ABUJA (SundiataPost) – The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has urged the media to stop giving terrorist sect, Boko Haram and it’s leader, Abubakar Shekau whom he described as a lunatic, publicity, noting that it was the oxygen that has emboldened them to commit more atrocities against the north east.
He has also assured that elections would hold in the north-east, saying it was a way of demonstrating to the insurgents that “you can kill the body but not our spirit”.
Shetimma, who commended the Nigerian troops for their commitment in the fight against insurgents, described himself as an incurable optimist that the war on terror would be won and the Chibok girls that were abducted last April, would be rescued and reunited with their families.
Speaking on the deliberations at the national emergency meeting on the north east with President Goodluck Jonathan, the Borno Governor who described the governors of the three states gripped by insurgency as powerless chief executives of their states, expressed the confidence that with support, the nation’s military can win the war on terror.
Shetimma said, ”We had a very fruitful deliberations and pollination of ideas on how to find lasting solution to the insurgency bedeviling us in that part of the world. I’m an eternal optimist and I am passionate too for that matter that we shall have enduring peace very soon with the very robust frame work on ground. We don’t want to mention a date or anything but I believe our military is arising to the challenges of the time.
”Our military will robustly respond to the challenges I believe. Like I said earlier I’m an eternal optimist we have to hope for the best against whatever odds”.
On the number of local governments currently under insurgency stronghold, he said, ”Well there are some local governments that are partially under the control of the insurgents and there are some that are largely under our control. I really don’t want to bolster Boko Haram by quoting numbers and figures because these lunatics feast on the oxygen of publicity. The more publicity they get the more happier they become I don’t want to give them that luxury. But I want to assure you that with 1,000 years of recorded history, Borno shall rise again in spite of all the challenges believe me Inshallah”.
Asked if the military were doing the right thing and if they have been properly motivated to face the insurgents, the Borno Governor said, “They are making efforts. I want to leave it at that. I don’t want to pass any negative comment. They are people with blood running in their veins facing the insurgents and so I have to be respectful of that institution”.
On if he was confident Nigeria will win the war, he said, “Insha Allah we don’t have any option than to win this war, we shall, we must, we have no option than to win this war”.
Asked the where about of the Chibok girls, Shetimma said, “The best person to answer this question is probably my friend at National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mike Omiri, I think he is in a better position to pass comment on that I don’t want to preempt him”.
Urged further to speak because the girls where more his than the NOA, he replied, “They are my girls certainly, they are Nigerians, they are your girls as well. They are our daughters. So nobody has monopoly over those girls, our hearts goes to their parents, we have offered succour to the parents of the girls”.
On how he feels each time Shekau makes mockery of government’s efforts of the girls whom he claimed have been married off, the governor replied, “Shekau is a lunatic, he is a deranged element, is not somebody anybody should give any molecule of respect. His actions are beneath the act of even an animal believe me. But as I said we are not resting on our oars, we will continue to support the military by providing them with quality information when it becomes available. We believe inspite of people’s pessimism that in the fullness of time and not in a distance far off, we are going to get back the girls, we hope to”.
On the possibility of holding elections in the north east, he said, “Well, my take on this is simple, we are facing real extinctitial threat to our culture, to our people and to our civilization. Is amazing when people dwell so much on the elections. Elections are for the living but elections are being conducted in war torn Afghanistan, elections was conducted recently in Iraq, in Syria and so many other places. So it is not an issue in contention, the most important issue is how to safeguard the lives and properties of our people, how to recover our lost territories, the lost Chibok girls. You have daughters, you have sons how will you feel if your daughter is forcefully taken away from you for the past 267 days? So I want to dwell more on how to safeguard the lives and properties of our people, how to get back the Chibok girls, how to recover our lost territories.
“Two days ago (Sunday) it clocked exactly five months since Goza fell to the insurgents, Bama is now firmly under their control, Muba, Abadam, Kukawa all tales of woes of devastations, of destructions, of killings. This is the sad tale that is coming out of Borno.
“I am the chief security officer of the state in name. You and I know that I neither control the police, the army not even the Civil Defence Corps. We are titled chief security officers of our states. But our most important task is to offer whatever support be it logistics, financial to the military to carry out their operations.
“Honestly I don’t want to dwell on the politics behind the counter-insurgency operations because we are one people with a common destiny. And this is the time for all of us irrespective of differences in political affiliations, religious persuasions, tribal or sectional background to collapse into a single course and bring this madness to an end”.
Asked if he was assurance INEC officials that there is no cause for alarm, he replied, “Elections as I told you earlier was conducted in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and several other war torn places that are even more devastated than the north east. Elections can be held in the IDP camps, is human beings that conduct elections not spirit or anything. My take on this is that, are we giving in to Boko Haram? Are we giving in to their antics by not holding elections? We have to tell them to their face that you can kill as Malala Yusuff said but you cannot kill our spirit”.
Meanwhile the Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidem, has said the governors of the north east came to demand more troops be sent to their region to end insurgency ravaging the area.
He said the meeting was all about briefing the President about the security situations in their o various states, and to appeal to “the federal government to deploy more troops in addition to what we have on ground to arrest the situation in our various states.
“We need more troops, the troops on ground we have in our various states is not enough to contain the situation, so we are appealing to the federal government to deploy additional troops with full equipment to tame the situation”.
He said the three states were no longer under the state of emergency rule adding that according to INEC that elections will hold.
“Elections will hold, you have not heard me well. Election will hold, that is the position of the electoral commission and definitely in all those areas where the insurgency exist, elections will hold”.