The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has stated that the president’s comments concerning the people of Borno State were misinterpreted.
Shehu, while speaking on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Monday, denied that the President ever accused the residents of Borno State of colluding with Boko Haram.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had made a sympathy visit to Borno State over an attack by the Boko Haram insurgents that left many dead and several others injured.
During the visit, Buhari said, “Boko Haram or whatever they are cannot come to Maiduguri or its environs without the local leadership knowing, the local leadership is in charge of security in their own respective areas.”
However, the President’s spokesman said he too had received a share of the backlash on social media over the comment.
“I am happy that Isa (Gusau) raised the issue. When the President left Maiduguri, he stressed the need for more intelligence and more support for security and we received a backlash on social media that the President had raised questions about the commitment of the people of Borno in the war against insurgency,” he said.
He added that the President would never have said such a thing. To that effect, he said, “Quality intelligence is a conditio sine qua non for the success of any war.”
He also commended that military for the work being done to tackle the issue of insecurity affecting the country.
He said, “Our Armed Forces are doing an enormously good job, they are not sitting on their laurels but the challenges have mounted because of factors extraneous to the region and Nigerians should have an appreciation and be sympathetic and see that all of the things about the collapse of Libya is no fairy tale.”
Present at the show was also the Special Adviser to the Borno State Governor on Public Relations and Strategy, Isa Gusau. He as well, faulted the allegations by the President that Boko Haram was thriving as a result of the collaboration of Borno residents.