According to The Nation, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has said the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB crisis being spearheaded by Nnamdi Kanu is bigger than the activities of the deadly terrorist group Boko Haram. No fewer than 20, 000 people are believed to have been killed by Boko Haram since the Islamist sect started its attacks about eight years ago. Speaking in Owerri on Monday night during a meeting with Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, when he led a truce team of North’s governors to the state, Shettima said the threats posed by the Nnamdi Kanu-led secessionist IPOB to the nation’s survival are far bigger than those posed by Boko Haram.
He said it was for this reason that he had to leave the killings going on in his state behind to join Governor Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) Simon Lalong (Platueau) Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina) and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), on visits to Abia, Rivers and Imo, seeking peace.
“Only this morning, 25 people were killed in my state via explosions carried out by three suicide bombers, but I have to be on this mission because of what it means to the nation,” he said. What we wanted to forestall actually was a mass movement of Nigerians from one part of the country to another. It was a very dangerous signal.
We equally invite our brothers from the South East to visit some of the northern flash points like Kaduna, Kano and Jos, and together we can talk to our Igbo brothers and sisters there to assure them of the safety of their lives and properties. Make or break, this country belongs to all of us. The population of Syria is a paltry 22 million. Only 2 million Syrian refugees are knocking on the doors of Europe and it is causing reverberation. How then do you perceive a situation where 35 million English-speaking Nigerians are knocking on the doors of Europe?
That is why we have a moral obligation as stakeholders to make things work in this country. We are all part of the leadership challenges we are facing in this country, and none of us can exonerate him or herself from blame. Like I said earlier in Aba, the hope of the black man rests not with the hard-thinking South Africans or the obsequious Kenyans who are struggling to be more white than the white men, but with the people of this country. If you see an African walking on the streets of London and would not leave the way obsequiously for the white man to pass, you don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that that black man is a Nigerian.
If we allow this country to implode, up is the Sahara Desert, Niger is already a failed state. The population of Niger is only 11 million while Kano has a population of about 30 million. We can eat up the entire food reserve of Niger Republic within a week. Down is the Atlantic Ocean and the tiny countries of Benin Republic, Togo and Senegal. Maybe some of us will migrate to Gambia. The entire food reserves of those tiny West African countries can be exhausted within two weeks.”
Shettima thanked Governor Okorocha for the warm reception he accorded the delegation, saying that they were in the state principally as a delegation of Northern Nigeria governors’ forum to identify with the uncommon leadership exhibited by the governors of the South East sub-region in these trying moments of the nation’s contemporary political history.