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Borno State Holds First Independence Parade in 12 Years of Insurgency

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Borno on Saturday marked the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria with a parade, the first in 12 years since the Boko Haram insurgency began.

Governor Babagana Zulum presided over the ceremony at Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the state capital.

He said the event was made possible by the return of relative peace in the state.

Mr Zulum, represented by his deputy, Usman Kadafur, lauded the military and other security agencies for the successes recorded in various operations against the insurgents.

The governor said the successes in the terror campaign enabled the state government to close all displaced person camps in Maiduguri and Jere Local Government Areas.

He explained that most displaced persons voluntarily returned to their towns and villages.

The governor said the task before the government was to rebuild critical infrastructure destroyed during the 12 years of insurgency.

“We renew our commitment to confronting the challenges of critical infrastructure destroyed by the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency and explore avenues to create job opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths, thereby minimising the upsurge of social vices in the society.

“We remain confident that with the massive investments we have made in the last three years in the expansion and strengthening of our resettlement and recovery effort, we shall succeed in our commitment to provide the dividends of democracy,” he said.

He pledged to provide vital services to the people to enhance livelihoods and economic growth in communities.

“We can do these only in a climate of peace and security,” Mr Zulum said.

He enjoined the citizenry to remain united, live peacefully and shun all tendencies capable of plunging the nation into chaos and anarchy as the 2023 general elections approached.

A detachment of police personnel conducted the parade, while another medals parade was held to honour officers and men of Operation Hadin Kai involved in the fight against insurgency.

The personnel were honoured for their gallantry and sacrifice in various operations against insurgents in the state.

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