The President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday said his administration would accord priority to ending the Boko Haram insurgency to bring stability in the north east geopolitical zone as well as focus on re-activating the Lake Chad.
Buhari however said that his third priority would be to deploy the enormous resources in the region through vigorous search for oil along the Chad Basin and parts of Borno State.
He spoke at his residence in Kaduna while responding to requests made by Governor Kashim Shettima, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi and some elders of the state who formed the delegation from Borno State that travelled to pay him a congratulatory visit.
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Buhari said he was very much aware of the problems of the north east region and would not waste time in resolving them one after the other.
On Boko Haram, he said his administration will enhance collaboration with neighbouring countries governments like Chad, Niger and Cameroon to curtail the trans- border movements of Boko Haram insurgents, adding that this would lead to the cutting off of supply of arms, recruitment and training of fresh combatants for the insurgents.
According to him, the stability of the north east was a must project for his administration even as nothing could be achieved unless peace was restored to the troubled region.
The President-elect also assured the delegation that the issue of the receding of Lake Chad would be tackled through the transfer of water from the central African Republic to the lake to boost its use for fishing and irrigation farming. He recalled that he once read a document which raised fears over the receding of the Lake Chad and handed same over to then President Olusegun Obasanjo, pointing out that he was coming in as President, he will handle the matter frontally as the Lake had the potentials to create millions of jobs through irrigation and many other commercial uses it had been associated with over the years.
Buhari said he had suggested many years ago, the need to take the search for oil in the north seriously not only to increase the export potentials of Nigeria but also to balance cross regional perceptions and manage agitations so as to enhance the stability of the country. He promised to pay special attention to the economic potentials of the northeast so as to make it attractive for investments.
Governor Kashim Shettima who led the delegation had earlier said that they visited Buhari to congratulate him over his historic victory at the polls. and to also remind him of problems affecting Borno State which he already knew.
Shettima said the people of Borno felt attached to Buhari given his background as someone that served as military governor in the state, adding that the citizens looked up to him with so much hope because he was very much familiar with their problems.