The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned the Federal Government against going ahead with its reported plan to remove the elected Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima and appoint a military administrator to oversee the affairs of the state, as a way of intensifying the fight against the Boko Haram sect.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lai Mohammed, the party said the presidency should realise that there was always a limit to impunity.
“If indeed anyone should be removed over the protracted insurgency in the state and the entire North-east, it is President Goodluck Jonathan.
”What is happening in the North-east in general and Borno state in particular is failure of leadership 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.
”Also, it is trite to say that the raison d’etre of any government is the protection of lives and property. This means that the moment any government fails in that key responsibility, it can no longer justify its reason for existence,” the statement read.
The APC said that Governor Shettima and the entire people of Borno were the victims in the senseless war being waged by Boko Haram and that they deserved succour and support and not further victimisation by a Federal Government which “seems to have run out of ideas on how to subdue the sect”.
Think Out Of The Box
The party urged Nigerians not to accept the denial of the planned removal by the presidency, insisting that “the presidency had issued a straight-faced denial over issues in the past only to go ahead and do exactly what it said it won’t”.
It also advised the Federal Government to think out of the box and evolve new strategies to tackle the insurgency.
The political party suggested the heightening of intelligence gathering that would make it possible for security forces to pre-empt attacks.
Another strategy, it said, would be to win the hearts and minds of the local population so they can do more to help fish out the insurgents.