By Ajibola Abayomi,
Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan has fired back at Governor Kashim Shettima for referring to him as clueless.
The former president accused the governor of frustrating his effort to combat terrorism during his administration.
He also described a new book written about him by Bolaji Abdullahi as full of lies.
The ex-president, in a statement released by his spokesperson, Ikechukuwu Eze on Friday, December 1, reacted to a statement by Governor Shettima referring to him as a clueless president and an ‘unsophisticated country person’ during the launching of Bolaji Abdullahi’s book, “On a Platter of Gold: How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria”.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the claims made by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima on Thursday at a book launch to the effect that former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan wasted the goodwill he commanded because of bad governance and poor choices in office.
He was also said to have accused Jonathan of believing that he was behind the kidnap of the Chibok girls.
“As a man who had never seen anything good in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan on account of party and other differences, it has remained our considered view that in a democracy, Governor Kashim Shettima and others like him are entitled to their opinion, no matter how jaundiced.
“However, it is a sad commentary on the character of some of our politicians that they go to any length to make spurious statements, in pursuit of the sad narrative to remain politically correct.
“We cannot be deceived by his crocodile tears and patronizing claim that “Jonathan is essentially a decent man”, which is a ploy he deployed to justify his false allegation of a lost glory.
“The man who today speaks of squandered goodwill should be able to tell Nigerians what percentage of the votes Jonathan got in 2011 from Borno State at the height of that his envisaged glory according to Shettima, and what it became in subsequent elections.
“What was obvious yesterday and has remained so today is that Governor Shettima and those who think like him never liked Jonathan based on some parochial and paternalistic sentiments.
“We didn’t expect anything less from Governor Shettima, knowing the ignoble roles he played in frustrating the war waged by the past administration against Boko Haram, even in his own Borno State.
“He should be able to tell us if it was Jonathan’s poor choices that led the Governor to expose students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok to avoidable danger, in total disregard of a Federal Government directive to the Governors in the three states most affected by Boko Haram to relocate their students writing the West African School Certificate Examinations to safe zones.
“The governor is now denying that he had no hand in the kidnap of the Chibok girls even before anybody accused him of culpability. However, we share the view of those who insist that the governor had other things up his sleeve when he promised the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that he would secure the girls, and ended up doing the very opposite by deliberately abandoning them to their fate, without any security presence in their school.
“It is instructive that while other governors in the zone heeded the security advice, Shettima remained the only one that flagrantly flouted it. Should we also fail to point out that his decision to reward the principal of Chibok Secondary School, who was uncharacteristically absent on the night terrorists stormed the school, with the post of a commissioner, did throw up more questions than answers?
“Talking about accountability, perhaps, Shettima should also do well to explain to the good people of Borno State and Nigerians what he did with the over N60 billion Local Governments fund, left by his predecessor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
“We understand Governor Shettima and those who spoke like him accused Jonathan of bad governance and poor choices, and we would like to know if it was bad governance that led Jonathan to assemble a-yet-to be matched crop of dynamic cabinet and economic management team made up of tested technocrats like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Finance ministry, Shamsuddeen Usman in Planning, Olusegun Aganga in Trade and Investments as well as Akinwumi Adesina leading the charge in Agriculture.
“Fortunately, Nigerians know where they stand with all of their leaders. All those who are calling Jonathan names today, and accusing him of having become quite unpopular, should simply take a walk on the streets of any Nigerian city as real leaders do.
“That way, they will accurately gauge their own approval and test their popularity with the Nigerian people. The statement also described the new book written about him by Bolaji Abdullahi as full of lies and a book seeking to downgrade the success of the Jonathan’s administration” he said.