Babagana Zulum is Empty Symbolist, Not Different from Other Politicians, Says US-Based Academic
Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has been described as an unnecessarily showy person who is not different from the regular Nigerian politician in substance.
US-based Nigerian academic, Farooq Kperogi, wrote on Saturday that Zulum has been mesmerizing citizens of Northern Nigeria “with showy but empty symbolism while being indistinguishable from other callous, out-of-touch elites.”
The professor of journalism, who showed his displeasure at the way Zulum reduced the continued gruesome killing of citizens of his state to comparative head count of casualties between the present and past governments, said the governor had shown the same insensitive traits that typical Nigerian politicians are known for.
He faulted Governor Zulum’s reported exculpation of President Buhari in the brutal killing of Nigerian rice farmers in Zabarmari, Borno State at the end of November.
“He is doing this by callously hierarchizing killings in his state and suggesting that more people died before Buhari became “president” than after. Even if this were true (it is not), what purpose does it serve in the face of the mass deaths that is the fate of many everyday folks in the region? What comfort does that give to people who are grieving the loss of their loved ones?, the professor queried
He said “Borno State governor Babagana Zulum, who came within a hair’s breadth of losing his life to Boko Haram’s attacks several times, is leading the charge to once again exculpate Buhari of any responsibility for the insecurity in his state—and the region— and to go back to the same escapism and denialism that allowed Buhari to get away with murder since 2015.”
He was also unimpressed by the way some Nigerians do not have the courage to call out their leaders when they are on the wrong track, saying “Even the best-intentioned governments need the periodic nudges of a critical democratic citizenry. To not demand action and accountability from a government, any government, is to give that government a blank check to be irresponsible.”
Kperogi was particularly touched by the way he said the federal government in Nigeria routinely takes issues around security as well as the lives of Nigerians with levity. He was also irked by the way Nigerians do not “push back” on the reckless excuses of government officials in the face of casualties affecting citizens.
“I have no respect for people whose moral conscience is so feeble that they protest injustice and governmental ineptitude only when they’re personally affected. Martin Luther King famously said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. If it happens there, it can happen here.,” he wrote.
He concluded that people from Northern Nigeria need to be critical-minded and less attached to their leaders.
“Before we secure the North, we need to secure the brains of its people so that when they don’t invest unrequited love in deodorized frauds like Buhari to the point of living in self-destructive denial about his dreadful ineptitude. Or sing the praises of people like Zulum who mesmerizes them with showy but empty symbolism while being indistinguishable from other callous, out-of-touch elites.”
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