The Army yesterday reopened the Maiduguri-Dikwa-Gamboru road in Borno State, three years after it was closed following Boko Haram insurgency.
According to reports by The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the road was closed to motorists in 2013 at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis.
Governor Kashim Shettima, accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, launched the reopening.
The governor who was full of praise for the military for containing the insurgency, said the state is grateful to the Army and sister agencies that contributed to the containment of Boko Haram, adding that the reopening would revamp the state’s economy and improve the people’s lot.
“Two years ago, Borno was in a bad state and almost fell completely to insurgents. Today, the story is different and anyone who wants to be fair to the Army must juxtapose these scenarios before drawing conclusion.
“With the reopening of this road, which is the livewire of the state, there will be a quantum leap in the state’s economy,” Shettima said.
Gen Tukur Buratai said the road was not only important to the people, but strategically significant to the military operation in the region.
He assured the people that the Army would provide security to motorists while warning security agents against extorting motorists plying the route, vowing to deal with anyone caught.
The COAS added that the reopening of the road would aid the restoration of civil authorities in the recaptured areas.
“Even the terrorists are aware of the significance of this road socially, economically and militarily. It is time for us to get it busy again so that economic and social activities will be restored on this axis.
“The Army will also provide the required security for users. I warn against extorting motorists; we are investigating allegations and anyone caught will be sanctioned.
“The NURTW should note that we are here to do our jobs and nobody should contribute money to pay security operatives; we don’t want anyone to give us a bad reputation,” Buratai said.