Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Monday night, raised the alarm that the security situation in the state was getting worse.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima
He also explained why he has not criticised President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue, saying the President had given him unfettered access to the Presidency on the crisis.
Shettima’s statement came at a time the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, warned the Federal Government to nip in the bud the killings in Zamfara State to prevent emergence of another Boko Haram crisis in the state.
The governor, who spoke an at extraordinary security meeting at Government House, Maiduguri, to discuss the worsening security situation in the state, attended by traditional rulers, security chiefs, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and other stakeholders, said:
“Your royal highnesses and our elders, I will like to start by saying that the aim of convening this important meeting is not to pass blames or to pass any kind of verdict on our security agencies.
“I think the most inhuman way to go is to gather and condemn those who are putting their lives on the line and giving their lives in efforts to find peace.
“We are principally here as a family, as a people all affected by the situation in Borno State, to discuss suggestions that will hopefully contribute to combined ongoing efforts towards addressing the problem.
“For seven years, we held our regular security council meetings. I from to time consult with some of the participants here. However, I never for once convened an extraordinary meeting of this nature because, frankly speaking, I was avoiding a sort of dramatisation or being sensational about our challenges in Borno State.
“Without being insensitive to the realities of our situation, I feel deeply pained whenever Borno is being discussed on the basis of helpless weakness. I prefer to assume a position of strength; a position of normalcy and a character of being incurably optimistic.
“My greatest wish was and still is, not to bequeath Boko Haram challenges and IDP camps to my successor. We wanted to, and still want to get Borno fully back to normal days. Sometimes, I unconsciously find myself boasting that Borno is safer than Lagos. I simply feel very bad to sound pessimistic about Borno. I so much believe in optimism.
“Of course, I know that in governance, responding to some situations demand a combination of being both optimistic and realistic. The reality is that while so much was achieved by our gallant military men and women, we are today faced with serious challenges in Borno State.
“But then, these challenges should strengthen our abiding faith and resolve to continually do whatever we can, in support of our military, the police, the DSS, our Civilian JTF, all para-military agencies and political authorities at the federal level, to end the Boko Haram insurgency.”