President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Maiduguri blamed Niger Delta militants and reduced oil earnings for his inferior performance in his over six years at the helm.
Mr Buhari, who was in Borno State to commission some projects undertaken by the state government, made the excuses after listening to some requests by Governor Babagana Zulum and the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn-Umar El Kanemi.
“Nigerians should be fair to the administration in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came in 2015 and where we are now,” Mr Buhari urged, “relative to time and resources, I want people to check with CBN and NNPC between 1999 and 2015. Oil production is 2.1 million barrels per day and at a cost of 100 dollars per barrel. I challenged everybody to go and check.”
Mr Buhari continued, “When we came, unfortunately, the militants from the South-South were unleashing on the pipelines, the production went down to half a million barrels per day.
“The prices went down to 36 dollars per barrel. So relative time and resources would make you know that this administration has really worked hard.”
Upon his arrival in Maiduguri, sounds of rockets fired by insurgents, Boko Haram/ISWAP, rented the air, creating panic among residents who have endured over a decade of trauma in the raging battle.
Nonetheless, the Shehu of Borno claimed before Mr Buhari that “peace has gradually returned to Borno” while thanking him for his efforts “toward bringing lasting peace in Borno as well as the entire North East Sub-Region.”
“I am happy to inform the President that farming activities have picked up in most parts of the state and many displaced persons have started to return to their communities,” he said.
Mr Elkanemi said he “will not relent in prayers for their(military’s) success for peace to prevail in all parts of the country and indeed for Mr President.”
The Shehu appealed to the president to consider the reconstruction of federal roads in the state especially Damboa-Biu Road Gamboru Ngala, Biu-Shani and Kukawa then Kukawa- Guzamala-Damasak through Gashagar to Malam Fatori.
He said that the reconstruction of the roads will not only enhance security but also accelerate rehabilitation of the destroyed communities to quickly revive the economic well-being of the displaced persons.
On his part, Mr Zulum, who expressed the same feelings, said that the successes recorded in the counter insurgency campaign wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of the Nigerian Military, Civilian JTF and other paramilitary officers.
The governor said notwithstanding the challenges in some parts of the state, peace was gradually returning to the state.
He identified some areas in Askira Uba and the shores of Lake Chad in Northern Borno with challenges, but assured that he would partner with the service chiefs to address the emerging problems.