Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno State says the state has lost more than 800 classrooms to the activities of members of the Boko Haram sect.
The governor, who said this on Thursday in Maiduguri, the state capital, however, said he was glad that peace was already returning to the troubled state.
Shettima spoke during the traditional Sallah Durbar (horse parade), which was held amidst fanfare at the Shehu’s palace in Maiduguri, Borno State.
It was the first durbar since 2009, when it was last held due to the security challenge in the state.
Shettima was in attendance as special guest of honour and it was the first time a sallah durbar was held since he became the state governor in May, 2011.
The durbar, which was generally described as peaceful and colourful, took place soon after the Eid prayers that was conducted at Ramat Square, about two kilometres away from the Shehu’s palace in Maiduguri.
It was held following the emergence of relative peace in the state, owing to security operations and activities of youths volunteers, nicknamed ‘Civilian JTF’ , who have been haunting Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri and other parts of the state.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Elkanemi, was said to have suspended the traditional sallah durbar in 2009 for fear of terrorists’ attacks.
The first major Boko Haram crisis took place in July, 2009, leading to the deaths of hundreds of persons, amongst them insurgents, security agents and innocent citizens.
At the resumed durbar on Thursday, traditional rulers were on horse parade to the admiration of Shettima, the Shehu and other dignitaries, while residents cheered.
Shettima, while addressing guests at a sallah lunch he organised at the Government House after the durbar, commended the efforts of the military JTF and the vigilance group for sustaining the relative peace that led to the smooth celebration of the Eid-el Fitr in the state.
Shettima described as unfortunate the fact that since the inception of the crisis, “The Boko Haram insurgents had killed hundreds of residents and destroyed property worth hundreds of millions of naira, including over 800 public secondary and primary school classrooms set ablaze, in different communities in the state.”
The governor, however, said he was happy that normalcy was returning to the state. He, therefore commended the JTF, the vigilante youths and the patriotic citizens for their efforts in this regard.
He said, “Although, the state has encountered serious damages, we, as government, will not be deterred by the activities of terrorists as we will soon renovate and rehabilitate all the public structures destroyed by the Boko Haram sect in the state, even as we will continue to support security agencies with our scarce resources in the fight against terrorism.”