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Shettima: North Could Go Extinct in Five Years

11 May 2012

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Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima

By Chuks Okocha, Ahamefula Ogbu,  Senator Iroegbu and John Shiklam

Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, Thursday raised the alarm over the state of insecurity in the north, saying the region faces a possible extinction within five years if urgent steps were not taken by the leaders to address the Boko Haram challenge in the area. 

He was speaking at the Government House, Maiduguri, when some national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) visited him to sympathise with the state over the attacks on North-eastern states by the sect.

Vice-President Namadi Sambo also said Thursday that the Federal Government was ready to dialogue with militants, a position also canvassed by Governor Ibrahim Dankwabbo of Gombe, who specifically mentioned Boko Haram.

Shettima told the team led by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha: “For now, we have to do it in our enlightened self-interest, because nobody would stay in Northern Nigeria, believe me, in the next five years! Believe me, nobody!! None of us here is prepared to.”

Narrating the encounters some his relatives had with some hoodlums, the governor said:  “Somebody was telling me that he went to greet the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll... when he came out, the area boys came and knocked on his car and were asking for money. If you refuse to give them, they will scratch your car.

“Another friend was telling me that his wife and driver were driving in his Prado SUV in Kano. Some boys came and broke the windscreen and said, ‘You bastards, you are enjoying the comfort of an air conditioned car and we are suffering!’ So, you can see the bottom line is poverty."

The team also paid a similar visit to Dankwambo, who told them that following the increasing attacks, his administration was ready to dialogue with the sect for the sake of peace in the country.

Dankwambo said it would be imperative to dialogue with Boko Haram to guarantee peace and development of the state and the zone.

“A lot of lives were lost which are irreplaceable, property was destroyed and many more challenges. I want to thank you on behalf of the good people of Gombe State for the concern and to assure our party, the PDP, that we will do everything possible to shun violence; we will do everything possible to tolerate dialogue and call on whoever is ready to dialogue with us in line with the principle of PDP, to bridge the gap of misunderstanding, so that there will be peace, there will be progress and there will be development.

“I also want to assure you that we have taken measures to ensure that some of the victims that lost their property are supported, but those who lost their lives, it is most unfortunate, lives are irreplaceable. But those who lost their property we have taken some remedial actions to ensure that they didn’t lose, completely," he said.

Mustapha, in his response, restated the call for dialogue with the sect to find a lasting solution to the violence threatening peace in the north.

In Kaduna State, the 33rd International Trade Fair which held between April 27 and May 6, suffered serious setback as corporate bodies, prospective investors and exhibitors stayed away from the event as a result of the security challenges in the city.

The fair was initially slated to hold in February, its traditional date, but was postponed following the series of bomb blasts that rocked the city within the period.

The fair came and went without the usual fanfare and bustling business and commercial activities at the Complex.

Only a few exhibitors and some corporate organisations were seen during the event which was deserted by residents including journalists for fear of bomb explosions.

Except for some few corporate organisations such as Unity Bank, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Nigerian Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), and Dangote Group, many other major organisations which used to be major players at the fair were absent, especially the telecommunications companies.

Although the organisers, the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCIMA), took adequate security measures to ensure that the fair was hitch-free, it was learnt that many exhibitors had no confidence in the ability of the security agencies any more.

The Federal government Thursday waved an olive branch once more to all militant groups in the country to declare ceasefire and embrace dialogue instead of making the country look insecure before the comity of nations.

Sambo assured any group that embraces peace that the government was ready to enter into dialogue since even in wars, parties still resolve them on the round table.

He spoke at a symposium organised by Nasirul-Lahi-Faith Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) with theme, “Islam and Peaceful Co-existence in a Contemporary Multi Religious Society”.
“Islam is a religion of peace; it is a way of life. It cannot promote senseless killings and wanton destruction of property. I am not aware of any religion in the world that encourages unprovoked and relentless attacks on other people,” he said.

Also, the Minister of Defence, Dr Bello Haliru Mohammed, disclosed that the Federal Government was making fresh efforts to bring the Boko Haram to negotiating table through both traditional and official channels.

Mohammed gave the hint Thursday while receiving an Italian military delegation led by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Roberto Coleminem, in his office in Abuja.

“Government wants to listen to the group's grouses or concern because it is the duty of the government of Nigeria to attend to the concerns of every Nigerian,” he said.

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, Featured, Shettima, North, Five Years

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  • The issue of contention is the willingness of the federal government to dialogue with the so called BH, the sincerity of the governments not just rhetoric proclamation by their agents of the desire to dialogue with them BH. My candid opinion is that dialogue will curtail the loss of lives and property nation wide.

    From: Abdulwahab L

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I think Mr Sambo should stop addressing these people as militants but as terrorists,this would help in knowing if it would be appropriate to dialogue with terrorists.

    From: Olumide

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • It's a pity that,that the northern Elites having rules this country,and still occupying sensitive posiion in highly ministry and agencies of government since after the civil war,could display they selfishness and greed in the economic empowerment of their people that they suddenly remember that the problem of the boko haram is poverty.what a shame!i am only not happy with the sect nodus of apparendis of killing and manning of the same poor deprive good people of the north instead of killing the privilege parasitic elites.

    From: Ekeh

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • If the North will become in 5 Years, then there is no need for the convocation of National Conference; our prayers will be answered soon.

    From: Nyeso

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • We have posted agents to monitor whoever will represent this killer-squad. What goes around comes around and we cannot dismiss this heinous crime against humanity with a bag of promise and money for few to benefit from.Many Nigerians have either been killed, maimed, depressed by these miscreants and the government is rolling out a red carpet for them to once again sweep peoples anguish under it. We shall not forget the blood flow from the house of God nor shall we forget the weeping and despair those moments brought to the nation.

    From: Shetima

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Let us call a spade a spade,whosoever that went to the bush to fetch woods infested by ants is indirectly asking a lizard to his home.You people should first of all be sincere to yourself,take away pride and apologise to the present commander in chief GEJ;Ali Ciroma and cohorts should repent and withdraw/retract their miscalculated/misfired words before and after elections.
    Be thankful that we have a christian C in C who have and understand the spirit of forgiveness,but all he require from you people is sincerity of heart and genuine repentance from there we explore peace and dialogue.If pride and arrogance will not allow you people to retreat,you will be exposed the more,every tribe and region will distance themselves from you the more.
    This is a high treasonable offence,which is still raging and yet sane people are talking about dialogue when the perpetrators are walking free with pride without remorse and repentance..there is a GOD who is AWESOME and rules in the affairs of men(mortals)HIS fierce hour of visitation will caught up with all that take lives and are accomplice to those that take lives they cannot create.Long life to peaceful Nigerians! long life sincere and tireless armed forces/security units of Nigeria!!,long life C in C of Nigeria!!!

    From: Dozie

    Posted: 2 years ago

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