Borno residents celebrate first peaceful Sallah in five years


Kayode Idowu
For the first time in five years, the people of Borno State are being allowed to come out on the streets to celebrate Eid-el-Fitri.
The state had been closed to vehicular movements during all festivities, be it Islamic and Christian, due to the Boko Haram insurgency.
Many had thought they would be locked in during this year’s Eid-el-Fitri until the Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, surprisingly made an announcement allowing all citizens of the state to have a fresh breath of air.
Briefing journalists shortly after a security meeting on Monday, Shettima said, “After extensive deliberations, the key actors in security in the state unanimously resolved that we want to give our people dignity. We want them to have a feel of what it was to celebrate and we have resolved not to restrict movement during this year’s Eid-el-Fitri.
Residents of Borno State have been compelled to celebrate religious festivals under curfew or restriction of movement since 2011, following increased bomb attacks and other violent acts by the Boko Haram.
Available facts showed that the decision was beneficial for the citizens in the state as no bombing incident was recorded. However, the neighbouring  Yobe State was not  so lucky as no fewer than 12 people were killed at a praying ground  (Eid) during last year’s Eid-el-Fitri celebration in Damaturu, the state capital.
Shettima said the decision to allow people roam freely on the streets this year was due to an improvement in the security situation in the state in recent times.
He, however, said that security would be intensified around the state’s metropolis, with numerous security checks. He appealed to all residents to be security-conscious.
The governor told the residents to be at the various praying grounds in time without any bags. He also disclosed that security agencies and the Civilian JTF had been mandated to conduct thorough search and checks on the people.

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