From: Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has warned officials of the state government not to get involved in any criminal acts, maintaining that his administration would disown any government officials found to have a link with Boko Haram insurgents.
Shettima, who recalled the recent arrest of a local government chairman and two vice chairmen by the military over links with Boko Haram, maintained, on Thursday, at the swearing-in of appointed chairmen for the 27 local governments in the state in Maiduguri, that any local government leader who shows sympathy or empathy toward Boko Haram was an enemy of Borno people.
According to him, “Whoever shows any form of support or empathy for Boko Haram insurgents is an enemy of Borno people and an enemy of humanity. I recognised the fact that over 90 percent of the people of Borno State are vehemently opposed to the activities of Boko Haram,” he said.
He said any local government chairman who dare bring shame to his government through criminal acts will be left “on his own. The Borno State Government will not only disown such a person but we will in fact take legal steps towards making such a person unfit to hold any public office associated with Borno State,” he declared.
He urged the council chairmen to treat matters of security with dispatch and work harmoniously with the military and other security agencies in their dormain.
He also warned the chairmen to stay in their local government areas and not the capital, adding that any LG found to be absent in his local government will be sanctioned.
“We are hereby declaring a zero tolerance for the services of any Chairman who is not ready for permanent residency in his local government area throughout the period of his tenure,” he said. He explained that the state was unable to conduct local government elections due to the security challenge.
Borno State Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Alh Usman Zanna said the 27 caretaker chairmen were appointed after thorough assessment of their backgrounds, competence and loyalty to the administration and the ruling party; All Progressives Congress (APC).