Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has commissioned an institute for War and Peace built in honour of the chief of army staff and located in his hometown of Buratai.
Zulum lauded the foresight of the Nigerian Army in building the institute, located in Buratai, the hometown of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.
He also regretted that the insurgency had “inflicted debilitating impact” on the state and the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The 11 year-old Boko Haram insurgency has claimed at least 36,000 lives with the destruction of over $9 billion (N3.42 trillion) worth of property in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states
“Our dear state is the worst affected with many citizens still in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
“I’m not unaware of where we were before the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the successes recorded by the military in the war against terrorism.
“With the level of destruction of infrastructure and displacement of people from their communities, we have the task of rehabilitating them.
“The task before us now is to return the people to their communities and restart their means of livelihoods,” he said.
The governor said that it was for such reason that the state government was devoting its limited resources to empower and encourage the people to return to their communities.
“The army is a reliable partner in this endeavour,” he said, adding that the state government shall work with the institute to design a template and programmes for peace building, reconstruction and development of the communities.
He appreciated the sacrifices of gallant troops, saying, “We shall continue to support the Armed Forces.
“When we occasionally criticise them, we do so with a view to improving on our successes and not out of lack of appreciation.”
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said one of the greatest challenges facing the world today is terrorism with its huge toll on human lives.
He said the institute is part of Nigerian Army’s aim of understanding all forms of warfare, particularly new forms of asymmetric conflict, including terrorism and insurgency.
“The Tukur Buratai Institute aims at training and capacity building for military personnel as well as civilians in counter-terrorism and insurgency, humanitarian responses, peace building and construction.
The institute has six centres, including research, documentation, counter-terrorism and insurgency, cyber security, strategic communication and centre for museum and archives.
The institute which is located in Buratai, Biu Local Government Area, Borno State is touted as part of the concerted efforts to overcome the challenges of insurgency in the Northeast.