The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has welcomed the return of normalcy to Banki, a town on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon that was sacked by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014.
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that the fact that night activities are back in that town is major proof that the kinetic and non-kinetic approach of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to waging the war against insurgency is working.
“Banki was one of the major economic hubs outside of Maiduguri with a bustling day and nighttime economic activities until Boko Haram took over the small town in September 2014 and thousands of its residents had to flee to neighbouring Cameroon and Niger.
“But today, the once deserted town is now on the path of normalcy, judging from viral video and pictures of what the Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum saw when he paid an unscheduled visit to the town at 10.30 pm recently after attending a meeting in Cameroon.
“What makes it particularly a good development is because Banki was like a ghost town up till six months ago, although the town was liberated from the terrorists in September 2015.
“We know that a UN report indicated that the town had only a few buildings still intact as of 2017, while many of its original inhabitants were too scared to return to their homestead.
“So it is against that background that we join Governor Zulum in commending President Buhari and the military authorities for providing the enabling background for the return of the displaced residents”.
BMO also praised the Governor for rebuilding structures that were destroyed by the terrorists as well as his confidence-building measures.
“It is gratifying to note that since his emergence as governor in 2019, Professor Zulum has made it a priority to rebuild homes and other structures in towns and villages destroyed by the insurgents. “And just like he did recently for the returning residents of the fishing community of Baga, the governor also handed out N40,000 and bags of grains to each family to enable them to restart their lives as well as boost the local economy.
“And perhaps more heartwarming is the late-night visit to the community which we see as a show of support. “We also find it interesting that his latest visit to Banki is his 10th and this more than anything is a confidence booster for anyone who might still have any doubt about the town’s safety. “For us, Zulum remains a shining example for other governors to emulate”, the statement added.
BMO also noted that the return of Banki to normalcy after seven years is another reaffirmation of the President’s promise to ensure that the security challenges in the North East are brought to an end.