Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, yesterday warned that the continued attack on the North as if it was the problem of the nation was not healthy for the growth of the nation, insisting that every part of the nation is essential in the search for greatness.
Governor Shettima, who received members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue at the Government House, Maiduguri, said it was disheartening that many Nigerians do not understand the intricacies of the country and its people and as such speak most times from a point of ignorance.
The governor said it was wrong for any part of the country to have this larger than life position, noting that we have stayed long enough together as a people to be separated.
He told members of the committee that: “The fate of Nigerians lies in your hands,” and that it was unacceptable for some people to target the north as if it is the drawback of the country.
Shettima lamented that some are in the habit of bringing the north into disrepute and painting the entire region black as if it does not contribute anything into the nation’s commonwealth.
The governor argued that: “It is foolhardy for us to think that the nation could be broken into pieces, stressing that most perceived ethnic nationalities are amalgams of various ethnic nationalities that have long lost their independent identities.
He said: “Kanuris or Kanem Borno is extinct, it is an amalgam of different groups as well as the Yoruba and it will be wrong for anyone to believe we can have a Kanuri nation.”
The governor said what Nigeria needs is good leaders, a leadership which is equitable and just to all, insisting that; “Our brothers in the Niger Delta should know that oil will soon run out and where do they look up to. We all have contributions to make to the commonwealth.”
He continued: “We have oil in Borno, but I must tell you that it belongs to Nigeria, we must learn to respect each other and live in unity for the destiny of Africa and the black race depends on us, Nigeria is largely the determinant of the future of the black race.”
Governor Shettima, who also argued that if the nation gets it right in terms of governance, then the problem of the nation is solved, said: “If we have the interest of our people at heart we will have a great nation, the elites are the problem of the nation. We cause problems for our personal gains.”
He, however, commended the committee for starting on a good note by distancing itself from the controversy of Major Tony Nyiam (rtd), noting that with that they have shown Nigerians that they mean business and would stand for what is right.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Femi Okurounmu, said their presence in Maiduguri was to send a message to the rest of the nation that peace has returned to the town and the state and that people’s perception of the town was history, all thanks to the effort of the governor.
He added that the other message they are trying to send to all with their coming to Maiduguri ‘is to tell all that this place is also important and cannot be left out in the scheme of things in the nation.’