Most Parts of Borno Now Occupied by Boko Haram –SSG
The Secretary to the Borno State Government, Amb. Baba Jidda, has lamented that most parts of the state were now being occupied by Boko Haram.
Jidda, at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, added that normal government, economic, social and political activities in the state had been dislocated.
He also said that a huge number of displaced persons was now living in refugee camps in Maiduguri and neighbouring states as well as Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The SSG, who advised politicians to de-emphasise discussions on 2015 , regretted that in spite of the security challenge in Borno State, the Independent National Electoral Commission went ahead to fix October 3 for a by-election in Jere LGA .
In his prepared speech titled, “Imperatives of Peace before Politicking,’’ he appealed to all well-meaning sons and daughters of the state to jettison politicking for now for the sake of the continued existence of Nigeria and survival of democracy.
He said it would be callous for anyone to be scheming for any political office in the state in the face of the security situation in the state.
Jidda said, “At this very moment, most parts of Borno State are being occupied by Boko Haram insurgents. Government presence and administration are minimal or non-existent across many parts of the state, with economic, commercial and social services totally subdued. Schools and clinics remain closed.
“Most settlements in the affected areas in the state have either been deserted or access to them practically impossible, thus majority of the political stakeholders cannot, in real fact reach their constituencies.
‘’So, the threat of insecurity affects everybody irrespective of political differences. The enabling environment for politics and electioneering campaign is simply not obtainable at present in Borno State. In the view of many, the thought about politics and pursuit of political interest in this environment appears absurd, callous and morally repulsive.’’
The SSG called for a summit of eminent citizens of the state to articulate broad-based solutions to the threat posed by the insurgents.
He advised that the eminent citizens should at the end of the summit seek an audience with President Goodluck Jonathan over the insurgency in the North-East.
The SSG said, “In the light of this grim scenario, it is absolutely essential for all patriotic citizens of Borno State to rise in a united spirit to focus and solve the challenges posed by insecurity, which is a real threat to our collective survival.
“In this regard, it is hereby proposed first, that a meeting of all stakeholders, elders and statesmen from Borno State, irrespective of sectarian, ethnic and political persuasions should be convened to review the state of affairs in Borno State.
“Second, this group should seek audience with the President to present collectively the unbearable conditions imposed on the people of Borno State by these crises, including the agony and pains of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and their parents.
“Such an approach is expected to specifically open gates for decisively tackling insecurity and its attendant economic and social burdens on our state, the North-East and Nigeria as a whole.
“This approach is envisaged to rescue Borno State and return peace to create the essential environment for normal life and politics.”
He appealed to INEC to postpone forthwith, the October 3 election “because the environment is not conducive for conducting elections. “
“At the moment, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Jere Local Government Area are full of refugees from Marte, Gwoza, Ngala, Bama and other parts of the state,” the SSG added.
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