Some residents of Maiduguri have commended Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno over his appeal for a special prayer to end insurgency and restore peace to the war-torn state.
Recall that the governor had in a state broadcast on Wednesday declared Monday Feb. 24 as a day for fasting and prayer to end insurgency.
Mr Zulum had called on the people to fast and pray on Monday to seek for divine intervention to bring success to the military offensive against the insurgents and achieve peace in the state.
Ahmed Yadima, a resident, described the action of the governor as a positive step to end insurgency, saying that such prayer was necessary to ensure successful implementation of counter insurgency campaigns.
He said that: “We need to pray for divine intervention to end the crisis bedevilling our people; the insurgency resulted to loss of lives, destruction of properties and our pride as a people.
“It is a positive move by the governor to mobilise the people to pray for the success of the military campaign and achieve peace in the state.”
Another resident, Umar Abor, said that divine intervention was needed in view of the resurgence of attacks in spite of the success recorded by the military against the insurgents in the past years.
Halima Abba also described the declaration of prayer day as a wake-up call to encourage people to support government efforts to address security challenges in the state.
Mr Abba noted that women and children were worst hit by the insurgency, adding that she prayed fervently believing that God will bring an end to the crisis one day.
“I will pray and fast on Monday as directed by the governor, and I will continue to do so for peace and stability in the state and the country at large,” she said.
NAN reports that the governor in 2019 sponsored 30 Islamic clerics to Saudi Arabia to pray for an end to the insurgency.
The governor said in the broadcast that the prayer was necessary sequel to resurgence of insurgents’ attacks in Auno, Chibok and other parts of the state.
He said this was in spite of ongoing collaboration with the military, mass recruitment, equipping and deployment of volunteers in the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, hunters and vigilantes to fight the insurgents.
Mr Zulum said: “The call for prayers was a strange but necessary decision made based on popular wish of Borno people.
“Even though this decision is based on the popular demand of our people, some observers may rightly argue that it is a strange call.
“But then, Borno has been befallen with a strange evil since 2009, and sometimes, strange ailments require strange approaches.
“As your governor, I hereby declare Monday the 24th of February 2020 as a day of devotion to pray for the return of peace in Borno.
“I intend to fast on that day and I appeal to every one of us in Borno, who can, to join in that simple, but pricelessly rewarding spiritual endeavour.
“I also appeal for the sacrifices of all other well-meaning friends and associates of Borno who can, to join us in fasting on Monday, in sha Allah, for the restoration of peace in Borno State and the rest of Nigeria.
“I urge all of us to be steadfast in prayers. But in doing that, we certainly do not need to congregate in open fields for dramas.
“It would also not matter whether we are within or outside Borno State and whether we are at work places, markets or not. There will be no public holiday; after all, God is everywhere, at home and at work.
“Let us pray to Him with the purest intention, total devotion, submission and unwavering faith.”
The governor added that while Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi has pledged to mobilise Muslim clerics for the prayer, the Christian community would also hold special prayer sessions in churches.