12th July, 2022
Former Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani has reacted to a string of seemingly coordinated propaganda linking former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima to the emergence of Boko Haram.
The misinformation began to spread soon after Shettima was announced as the running mate of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Shettima was a two-term governor of Borno State, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency.
But the emergence of the terror group 2009 and its plunge into terrorism predated his tenure which began in 2011.
Despite this fact, some social handles, mostly linked to opposition parties had begun circulating information claiming that the two time governor of Borno state was behind the emergence of Boko Haram as well as the 2014 abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State.
But Sani, who had at various times been part of efforts to tackle Boko Haram insurgency both as a lawmaker and rights activist since 2009 described the claims as mischievous.
He said the allegation surfaced because the APC presidential candidate and running mate are Muslims.
Indeed, the former lawmaker said in a statement on Monday that since Nigeria’s most important challenge is security, Shettima’s experience in tackling Boko Haram “can be useful and is very much needed.”
The Senator, in the statement said, “Those who are aggrieved over the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling party have the constitutional right to express their objections.
“However, the remarks that trailed the ticket, including insinuations and allegations linking Shettima to the formation, growth and deadly destruction by the Boko Haram group is condemnable and mischievous.
Sani, who was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Kaduna State, said though, he’s not a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), he witnessed the effort of Shettima at addressing insurgency when he governed Borno State.
“Shettima as the Governor of Borno State invested time, energy and the resources of Borno State in combating, containing and curtailing the activities of the terrorist group.
“Shettima has no hand in the abduction of the Chibok girls. He has done more than anyone in contributing and supporting the operations of the Army and other security agencies in protecting the people of Borno state and by extension Nigeria.
“As a stakeholder and former Chairman Senate Committee on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, I’m privy to the fact that Shettima attracted massive presence and intervention of international NGOs and donor countries to the humanitarian situation in Borno.
“I’m not a member of the ruling party, but the truth is that other than issues of religion, he is better qualified in terms of competence than many who were paraded.
“Religion is a sensitive matter in Nigeria; other than that, Nigeria’s most important challenge is security, Shettima’s experience can be useful and is very much needed.”