H.E Gov. Mai Mala Buni has re-opened Gaidam Market after it was closed down by the military for over ten months as a result of security challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The governor also said that the 12-hour curfew in the town has been relaxed by four hours from 600pm to 10pm daily.
Governor Buni spoke in the afternoon today during a visit to Gaidam Town where he had a townhall meeting with the people and paid homage on the Emir of Ngazargamo Alhaji Mai Tijjani Ibn Saleh.
The governor explained that reopening the market had become necessary considering that a majority of the people depend on its for their livelihood and how its closure has caused untold hardship to them.
H.E Governor Buni revealed that before he went to Gaidam, he has made contact with the presidency, the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu and other top security chiefs to brief them and explain to them the situation in Gaidam town and the effects that the closure of the market have on the people’s wellbeing.
The governor observed that while security concerns were the reasons for the closure, the closure of the market had the potential to cause even more security challenges in a situation where youths, who otherwise depend on the market for their livelihood, were roaming the streets with nothing to do.
“I have pledged on your behalf that security is and will remain everybody’s business. Everyone in Gaidam town and environs will chip in and contribute to security by cooperating with the security agents and by promptly reporting any suspicious persons or activity to the security agents”, he said.
Governor Buni also revealed that he has given approval for the recruitment of 150 additional vigilantes by Gaidam Local Government Council to assist in providing security in the area and ensuring that any suspicious persons or activity are dealt with promptly. “It’s not just the chairman of the local government or the vigilantes. All of you in the town would have to do your part”, he said.
On his part, the Emir of Ngazargamo Alhaji Mai Tijjani Ibn Saleh has said, when the governor visited him in his palace earlier, that insecurity and the closure of the market were the two major challenges that had plunged the area into serious economic difficulty. “More than 80 percent of the people here are youth who have no jobs other than depending on the market. Its closure has rendered them idle”, he said.
Community leaders who spoke at the townhall meeting praised Governor Buni for his effort in ensuring the re-opening of the market. They also pleaded with him to lobby the federal government to rebuild the Gaidam-Maine Sorua road, which links Gaidam town with Maine Sorua in Niger Republic, saying the road is significant and would hugely boost economic activity in the area.