orno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, yesterday said that ruling the state was more difficult than to a small country, stressing that he had seen his children only three times in the first 365 days of his being in offiice.
The governor, who disclosed this during a media chat to mark his first anniversary in office at the Government House, Maiduguri said “to rule Borno is like ruling a small country, within my first 365 days in Government House, I was able to see my children only three times. The existing tradition we have in public and private sectors are not good. How do we increase the trust between government and the governed; that was why in less 10 days of my inauguration, I was in Kala Balge, and southern Borno, all to build trust and confidence between the government and governed.
“The most difficult challenge I had in the last one year is that of good governance and discipline. The duo are major challenges, but thank God we were able to surmount it,” he added.
The governor said the major challenges he faced in the last one year were the issues of good governance and discipline.
“I also hold security dearest to my heart because the nexus between peace and development cannot be over-emphasised. If there is no peace, there will no be development and if there is no development there will no be peace. So among my 10 pact agenda, I hold security dearest to my heart because it affects majority of my people”, Governor Zulum said.
“Kinetic approach to addressing insurgency cannot solve the crisis, we need to address the root cause of the insurgency, that was why I have been moving from one local government to another in our effort to provide food and livelihood to our people so that the insurgents would not be able to recruit them. We are addressing the root cause, which include hunger, poverty and unemployment.
“Since I assumed office, there is no local government in the state that I have not visited, some I visited three or four times, this is to build confidence and bridge the gap between the government and the governed. We have been strengthening the resilience of our people through peace building. We are able to bridged the existing gap between government and the governed.”
Governor Zulum added that; “Being a pioneer commissioner of the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, I travelled all the knocks and cranies of the state.
To ensure restoration of civil autholrity, government established security trust fund, we have built municipal buildings such as schools secretariats, government lodges, police stations, courts, palaces of the Shehus, emirs, village heads and other traditional rulers, among others.
All these to ensure the return of civil authority at the grassroots level”.
In addressing the root cause of insurgency, Governor Zulum said he had created more jobs, expanded the land of cultivation from 400 hectares to 10 kilometres to Ngom, five kilometres to Nagaa, 10 kilometres to Dikwa, and Kakabalge. We have written the Chief of Army Staff for security clearance to expand the area of cultivation and he had directed the Theatre Commander to do so and he in turn had directed all formation commanders to expand areas of cultivation. This season, we are cultivating up to Dalwa, we are expanding our cultivation to reduce dependency on donor agencies,” he said.