Straight from the laying of wreaths at the National Cenotaph, Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan paid a surprise visit to Maiduguri on Thursday to spend the Armed Forces and Remembrance Day with Officers and Men in the frontline of thebattle against terrorism and insurgency
The President was at the Seven Division of the Nigerian Army at the Maimalari cantonment in Maiduguri to thank them for their patriotic and courageous service to the nation
It has been a visit long coming but Officers and men of the Armed Forces battling insurgents in Maiduguri finally got to hear direct from the Nigerian President that the nation was very proud of them and grateful for their dedication and commitment to the defence of the civilian population from terrorists.
The President assured the troops that Government would continue to do everything possible to ensure that they get the weapons, equipment, welfare and logistics support required to completely rout the insurgents and restore full security and normalcy to affected parts of the country
It may be music to their ears but what many Nigerians would be asking isn’t this coming rather late in the day?
Another niggling question is whether this visit was undertaken not with altruistic motives but to score cheap political points
President Jonathan also toured wards of the 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services Centre where he met with soldiers recovering from injuries sustained in operations against Boko Haram and wished them speedy recovery.
Before leaving the Borno State capital, President Jonathan visited over 900 displaced persons from Baga at a camp in the city who he promised that the Federal Government will strive to make their stay in the camps more comfortable while it continues to do all within its powers to restore peace and security to enable them return to their homes soon.
Of course the question to ask is what practical measures government was putting in place to ensure that the stay of internally displaced persons in camps did not stretch on for too long
Though the President’s visit was intended to score a strong point in his favour that he is not merely paying lip service to supporting troops in the frontline in the battle against terrorism and insurgency, not many will be willing forget the length of time it took before the President was convinced to make the move.
It is hoped that the challenges being faced by the troops will with this visit receive the attention it so sorely needs