In recent news, Mr. Phrank Shuaibu, an aide to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, made allegations against Vice-President Kashim Shettima, accusing him of aiding and abetting Boko Haram insurgents during his tenure as the governor of Borno State. These allegations have sparked controversy and debates across the nation. However, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has vehemently defended Vice-President Shettima, calling the accusations false, malicious, odious, and insidious.
Unraveling the Allegations
On September 8, Mr. Shuaibu made the startling accusation that Vice-President Shettima had aided and abetted Boko Haram during his time as the governor of Borno. He specifically pointed to Shettima’s alleged involvement in the abduction of the Chibok girls, a tragic incident that captured the world’s attention. In response, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Executive Director of MURIC, released a statement in Abuja, vehemently refuting these allegations.
MURIC’s statement left no room for doubt regarding its stance on the matter. Professor Akintola firmly asserted that the allegations against Vice-President Shettima were not only false but also malicious, odious, and insidious. These strong words reflect the organization’s unwavering support for the embattled Vice-President.
A Look into the Past
To understand the context better, we must delve into history. During Shettima’s tenure as the governor of Borno, the Boko Haram insurgency was at its peak. The region was in turmoil, with frequent attacks and abductions. Shettima’s efforts to address these challenges were met with various obstacles.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Response
It is important to note that former President Goodluck Jonathan was in power during this tumultuous period. Governor Shettima had repeatedly expressed concerns about the lack of support and well-equipped Nigerian soldiers in the fight against Boko Haram. In response to Shettima’s complaints, President Jonathan issued a startling threat, stating that he would withdraw federal troops from Borno if Shettima believed his claims were valid.
Jonathan’s exact words were, ‘I will pull them out for one month, whether he (Shettima) will stay in that Government House. But if he thinks what he said is correct, then I will pull out the armed forces for one month.’ This statement was more than a response; it was a direct challenge to Shettima’s leadership.
Shettima’s complaints were not indicative of aiding Boko Haram, as some have suggested. Instead, they were a plea for better equipment and support for Nigerian soldiers. He understood the gravity of the situation and recognized that a lack of resources could lead to further losses in the fight against the insurgents. His primary concern was the safety and security of the people in Borno State.
The Truth Unveiled
Subsequent events vindicated Shettima’s concerns. Investigations into the $2.1 million arms fund revealed that Nigerian soldiers were indeed deprived of necessary weapons, and the funds meant for their purchase were misappropriated among Jonathan’s political allies. This revelation shed light on the dire situation faced by the Nigerian military during those trying times.
The Chibok Girls’ Abduction
Accusations of Shettima’s involvement in the Chibok girls’ abduction have also been refuted by MURIC. It is a matter of public record that former President Jonathan’s administration did not take immediate action following the girls’ abduction. For a staggering nineteen days, the government’s response was painfully slow, further deepening the tragedy.
MURIC emphasizes that Mr. Shuaibu’s allegations lack credibility. In a similar incident in Dapchi, where 110 girls were abducted, the governor of Yobe at the time alleged that soldiers were withdrawn a week before the attack. These claims raise questions about the government’s role in addressing security lapses during that period.
Searching for the Truth
In light of these facts, MURIC calls on Mr. Shuaibu to redirect his focus and look elsewhere for those responsible for security lapses and the Chibok girls’ abduction. It is apparent that the accusations against Vice-President Shettima lack substantial evidence and are merely an attempt to tarnish his reputation.
Accusations against public figures should be based on concrete evidence and careful consideration of historical context. MURIC’s defense of Vice-President Kashim Shettima is grounded in facts and a thorough examination of the events that transpired during his tenure as the governor of Borno State. It is crucial to separate fact from fiction and ensure that allegations are not used for political gain or personal vendettas.
In a time when the truth is often obscured by misinformation and sensationalism, it is our duty to uphold the principles of fairness and justice. The accusations against Vice-President Shettima must be scrutinized with a discerning eye, and the focus should remain on achieving lasting peace and security in Nigeria.