By Oladapo Okeowo
The governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has pointed to inaction on the part of his predecessor, Ali Sheriff, as a contributing factor in the escalation of the Boko Haram.
Shettima made this statement during his presentation, on Monday, at the annual lecture held in honour of the late General Murtala Mohammed.
According to the governor, Sheriff’s lack of leadership was what emboldened Mohammed Yusuf, the slain Boko Haram leader.
He said: “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”.
The governor, who delivered a paper “Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State: Experiences and Lessons for a Multi-party, Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious Nigeria”, said Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, took advantage of Sheriff’s failure to provide leadership to declare a jihad.
Pointing to the killing of members of the sect by security agents in July 2009, Sheriff faulted Shettima’s lackadaisical handling of the situation. He said the ex-governor should have made peace overtures and appease both sides of the divide before hotheads took the day.
He said: “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.”