Former governor of Borno state, and Senator representing Borno Central Senatrial district, Kashim Shettima has called for the establishment of key federal government projects in two local government areas of the state that are mostly affected by the Boko Haram conflict.
Mr Shettima, who governed Borno state for two consecutive terms – an eight-year tenure that was mostly punctuated by the bloody conflict, remains the most knowledgeable politician in the country as far as the devastation that befell Borno is concerned.
Speaking at a suspicious forum provided by the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions in Abuja on Wednesday, Mr Shettima who was addressing a public hearing on bills to establish Federal College of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science in Chibok and Federal Medical Centre, Gwoza, said the two Borno communities, all in the southern part of the state deserved such invaluable infrastructures.
Shettima’s legendary presentation for the people of Chibok and Gwoza, at the public hearing, has further consolidated the fact about his position as a selfless leader in Borno state. Both communities are outside his constituency which is Borno Central.
Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, a former Majority Leader in the 8th Senate, represents Southern Borno where Chibok and Gwoza – his ancestral village – are located.
“There is a need for a federal presence in these two communities of Gwoza and Chibok. They are in the heart of what is called the Sambisa Forest. They do not have any medical facilities,” Senator Shettima told the public hearing.
The Humanitarian Times gathered for a report published by Premium Times that the House of Rep Committee organised the public hearing “on bills to establish Federal College of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science in Chibok and Federal Medical Centre, Gwoza.”
Speaking with the usual eloquence that has been his signature label, Senator Shettima said “the establishment of the two institutions in Chibok and Gwoza, will have a profound impact on the two communities which have witnessed attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents.”
Recall that Chibok came to the global limelight on the heel of the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in the community by Boko Haram.
“The two communities fall within Damboa-Chibok-Gwoza federal constituency and they are among the local governments without a single federal presence, as such Nigerians have a moral obligation to make the people (Chibok and Gwoza) have a sense of belonging,” he pleaded.
“There is an incestuous relationship between economy and ecology that gave rise to the insecurity that has ravaged the northeastern part of Nigeria.
“Gwoza and Chibok are by-words for disaster. Chibok is about the most famous community in Borno State.
“There is a need for a federal presence in these two communities of Gwoza and Chibok. They are in the heart of what is called the Sambisa Forest. They do not have any medical facilities,”
“The establishment of the two institutions will lead to the injection of N3-N4 billion every quarter into the economy of that region.
Chairman of the Committee, Pascal Obi said “the public hearing was to get input that would help to guide operations in tertiary health institutions in the country.”
Rep Obi mentioned that the committee is contemplating 10 bills which are mostly on the establishment of tertiary institutions.
“We have about 10 bills, most of them geared towards establishing new tertiary health institutions in several places. Some are universities of medicine and some teaching hospitals and some federal medical centres. About 10 of them. For today we are going to handle about five. The remaining would be taken care of tomorrow,” he said.