By Bukar Bolori
The last may not have been heard of the last election in Borno State as some chieftains of the All Progressives Party (APC) in the state have been alleged to have commenced a smear campaign against the former governor, Kashim Shettima for working against them during the March 2019 elections.
A press release by the President, Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), Comrade Kenneth Aigbegbele on Thursday alleged that seven chieftains of the APC in Borno State who felt hardly done by the former governor are currently running a campaign on the social media, alleging among other that Shettima is worth in the region of $900 million (about N400 billion).
Aigbegbele alleged that a group of seven chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Borno state have resolved to unleash what they termed “devilish campaign” against a former Governor and now Senator Kashim Shettima as they are still aggrieved with the outcome of the 2019 governorship elections in Borno.
He alleged that the seven have started regrouping ahead of 2023 and that the undisclosed chieftains have planted a mischievous allegation in the social media, claiming that former Governor Kashim Shettima has been boasting of being worth $900m in cash.
He said the group went as far as fabricating a fake wikipedia page to support the false narrative.
The release read in part: “As activists of public rights, we have the solemn duty to raise our voices not only against the wrongs carried out by public office holders, but also those done against them by other Nigerians. We speak against everything that is either evil or wrong.
“Since December, 2019, a group of seven chieftains of the APC in Borno state, five of whom are former public office holders and two of them in public service, have been making frantic efforts against one of their own, former Governor Kashim Shettima. Their main grievance is outcome of the 2019 governorship election in Borno, and ahead of 2023.”
Aigbegbele said: “My particular concern is the fact that these chieftains have been shopping for civil societies they can recruit into their evil mission. The group has recruited two experts on ICT and social media engagements and have also gone far in trying to register a pseudo civil society platform they call Northeast Vanguard Against Corruption and Bad Governance, with the singular objective of leading vicious media campaigns against the former Governor and the current administration in Borno state.
“Their number one aim is to have Kashim Shettima humiliated whether by the EFCC and ICPC or by losing at the polls in 2023 should he seek reelection for the Borno central senatorial seat which he now occupies.
“As part of their mission, the chieftains recently planted through one of their associates, a mischievous narrative on Twitter, that former Governor Kashim Shettima has been claiming he is worth $900m which is equivalent to nearly N400 billion. This outrageous claim means Shettima is now worth more than the combination of federal allocation and internally generated revenue his government received in the eight years he was Governor of Borno.”
Aigbegbele also alleged that the chieftains had, with the services of their two ICT experts, mischievously edited a wikipedia page which they screenshot and shared through the social media, claiming that former governor Kashim Shettima is worth $900m and has failed to account for N200 billion.”
He said: “Fact is that anyone who googles Kashim Shettima on Wikipedia will not see anything relating to $900m on the wikipedia page because that addition could not stand.”
Aigbegbele, however called on credible civil societies and the Nigerian public to be wary of many vicious attacks against former Governor Shettima as the seven chieftains have vowed to sustain their attacks from now till the 2023 elections and Nigerians should discountenance any mischief orchestrated by these people.