Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State yesterday took a swipe at President Goodluck Jonathan, saying his approach to issues showed clearly a lack of humility.
He was reacting to comments made by the president during the North-East zonal rally of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Saturday.
President Jonathan had in his remarks at the rally advised governors in the states ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency to stop blaming the Federal Government of bad leadership and take some responsibility as they had failed to provide leadership for their people.
He was quoted as saying: “It is shameful for a governor who has stayed in power in his state for up to six years or more, to come to me and talk about bad leadership when you have youth in your state, more than half of whom have not attended primary school and you are doing nothing about it.
“State Governors should be ashamed of themselves when our children do not go to primary and secondary schools and they decide to carry arms”.
But Nyako in a response which was made public by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Ahmad Sajo, Nyako said it was unfortunate that the president has chosen once again, to blame everybody but himself, things going wrong with his government.
He said Jonathan’s recourse to passing the buck to the governors on the state of security in the region is not a sign of good leadership.
He said, “We also wish to draw the attention of the President to the fact that over 800 classroom blocks were destroyed in Borno state.
“Over 2000 classroom blocks were destroyed in Yobe State including those belonging to the Federal Government. Recently some classrooms were destroyed in Adamawa State as well.
“Several Schools were damaged and closed down in the affected states including Federal Government Colleges even though the President said his government has no responsibility for Secondary Education.
“The President’s persistent refusal to visit the affected states could be interpreted to mean an abdication of his constitutional responsibility to cater for the welfare and safety of the people of the zone. If he could go to Bauchi on a political jamboree, why not visit Borno and Yobe as part of his constitutional responsibility?”
The governor noted that if there is any proof of bad leadership in governance, it would be found in the way and manner the president executes his priorities and the kind of statements he and his spokespersons make.
Governors, he argued, are not and cannot be held responsible for security challenges since they have no control over any of the nation’s security apparatus.
“The President is the Commander-in-Chief with powers over the Armed Forces, Police and other security agencies. On the issue of education, the President is either being misled or is totally ignorant”, he said.
Nyako equally explained that, the name Boko Haram was a creation of the media in response to University graduates destroying their certificates in the very city of Bauchi where he made the latest statement. So the insurgency has nothing to do with education.
The Adamawa State governor also challenged President Jonathan to tell the world what his administration has done to improve the lot of the state since he assumed office.
Speaking on some of his achievements, Nyako noted that his administration (re) constructed all the Federal Roads in Adamawa State State, built the Nigerian Law School, built structures for the Army, Police and other security Agencies including the Prison Headquarters. These, he pointed out, are all responsibilities of the Federal Government.
He also urged Jonathan to cross-check the records of Adamawa State at the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, since 2010 to see the level of commitment the Nyako administration has paid to education.
In his own reaction, the governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima said he does not want to join issues with the President.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media, Malam Isa Gusau, Shettima explained that Jonathan must have been misquoted because he has an understanding of what the issues are.
He said, “If you will recall, the Minister of Special Duties who met some of the Boko Haram members, announced that he conferred with first class graduates among adherents of Boko Haram.
“There are many who dropped out of school to join the Boko Haram, there were graduates among them who tore their certificates.
“So, it is not about education per se. We believe that the President understands the issues and must have been misquoted in this case”.
Another governor of one of the states in the North-East, Yobe State, which has been plagued by Boko Haram insurgency, Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam, could not be reached for comments.