Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State has felicitated with Christians on their Easter celebration and urged for prayers for the success of the ongoing fight against terrorism.
This came amidst the reported mass surrender of over 35,000 insurgents.
The Governor, in a statement on Monday by his Senior Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau, urged Christians and other citizens to pray and reflect on the key message of Easter.
He said the message aligned with Borno government’s programme that welcomed the mass surrender of insurgents who are undergoing stringent security profiling, disarmament, demobilisation and safe reintegration.
He said the procedure would guarantee the full return of sustainable peace in the State.
“To my understanding, some of the main reflections of the Easter festival are the importance of making sacrifices for the greater good of humanity, having the strength to forgive offenders and being able to re-emerge stronger from serious difficulties.
“In over 12 years of our battles with insurgents (Boko Haram and later ISWAP), Borno State, for the first time, has a golden window that has the potential of ending the insurgency.
“The mass surrender of over 35,000 fighters and commanders is certainly one of Allah’s many miracles towards healing Borno and the rest of the North-East.
“This mass surrender is a product of the endless prayers citizens across Borno, the North-East, the rest of Nigeria and indeed the world have been offering, seeking God’s intervention to heal Borno State.
“It is the product of immense sacrifices by the Armed Forces and volunteers. It is a product of repeated calls by political leaders, clergy, elders and traditional rulers, asking insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
“We must, therefore, be optimistic in welcoming the likely benefits of disarming, demobilising, rehabilitating and reintegrating mass-surrendered insurgents,” he said.
Meanwhile, there is a drastic reduction in insurgents’ attacks on civilians in Borno for the past three months, particularly the abduction of travellers along the busy Maiduguri – Damaturu road by the insurgents.
The Theatre Commander of “Operation Hadin Kai” North East, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa, said that so far, more than 50,000 insurgents, comprising members of their families and hostages, have surrendered.