The Borno State government has stated that there is no coincidence in the killing of only All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) chieftains, adding that there is a grand plot to achieve this under the cover of Boko Haram.
The State government said that it was regrettable that since the situation in Borno State took a turn for the worse, no high-ranking public servant had thought it wise to visit the state to ascertain things; "rather, Borno is being treated as if it is an entity on its own".
Briefing newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, Borno State commissioner for information, Mr Inuwa Bwala, said the Boko Haram issue was shifting more towards political dimensions as, till date, all persons killed were ANPP members.
"They started with their grievances but, somehow along the line, they were hijacked by opportunists. That is why the greatest number of people that have been killed today are from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). If not, I don't see how people from the other political parties are roaming the streets but we in ANPP are being compelled to take cover," Bwala said.
Some ANPP chieftains that have been killed include Awana Ngala, chairman, ANPP; Alhaji Modu Fannami Gubio, former ANPP gubernatorial candidate; Alhaji Goni Modu Sheriff; Alhaji Lawan Yarayi, former chairman, Kukawa local government; Alhaji Lawan Kabu, former chairman, Damboa local government; and Alhaji Kadiri Kaza, former chairman, Mongumo local government.
Others include Alhaji B.K., also former chairman, Monguno local government; Hajiya Bayayi, councillor, Maiduguri Metropolitan; Audu Ali (Datti), councilor, Mai Sandari, Maiduguri Metropolitan; Alhaji Mustapha Fulawa, a close friend of Sheriff; Alhaji Bukar Goni Kolo, a close friend of Sheriff; Engr. Isa Modu Ngaram, general manager Borno Housing Corporation; Barrister Zannah Mallam Gana, commissioner for justice; and, lately, Gen. Mamman Shuwa, ANPP Board of Trustees member.
Bwala added that it was regrettable that Borno State has been rejected by all: "There has been no visit from the federal side to Borno State. The president and his vice have refused to come, share in our plight, if at all. They have not given us moral boost or, if at all, shown that they care and that we are part and parcel of Nigeria. We have been left on our own. For some time, nobody has shown that they really care, nobody has visited to show solidarity with us."
Bwala, who disclosed that the highest federal government team to the state was made up of the national security adviser (NSA) and the chief of defence staff, lamented that the federal government is not treating the state as part of the federation.
"I am not just saying it. That is the fact. We have been left on our own. We have been left to our plight as if we are not part of Nigeria. That has been our grouse against the federal government," he said.
Bwala said contrary to the impression being created that Borno State is not working, the state is moving on. "The markets are open, banks are open, work is going on, normal activities are going on, flights come into Maiduguri and leave fully booked every day. It is just that some of the people spreading things about Borno do not know what is happening there. They don't live there. They only peddle what they imagine is happening. Life is going on in Maiduguri. Government is working, people go to work. The situation in Maiduguri is not different from the situation in any other place where this crisis had happened and we are on top of it," he said.