By James Bwala
For days now, I have been asking questions both from modest APC supporters and that of the PDP – the two major political parties that have taken us from 1999 to where we are now. I have been studying political rallies since the return of democracy in Nigeria and have joined the convoy of governors from late Mala Kachallah aka Champion of Peace (COP) to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff aka SAS and Kashim Shettima aka KSM.
I was not there to go out with Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, the current governor of Borno state even though I was at some occasion invited to join the convoy as a journalist but for personal reasons to which I declined. However, I have been a keen observer and watched closely on the activities of the Borno state governor from the first step in power to date. Those who knew me very well can attests to this anticident.
I have written severally about Zulum at every occasion of his outing, defended his course and championed his ambition over these periods. I have not come to the knowledge that he has supported or promoted rascalism. Infact, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has disbanded what we know in Borno state as ECOMOG, a youth vanguard that come alive during the Modu Sheriff’s administration.
The disbandment of these group of party die-hard was informed by his desire to fashion a peaceful state as we gradually move towards the greatness that our former governor and Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima had dreamt of, – ‘That Borno will be great again.’
Since the arrest of the situation of the ECOMOG radicalism, Borno state indeed was breathing fresh air. But one wonders what happened in the recent days that such politically aided youths come about. This time however, they were not supporters of the ruling party. That shows that they might have migrated to where they feel a honey comb can aid their growth to another monsters for yet another disaster.
They have terrorised APC supporters with such audacity and there was no favour returned. This was because the governor of Borno state has restrained supporters from the party from reacting to such provocations. They were sponsored to boo the governor recently in Bama and Biu local government areas and indeed called the governor names through misinformation as the issue of “2 million” rent the air during his visit to Biu local government where he proudly commissioned many people oriented projects.
Recently, they attacked a Senator and some members of the House of Representatives in Gwoza local government area of the state when we thought that with the experiences we all passed through as a result of the decades of insurgency, our people should be wiser to avoid such issues as violence. While I was wondering about the alleged attacked recently on former VP Atiku Abubakar as claimed by the the PDP Spokesman and former Senator Dino Melaye, I was not surprised by that move politically to discredit the APC in Borno state knowing that it was home for the APC Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Although the Police have made some arrest, information emerging following that episode reveals that there was a provocation from the thugs accompanying the former VP Atiku Abubakar when he arrived the state.
Dr. Gadai, a Political analyst and keen watcher of events around political parties in Borno in his piece asked some fundamental questions: “Are you aware that the PDP itself had organised ECOMOG and imported thugs from the neighbouring States to disturb the peaceful people of Borno State? Are you also aware that the PDP thugs are the ones that started destroying APC’s campaign structures along Bulunkutu to the Shehu’s Palace? Just recently, in an official visit to Bama and Biu, the back up vehicle of his Excellency’s convoy was attacked by organised PDP thugs.” The lines of his arguments went on. The question is that, if truly there has been a Peace Accord signed by all parties why are we seeing the emergence of political violence at our corridors?
Many statements to which I read on the current political happenings in Borno state and videos shared of political outing has passed judgement on the PDP and it’s supporters as agitators of political disorder. There was no place where the party’s gubernatorial candidate went in Borno state that there were reports of his convoy being attacked.
However, rather than appreciating the people of Borno state who are willing to ensure a peaceful election takes place, the move to reintroduce ECOMOG did not speak well of the attention the PDP wants to bring to suggest their movement around people who had suffered years of trauma in this rather unattractive situation.