Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima has pleaded with his supporters and all residents of the state to accord President Goodluck Jonathan and his entourage the maximum respect when he visits the state as part of his nationwide campaign tour ahead of the February 14 presidential election.
A statement issued by his media aide, Isa Gusau, said the governor’s sue for peace was sequel to recent ugly incidents in Bauchi and Katsina states where irate youths reportedly went beserk and attacked the president’s convoy as well as pelted some members of his entourage with stones and sachet water.
Shettima, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Borno State, described the act as disrespectful and one which shows intolerance and extremely bad political culture.
“From what I have read or heard in the media, so far, there has not been any issue of such in any APC controlled states visited by the President and Borno should not be an exception.
“We have political differences and our differences are legitimate and based on the principles of our political parties and what we stand for, but we must remember that His Excellency, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as citizens of this country, we have an obligation to respect his office and his person”, the statement read.
Gov. Shettima called on supporters of General Muhammadu Buhari and all APC candidates in all elections across the country to shun any act of violence, intolerance and unlawful political behaviour before, during and after the president’s visit and should remain law abiding citizens of Borno State “as contend in our values”.
“Disrespecting the President’s convoy will not help the APC and General Buhari in any way, rather, it will provide ample basis for his and our political opponents to blackmail him and the APC”, he added.
He also called on people of the state and APC supporters to obtain and secure their Permanent Voter Cards to cast votes for him and all candidates of the APC during the forthcoming general elections.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on supporters of all political parties in Borno State to abide by the principles of politics without bitterness which our laws provide and we must never allow any politician to use our youths to perpetuate violence in the name of politics, after all, life itself is but temporary not to talk of access to power”.
He said that the state, having experienced the bulk of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed so many lives with very high population of Internally Displaced Persons, needs to give peace a chance.