Security Sources Not Fair To Gov Shettima – Spokesman
The spokesman for the Borno State governor Kashim Shettima, Isa Gusau has faulted media reports that the governor is one of those working against the military’s counter-insurgency operations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
Reacting to the allegation by a military source quoted in the media that Governor Shettima is not supporting the military operations yesterday, Gusau said the source was unfair to the governor.
“I’m not reacting for fear of my good boss, Governor Kashim Shettima being sacked on the basis of the so-called full blown emergency. I know there is no place for such move in the Nigerian constitution. But as a devoted Muslim, Governor Shettima believes like he always says that after all human intrigues, it is God that transmits and guarantees power to every human.
“Besides, Shettima, as many Nigerians would testify, is not a desperate man. He is very much occupied not with the lust for power but with providing quality governance to the people of Borno State which the people and other Nigerians have testified to.
“Part of the quality governance that Shettima provides in Borno is his very overwhelming support for the military, the police and all other security agencies in the state to enhance the security of lives and property. As a policy, no security chief deployed to Borno spends 10 minutes before meeting the governor with or without appointment. Also, the governor ensures that families of each military man unfortunately killed in combat by insurgents are given N1million as relief. There is no single reasonable request made by the military that Governor Shettima hasn’t met where such requests can be funded by the state. The former chief of army staff and the Defence Headquarters had at various times paid glowing tributes to Governor Shettima for his exceptional support for the military.”
I vividly remember that then Director of operations at the Defence headquarters, General Lawrence Ndugbane had even said during a courtesy call at the Government House in Maiduguri, that apart from regularly providing material support in the form of hundreds of patrol vehicles and other logistics, Governor Shettima goes as far as working with patriotic residents to secure good intelligence for the military that have proved to be most helpful in their efforts to regain peace in Borno State. I also recall that on different occasions, the then chief of. Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika had never failed to underscore the support of Governor Shettima to the military serving in Borno State. I remember that one Commander of the 21 Armoured Brigade in Maiduguri said before troops during one of Governor Shettima’s morale boosting trips to Marte military camp, that Governor treats the Military as the 28th local government area in Borno,meaning the military is regarded as much as the 27 councils in the State.
I remember that only days ago, a self motivated Governor Kashim Shettima personally signed a strong worded statement in defence of the military to caution Nigerians against linking the military with Boko Haram. To quote the Governor, he said as published in several Newspapers and aired by the broadcast media that “Of all theories being alleged in connection with the Boko Haram, the most dangerous as far as I’m concerned is to raise such grievous suspicion around our security forces. When citizens grow such suspicion and believe in it,I’m afraid,Boko Haram can light fire works to celebrate a grand victory of setting up citizens against the security agencies” he noted as Governor of Borno State,whose area is unfortunately the worst hit, who has been closely working with security agencies, he would rather encourage confidence building between citizens and the armed forces so that intelligence sharing can rise continually and we don’t loose focus in the counter insurgency because the day citizens grow the suspicion of regarding security agencies as collaborators of insurgents whereas the security have the constitutional mandate of protecting citizens, then we will be drifting towards chaos as a Nation and we cannot afford that unhealthy development.
The Governor had also said that unless it becomes unquestionably evident, we must work as individuals,groups and institutions to promote public trust in our armed forces so as to encourage cordiality between citizens and security agencies. We must recognise that at the moment, the security agencies are all we’ve got,we should preserve their integrity by at least giving them the benefit of doubt and that as the one working with them in Borno since 2011,he knows the number of military men, police men and women as well as para-military men and women, among them commanders in the military and senior police officers that sacrificed their lives in the fight against our unfortunate insurgency problems in Borno which also obtains in some parts of Nigeria.
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