Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima on Monday led Chibok stake-holders, National and State Assembly members to Aso Rock to thank President Muhammadu Buhari over his commitment to the negotiation that led to the Saturday’s release of 82 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents three years ago.
Shettima’s delegation which included all National Assembly members from Borno, the district head of Chibok, elders and representatives of Chibok at the National and State Assembly and other indigenes of the community, was received by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Vice President’s conference room in the Villa. The delegation was joined by Governors of Zamfara and Akwa Ibom States who were already with the Acting President when Shettima visited.
Governor Shettima said the people of Borno decided to pay a visit rather than showing gratitude in silence.
”With this very heartwarming breakthrough, we asked ourselves. Do we come here to thank Mr President or do we again express gratitude in silence as we did in October, 2016 after the release of our 21 daughters?
Your Excellency, about 100 years ago, an American author, Gertrude Stein wrote something wise. He wrote that “Silent gratitude doesn’t mean so much to anyone”. By his reminder, gratitude cannot be sufficient expressed in silence. We are here to Thank Mr President. To thank you, also and to thank all senior aides of the President. To thank our service chiefs, the Director-General of the DSS, to thank our gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and entire members of Mr President’s compassionate team who worked in leading the Nigerian Government to negotiate from the position of strength and logic which ultimately succeeded in ‘bringing back our precious girls’. We are here to also use Your Excellency’s exalted office to convey our depth of gratitude to the Swiss Government; to the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and to every organization, individual, group and institution which made whatever selfless contribution leading to the safe release of our daughters. No amount of words are enough to convey the extent of our very profound gratitude” Shettima said.
The Borno Governor also said that negotiation to free the girls was successful largely because of President Buhari’s sincerity and integrity.
“Your Excellency, as I said yesterday in a televised remark, negotiation leading to the freedom of these girls could not have succeeded if Buhari lacked integrity. There is no way international actors who helped in facilitating the negotiation, could have involved themselves if they had doubts about the integrity and sincerity of the President. It is also Buhari’s integrity that has made it possible for funds meant for arms to be judiciously utilized in making our gallant armed forces far more equipped than they ever were and it is his integrity that has made countries in Africa, Europe and the United States to wholeheartedly support Nigeria in the ongoing, and so far successful fight against the Boko Haram insurgents. When President Buhari was going round countries organizing regional and global cooperation, critics accused him of flying around the world. He inherited a very serious problem that Nigeria could not solve alone. And to make matters worst, he inherited a country with a terribly battered foreign image. He needed to first win the trust and confidence of allies so he could attract support for Nigeria. For me as Governor of Borno State and the man who is on ground, I can say with no fear of contradiction that President Muhammadu Buhari indeed, succeeded in mobilizing the world for Nigeria. I am very optimistic that by the grace of God in this soon to be concluded fight against Boko Haram” Shettima said. The Governor paid tribute to the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo for his compassion in supporting Borno since 2015 particularly with regards to the management of humanitarian crisis and developing the Buhari plan for the reconstruction and economic development of the northeast which the Vice President’s office coordinate.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo who expressed President Buhari’s appreciation for the visit described Shettima as a Governor whose commitment to his people is extraordinary. Osinbajo also said he completely agrees with Shettima that there wouldn’t have been successful negotiation if Buhari wasn’t trusted by key actors in the process.
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