President Buhari is Dedicated To Ending Boko Haram Insurgency – Shettima
Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, said that the dedication of President Muhammadu Buhari to ending the scourge of insurgency in the North East was the reason he was yet to criticize him.
The governor made this known when he hosted an “extraordinary security meeting” in the state capital, Maiduguri on Tuesday, to address the recent series of attacks on the military and deteriorating security in the state.
According to Shettima, his closeness with President Buhari has made it easy for him to raise issues concerning security, which the president will see to almost immediately.
This relationship, Shettima said, is contrary to that with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he claims had hurried meetings with him.
The governor said while he is saddened by the situation, he would rather assume a “position of strength” so as to inspire the military and citizens.
He added that he is so optimistic about the insecurity situation in the state that he sometimes boast the state is safer than Lagos.
“Some persons have asked why I have not criticised the Buhari government or the Nigerian military over situations in Borno. My response to them is that unlike in previous years when I was treated as an enemy of the Presidency, I have from 2015 to date, gained unfettered access to the President,”
“I see the Commander-In-Chief at the shortest request and I tell him my concerns, he listens to me with keen interest and in most cases, he takes measures. I have not had reason to be frustrated with the Presidency, unlike previous years.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is without the slightest doubt, devoted to the fight against Boko Haram. I believe that service chiefs, the IGP, the DG of DSS and heads of all para-military agencies share the commitment of Mr President.
“Let me say that even under the previous administration, I regularly supported and defended the military.
“I prefer to inspire our military and citizens. I prefer to make security matters as discrete as possible. There were times I managed to see the former president but our meetings were always under rush. There were times I resorted to writing him for the record. I remember one specific instance I wrote a strong letter in 2013, over serious concerns raised by the Nigerian Air Force command in Borno State, and I have to admit that President Jonathan took immediate measures on that.
“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.
“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.
“As a state government, we have done and will continue to do everything humanly possible in support of the fight against Boko Haram.” Shettima said.
Also in attendance in the meeting were security agencies, traditional rulers, media and legal practitioners.
In recent weeks, the Boko Haram insurgent group has renewed attacks on the north-eastern state, with the group capturing some towns in the regions and attacking military base.