U.S. condemns Governor Shema’s “cockroaches” speech

Former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema

The United States Government has condemned the statements recently made by the governor of Katsina state, Shehu Shema, calling on his supporters to kill and crush political opponents, whom he described as “cockroaches”.

The U.S. government’s position was made known by its embassy office in Abuja via a press statement posted on its website November 20.

A video, depicting the governor making the threat, went viral after it was posted on the Internet on November 12.

It showed the governor, dressed in white agbada and brown sandals, standing on a red carpet, and addressing a crowd in what seemed like a political rally. He spoke in Hausa.

Mr. Shema likened opposition politicians to “cockroaches” before asking the crowd what to do if they found the nocturnal insect in their apartments.

The crowd chorused “Kill them!”

“Crush them!” the governor responded, agreeing with the crowd.

Mr. Shema claims the comments were interpreted out of context.

The European High Commission had also condemned Mr. Shema’s speech after the story was published by PREMIUM TIMES.

The Head, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michael Arrion, told journalists that Mr. Shema’s call to his supporters to “kill” and “crush” political opponents was “extremely dangerous and
unacceptable”.

“If it is confirmed, that kind of statements are I’m sorry to say, extremely dangerous and unacceptable,” Mr. Arrion said.

In its statement, the United States said as Nigeria looks ahead to the February 2015 general elections, America strongly supports a free, transparent, credible, inclusive, and non-violent electoral process.

“We are deeply troubled by Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State’s recent statements calling for the killing of the “cockroaches of politics,” the statement said.

It also said the rhetorical threat of violence undermines the democratic process and is utterly unacceptable in a democratic society.

“The United States reiterates its call upon all Nigerians to refrain from advocating, fomenting, or condoning violence before, during, or after the elections,” the statement said.

“Participants in the electoral process must demonstrate passion for their convictions and beliefs in a manner that shows respect for opposing differences.

“The Nigerian Constitution itself states it is the duty of every citizen to ‘respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of citizens to live in unity and harmony’,” it
said.

The U.S. said the use of languages that threaten or incite violence short-circuits the democratic process.

“All Nigerians must be free to voice their opinions and participate in the electoral process without fear of physical retribution.

“Political parties, elected leaders, and candidates for office have a special obligation to uphold these democratic precepts,” it said.

The United States said it remains committed to working with Nigeria to strengthen its democratic institutions in the years to come, adding that a peaceful election in February 2015 will constitute a major step towards reaching that goal.


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  • Chris1408

    Nigerian politicians should not be referred to as “LEADERS”, because they are not. They are vicious rulers, dictators. They are thugs parading themselves as politicians. There’s absolutely nothing honorable about them.

    • Ja’afar Gonto

      Chris1408 ,Thanks , i have come to reckoned with the fact that, i misused the LEADERS where it does not matched .

  • Ja’afar Gonto

    The US shouldn’t be surprised with Shema’s statement because these are crop of leaders we are having in this country.For us in Nigeria we don’t practice democracy but forced to practice Demo -crazy.Our leaders are not only irrational in their thinking but equally irresponsible in deeds.

  • Maria

    PDP is a party built on violence and blood of innocent Nigerians in bids to continue to rule Nigeria at all cost.

    • Otile

      Maria, please remove this image from this blog and replace it with any of these beautiful women: Mona Lisa, Chantal Biya, Bianca Ojukwu, or one of King Mswati’s beauty queens. Using the image of Our Blessed Mother to trade insults with people is an abomination called sacrilege. Don’t bring damnation to thyself, please.

      • Maria

        If it annoys you, dont you know how to remove it or are you so dumb?

        • Otile

          Why should I remove what you published? Do you not know that hacking into other people’s sites is against the law?

          You Odua people look at others through the shallow viewpoint of: imbecile, dumb, clown, clueless, and other derogatory words. Did Satan tell you that I am dumb? The devil is a liar.

          Remove the image of the Blessed Virgin from this nonsense. The image does not below to trash.

          You can understand some angry people using the portrait of Buhari to represent their inner feelings on this blog, you can also see that all their comments are insults, profanity, hate words, demeaning people, nothing positive about them. Don’t emulate them. Envy not the wicked. I believe you when you are a Christian, but don’t follow the godless.

          • Peter

            Thank you my brother. Whenever that woman writes she spits hatred. I will not curse her but I will leave her for God to decide.

          • smith

            “Deacon” Peter, you seem to be packed with venom. Why? Why are you angry that Maria is calling or attention to Mary? Why ‘Deacon” Peter? Why are you so venomous? Not good>

          • Otile

            Your marabout has failed you, so you need a psychiatrist. Sorry, you are hopelessly insane.

      • smith

        Otile why did you say Maria should remove this image and replaceit with the image of Bianca Ojukwu? Are you saying Bianca Ojukwu is more beautiful than Mary? Too bad for you Reno Omokri na Otile

        • Otile

          You don’t understand what our Blessed Mother stands for. You are a godless man, even a moslem understands the role of our Blessed Lady more than you. Her role exceeds far more than fading beauty. Try to know her, your life will change for better.

          • smith

            Otile, I am sorry for your limited and hampered understanding. You seem to be lacking in depth. So the only understanding of beauty you know is physical? Eh Ole, sorry otile. And moreover I only quoted you. These are your words: “Maria, please remove this image from this blog and replace it with any
            of these beautiful women: Mona Lisa, Chantal Biya, Bianca Ojukwu, or one
            of King Mswati’s beauty queens”. What can we deduce from your own words? That Bianca Ojukwu is better than Mary. That is Un-Godly. hence, I challenged you to stop your garbage. See what I mean ole?

          • Otile

            You know you are an unwanted intruder in this conversation. You are poking your nose uninvited. Are you Maria? Shame on you busybody.

            Your own understanding begins with your bablowo uncle and ends with Ifa Orunmilla. That’s why you cannot understand what the conversation is all about; hence as a simpleton you drifted into argument of beauty. Challenge your sorry self, imp.

            You can deduce anything that fits your imbecility who cares. Eran odale

    • Peter

      What about the bloodshed that is the order of the day in your Northern Islamic Brotherhood just some northern politicians and elders want power to return to that region. This online media is picking on the passing statement of Gov Shema of Katsina but has overlooked Buhari’s statement of ‘dogs and baboons’, now soaking a proportion of the citizens of that region. You people must learn to be reasonable and pocket your hatred for the man at the helm. If you love Nigeria, Maria please return home and, if you still love yourself, relocate to one of the Boko Haram epicenters in Borno State and continue your open condemnation of the murderous islamic faith.

      • Maria

        The fact that I criticize PDP does not make me a northerner…get that your into your dumb skull. The so-called PDP was formed and nurtured in the north…if you know the history of PDP.

        • Ha

          Very good. Tell Peter that PDP was concieved and delivered in the North. The first PDP president OBJ was taken out of prison and installed by northerners. What is the contribution of his region towards the creation of PDP? Mere opportunistic.

  • MushinSpeaks

    Shema is only building on the values of his party-thuggery, violence, victimization.

    The people will surely embrace CHANGE come 2015.

    • PROF

      This premium times is out to blackmail Shema, Shema must stay strong.

      • Strong System

        Was Shema jazzed to speak out those words?
        Shema is even a lawyer, but sadly he was recorded by his illiterates supporters,for the whole world to see and hear what was meant to a secret.

  • MrFesh+Ifebuche+Paschal

    Stale news.
    We have heard this before and as it stands we do not give a lot of eff about the US these days.

    Shema was DOWNRIGHT WRONG with that line. This is the kind of thing we should rightly call out and demand a recant and an apology no matter from which quarters it comes.

  • Peter

    Premium Times, quit being petty all of the time. I have said it before and I am saying it again that you are an opposition media and apparently the voice of Boko Haram. Pocket your destructive tendencies now that you are still operating under the Nigerian national platform until the independence of your Islamic caliphate. When this is done, you can now take your propaganda to the US for recognition and I am sure they will treat your country just as they did to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

    • amazing2012

      I read the news over and over again, I did not see where it conform with your comment. Please if you don’t have anything to say, you better keep quiet than to open your mouth to confirm ignorance.

      • Peter

        You are talking nonsense. Read yourself again and see all the blunders you are exhibiting in a public forum. Is it not clear to you that Premium Times does not see anything good in this administration except for all the bad news, even where those news have become stale and inconsequential. To people like you, anything goes so long it contains some bad news about Jonathan and his government of which you are a part. Nonsense fellow.

        • Abubakar Muhammad

          Why is it that anybody who constructive analyzes and criticizes this government will be tagged as not seeing anything good in it? As Nigerians, we know of the great strides our Country can make if blessed with the right leader. That’s what we hope and pray for. But for this administration, i’m sorry to say, hasn’t lived up to that.

        • Aliyu Muhammad

          So now you blame them because they rental the truth and didn’t let you kill the opposition secretly as you did in the conspiracy behind BH? Shame on you!!

        • DaGunner

          I’m very sure ur one of those who propergate the “stale” Lies about Buhari inciting violence and asking Muslims not to vote for christians to Nigerian illiterates.

    • Truthometer

      You have demonstrated acute ignorance, blinded by partisan fanaticism and obvious loyalty to the crumbs you are gathering from Dumbo and your party, PDP. Are you saying independent media outlets should turn blind eyes to sensitive unguarded statement made by Shema, that could lead to mass murder in this country? Where is your anger to condemn the incitement by Shema which is well documented on video? Hypocrite!

      • u s man

        @truthometer. Well spoken, all those against premiums times are all agents of pdp don’t mind them.if it were opposition that made this inciting statement, the will not let us hear word

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  • Isi Agwo

    “Participants in the electoral process must demonstrate passion for their convictions and beliefs in a manner that shows respect for opposing differences.” Any follower of America’s recent political history will see this as Americans saying: “Do as I say not as I do.” The fact is that anything the current American mission in Nigeria says or does is worth less than counterfeit kobo/cent coin.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Good Job @Premium Times……..inciting the world against your country…..your APC allies will love it !!

    • Mr. Abdin

      Do you mean GEJ.

    • endingNaija

      Mr. Reno Omokir alias Tawanda, you are the New Media Adviser to President Jonathan-my question to you is: Did your fellow party man Shema-use the words “kill them kill them” or not? Answer Mr. Reno Omokri-na Tawanda-the New Media adviser to President Jonathan.

  • King Carlos

    Still, GEJ and PDP never talk anything.

    • Maria

      How will they talk since Shema was only conveying the mind of PDP and GEJ to their followers?

  • taiwo

    Its like PDP wants to turn Nigeria into Rwanda. Remember the battle cry for the killing of cockcroaches during the Rwanda genocide?

  • Truthometer

    Some years back, Prof. Wole Soyinka referred to PDP as a nest of killers. Shema is only re-confirming what PDP, under the leadership of Dumbo stands for. The only difference now is that, they want to go into wholesale mass murder. Killing the “cockroaches” in political terms, is another coded message for PDP followers to embark on calculated genocide, as preached by shameless Shema and approved by his party and leader, Dumbo, the clueless one. When PDP finished waging war on its citizenry, Nigerians shall eventually hold them accountable for every innocent blood they shed for political reasons.

  • Ha

    They have since started killing the cockroaches through their BH soldiers.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    This is political rhetoric gone wrong……politicians ought to be more careful or get misunderstood as is clearly the case in this Shema statement !

    • endingNaija

      Reno Tawanda Omokir-Misunderstood? Somebody said kill them. You said it is rhetoric. So the Boko haram killing is rhetoric too? eh? Yet your party-PDP is said to be a “christian” Party, and the candidate of your party for next election Mr. Goodluck Jonathan is said to be the “Christian” candidate. Yet your party -PDP- through you-is saying it is mere rhetoric when one of your governors clearly approved of killing. I am sorry for your party-PDP, I am sorry for Nigeria under your party-PDP

  • mami-kupa

    Haba Arc NAMADI SAMBO Why fooling your self, PDP Govt is fully behind the dreaded BH, All nigerians have seen the hand writing on the board. why shielding people that are sponsoring BH?

  • Dan Fulani

    Dan kauye ka shiga uku.

  • Muttaka Lawal B/K

    Shema baya da wani amfani a wajenmu, mu katsinawa