By Aliyu Smith Almusawi
In his oratund speech in Abuja in which he was expected to share his experience as to how to avert the rise of insurgent groups in Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno state, is, without arcana of doubt one of the most notorious liers in Nigeria. He is one of such liers who use their positions to poison people's brain with lies in order to achieve certain objectives.
In his speech, the confused governor rained abuses on his predecessor, Sherif, not because the man was accused of surreptitiously sponsoring Boko Haram but because during the nadir of his administration, he refused to emulate El-Rufai by treading conciliatory steps to appease Boko Haram before they resorted to terrorist activities. He said, in the first encounter with Boko Haram, soldiers shot dead at least 15 Boko Haram members for not wearing helmets, and Sherif should have placated them by visiting their members instead of bringing the murderous soldiers to book. Moreover, in the aftermath of the massacre of their members, Sherif was wrong to decline to set up a judicial committee of inquiry to investigate the causative factors that led to the bloody encounter. But alas, Kashim Shettima was economical with the truth to have entirely failed to discover the truth and learn the lessons despite the rise of Boko Haram who turned his state from once-an epicenter of commerce into a failed state where terrorists are incubated to thrive.
If you cannot blame 'Yaradua and the Nigerian Army for using a sledgehammer to crack a nut during the massacre of Boko Haram members in 2009, if you cannot still blame Buhari and the Nigerian Army for the massacre of Shiites, in Zaria, I am afraid you lack the temerity to teach others how to avert crisis in a country.
It was 'Yaradua who ordered the deployment of army to violently crush people, he even urged the befuddled citizens not to sympathise with even though the atrocities committed were vehemently condemned all over the world. Now, 'Yaradua was dead while the Boko Haram are alive and still terrorising us, and the Nigerian Army are the same today as they were yestarday.
In the case of the Zaria massacre, it is wrong for Shettima to give kudos to El-Rufai because even if he could be praised for setting up a quasi-committe to investigate the carnage, the killers of the Shiites are still walking freely despite the commitee's recommendation that they be prosecuted; Buhari who, earlier on depended the soldiers is still silent despite his promise to act but his continued silence has added credence to the fact that he is complicit in the killings. His refusal to heed court order and release Zakzaky, who has been kept incommunicado for more than a year without trial, is a reminder that Buhari is a disgrace to the Nigerian democracy.
Just like the way Obasanjo derided El-Rufai "a pathological lier," Kashim Shettima shares the same pathological traits as El-Rufai because they are very adept at using lies to mislead their people.