The Arewa Citizens for Good Governance (ACGG) has called for the arrest of Senator Kashim Shettima for attempting to instigate mutiny against President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group made this known in a statement signed by its president, Comrade Silas Adamu, on Wednesday.
According to Adamu, the Borno Central lawmaker’s recent remarks on national security could potentially incite serving military officers to mutiny against the current government as he suggested that the current set of service chiefs are sitting on their promotion and elevation.
The group said Shettima, who flaunts zero credentials on security matters is unfit to advise President Buhari.
The Arewa group reminded the Senator of how the intervention of the President and service chiefs stabilised his second tenure as governor of Borno State and eventual election to the National Assembly.
The group further accused Shettima of liaising with a presidential hopeful and some elements from the South to undermine the President and position himself as the most relevant politician from the North ahead of 2023.
It, however, demanded that Shettima apologises to President Buhari and stop dabbling into security issues.
The group called on the Police and DSS to put the lawmakerr under its surveillance to avoid a repeat while also advising the Borno Central Senator to publicly renounce his alliance with selfish politicians.
Read the full statement below:
The Arewa Citizens for Good Governance has once again deemed it fit to intervene on a matter of urgent national importance.
A few days ago, a former governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima made certain disparaging remarks about how President Muhammadu Buhari is prosecuting the war against insurgency and went overboard trying to dictate to the President how he should run his government.
The former governor did not stop at that but went ahead to delve into sensitive security issues by publicly alleging that the current set of service chiefs have overstayed and should be dropped.
He went ahead to make unintelligent comparisons with past administrations under whose watch the Boko Haram problem started and grew and urged President Buhari to borrow a leaf from this administration that Nigerians voted out due to their inability to solve the security problem in the country.
The former governor in the process tried to incite serving military officers to mutiny against the current government by suggesting that the current set of service chiefs are sitting on their promotion and elevation.
This is highly treasonable and should not be ignored.
Why Shettima is not qualified to advise Buhari
It is curious how Shettima, who is not known to be a security expert apart from being a politician and former state governor suddenly realises his talent in that aspect and wants to coach a retired General, a war hero and three-time Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the most populous country in Africa how to do his job.
Shettima was probably not born when Buhari fought the civil war to keep Nigeria one.
He was probably in primary school when Buhari as GOC acted on a threat from a neighbouring Afridan country and pursued their soldiers who fled in the face of superior fighting powers of Nigerian troops under his command.
Buhari, unlike Shettima, is an internationally recognised military strategist, respected global citizen and statesman whose knowledge and experience on security matters are well known and are being sought the word over.
It is therefore baffling how someone with zero credentials on security matters like Shettima thinks he can lecture another who has attained such lofty heights in military strategy.
The politics of Shettima’s outburst
The comments by Shettima has confirmed the suspicion that some politicians especially within the Borno axis are not interested in seeing the end of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism in Nigeria.
With his suggestion that the only way to end terrorism lies in the removal of the current set of service chiefs, Shettima is trying to introduce the politics of Borno at the national level.
Senator Shettima’s suggestion is not borne out of patriotism but borne out of a mindset that he must dominate every political space in Borno.
Though he has stated that he will not interfere in the running of the affairs of the state after handing over, Shettima still wants to be seen as the arrowhead in every appointment in Borno State and is trying to edge out the service chiefs to create room for his kinsman to take control of the security agencies in the country.
One cannot help but notice the inanity of his suggestion which boils down to criminal confession given the fact that the former governor had during his time as governor, commended copiously the efforts put in by the service chiefs to ensure the security of lives and property which enabled him to remain as governor till the end of his tenure last year.
Shettima had forgotten so easily the security situation in Borno State before the current set of service chiefs were appointed.
The former governor has forgotten that he was not even the one that won the governorship ticket of ANPP, the then ruling party in Borno State and that it was because Boko Haram took advantage of the security crisis in Borno that they gunned down the initial winner of the ticket that an opening was created for him to become the party’s flag bearer from whence he moved to become the state governor.
Maybe because the killing favoured him, he wants Borno to go back to a former era.
Shettima had forgotten that it was during the reign of his godfather, who sponsored his election to become governor, that Borno became a fertile ground for Boko Haram to grow into full adulthood with the kind of support the group was receiving from the then government.
All that while, when Boko Haram was killing people daily, nobody heard any suggestion from Shettima on how to end the Boko Haram crisis even when the then-governor appointed one of the group’s sponsors a commissioner in his cabinet.
Shettima only found his voice when he was installed as governor.
But he has also forgotten that during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, he had almost given up on the security situation and cried out that the terrorists had more sophisticated weapons than the Nigerian military.
He has forgotten that it was under the administration he wants President Buhari to learn from that 14 local governments in his state were taken over by the terrorists.
Shettima has forgotten too soon that it was under the current set of service chiefs that all the local governments which Shettima has been receiving allocations on their behalf and which he has nothing to show off were recovered by Nigerians troops.
It was also under the current set of service chiefs that Shettima was able to appoint a successor and present him to the electorate in an election made peaceful through the efforts of the current set of service chiefs.
He seems not to remember that it is under the current set of service chiefs that he won his election to go the Senate.
Now that President Buhari through his service chiefs has made all that possible for him and he has relocated to Abuja as a big boy, he wants to see the back of the current stock of gallant officers.
The Real Issues
The problem is, Shettima thinks he can dictate to President Buhari who he should appoint or work with.
This is something Shettima as governor fought his political godfather for as he did not tolerate when the latter was allegedly trying to dictate to him how he runs his government.
Now because he has found himself in the Senate and wants to position himself for possible nomination as vice president to a presidential hopeful from the Southwest, he wants to control a whole President.
He seems not to realise that President Buhari is a thorough leader who does his homework first before making an appointment and like his Spokesman Gaba Shehu has said, only him can determine the tenure of the service chiefs.
The fact is that Shettima has gone beyond decorum as it is obvious he wants to carry out the equivalent civilian coup to overthrow Buhari by instigating mutiny within the military that may lead to a putsch against the government.
This is not without reason.
Shettima’s alliance with a presidential hopeful and some elements from the South have always been to undermine the President and position himself as the most relevant politician from the North.
That was why he lobbied to be Vice President at a time the President was sick and deserving of prayers and travelled abroad for treatment. The inordinate ambition it seems has not died down.
The fact is, Shettima cannot come now and pretend he wants a solution to the Boko Haram problem as he contributed negatively to the current state of insecurity in the state by squandering all the LG funds in Borno State and refused to build rural infrastructure that would have made it possible for people to return home.
We demand that Senator Shettima apologises to President Buhari for the caustic remark against him which is meant to ridicule the President and portray him as a weakling and lacking in intelligence to take the right action at the right time.
The former governor should stop dabbling into security issues as he is no longer the Chief Security Officer of any state and if he has any suggestion on how to improve security, he should go through the proper channel as a senator and stop trying to play on peoples’ intelligence.
Senator Shettima should tell the people how many times he has changed cabinet when he was governor and why he had to contest the governorship position for a second time when he knew that the secret to effective administration is to keep changing those in charge.
Shettima should publicly renounce his alliance with selfish politicians who are trying to use him to pursue their 2023 agenda.
The Inspector-General of Police and Director General of the DSS should put him under surveillance to forestall further attempts to undermine the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.