Zulum links mass surrender of over 35,000 fighters and commanders of Boko Haram and ISWAP to citizens’ prayers

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has linked the mass surrender of over 35,000 fighters and commanders of Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) to endless prayers citizens across Borno, the northeast, rest of Nigeria and indeed the world.

The Governor in his Easter message said the mass surrender of over 35,000 fighters and commanders, was certainly one of Allah’s many miracles towards healing Borno and rest of the Northeast.

He added that it was the product of immense sacrifices by armed forces and volunteers and repeated calls by political leaders, clergies, elders and traditional rulers, asking insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace peace.

“On behalf of the Borno State Government, I felicitate our christian brothers and sisters in Borno State at the ongoing Easter festival. To my understanding, some of the main reflections of the Easter festival are the importance of making sacrifices for the greater good of humanity, having the strength to forgive offenders, and being able to reemerge stronger from serious difficulties. All of these appear to speak to the realities of our situation in Borno State.

“In over 12 years of our battles with insurgents (Boko Haram and later, ISWAP) Borno State, for the first time, has a golden window that has the potential of ending the insurgency.

“The mass surrender of over 35,000 fighters and commanders, is certainly one of Allah’s many miracles towards healing Borno and rest of the northeast.

“This mass surrender is product of the endless prayers citizens across Borno, the northeast, rest of Nigeria and indeed the world, have been offering, seeking God’s intervention to heal Borno State. It is the product of immense sacrifices by armed forces and volunteers. It is product of repeated calls by political leaders, clergies, elders and traditional rulers, asking insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace peace.

“We must therefore be optimistic in welcoming the likely benefits of disarming, demobilizing, rehabilitating and reintegrating mass-surrendered insurgents. However, we must welcome them without disregarding the risks associated with the programme, hence the need for sustain stringent security profiling and other DDR procedures that can ensure overall safety of the programme,” Zulum said.

He urged all citizens to fervently pray for the success of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) for the mass surrender of those who seek peace, and for the successes of the armed forces and volunteers in front lines against those who insist on violence.

“May God grant us enduring peace in Borno State, the northeast and rest of Nigeria. Happy Easter to our Christian brothers and sisters,” he said.

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