Bayelsa state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson says, the Nation’s constitution empowers State Governors to maintain law and order in their domains, stressing that, the intervention of Governors in the Niger Delta region brought about the existing peace and stability in the once troubled region.
Governor Dickson, who stated this, while exchanging views with the Shehu of Borno and Chancellor of the Bayelsa State owned Niger Delta University, Alhaji (Dr.) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba El- Amin Elkanemi, who called on him at the weekend in Abuja, cautioned political and religious leaders to be mindful of the comments they make in the face of the current security challenges in the north eastern part of the country.
While warning that, such comments could inflame passions, he urged the political class and religious leaders to take steps that, will reflect support and empathy for the security agencies, instead of capitalising on the situation to score cheap political points.
“This is a time to unify Nigeria, not a time to balkanize Nigeria. The challenges here should not be politicized. We should come together and confront it.
“Our view that political leaders should refrain from making comments capable of inflaming passions. Our comments should reflect support and empathy for our security agents, and not seek to score cheap political points,”
“We talk about the abductions and the killings. All people of goodwill are with the people of Borno, the northeast and I believe strongly that, Nigeria shall soon overcome this scourge.
“As a state that has had its own fair share of insecurity, we deployed our constitutional powers to arrest the situation.
Every state has sufficient instruments to enforce law and order. The governor has equal constitutional powers to maintain law and order, just as the president,” submitted Dickson.
The Bayelsa State Governor, explained that, the only difference between the president and the governors is that, the President, as Commander In Chief, has direct control of the armed forces.
Earlier, the Shehu of Borno, had hinted that, traditional rulers in the North have become targets of the Boko Haram insurgents, because of the cooperation they have continued to extend to security agencies in the war against terror in the region.
Alhaji (Dr.) Garba El- Amin Elkanemi, said as the first traditional ruler in the north to be targeted by a suicide bomber, he would remain resolute and supportive of any process, that will restore peace, harmony and unity to his over 1200 year-old kingdom in particular and Nigeria in general.
According to him, the Kanem-Borno empire has never been conquered by power, and that Boko Haram was set to fail, the same way Maitatsine failed in the 1980s.
The Shehu noted with dismay that, 14 out of his empire’s 59 district heads have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents, arguing that, it was therefore wrong for Boko Haram to claim that, they are fighting the cause of Islam.
“It is wrong to force somebody to convert. There is nowhere in the Bible or Koran that, we are asked to use force to convert people. They’ve attacked mosques, killed my Imams, district heads, even my own blood brothers.
“Anybody who kills cannot be said to be a muslim. They have not spared anybody. We cannot be deterred and shall keep speaking out against them,” vowed the Shehu.
He thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for providing “the support to fight the insurgents,” assuring that his kingdom would “provide 100 percent support for federal government”