…Minister Congratulates Zulum, Donates N20m, 10 Grain Trucks To Maiduguri Monday Market Fire Victims
By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday presented Certificates of Return, CoRs to the Borno State governor-elect, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, and his deputy, Hon Umar Usman Kadafur, after their successful re-election.
The electoral umpire also presented all the 28 elected members of the state House of Assembly, including the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Abdulkarim Lawan, who were all elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, with their Certificates of Return.
This was even as the Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has congratulated the governor-elect and all other APC candidates who emerged victorious.
Shehuri equally announced a personal donation of N20 million and 10 trucks of grains for onward distribution to the victims of the Maiduguri Monday Market fire disaster.
At a colourful ceremony, amidst tight security and mamoth crowd of APC supporters, which took place at the Multi Purpose Hall, Sir Kashim College of Education in Maiduguri, the INEC National Commissioner in-charge of Bauchi, Yobe and Borno states, Major General Modibbo Alkali, rtd, said that the mission of the electoral umpire is very clear, which is to serve independently, effectively towards conducting free, credible, transparent and fair elections in the country.
To this end, the National Commissioner said tha as stakeholders, they will always stand by the 2022 Electoral Act to ensure sustainable democracy in the interest of Nigerians.
Congratulating Governor Zulum and his deputy, Kadafur and all the other 28 menbers-eelct if the state House of Assembly, Alkali enjoined them to be fair to all manners of people who gave them the mandates to serve, as according to him, INEC will continue to improve upon the use of technology to ensure transparency, free, credible and acceptable elections in the country.
Alkali said, “It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to present to you Certificates of Return after your victory in the last 18th March, 2023 gubernatorial and House of Assembly polls, I beseech all of you to justify the confidence reposed in you by your electorate in delivering good governance.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Borno State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Ibrahim Magaji, disclosed that the presentation of certificates of return to political office holders followed their elections under their various political platforms, and it is also within the stipulated time of 14 days after the last concluded gubernatorial and state Assembly elections in the state.
Speaking shortly after receiving his certificate on behalf of the other elected political office holders, Governor Zulum thanked INEC for conducting free and fair election in the state, which led to the APC sweeping all the 28 House of Assembly seats.
He dedicated the victory to God Almighty and the good people of the state who gave him another mandate to serve them, with a pledge not to disappoint them in the course of discharging his statutory responsibilities.
Zulum however extended an olive branch to all his opponents, by inviting them to join hands with his administration in order to better the lives of Borno citizens.
Acknowledging the unflinching support received from President Muhammadu Buhari, the national and state leaders of the APC, particularly, the Borno State APC Chairman, Hon Ali Bukar Dalori, Governor Zulum said that he will continue to remain indebted, even as he solicited for more prayers from all and sundry to ensure inclusive governance.
An elated Zulum further pledged that, in his second term, government will focus more on service delivery in the area of health, education, security, jobs creation, poverty alleviation, in addition to reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement, as well as repatriation of all Borno fefugees from Niger, Cameroun and Chad Republic back home.
In a related development, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Shehuri has said that the re-election of Zulum as governor, is a good omen to the good people of the state, considering the fact that in the last three and half years of the present administration, Governor Zulum has impacted positively in the area of security, healthcare, qualitative education through good governance.
The minister who was at the Government House, Maiduguri, shortly after the governor received his CoR, announced his personal donation of N20 million and 10 trucks of grains to the Borno State government for onward distribution to the victims of Maiduguri Monday Market fire disaster.
Shehuri said that the fire disaster, which ravaged over 12,999 shops at the Maiduguri popular market on 26th February, 2023 has displaced thousands of traders from their hear earned businesses, even as he called for concern from all and sundry to assist in no small measure in ameliorating their immediate sufferings and their families.
He said that the market, which served as a centre of commercial hub, not only to people of Borno or the North East region, but to the international communities, especially Cameroun, Niger and Chad Republics, which share border with Borno State.
The minister therefore called on philantrophic individuals/organizations to give their support to the victims.
Responding, Governor Zulum commended the minister for the gesture, and promised that the money donated will be channelled directly to the account of the Market Committee, while the food items would be distributed judiciously to the victims and their families.