The governor of Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima, on Monday narrated how much his state has suffered from the evil acts of the Boko Haram terror group.
He revealed that over 100,000 people had been killed, about 54,000 women rendered widows and 5,335 classrooms in 541 schools destroyed, by the group.
The governor who stated this when he delivered a speech at the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture, an annual event held in commemoration of the third Nigerian military head of state who was assassinated on February 13, 1976, said these atrocities by Boko Haram took place between 2011 and February 2017.
In his keynote address entitled, “Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State: Experiences and Lessons for a Multi-party, Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious Nigeria,” Shettima said the way out of religious extremism remains affordability of quality education.
“The Boko Haram insurgency has led to deaths of almost 100,000 persons going by the estimates of our community leaders over the years.
“2,114,000 persons have become internally displaced as at December of 2016, with 537,815 in separate camps; 158,201 are at official camps that consists of six centres with two transit camps at Muna and Customs House, both in Maiduguri.
“There are 379,614 IDP’S at 15 satellite camps comprising Ngala, Monguno, Bama, Banki, Pulka, Gwoza, Sabon Gari and other locations in the state. 73,404 persons were forced to become refugees in neighbouring countries with Niger having 11,402 and Cameroon having 62,002.
“We have an official record of 52,311 orphans who are separated and unaccompanied. We have 54,911 widows who have lost their husbands to the insurgency and about 9,012 have returned back to various communities of Ngala, Monguno, Damboa, Gwoza and Dikwa,” he said.
The governor who urged the political class to do more in humanitarian efforts further said that “in Borno, there are currently 54,000 widows.”
He added, “Virtually all our schools are being rebuilt in Borno. As I said earlier, a total number of 5,335 classrooms in 503 primary schools and 38 high schools and two tertiary institutions were destroyed in the state.”
Painting the picture of the ugly effects of the activities of the insurgency attacks in the area, he called on the western world to assist Nigeria in the fight.
He said, “Believe me, unless we wear our thinking caps as leaders, the future is very bleak. We either take advantage of the demography and its dividends or reap demographic disaster.
“As I said in Washington, Syria has a population of less than 30 million people. I think it is in the interest of the Western world to see that Nigeria works. Just two million Syrians knocking on the door of Europe and the Europeans have become agitated. What do you say of about 30 million English-speaking Africans knocking on the door of Europe?”
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