Friday, June 9, 2017 8:01 am
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State was obviously excited by the decision of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to go on with his planned to visit Maiduguri on Thursday despite attack by the Boko Haram on some communities in the city just a day before.
The Governor expressed his appreciation to the Acting President in a speech he delivered just before the flagging off of a new grain distribution system for the internally displaced persons in North East by Osinbajo.
Governor Shetimma said, “Frankly speaking, after Boko Haram made another violent but failed attempt on a community in Maiduguri last night, I concluded in my mind that we were likely to receive a signal from the Villa putting this event on hold or sending a Minister to represent the Acting President.
“This was the practice we were conditioned to accept judging from our first term in office. In May, 2014, we had a time our entire security architecture was put in place for a Presidential visit to Chibok. Everything was in place; even parents of the Chibok schoolgirls were on standby. But that historic and golden opportunity to show leadership was cancelled at the last hour based on some imaginary considerations.
“I reminded some persons at the Villa, that within days after the unfortunate abduction, my wife had driven to Chibok from Maiduguri without me and I had gone a day after her visit. I said it was defeatist for us as a country to mark any part of Nigeria were citizens live as a place a sitting President cannot go.
“Unless where war is in motion, Nigeria has always had the security arsenals, with air and ground troops that should be able to secure the President’s visit to any part of this country. If we believe there is a no-go-area for a Commander –In- Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, then what message are we sending to citizens who live in that area or are compelled to pass through it.
“The very day that the Presidential visit was cancelled, we had sent Government officials from Maiduguri to Chibok by road not by presidential helicopter. They were safely in Chibok and had mobilized the entire community.
“Some people would accuse me of always making comparisons between the incumbent Federal administration and the past, but then, life itself is a combination of the past and the present. You can only appreciate the present or the past, when you compare them.
“Mr. Acting President, Sir, we salute your good sense of judgment, your courage, patriotism and passion for the northeast which must have shaped your wisdom in proceeding with today’s event. As I believe the acting President must have thought, the fact that a community was traumatized and displaced last night is the more reason the event should hold.
“Your Excellency, Sir, this visit is a major psychological warfare that sends a mighty and raw signal to the remnants of atrocious murderers, that this time around, Nigeria has a Presidency that cannot be intimidated backwards. This is a progressive Presidency that is forward ever and backward never.
He also hailed President Buhari by saying “we will forever remain grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for his enormous commitment to ending this insurgency. We are grateful to your dedicated self for the empathy and passion you have shown to us. Today marks your fourth visit to Borno State and like I always cite, each of your visits comes with cheering news for us.
“We are particularly happy, that this time around, your visit is not just for Borno, but also for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States which makes up the troubled Northeast.”