17th July, 2011
The Ogun State government has evacuated 150 of its indigenes from Borno State as the Boko Haram Islamist sect continue to pound the state with bombs.
Those evacuated arrived Abeokuta, the state capital, today.
The first batch of 40 people comprised 32 students of the shut University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), while the remaining eight are members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the state, and a few residents. They arrived early this morning.
The State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun had directed the State Director of State Emergency Maintenance Agency (SEMA), Mr Timothy Olusegun Oyenekan, to lead a team to the troubled state to evacuate the students and other indigenes of the state who were trapped there.
The Borno state government ordered the closure of the University of Maiduguri on Tuesday, 12 July and directed all the students to leave the strife-torn state.
The last batch of 110 indigenes of the gateway state arrived this evening around 4;00pm.They were led by Oyenekan.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Sola Adeyemi who briefed the governor, said that the evacuation team was able to identify 150 indigenes of Ogun state in the troubled state, but only 40 mostly students of the shut University decided to join the first batch while others have arrived with the second and last batch.
Adeyemi had described the situation in Maiduguri as a very ugly one, explaining that it was a very tough task.
“Considering the level of insecurity in Borno state, our people were practically living in fear. They were not too sure of what will happened the next moment.”
Speaking on behalf of those evacuated, Taiwo Sokanlu thanked the state government, especially the governor for the quick intervention, saying, â€œperhaps we would have been victims of one of the bomb explosions because one of the incidents happened very close to where some of us reside.â€
The governor, who received the report, said his administration would continue to do everything possible to protect life and property in the state and wherever the indigenes reside.
According to the governor, “the violent nature in Borno State should be a major concern to all and sundry. Ogun State has to take this bold step because our administration believes in the welfare of our people. Let me reiterate that our cardinal principle is to serve the good people of Ogun State and protect them accordingly.”
The rescued students showed their appreciation by dancing and singing songs in praise of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
By Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta