On Sunday, Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), announced Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Shettima, a senator representing Borno Central, served as Borno State Governor between 2011 and 2019.
His emergence came on the back of the withdrawal of Ibrahim Masari, Tinubu’s initial choice for the vice presidential candidacy, who was popularly referred to as a placeholder.
The announcement of Shettima as running mate to the APC flag bearer has been met with mixed reactions as some Nigerians questioned the rationale behind the APC promoting two persons of the same religious faith (both Tinubu and Shettima are Muslims) to aspire to the two most important offices in the country.
Amid the controversy over Shettima’s faith, a 2014 letter has emerged suggesting he was complicit in the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, while he was governor.
WIKE WARNED SHETTIMA TO RELOCATE STUDENTS MONTH BEFORE ATTACK
A letter sent by Nyesom Wike, then Supervising Minister of Education, to Shettima on March 12, 2014, has emerged online.
Contained in the letter is a directive for Shettima to relocate Senior School Certificate Examination candidates of Federal Unity Schools to Maiduguri, the state capital.
Wike, at the time, expressed fears over security challenges, and said the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council of Nigeria (NECO) had expressed concerns as well.
His letter read in part, “In response to the concerns, I have directed that the candidates in the federal unity schools be assembled in the respective state capital where they are to sit for the examination in safe locations.
“You are please enjoined to make contingency arrangements for candidates from public and private schools in your state to sit the examinations in safe locations.”
The letter was addressed to Yobe and Adamawa state governors as well.
While the federal government had no control over state-owned schools, Wike’s letter contained a piece of advice for the states to make “contingency arrangements for candidates from public and private schools”.
A month after, on April 14, Boko Haram terrorists hit Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, and abducted 276 female students.
BLAME SHETTIMA FOR CHIBOK ABDUCTION — WIKE
On May 19, 2014, a month after the attack and abduction, Wike fingered Shettima, and called for him to be held responsible.
He referenced the letter he had earlier written to the then governor, and wondered why precautionary measures were not taken.
Wike said, “WAEC wrote to me to inform me that we have a security problem in that particular school and therefore they wouldn’t want exam to take place in that school.
“I wrote a letter to the governor to say that this is what we have observed, so please there should no be exam in that school, move them to the city and get an alternative place because of the security reports we have.
“The governor never reverted to me or wrote to me to say we are doing this or we are doing that. We wrote a letter a month to the time, not that we just wrote it within two days”.
STOP BLAMING SHETTIMA FOR CHIBOK ABDUCTION, APC TELLS PRESIDENCY (2014)
On May 12, 2014, the All Progressives Congress (APC), a leading opposition party at the time, asked Goodluck Jonathan to not blame Shettima for the abduction.
Bisi Akande, Interim National Chairman of the party in 2014, while speaking to newsmen in Lagos, accused Jonathan of not having a grip on the country.
He said, “Today (Sunday), we call on President Jonathan to earn his epaulette as the Commander-in-Chief and stop passing the buck. We remind him that as the Chief Security Officer of the nation, he cannot and must not pass the buck.
“We remind him that having imposed emergency rule on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, he has assumed full responsibility for the security of lives and property in those states, and that it is disingenuous of him to point accusing fingers at the governors of those states, who cannot even move around their states freely without clearance.
“Even without the Boko Haram crisis, the nation ran itself as if on auto-pilot. The Jonathan administration did little and depended on the ingenuity of the Nigerian people to fend for themselves and cover up governmental shortcomings.”
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