Abuja, June 19, 2019
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met behind closed doors with Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Zulum, who spoke to State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, said he briefed the president on the security situation in Borno State.
He explained that he was at the villa to seek for more support and assistance in the area of addressing the challenges of insecurity occasioned by the activities of insurgents in the state.
According to him, basically I am here to discuss with the President, how best the Federal Government will strengthen the existing situation on ground in Borno, to improve on the current security situation and the means of livelihood of the entire people of Borno State.
“We want to address the root causes of the insurgency, the issue of access to roads, access to farmlands, strengthening our Civilian Joint Task Force as well as the military, in order to perform their jobs better than before.”
He said the state government was collaborating with the military and para-military agencies, to ensure adequate protection of its citizens.
“I am trying to strengthen the communities in the state to be resilient enough, especially by providing them with the needed logistics like vehicles so that they carry can out surveillance in support of the military.
“But by and large, our discussion with the military has gone well and we are doing everything possible within our reach to ensure that stability returns to Borno State,” he said.
In a similar development, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, who was also at the Villa, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for making June 12, Democracy Day and the renaming the Abuja National Stadium, MKO Abiola National Stadium.
Abiodun, who spoke with the State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that the Buhari administration’s recognition of Abiola was a unifying factor in the political history of Nigeria.
“MKO Abiola was someone who won an election, ran a Muslim-Muslim ticket, meaning that he demystified the issue of religion and that would have been a turning point in the history of Nigeria.
“So Baba, recognised that and he firmly believed in Abiola’s mandate and he didn’t have to be convinced, that is something he believed in and he keyed into and he felt that Abiola would have been a very good president.
“I thanked him for naming the stadium after him as well, which was unexpected. He said he didn’t even share it with anyone; it was something he wanted to do, to underscore the fact that Abiola was indeed a great man.’’
The governor disclosed that he used the opportunity of the meeting to update the president on his vision for Ogun.
According to him, his administration will create an enabling environment for public/private partnership, to ensure economic growth and prosperity in Ogun.
“I also wanted to share with him my vision for Ogun. Like you know my vision is to provide good and qualitative governance for the people of the state, while creating an enabling environment for a public/private sector partnership, which we believe is fundamental to economic growth and prosperity.
“We believe that nothing can be achieved unless you are committed to good governance. And good governance starts with paying salaries.
“I was sworn in on May 29 and the 30th was my first day in office, on my second day in office I realised that salaries were due and we didn’t have money to pay. However, I ensured that salaries were paid that day.
“It was important for that message to be sent because that is the pact we had with the people. There is something called the Speed of Trust, the citizens have to begin to trust you and you have to earn that trust equally,” Abiodun said.
The governor further stated that his administration was determined to ensure a secured Ogun State as the “state is called gateway for a reason; we are gateway to Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Cotonou, to so many other places.
“So, it is important that for us to create an enabling environment for investment, we must have a secured state’’.
He announced that Ogun and Lagos States had agreed to have a robust Security Trust Fund, to safeguard lives and property of inhabitants of the two states.
“Myself and the governor of Lagos State have discussed, we are going to ensure we have a robust security trust fund, so that we can have patrol vehicles along the connecting roads, tracking devices and communication equipment.
“But top on the list is agriculture; we are placing premium on agriculture. We see it as opportunity to directly impact on people’s lives and so we are tapping into Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ programme.