- Says one million IDPs resettled due to prevailing peace.
Worried by the increasing spate of political violence in Borno State in recent times, especially during last month’s attack on the PDP presidential campaign convoy in Maiduguri, the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has ordered security agencies, including the Nigerian Police Force and the DSS to arrest anyone caught perpetrating political violence, irrespective of his political party affiliations.
Zulum, in a statement issued on Thursday by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, directed Borno State’s Commissioner of Police to investigate and ensure all culprits are arrested and prosecuted according to the law. He revealed that he would not allow anyone to destabilise the relative peace being enjoyed in the state which has led to the resettlement of about one million internally displaced persons.
He said the safe existence of societies is the fundamental basis of government and as such the state ought to be secured for the people to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Governor Zulum stated that “I have received reports on renewed acts of political violence in the state. I strongly condemn these extremely unnecessary acts of violence and hereby direct the Commissioner of Police and the DSS to immediately investigate and ensure anyone involved is made to face the full wrath of the law.
“I am directing heads of security agencies under the Borno State security council to immediately convene a meeting with critical representatives of all major political parties, particularly the APC and PDP, get them to sign undertakings and strictly warn against all acts of violence with punitive measures rolled out for any culprit, especially politicians who might be instigating violence, no matter how highly placed they might be.
“In the meantime, I strongly urge supporters of all political parties not to disseminate false statements that can incite violence. We should endeavor to promote peace.
“I have always been against political thuggery and for us in Borno State, we have seen enough of violence from our over 12 years of insurgency. Instigating political violence is simply being ungrateful to Allah for the peace He is granting us after over 12 years of prayers for His divine intervention.
“Many soldiers, policemen, personnel of the DSS and paramilitary as well as our volunteers in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes have given their lives in battles and many are still in the front lines, towards full restoration of peace in Borno State. Insha’Allah, we will not allow anyone to reverse the supreme sacrifices of our armed forces and volunteers.
“With the peace gained so far across Borno State, we have safely resettled close to one million internally displaced persons and refugees in rebuilt communities. Our focus, which is very firm, is to sustain our ongoing construction of 10,000 new houses and rehabilitation of thousands of destroyed houses to continue our safe and dignified resettlement, alongside the provision of livelihood support so that our fellow citizens can eventually cater for themselves through productive agriculture and other businesses in ways they can live without depending on the food and cash aides we are currently giving based on our routine humanitarian needs assessments for all communities.
“I urge all stakeholders of political parties in particular, party executives, candidates and campaign teams to desist from any form of violence and to campaign peacefully and in accordance with all provisions of the electoral act and laws of Borno State. For me, electoral victory should be one that is earned not one that is forced through acts of violence.
“It is Allah that gives power to whoever He wills but that divine declaration by the Almighty Allah doesn’t include using unlawful means to acquire power. Moreover, for political offices to be meaningful, societies for which such offices are established must first exist and do so safely.
“That safe existence of societies is the fundamental basis of government and insha’Allah, we will ensure that Borno State Government lives to that sacred purpose of guaranteeing public peace and public freedom.” Zulum maintained.