By Nuhu Ali
Facts dont lie. This much we should be aware of in our everyday struggles in life. I am not a fan of the former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, because I am one of those that felt he didn’t handle the Boko Haram situation in the state effectively while he held sway as governor.
For Kashim Shettima, his public conducts in recent times bellies a man that speaks from both sides of the mouth and a man who was unappreciative to God for the way and manner he became governor. I recall vividly at the twilight of the tenure of former governor Ali Modu Sherrif in 2011; the coast was all clear for the emergence of Modu Fannami Gubio, who was the favourite. However, in a move that has remained controversial, Modu Fannami Gubio was murdered, and that paved the way for Kashim Shettima to become the candidate of the ANPP and eventual governor of Borno state.
It is instructive to mention that for the eight years he held sway as governor, Boko Haram activities reached an alarming crescendo and the consequent maladministration that characterized the Kashim Shettima administration, Borno state was almost annihilated on several fronts.
In some quarters, it has been alleged that Kashim Shettima patronized the Boko Haram group for contributing to his emergence as governor of Borno state in the aftermath of the death of Modu Fannami Gubio. As such, his sincerity towards addressing the Boko Haram threats was questionable. This fact was buttressed with the way and manner he ran the state throughout his tenure.
Nigerians may wish to recollect the under Kashim Shettima, Boko Haram took control of local governments in the state. And instead of showing commitment, he elected to play to the gallery. He took advantage of the crisis to enrich himself in ways too numerous to mention.
As a fact, Kashim Shettima refused to conduct local government elections and therefore superintended over the allocations meant for local government areas in the state. Those in the know of situations in the state would readily tell that he never wanted to Boko Haram insurgency to come to an end so he could continue to hide under cover of insurgency to siphon resources meant for the development of the state.
And he was very successful in this regards multiple indicators suggest Kashim Shettima had a field day with local government funds in Borno state while he held sway at the helm of affairs.
To make matters worse, under Kashim Shettima there is no record anywhere where a block was laid for the construction of a primary school outside Maiduguri the state capital. He always hides under cover of Boko Haram to deprive the people of the dividends of democracy despite the huge allocations that the state received under his watch.
I challenge Kashim Shettima to swear with the Holy Koran if indeed his stewardship of Borno State for eight years was in the interest of the people or his self and that of his cronies. I also challenge him to deny the fact that in the height of the Boko Haram insurgency in the state, if he was not busy buying up numerous properties in Abuja and Lagos.
Let’s learn to tell ourselves the truth in this country. It, therefore, beats my imagination that Kashim Shettima would have the moral justification to lend his voice on issues on the insurgency in Nigeria. Since when did he realize that Borno State is under siege? How come for the eight years he was the governor of the state; he didn’t see the need to extend support to the operations of the Nigerian Military in addressing the security challenges in the state.
I am of the considered opinion that the likes of Kashim Shettima should bury their head in shame because of the atrocities they have committed against the people of Borno State. Yes, he has accumulated wealth, and he is secured in his bunkers in Abuja and elsewhere, but he should know that there is the law of karma that visits people according to their deeds and in equal proportion.
Let us rewind a bit. Imagine that Kashim Shettima had extended support to the Military by providing that political support needed in the prosecution of the war against insurgency, would we be talking about Boko Haram today? But instead, what did he do? He was more concerned about building political blocks and amassing resources for a presidential project that was dead on arrival.
He feigned ignorance of the plight of the people. He refused to show character in leadership for eight years because he could not care less about what was going on in the state. He was comfortable with the arrangement that ensured the easy flow of monies to him and without question from the appropriate authorities. That was what it was.
Nigerians must see whatever position Kashim Shettima is canvassing today with regards to the spate of insecurity in North-East Nigeria as nothing but crocodile tears and a very dishonest display in the public space. This is on the heels that there is no record anywhere where Kashim Shettima had empathized with the present governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum when his convoy was ambushed on numerous occasions.
I am constrained to think that he is probably not happy with the sound leadership that Babagana Zulum has displayed since he assumed office, and which has also exposed the eight years he superintended over the state as the locust years for the state. This is indeed a shame. Whatever be the case, Kashim Shettima would do himself good by seeking forgiveness from the people of Borno state. He should also as a matter of urgency institute a scholarship scheme that would cater to those widows and orphans in Borno state.
That is one of the ways he can atone for his many sins. And as time goes on, we shall see what happens. This is my two cents.
Ali wrote this piece from Maiduguri.