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NIGERIA: Boko Haram Will Target Other Geopolitical Zones, Shettima Warns

 The Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, warned that if members of the Boko Haram sect are allowed to overrun the north-eastern part of the country, they will seek to extend their territory to other parts of the country.

The governor maintained that negligence was responsible for the current state of insecurity in the nation.

Regretted that  there was gross misunderstanding of the Boko Haram crisis by those who should be in a position to proffer solution to the crisis.

Shettima, in his speech at a two-day conference on security and human rights, organised by the Centre for Historical Documentation and Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said the state government had spent over N10 billion  as counterpart funds in fighting the insurgency since it began.

According to him, “If Boko Haram succeeds in overrunning the North-east as they seek, they will surely want to extend greater havoc to other parts of the North and if they over run the North, they would want to extend to the South.

“Crisis of any type has got a life of its own which depend on something for survival. As humans, we depend on oxygen and crisis depends on negligence and this negligence can be in different forms.

“Negligence can be in form of parents or teachers failing to instill the right habits in children to keep them out of crime; it can be in form of government failing to create and provide jobs for  citizens in order to make crime unattractive or government failing to work hard to get the right intelligence at a good time or refusing to act appropriately with the right wares…”

The governor lamented that the “Boko Haram insurgency has drenched our society in blood, and systematically, it has been responsible for a creeping destruction of the harmony of communities in huge swathes of the state especially, but also in other states of northern Nigeria….

“To Boko Haram, the life of a Muslim who doesn’t share the sect’s ideology is as condemned as that of a Christian or a traditionalist.
“This group of misdirected few among us has continued to unleash horror and of course, done so much harm to the integrity of the religion of Islam.”
The governor said: “My very distinguished elders here, ladies and gentlemen, security is an obligation we owe each other; security is a shared business; we all have responsibility to champion it, if for no other person, at least for ourselves and the communities we reside.

“No crisis-ridden community in Nigeria is a distant cousin; every troubled  community in Nigeria is indeed, a next door neighbour to the safe areas  because like I have sometimes said, trouble is mobile. In the past, we only read issues of suicide attacks from happenings in the middle-east. If some ten years ago, anybody had predicted that a day would come when a Nigerian man would tie bombs round his body and blow himself for the sole purpose of murdering and inflicting severe pains on a larger number of fellow Nigerians, such prediction would have been regarded less than what comedians like Basket Mouth say on the stand.”

He added that: “Today, we have gone pass the stage of suicide attacks being exclusive to male members of the Boko Haram. A woman was on Sunday, reported to have bombed herself just to kill others. This is the extent of our problem.”

He lamented that Boko Haram have killed thousands of innocent souls in Borno and destroyed property worth tens of billions of naira.
The governor also criticised the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, for allegedly trivialising the Boko Haram crisis by blaming it on Borno State Government.

“What would make one really disturbed is that Maku was supervising Minister of Defence for some time. No one might even know the extent he might have inflicted his understanding of the Boko Haram on security chiefs he had to work with.

“Boko Haram crisis is highly misunderstood by many people, some of whom, unfortunately are in position to form part of those that will make decisions to fight it. Let us not forget that Maku is a member of they Federal Executive Council….Unfortunately that the minister was blind to the real crisis of Boko Haram and therefore choose to trivialise it,” Shettima said.

He dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the insurgency was aimed at stopping President Jonathan from succeeding in his assignment, saying that the attacks by the group started under the administration of a northern, the late  Umaru Musa Yar’Adua when Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the group was killed.

Shettima, who called for concerted efforts in addressing the security situation confronting Nigerians, declared that the solution to insecurity in the country  is to create jobs for the youths.

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