The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Monday alleged that the inaction of his predecessor, Ali Modu Sherriff, led to the spread of Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.
Shettima said his claim was in response to a political statement by Sheriff, saying no territory in the state was under the siege of the terrorist group when he handed over power.
He made the claim while delivering a paper titled “Managing the Boko Haram crisis in Borno state, experiences and lessons for a multi-party, multi ethnic and multi religious Nigeria,” at the annual lecture in honour of the late Head of State, Murtala Mohammed, in Abuja.
The governor claimed that the failure of Sheriff to provide leadership in the state, led to the then Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf declaring a jihad that later spread through the North East region.
Recalling that Yusuf was a constant critic of the Sheriff’s administration, Shettima said in July 2009, some armed security agencies clashed with members of the sect over the use of helmets and shot 17 of them and the then governor did nothing.
According to Shettima, “The fact is that Sheriff allowed his ego to overcome his action and failed to settle the differences between armed forces and members of Yusuffiya movement at the time.
“A governor should have at least visited victims of the shooting to lay foundation for peace and he should have set up a commission of inquiry just like what Governor El Rufai did in Kaduna recently.
“He chose to mismanage the incident. He did not send anyone or settle the medical bill of anyone and he played into their hands. That gave Yusuf an opening to declare jihad.”