Army re­opens Maiduguri-Gam­boru road 3 years af­ter

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The Nige­rian Army yes­ter­day re­opened the Maiduguri-Dikwa-Gam­boru road three years af­ter it was closed as a re­sult of the Boko Haram in­sur­gency.

The road was closed to mo­torists in 2013 at the peak of Boko Haram ac­tiv­i­ties in Borno.

Gov­er­nor Kashim Shet­tima of Borno State ac­com­pa­nied by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Bu­ratai flagged off the re­open­ing of the road.

The gov­er­nor, in his re­mark, com­mended the mil­i­tary for con­tain­ing the in­sur­gency within the short pe­riod which fa­cil­i­tated the re­open­ing of the road. He said the state re­mained eter­nally grate­ful to the army and sis­ter ser­vices that con­trib­uted to the de­feat of Boko Haram. He said re­open­ing of the road would au­to­mat­i­cally re­vamp the econ­omy of the state and im­prove the lots of the peo­ple.

“Two years ago, Borno was in a bad state and about a year and half ago, the state al­most fell com­pletely in the hands of the in­sur­gents. Today, the story is dif­fer­ent and any­one who wants to be fair to the Nige­rian Army and Gen­eral Bu­ratai must jux­ta­pose these sce­nar­ios be­fore draw­ing con­clu­sion. With the re­open­ing of this road which is the life wire of the state, there will be a quan­tum leap in the econ­omy of the state,’’ he said.

Ear­lier, the Chief of Army Staff said the road was not only im­por­tant to the peo­ple of the state but was strate­gi­cally sig­nif­i­cant to the on­go­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tion in the re­gion. He as­sured the peo­ple of the state that the army would pro­vide ad­e­quate se­cu­rity for mo­torists us­ing the road.

Bu­ratai said the re­open­ing of the road to the public would also aid the restora­tion of civil author­i­ties in the re­cap­tured ar­eas. He how­ever warned against ex­tor­tion of mo­torists ply­ing the route by se­cu­rity agen­cies and vowed to deal de­ci­sively with any­one found want­ing.

“I want to use this op­por­tu­nity to warn against ex­tor­tion of mo­torists, we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions and any­one caught will be sanc­tioned. The NURTW should take note, We are here to do our jobs and no­body should con­trib­ute money for the pur­pose of pay­ing se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives, we don’t want any­one to give us bad rep­u­ta­tion,’’ he said.

The state sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Union of Road Trans­port Work­ers (NURTW), Al­haji Ahmed Musa, com­mended the ef­forts of the mil­i­tary in re­open­ing the road.

He ex­pressed re­gret at the clo­sure of the road three years ago, not­ing that it ad­versely af­fected the econ­omy of the state and the liveli­hood of the peo­ple. He said re­open­ing of the road was an in­di­ca­tion that Boko Haram had been suf­fi­ciently de­graded and de­feated.

Musa added that the union had ar­ranged with its mem­bers to re­duce the cost of transportation from Maiduguri to Gam­boru-Ngala from N6, 000 to N2,000. Musa said over 200 com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles would ply the road on daily ba­sis in a bid to has­ten the restora­tion of eco­nomic life along the axis. (NAN)

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