Goodluck Jonathan, the former President, has asked Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno State, to tell the truth about his role in the abduction of Chibok school girls by Boko Haram in April 2014.
On Thursday, Shettima had said Jonathan performed poorly in office because he surrounded himself with “an assorted crop of religious bigots, tribal kindred and reactionary elements.”
The governor spoke at the public presentation of a book, ‘On a Platter of Gold — How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria’, written by Bolaji Abdullahi, who was Minister of Sports in the Jonathan administration and is now the spokesman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting to Shettima’s comment, Jonathan said he knew the role played by the governor in the abduction of the schoolgirls that caused international outrage, including why the principal of the abducted girls’ school is now a commissioner in the state.
“We didn’t expect anything less from Governor Shettima, knowing the ignoble roles he played in frustrating the war waged by the past administration against Boko Haram, even in his own Borno State,” read a statement by Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s spokesman.
Jonathan wondered why Shettima did not comply with the federal government’s directive that students writing external examinations at the time should be relocated to safe environment.
Jonathan also questioned why the principal of the Chibok school was rewarded with a post of commissioner by Shettima.
“He should be able to tell us if it was Jonathan’s poor choices that led the governor to expose students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok to avoidable danger, in total disregard of a federal government directive to the governors in the three states most affected by Boko Haram to relocate their students writing the West African School Certificate Examinations to safe zones.
“The governor is now denying that he had no hand in the kidnap of the Chibok girls even before anybody accused him of culpability. However, we share the view of those who insist that the governor had other things up his sleeve when he promised the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that he would secure the girls and ended up doing the very opposite by deliberately abandoning them to their fate, without any security presence in their school.
“It is instructive that while other governors in the zone heeded the security advice, Shettima remained the only one who flagrantly flouted it.
“Should we also fail to point out that his decision to reward the principal of Chibok Secondary School, who was uncharacteristically absent on the night terrorists stormed the school, with the post of a commissioner, did throw up more questions than answers?”