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OPINION

MAHDI SHEHU: THE SHAM AND SHAME OF A WITLESS WHISTLE BLOWER

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By Bala Ibrahim.

For the best part of yesterday, Monday, 08/03/21, I was pushed to a state of painful embarrassment, because of what I saw in Mahdi Shehu’s sham, or his sheer show of shame at the premises of a court in Katsina.

Pursuant to a complaint of calumny by the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari and the members of his cabinet, Mahdi Shehu, an acclaimed activist cum whistle blower, was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Katsina, where he was served with six-count charges bordering on cybercrime.

Through various channels of communication, including the use of the social media, Mahdi Shehu, the chairman of the Kaduna based Dialogue Groups, had accused the Katsina State Government, under Aminu Bello Masari, of squandering over N50bn in the last five years from the state’s security vote. The Governor and his cabinet members, including the Secretary to the Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, took the matter to court, seeking redress for defamation.

Rather than heed the invitation of the court with the dignity of a revolutionary, and one in the struggle for change, from a corrupt society to a clean and conscientious one, Mahdi opted for an open mockery of himself and the residue of his little reputation. He reduced himself to a coward, that turned vegetative, when invited to substantiate the allegations he made against others.

Borrowing from the books of Olisa Metuh, Dino Melaye and Ayo Fayose, Mahdi Shehu suddenly turned crippled and appeared before the court in crutches, with belly belts, straps, neck collar and braces all over his body to give support to the supposed enfeebled.

If dishonour were to come with another name, the dictionary would not take offense, if the general consensus settles for Mahdi Shehu’s caricature show of yesterday, as a substituted synonym. It was a poorly put comedy that ridiculed the meaning of courage, made nonsense of the position of activism and defeated the fortitude of a person that is claiming to be a Whistle blower.

In every game, those who steal the show are naturally the ones with guts, courage, nerves, or the stamina to fight, regardless of whatever suffering they may encounter in the process. Cowards and losers are the ones that come with characters that stand in the reverse of the aforementioned.

By his cowardly action of yesterday, which clearly failed to convince the judge about the genuineness of the presented situation, Mahdi Shehu has not only lost whatever little respect he had from his gullible viewers and listeners, but joined the league of those he had been accusing of engaging in immoral activities.

His action is even more disgusting than the theatrics of Fayose and Dino, the dishonourable predecessors of the sham, who may continue to be remembered by posterity, as the permanent patent bearers of such a show of shame.

Although I have never rated him above a rabble rouser, who is always struggling to gain cheap popularity from the gullible, through the use of oratory powers, but I wasn’t expecting him to cheaply crumble to the level of such caricature. From an anti corruption combatant, Mahdi had condescended to a coward, that came to court clinging on to crutches, in order to evade answerability. Nothing can be more shameful from an acclaimed activist.

The public is yet to forget a similar sham from the same Shehu last year, when he claimed to be bitten by a snake at the premises of the Force CID Headquarters, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, where he was detained for something to do with defamation.

Bravery is always in conflict with cowardice, so said the late hausa musical legend, Alhaji Mamman Shata, in one of his famous songs, “Matsoraci baya gwaninta, mai tsoro baya zama gwani, ko wanene”

While I totally support the idea of whistleblowing, especially where it would expose the corrupt, it is equally pertinent for the whistle blowers to know that, to every action, there are consequences. He who alleges, is burdened by proof. If you are not ready to face the consequences of the heat, don’t dare brag of entering the kitchen with brigandage.

To arrest the future occurrence of such mediocrity, the government should put in place proper means of checkmating the excesses of these shameless comedians, including if need be, the regular deployment of mad dogs to court premises, for use in testing the validity of such suspicious disability.

Bala Ibrahim Public Affairs Commentator

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OPINION

Zuru Is Our Pride Now Is The Time To Act

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My native home of Zuru Emirate before now was the most exciting place to be, with its peace loving people living as one irrespective of their religious and cultural differences. Zuru was indeed a favorite destination most of us wanted to be especially at seasons of celebrations like Sallah and Christmas. A period most of us rush to be home to connect with our beautiful heritage. In Zuru you find same family practicing his/her religion of choice. Most families in Zuru comprise of a combination of Christians and Muslims with no form of discrimination whatsoever.

Zuru as an emirate comprises of diverse ethnic groups. Even though it is dominated by the Dakarkaris, we have lots of other tribes as indigenes who share the same rights and privileges. We had no discrimination, we coexist as one indivisible emirate but sadly the story is different today.

Today as I pen this down with tears in my eyes, I weep for my dearest Zuru and surroundings for what has become of it. Zuru is facing it’s worst challenges witnessed in a long time. My heart bleeds with sorrow that this is happening in our generation and we seem to be helpless even with our well known heritage of being brave warriors.

Zuru the land of pride, our native land blessed with great fearless warriors, the home of rich, strong and multi-cultural heritage. Zuru still remains a home to all in Kebbi State, blessed with peace, unity and harmony. What did we do to deserve this, how did we get here, where did we go wrong?

Today our great Zuru Emirate that our forefathers toiled so hard to protect is facing multitude adversaries from different angles. Unfortunately all we do as proud sons and daughters is helplessly sit and watch, or better still lament.  Where did our generation get it wrong ? What stories do we live to tell our grandchildren and great grandchildren?
How do we face them to narrate, how we fold our arms while the rich heritage of our pride disintegrate?

How can we face the world and say an emirate blessed with the highest number of officers men and women retired and serving in all the security arms (military and paramilitary) allowed our home to be ravaged in such a way that our kinsmen have become helpless refugees, scampering for shelter and safety.

Our government is mute on all the happenings, our leaders are silent, our
representatives at the State and National Assembly have become deaf and dumb, is this how we will continue until the day we wake up to see that our most cherished native land vanishes? Zuru and its surrounding towns and villages are in dare need of our voices, this is the time we all keep our differences aside to face  and tackle the monster now threatening our coexistence, nobody will fight our fight.

Let it be known to us that where ever we are today and we feel we are not affected directly with what is happening to our kinsmen back home its deceitful,  Zuru is our home we will some day go back home either on our foot or in our casket when our time comes, which ever way we will surely return home.

Zuru needs us now like never before, we all need to put our hands on deck to salvage our DEAREST NATIVE LAND, My fellow Compatriots this is a clarion call before it is too late for us to save the current situation we find ourselves.

May God restore peace and harmony back to our land, may the Almighty in His infinite mercy protect all our kinsmen back home, Oh our Creator You’re our benefactor bless my native Land with peace, security and tranquility. Ameen .

Salamatu Sanda Mohammed (ACG) Rtd
Founder and Chairperson
Advocates for Harmonious Society

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OPINION

Still in Support, Reopening of ZAMSU, Why Mikail Barau Perceived it Wrong

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Jalaluddeen

Dr. Mikail Barau let me put it to you that there are thousands of reasons to celebrate the news of reopening of ZAMSU today. It baffles to sense that you appear to be unaware of the challenges surrounding the university project before the coming of the Matawalle administration – excuse my decorum, sir. Permit me to remind you that:

I Will Continue Implementing MD Abubakar’s Report Until Sanity Brought Back to Zamfara – Matawalle

Firstly, It was a university the previous administration (under the supervision of your new-found hero Yari) squandered more than half the money meant for construction projects. We are talking about billions here. The records are there and we can share with you.

Secondly, Students were admitted in error even when there was no substantive management team. The height of incompetence of the outgone administration.

Thirdly, No funds left for the present administration to fund capital and recurrent expenditure, as per the university project.

Fourthly, No monthly subvention for personnel and overhead costs.

Similarly, There was absence of a functional library and other important facilities to support the take-off of the university.

Fundamental speaking, at a point you and many of us concluded that it was a bad foundation for the university to take-off in that critical state because the performance was below par.

Today, most of those errors have been corrected with the support of Governor Matawalle against the interest of many – I am pretty sure that you know about the weight of powers against the continuation of the university project. First, the decision to continue with the project itself calls for celebration. Second, the appointment of a substantive management team to steer the affairs of the baby university. Third, the sourcing of funds to ensure proper take-off and subsequently mobilising contractors back to sites.

Bungudu, Maru, Zurmi Attacks: Zamfara State Government Suspends Activities During Democracy Day Celebration

If we can’t commend Governor Matawalle for his kind consideration here for reasons known to us, we shouldn’t fault the mood of thousands of citizens who recognise his efforts, considering the circumstances, sir.

Jalaluddeen Maradun is Analyst and Public Commentator

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OPINION

Answering Brawlers On The Implementation Of MD Abubakar’s Report

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Most of the people clamouring for the implementation of MD Abubakar security report have not thumbed through the pages of the report as to even know what are the recommendations. The only thing catching their attention is one recommendation about the alleged culpability of some traditional leaders as if everything about the insecurity is connected to them.

MD Abubakar’s report is the most elaborate report I have ever set my eyes on and thus relegating it to a single recommendation does no justice to that bulky document, the data of which was gathered and compiled with so much sweat and sleeplessness.

If you ask most of those of those critiquing brawlers to enumerate even ten of the MD Abubakar’s recommendations, I am sure they will not be able to do so.

I Will Continue Implementing MD Abubakar’s Report Until Sanity Brought Back to Zamfara – Matawalle

As important as the report is, Governor Bello Matawalle will never allow it to be swept under the carpet. Since December 2019 he had made it clear that the report is being implemented. Yesterday, he reiterated his commitment to the implementation of the report specifically referring to Recommendation No 2 on the alleged indicted traditional leaders.

The question being raised as to why did it take him so long to implement the report has no feet to stand since he has been implementing it from the very day it saw the light of the day.

How fast do you forget that Recommendation No 1 (i) which suggest revocation of illegally acquired lands on grazing reserves and routes has been implemented since November 2019?

How fast do you forget that Governor Bello Matawalle is currently implementing Recommendation No 3 which postulates for the Federal and state governments to come up with an initiative that encourages both Fulanis and non-Fulani cattle rearers to adopt modern dietary farming and discourage the traditional nomadism system? This he is doing through construction of RUGA even without any external support. We are yet to see any CSO complimenting government struggle to get intervention for the realization of this goal.

Bungudu, Maru, Zurmi Attacks: Zamfara State Government Suspends Activities During Democracy Day Celebration

Do you even care to know that the Zamfara State Disarmament Policy which resulted in laying down of many sophisticated arms by bandits is based on Recommendation No 4 which states that “Zamfara State should embark on disarmament, disarmament which should mean and be christened as “Arms and Ammunitions for Basic Amenities”? Now, see this! When Zamfara State built boreholes in some distant settlements for the repentant bandits who laid down their arms the same critics pushing for the implementation of former IG MD Abubakar’s report come to condemn it vehemently.

On why Governor Bello Matawalle treats with caution the Recommendation No 2 suggesting the sack of alleged indicted traditional leaders has nothing to do with politics. In fact, three Emirs have so far been relieved of their position pending further recommendations from the committee charged with the responsibility to investigate the level of their involvement with banditry.

Police Arrests Foreigner Supplying Guns, Ammunition to Bandits in Zamfara

The problem is often seen from a very shallow angle by fast-fault-finders. To paint the scenario, the traditional leaders in volatile areas find themselves entangled in a very difficult situation. With the traditional institution relegated constitutionally and rendered powerless, with no security in their area of authority which is infested by gun wielding terrorists there is natural tendency to compromise and yield to the demands of bandits because their lives are at stake. Treating issues as delicate as this should never be made in haste. Just imagine yourselves in their shoes and tell me what would you have done when faced with similar situation. I think, the only way to be fully innocent is to abdicate the traditional position and run for your dear life but that is the decision for someone with no royal blood in him.

The caution being observed by Governor Bello Matawalle is thus to protect the integrity of the innocents as some of the alleged indicted traditional leaders are coerced to compromise. That notwithstanding, the government is doing all it takes to find out their level of involvement and deal with the situation as it should be dealt with.

Ibrahim Bello Zauma is
Director General New Media,
Office of the Executive Governor, Zamfara State.

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