and federal government officials to work with greater harmony and cooperation in rendering support to the displaced persons.
He warned that “I do not want to be hearing conflicting reports on support to them.
“Government is one and we must all work together to assist our people whenever the need arises.
“We must cooperate maximally and work together at the local government, state and federal levels to ensure that our people, who are unfortunately displaced from their homes get the best possible treatment.’’
He promised that the areas lost to insurgents would soon be recoveredInternally Displaced Persons at Teachers’ Village Camp, Pompomari, Maiduguri during Pres. Jonathan’s visit today.