The All Progressives Congress, APC, has alleged that the federal government plans to remove the governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, and appoint a military administrator to oversee the affairs of the state under the guise of intensifying the fight against insurgency.
In a statement on Monday, the interim national publicity secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, said “if indeed anyone should be removed over the protracted insurgency in the state and the entire North-east, it is President Goodluck Jonathan”.
The APC argued that the protracted crisis in the North-east region of the country and, particularly, in Borno State, is a mark of leadership failure at the highest level of government, especially because the imposition of a state of emergency in the three worst-hit states has given the President emergency powers to deal with the protracted crisis.
“As the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Jonathan is in full control of all the instruments of coercion available to the country, which he can and has been deploying at will. If, therefore, some seemingly implacable dead-enders have continued to kill, maim and destroy in any part of the country, no one but the President should be held liable. Everyone knows a Governor does not deploy troops,” the party said.
It also stressed that the primary duty of any government is the protection of lives and property and the moment any government fails in that key responsibility, it can no longer justify its reason for existence.
The APC said Shettima and the entire people of Borno have been the victims in the senseless war being waged by Boko Haram and therefore deserve succour and support and not further victimization by a federal government.
According to the party, the presidency may be using the state of emergency in the North-east to fight its own political battle and get rid of those it perceives as a stumbling block to its interest in 2015 and may also have an ultimate agenda of allowing the insurgency to fester so that elections will not be able to hold in the area in 2015.
“The state of emergency has run its initial course and has even been renewed, yet the insurgency continues. That means the federal government must think out of the box to evolve new strategies to tackle the insurgency. One of such is to heighten intelligence gathering that will make it possible for our security forces to preempt attacks. Another is to win the hearts and minds of the local population so they can do more to help fish out the insurgents,” it advised.