Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has said that despite the recent suicide bomb explosions, the Boko Haram monster has been decapitated.

He also said the North has no business being poor, because it has enormous land, which is the most important resource and must be harnessed for the benefit of the region.

The Governor however said it is time to rebuild Borno State, which has been ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency for the past eight years, promising that Borno will be looking different in the next six months to one year.

Addressing the Summit for the Security and Development of Northern Nigeria, organised by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) Tuesday in Kaduna, Shettima said he remains unperturbed by the recent suicide bomb explosions by the insurgents, noting that it show that their power is waning, they are feeling the attacks by government forces more and they are becoming weaker.

He said though there can be no development without peace and vice versa, his government is set to invest massively in girl child education, job creation for the teeming youths and women empowerment to set an agenda of progress and development for the state that has been battling terrorism since 2009.

According to the Governor, “In spite of the crises, between six months and one year there will be massive development in Borno state with emphasis on gender empowerment, girl child education and employment generation for our teeming youths. We need to invest in education, create job opportunities for the teeming youths and ensure gender empowerment for our women.

“We will definitely overcome the challenges of Boko Haram we have gone over the rubicon, we now want to tow the path of growth and development. Boko Haram basks in the glory of attacking soft targets, but the monster has been decapitated. Suicide bombing is a sign of weakness of the insurgents. We have covered a lot of ground thanks to our armed forces for doing so much.”

Extolling the values of Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, Governor Shettima, who has been described as a Sardauna in waiting for his leadership qualities, by Dr. Yusuf Maitama Sule, said Sardauna bequeathed on Northerners a North before religion or ethnicity where everybody coexisted peacefully irrespective of tribe or religion. “Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has proved pessimists’ wrong, not many people expected the foundation to remain alive after eight years.

“Coexistence is enjoyed when the majority is magnanimous to the minority. We must create a platform where a governor of a Muslim dominated state must be fair to the minority Christian population and a governor of a majority Christian state should show empathy to Muslim minority. The fairness of a leader can unite or divide a society. Majority must be large at heart and the minority must be fair to accept that.

“North makes up 79% of the total land mass of the country and 53.8% of the total population of the country. The North has no business being poor because land is the most important of resources and must be harnessed for the benefit of our people.

“By 2050 our population will be 440 million making Nigeria the third most populous nation on earth; we would be facing desertification and other challenges that would make Boko Haram a child’s play. Leadership is vital but followership is essential, we all have responsibilities and we all have our roles to play. This is time for action,” Governor Shettima added.

Former Governor of Adamawa State, AVM Murtala Nyako (rtd) said the summit should have taken place immediately after the civil war to serve as agenda setting for the North. “This is the type of Summit we should have held immediately after the civil war. We have to reconcile some of the issues affecting the North and resolve everything.

“There is a question of understanding education educating people is for peace, peaceful coexistence is not only for your neighbour but for all humanity regardless of race, ethnicity and religion. Peaceful coexistence and respect for one another is very vital. North is a cosmopolitan place, today in globalization how can you talk about ethnic or religious separation?” he queried.

Source:Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper