Borno - The Kirenowa community in Borno has hailed the Federal Government’s declaration of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one of Boko Haram’s camps was located in the community.
Zarna Ashak Zarma, the head of the community, told newsmen who visited the Joint Task Force (JTF) operational areas in Borno, that they were grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan for the decision
He said they could now sleep with their eyes closed.
"We are grateful to the government. Those of us who fled have returned home with our children since March 30," Zarma said.
The community head said he was happy with the way the troops came into the community and related with them and that information sharing had assisted greatly.
He said they received drugs from the troops to treat members of their families that needed them.
"We want you to take this message to the President that we need assistance from the Federal Government in the area of food, drugs.
"The majority of us were in our farms and now that we are back in our houses, we had not been able to work for some time,’’ he said.
He also said that the people were mostly farmers and needed tractors to plough the soil and meet up with the farming season.
He commended the JTF commander for interacting with the people.
Babagida Mohammed, deputy Village Head of Kirenowa, said his people suffered a lot in the hands of the terrorists before the coming of the troops. "We were badly terrorised."
He said they were happy and wished to inform the president that they were innocent people and that the terrorists came from outside as they were not indigenes of the village.
"We want Mr President to help us with water and road because we don’t have roads; most of our people are farmers,’’ he said.
An indigene, Mohammed Walgore, also said that the people were grateful to the government.
"The insurgents are strangers. We do not have business with them.
"They settled here. We did not have business with them. That is why we can stay here and tell the world today that they are not part of us.’’
Earlier, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information, who led the media team, told the community that the group was in the village to get first-hand information on JTF operations.
Olukolade said he was happy with the encouragement the community had given to the troops, adding that it had made the nation to feel that they are in support of the President’s stand.
"People were anxious to know how you are feeling. That is why so many of them from all over the world are here to interact with you,'' he said.
NAN reports that a team of local and foreign journalists took part in the two-day tour.
The state of emergency was declared on May 14.