By David Royal
Some Nigerians on Monday lambasted the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President Muhammadu Buhari for saying that the farmers who were killed by Boko Haram did not obtain military clearance before going to the farm.
Shehu who made this comment on Monday in an interview with BBC stated that the “government is sad that this tragic incident has happened. 43 or thereabout of innocent farmworkers, most of them had their throats slit by a heartless band of terrorists. People need to know what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area”.
According to him, although much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists, there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced.
He said “Much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced. So, ideally, all of these places ought to pass the test of military clearances before farmers or settlers resume activities on those fields.”
Asked if he was blaming the farmers, he said “Not exactly, but the truth has to be said. Is there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas? Did anybody ask to resume activities? I have been told by the military leaders that they have not been so advised.”
“The military is not present on every inch of space in that area,” he said, adding: “Even if the people are ready to go back, some of these areas have been mined and mine clearance has to be carried out first.”
Condemning Shehu Garba’s response, a Twitter user @chinaza_best said “This is the highest level of incompetence. Blaming the dead for going to their farms while you enjoy with your family in Abuja? Karma MUST catch up with you Garba. Those killed were people’s parents, breadwinners. Remember you will not be in poor forever. Shame on you!”
@NonyelumN “I think @MBuhari should honourably resign now. People who speak for you don’t use their heads and people who are working for you has failed. So it’s your responsibility sir. I suggest you step down.”
@1MrPresido “Again, one of the angry birds spilling slime. It is unforgettable what APC has done to this country. Imagine a country where you need military clearance to go and farm, and they said the country has been freed from BH. How did we get here? Food insecurity is looming.”
@ibrahimabdurr20 “Big for nothing! Wicked person! Are we going to kill our self waiting for permission to get food?Disappointed but relieved face”
@flowfemmy “Garba Shehu.. This government has an expiry date, how do u, Femi Adeshina and Lai Mohammed intend to face Nigerians after u have been booted out of power. There’s a day or reckoning and it would be soon!!!”
@MohammedIsaTel3 “Wait, what is this man saying?. So it’s now clear that BH is not defeated even the “Technical” one. Allah ya isanmu!!!”
@AkanUmoetuk “NIGERIANS have not been told the truth about the situation in the NORTH EAST. Yet the govt won’t listen to advise”
@SykesFrank “Which justifies slaughtering them? Can we ever accept responsibility rather than giving excuses? Bunkum!”
@Almaudoodi_Jnr “Habba now … people are hungry and government ain’t supporting.. what do you expect … y’all heartless Disappointed face”
@NaijaChristian “Such an insensitive statement to make at such a time. Very bad from the government.”
@localtalkindrum “Isn’t it absurd that they are trying to blame the farmers for their death? Those farmers were trying to feed themselves and by extension, the country. If these attacks continue, it won’t be only onions that’ll be scarce in Nigeria.”
@AndersonAllis14 “Whenever you want to go to your office, please the security should give you clearance before go to your office and giving your families clearance before going out. I know one day will all will die, but let us do the needful to secured Nigerians.”
@adebayo30993850 “This is unbelievable from a presidential spokesman, a clearance on the land their forefathers left for them and maybe their only source of livelihood. I think we’re still in denial of our failings”
@Omeokachie2 “Did Buhari’s government truly send condolence message to the bereaved? Right here is a presidential spokesman stating the position of the president and the government.”
@Aderemi92957459 “Why are you blaming the victims, is it not the primary duty of the government to protect lives and property”