Alleged Sexual Abuse, Sodomy In Maiduguri Prison: Shettima Constitutes Investigative Committee

Governor Kashim Shettima

 

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has constituted an eight-man committee to investigate allegations of sodomy, forced abortion and sexual abuse at the Maiduguri maximum Security prison.

This followed a damning and detailed account of happenings in the prison, as reported by one of the inmates Charles Okah, through human rights lawyer Femi Falana.

Worried by the revelations in the report, Shettima gave the committee seven terms of reference, charging them to unravel all the issues raised by the 31-page piece supposedly written by the inmate.

The committee is chaired by the state Attorney General, Ka’Shehu Lawan while other members are drawn from FIDA, DSS, NBA and the National Human Rights Commission.

They are to submit their findings and recommendations to the state government in a week.

“In my position as the Chief Security Officer of the state And As a responsible and responsive government it behooves on us to treat this allegation with all the seriousness it deserves because this does not only bother on the sanctity of law, morality and security but on the safety of prison inmates whose rights are being violated allegedly by persons who are supposed to protect them this makes them terribly exposed, vulnerable and helpless.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Medical Examination Of Wounds Sustained By Suspected Offa Robbers

“It is alleged by Sahara reporters that these atrocities and heinous crimes are perpetrated by and or in connivance with prison officials who are entrusted with the care, rehabilitation and welfare of the inmates and in the confines of the prison which should serve as a corrective institution.

“Then we are grave danger and everything possible must be done and urgently too to not only put an end to this ugly development but to punish all those involved or who aids and abets same in one way or the other accordingly I hereby appoint and inaugurate a high powered committee to investigate the allegations and make appropriate recommendations based on its findings.

“The committee which is to be headed by the state attorney general and commissioner for justice comprise of other eminent personalities of people with integrity and diverse experiences and represent sectors and institutions that are relevant to the subject matter and their investigation.

“I therefore on the General public and especially the prison authorities to give this committee the necessary support and cooperation to succeed in this assignment which is for the benefit of the society

“Terms of reference of the committee include

1. To meet with the officials of the Maiduguri maximum security prison and if necessary some of the inmates and investigate the allegations of child prostitution sodomy and forced abortion in the same prison

2. To identify those involved in the commission of the alleged crime.

3. To discretely identify the victims with maximum caution to protect their identities

4. To verify the involvement or otherwise of officials charged with the responsibility of taking care of the inmates

5. To recommend ways and means of preventing a reoccurrence of such crimes in the future

6. To make necessary recommendations to relevant authorities on appropriate disciplinary measures to be taken against any officer or person found culpable.

7. To identify and make recommendations on any other matter which in the opinion of the committee will enhance the protection of the human rights of the inmates and protect them from abuses the time frame of the committee is one week from today to complete this assignment and submit this report to the government.”

Shettima Mourns, Confirms Three Killed In Convoy Attack

Shettima Presents N170b ‘Budget Of Resettlement and Empowerment'
Kashim Shettima

 

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has confirmed that three people were killed during an attack on his convoy by Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Isa Gusau, the governor mourned the victims of the attack and sympathised with their families.

Gusau said the governor was expecting a full security briefing to get accurate information on the incident.

“Preliminary report on Wednesday confirmed the killing of three persons during the attack, which principally aimed to attract local and global media attention in order to sustain propaganda strategy and to instil fear in citizens and gallant troops,” the statement read in part.

READ ALSOISWAP Claims Responsibility For Attack On Governor Shettima’s Convoy

Gusau also disclosed that the governor would meet with the families of those affected by the attack on Thursday.

He added that his principal would meet some security heads in the state to address the incident and to continue collaboration with all security agencies and volunteers committed to the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.

The governor’s aide said, “The unfortunate incident will not make the Governor have doubt in the capacity of the gallant and patriotic personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have dedicated their lives fighting for peace and the freedom of Borno people.

“The Governor has absolute confidence in the armed forces and given his access to raw updates, he is aware of the successes being recorded by the Armed Forces despite Tuesday’s and previous attacks by the insurgents. For one success recorded by the insurgents, the Armed Forces record dozens against them.

“He remains optimistic and urges citizens to be calm, prayerful and supportive of the Nigerian Armed Forces and volunteers through means that include (as they have been doing) the sharing of useful information”.

Gusau revealed that the incident occurred while Governor Shettima was on his way to Gamboru, in continuation of campaigns for the presidential and National Assembly elections fixed for Saturday.

According to him, the governor had left Maiduguri on Tuesday morning and stopped for campaigns in Mafa and Dikwa local government areas before heading to Gamboru where he passed the night and returned to Maiduguri on Wednesday.

The governor’s aide added that Shettima had travelled to Damasak on Monday, the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area in northern Borno.

“Before then, he had previously held campaigns in most parts of northern Borno including Monguno where he spent the night,” he said.

“He had also been to all the nine local government areas of southern Borno including Chibok, Gwoza, Askira-Uba and Biu where he spent days.”

Gusau added, “The Governor extends his deepest gratitude to friends, associates and other well-meaning Nigerians that have shown concern over the incident.”

I Will Raise The Standard Of Nigerian Armed Forces – Buhari Tells Shettima

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja met a delegation from Borno State, during which he reasserted his administration’s unwavering support to equip the military to overcome the insurgency in the North-East.

The President also told the delegation led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State that the collective safety and security of civilians would continue to remain paramount in the administration’s strategy to restore peace and stability in the region.

‘‘Having been a former Governor in the North East, a GOC in the region and very familiar with the terrain, I assure you that as Commander-in-Chief, I’ll raise the standard of the Nigerian Armed Forces and get the resources to encourage them to do better than what they are doing, ’’ he said.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Nominates Modibbo Tukur As Director Of NFIU

The President told the delegation comprising political, traditional, religious, women and media leaders in the State that he was impressed by their leadership roles and participation in helping the government deal with the insurgency in the North East.

The President commended the contributions of the stakeholders from Borno State particularly the need for more air support for troops on the ground and coordination among different security agencies.

‘‘I am getting at least a weekly situation report from the services and of course from other sources. I encourage the commanders to remain committed,’’ he said.

President Buhari thanked Governor Shettima for demonstrating leadership in the State during these difficult times.

‘‘I have an idea how much you are doing and I very much appreciate it. I’m sure that has earned you more respect from the people,’’ he said.

Earlier in his remarks, Governor Shettima recounted that before 2015, Boko Haram had almost completely overrun the State, occupying many local government areas because the state government did not receive the necessary support and succour from the then Federal Government.

The governor who was moved to tears because of what he described as the recent setback in the fight against insurgency, however, noted that the leaders had not lost hope in the President’s ability to win the war and restore peace in the state.

Amidst tears, Governor Shettima told the President that the delegation came to present a set of observations and specific requests from a security meeting held a week ago in the state, which will require urgent presidential intervention.

Other stakeholders from the State who made comments included Bishop Mohammed Naga, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Borno State, Dr Bulama Mali Gubio, Secretary, Borno Elders’ Forum, Maina Ma’aji Lawal, former Governor of the State, HRH Muhammad Masta II bn Al-Amin El-Kanemi, Emir of Dikwa, representing the Shehu of Borno, Senator representing Borno North, Abubakar Kyari and Senator Ali Ndume, Leader, Borno Caucus, National Assembly.

2019: Borno Governor Canvasses Support For Buhari

This file photo shows President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Kashim Shettima during a visit by the President to Borno in 2017

 

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has called on all All Progressives Congress supporters to rally behind President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.

The governor made the call in a Facebook post in reaction to the declaration by President Buhari that he would seek reelection.

President Buhari had put an end to speculations about whether he would go for a second term on Monday at the National Executive Council meeting of the APC in Abuja.

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the President’s decision was based on the clamour of Nigerians for him to re-contest.

As reactions trail the declaration by the President, many of his close allies have hailed the decision.

Governor Shettima, who along with other governors previously called on the President to seek re-election, welcomed the news.

“It is a traditional practice all over the world, that a popular sitting president gets his political party’s right of first refusal in seeking reelection,” he said.

The governor added that the President’s declaration would put to rest the speculations of the past months and stabilise the polity.

He said, “As Nigerians can testify, silence on the part of the President creates uncertainty in the polity with all sorts of assumptions. I believe that Mr President’s notice of intention will not only calm the polity but will indeed, give the APC a better sense of direction.

“Insha’Allah, as Governors, we will give the President and our party, all that is in us to once again, win the election.”

He called on APC supporters to sensitise their friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues about the challenges the Buhari administration inherited in 2015 and encourage them to support his re-election bid.

Before declaring his intention to seek re-election at the APC NEC meeting, President Buhari called on members of the party to remain united and ensure it fulfills its campaign promises to Nigerians.

He said, “With the present state of the party and based on the report submitted by the Technical Committee, it is important to focus on how to move the party forward by avoiding actions detrimental to the interest of the party.

“Considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to note, appreciate and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits. Upon my review of the report, my position is to ensure that the party tows the path of unity, legality, and cohesion and not that of division,” the President said.

Shettima Presents N170b ‘Budget Of Resettlement and Empowerment’

Shettima Presents N170b ‘Budget Of Resettlement and Empowerment'
FIle photo

 

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Thursday presented a budget of N170.2 billion to the State House of Assembly.

In the appropriation bill tagged ‘Budget of Resettlement and Empowerment’, education got the highest amount of N27billion in an estimate that allocated 65 per cent for capital projects, leaving recurring with N61.8 billion.

‎Addressing the lawmakers in Maiduguri, Governor Shettima said the budget is to be financed from expected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N16,075,548,000.00; allocation of N115,734,194,000.00 from the Federation Account; and Capital Receipt of N38,469,772,000.00.

He explained that the total capital expenditure is N108,408,580,000.00 and the total recurrent expenditure is N61,870,934,000.00.

According to him, the 2018 budget size is less than that of 2017 by N13,560,875,081.00 which represents 7.38%.

On sectoral allocations, Shettima said N12.6 billion was set aside for building infrastructures and management of secondary school education, N10.3 billion for tertiary schools, and N4.4 billion for primary and junior secondary schools through the State’s Universal Basic Education Commission, putting the combined total allocation for education at N27.2 billion.

He said education is trailed by the allocation of N22.6 billion for construction of major roads, drainage, and boosting transportation through the State Ministry of Works and Transport.

Also, N17.7 billion is allocated to healthcare infrastructures, consumables‎ and other related needs, N9.8 billion to complete reconstruction of destroyed communities, rehabilitation and resettlement of victims of Boko Haram insurgency, while N8billion was set aside for agriculture.

Other sectors got different range of allocations that were less than the listed sectors.

“During the 2017 fiscal year, the state government made deliberate efforts to reconstruct or rehabilitate all the major institutional structures and residential buildings in the various local government areas which were wantonly destroyed by the insurgents,” he said.

“I am happy to announce that most of the schools, health centres, and residential houses in some of the local governments destroyed during the insurgency have been reconstructed and services fully restored.

“These local governments include Konduga, Damasak, Dikwa, Askira/Uba, Kaga and Mafa. Also, IDPs from these local governments as well as those from Damboa, Ngala and Monguno, have been safely returned to their homes.

“To ensure that these IDPs are engaged in some economic ventures, the state government, during the period under review has undertaken the training of the youths and women in skills acquisition and also provided them with entrepreneurship kits and farm inputs.

“Building materials have also been distributed to some of the IDPs to rebuild their homes,” Shettima told the lawmakers.

He further highlighted the numerous areas of achievements recorded by his administration in 2017, with specific mention of schools, roads, hospitals and houses constructed in addition to what was achieved in agriculture and humanitarian needs among others.

Restructuring My Foot, Let’s Restructure Our Minds – Shettima

Restructuring My Foot, Let’s Restructure Our Minds – Shettima
Governor Kashim Shettima speaks during an exclusive interview with Channels Television

In this exclusive interview with Channels Television, Borno State government speaks on Nigeria’s restructuring and the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East among other issues.

Excerpts: 

Let me begin by having your take on the bill that was just signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari; the North East Development Commission (NEDC) Bill. What’s your take on that bill?

Well, it’s a very momentous bill which will turn out to be a game changer in the North East Development Equation because it will give us the platform of having a body charged with the responsibility of harmonising, regulating all the desperate bodies severing the same purpose – VSF, the PCNI, PINE, and so many other organisations that are serving the same purpose. So that will be the umbrella body that will drive the federal initiative, it’s a constitutional-recognised body that will have an appropriation from the National Assembly, that will have checks and balances while legislators will have the opportunity to ask questions, to identify priorities for the quality growth of our people.

Don’t you think the NDDC is some sort of duplication of roles; we have the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE), we have the Victims Support Fund (VSF) and all other agencies that are taking care of similar roles as outlined in the details of that law?

In fact, the existence of so many desperate bodies is the main reason why we should have the NDDC because all those committees were ad hoc bodies established and unfortunately pursuing similar goals. So the NEDC has come into being to harmonise all these desperate bodies so that collectively we can pursue our goal of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the settlements in the North East sub-region.

Do you think the South East, for example, deserves a similar initiative; a development commission?

It will be insensitive on my part to say that the South East should be disenfranchised but it is never my wish or the wish of anybody from the North East for us to suffer the devastation, the destruction, the loss of lives and properties to warrant the establishment of the NEDC; NEDC is a child of circumstance because the North East sub-region has suffered fundamental neglect over the years – from 1979 up till date.

You recently made a tour of some areas in Borno State, are you disturbed that some areas in the state are perhaps still under the stronghold of Boko Haram?

Two and half years ago, the Boko Haram (terrorists) were holding sway in 20 out of 27 local government areas of the state. The Nigerian Army did a wonderful job, we have driven them out of all the local government areas of the state but the truth of the matter is that if anybody tells you that the Boko Haram has been completely wiped out, that person is economical with the truth. Mind you, Borno is the largest state in Nigeria in terms of land mass and the Boko Haram (terrorists) have made it into the hinterlands, unleashing their terror on helpless citizenry. Five or six Boko Haram will come and burn a village, kill as many people as they could and their prestige in the international jihadist community will rise. So these are nihilists, these are lunatics but otherwise, considerable progress has been made. They have been sufficiently decimated.

But the United Nations report did disagree with the report of the government that Boko Haram no longer hold any territory because that report did say that three local governments are still under the control of Boko Haram in Borno State.

Honestly, I disagree with the UN report because we have been on ground for quite some time, we are the sitting administration and we should be in a better position to tell the world the ground realities in the state. The Boko Haram are there in the Sambisa forest, I’m not disputing that fact; the Boko Haram are scattered in almost all parts of the state but that they no longer have the strength to hold on to any territory in the Federation of Nigeria. For now, I will allow almost all our people to go back to their communities except two local government areas where the peace is still fragile. Like in Abadam LGA, it is the military that is holding onto the town. But Abadam is not far off from the highland where the Boko Haram are residents. If we allow the people of Abadam to go back, for instance, the Boko Haram can easily come and infiltrate and get destruction on the people. So until those highlands are cleared of the remnants of the Boko Haram, the people of Marte, the people of Abadam will have to exercise some patience. But with all sense of responsibility, I’m telling you Abadam, Malam Fatori, Marte are in the firm grips of the federal troops.

Some university lecturers were kidnapped and have been held hostage by the Boko Haram sect and there were demands; are all hopes lost on the rescue of these men?

I believe discussions are currently ongoing; I will rather not comment on this issue so as not to jeopardise the lives of those hostages but I can assure you that discussions are ongoing and very soon they will regain their freedom.

Do you want to become a president of Nigeria?

I have never planned to be the governor of Borno State and for the presidency of this country, it’s a student of history. Nobody had ever aspired to be president of this country and got it. As popular as President Buhari is, with is bite-like grip among the Northern masses, on three occasions he couldn’t realise his dream. The fourth one, we literally (the governors, the party, the party leaders) dragged him to contest the 2015 election. Go down the memory lane, the Nigerian presidency doesn’t go for the person who runs after it. At any point in time, we should be grateful to God for opportunities given to us. I became the governor of Borno State not because I am the most brilliant, not because of age, not because of my political sagacity, or pedigree, or intellectual accruement, is God in his infinite mercy and wisdom that decided to say that at this particular point in time, one young banker should be the governor of Borno State. So it’s not an obsession, it’s all about service, how we can move this country forward is much more important.

You would have served two terms after the end of this term; that means you will be out of office. What would you be doing then?

I have two or three things in mind; going to the Senate is an option but not an obsession for me. I want to go and do a Ph.D. I want to go back to the classroom … if you overstay your welcome in a party you will end up dancing with the cleaners and the cooks, so at a point in time it is absolutely essential if have an ordinary common sense to step aside and give others the chance to experiment with their own ideas.

In 2019, do you think President Buhari should run (for presidency)?

He’s a stabilising factor in this country; he’s a man of impeccable credentials, no matter what you will accuse Buhari of, nobody can accuse Buhari of corruption. But that decision should be made by the President, nobody should ask him not to contest, in the same vein nobody should push him to contest; he has his own health to take care of, he’s not a young man by any standard. If the nation still needs him and the nation truly needs the wisdom, the integrity, the commitment of the likes of Buhari. But believe me, whatever decision he takes, we are solidly behind him.

The restructuring debate has been ongoing, do you think it is commonsensical or nonsensical at this time in our democratic life?

My own take on this restructuring debate is that we are treating the symptoms, not the disease. Restructuring my foot, let’s restructure our minds, let’s restructure our quality of governance. When people are talking of artificial intelligence, when others are talking of robotics engineering, of nanotechnology, we are talking of restructuring the federation. Our problem is not an issue of devolution of powers, let’s be very honest. Our problem, as Chinua Achebe rightly encapsulated, is largely that of leadership. Leadership that will put the nation first is much more important than restructuring the nation. Let’s restructure our minds. Let’s restructure our quality of leadership.

I attended a Government College Ughelli All Boys Association Colloquium yesterday where my very good friend, the governor of Bayelsa State (Seriake Dickson) made one revelation that the first boarding school in Bayelsa State was established in 2012. What is the population of Bayelsa? About one million people. How many local governments? Eight local governments. How much do they get in a month? Probably what Bayelsa gets in a month is what Adamawa gets in six months, is what Benue gets in seven months.

Where have all those billions gone into, down the drain? So what is important is how we should restructure our own minds because we are divided with the piece of our hands in the pursuit of our individual goals but once the collective interests of the Nigerian elites are threatened, we become extremely united with the piece of our hands. So the problem of this country is the elites, we’ll manipulate every tendency be it religion, sectional, ethnic, in pursuance of our own individual goal. And why can’t militancy thrive in a climate of mere insanity, where no attention is paid to education?

Nobody Can Accuse Buhari Of Corruption – Shettima

President Muhammadu Buhari has been described as the leader Nigeria needs to overcome its challenges, with respect to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption campaign.

This was according to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who highlighted some of the successes the All Progressives Congress (APC) has recorded during an exclusive interview with Channels Television.

READ ALSO: Borno Gov Faults UN Report, Says Boko Haram Has Been Decimated

No matter what you will accuse Buhari of, nobody can accuse Buhari of corruption,” he said. “He’s a stabilising factor in this country, he’s a man of impeccable credentials.”

Amid speculations over the President’s decision to contest the presidential election in 2019, Shettima believes President Buhari is the only one who has a say on such decision.

He, however, said that nobody can force the President to contest in 2019, neither can anyone preventing for running for a second term in office.

“That decision should be made by the President; nobody should ask him not to contest, in the same vein nobody should push him to contest. He has his own health to take care of, he’s not a young man by any standard.

“The nation truly needs the wisdom, the integrity, the commitment of the likes of Buhari but believe me, whatever decision he takes, we are solidly behind him,” he said.

Borno Gov Faults UN Report, Says Boko Haram Has Been Decimated
Governor Kashim Shettima during an exclusive interview with Channels Television

On the call for restructuring, the governor said: “My own take on this restructuring debate is that we are treating the symptoms, not the disease.”

“Restructuring my foot; let’s restructure our minds, let’s restructure our quality of governance. When people are talking of artificial intelligence, when others are talking of robotics engineering, of nanotechnology, we are talking of restructuring the federation; our problem is not an issue of devolution of powers, let’s be very honest.

“Our problem, as Chinua Achebe rightly encapsulated, is largely that of leadership. Leadership that will put the nation first is much more important than restructuring the nation. Let’s restructure our minds. Let’s restructure our quality of leadership,” Shettima added.

He also touched on the war against terrorism in the North East and faulted a recent report from the United Nations which claimed the terrorists were in control of three local government areas in Borno State.

The governor said, “Honestly, I disagree with the UN report because we have been on ground for quite some time, we are the sitting administration and we should be in a better position to tell the world the ground realities in the state.

“Five or six Boko Haram (terrorists) will come and burn a village, kill as many people as they could and their prestige in the international jihadist community will rise. So these are nihilists, these are lunatics but otherwise, considerable progress has been made. They have been sufficiently decimated.”

Borno Gov Faults UN Report, Says Boko Haram Has Been Decimated

Borno Gov Faults UN Report, Says Boko Haram Has Been Decimated

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has faulted a report recently released by the United Nations on the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.

In the report released by issued by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA), the UN said despite efforts by the military, some locations in Borno State including three local government areas remained inaccessible to aid workers as a result of the threat posed by the terrorists.

The UN added that Boko Haram hostilities slowed down due to the rainy season and might increase in the coming months.

But in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Governor Shettima faulted the report and insisted that the terrorist group has been decimated.

Watch full interview on Sunday Politics by 8:00pm

“Honestly, I disagree with the UN report because we have been on ground for quite some time, we are the sitting administration and we should be in a better position to tell the world the ground realities in the state,” he said.

“Five or six Boko Haram (terrorists) will come and burn a village, kill as many people as they could and their prestige in the international jihadist community will rise. So these are nihilists, these are lunatics but otherwise, considerable progress has been made. They have been sufficiently decimated.”

The governor said that contrary to the UN report, the Nigerian military has recorded a remarkable success in its fight against terrorism.

He maintained that the insurgents have been defeated and are in no control of any territory in the state, except for a few of them who are fleeing terrorists and the military is working to conquer them.

Shettima said, “Two and half years ago, the Boko Haram (terrorists) were holding sway in 20 out of 27 local government areas of the state. The Nigerian Army did a wonderful job, we have driven them out of all the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. But the truth of the matter is that if anybody tells you that the Boko Haram has been completely wiped out, that person is economical with the truth.

“The Boko Haram are there in the Sambisa forest, I’m not disputing that fact; the Boko Haram are scattered in almost all parts of the state but that they no longer have the strength to hold on to any territory in the Federation of Nigeria.

“For now, I will allow almost all our people to go back to their communities except two local government areas where the peace is still fragile. Like in Abadam (LGA), it is the military that are holding onto the town. But Abadam is not far off from the highland where the Boko Haram are residents. If we allow the people of Abadam to go back for instance, the Boko Haram can easily come and infiltrate and get destruction on the people.

“So until those highlands are cleared of the remnants of the Boko Haram, the people of Marte, the people of Abadam will have to exercise some patience. But with all sense of responsibility, I’m telling you Abadam, Malam Fatori, Marte are in the firm grips of the federal troops,” he said.

UNIMAID Workers Abducted By Boko Haram Will Regain Freedom Soon – Gov Shettima

Shettima, Borno, Northern Leaders, Northern Nigeria

The Governor of Borno State has said all hope is not lost for the University of Maiduguri workers who were abducted by Boko Haram in July as talks are ongoing for their release.

Governor Kashim Shettima gave the assurance in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye.

“I believe discussions are currently ongoing. I would rather not comment on this issue so as not to jeopardise the lives of those hostages. But I can assure you that discussions are ongoing and very soon they will regain their freedom,” the governor said.

The hostages were among the UNIMAID staff and workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation who were ambushed in July with more than 20 members of the team and soldiers meant to provide security for them killed by the insurgents.

Shortly after the ambush, Boko Haram had released a video showing three of them appealing to the Federal Government to meet the demands of the terrorists and secure their release.

Governor Shettima, in giving the assurance that they would regain their freedom soon, expects exploration activities to continue in the Chad Basin despite the attack.

He said he had witnessed the flaring of gas in the region more than 20 years ago and that there had appeared to be more gas than oil in a well that was explored then.

With the growing importance of gas, the governor said it was important to pursue the exploration of the Lake Chad basin.

“Gas has become the product of choice. Oil will become to Nigeria what coal is to Newcastle in the next 20 to 30 years but gas will continue to be relevant in the foreseeable future,” he said.

“So, I believe that even for the sake of national stability and complementarity, the issue of exploring for oil and gas in the Lake Chad Basin should be pursued with vigour.”

Remaining Chibok School Girls With Shekau Can Be Found In Sambisa – Shettima

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the 82 Chibok schoolgirls that were recently released by the Boko Haram terrorists at the Presidential Villa.

The Governor of Borno State Mr Kashim Shettima says there is a good chance that the Chibok girls who are still in captivity can be found in the Sambisa Forest.

Governor Shettima said this in an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Friday, amid continued anticipation about their release or rescue.

He said, “The last time they were picked, they were picked from the banky axis. So probably, for those of them that are under the custody of Shekau, they may be deep in the boil of the Sambisa forest.

“That is my own opinion. For those of them that are with other groups that are dispersed in the Lake Chad region, and in other parts of the state, I don’t think all of them can be got at once. But I believe that those under the custody of Shekau, I believe a substantial number of them can be found in the Sambisa forest.”

Governor Shettima lamented the destruction and level of devastation caused by the attacks of the Boko Haram sect in the region with Borno State being the worst hit.

He said, “The Boko Haram are there in the Sambisa forest, I am not disputing that fact. The Boko Haram are scattered in almost all parts of the state. But they no longer have the strength to hold onto any territory in Nigeria.

“The Boko Haram rolled discussions worth $9Bn in the North East. Borno accounts over $5.6Bbn worth of destruction. The Boko Haram destroyed a total of 900k units of houses in Borno making 30 percent of the total stock of houses.

The Governor praised the signing of the North-East Development Commission bill by president Mohammed Buhari which he says will help give the region a development lift.

“What we witnessed in the North-East in the past 10 years equally requires one of the services of the NEDC. It is a very momentous deal, which will turn out to be a game changer in the North-East Development equation.

“It will give us a platform of having a body charged with the responsibility of harmonising, regulating all the different bodies serving the same purpose.”

Shettima, Northern Governors Visit Ikpeazu In Abia

Six northern Governors led by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, on Monday visited Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in Abia State.

Among the northern governors that made the solidarity visit are Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Abubakar Sani of Niger State, and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.

See photos of the visit below;

Shettima Submits Report On Anambra APC Primary Election

Shettima Submits Report On Anambra APC Primary Election
This file photo shows Governor Kashim Shettima while announcing the results of the Anambra APC governorship primary election on August 27, 2017.

The committee which conducted the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Anambra State has submitted its report to the party’s National Working Committee.

This comes three weeks after Mr Tony Nwoye emerged winner of the election which held on August 27 at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center in Awka.

READ ALSO: Tony Nwoye Wins Anambra APC Primaries

Chairman of the committee, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, today (Sunday) presented the report to the National Organising Secretary of the APC, Senator Osita Izunaso, in Abuja.

The report was submitted with a resolution by members of the committee that none of the contestants who took part in the poll questioned the integrity of the electoral process before, during and after primaries.

Governor Shettima said all delegates were duly accredited and conveyed to the voting venue in the presence of agents of all aspirants, noting that none of the agents raised questions about the integrity of the process before and during the poll.

He added that none of the aspirants questioned procedures of voting, sorting, collation, and counting of results before, during and after the election.

The governor said the aspirants were also contented with the presence of security personnel who he said provided adequate safety at the venue of the election.

“Most importantly, the committee notes with satisfaction that the election held peacefully with none of the aspirants raising any complaints before the committee, in relation to the integrity of all processes of the election”, he read from the report.

Receiving the report on behalf of the party’s leadership, Senator Izunaso commended the governor and members of the ‎committee.

He said the committee did “a good job” and promised to table the report before the National Working Committee of the party.

Also present at the presentation were the committee’s secretary, Retired Navy Commander Giwa Daramola and the three other members of the committee.