Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, North East Nigeria, is optimistic that there will soon be enduring peace in the region, insisting that remarkable progress has been made in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Shettima spoke on Tuesday after a meeting with Chief of Staff to the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“There has been remarkable improvement and I believe that if the tempo is sustained, we shall have an enduring peace in the region very soon,” he said.
Shettima was at the State House for consultation and update on the security situation in our state.
He said: “It is stable; there are challenges but anyone who juxtaposes what it was four years ago and what it is now, will say there is change.
“And being optimists, we believe that things will change for the better in the coming weeks.
“Four years ago, 22 local government areas were under the occupation of Boko Haram; so, whatever anybody might say, I think we have to give some credit to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for securing the lives and property of the citizens.”
Governor Shettima said the direct primaries, which the All Progressives Congress, APC, has chosen as one of the two options for nominating its candidates for the 2019 general election, would not practicable in his state because of the security challenges in the region.
“In Borno, direct primary is desirable but is not practicable; we have challenges, so why do we have go the whole hog of imposing an untenable system on our people and main election is coming.
“Why would we over exert the security forces to ensure that elections are conducted in the state.
“The constitution of the party provides for direct, indirect and consensus, so there is no cause for alarm; depending on the peculiarities of particular location, they will choose the option that is best for them.”
On the19 governorship aspirants of the APC in Borno state, Shettima said it showed the beauty of democracy, promising that the party would provide a level-playing ground for all aspirants to vie for governorship ticket.
“It is when you suppress people from expressing their fundamental rights of choice, that’s when you have problem; the more the merrier,” he said.