Gov Shettima changes stand on Insurgents vs Nigeria military

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Sequel to the reaction of the presidency, the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima seems to have softened his stand on situation report concerning the activities of insurgents in the North East, and the responses of the Nigeria military.

On Tuesday Shettima emphatically declared that Nigeria would not win the war against insurgents as they (insurgents) were better equipped and motivated.

“I made it emphatically clear to Mr. President that Boko Haram is better armed and better motivated, anybody who is following events in this country can attest to the fact that the insurgents have a very smooth sail overrunning communities, killing people.” he had said

But in a statement on Wednesday he assured the Presidency and the Nigerian Armed Forces of his highest respect and expressed optimism that with continued commitment through sustained deployment of the right military resources and men, the Boko Haram insurgency would come to an end.

Shettima also pledged his commitment to the fight against insurgency and the protection of lives and property in Borno State.

Shettima, however said his statement to the fact that the Boko Haram insurgents have more superior weapons than security forces was made in good fate, stressing that, being on ground, he knows more of the situation than most of the critics; as “one who wears the shoes knows where it pinches.”

Through his special adviser on Media and Communication, Umar Gusau, the governor says the comment by presidential adviser on public affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, concerning the governor's comment is unfair and insensitive to the sorrowful plight of Borno people and its government. The Governor being a leader, the statement stressed, must be bold enough to tell the truth so that solutions could be found for critical situations. “Unless if Dr Okupe wanted Governor Shettima to tell lies or to conceal the truth by deceiving Nigerians, or perhaps he wanted the people of Borno to die in silence otherwise, the Governor did the right thing any responsible leader should do in the circumstance he found himself.

The statement says: “Governor Shettima has the highest regard for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and appreciates the President's continued efforts in the last two and half years in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency”

It stressed that the governor equally held the security forces in high esteem and that that could be attested to by the enormous support the state had been giving to the Nigerian Army, the police and the state security.

“The Defence Headquarters in Abuja once described Governor Shettima's support to the armed forces as extraordinary. The Army leadership in Borno once said Governor Shettima treats them as the 28th local government area in the State, just to express how much attention they get from the Governor”

“Of course, the Governor wouldn't have accorded the armed forces such serious attention if he lacked confidence in their abilities, patriotism and commitment in the counter insurgency operations in Borno State