Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has pleaded with his friends, family members, political associates and companies dealing with the state, against sponsoring goodwill messages in newspapers, magazines and on television and radio to mark his 48th birthday.
The governor, who attained the age of 48 yesterday, in identifying with victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, circulated a message asking that money that would be used in placing such adverts should be channelled to a fund in support of the victims.
According to one of his associates, Isa Gusau, Governor Shettima decided to use the mass media to further make the appeal after seeing paid adverts in some newspapers yesterday, sponsored by some well-wishers, said to be acting in good faith, but in defiance to the governor’s appeal.
“The governor had since last week directed appointees and pleaded with friends, family members, political associates and companies dealing with Borno State, requesting them not to place any advert as they did in previous years for his 48th birthday.
“This is mainly because the governor feels celebration of any kind on his behalf for the purpose of birthday is outright insensitivity to the plight of Borno citizens, many of whom are troubled by the insurgency crisis.
“The governor was actually embarrassed yesterday (Tuesday) when he saw some advert placements congratulating him on attaining the age of 48”, Gusau said.
He continued: “He believes the message was placed by those who might not have received his initial appeal and as such decided to use the media to appeal to others that may choose to follow suit.
“Governor Shettima strongly thinks he doesn’t have the luxury of marking a birthday with all the killings of innocent citizens and destruction of communities. He however, pleaded with anyone desirous of placing adverts on his birthday to kindly channel the funds to victims of insurgency in different camps within and outside Borno or to use the funds to organise prayer sessions for the return of peace in Borno and the rest of Nigeria”, Gusau, added.