The Borno Elders Forum, an umbrella body of elders in Borno State Saturday condemned statements attributed to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, during which she was reported as saying Governor Kashim Shettima, as Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state, is to be held responsible for the schoolgirls abducted at Government Secondary School in Chibok, on April 14 by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
Spokesperson of the Forum, Bulama Mali Gubio, said “the First Lady spoke out of ignorance because Borno is under a State of Emergency and by that powers of control over security have been withdrawn from the Governor and vested on the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who exercises the powers through the Chief of Defence Staff or the Chief of Army Staff. It is very important we remind her that the Emergency declared by her dear husband, Mr. President, is still in force and this means, the constitutional powers of the Governor as CSO have been temporarily withdrawn by the President in accordance with section 305 of the constitution which the President relied upon.
“The President is at the moment the chief security officer of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States while the Governors have administrative powers as democratic structures in compliance with the provisions of the constitution. The President as chief security officer of Borno exercises his powers through his appointees, and the Governor administers other aspects of governance that fall under the concurrent legislative list of the constitution,” the elders said.
In addition, the elders said it was ridiculous that the First Lady threatened to lead women to protest at the Government House in Maiduguri “when her husband is the still the commander in chief of armed forces with the provision of security directly vested on the Federal Government that he leads.”