Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State says he will be going back to Gamboru Ngala in a non-bullet vehicle next week despite the recent attack on his convoy by members of Boko Haram’s Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction.
Mr Shettima said this when he fielded questions from State House correspondents at the end of an expanded security meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Members of ISWAP had on February 12 attacked the convoy of the governor, who was returning to Maiduguri, the state capital, after he attended a political rally at Gamboru Ngala.
The terrorists had laid an ambush on the governor’s convoy where they opened fire on the rear vehicles in the convoy, killing three persons while a soldier sustained injuries.
Mr Shettima, however, stated that he was ready to pay the supreme price by returning to Gamboru Ngala, and he would be using ordinary cars on the fateful day.
“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.
“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 bullet proof 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,’’ he said.
Mr Shettima lauded the efforts of Mr Buhari toward the restoration of peace and order across the northeast part of the country.
According to him, there has been significant improvement in the security situation of the northeast in the past four years.
He said: “When you juxtapose the sorry state of the northeast four years ago and what it is now, you will admit there has been great change in our fortune security wise.
“The threats and challenges are still there but when you put it in proper perspective, I think the president deserves commendation not condemnation.’’