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Prof. Zulum sworn-in as Borno Governor for 2nd term, in his inaugural speech promises not to lose focus



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Borno: My vision for the next four years

By Prof Babagana Umara Zulum

I stand before you today with absolute gratitude to the Almighty Allah, the Giver and taker of power.

I stand before you with absolute humility.

I stand here with the greatest sense of responsibility to you, the good people of Borno State as I accept the mandate to begin our shared journey, which we hope will be of enduring stability and prosperity, for a second term of four years, insha’Allah.

For me, serving you, the good people of Borno State has been the greatest honour of my life and I hereby reaffirm, that insha’Allah, I will never lose focus in the discharge of my obligation towards the people of Borno State.

I will like to once again thank you the people of Borno State for renewing our mandate for a second term. I thank all the stakeholders of our party, the APC, from the national to our state, local government and ward levels for their extreme hard work in persuading and mobilizing voters which led to our resounding victory in the February and March, 2023, elections.

Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is expected that standing here to begin another term should make me the happiest person in our midst.

While this could be true, let me add that what makes me the happiest man here is not the commencement of a second term, but the fact that Allah is granting us peace in Borno State, and with that peace, one million fellow citizens are no longer living in IDP camps. They are safely living with their dignity in over 20,000 newly built and rehabilitated resettlement homes and in their ancestral communities which we rebuilt. In a similar vein, we restored civil authority and basic amenities, and re-opened for livelihoods.

Fellow citizens, nothing makes me happy like visiting and seeing our hitherto displaced brothers and sisters living in their safe communities, trying to decently earn livelihoods.

I am always happy whenever I visit Baga, Damasak, Kala Balge, Monguno, Gwoza, Bama, Damboa, Askira, Banki, Baga, Gamboru, Dikwa, Ngoshe, Kirawa and all other liberated communities across Borno State.

I am at my happiest level when I see how life has returned to liberated communities and how our fellow citizens go about their social and economic activities not only during the day but also at night.

This is essentially the reason I enjoy spending nights in local government areas.

I am happy that with Allah’s Graciousness; with the gallantry of our military, police, DSS, other paramilitary establishments and our volunteers in the CJTF, hunters and vigilantes, Borno secured the peace that enabled us to execute over 700 capital projects sited across our three senatorial zones of north, south and central.

Ordinarily, I ought to skip enumerating the projects we executed, but I also need to account to you and justify your decision in re-electing us for a second term.

This is why I should take some time to say that with your support, we came up with development plan for Borno State and we are following that plan carefully.

We have built, rehabilitated and equipped over 100 healthcare centres, and we have recruited over 1000 medical staff made up of doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, radiologists and lab scientists. We are currently building our own State University Teaching Hospital.

With your support, we have invested heavily in our existing state University and commenced academic activities since 2019. We now have Federal Polytechnic in Monguno and a Federal College of Education in Gwoza.

We have built 24 new mega schools some of which are dedicated to technical education. We rehabilitated 108 existing schools, employed about 1,000 teachers and in the process of recruiting about 4000 more.

On the issue of teachers, we took a drastic measure of subjecting all our teachers to quality evaluation the outcome of which has enabled us to identify those who cannot teach in our schools, while we identified those eligible for payment of minimum wage and started paying the minimum wage for the qualified ones.

As part of building Borno’s future, we have banned political thuggery and are reforming our youths previously into thuggery. We have drastically reduced street begging by giving conditional cash and other social support to physically challenged persons and other vulnerable citizens.

We are training thousands of youths on vocational skills. We have built an outstanding Vocational Training Institute in Muna, Mafa and Magumeri and one of them is so far training hundreds of youths on different skills. We have other vocational centres coming to limelight in other parts of the state.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, in the midst of all that we have achieved, we must recognize that without peace, we could never have executed all these projects.

In the last four years, we have distributed close to 1,500 patrol vehicles with logistics as part of support to our military, other armed forces and volunteers in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes in our fight against Boko Haram. We drastically recruited, equipped and mobilized thousands of volunteers and we have supported families of armed forces, and volunteers with scholarships for their orphans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our soldiers, police, DSS, paramilitary and volunteers have made supreme sacrifices. Hundreds of them died so that we can safely gather here in peace. We must at all times continue to remember them. These fallen armed forces, paramilitary and volunteers are the real heroes of Borno State. We must not only remember them in our prayers, but we must try to support their families.

During our second tenure in shaa Allah, we shall sustain the current peace in Borno and shall strengthen our security architecture to completely eliminate all forms of insurgency in the state. Open up our rural roads and in shaa Allah will resume Night travels in Borno.

Provision and access to basic Health services to every citizen is paramount, to that effect, we will recruit additional 1500 health workers, construct orthopedic Hospital in Maiduguri, construct Eye Hospital and a Dental unit one each in Northern and Southern Borno. Build two (2) school of nursing one each in Southern and Northern Borno for training of our upcoming Nurses and in our effort to adequate provision of human resources for the health sector. Complete the ongoing construction of State Teaching Hospital and build additional three (3) Hospitals in Maiduguri.

Insha’Allah, we will in the coming days and weeks, implement some policies, especially on education, because education is the foundation of growth. Without sound education, a society may not easily attain its vision.

Although we have built dozens of new Mega-Size schools and expanded existing schools with about 1000 new classrooms, we are still faced with issues of congestion in classrooms, and with the worse problem of having thousands of out-of-school children despite being of school-ages.

I am happy to announce that Borno State will soon commence afternoon primary and secondary schools system.

I am appointing an implementation committee to workout modalities of starting afternoon school system, and it will be identifying pilot schools to be selected from some of our mega schools in Maiduguri which have good lightening systems.

I recognize that having morning and afternoon schools system will entail increased staffing. As part of the staffing of our afternoon schools, I recommend that the committee should work with the office of the Head of Service to carefully identify well certificated and competent civil servants, especially many of those who are currently redundant at secretariats, We can train them on school-orientation and post them to hold teaching and non-teaching positions in our afternoon schools.

Towards preparing ourselves for afternoon schools, we recognize that teaching in classrooms may extend to early portions of the night, for that we will adopt some security measures.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I had said earlier that we will be introducing some measures that we hope will improve the standard of our basic education in our dear State like the re – introduction of Mock Examination in secondary schools, we will establish 6 (six) centres of excellence to harness potentials from less priviledge children by providing an enabling environment for them to full realise their potentials, construct additional secondary and primary schools and as well rehabilitate 100 schools, recruit additional 5000 teachers and ensure adequate resources for Education.

I am sure some people may argue that why are we particular about education, and even at that, why focusing on primary and secondary schools?

The obvious reason is because the foundation of education is the primary and secondary school. When a student gets it wrong at the primary and secondary level, he or she is unlikely to do well at tertiary schools, to that effect, I must say that some of our policies will be tough.

Another obvious reason is that all disciplines whether to become doctor, engineer, lawyer, pharmacist, nurse or whatever profession, the foundation will be primary and secondary school. A bad start will end up with bad professionals in whatever field, to give effect to a good start, we shall provide vehicles to education secretaries and zonal inspectorate officers to strengthen their capacities for effective monitoring.

This is why we are particular about primary and secondary schools. But let me add that our measures will not only be punitive but also rewarding.

Fellow citizens, in this our second term, we will continue our ongoing efforts and drill 200 Hybrid Powered Boreholes, and also construct water works in MMC, Jere, Gajiram, Magumeri, Gubio and Azare Town of Hawul Local Government Area. Increase the capacity of Alau Dam supply scheme to release more raw/treated water to MMC and its environs.

We plan to establish sprinkler and drip irrigation systems in all Local Government areas and construct Nine (9) Earth Dams in the State. We also plan to continue the procurement of Agricultural implements (Harrows and Ploughs) which we will attach to 312 Tractors procured by my predecessor, for onward distribution to farmers across our 312 wards so as to provide food security through enhanced modern Agriculture.

We also plan to construct Teachers’ quarters in Biu, Hawul, Dikwa and Gajiram Towns of the State; establish 3 Mega Higher Islamic Colleges in Gwoza, Bama and Kukawa Local Government Areas of the State, Construct additional 20 High Islamic Schools in our quest for all Local Government Areas to have at least one higher Islamic school, and construct more Mega-size Community Schools in the state.

We intend to consolidate in our resettlementment effort by resettling of Abadam, Malumfatori, Gudumbali, Kareto, Ashigashiya, Wala, Yamteke, Modube, Bita, Dalwa, Sandiya, Kumshe, Gulumba, Gajibo, Logumane, Kala, Wumbi, Karnowa, Mile-fourty, Kekeno, Kumowon, Mbuta, Koshebe, Maiwa, Kirenuwa, Marte, Ala, Kaje, Gashigar, Asaa amongst others. We also plan to close all or greater percentage of IDP camps in all the 27 LGAs and resettle them in a dignified manner in collaboration with our development partners and international communities.

It is also part of our immediate target to construct 500 Housing Units in Biu and Magumeri Local Government Areas just as we work towards completing ongoing construction of 500 Housing Units in Logumani and Gajibo towns. In addition, we shall construct additional 10,000 low-cost houses and rehabilitate thousands of destroyed ones.

On infrastructure, we intend to do so much in the second term. We already awarded contract for a flyover around Borno Express. We plan to construct an outer ring road by-pass from Auno, Kano Road to Chabbal, Gubio road and from Auno, Kano road to Damboa/Biu road. We also plan to construct township roads in Monguno and to embark on some critical road in Northern Borno just as we plan to complete Maiduguri – Bama Road possibly this year. In addition, we also plan to construct feeder road from Ngala – Rann. We also plan to complete Damboa – Chibok road, and rehabilitate Maiduguri – Damboa, Bama – Banki, Dikwa – Ngala, Maiduguri – Monguno amongst others. We plan to complete the Miringa – Gunda and the Marghi Highway. We also plan to address flood problems in Maiduguri, UBA, Bayo amongst others.

We shall complete rehabilitation of all our destroyed Energy Lines and ensure that all our LGAs are connected to the National Grid. Resuscitate our moribund industries, establish industrial parks, free trade zones and dry ports in sha Allah with a view to creating job opportunities to Youths and Women.
In shaa Allah, I will provide strong commitment and political will to support NNPC in its on-going Oil exploration in Borno and ensure that Borno becomes Oil producer before I leave.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a lot in my mind, but as we did at the start of our first term, I will like to visit all our 27 local government within the next three months, and hold interactions with community leaders, with a view to providing community driven approach projects.

At the headquarters of each of our 27 LGAs, I will like us to discuss and agree on priority projects that we will achieve within two years of our second term.

Before my visit, I implore stakeholders and community leaders to start holding discussions to identify the priorities of their communities. I however caution that we should be realistic in our deliberations. We should aim to identify projects that are achievable within the limits of our resources, time, our capabilities and the realities of usefulness.

Fellow citizens, we all have obligation to make Borno work. For me, that many of you address me with the prefix of Your Excellency, you remind me that I am required to deliver excellence in order to merit that title. Leadership, for me, has less to do with the title but more to do with the services we can render, more to do with the peace we can establish, the progress we can develop and the social, economic and environmental changes we can bring.

Our vision is to open more pathways to progress for the people of Borno State by opening up the rural areas, bringing services closer to the people more especially setting up 27 micro finance banks to ensure financial inclusion of our people, setting up 27 ICT centres in the state, listening to the people, identifying, nurturing and developing talents that will take Borno to the next level in the nearest future.

I am very conscious of the fact that we cannot use the ideas of yesterday to run the dreams of tomorrow. That is why this second term will be about consolidation and strengthening the state systems to domesticate good practices in service delivery and response to the needs of our people. We plan to be flexible in continuing the things that we did well in the first term while we find new solutions to old problems.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I humbly invite you on the journey of consolidation, the journey of dreams, our collective adventure into legacy. Let us work together and bring ideas that can help our state to move forward. Our languages may be many. Our tribes and ethnic affiliation may be different. Our political persuasion might not be the same. We must understand that as human beings and as people of Borno State, we hold a common destiny and have a duty of care towards all citizens regardless of their position in society. In fact, we owe more to those who have no voice. We owe greater debt of responsibility to those who are struggling.

Borno State remains a huge construction site of progress. Consolidating the gains that we have made requires focus and determination. We cannot be distracted by any other ambitions, no matter how pressing those may be. It is therefore important for us to maintain stability, continuity and strengthening our system to a point where things would be even better than they were in the past. I will not fail you in the sacred duty entrusted in our care in this respect, In Sha Allah.

In summary, our promises remain the same. Our commitment is unwavering. In fact, we will review the promises we made and identify which ones have not been met and why. We will take these issues forward and do more within the limit permissible by law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Today is not the day of long speeches. There is work to be done.

I will round up by congratulating His Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, the President, Command in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his Vice, our very own Distinguished Senator Kashim Shettima, GCON, for their victory at the polls. We commit ourselves to supporting them to succeed in every capacity required.

I take this opportunity to profoundly thank His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his unflinching support, dedicated attention and concern for Borno State and the northeast in general throughout his tenure as the President of Nigeria.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies, Gentlemen and leaders of thought, every voice in Borno State counts and we will continue to listen to good ideas that are selfless and in the interest of all the people of Borno State. Borno project is a collective project and we count on your support every step of the way.

Finally, my dear people of Borno State, this is the time yet again for all of us to unite towards returning the greatness of Borno State.

To all government officials- those in offices and those to be appointed, let us be in the constant reminder that the good people of Borno demand high level of probity, accountability and transparency from us, as such we must continue to demonstrate leadership for the sake of selfless services and with fear of Allah.

May Allah (SWT) bless the land of Borno, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thank you so much. Assallamalaikum Waramatullah Wabarakatuhu.

Being text of Governor’s inauguration speech at his swearing-in for second term in office, May 29, 2023; Ramat Square, Maiduguri, Borno State.

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