By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
DESPITE the attack on his convey by the Boko Haram insurgents last week, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State yesterday vowed to return to Gamboru Ngala in a non-bulletproof vehicle to campaign for his senatorial bid and the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Governor Shettima was attacked at Maiduguri-Gamboru Road while he was travelling for campaigns to solicit support for his senatorial bid on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, before the botched February 16 election that has been rescheduled to take place this week’s Saturday.
The Islamic State, ISIS, which appears to be working in collaboration with the Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the attack on the convoy.
ISIS, in a statement, claimed that 42 people were killed in the attack on the Governor’s motorcade.
The attack was confirmed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau, confirmed in a statement, who said that only three persons were killed.
But speaking to State House correspondents after a security meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari and attended by heads of security agencies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Shettima said the attacks will not deter him from meeting with the people even if it would cost his life.
He said, “Leadership requires courage. I will go back to Gamboru Ngala next week and ready to pay the supreme price if need be and I will not be going in a bulletproof car.
“I will go in a normal car like any other members of my convoy and expose myself to all the risk that they are bearing for me to be protected.
“But believe me, no matter how long the night is, darkness must give away to the light of the dawn, no matter how stormy the weather may well be, it won’t rain forever. This madness will come to an end because it is a fight between light and darkness, it is a fight between cause and justice.”
“Be that as it may, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. I am the chief security officer of the state, I should have the courage and believe me not that I am not petrified, no! John McCain says ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of it.’ As the chief security officer of the state, the day I say I cannot go to a certain part of the state because of the insecurity, then what sort of confidence are you inspiring on the common man?
“The Boko Haram bask in the oxygen of publicity, by attacking my convoy, by targeting my person, they have gotten the much-needed boost. But then as they say if you cannot withstand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Those present at the emergency security meeting included the Governors of Kaduna and Adama State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and Jubrilla Bindo respectively, the Service Chiefs, the National Security Adviser, NSA, and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu.
Also at the meeting were the Minister of Defence, Dan Monsur-Alli, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dangazzau, the Director General of Department of State Service, DSS, Yusuf Bichi and some other security heads.
Also present were the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha.