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A Tale Of Two Governors



As the May 29 democracy day approaches, several  non-productive political jobbers have started their game. They are standing at nothing in their lifecycle, except for the generosity of their benefactors.They are agitatedly in pursuit of federal acknowledgment and have continued to devulge time engaging in intrigues purportedly meant to damage the reputation of their ‘assumed enemies’.

Our attention is drawn to a publication on May 20, 2019 by one Sam Omatseye which was nothing but a complete balderdash wherein, the writer was obviously recruited to wrie  the script of political jobbers and his pay masters. Ordinarily, we would not have responded to the article by Sam Omotseye but it is necessary to set the records straight in the interest of the unsuspecting public.

With the tendency of these political class preoccupying their mind on parochial issues, as hawks, they are busy adopting the pulldown syndrome in their quest to ouster some of our most revered leaders whose names are in Gold prints and as being the rightful benefactors of the present day emerging political undertakers despite their intuitive parochial deposits.

These folks will always fail to see merit in all good works of their “presumed enemies”. The antagonists’ assumptions is never to take cognizance of the fact that, their benefactors stance were against the collective interest of their demography, suspecting it would cost them their present standing. It is also not in doubt that, the non conflictual flow in their state metamorphosed into the formidable force being leveraged on by the jobbers.

Sam Omatseye’s posited that, one “Fatimatu, about nine, a Boko Haram orphan, frail and cherubic” appeared on a walkway in front of Ali Modu Sherriff Primary School, stepped into the presence of Borno State Governor Kashim Shetima, is indeed not exceptional. That, she was not attending the school is no news as it’s suspect and viewed her as a drama queen narrative. Omatseye went further to averse that, Governor Shettima named the institution after a man who boasted that his people, including kids like Fatimatu, could never know he was a failed leader because they did not read newspapers.

Mr. Omatseye painted the Fatimatu enmeshment as ‘signs sang in low register, but the omen was stark’. But, he deliberately failed to hallmark that, of all the state chief executives Nigeria has produced and democratically voted for, only His Excellency Sen. (Dr.) Ali Modu Sherriff stands tall as the only former governor who left in the treasury of his State “Borno State Government” a whooping sum of N76 billion  after leaving office. We challenge Governor Shettima to come out clean and also declare the surplus credit in the treasury of Borno State Government on May 29, 2019.

To pose a question, where was Shettima before joining the Government of Borno State as Hon. Commissioner for Finance, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Commissioner for Health? He was an ordinary Regional Bank Manager at Zenith Bank Maiduguri and also a then tenant at one of Late Mai Deribe’s estate apartment, a position he occupied after Sen. Sheriff allowed him to access and manage the account of Borno State Government. Today, Shettima has outlived his second term of office and is a Senator elect. But, we feel bold to state here that; throughout the eight years’ tenure of Sen. Sheriff as Governor of Borno State, he neither bought a single plot of land, a house nor any piece of furniture to himself, family members nor his cronies. Does Omatseye think we don’t know why Shettima horridly swore in the Caretaker Committee Council Chairmen in Borno less than one month to handing over to the governor elect?

Omatseye posited rightly too that, Sen. Sherriff ‘loves to be the Sheriff’ which meant ‘he was both cop and governor’. Yes, truly Sheriff provided the proactive leadership and challenged the dreaded Boko Haram head on. Throughout his tenure as Governor of Borno State, no insurgent ever occupied a piece of land anywhere in Borno State. But, after he left office, the inactions of the successive government gave rise to the escalation of insurgency in Borno State and beyond. It is also alledged that  some family members of Shettima were members of the dreaded Boko Haram.

Omatseye and his co travelers must not also distort history by calling the the dog a bad name just to hang it. Boko Haram started in Kanem in Yobe State in the year 2002, before Sen. Sheriff took over as Governor of Borno State in 2003. Sen. Sheriff is indeed the major casualty of the Boko Haram. They Killed Sen. Sheriff’s blood brother. They killed his cousin and the ANPP gubernatorial candidate in  the 2011 election. They killed his cousin brother and the former ANPP National Vice Chairman North East and several others. Can Omatseye point any member of the Shettima family that was killed by Boko Haram from its inception to date?

Omatseye accused Sen. Sheriff of taking ‘refuge in ignorance’ that he ‘knew, so his people didn’t’. ‘Sherriff did not care because he thought they would remain so forever’. If Sen. Sheriff left the government of Borno State with his people in ignorance and educationally backward, hence the worsened security situation as posited by Omatseye and his jobbers, what has changed today since Shettima took over as governor from 2011 to date? We hope it’s better off, now?

We shall leave Omatseye and his co-travelers with a food for thought;

In my eyes, I have seen powerful men and women crumble. Once larger than life, now forever gone with the winds. I vividly remember in 1999 at the Eagle Square what happened there on the 29th of May, 1999. I have seen many who were present on that day but today, have been forgotten in idle permanent homes of their graves.


– Jiptil, is president, Citizens for Justice and Social Change



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