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Boko Haram: Who is Governor Shettima Shielding, What Does He Know?

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As the mystery surrounding the kidnap of over 200 high school girls from Chibok continue, sundry questions continue to dog the minds of Nigerians as to who knows what, and who has not come clean.

There is however indications that some of the principal actors in the saga are not saying all they know, logic behind their actions or in actions or why their stories do not tally.

There is no doubt that the handling of the search and rescue effort by the government had been sloppy to say the least, considering the fact that it took over two weeks before anything concrete was done. It was also tragic that the Army had to disseminate falsehood, claiming it had rescued the girls, when in reality they were still in the custody of Boko Haram

But there are indications that the Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima may know more than he is telling the world , when his statements and body language are viewed closely.

Two weeks ago the WAEC's Head of National office, Charles Eguridu said the Borno state Governor should be held responsible for the kidnap because the examination body had warned such could happen. He disclosed that the WAEC compelled the Education minister, Nyesom Wike, to write the governors of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, to move the students to the capital city. Their reason was that it was not safe, as WAEC had lost three staff to insurgents in that area. Shettima disregarded the letter.

Yesterday the much talked about letter from Wike to Shettima surfaced.

Dated March 12, 2014 and addressed to the Borno Governor has the title “Security challenges and the conduct of the 204 WASSCE, SSCE in Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa.”

In part it stated “…In response to the concerns , I have directed that the candidates in the Federal Unity schools to be assembled in their respective state capitals where they are to sit for the examination in safe locations”

Curiously around May 12, Shettima told the BBC he knew where the girl where and had informed the authorities. He went on to say he knows so much about the kidnap drama, but would not speak, because if he does, “heads will roll”. Till date, Shettima has not explained what he meant. He has also not explained to his people or the parents of the girls, or to President Goodluck Jonathan why he disregarded the Wike/WAEC warning. learnt that a day before the media chat, Jonathan met with some of the actors. They were Shettima, Police commissioner, Lawal Tanko, Principal of the school, Asabe Kwambula, Education commissioner, Inuwa Kubo and Chibok's DPO, one Hezekiah. The tale they told about what happened that early morning the girls were taken did not tally. Everyone told a different story.

Another interesting twist is the timing regarding when Shettima said the government should negotiate, when he gave 'compensation' to the parents and when Ibrahim Shekau showed up with the girls.

It would be recalled that the kidnap came few hours after the Nyanyan blast that killed over 100 persons. While Boko Haram took responsibility for bombing, they did not speak about the kidnap until over two weeks later. Shortly after Jonathan went on air to say no one had taken responsibility, Shekau showed up.

Also, Kabiru Sokoto, a senior Boko Haram Commander was apprehended by operatives of the State Security Service in the Borno State Governor's Lodge in Abuja after escaping from the custody of police.

Some other troubling developments are the remarks of Senators representing Borno state. Senator Ahmed Zana told the CNN ” I won't tell where they are being kept again because I have told the Federal Government where they are being kept before the video was released…i can tell you the girls are no longer in Chibok.”

But Army spokesman debunked it ““I think, what you were saying was in retrospect. Like I said, we want to avoid engaging him(governor) in public. There was a piece of information he gave sometime which was about the movement of 60 vehicles. “Immediately that information came, aircraft went on air instantly. The whole of the environment he gave was searched, up till the points he said was the destination of those vehicles….“The same with the senators. In fact, most of the time the Senators speak, it gives us the impression they were in close contact. And many times perhaps, they also mislead.”