By Ibrahim Sawab
Maiduguri — Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima yesterday described former President Goodluck Jonathan’s book,”My Transition Hours”, launched in Abuja Tuesday as fiction.
Shettima, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Isa Gusau, said Jonathan deliberately omitted in chapter four of his book, the report submitted to him in June 2014 by the presidential facts-finding committee he constituted to gather evidence-based facts and circumstances on the April 14, 2014 abduction of Chibok schoolgirls.
Jonathan had Tuesday said the Chibok girls’ abduction was one of the things used against him in the 2015 presidential election by the then opposition All Progressives Congress, in connivance with the Borno State Government.
“What has become very clear is that the former president decided to sit on facts in his custody while he published, in an elementary standard, a book of fiction designed to pass guilty verdicts to anyone but himself, with respect to the open failures of his administration to rescue our daughters and in tackling the Boko Haram challenges ” Shettima was quoted by his spokesman.
He said by refusing to publish any part of his own panel’s findings on the Chibok abduction, Jonathan’s book was nothing short of “a presidential tale by midday”.
Shettima recalled that for the records, “on Tuesday, the 6th of May, 2014, President Jonathan had inaugurated multi-agency/stakeholder fact-finding panel under the chairmanship of Brig. General Ibrahim Sabo (rtd), a one-time Director of Military Intelligence and also appointed a secretary from the Niger Delta.
“President Jonathan single handedly selected all members of that committee which included his trustees amongst serving and retired security officers from the Army, DSS and Police; representatives of the UN and ECOWAS, representatives of the Chibok community, local and international civil rights organisations, representatives of the National Council on Women Societies, the Nigeria Union of Journalists amongst other persons he trusted.
“For almost two months, the probe panel undertook forensic assessment of all documents on the entire issues, held investigative meetings with parents of the schoolgirls during a visit to Chibok.
“The panel held separate one-on-one investigative meetings with myself, the then Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chiefs of Air and Naval Staff, met the then Director General of the DSS and the Inspector General of Police, all of whom were appointees of President Jonathan.
“The panel interrogated officials of Borno Government including the Comof Education and the school principal. The panel also held investigative meetings with heads of all security agencies in Borno State including security formations in charge of Chibok.
“At the end, the panel submitted its report directly to President Jonathan on Friday, the 20th of June, 2014 in Abuja. President Jonathan has refused to make public the findings submitted to him. I was expecting the findings in his book but he has deliberately swept that report under the carpet.
Shettima advised Jonathan to write a second book on account of his presidency which should contain the facts as have been presented to him, regarding the Chibok abduction rather than the fiction he made public on Tuesday.