The reopening of Maiduguri-Damboa road in Borno by Nigerian Army on Tuesday has been welcomed by the people and the District Head of Damboa, Alhaji Zanna Maina.
Expressing their joy to newsmen during the reopening ceremony, the District Head said that the reopening of the road was a great relief to them emotionally and economically.
Maina stated that the reopening of the road had thrown the town of Damboa into jubilation.
The road links about 10 Local Government Areas to Maiduguri as well as Adamawa and Taraba States.
According to him, right now at the district palace, the people are in jubilation because of the reopening of the road.
“We thank you and we thank the Governor of Borno, Prof. Babagana Zulum who was in Damboa last week,” he said.
A commercial driver, Mr Zakari Kafa, said that the reopening of the road was a relief to the commercial drivers who operate between Maiduguri and Damboa.
Kafa said that during the closure of the road, it would take them two to three days on the road to get to Damboa travelling a distance of about 700 kilometres; instead of 80 to 85 kilometres.
“With the reopening of this road, people will find it easier to reach Damboa; with lorries taking goods to Damboa, our economy will grow from now on.
“Before now, these lorries find it difficult to take goods to Damboa but with this road, they can get to Damboa within two to three hours.
“We are appealing to the Nigerian Army as well as the Federal Government to provide more personnel to help secure the road.
“If the personnel are available, people will be confident to move, but if there is no security personnel on the road, people will be afraid to ply the road.
“This road has been closed for more than 10 months now,” he said.
A commuter and businessman, Mr Kachala Bukar, said that the reopening of the road would go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the masses who ply the road.
Bukar said that those travelling from Maiduguri to the southern part of the state had to follow Gombe, Numan, Uba and Chibok before getting to Damboa, because of the closure of the road.
He said that the commuters usually spent up to three days on the road, adding that with the reopening of the road, people could now reach their destinations within two hours.
“We thank our governor for his effort toward ensuring the reopening of the road because before now, the masses who could not afford the cost of travelling long-distance and often trek for many hours.
“We pray to God to protect him; to be able to carry out his lofty programmes for the benefit of the people.
“The security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army, have done a lot; it was their efforts that led to the reopening of this road.
“Even now, they are doing all possible to provide protection for the travellers on the road, which is commendable,” he said.