The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who will attain the age of 49 on Wednesday, has appealed to his political appointees, political associates in the All Progressives Congress, APC, foreign and local contractors having dealings with the state, kinsmen, former colleagues in the banking sector as well as friends in different parts of the country not to place any advertisement on newspapers, magazines, television, radio, online and social media platforms to congratulate him.
The governor said the restriction was to respect the memory of too many Borno citizens killed by Boko Haram insurgents in recent and previous attacks as well as the need to honour his late deputy Zannah Mustapha who died on August 15, 2015, less than three weeks ago.
The governor placed the ban in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Isa Gusau, on Monday.
The governor also sought the understanding of media houses that could have anticipated revenue for his 49th birthday with apologies especially to those he said had distributed letters soliciting goodwill adverts.
Mr. Shettima said he chose to send out the appeal on time knowing that associates who may desire to place congratulatory messages for him may want to contact media houses between Monday and Tuesday to target publication by newspapers or airing by broadcast stations on Wednesday, hence his decision to give enough notice.
The governor’s spokesperson also said Mr. Shettima had already called some particular friends and associates whom he suspected were planning to place adverts and has made the appeal to them directly but felt it was necessary to tell others the governor might not be aware of.
The governor appealed to those willing to place adverts to channel the funds to different private organizations in Abuja and Maiduguri currently seeking funds to support multitudes of internally displaced persons affected by insurgency attacks in Borno and other parts of the northeast.
“Shettima expresses very profound appreciation to anyone, group or institution especially those associated with the APC or Borno State Government that might have intended congratulating him on Wednesday. He pleaded with them to pray for the return of peace in Borno and all parts of Nigeria and for his administration to succeed in its practical efforts to remodel Borno State for the benefit of its citizens under an atmosphere of freedom from terror attacks and any violent or criminal threat,” the statement said.
It also said Mr. Shettima had refused to allow any birthday party from taking place since becoming a governor in 2011, maintaining that he would only celebrate birthday, if necessary at all, when peace is completely restored in all parts of Borno State with affected citizens fully rehabilitated and re-integrated into reconstructed communities.
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