President Muhammadu Buhari is in Maiduguri, Borno State to commission projects undertaken by the state government, barely days after aborting a similar visit to southwestern Ogun State.
Mr Buhari landed at the Nigerian Air Force wing of the Maiduguri International Airport at about 11.45 a.m. on Thursday. Rockets fired by insurgents, Boko Haram/ISWAP, heralded his touchdown as residents scampered to safety in the melee.
He was received by Governor Babagana Zulum, his Deputy, Usman Kadafur, members of national and state houses of assembly, and some top government officials.
Other dignitaries that received the president were the Chief of Army Staff, Leiutenant-General Farouq Yahaya, Major General Christopher Musa, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, heads of security agencies, community and religious leaders.
Babakura Abba-Jatau, the Commissioner of Information, said that Mr Zulum was honoured to welcome the President.
He said that during the visit, Mr President will commission the Muhammadu Indimi Centre for Distance Learning and an International Conference Centre, both of which were elegantly built for the University of Maiduguri.
“Mr President will also commission three of the numerous landmark projects executed by the administration of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum in two years.
“The projects include Bornos first flyover with upper and lower lanes at the old Customs Round about 10-kilometer dualised Maiduguri-Muna road and a new Mega Secondary School in Kushari in Maiduguri.
“The good people of Borno State are always excited to welcome and host President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the visit of the President was in recognition of open affection and love for Borno which is demonstrated in his relentless and sincere commitment to the fight against insurgency in spite of challenges in the midst of many victories.
Mr Buhari, who was similarly billed to commission some projects undertaken by the Dapo Abiodun-led administration in Ogun, on Tuesday, cancelled the visit abruptly on the excuse of travelling to faraway Turkey.
The shunning left a sour taste in the mouth of the Ogun administration and their apologists, further fuelling tales of disfavour with the presidency.
Governor Abiodun has had a running battle with his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun, who is considered Mr Buhari’s closest ally in the South-West.
Federal appointments due to Ogun has so far been handed to members of the Amosun camp, causing much friction in the politics of the Ogun and the All Progressives Congress in particular.