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FACT CHECK: Shettima was wrong in comparing Jonathan and Obasanjo’s economic teams

*Experts say Gov has questions to answer on Chibok girls saga

Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno State, last Thursday, in Abuja
while speaking at a book launch compared the quality of men that
served in former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr, Goodluck
Jonathan and came out with a verdict which accused Jonathan of
surrounding himself with reactionary elements.

He had said:  “If you mention Obasanjo, the names that readily come to
mind are those of Oby Ezekwesili, Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim
Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Nasiru el-Rufai, Nuhu Ribadu, Bukola Saraki and
other quality Nigerians who have the capacity to add value to the
system.

“But when you think of President Jonathan, with all due respect, he
surrounded himself with an assorted crop of religious bigots, tribal
kindred and all sorts of reactionary elements. Ateke Tom, Government
Tompolo, Late Oronto Douglas, Asari Dokubo, Edwin Clark, Ayo
Oritsejafor and others.”

Our check however revealed that former President Jonathan had a strong
and competent economic team comprising of such tested technocrats as
Dr.  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina,
as well as such private sector leaders as Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Aig
Imokhuede, President of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN)
and President of the Nigerian Economic Society. It is unlike the
present regime which neither has a standard economic management team
nor has private sector leaders working closely with the managers of
the economy.

It is either Shettima was being mischievous and economical with the
truth or displaying crass ignorance of how the economy was managed
during the Jonathan administration under which he served his first
term as governor of Borno State.

This brings to question his involvement in the Chibok girls kidnap
saga, as alleged by Jonathan’s spokesman, especially his alleged
disregard of a federal government directive to relocate the Chibok
girls to a safer location for their WAEC exams. The truth may not come
out now as the governor enjoys the shield provided by his
constitutional immunity. However, experts feel strongly that he will
have questions to answer over the abduction of the Chibok girls, the
moment he leaves office.

It would be recalled that Jonathan spokesman Mr ikechukwu Eze while
urging Shettima to come clean on what he knew about the abduction of
Chibok school girls said: “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 that 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?”

It would be recalled that in opposing the call for restructuring
Governor Shettima had challenged Nigerians to show more concern for
good governance and the best science can offer in the present age.
However, analysts are of the opinion that the Governor is not in a
good position to speak on modern technology because of his dismal
records in education. According to Wunmi Adeagbo an educator, “A
governor who has not built one standard primary school for six years
should be ashamed of talking about artificial intelligence, robotic
engineering and Nano science.  What improvement in education has
Shettima brought to Borno State, especially as his state has the worst
School Certificate results in the whole country?”

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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