Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has said Western countries have been more supportive and concerned, than the rich Arab nations, about the plight of people in the state due to insurgency.
Zulum said this is despite the fact that the Arab nations share similarity of religion and culture with majority of Borno citizens.
He stated this on Tuesday in Maiduguri when he received the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria Saleh Fheied Saleh in Maiduguri.
Zulum however, commended Palestine for being one of the few exceptions, within the arab community.
He said, “I am a practical person. I work with the realities I see on ground. In the face of our challenges over the years, we have received humanitarian support from the UK and other parts of Europe, the United States, Canada, from Japan and a host of others who have demonstrated concern and have made efforts to support our traumatized citizens in many ways especially on food, medicals and livelihoods.
“However, that level of concern never came from Arab countries with whom millions of Borno people share similarity in religion and culture. We even have indigenous shuwa arabs in Borno and this shows how our histories are tied. We have made severe efforts, written and visited embassies of Arab countries, especially those that are rich and not dealing with crises, but obviously majority of the Arabs do not care about our situation, neither do they support us. The Arabs have not shown concern to us. Your visit however, has renewed our hope especially and we are very grateful for your visit.”
The Palestinian ambassador informed Zulum of his country’s plan to support the government of Borno state in some areas of need.
Amb Saleh said, “There are a lot of Palestinian companies in Nigeria, they are willing to work with the Borno State Government, we are ready to cooperate with you, we are ready to help in anything you want us to do that we can do.”
The ambassador also said many Nigerians are currently residing in Palestine, particularly indigenes of the state, some of whom have diligently served the government and people of Palestine.
He cited a particular Borno lady called Fatima Barnawi, who was once a minister and a police chief.