Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, on Friday, directed the Borno State Urban Development Board, to immediately unseal the State’s headquarters of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Maiduguri, saying the Board’s action was wrong timed.
Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, confirmed in a statement issued on Friday, that the governor was aware of the Board’s action and has directed that it should be reversed saying, “no matter the justification, the timing is wrong”.
“The good people of Borno State are well aware that in the last three years, the Borno State Urban Development Board has been carrying out series of reforms which included sealing of some buildings operated by individuals, corporate bodies like Banks and even some government institutions which issues contravened laws relating to non compliance with Maiduguri’s town planning procedures.
“The governor became aware that the board sealed an office operated by the NNPP.
“Although the board claimed to have acted in the same regard it acted against other offices, by sealing the NNPP’s headquarters for wrongful conversion of residential area for office purpose, Governor Zulum regards the board’s action as that of wrong timing.”
Isa added that Zulum believed that no matter the justification, the board’s decision was bound to be given political interpretation, which could heat up the polity and cause needless distractions.
He said for that reason, Governor Zulum had already directed that the Board should suspend its own rule on this particular instance bordering on the NNPP Office.
“The Governor believes that reversing the decision is in the overall public interest for peace.
“Governor Zulum believes that all political parties should be free to lawfully operate and citizens should be free to associate with political parties of their choices without hindrances.
“Zulum also advised authorities dealing with issues that could involve political parties to consider the need to invite stakeholders of all existing parties for consultations and to jointly agree on conducts that should align with existing state laws and without undermining the freedom and independence of all political parties to operate in Borno State,” he added.
Our correspondent reports that the NNPP’s secretariat sealed on Thursday by the Borno State Urban Development Board drew criticisms from the party supporters who condemned the closure of the party secretariat at a time they were expecting the presidential candidate of the party, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to commission the campaign office.