Any of the 27 local government chairmen that dares to bring shame to the Borno State Government through any act suspected of support or links with Boko Haram will be entirely on his own, Governor Kashim Shettima has warned. The chairmen were appointed after the six-months tenure of those in office, elapsed last month.
Speaking at the swearing-in of 27 new caretaker chairmen at the Government House in Maiduguri on Thursday, Shettima also said any of the chairmen who doesn’t desire to relocate from Maiduguri to his local government area was free to reject his appointment so he could be replaced.
The Governor’s warning on issues of insurgency was based on instances recorded few months ago in which a caretaker chairman and Vice Chairmen of two local government areas were arrested by the military over allegations connected with the Boko Haram insurgents.
“There is an important issue we must not ignore or pretend about. It is no longer news to all of us, that within the last six months, we had cases were one caretaker chairman and two Vice Chairmen were arrested by the military on security related matters. Let me say it very loud and very clear that any caretaker chairman who dares to bring shame on this administration will be entirely on his own. The Borno State Government will not only disown such a person but we will in fact take legal steps towards making such a person unfit to hold any public office associated with Borno State. I always recognize the fact that over 90 percent of the people of Borno State are vehemently opposed to the activities of Boko Haram. There is no better evidence that the manner in which thousands of parents have donated their youthful sons and daughters to fighting Boko Haram with many of paying the supreme price. As I have often said, whoever shows any form of support or empathy for Boko Haram insurgents is an enemy of Borno people and an enemy of humanity. You must in all your conducts do nothing to suggest that you treat matters affecting the insurgency and other forms insecurity with any basis of suspicion or levity. As Governor of Borno State, I direct you to extend full, unconditional and ceaseless support to the armed forces and other security agencies as they continue their patriotic duty of prosecuting the war against terror so that everlasting peace and stability shall return to our dear State” the Governor said.
Shettima had earlier also said he was not going to tolerate instances where chairmen of most of the 27 local government areas hide in Maiduguri instead living with their citizens that include IDP’S who returned to their local government areas.
“Indeed, any of you who is not ready to relocate from Maiduguri to live, work and worship with your people in your local councils, is best advised not to accept this mandate. For the avoidance of any doubt, we are hereby declaring a zero tolerance for the services any Chairman who is not ready for permanent residency in his local government area throughout the period of his tenure” the Governor said at the swearing-in.
Th State Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs said the 27 caretaker chairmen were appointed after thorough assessment of their backgrounds, competence and loyalty to the administration and the All Progressives Congress, APC.