Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, says the crisis created by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB is bigger than the one created by the internationally recognized terrorist group, Boko Haram.
According to the Nation, Governor Shettima said this when himself and some Northern state governors paid the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha a visit in Owerri, the state capital yesterday September 19th. The visit was to sue for peace following the recent clash between the military and IPOB members that degenerated into the attack of some Hausas and burning down of some mosques in the South East and South South.
The governor in his speech, noted that the threats posed by the Nnamdi Kanu-led secessionist IPOB to the nation’s survival are far bigger than those posed by Boko Haram. According to him, the reality of the extent of the IPOB activities forced him 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,to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis created by the agitators.
“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.
He noted that the huge population of Nigeria makes it imperative to avoid anything that could lead to war among its tribal groups, wondering which country would have the capacity to accommodate Nigerian refugees in the event of another civil war.
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.” he said