Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Tuesday warned that the Boko Haram had the capacity to extend havoc across the country if they succeeded in overrunning the North-East.
“If Boko Haram succeeds in overrunning the North East as they seek, they will surely want to extend greater havoc to other parts of the north and if they overrun the north, they would want to extend to the south. Crisis of any type has got a life of its own which depends on something for survival,” Shettima said.
The governor, who spoke at a two-day conference on security and human rights organised by the Centre for Historical Documentation and Research of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, described as gross misunderstanding of the Boko Haram crisis by those who should be in a position to proffer solution to the crisis.
He said that it was unfortunate that the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku was blind to the real crisis of Boko Haram and therefore chose to trivialise it.
According to him, it was a thing of concern that the nation’s chief spokesman who once served as Supervising Minister of Defence had a shallow understanding of the Boko Haram crisis, saying “no one might ever know the extent he might have inflicted his understanding of the Boko Haram on the Service Chiefs he had to work with.”
The governor lamented that the insurgents had done so much harm to the religion of Islam and killed thousands of innocent souls in Borno state and destroyed property worth tens of billions of naira.
He, however, warned that if the insurgents were allowed to overrun the north eastern part of the country, they would seek to extend their territory to other parts of the country, blaming negligence as responsible for the current state the nation found itself.
“As humans, we depend on oxygen and crisis depends on negligence and this negligence can be in different forms. Negligence can be in form of parents or teachers failing to instill the right habits in children to keep them out of crime; it can be in form of government failing to create and provide jobs to citizens in order to make crime unattractive or government failing to work hard to get the right intelligence at a good time or refusing to act appropriately with the right wares.
“Boko Haram insurgency has drenched our society in blood and systematically, it has been responsible for a creeping destruction of the harmony of communities in huge swathes of Borno state especially, but also in other states of northern Nigeria. The insurgency threatens the order of human and civilised existence and the ability of the state to provide the security and the welfare which Nigerian constitution says is the basis for the existence of the state.
“Boko Haram slaughters, shoots and crushes innocent people, destroy communities and public establishments for the fact that citizens do not share their violent ideology of murder and destructions. To Boko Haram, the life of a Muslim who doesn’t share the sect’s ideology is as condemned as that of a Christian or a traditionalist.
“There is one form of negligence that I didn’t mention, which to me is one of the major factors standing on our way of ending Boko Haram. There is a supreme negligence of understanding of the Boko Haram crisis itself and this makes it stubbornly difficult to make prescriptions.
“Only days ago, the Minister of Information, the chief spokesman of the country, Labaran Maku trivialised the Boko Haram crisis by blaming it on Borno state government. Maku is the one to educate not just Nigerians, but the entire world on what constitutes Boko Haram. However, the driver happens to be blind,” the Governor said.