Less than two weeks after visiting Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, President Goodluck Jonathan will visit the state again today to campaign for next month’s election.
It will be recalled that Jonathan's visit to Maiduguri on January 15, 2015, was to show support for Nigerian soldiers serving in the state in commemoration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
The president had been criticised in recent times for not visiting the Boko Haram insurgency-ridden state.
According to a Punch newspaper report online, the president will use the opportunity of the visit to outline plans to tackle the Boko Haram militant sect.
Meanwhile, the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Friday appealed to his supporters and all citizens of the state not to show any form of disrespect to the president and his entourage during the campaign visit.
Shettima made the call in a statement by his media aide, Mallam Isa Gusau.
The governor said the call became necessary because of recent attacks carried out on the president in Bauchi and Katsina states during which irate youths reportedly went wild against the president’s convoy.
He described the acts as disrespectful, show of intolerance and extremely bad politics.
“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.
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“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.
“Our millions of citizens who support the APC in Borno State and our Presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and anyone that supports me or any of our National and State Assembly candidates in the state should 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 our laws, norms and values demand,” Shettime said.
It will be recalled that former minister of education and one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, had described the recent visit of President Jonathan to Maiduguri as a symbol of deceit.
Ezekwesili made the statement in a series of tweets she posted on her Twitter handle after news of Jonathan's visit to Maiduguri was announced.
She said: “If no one told Mr. President yet, I will. Going to Maiduguri “supposedly” to boost morale of our soldiers yesterday was hallmark of deceit.”