Governor Kashim Ibrahim Shettima has said his predecessor’s mismanagement of the Boko Haram issue from the onset worsened the crisis.
The governor was speaking in Abuja on Monday when he delivered a keynote lecture at the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture organised by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation to commemorate the 41st year anniversary of the assassination of the late head of state.
Shettima said the former governor Ali Modu Sheriff mismanaged the Boko Haram crisis by blatantly ignoring the entire incident in 2009 when the deadly sect first had violent confrontation with the security forces in Maiduguri.
Speaking on ‘Managing the Boko Haram crisis in Borno State; experiences and lessons for a multi-party, multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria, the Borno governor said his predecessor in office allowed his ego to override his actions by failing to amicably settle the violent disagreements that ensued between a group of armed forces and followers of the Boko Haram sect in 2009.
He said; ‘’I have restrained myself from blaming the previous Governor but the fact of the matter is that Governor Ali Modu Sheriff allowed his ego to override his actions by failing to amicably settle the violent disagreements that ensued between a group of armed forces and followers of the Boko Haram sect in 2009, who at that time were known as Yusufiyya.
‘’The Governor was in Maiduguri when the incident happened but he neither set up at least a Commission of Inquiry after the incident nor did he visit those shot and hospitalized while he also didn’t send anyone and didn’t settle medical bills of victims. Sheriff acted as if nothing happened.
‘’ At the end, he played into the hands of the insurgents. It is possible that some of the insurgents wanted a Jihad to declare their kind of Islamic State and Sheriff’s inactions and negligent disposition gave Mohammed Yusuf an opening to mobilize his followers and declare a Jihad.’’
He said because of Sheriff’s inaction, the late founder of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf, reportedly told his followers that the silence of the Borno Government was an indication that the attack on his followers was orchestrated by the government and he reportedly threatened a retaliation.