Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum
Borno State governor Babagana Zulum has applauded Western nations with predominantly non-Muslim populations for facilitating humanitarian relief operations in the crisis-laden state.
Decade-long terrorist attacks by jihadist group Boko Haram have left thousands killed and millions displaced in Borno and its northeastern neighbors, who have been worst hit by recurring onslaught from the dreadful sect.
Governor Zulum said Tuesday that despite religious and cultural similarities between Borno and the Arab race, many Middle Eastern countries have been indifferent towards assisting the insurgency-ravaged state.
“In the face of our challenges over the years, we have received humanitarian support from the UK and other parts of Europe, the United States, Canada, from Japan and a host of others who have demonstrated concern and have made efforts to support our traumatised citizens in many ways especially on food, medicals and livelihoods,” Mr. Zulum said Tuesday in Maiduguri, while hosting the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria Saleh Fheied Saleh.
“However, that level of concern never came from Arab countries with whom millions of Borno people share a similarity in religion and culture — we even have indigenous shuwa Arabs in Borno and this shows how our histories are tied,” he added.
The governor disclosed that all entreaties made to authorities of wealthy Arab nations for aid, particularly those not currently facing militia crisis, yielded no results.
“Obviously, the majority of the Arabs do not care about our situation, neither do they support us,” Mr. Zulum lamented. He, however, commended the Palestinian ambassador for visiting and pledging to support the state.
Nigeria’s army chief Tukur Buratai had predicted that terrorism may persist in the country for another 20 years. Mr. Buratai’s assertion came just a few days after Boko Haram operatives slaughtered dozens of farmers on a rice field in Borno’s Zabarmari village late November.
The insurgents have continued to escalate their deadly campaign against Nigerians, as authorities seem largely helpless.
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