Timing of shutdown of NNPP Borno office wrong – Zulum

Borno State governor Babagana Zulum has ordered the unsealing of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) campaign office in Maiduguri, the state capital.

The State Urban Development Board sealed the office on Thursday for wrongful conversion of a residential area for office purposes.

Zulum directed the board to suspend its action on the matter in the public interest and avoid heating the polity in a statement released by his spokesperson Isa Gusau, on Friday.

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Shortly after the board sealed the office in the Abaganaran area of the state capital, with the help of security operatives, the media office of the party’s presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, condemned the action.

“This action is totally unacceptable, and we condemn it in its entirety. It is glaringly sending a wrong signal as we enter a critical stage of the electioneering period.

“We, therefore, call on the Borno State government to unseal our office and direct the security operatives stationed there to vacate our premises. The police and security agencies must resist any attempt to be used as a tool by some desperate politicians,” the office said.

Kwankwaso is scheduled to visit the state on Saturday.

In his reaction, Zulum said the public would misinterpret the sealing when preparations are in high gear for the commencement of campaigns.

While acknowledging that the board’s action was in tandem with its laws, the governor said no matter the justification, the timing for the sealing was wrong.

The governor noted that all political parties should be free to operate lawfully, and citizens should be free to associate with political parties of their choice without hindrances.

He advised authorities dealing with issues involving political parties to consider inviting stakeholders of all existing parties for consultations and jointly agreeing on conduct that aligns with existing laws.

    “The good people of Borno State are well aware that in the last three years, the Borno State Urban Development Board has been carrying out a series of reforms which included the sealing of some buildings operated by individuals, corporate bodies like banks and even some government institutions which issues contravened laws relating to non-compliance with Maiduguri’s town planning procedures.

    “The governor became aware that the board sealed an office operated by the NNPP. Although the board claimed to have acted in the same regard in acting against other offices by sealing the NNPP’s headquarters for wrongful conversion of residential area for office purposes, Governor Zulum regards the board’s action as that of wrong timing.

    “Zulum believes that no matter the justification, the board’s decision is bound to be given political interpretation and which could heat up the polity and cause needless distractions.

    “For that reason, Governor Zulum had already directed that the board should suspend its own rule on this particular instance bordering on the NNPP.”

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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