Stop Demonising Buhari over Boko Haram, Shettima Tells President’s Critics

Kashim Shettima

Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha

Former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, thursday asked critics of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop demonising him over the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east region.

Shettima, who represents Borno South senatorial district, described as unnecessary and uncalled for the usual accusation by critics of President Buhari that he has not been able to curb terrorists attack in the country.

According to him, President Buhari has done enough security wise for the Northeast especially with most of the service chiefs hailing from the geo-political zone.

The former governor of Borno State said: “The president needs to be commended for what he has done for the North-east region and Borno State in particular. He was instrumental to the establishment of the North East Development Commission. If we are going to apportion blames, we should be fair to this poor old man.”

He said he declined from making comments for some time because he believed the insecurity problem won’t be solved by blame game.

On Buhari’s visit to the state, Shettima said what transpired in Maiduguri last Wednesday was unfortunate, adding that although there is crisis in the region, the zone will definitely regain its lost glory.

The senator stressed that: “What happened in Maiduguri on Wednesday was very unfortunate, but mind you, Buhari has done extremely well for the people of Borno State and the Northeast as a whole. I want to reiterate that position. Yes, we have challenges, but no matter how long the night is, it will surely give way to dawn. Stormy the weather might well be, but it will not rain forever.

“Certainly, we have reached the peak in our crisis, and we are going to bounce back as a people. The people of the state love Buhari; maybe their expectations were over exaggerated. People thought he had the magic wand, however, he doesn’t have one. But I believe it is a temporary hiccup. The people of the state and the North-east region in general still passionately love Buhari. Without the cooperation of the people of the state, the Civilian JTF could not have come into being.”

He added that the government and people of Borno State are fully behind the president, “and are fully in support of members of our security establishment who have lost their lives while serving the country.

“So I doubt very much if the president blamed the people of Borno State or the Borno elites. He might have made a general statement on the need for people to align themselves with the aspiration for the restoration of peace in the North-east but I doubt if the president blamed the people of the state,” Shettima added.