Yesterday, the president ordered a persistent and intensive clampdown on Boko Haram insurgents.
The president’s message was conveyed by a high-powered delegation, drawn from both the executive and the legislature, to deliver a message of condolence and solidarity with the government and people of the state following the killings.
Lawan and Gambari both presented a joint message, on behalf of the president, the government and people of Nigeria to Zulum, the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, and the bereaved Zabarmari community.
They described the massacre of the farm workers as the worst form of “senseless, barbaric and a gruesome murder.”
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the delegation assured the people of Borno of the president’s continuous commitment to the fight against insurgency and insecurity in Borno State and other parts of the country.
The president pledged to make more resources available to the military to prosecute the war, promising to work closely with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of the people. Everything is secondary when security is at a stake,” the president said, adding: “As we mourn the loss of our sons in Zabarmari, the armed forces have been given the marching orders to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis until we root out the terrorists.”
He commended Zulum for the leadership, he has been providing in the state.
As part of its itinerary, the presidential delegation also visited the palace of Garbai, who described the massacre as “madness,” urging the people to pray and offer useful information to the security agencies.
He thanked the president for his efforts in returning normalcy to the state.
“Before this administration came, all 27 local councils and the emirs had migrated to Maiduguri. We had no power from the national grid, telephone services were discontinued and the airport was closed,” he said.
The delegation also visited Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area, where the imam, one Alhaji Idris, who spoke on behalf of the community, said they were touched by the president’s gesture, adding: “We are happy that the president is with us in our moment of grief. Tell him that we are very happy with him.”
Other members of the delegation were House Majority Whip, Hon. Tahir Monguno;
ministers, Malam Muhammed Bello (Federal Capital Territory), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami (Communications and Digital Economy), Mr. Mustapha Shehuri (Agriculture (State) and Mr. Abubakar Aliyu (Works and Housing (State).
Also on the delegation were the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.) and presidential spokesman Shehu.