BORNO STATE: ONE STATE, TWO GOVERNORS
BY DONS EZE
While the federal government of Nigeria continues to live in self denial, stating that Boko Haram insurgents were not in control of any inch of Nigerian territory, the terrorists themselves claimed that they were occupying some Nigerian territories, and had indeed conducted a gubernatorial election and appointed a governor for Borno State, thus making the state to be the only one with two governors simultaneously overseeing its affairs.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had in 2019 conducted a gubernatorial election for Borno State, at the end of which Babagana Zulum was declared as winner of the election and was later sworn in as Governor on May 29, 2019.
Babagana Zulum went on to form his cabinet, and appointed some aides to assist him run his administration, which included Commissioners, Special Advisers and other functionaries of government.
Just a few days ago, Boko Haram and its Islamic of West Africa Province (ISWAP) allies, reportedly conducted their own gubernatorial election for the same Borno State, at the of which Abu Musa Al Barnawi, son of Mohammed Yusuf, the Boko Haram founder, was appointed and sworn in as governor of the state.
The group went further to appoint a separate leader, Abba-Kaka for ISWAP, as the Governor of Tumbumma, with jurisdiction over Marte, Abadam, Kukawa, Magumeri and other areas of the Lake Chad region. Abba-Kaka will be working with Abubakar Dan-Buduma as the Operation Commander, Timbuktu Triangle.
Abba-Kaka’s government has the structure of a normal government as it will impose taxes on fishing activities and farming. Accordingly, Baba Isa, who was appointed to oversee Taxation and Revenue on Fishing activities, was posted to Kangar in Abadam to relieve Abu Abdallah.
Also, Ibn Umar is now Chief Prosecutor, Abu Umama becomes Amir of Tudun Wulgo, while Muhammed Maina is the Commander of Sabon Tumbu, among others.
The Interim Council introduced Mobile Courts and some policies to harmonise all insurgents’ activities and groups under the leadership of the ISIS.
The ISWAP administration in Borno State also established two Caliphates at Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest to sustain its war against countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Furthermore, the Interim Council has lifted the ban imposed on fishing and farming activities in the Lake Chad area, three years after chasing people out of Marte, Abadam, Kukawa and Guzamala, over alleged spying for Nigerian troops.
It nevertheless, imposed new taxes and levies in the areas controlled by ISWAP-Boko Haram, to regulate trades and agricultural activities.
Henceforth, members of the terrorist sect will be collecting N5,000 monthly from traders and farmers, while the fishermen will pay N2,000 per bag of fish among other levies.
Several fishermen, farmers and merchants have returned to the Lake-Chad area to engage in socio-economic activities, under the arrangement of the new ISWAP-Boko Haram Leadership.
As things currently stand, while Babagana Zulum, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is Governor in charge of 22 local government areas, Abu Musa Al Barnawi, a member of the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) is Governor in charge of five local government areas of the state. Borno State has 27 Local Government Areas.
What this means is that in Borno State, both the federal government of Nigeria and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and their Boko Haram allies, are currently sharing the state, with the terrorists establishing a functioning paralell government.
But the federal government would not admit this ugly situation, but would make us to believe that the only problem in Nigeria were Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho. These two men were what gave them headache, and once they were pulled down, and possibly get them eliminated, Nigeria would no more have any problem, the country would become a safe haven. That was why they threw in all they had in order to deactivate the two men.
Should anybody be in doubt about the claims made by Boko Haram and their ISWAP allies of being in control of some Nigerian territories, let any of such Doubting Thomas venture into those local government areas where their Governor is in charge.
Besides, statistics just released by Nigeria Security Tracker, a non-governmental organization, show that the North remains the main problem of Nigeria. That is to say, that the security challenges in the country come mostly from the Northern Nigeria.
For instance, in the first half of this year (January to June), there were a total of 2,943 reported cases of kidnapping in different parts of the country. Out of this number, 2,557 cases were from the northern part of the country, while 386 kidnap cases were from the South, where Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho hail.
In the same vein, out of these 2,943 kidnap cases, there were a total of 5,800 deaths, which approximated to about 32 violent deaths every day. While there were 3,624 deaths in the North, the South had 586 deaths. Borno State alone had 1,137 recorded deaths.
This very high number of kidnap cases and violent deaths, in just six months, ought to have been issue of serious concern to any government that is actually interested in safeguarding its citizenry. But all we see is a government that dances to the gallery, a government that is pursuing rat when its house is on fire, which is unfortunate.
Dr. Dons Eze, KSJI