Salient War Rages In Borno Cabinet

  • Gov Shettima Tackles Critics, As Loyalists Threaten Exposure/Revolt
  • Justice Commissioner Slammed With N50Bn Suit For Defamation
  • Critics Call Gov’s Bluff, Expose Intrigues Behind Revolt By IDPs

By Yahaya WAKILI, Maiduguri

There are very strong indications that all is not well with Borno State cabinet members, no thanks to the dwindling fortunes of the Government and the attendant hijack of its affairs by a cabal, which dictates the pace of governance and for which majority stakeholders are not happy. nationalTRAIL correspondent who interacted with some top Government officials reports that, most officials could  not hide their anger at the activities of some individuals around the Governor, most of whom are regarded as illiterates and should not be entrusted with the fortunes of the state. According to our findings, four people parade themselves as co-Governors, and are always referred as such by the Governor himself, which make others very uncomfortable. We observed however that since the exposure of the abominable theft of relief materials meant for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs and the attendant war with the citizenry over his alleged roles, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima seem to have gone wild with his critics, even as some of his loyalists seem poised to  revolt and further expose alleged rot in his Government. nationalTRAIL investigations reveal that, the Governor has taken some of the criticisms personal, and has been engaging some citizens in war of words, while some of his loyalists, most of whom have deserted him or are planning to,  appear set to reveal alleged obnoxious deals, involving billions of naira, alleged to have been pillaged under the Governor’s directives. Our correspondent reports that, against the fast dwindling fortunes of the Government and the attendant slump in the Governor’s rating, a splinter group within the APC are mobilizing to take on Governor Shettima over what they described as failed promises, and alleged plunder of public resources under his watch. This is in addition to the widely expressed anger over reported siphoning of relief materials meant for IDPs by top Government officials. But the Governor does not seem to be taking matters lying low, as in SMS he sent to one of his loyalist  critic, the Governor stated amongst other things, “verily as a citizen of the federal Republic of Nigeria, u are entitled to ur opinion(s), but have no right to impugning on my character. I have absorbed enough insults from u and may be constrained to take legal action against u. I have forwarded your messages to the appropriated authorities for proper action”. The recipient of the sms, who used to be a fan of the Governor in his response called governor Shettima’s bluff, stating, “Hahahaha. This is an empty threat coming from an empty skull.”On receiving above response, the Governor was said to have become more incensed and ordered the arrest of the particular citizen, by a private militia group, until the Department of State security Services, DSS, got wind of the development and secured his release. In a similar face off, two former top Government officials are said to have been placed on the wanted list by Governor Shettima’s agents, for exposing the rice theft scandal and for revealing the exact amount being spent on displaced persons, which further contradicts the Governor’s claims on the IDPs. The two former officials who confided in our correspondent that they actually aided the revelations in public interest, said, they have been on the run as their boss seems to be fighting anybody who exhibits the slightest opposition to his policies or recalcitrance to his directives. For those who have been close to the seat of power in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, events unfolding in recent weeks reveal that, there was a break up within the ranks of Governor Kashim Shettima’s Kitchen cabinet. nationalTRAIL gathered that, the recent revolt by some of Shettima’s men to the effect that some have threatened to make public the untold secret of the administration in the handling of governance in the state, which has tended to make the Governor uncomfortable, may have informed recent attempts to buy back their loyalty in order to keep certain secrets from reaching the public domain. Our Correspondent reports that, this is coming on the heels of  the recent protest by the IDPs in the state and certain revelations on the activities of the Boko Haram sect, which  is gaining currency in both local and international community regarding the true position and handling of IDPs and Boko Haram activities by the Borno Government. Our correspondent reports that, in the last few weeks, the rift amongst Governor Shettima’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
kitchen cabinet became more obvious when in a rather curious turn of events, the governor has started disowning statements credited to Government officials, to the effect that he was said to have told the Attorney general and Commissioner of Justice in the State, that his recent remarks were not the views of Government. For a Governor that is known to always prod his lieutenants to always spank his erstwhile benefactor and predecessor in office, Ali Modu Sheriff to now disown some of the statements credited to some officials, and the attendant reports of an internal revolt within the APC Government leaves room for concern. And for opening his mouth too wide, alleging that former Borno state Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff founded and nurtured the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram and for failing to retract his remarks and apologize, as demanded, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Borno State, Kaka Shehu Lawan has been slammed with a N50 Billion suit by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. Coming at a time when the Commissioner was said to be fast falling out of favour with the Governor, and the attendant slump in resources, as a result of which the Government is finding it difficult to even pay salaries, the N50 billion suit, in which the State Government is being joined as a co-respondent, has further polarized Governor Shettima’s kitchen cabinet. It was gathered that following the disquiet in Government, Governor Kashim Shettima has also been reading the riot acts to all government officials, especially commissioners and Local


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