President visits Mubi, Baga, meets monarch, others

BAGA-1

APPARENTLY to boost the morale of troops and calm frayed nerves, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday visited Mubi in Adamawa State, about three months after Nigerian soldiers recaptured the town from the insurgent group, Boko Haram.

  The president arrived at Yola International Airport at about 10.45a.m accompanied by the Chief of Defence staff, Service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police. He later travelled by helicopter to Mubi.

  At Mubi, Jonathan met with the Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isa Ahmadu, and the people of the area.

  There were unconfirmed reports that the president visited Vintim village in Mubi, the home town of the   Defence Chief, Alex Badeh.

  But security sources told on line medium that from Mubi, Jonathan was to travel to Baga in neighbouring Borno State.

  Baga was reclaimed by government troops last week after Boko Haram militants overran the town killing hundreds and displacing thousands.

  While in Mubi, The Guardian learnt that the President visited the military barrack that was seized by the insurgents in a controversial circumstance last year.

  President Jonathan-led administration has been criticised for its handling of the Boko Haram crisis, and the failure of the government to stem attacks against civilians.

  Ahead of the elections, the government has apparently stepped up effort against the terror group with multiple towns liberated by soldiers.

  The government has also announced new measures to raise the morale of its combat forces.

  On Wednesday, the Army Chief, Kenneth Minimah, visited Baga where he announced that troops who liberated the town will be automatically promoted to the next rank.

  A top security chief in Borno State, who spoke under anonymity, said Jonathan was heading to Baga, but refused to give further details.

  “Of course the president will be going to Baga today (yesterday), but the trip is not being handled by us here. I believe it is not something big but just a confidence building visit for the troops,” the source said.



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