When will southern Borno be allowed to BREATHE by Abubakar Mohammed



The events of the last election period would leave many from Southern Borno worried about their place in the political journey of their dear State. Some of us didn’t see any future of political inclusiveness in the state with the way the region is always deprived of opportunities.

The biggest drawback and organized marginalization was seen in the clear opposition of the State Government and the sitting Governor of the State His Excellency Professor Babagana Umara Zulum to the candidacy of the son of the region to speakership of the 10TH ASSEMBLY. Governor Umara Zulum publicly stated that he was not in support of Mukhtar Betara Aliyu despite being one of the most qualified candidates.

The Governor did not care about the opportunities the office would have brought to the State if given to Betera who is very loyal to him and the state. Betera was loved and supported by his colleagues from other states, generally including southern colleagues. It was also the same case with Distinguished Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume. When it was very clear he was coasting to becoming the President of the 9TH SENATE, his own people refused to stand with him, their own brother, despite that he was always fighting for them. What are their problems that their own brothers from the state and in fact political leaders for that matter would not support them? They are from southern Borno!

Every important office is going to the people of the other zones, namely central and northern zones contrary to political fair play and constitutional provision of the country that was intended for national integration and unity. It is not a news that the southern side is excluded from ever vying for the highest office in the state, i.e the Governor’s office. Shamefully our politicians from the region have also already settled for the less effective office of the Deputy Governor because they know they will not get a higher office but not because of competence.

Last week, the nominee for ministerial post from the state was also taken by a politician from the two regions. It is not about competence only, the two regions dominated by Kanuri don’t want any position of influence to get out of their hands. Senator Abakar Kyari is a good politician but he already has other appointments in his hands, e.g acting APC chairman. Are you telling me that there are no other people good enough or what?

In the name of party interest and with fake promises, people from the region are always snapped out from opportunities and all the chances they have to grow, which would 've been useful in helping them bring prosperity to their people. What is the situation for example of Biu Dam Project? There are numerous promises like that. Sometimes they would be promised this or that compensation to give up their interest or campaign just like it happened to Betera.

These disparities are also available in government projects. For instance, when we critically look at higher schools, most of them are in the central zones. Many young boys and girls who don’t want to leave their homes because they are helping their old parents or managing their farms only stop school at secondary school or go to College of Education in Biu, before the Army University of Biu.

When they get appointments, the people appointed are not qualified or useful to their people, some of them don’t have any experience or knowledge. This people would work for themselves and for the purpose of those that appointed them. These purposes are to use them against any body in Sourthern Region of the state who is trying to liberate the people and the region. But if it is true that they want the development of the region, why would you not approve or appoint those that have competence? Politicians who are not from the region are using them to stoke a fire of division among them and so the politicians always remain divided all the times. This is the time to stop that, else the region will be manipulated by political interest groups outside the region during every political period and would never move forward.

I think that this time around we have to practice full democracy and give equal chance to everyone to participate in politics in the state. Let these people who are yearning to contribute to the development of their people, state and country be allowed to also contribute their part, after all this is democracy.

Abubakar Mohammed writes from Abuja

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