By Michael Olugbode
Maiduguri — The federal government has pleaded with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to come to the aid of Nigeria by assisting in combating the extremist Islamic ideology among the youth in the North-east, which gave birth to the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Saudi Monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has also donated relief materials worth $10 million, about N3.6 billion, to victims of Boko Haram.
The Minister of Defence, Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), made the plea to the Kingdom while speaking at the flag off of the distribution of relief materials donated by King Salman Ibn Abdul-Aziz Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre to IDPs in the North-east.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should please help Nigeria in the propagation and promotion of the right Islamic ideals to the youth in the North-east in order to eradicate the wipe out Boko Haram Islamic ideology in the region,” the minister said.
The minister, who expressed the belief that poverty occasioned by bad governance was the cause of Boko Haram insurgency, also appealed to Saudi Arabia to share defence intelligence and information with Nigeria on insurgency and terror.
He said the donation of the relief materials was in response to his visit to the Kingdom in November 2017, where he pleaded with the Kingdom to assist Nigeria with relief materials for the IDPs.
The representative of the King Salman Foundation, Nasir Al-Subai, had earlier appreciated the federal government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for facilitating the delivery and distribution of the relief materials.
He said the relief materials, mainly food items, were meant for 840,000 IDPs across the North-east.
He commended NEMA and Borno State Government for facilitating the distribution of the relief materials to the IDPs, adding that the items would bring succour to the people affected by the crisis
In his remarks, the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, thanked the Saudi Kingdom for the donation.
“On behalf of the people and government of the Northeast states, we thanked the Saudi Kingdom and the King Salman Centre for the distribution of relief materials.”
“The King Salman Humanitarian Centre is working in over 40 countries across the globe with 120 Non- governmental Organisations to provide humanitarian services.”
“I assure you that the relief materials will be judiciously utilise for those intended for,” he said.
The governor also commended President Muhamnadu Buhari and the military for liberating the North-east from the stranglehold of Boko Haram