Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has received Minister of Health, Prof. Issiac Adewole who arrived Maiduguri on Friday with his team on a 2 day working visit.
The Governor expressed his appreciation to the Minister, his team, and the Federal Government in general for all their efforts as he assured them of the support from the State Government at all times.
“On behalf of the government and people of Borno State, we wish to welcome you. Be rest assured that we will give your team all the necessary support and coorperation towards accomplishing our goals.
“It is not fair to give a conspiracy theory over the sad event. It happens. May their souls Rest In Peace. May God give their families, the people, and the whole nation the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. But we do not want to dwell in the blame game. This gentleman here (Hon. Mamman Nur Sheriff) is the Member Representing that particular constituency. He did not raise any issue on the floor of the National Assembly castigating the armed forces.
No, we have collectively decided. We know the sacrifices the armed forces made to have peace in this part of the world.
“It is easy to play to the gallery. Be rest assured that we are with the Federal Government. We are solidly behind the Federal Government.
We shall continue with more efforts towards our Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement efforts. We need your support towards equipping our hospitals. We need your support in rebuilding.
“As i told you earlier on, 201 Primary Healthcare Centres and Hospitals were destroyed in the state.
There are initiatives of a PHC per ward, transforming Borno in earnest with our people as they return to their homes benefitting health services.
“We are accessing all the accessible funds. We have accessed all the MDG funds. And we don’t subscribe to the idea of building small small structures in remote areas. No, we want to really reinforce and strengthen the PHCs, and secondary facilities.
As we are talking, we are currently building hospitals in Hawul LG, in Nganzai we are building a hospital in Baga, in Kukawa, another hospital in Ngamdu, Kaga, and right here in Zajeri in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, and other Local Government Areas”. Shettima said.
Earlier in his remarks, Prof. Adewole who also doubles as the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast in charge of Health and Nutrition, prayed for repose of the souls of the Rann Tragedy which claimed many lives, and further assured the Governor of their support, as he informed him that they were in the state to flag off the Emergency Medical and Nutrition Programme as part of the Federal Government’s intervention in the Northeast.
“We are all aware of the current crises of the North East. Before i move on, let me offer our condolences on the unfortunate incident that occurred which attracted international attention.
It is unfortunate and we commiserate with you and your people over the unfortunate incident with loss of lives. We pray that we may never witness such again.
“The Permanent Secretary (Mrs. Binta Adamu Bello) was here about 2 weeks ago. As i told you in the inner chamber, when we were discussing the issues, the tragedies, and the challenges confronting us, she became teary. Emotions are not things one can easily hide. She showed a lot of empathy and support of our travails. No matter how tough things are, believe me prof. It won’t last forever. No matter how dark the night is, it will give way for the light of the dawn. Believe me, the worse is over.
“3 years ago, Boko Haram was controlling most of the Local Government areas. Now atleast we can sleep with out eyes closed. Boko Haram no longer pose a threat to the corperate existence of this country.
“Yes, we are experiencing suicide bombings once in a while. But these are hiccups we will naturally experience in the dying days of the insurgency, because these demented monsters dwell in the oxygen of publicity. They need to wreck havoc so that they can gain visibility in the community. Unfortunately, these suicide bombers are victims like any one of us. They are small girls intoxicated with heroin, made to wear suicide vests. Anytime they come to detonate those bombs, those girls are not even in their normal senses. And they are made to believe, that anytime they detonate these bombs, they will disappear in thin air and appear in paradise, and all those devilish stories.
We believe that in the coming weeks and months, we shall have enduring peace in the sub region.
“I think we can also go spiritual. Accidents do happen all over the world. In Afghanistan, in Iraq, even in America with sophisticated equipment and communication systems. Unfortunate incidents. They call it friendly fire fights. That’s what the Americans call it. They do occur, but we do not pray for it to ever happen again.
“We also want to appreciate you for the prompt response. And when i got to know, i quickly called the Chief Medical Director of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital to keep all services open and that if you need additional, you should let us know so that we support you. Be it Human Resources or whatever. We thank God that things are stable.
We are with you in this regard, we pray that God will continue to strengthen you.
These difficult times will not last longer. We thank you for hosting us, and our prayers are all that are happening will become history soon”.
“As part of the President’s commitment to the situation on ground, he directed the Vice President to convey a special meeting, which led to the set up of the NE emergency response team. Which is to really complement the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative.
We felt that we needed quickly do something as a nation. And that we should not allow this situation to be hijacked and overtaken by external influences.
We were able to show that we can really act.
When we act, others will join us. Because this is our terrain. Mr. President approved resources. I’ve been nominated to chair the response in the health sector.
Because we were actually been planning this, we were quite ready ahead of all the other teams to kick start this effort.
We flagged off all our resources. We moved in supplies, and weadvertised locally for people to partake in this emergency response.
We indicate that it will last for six months. As i said earlier on, it is our prayer that this crises will be over by the end of this year. Anybody who is praying for it to last longer is not a lover of this nation.
The Reconstruction and Rehabilitation can last longer. It took the world several years to rebuild Europe. So, to put borno back might take further time.
I am convinced that at the end of this exercise, Borno state will become the beauty in this nation.
Your Excellency, apart from drugs and commodities, we have mobilised and trained 325 health workers that will be deployed in 25 LGs in this State to work. And each team consists of 15 workers including doctors, pharmacists, lab scientists, and other workers.
We will make sure that we no longer lose lives due to preventative causes. And we are also doing this jointly with the ongoing polio effort as well as the measles campaign which has started.
We hope that in the next few weeks, we will be able to cover all the children under 10 with polio vaccination.
“We are with you in this situation, and hope to flag this off tomorrow your excellency, and we are willing to formally at your convenience to invite you to grace the occasion, to flag it off today (Saturday)”. Prof. Adewole said.