February 19, 2014 | General News
Shettima Replies Okupe, Says Comments Are'Unfair, Insensitive'
The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, says 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. “It is an irony to realise that while Okupe didn't find it worthy to hold a press briefing in sympathy with the people of Borno and to join in condemning the horrible serial attacks that left nearly 300 innocent citizens killed in February alone, he found it very urgent to try to take advantage of an honest opinion just to show his face on television in the name of doing his job” 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 Dr Okupe, the statement adds “would have scored a good point if he took time to visit Borno State, interact with the Government, the people and the military, especially those on the field so he could have firsthand information, rather than sitting in the comfort on his office in Abuja and disregarding the sensitivity of highly traumatic people for no other reason but cheap goal” The Governor 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 and pledged his commitment to the fight against insurgency and the protection of lives and property in Borno State. The Borno State Governor had said after a recent attack on Izge community of Gwoza Local Government Area of the state that the dreaded Boko Haram Islamists had more superior weapons and were better motivated than the security forces.