The Borno State Government has gone spiritual in its efforts to halt the Boko Haram insurgency.
Governor Babagana Zulum on Friday struck a deal with 30 Saudi-based clerics to endlessly pray for the return of peace in the state.
Zulum’s spokesperson, Isa Gusau, said all the 30 clerics are originally from Nigeria but have been living in Makka for decades, praying day and night at the Ka’aba.
“An old man amongst them is said to have remained a Ka’aba devotee in the last 40 years,” Gusau said.
He added: “The Ka’aba is Islam’s holiest area located inside the grand Al-Haram mosque in Makkah.”
The objective, according to him, is to “combine different approaches that include sustained support for the Nigerian Armed forces, aggressive mass recruitment and equipping of more counter-insurgency volunteers into the Civilian JTF, hunters, and vigilantes as well as socioeconomic approach in enhancing access to education, job opportunities and providing other means of livelihood through social protection initiatives.”
He quoted the governor as saying: “Rather than sending anyone, I am here to, on behalf of the good people of Borno State thank you so much for your empathy and the compassion in devoting yourselves to praying for us every day at the Ka’aba which for us as Muslims is the most sacred place.
“We need these prayers more than ever before. We are handling our problems from different approaches. Prayer is key in everything that we seek. We will continue to seek prayers from many fronts. We will keep supporting our clerics of different faiths in Nigeria for the same prayers and we will seek the same from all of you that are always here around the Holy Ka’aba.
“I basically will beg that you continue to pray for us towards achieving three things: first, for us to regain peace in Borno State, all of the north and Nigeria in general. We will have to continue that prayer on a permanent basis because we need the peace that will be sustained.
“Secondly, we need prayers for us to achieve our ambitious plan for Borno state and lastly for Allah to make us remain focused and not to get carried away by the power.”
The Governor returned to Nigeria on Saturday.
His move came a few days after the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said that Nigeria now required spiritual efforts to deal with the Boko Haram menace.