- Shettima: Former president’s book, an elementary book of fictions
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Northern leaders have faulted the claim by former President Goodluck Jonathan in his book, ‘My Transition Hours,’ that the leaders and some groups in the region worked against him, leading to his defeat in 2015 election.
This is coming as the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, wednesday described the details contained in Jonathan’s book as a clever attempt to sweep incontrovertible facts on the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls under the carpet.
The northern leaders under the aegis of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said in a statement wednesday that the former Nigerian leader should be held responsible for his defeat.
The statement, which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, accused Jonathan of not keeping to his words.
Though ACF said it was yet to get hold of the book, the group said it had become necessary for the forum to respond to the said statement.
According to the statement, it was on record that Jonathan contested the 2011 and 2015 elections against the zoning arrangement of his party that zoned the presidential slot to the North.
“Therefore, his assertions that Northern leaders and Socio-political groups in the North worked against his presidency is rather odd, considering the circumstances at that time.
“Yet he won the presidency in 2011 and the ruling party also secured 25 per cent in some states of the North in the 2015 presidential elections. It may interest you to know that his party has since admitted the oversight in the party’s 2015 winning game plan.
“This clearly means that leaders should always honour their words with deeds if they want to earn the respect of their followers, the statement maintained,” ACF explained.
Meanwhile, Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, yesterday described the details contained in Jonathan’s book as a clever attempt to sweep incontrovertible facts on the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls under the carpet.
The governor described the book, ‘My Transition Hours’, as an “elementary book of fictions, lacking courage.”
In a statement issued yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusua, the governor berated the former president, who in the book, among other allegations, said Shettima and the All Progressives Congress (APC) conspired in the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls.
But the governor said: “It was clear to him after reading the former president’s book that he still lives with poor understanding of issues under his presidency.”
Shettima said Jonathan’s claim on page 31 that Boko Haram wanted a Muslim president rather than him as Christian was laughable since the insurgents actually began their deadliest attacks in Borno State under the regime of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, a Muslim from northern Nigeria.
He said the former president deliberately omitted in chapter four of his new book, an investigative report submitted to him in June 2014 by the presidential facts-finding committee he constituted in May, 2014, which was mandated to gather evidence-based facts and circumstances on the abduction.
On the allegations contained in chapter four which is titled: ‘The Chibok schoolgirls affair’, the governor said Jonathan was wrong to have indicated that the schoolgirls abduction was a product of conspiracy by the then opposition APC in connivance with Borno State Government.
He noted that the former president, in the book, had also accused the Borno State Government and United States President Barack Obama’s administration of undermining efforts to rescue the Chibok girls in 2014.
Shettima said the truth was that Jonathan never believed there was ever an abduction until rescue efforts were late, insisting that “the former president’s elementary book of tales fell short of the courage required of him to publish findings by his own panel in chapter four of his book.
“The whole of last Tuesday night I took the pains of reading His Excellency, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ‘My Transition Hours’, from the first to the 177th page, I took particular interest in chapter four (the Chibok school girls affair) which has 42 paragraphs written on pages 27 to 36. I was amused that despite admitting in paragraph 15 that he had (in May 2014) constituted a Presidential Fact-finding Committee under Brigadier General Ibrahim Sabo and many others to investigate the Chibok abduction, former President Jonathan refused to mention any part or whole of the findings by that panel which had submitted a highly investigative report submitted to him on June 20, 2014, after the panel held investigative meetings with the then Chiefs of Defence Staff, Army Staff, Air Staff, the Director General of DSS and Inspector General of Police (IG) in Borno State, visited Chibok, and met with parents of abducted schoolgirls, surviving students as well as interrogated officials of the school and the supervising ministry of education, officials of WAEC and analysed all correspondences.
“What has become very clear is that the former president decided to sit on facts in his custody while he published, in an elementary standard, a book of fiction designed to pass guilty verdict to anyone but himself, with respect to the open failures of his administration to rescue our daughters and tackling the Boko Haram challenges.”
The governor declared that by refusing to publish any part of his own panel’s findings on the Chibok abduction, Jonathan’s book was nothing short of “a presidential tale by midday.”
The governor therefore advised President Jonathan to write a second book on account of his presidency which should contain the facts as have been presented to him regarding the Chibok abduction rather than the fiction he made public last Tuesday.