North-East should get pres­i­dency if Buhari isn’t run­ning – Ex-dep gov Dibal

Al­haji Adamu Yuguda Dibal was deputy gov­er­nor of Borno State dur­ing the ten­ure of Ali Modu Sher­iff be­tween 2003 and 2011. In this in­ter­view, he bares his mind on Borno pol­i­tics, Boko Haram in­sur­gency in the North­east and the per­for­mance of Gov­er­nor Kashim

Weekly Trust - - Interview - Al­haji Adamu Yuguda Dibal: Al­haji Dibal: Al­haji Dibal: Al­haji Dibal: Al­haji Dibal: Al­haji Dibal: Al­haji Dibal:

Daily Trust: As a former deputy gov­er­nor dur­ing the ten­ure of Ali Modu Sher­iff, to what ex­tent would you say the rift be­tween him and the cur­rent gov­er­nor has im­pacted on the devel­op­ment of Borno State?

The ques­tion of rift be­tween the former gov­er­nor and the cur­rent one is not an is­sue now be­cause the state has out­grown that. In other words, there were is­sues, but the state is in the hands of God and Gov­er­nor Kashim Shet­tima has gone be­yond that level and is far­ing very well. Re­call that Sher­iff left the state to the fed­eral level and played some pol­i­tics on the plat­form of the PDP. Since then, God Almighty has been us­ing the cur­rent gov­er­nor to pro­vide the needed lead­er­ship for the state. Af­ter he left, there has been peace in Borno, and the state is now a one-party state. We do not have any other party in Borno apart from the APC as we speak.

DT: Are you say­ing the rift be­tween them has not caused any form of set­back for the state?

I thank God that we have President Muham­madu Buhari at the fed­eral level and Gov­er­nor Shet­tima in charge in Borno State. The first four years were very chal­leng­ing, no doubt about that. That was when the chal­lenges of se­cu­rity, among oth­ers, were at their peak un­der a dif­fer­ent govern­ment at the na­tional level - a govern­ment that was try­ing to dis­own us. There was no help or in­ter­ven­tion from the fed­eral govern­ment to the state. Rather, things were be­ing done to un­der­mine the ef­forts of the gov­er­nor. More so, in those days, we used to have bomb­ing in­ci­dents all over the place. As you may be aware, the Boko Haram sect was in charge of 20 to 21 lo­cal gov­ern­ments in Borno State. That tells you that more than half of the LGAs were in the hands of the ter­ror­ists. Most of them were in­ac­ces­si­ble. Had the na­tional govern­ment at that time sup­ported Shet­tima, I am sure he would have had to face the chal­lenges squarely and it wouldn’t have gone bad the way it went. But they turned it into pol­i­tics. Thank God, we were able to square it with them in 2015 and we drove them away. The APC pro­duced all the three sen­a­tors and all the mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­clud­ing 28 mem­bers in the Borno State House of Assem­bly. Yes, there was some set­back at the time, there were some rift, but God has taken charge, and has given Gov­er­nor Shet­tima the wis­dom and strength with which to move the state for­ward. There was a time this ru­mour of try­ing to re­move him (Shet­tima) and to plant a sole ad­min­is­tra­tor was mak­ing the rounds, but God took charge and saw us through. So, we thank Almighty Al­lah for giv­ing us Gov­er­nor Shet­tima, for restor­ing se­cu­rity and the lead­er­ship be­ing pro­vided for us.

It is now left for stu­dents of his­tory to come and read about what hap­pened be­tween 2011 and 2015. Right now, Borno is one of the few APC states that are with­out any rift, there is no fac­tion, no di­vi­sion. We are a full APC state with Gov­er­nor Shet­tima as the leader.

DT: Hav­ing served as deputy un­der Sher­iff, what is your take about in­sin­u­a­tions that he was in­stru­men­tal to the emer­gence of the Boko Haram sect?

I was deputy gov­er­nor from 2003 to 2011, and I think, by and large, I am in the pic­ture of all that hap­pened. The is­sue of Boko Haran has noth­ing to do with pol­i­tics. We in­her­ited part of it. The prob­lem is that there were some as­pects of the is­sue that were ne­glected at the ini­tial stage, and that gave room for Boko Haram to thrive. They were hav­ing a field day, and no­body cared. They started from a small group, grew large and gained ground. Boko Haram is an im­ported seg­ment of Al Qaeda. They broke out from Nige­ria though and have gone be­yond Nige­ria to be­come a global is­sue. Be that as it may, now that President Buhari has forged seam­less col­lab­o­ra­tion among the var­i­ous se­cu­rity agen­cies who now work to­gether as one in the area, things have im­proved tremen­dously. Though we still ex­pe­ri­ence pock­ets of at­tempts at at­tack­ing, es­pe­cially in the sub­urbs by the ter­ror­ists, we thank God for what is hap­pen­ing.

DT: There have been ag­i­ta­tions from dif­fer­ent quar­ters in the coun­try. But the North has re­mained calm. What do you think is re­spon­si­ble for this?

Well, one good thing that you can­not take away from the North is the fact that no mat­ter your ego, you have some­body to urge you to leave what you are do­ing. No mat­ter who you are in the North, you be­long to a fam­ily. There is no way you can go solo. We thank God that the cur­rent politi­cal lead­er­ship we have in the North is very re­spon­si­ble, and that is be­cause we have col­lab­o­ra­tion with our el­ders and all stake­hold­ers. All of this makes it pos­si­ble, but above all, God has been in charge. I know that at a time, an ul­ti­ma­tum was given, but Gov­er­nor Shet­tima, who is the chair­man of the North­ern Gov­er­nors Fo­rum, took charge by invit­ing stake­hold­ers to a round­table dis­cus­sion, in­clud­ing el­ders and tra­di­tional rulers and the ul­ti­ma­tum was with­drawn. That shows the lead­er­ship be­ing pro­vided by Gov­er­nor Shet­tima is not only be­ing felt in Borno, but also be­yond. I am sure Mr President is happy about that.

I think it is not out of place to say that the lead­er­ship be­ing pro­vided by Gov­er­nor Shet­tima is wor­thy of em­u­la­tion by other gov­er­nors so that peace can reign across board. We know that some of his col­leagues came to see him when the is­sue of IPOB was very se­ri­ous, but they seem not to have come up at the ap­pro­pri­ate time. So, like I said, no mat­ter who you are in the North, you must lis­ten to the voice of the North. The North is made up of dif­fer­ent eth­nic na­tion­al­i­ties as in the South, it is not only about Hausa Fu­lani as peo­ple think, but we lis­ten to one another. The teach­ings of our fore­fa­thers such as Sir Ah­madu Bello, Tafawa Balewa and Kashim Ibrahim are still in us. So, there is no way you can come up with an un­nec­es­sary ag­i­ta­tion.

DT: Did Boko Haram not start as an ag­i­ta­tion also?

The is­sue of Boko Haram has gone be­yond that level. This is be­cause they have in­ter­na­tional af­fil­i­a­tion and have no price-tag. They are peo­ple that don’t want to ac­cept that they be­long to a par­tic­u­lar coun­try called Nige­ria. They are un­der­min­ing Nige­ria and her neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. Don’t for­get that Borno is the only state in Nige­ria which borders four other coun­tries in­clud­ing Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and all those coun­tries have been po­lit­i­cally un­sta­ble so to say. So, Boko Haram took ad­van­tage of the por­ous borders with such coun­tries to per­pe­trate their evil.

DT: There have been some politi­cal per­mu­ta­tions from the North­east in re­cent times that, should President Buhari de­cline go­ing for sec­ond term in 2019, the pres­i­dency should go to the re­gion. What is your take on that?

We are pray­ing and we will con­tinue to pray for the health of Mr President. We can see that he is im­prov­ing every day and we give glory to Almighty Al­lah. 2019 is still far off. Our ma­jor chal­lenge now is how to re­build the en­tire North­east and re­set­tle the IDPs in their re­spec­tive homes. That is the fo­cus for now. Once that is achieved and 2019 comes, and Mr President looks at his health and says I can make it, then so be it. But all that is in the hands of God. And if at that time, he says oth­er­wise and would want to go and rest and be a king­maker, then the North­east can be con­sid­ered.

DT: Should that be the case, who would you rec­om­mend?

With the kind of lead­er­ship be­ing pro­vided by our gov­er­nor, even in the face of daunt­ing chal­lenges and lim­i­ta­tions, I am sure he would be rec­om­mended by many. The lead­er­ship of Shet­tima has been com­mended by peo­ple, not only in the APC, but across par­ties. I know that the cur­rent govern­ment un­der President Buhari is work­ing on three ma­jor pil­lars: se­cu­rity, cor­rup­tion and econ­omy. That is ex­actly what is be­ing repli­cated in Borno and in­deed the en­tire North­east by Gov­er­nor Shet­tima. Hon­estly, I have no doubt that he has the qual­i­ties to give the en­tire coun­try a be­fit­ting lead­er­ship. I know there are other peo­ple in the North who are equally ca­pa­ble of do­ing it, but we be­lieve that Shet­tima is a good ma­te­rial who can de­liver.

Al­haji Adamu Yuguda Dibal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.