The Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdulkareem Lawan, has said that the rumoured impeachment process against the state Governor, Kashim Shettima, would not work as majority of the lawmakers are wholly committed to the return of peace to the troubled state and would stand against anything that would breach order.
The lawmaker, while explaining that an impeachment process against the governor would drag the state down the abyss, noted that the governor had done nothing wrong to merit such inglorious treatment, adding that as it stands, Shettima has the support of the leadership and overwhelming members of the assembly.
Lawan who spoke on phone with journalists from Saudi Arabia where he is presently observing his religious obligation of lesser hajj, said the impeachment alleged to be championed by the former governor of the state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who recently announced his willingness to defect to another party, would fall flat.
“The leadership and more than two-thirds of members of the assembly are fully behind the governor, and our major preoccupation at the moment is to reclaim peace across the state and put an end to killings rather than any political undercut.”
The speaker said the reported claim of the assembly Majority Leader, Idrissa Jidda, published by a national daily on Monday that most members were defecting to People Democratic Party (PDP) with Sheriff was entirely his own personal opinion and does not in any way reflect the position of any of the remaining 27 members of the assembly and its leadership.
The National Daily on Monday reported that former Governor of Borno State, Sheriff, had been given a mandate and resources to plot the outright impeachment of Shettima and also force Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State to PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC) or have him impeached by the state House of Assembly.
In the same report, the Majority Leader of Borno State Assembly, Idrissa Jidda, who is an in-law to Sheriff, was reported to have claimed that most members of the assembly were defecting to PDP from the APC in obedience to Sheriff.
But in a telephone interview, the speaker said Jidda “told a big lie that is just his opinion. As we speak right now, I am with 19 members of the Assembly here in Makkah and all of us are not happy with the majority leader’s false claim. Other members have been calling me from Nigeria expressing their feelings. We all have the same position which is to fully stand by our governor, Shettima.
“The leadership and members of the state assembly are 100 percent behind Shettima; we are not moving an inch to anywhere. We are fully behind him. I know the opinion of more than two-thirds of the members, I don’t know the opinion of the majority leader and he is free to go to any party of his choice, we are in a democracy, but he shouldn’t speak for others, but should speak, for himself alone.
“If what I read on the Daily Trust newspaper is what the leader said, then he told an outright lie, I can say that. The issue he referred to is not even in our minds, what dominates our minds as members of the assembly is how to support the state and Federal Governments to restore peace in Borno State. We are far more worried about the killings and destructions in the state and not politics of 2015.”
He added that “Most of us are here in Saudi Arabia and we are seriously praying for peace and stability in the state, this is what we have been doing since 2011 and this is what should agitate the mind of any true Borno man or any true Nigerian.
“What we want is stability. We have worked very closely with the governor; we have supported him with the right appropriations to take measures that have helped in bringing relative peace to some parts of the state and we are working round the clock with the governor creating the legislative framework that the executive arm needs in our joint effort to address the insurgency problems.”
A member of the state assembly, representing Dikwa state constituency, Mohammed Zakariyya, who also spoke to journalists on phone from Saudi Arabia, corroborated the speaker’s position, stressing that virtually every member of the state assembly is not very happy with the majority leader for misleading the public based on his personal interest.
“We are not happy at all, we feel betrayed by our own colleague. Why should he say that when he knows tha that is not true and it is very impossible for us to do that?”