After five years of being closed as a result of Boko Haram insurgency, the Borno state government reopened the 86km Maiduguri-Dikwa road on Sunday.
The state governor, Babagana Zulum reopened the road, in the company of the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi and the General Officer Commanding 7 Division Operation Lafiya Dole, Brig.-Gen. Abdul Khalifa.
The governor commended the military for combating terrorists activities in the state and expressed excitement that motorists will be able to ply the road freely with the improved security in place.
He further disclosed that measures were being put in place by the government in collaboration with the military to ensure travelers safety on the Ngala and Kala balge roads. He also cautioned road union workers against escorting commuters on highways.
“Everybody in Borno is aware of what is going on the highways. It is not something new and our presence here is not to vindicate anybody. The Nigerian law does not prohibit the transportation of good within the state. So therefore, you cannot ask a driver to pay money for transporting sachet water anywhere within the state.”
“How can you transport pure water and tomatoes and you are asked to pay N19, 000 fora six-tyre vehicle. This government and the people will fight to see an end these activities in Borno.”
The governor donated six patrol vehicles to the Nigerian military in Mafa.
Adeniyi disclosed that there will be punishments for drivers who offer bribes at check points, and also cautioned road unions against imposing high fees on commuters, as well as assuring that the military was going to provide a safe environment to fishing activities to take place.
“It is generally known that it is very difficult for business to thrive if there is no peace and security. It is also a known fact that Boko Haram is using some of the fishing businesses to fund their campaign of terror, Adeniyi said.
“If we find you collaborating with Boko Haram or giving them gratification secretely, we will stop you from doing the fishing activities,” he warned.
The Borno NURTW Chairman, Alhaji Bello Moduganari and the Chairman of Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Abacha Mandala, both commended the government for reopening of the road and assured the military the of their co-operation to curb activities of the insurgents.