Zulum: My Independence hero
Politics Today By Abdullahi Yusuf Tela
YBTC News-Few days ago, Nigeria celebrated it 60 years as an independent country. The celebration came with a lot of criticisms from various corners of the country. Chunk of it however was the heating topic of debate on various social media platforms. The question was: “Is the Independence Day worth celebrating?”
The commemoration of the 60th Independence anniversary came at a time when the nation is in an unproductive romance with high rate of economic hardship. The hike in prices of food items and the inflated pump price of petroleum have made life near unbearable for citizens of the country. Couple with insecurity; the high rate of kidnappings across the nation has put the security situation of then country at a near collapse.
Just few days ago, the Governor of Borno state, Prof. Babagana Zulum escaped two series of attacks on his convoy. The most recent one happened on the 27th September, 2020 when Zulum who was returning from Baga town faced the atrocities of terrorists who used a donkey tied with explosives to ambush his convoy. In a prior attack just two days before the Sunday 27th September attack, about 18 people were killed which the BBC reported that 14 people were security operatives while four were civilians.
The recent attack by the terrorists on Gov. Zulum makes it the third consecutive attack which he managed to escape in few months. Sources have identified these terrorists to be the Islamic State West Africa Province faction of the Boko Haram. It can be recalled that the attacks by the Boko Haram have been a consistent dilemma for the people in the north east over the past decade.
Like the struggles of our heroes’ past, Zulum’s struggles is aimed at liberating the internally displaced persons who have fled away to look for succour at other places. Notably, it can be called that the recent attack occurred after Zulum had left Maiduguri for Baga to prepare for the planned return of internally displaced persons from Maiduguri to the camps in Baga when his convoy was attacked to-and -from the area last weekend.
Governor Zulum has proven to the whole country and the rest governors that he is a man who was elected to solely serve his people. His leadership style is quite exceptional. For a governor who has been up and doing to make sure that his people enjoy the dividends of democracy and put the security of lives and properties of his people as an utmost priority needs to be commended.
Zulum has written his name boldly in the Nigeria’s hall of fame and deserves accolades, commendations and recognitions. Comparatively, Zulum has changed the face of leadership in Borno state, North east, northern Nigeria and the country at large.
When Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late premier earlier opposed the first of attempt on the proposed Independence of the country in 1953 in his famous “as soon as practicable” rebuttal, he was widely criticized by other people from other regions. However, Ahmadu Bello did this in attempt to protect the interest of his region. He felt his region is still backward in terms of development hence not ripe for Independence.
In his reaction when he was told to be extra vigilant in terms of such visits, Zulum made it known that he is doing it for his people. Realistically, Zulum can decide to stay in his office or be traveling from one state to another creating unnecessary jamboree like other governors but because he is a man with great conscience and has high respect for his people, he has been at the fore front and ensuring peace reigns in Borno state.
Seemingly, Gov. Zulum’s leadership style can be compared to only those leaders in movies especially Indian movies where a leader is seen going to places, engaging in so many activities with the poor of the poorest. Whenever, you see him on TV, his shirt will either be adored with sweats or about to get wet with the drops of sweats in his body. He is extra hardworking, relentless and tireless.
If Nigeria will have such leaders that will be supported by the masses and other stakeholders with a positive vibe then Nigeria will be celebrating as a greater Nation. The likes of Governor Zulum are only discouraged to perform due to the negligence and the lack of support from the higher authorities. For instance, negligence of the Federal government to provide the required to support to the people of Borno state may cripple the activities of the governor.
On this note, as Nigeria celebrates its 60th anniversary as independent nation, I pray for the likes Governor Babagana Zulum and other like-minded leaders to continue the struggles in untying the country for the shackles of bad leadership that has consistently remained Nigeria’s dilemma towards nation building and greater development.