Remove Shettima and face legal action – Borno Elders warn Jonathan

Following speculations that President Goodluck Jonathan may replace Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima with a military administrator, the Borno Elders Forum have warned against such move. The elders were reacting to the report on Monday, even as they accused the Jonathan administration of failing to implement various reports of various committees set up to review the Boko Haram insurgency. “Many committees that have worked on the insurgency and submitted their reports and recommendations remain disappointed that no action has been taken by the Federal Government to date. “We see this as an abdication of responsibility and lack of political will,” they said. Continuing, the forum noted that “The President should live up to his responsibilities by not only rescinding this intended action but also empower our Military forces to bring the insurgency to an end professionally.” The statement was signed by Usman Galtimari as Chairman, Mohammed Goni, Asheikh Jarma, Umaru Shehu, Ahmed AlGazali, Kyari Sandabe, Gambo Gubio, Abdullahi Shettima, Garba Satomi, Umaru Ibrahim, Kaumi Damboa, Shettima Ali Kidaji, Said Shettima, Wali Askira, Ibrahim Ngulde, Dujuma Askira, Ahmed Yusufari, Bukar Biu, Abubakar Ghide. Othets are Mohammed Adam, Mukhtar Alkali, Zanna Mamadi, Nur Alkali, Bukar Gana, Lawan Usman, Lawan Badawi, Abubakar Biu, M. D. Lawan, Adam Kyari, Bata Kwajjafa and Bulama Gubio – Secretary. Below is full text of the statement. “The Borno Elders Forum held an emergency meeting over the news report that the President has completed the plan to remove the democratically elected Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shetimma and appoint a military administrator to rule the state. “We received this news with shock and disappointment and we see the plan as evasive, diversionary and abdication of responsibility by the Federal Government in tackling the crisis of insurgency. “The Elders Forum condemns in no uncertain terms this move which will lead to further escalation and complication of an already bad security situation on ground. The Elders Forum is aware of the inaction of the Federal Government in bringing this conflict to a decisive end. “There was no serious action or political will to deal with the problem of insurgency in Borno and the rest of the Northeast. The Presidency should be reminded of the illegality of this move and we see it as an arbitrary action inconsistent with good governance and democratic principles. “We call on the Federal Government to retract this infamous intended action. Many committees that have worked on the insurgency and submitted their reports and recommendations remain disappointed that no action has been taken by the Federal Government to date. We see this as an abdication of responsibility and lack of political will. “We feel that military operation is purely a professional matter and should not be politicised. Security issues are handled by constitutionally established security outfits. The Nigerian Armed Forces have the constitutional mandate to protect the nation under civil authority. And the Governor of a state is the head of civil authority of the state and his presence does not in any way prevent necessary military operations. Of course the President is the Commander–in–Chief and Chief Security Officer of the nation. This implies that should there be any success or failure of the forces the bug stops at the Presidents doorsteps. “The Governor of a state is only the Chief Security Officer of his state but lacks any control over national security forces. States do not have lawful security outfits. Therefore it is an aberration and vindictive to remove the Governor over issues he has no control on. The President should live up to his responsibilities by not only rescinding this intended action but also empower our Military forces to bring the insurgency to an end professionally. “We are also appealing to the National Assembly to quickly intervene and stop this injustice. Meanwhile we wish to appeal to the President to appreciate the sustained efforts of the Governor of Borno State. The Governor has so far clearly demonstrated a sense of good and effective leadership in cushioning the effects of the insurgency on both the military and civilian population.”

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