Residents of Borno State, North-East Nigeria, for the first time in five years, celebrated Sallah festival freely.
The state, which is worst hit by Boko Haram insurgency, had been closed to vehicular movements and out-door celebration during all festivities, be it Islamic and Christian, due to fear of terror attacks.
Residents were compelled to celebrate religious festivals under curfew or restriction of movement since 2011, following increased bomb attacks and other violent acts by the Boko Haram.
However, the State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, made an announcement, on Monday, allowing all citizens of the state to have a fresh breath of air during the festival.
“After extensive deliberations, the key actors in security in the state unanimously resolved that we want to give our people dignity. We want them to have a feel of what it was to celebrate and we have resolved not to restrict movement during this year’s Eid-el-Fitri,” he announced after a security meeting.
Shettima disclosed that the decision to allow people roam freely on the streets this year was due to an improvement in the security situation in the state in recent times.
He, however, said that security would be intensified around the state’s metropolis adding that that security agencies and the Civilian JTF had been mandated to conduct thorough search and checks on the people.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has reopened the Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala road, the key road that links Borno with bordering Central African countries.
The road, a total of 138 kilometers, was not only strategic but of economic importance to Borno and the nation. It was closed three years ago by the military at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis.
The reopening of the road by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai alongside Governor Shettima, was part of activities marking the 2016 Army day celebration in Borno State.
For the first time in 5 years, people in Borno State are being allowed to come out on the streets to celebrate Eid el-Fitri. #ThankASoldier
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) July 6, 2016