Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, yesterday told those plotting to make elections impossible in the state to jettison the idea as he insisted that he will not hand over power to any sole administrator on May 29.
The governor insisted that elections must hold in the state by all means despite the threat posed by insurgency, adding that there was no provision in the constitution that states a democratic government must hand over to a military sole administrator.
Speaking when he presided over the swearing-in of the 50 special advisers he recently appointed, Shettima, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was reacting to the growing concerns amongst citizens in the state that the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) might not conduct elections in the state, which will give room for a sole administrator to take over power in May when his tenure would have elapsed.
“Any retired soldier or a retired policeman who is waiting to be posted here as a sole administrator is wasting his time, because there is no place in our constitution where a sole administrator is allowed to govern a state during a democratic dispensation”, said the governor.
“In the worst-case scenario, the option is to extend the lifespan of our administration for six months”.
The Borno governor recalled that elections had been conducted in Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and even Somalia where similar cases of insecurity existed and queried why Nigeria’s case should be different.
“It is unfortunate that some people are calling for the postponement of the February general elections because they know they cannot win election; that is why they are agitating for a postponement”, he said.
The governor, who was visibly perturbed, recalled that in the over 1,000 years of Borno’s chequered history, the people had experienced many adversities and had survived most of them – like the Rabeh Azzubair’s invasion and the Maitatsine crisis – and declared that the Boko Haram insurgency will not be an exception.
He also called on the newly appointed special advisers to collaborate with other cabinet members in order to work for the success of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state in next month’s general elections.
“All Nigerians must vote for the APC because change is on air. As such, Nigerians must unite irrespective of race, region, religion and tribe to secure the country because the ruling PDP has failed us all”, Shettima said,