FACTS 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 forget restructuring and 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 which has the worst School Certificate results in the whole country?”