2019: Group gives Gov. Shettima reasons Southern Borno must produce his successor | News Proof



2019: Group gives Gov. Shettima reasons Southern Borno must produce his successor

Kashim Shettima
Kashim Shettima
The Equity And Justice: Borno For All   (EJ &BoFA) has written the state Governor, Kashim Shettima, explaining why Southern part of the state must produce the next governor.

According to the group, all the past six democratic governors have either come from Borno North or Borno Central Senatorial districts.

The letter jointly signed by Alhaji  Abubakar Usman, Coordinator and Alhaji  Mohammed Aji, Secretary General, said, 
ceding power to Borno  South  was something  painlessly doable and  a major step that  can bring about justice, equity and  also, assuage frayed nerves  in a Land which  desperately requires immediate healing and genuine reconciliation  by  all.
The letter reads in part.

“ In Pursuit Of Power shift In Borno State  And The Imperative For Equity And Justice Come 2019: An Open Letter.”  

Sir, permit us to warmly extend our heartfelt greetings to you and the entire good people of Borno state at this auspicious time. It is another era for Nigeria and indeed, our dear state of  Borno which is also preparing to enthrone another set of democratic leaders in 2019 to govern its affairs .

May we seize this unique opportunity to sympathize with you and the people of Borno state for the loss of beloved ones and priced properties to Boko Haram insurgency. It has no doubt imposed additional leadership responsibilities on you and the government. We are not unmindful of this burden and commend your resilience.   

We are compelled to write this open letter to you on the need for Borno state, like other states in the federation to revisit the issue of power shift to  Borno South  Senatorial District  on the seat of Governor of the state   in the next general elections. 

The release of this open letter now is presumed timely because of the current agitations for this leadership compensation clearly overdue to this axis of the state, and intended to convey this message before the heat of electioneering campaigns.

It is not necessary to remind you that Borno State was created on February 3, 1976 and in over its 42 years of existence, six democratically elected Governors, including your humble self have ruled the state.    

But incidentally, all the six democratic Governors have either come from Borno North or Borno Central Senatorial districts, with Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif and yourself serving two tenures each.  We consider it as  rare  privileges the people extended to you based on  the quality service offered them.

May we remind that since  the return of democracy in  1979, Borno state has been governed by  His Excellences, Governors Mohammed Goni,  Asheirk Jarma,  Maina Maaji Lawan, Mala Kachalla, Ali Modu Sherrif and yourself,  who will complete your second term in office in 2019 in that order.  And all these Governors are either from Borno Central or Northern districts.

Quite informative, the  multi-ethnic composition of  Borno state  is very complex and fairly spread in almost  all the 27 LGAs, with the Kanuri and Shuwa Arabs  people  being the dominant  ethnicities.  

And Borno South which reflects a good percentage of major and minor ethnicities in the state, pegs next to Borno North, in numerical strength,   with nine LGAs, with the latter’s 10 LGAs, has one of the major tribes, Kanuri and many others.

 Unfortunately, Southern Borno has been marginalized, abandoned and suppressed on leadership of the state in the capacity of Governor for over four decades. For emphasis, the southern part of the state has never been given the opportunity to rule the state since its creation in 1976.

However, despite this obvious denial and unkind treatment, the people of Borno South have remained silent, accommodative, understanding and supportive to these sister-senatorial districts both at balloting times and while in governance for the years they gunned for and controlled state power.     

This is unarguably a worthy disposition and exceptional display of fraternity exhibited by the people of Borno South. It  demands similar understanding and reciprocation from the people of the two other  senatorial districts, as the state prepares to elect another  Governor of the State in 2019, by availing  the people of Borno South  the opportunity to produce the next Governor of the state.

The zoning of elective positions in Nigeria, though still informal, but significantly adopted all over the country is meant to engender fair play, equity, justice , peace and harmony.  It has assisted immensely in dousing tensions and suspicions in many states.

 Nigerians raised their voices in 2015 against such acts of marginalization and lack of fair share of elective positions at the Centre and President Buhari became the moral consensus candidate of all men of good will.  Nigerians had earlier responded positively to this understanding through the emergence of former President Goodluck Jonathan as President in 2011.

   Therefore, Borno state cannot be left out in this trend, by the continuous sidelining of the people of Borno South from partaking in the apex leadership of their state. An English adage says, “one good turn, deserves another,” and it is time to appeal to the conscience of brothers and sisters in the two senatorial districts to do the needful, by replicating same   with undiluted support to  a   credible  citizen  from the Northern axis of Borno  for Governor of  the state come 2019.  

 This is particularly very germane at this time because     Borno  is blissfully  undergoing psychological  and physical  healing in the aftermath of insurgency that ravaged the state. Every community in the state is understandably craving and crying for genuine   healing, which is only possible through submissive justice and equity to all segments of the state.

  It shall only be appropriate to dissociate ourselves from any feeling of ethnic or any form of superiority and dichotomies, which have continued to cause the people of Southern Borno grievous marginalization on political leadership of the state.

The echoes of the expectations on the next leadership of the state have continued to resonate on power rotation to Borno South. Prominent indigenes of the state have keyed into this agenda and groups, like the  Southern Borno Movement for Rotation of Power (SBMOP), led by Malam Ibrahim Usman recently emphasized  same at a summit tagged: “Borno and the Challenges of Leadership.”  It will defeat morality and the spirit of brotherhood for us to ignore these trenchant calls for power shift to Borno South in 2019.

This appeal is premised on the fact that ceding power to Borno  South  is something  painlessly doable and  a major step that  can bring about justice, equity and  also, assuage frayed nerves  in a Land which  desperately requires immediate healing and genuine reconciliation  by  all.

  Therefore, we implore  both President Buhari, a firm believer in equity and justice as  well as Mr. Governor  of Borno state  to  use  their   discretion,  good offices, political clout and leadership endowments to persuade, appeal and attract the attention of all and sundry to this laudable “ Borno North  Governorship  Project 2019.”

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