Zulum is Clearly a Muddled Governor


Watching Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State on a television interview last Wednesday left me depressed. How can this man be the governor of a traumatise­d state like Borno and nonetheles­s, refuse to be truthful about its plight? Zulum was economical with the truth during the interview. On the one hand, he admits that a large number of his people can’t go to their farms because of raging insecurity, stating: “The Nigerian military should create the enabling environmen­t for farmers to go to their farmlands so that they can cultivate their lands. It is no longer sustainabl­e for our internally displaced persons living in IDP camps and host communitie­s to receive food and non-food items from donor partners. People must earn their livelihood if we want this insurgency to come to an end.”

On the other hand, Zulum said peace was gradually returning to the North-East after over 11 years of Boko Haram: “The Nigerian Army should not relax by our statement that there is peace in Borno State, that there is gradual return of peace in the North-East.” Which peace is this governor talking about? If peace is gradually returning, close to a million people will still not be living in IDP camps in Borno State. In this state, you will find people struggling for a meal a day in the IDP camps. Why would they remain in these camps if their towns and villages are now peaceful?

During the same interview, Zulum lamented: “The Nigerian Army does not have the lethal weapons, fighter helicopter and numerical strength to fight aggressors. The Nigerian Army of last 30 years, of last 40 years is better than the Nigerian Army of now a day. It is sad, it is very sad. We are supposed to have gone far in terms of developmen­t but if you look at it, the equipment we have in the last 40 years are still in existence.”

So, how did this poorly-equipped Army dismantle Boko Haram as earlier claimed by Zulum? Was it with bare hands? The truth which Zulum is being economical with is that the Nigerian Army has not degraded Boko Haram. The terrorists are roaming freely in 20 of the 27 local government­s in Borno State. Just last Wednesday, 24 persons were killed by Boko Haram in Dabna, a farming community in

Adamawa State. Zulum’s peace in the North-east is obviously an imaginary one.

On open grazing, Zulum said its prohibitio­n won’t work until insecurity as “well as the socio-political and economic dimensions of the crisis are addressed.” Was he not part of the Northern Governors Forum that banned open grazing? How can an educated man be defending open grazing in the 21st century?

Zulum said an enabling environmen­t must be created for herders before a ban is placed on open grazing. The only enabling environmen­t is ranching. Herders don’t need eternity to cuddle ranching. This can be achieved in months by government of affected states before the herders return to base. Zulum should do his research properly. Any forward-looking governor would support a quick end to the persistent clashes involving nomadic herdsmen and farmers in different communitie­s across our country. These clashes have assumed a frightenin­g dimension under the Buhari administra­tion, resulting in hundreds of deaths on both sides.

Human lives are sacred as ordained by Allah and we must all work very hard to preserve them. The only way forward is ranching. Multiple industrial boreholes, powered by solar energy, can be erected to pump uninterrup­ted water to sustain artificial lakes all year round for the ranches. Zulum needs to read about how the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, turned thousands of miles of desert into arable land. He should also read about Gaddafi’s “Great Man-Made River.” If the Libyan wonder is replicated in Northern Nigeria, there will always be hays and water for cows in ranches all year round. My dear Zulum, ranching is the magic wand that will turn around the economy of Northern Nigeria.

 ??  ?? Governor Zulum
Governor Zulum

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