Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has urged residents to show appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit on Thursday.
The governor in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday gave reasons the people of the state need to honour the President when he arrives in Maiduguri.
Borno is the epicentre of insurgency war in Nigeria.
The state has been at the end of incessant deadly attacks by terrorist groups–Boko Haram and the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), and many residents have grown frustrated with the Buhari government.
Ahead of his election in 2015, Buhari promised to defeat Boko Haram but six years into his government, that promise has not been fulfilled.
In February 2020, residents of the state booed the President as his convoy drove in and when it was leaving Maiduguri, Borno State, during a condolence visit.
The residents were heard shouting in Hausa “Bama so, ka samu a kunya.” Meaning “We don’t want you, because you have disappointed us.”
Thursday will be the first time the president will visit Borno since the February 2020 incident.
“President Buhari has since directed the Nigerian Customs, the Northeast Development Commission and the National Emergency Management Agency, to always support our IDPs with food intervention. A large amount of the food items we share to IDPs through Buhari’s intervention,” Zulu’s said.
“President Buhari is concerned about our humanitarian situation and he is sincerely committed to finding peace in Borno. This is why he is visiting us on Thursday. I most respectfully invite and urge all of us, to come out and honour a President, whose love for Borno has been so obvious.
“I urge us to demonstrate Borno’s creed of hospitality. Borno is known with the culture of dignity, the culture of respect and the culture of honoring our guests. Let us once again, show the Borno in all of us, as we host our President.
“Buhari dearly loves Borno and he does so, with purity of intention, with purity of love, purity of compassion, and the purity of hope for a safer and greater Borno State. I thank you all, as I look forward to our communal hospitality, as we host our President on Thursday, insha’Allah.”
A source in the Presidency had earlier told SaharaReporters that the planned visit was kept a secret because it was believed that the President would attract protests in the troubled state.
“Buhari has a secret plan to visit Maiduguri this week but they don’t want to announce it to prevent a situation whereby protesters in Maiduguri will embarrass him,” the source said.
On Saturday, June 12, there were protests in many states across the country, with protesters chanting ‘Buhari Must Go’, and lamenting worsening insecurity, poor living standard and other vital indices of national growth.
SaharaReporters, New York