Garba Shehu takes insensitivity to another level with comments on death of Borno farmers

The Nigerian media space was plunged into another period of mourning when scores of Borno farmers were reportedly killed by members of terror sect, Boko Haram in Zabarmari, a community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State. 

The farmers, who were in the process of harvesting their crops when their heads were separated from their bodies, were initially numbered to be 43. However, a United Nations source debunked it, saying it was about triple the initial report.

The report drew sympathy from top political leaders, with many commiserating with the families and Governor Zulum. 

However, when presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, would respond during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over the weekend, he spoke to their not getting clearance from the military before going to work on their farms.

In his words, “The truth has to be said. Was there any clearance from the military who are in total control of the area? Did anybody ask to resume activity?

“So ideally, all of these places ought to probably be allowed to pass through proper military clearance before resettlement or even farmers resuming activities on those fields,” Shehu added.

While the presidential aide had already conveyed President Buhari’s sympathy message, the recent comment from him on a public channel seems to continue the habit of blame-shifting that has characterised the present administration. There will always be some entity to blame except themselves. 

Five years into power, blame is still laid at the feet of the previous administration when in fact, they were ushered in to right the wrongs.

Without an apparent previous administration to blame this time, Shehu still finds a way to blame the dead victims. A response Nigerians would have preferred to hear; would be how the administration plans to use its remaining years to find solutions on a front it has regularly come short on.

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