8 May 2014

Nigeria: Anger in Borno Over Villa Treatment of Officials

Nigeria's military had advanced warning of the April 14 attack by Boko Haram that led to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls but failed to ... ( Resource: Amnesty Int'l: Nigeria Ignored Boko Haram Warnings )

Abuja — Government officials and some residents of Maiduguri are brooding over an alleged "ill treatment" of Borno State officials at the Presidency in Abuja during last week's invitation by President Goodluck Jonathan over the abduction of the 267 girls from Chibok.

A protest letter signed by Mohammed Bashir Shuwa, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kashim Shettima on ICT and Alhaji Aliyu M.A Biyu, a retired secretary in the state civil service expressed reservations over the manner the state government officials were treated by the presidency.

It would be recalled that on Friday May 2, 2014, President Jonathan invited some government officials to the presidency including Governor Shettima, the Commissioner for Education Alhaji Inuwa Kubo, some security officials, the Principal of Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, the Chairman, Chibok LGA and the DPO of Chibok as well as the Chief Security Officer of the school.

According to the protest letter, upon their arrival at the Villa on Saturday May 3, President Goodluck Jonathan personally interrogated the officials from 9pm to 2:00 am as if all the official information relayed to him by his security apparatus in Borno were meaningless, unreliable and suspicious.

"At the end of the interrogation, President Goodluck Jonathan (with the exception of Shettima) handed over the officials to the Inspector General of Police with clear instructions to do his job. The officials were driven to the Force Headquarters where they were detained and made to make written statements on how the girls were abducted and later released on bail on self recognition as if they were directly or indirectly responsible for the abduction of their own children.

"The following Sunday May 5, they were again taken to the Villa at 5pm for further interrogation and this time by the first lady Dame Patience Jonathan. While at the villa, they remained standing for four hours after which they were ushered in into the first lady's chambers where they were treated to verbal assaults as to the veracity of their claims on how the school girls were abducted," the letter said.

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