BY BUKAR ABBA
Sometimes, I get amazed at the thinking of some politicians who feel the
electorate is unreasonable, and can always be betrayed, swayed, used and
dumped at their whims and caprices. These leaders only find the people they
have impoverished and exposed to devastating disasters as worthy partners
during partisan times only.
Nigeria is facing another round of political dispensation. And professional
politicians and selfish leaders have thrown themselves on the field, with
sophisticated pranks, feigning artificial concern for the poor people.
But it is nothing more than décor, to earn them undeserved votes from the
same people they have ferociously traduced, neglected and abandoned.
I was bemused infinitely at the recent outbursts by Senator (Dr) Mohammed
Abba Aji. While he granted audience to All Students’ Union and Forum of
Tertiary Institutions in Borno state, led by Mohammed Bukar Ngala, Aji
shamelessly proclaimed that, “The coming of President Muhammadu Buhari,
was an answered Prayer to the people of the Northeast. It is my believe
that, before the end of next year, Boko Haram terrorists will be
thoroughly degraded and absolute peace restored to Borno and the Northeast.”
I consider this exclamation extreme limits of clowning by a supposed
leader, whilst mocking the plight of the people of the Northeast and
especially, our hapless victims of terrorism in Borno state. Such poor
admittance, only explains the extent to which Sen. Abba Aji has forgotten
the travails of our people in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents, only to
embark on guesswork. And the latest half-hearted show of concern from Aji
is ennobled by his interest in the 2019 governorship seat of Borno state.
But our people are neither surprised nor excited at his artificial display
We all know that, Sen. Aji was part of the political leadership in Borno
state that brought about Boko Haram insurgency in 2003. And in the
desperation to grab or retain power at all cost, they nourished insurgency
to despicable limits. And carelessly too, he lost track of its progression,
before he went underground for the reliefs of the administration of
President Buhari that were brought to the people.
Quite ironically, the adventure which exposed us to insurgency with its
devastating and humanitarian problems was to the advantage of Sen. Aji and
his political goons, as he ended up representing Borno Central Senatorial
district in the National Assembly between 2003 and 2007.
It therefore, questions Aji’s level of sanity and leadership uprightness,
to speak in a manner which lends credence to the fact that, he does not
know that, President Buhari and the military have long degraded and
defeated Boko Haram in the Northeast and Borno state in particular. It is
demeaning and an unacceptable way of trying to undermine the sacrifices of
the Nigerian military in quelling terrorism in the Northeast. It is unkind
Yet, I think, Sen. Aji is one of the few persons in Borno state who have
enjoyed the tremendous support of our people, to rise to leadership
eminence at the national level. Apart from serving a term as Senator, Aji
was a Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on
National Assembly Matters. But he knows nothing about our plight and
tribulations because it is the least of his problems, insofar as he is safe
with his family, nothing else matters, he continues to spew rubbish.
For past three years, Sen. Aji disappeared into a self-inflicted political
oblivion. He has now bounced back because he is angling to succeed
Governor Kashim Shettima in 2019, on the platform of the APC. I feel
nothing is wrong with his decision, because everyone has the right to
contest for any elective office. And he is welcomed. But what I deem
unacceptable and irresponsible, is for Aji to contemplate an open insult
and mockery of the plight of our people, to the extent of exploiting their
vulnerability to poverty and misery caused by terrorism to service his
political ambition. He detached himself from Borno State and abandoned the
people to their fate for years, believing that Boko Haram which he
conspired with other political leaders to impose on our people, and nursed
into near untamable monsters could not be defeated.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military, have proved
him wrong and made us proud by finally decimating and defeating Boko Haram
terrorism. Though, the pains, the sorrows, the agonies and scars of
terrorism are still with us.
And leaders like Sen. Aji should be the last to stand up today to demand
another round of leadership from the people and worse still anchoring
campaigns on terrorism. I challenge Sen. Aji to tell us what he did to end
the bitter terrorism in Borno state, even when he was very close to the
Presidential aide in the capacity of an Adviser.
Sen. Aji’s verbal eruptions are unconscionable and completely in dissonance
with common sense. It is strange for him to think that, we have forgotten
this so soon, that he was an integral part of the clan of leaders who
brought terrorism to us. They ensured that, we were rendered completely
prostrate before terrorists until the Buhari’s Presidency came to our
May I remind Sen. Aji once again, that terrorists have not just been
degraded, but also defeated. What we are experiencing in the Northeast,
Borno inclusive is the fruitful clearance operations, to rout out remnants
of terrorists, conducted by the Nigerian Army.
I have no doubt that Sen. Aji is now back, to politically benefit from the
prevailing peace and woes of our people in Borno state, as well as other
states in the region, which were formerly under the firm grip of Boko
Haram. But it can only be sensible for Aji to use a new narrative to
hoodwink the people during campaigns, than resort to the terrorism
narrative. And to sufficiently underscore his ignorance about terrorism,
Aji does not even know the new song in town on terrorism. He does not know
that the focus now, is how to solve the enormous humanitarian crisis
confronting our people occasioned by terrorism.
A sensible leader should be thinking of ways to launch and initiate schemes
to develop the hundreds of thousands of unemployed youths. They are the
people he abandoned after series of unfulfilled promises and a failed
representation, which only catered for his personal gains.
Neglect of youths was one of the reasons that exposed them to the
temptation and mercy of the recruitment machinery of terrorists, who freely
recruited them for such evil and atrocious acts. He shall please himself to
launch schemes that would keep the youths meaningfully busy and halt any
further recruitment of the youths by insurgents.
Let Sen. Aji know that he is free to wake up from his slumber at any time,
after dodging his own people, when they needed him most. But he cannot use
Boko Haram to re-launch himself into political limelight. It is an old
gimmick and it won’t work. It is distasteful and inconsistent with reality.
Terrorism has been defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari and it will never
Abba wrote from Opposite Status Hotel, Lagos Street, Maiduguri.