Countering Boko Haram: How Borno Gov. Shettima Solely Funds 20,000 CJTF Fighters

Despite efforts by political mischief makers to downplay his
contributions on the fight against Boko Haram, Governor Kashim
Shettima’s led government has from 2013 to date, remained the sole
financiers of hundreds of successful operations carried out by more than
20,000 volunteers of the Civilian JTF, whose overwhelming contributions
in the fight against Boko Haram has been roundly acknowledged by the
military, all other security stakeholders, past and incumbent federal
administrations as well as residents of Borno State.

Governor
Shettima’s Special Adviser on Communications and strategy, Malam Isa
Gusau said this during a live interview as guest of ‘The Morning Show’
on Arise (cable) News International, in Ikoyi Lagos on Saturday. Arise
which airs on DSTV world wide, is a sister to ThisDay newspapers.

Gusau
said the Civilian JTF play crucial roles in intelligence gathering,
easy identification and arrest of suspected insurgents and supporting
the military in the war fronts.

The spokesman said it was a
laughable irony that in recent days some “mischief makers are doing
everything possible to smear Governor Shettima over the Boko Haram
crisis, whereas the same mischief makers regularly acknowledge the roles
played by patriotic members of the civilian JTF. However, “they
deliberately ignore the fact that in the last six years, Governor
Shettima has been the sole person giving approvals for the operational
vehicles and logistics, recruitment, training, payment of allowances,
kitting and surveillance equipment to these over 20,000 heroes, under
the Civilian JTF that have given everything to the fight against Boko
Haram. The mischief makers ignore that back in 2013, it was Governor
Shettima who drove the process of getting making office of the National
Security Adviser to approve the operational activities of the Civilian
JTF and he has remained the only one funding all their operations
including the coordination of their recruitment and deployments after
clearance by the DSS. The same Governor approves funds to support
gallant members of the Civilian JTF including allocation of lands to the
to own houses so as to encourage them and guarantee their future” Gusau
noted.

The Adviser said in addition to being the sole financiers
of the CJTF, Governor Shettima has from 2011 to date, been consistently
according extraordinary support to the military, the police, DSS and
all para-military organisations. He said the military has consistently
and publicly acknowledged the extreme support they get from Shettima.

“Only
last month, the Chief of Army Staff at the closing of his annual
conference in Maiduguri and before the media, described as
“overwhelming”, the commitment of Governor Kashim Shettima to the
Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram. Similarly, I remember
that in 2014, then Director of Operations at the Defence headquarters,
Major General Lawrence Ndugbane (now retired) said before the media,
that Kashim Shettima is one of the Governors who helps the military to
generate actionable intelligence through the Governor’s regular
interactions with community leaders in Borno State. These are all on
record. So, attempts by anyone to change these public records will, like
previous other attempts, become futile exercises” Gusau noted.