The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has knocked All Progressives Congress (APC) vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, for trying to share the stage of fame with former President Goodluck Jonathan after he allegedly “sabotaged and frustrated Jonathan’s administration in its effort to curb insecurity in Borno State”.
Shettima was governor of Borno from May 2011 to May 2019 whilst Jonathan was Nigeria’s President between 2010 and 2015. Shettima and APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, had during the week attended the 70th birthday event of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, and they posed in a photograph with the revered cleric.
But the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement on Thursday slammed the duo for their “disgraceful and hypocritical” act after allegedly vilifying Jonathan.
The PDP spokesman also said it is shameful that Tinubu and Shettima now distance themselves from the “abysmal failure” of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“In a desperate design to whitewash their battered public image, identifying with the obvious successes of the PDP and in an attempt to posture as statesmen, the APC presidential candidate, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, and other APC leaders shamelessly orchestrated a photo opportunity with the distinguished and successful former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“This is a patriotic Nigerian leader whose PDP-led purposeful and successful government the APC leaders viciously harassed, constantly insulted, labelled, sabotaged and discredited for their selfish power-grabbing enterprise,” the statement partly read.
“Nigerians have not forgotten how Asiwaju Tinubu callously vilified and pilloried Dr. Jonathan, spewed hate against his administration, and reportedly funded a near riotous protest which was inflamed by concocted economic lies, propaganda, and false statistics to discredit the Jonathan-led PDP administration.
“Nigerians can equally recall how Sen. Shettima as governor of Borno State sabotaged and frustrated Jonathan’s administration in its effort to curb insecurity in Borno State.
“Records still have it on how the APC vice presidential candidate as governor of Borno State failed to act on a security report and directive to close schools in remote parts of Borno State and relocate students to the more secure capital of Maiduguri to write their GCE examinations; thus creating the opening for the cruel abduction of school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
“Nigerian will also note how the then Governor Shettima abdicated his duty as a chief security officer and reportedly withheld vital security information in preference to non-state actors including terrorist elements, thereby frustrating the timely rescue of the abducted Chibok girls.”
The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, had in mid-April 2014 abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State whilst Shettima was governor and Jonathan president. The abduction rattled the world with global bodies including the UN condemning the heinous crime. Some of the children were reportedly released others were said to have been married off and impregnated by the terrorists.
Nigeria has been facing an insurgency for about 13 years. Aside from Chibok, terrorists have abducted scores of children from schools in the north, most prominent amongst which are Dapchi, Kankara, and Kagara.