July 21, 2014
Buoyed by the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, hawks within President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration have set their sights on Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, pushing for his impeachment as well.
Mr. Shettima, the governor of the violence-ravaged northeastern state of Borno, has long been a thorn on the side of Mr. Jonathan. The governor has been a vocal critic of President Jonathan’s handling of the war against the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, which has made Nigeria’s northeast region a zone of pervasive violence and disorder.
Two Presidency sources told SaharaReporters that, in the wake of the successful impeachment of Governor Nyako of Adamawa State, some hawks close to Mr. Jonathan, most of them northerners, are pressing the president to approve a similar move to impeach Mr. Shettima. “They [the hawks] have made Governor Shettima a possible target of special interest,” one source said. The source added that former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno, who is now a senator, leads the pack of those who are persuading the president to approve a move to remove the troubled state’s incumbent governor. Mr. Sheriff, who belonged to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), recently defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is known to have close ties to Mr. Jonathan.
Last week, Mr. Jonathan ordered the closed airport in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, briefly reopened to enable a flight carrying Mr. Sheriff to land there.
A Presidency source told SaharaReporters that, from the outset, Mr. Sheriff was President Jonathan’s mole within the APC, charged with helping to destabilize the opposition party.
Mr. Sheriff returned to Maiduguri with a full complement of security personnel befitting a head of state. Last week, policemen attached to him were accused of killing a local government council official as they tried to ward off youth protesters who had massed around his Maiduguri home.
Operatives in the Presidency determined to impeach Mr. Shettima have also compiled a list of politicians to be arrested on allegations that they are sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria.
A security operative working on the project told SaharaReporters that the first set of “suspects” had been picked up. The suspects are expected to make confessions implicating certain politicians who will then be picked up by security agents and prosecuted for treason.
SaharaReporters could not obtain the list of politicians penciled for arrest, but our source said the case for their involvement in sponsoring Boko Haram would also be made with the cooperation of some reporters, editors and bloggers on the payroll of the Presidency.
With growing and stiff opposition to his second term plans, particularly in many northern states, President Jonathan and his closest political associates are reportedly exploring several options, including finding a way to avert the 2015 elections or having them postponed by a year or two.
A few weeks ago, a bill was introduced at the National Assembly seeking to institute a single term of six or seven years for the president and governors. The bill stipulates that Mr. Jonathan and the current crop of governors would be eligible to run for office if the amendment is passed and signed into law.