When the going gets tough and Borno elite get running

When the going gets tough and Borno elite get running

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Yes, he is right. He spoke the truth, the truth, nothing but the truth and so may God, the Almighty prick, provoke and prod their conscience to realise that there is no hiding place from home and that sooner than later they will look for their roof. Certainly, they will seek the roof they abandoned during the raging tempest.
What Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Governor of Kano State and one-time defence minister did in Maiduguri on September 5, 2016 was to count his 10 fingers before the man having nine. Some will say this is unfair or perhaps, uncharitable. For others, this is not, provided the occasion called or asked for it. On the fateful day at the Multipurpose Hall of the Government House, Senator Kwankwaso told the audience made up mostly of Borno men and women, old and young, how some of the elite of Borno abandoned their state at its most trying period. The senator, who was speaking as Chairman of the 50th birthday ceremony of Governor Kashim Shettima, regretted that the elite, rather than help to salvage the state following the upsurge of the Boko Haram insurgency, chose to abandon it and scamper to safe havens. According to him, they moved with their families to Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and other places, while Borno was on fire. He praised the resilience, courage, diplomacy and wisdom of Governor Shettima in handling the intricate and explosive situation.
For the keen observers of the happenings in Borno since the assault by the Boko Haram sect, Kwankwaso’s indictment of some of the elite on the run is not disputable. Some took to their heels possibly out of fear, some out of self-centeredness, some were prompted by the outward movement of others, some left in circumstances they couldn’t comprehend and, of course, some for fear of being caught as they were alleged suspects or possibly conspirators in the insurgency plot that was already unfolding in action this time.
Notwithstanding the reason or reasons for abandoning their home state in this period of imbroglio, what is common among the concerned individuals or groups is that they washed their hands, feet and left Borno to its fate. untitledThey left with their family members, and in some cases, with their pets to various parts of the country and beyond, leaving Governor Kashim Shettima and the people of Borno to bolster through the debris of catastrophe. There are, however, a few who remained behind and did not abscond. Of this number, some maintained for reasons best known to them a “sidon look” posture, while the rest were outspoken, but their outbursts were a drop in the mighty oceans.
No doubt, the story of the exodus of the Borno elite in the face of the onslaught of the insurgents continues in recurring decimal fashion as a result of some implications and far reaching consequences. It is likened to the shepherd who abandoned the flock at the slight suspicion of danger, the commanding officer who took to his heels when the enemies came calling or the captain who abandoned the ship because of the hurricane. Besides, their disposition this time, rightly or wrongly, signifies, among others, treachery, cowardice and betrayal. Above all, their action negates the brave and indomitable spirit known of a Borno man.
Remember, among others, the Fulani Jihad of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio and the timely and effective response of Sheikh Muhammad Al-Kanemi of Borno to halt the onslaught in the 19th century. Rather than succumb to the threats of the Jihadists against Borno, Al-Kanemi was decisive as he engaged Usman Dan Fodio and later his son, Muhammed Bello, in series of legal, theological and political debates through letters. Consequently, Borno, unlike other areas, became a no-go area for the Jihadists.
Aside from the abandonment of the state by the elite, there was the allegation that some leaders in Borno were frustrating the efforts of the military in combating the insurgency. According to a statement in Abuja, in September 2015, by Colonel Sani Kukasheka, the Director of Army Public Relations,
“The Nigerian Army wishes to inform the public and send a very strong serious final warning to some prominent individuals and political groups, who hail from Borno State, in particular, and North-East, generally, that there is information on plans by some highly placed individuals and political groups to undermine and scuttle the fight against the insurgency in this country. “The unscrupulous individuals and their cohorts are determined to reverse the gains made and scuttle our efforts of achieving the Presidential directive to defeat Boko Haram within three months. They are enlisting the services of some non-governmental organisations in this grand design. We are aware of their clandestine meetings and other diabolical efforts to achieve their nefarious aims. This will not be tolerated.”
Reacting to the statement, the Chairman of the Borno Elders Forum, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari, charged the military to unmask the culprits with a view to bringing them to book as they posed a serious threat to the nation’s security.”

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