Niger’s President Mohammed Bazoum on Tuesday decorated Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, with the country’s second highest national honour, “de Grand Officer dans I`Ordre”, which is the equivalent of Nigeria’s Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON.
Bazoum said he was honouring Zulum after monitoring the Governor’s courage, sincere fight against Boko Haram, deep concern on the plight of Borno’s citizens taking refuge in parts of Niger Republic that the governor has visited a number of times, offering support and steadily evacuating and resettling the refugees in new houses built in Borno State.
A statement by the governor’s spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau said the decoration was performed in Zindar as part of events lined up by the Federal Government of Niger to celebrate the country’s independence day.
Zulum’s national award, “de Grand Officer dans I`Ordre”, is only second to “Grand Croix Des Ordre National Du Niger” which is the equivalent of GCFR, and as with Nigeria’s only serving Presidents in Niger normally get the award.
It was the first time a Nigerien President would honour a Nigerian governor with the country’s second highest national award.
Zulum, accompanied by Senators Kashim Shettima, Mohammed Ali Ndume, Chief whip of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Monguno, Speaker Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engr Bukar Talba, said the honour would not make him relent in his devotion towards Borno people.
President Bazoum later invited Zulum to accompany him to commission 138km Zindar road project and the 22 mega watts power project also in Zindar.
Niger Republic annually celebrates independence on August 3 with festivals which the French speaking country calls Fête de l’Arbre, with activities that include tree planting.