- How Agenda Was Set To Re-Echo Governor’s Earlier Views
- Borno Citizens Allege Grand Deception, Insist Garbai Was Right
While Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, may have succeeded in creating the impression that he is at war with the senator representing Borno central, in the Nigerian senate, Baba Kaka Garbai, over the later’s comments on Boko Haram, to the effect that the sect still occupies part of Borno state, emerging facts point to a phantom war nationalTrail exclusively gathered Garbai’s comment, which merely re-echoed Governor Shettima’s earlier position to the effect that the Military is ill motivated and equipped to contain Boko Haram, was actually an agenda setting move by the governor, to warm himself into the hearts of both President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff, General Yusuf Buratai, both of whom were reported to be unimpressed with his approach to issues concerning the fight against insurgency, especially the president who has refused to give him any listening ear.
Our correspondent was able to establish that, Governor Kashim Shettima and Senator Garbai are the best of friends, even outside politics, and it was not possible for the duo to take conflicting positions on such issues, as sensitive as Boko Haram.
Further findings reveal that the governor actually discussed the matter with the senator before the latter’s visit to Dalori, so that they can stir up the hornets’ nest, and depending on the reaction of the Federal Government and the Military, the governor will take his own position, disowning Senator Garbai, but by then the fact would have been stated.
Sources around the governor, confirmed to nationalTRAIL that all the grandstanding against Senator Garbai’s views was a façade, as the two have remained in constant touch long after the seeming quarrel or disagreement, and the senator has continued to speak well of Governor Shettima, even when the governor was being reported to have lampooned him at least in public.
Our correspondent reports that, the gullible public has been vehement in supporting Garbai’s position, while a few others hailed Governor Shettima, but the truth remains that, Garbai’s views were the correct reflection of Governor Shettima’s position on the insurgency fight.
Vice Chairman of the Peoples democratic Party, PDP in the state, Mbursa Gabassa, told nationalTRAIL in an interview that the Borno State Government has not been truthful about the situation in the state, and often misleads the Federal Government and the military in making unconvincing remarks that are always controverted unfolding by events.
nationalTRAIL had earlier reported that Governor Kashim Shettima, may have perfected strategies to distract rehabilitation efforts of the Presidential Committee on displaced persons, by deliberately creating controversies about the true situation in some local governments, which from very clear indications have not been totally liberated.
Investigations further revealed that, shortly after making his remarks and the attendant response by governor Shettima, the senator quickly recoiled, and declined further comments, while the governor continued, emphasising his outburst against Garbai, creating the impression that he is in tandem with the views of the Federal Government, which claims to have decimated the Boko Haram insurgents.
It is rather ironical, critics say, that at the time the federal Government was busy making claims of having recovered all occupied territories, Boko Haram has tended to be more vehement sacking towns and villages on the fringes of Maiduguri, the state capital, even as the sect seems to be acting contrary to the claims being made.
A cross section of Borno citizens who spoke to our correspondent insist that, there may be a grand deception to shield the truth of what is happening in Borno State from President Muhammadu Buhari, even as others cautioned the Presidency from buying into a propaganda war, without verifying the truth about the situation in some of the local governments alleged to still be under threat by Boko Haram.
A University lecturer who claims to be the Governor’s classmate, who does not want his name in print, said in reaction to the development, “This Government is a master of grand deception. Governor Kashim Shettima is never truthful about what he does since he became governor. We have been following issues in the state and we know that the Senator spoke Kashim Shettima’s mind. He is only playing the ostrich, as everybody knows that he is the architect of the whole drama. Truth will eventually come out some day”.
Musa Sale Shuwa, who fled Mobar in the Northern part of the state and Baba John Glavda who left Gwoza about two years ago, also told our correspondent that, they were aware of residuals of Boko Haram in those areas, and it was wrong to say their areas have been totally liberated.
According to Shuwa, who spoke in Hausa, he has been trading in pepper and dried tomatoes in Damasak for more than thirty years, and he did not flee until it became obvious that Boko Haram were not in a hurry to leave, having established bases in several localities all over Mobar Local Government, and only go under whenever soldiers show up.
He argued that, Boko Haram has continued to suffer heavy casualties in recent times, but they have not been defeated. The absence of flags does not mean the terrorists have been defeated, he argued, rather, they have changed tactics, and now resort to guerilla style of attacks, making little noise about their conquests. They no longer insist on hoisting flags, but they are very much around.
It could be recalled that the Borno state governor had shortly after a visit to then president Jonathan, told reporters that the Boko Haram elements were better motivated and better equipped as opposed to the Nigerian troops, a remark that was greeted with criticism of the governor at the highest level in the country.
Governor Shettima, has since then recoiled into silence on this matter till last week when week when senator Garbai reechoed the views and subsequent backlash that followed.
Not even spirited attempts by Isa Umar Gusau, Governor Shettima’s man Friday was able to convinced people that Shettima was being honest in his seeming repentance. In fact, the general view in Borno state today is that, Boko Haram is still far from being defeated, and the seeming war amongst stakeholders is a façade.