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Monday, 28 March 2016

Obasanjo would have rescued Chibok girls if he was in office-Gov, Kashim Shettima

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, on Monday, poured encomiums on former President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing him as a man with rare courage committed to national unity and development. Shettima said he was convinced that Obasanjo would have rescued the missing Chibok girls if he were the president at the time the insurgents seized the 279 girls from their hostels.

But the governor regretted that former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was in charge when the girls were taken, only phoned him 19 days after the seizure of the innocent children. The governor said the former president neither sympathised nor empathised with his government over the abduction of the girls.

Shettima made the claim on Monday when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is on a two-day visit to the University of Maiduguri, visited him at Government House in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

While playing host to Obasanjo, Shettila recalled how Obasanjo fought gallantly for peace during his tenure, vigorously interacting with stakeholders including governors, traditional rulers and other peacemakers in troubled regions in search of peace.

The governor said: “In our own case, Your Excellency, after the Chibok abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in April, 2014, it took 19 days for me to receive a call from the Presidency,” Mr. Shettima said.

“I brought this mainly to show the difference, because we will only appreciate scenarios when we make comparisons.” The governor also recalled a statement credited to the current Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbe who once served him as an adviser, who, he said made glowing remarks about Obasanjo long after they had changed their political parties.

He said, “Your Excellency, Sir, I was privileged to have worked closely with Chief Innocent Audu Ogbeh as Honourary Adviser to me on Agriculture. He selflessly assisted us in fine-tuning our Agricultural programmes from 2012 to 2015 which made him to be frequent in Maiduguri in the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.

I remember that in one of his visits, we had one conversation in 2014 after the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction. I was actually lamenting to him on governance at the Federal level with relations to poor handling of the Boko Haram insurgency.






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