By Ikeddy Chinedu Isiguzo
Bombs fly over Borno State daily. He has escaped death times over. Maiduguri, the state capital, comes under constant attacks. Borno State is a war zone.
Governor Babagana Zulum is ever-present, ever working. He visits attack victims. He has completed more visible projects, things those before him could not do in peaceful times.
I find him an example of a leader who has abolished excuses. How I wish other Governors would look at the challenges that Borno State faces, the way Governor Zulum has managed the affairs of Borno, and die to their agenda of excuses.
Governor Zulum is not only about buildings. He builds his people. Those two buildings (pictures) are schools, not a Governor’s Office or Government House, buildings that are priorities for most Governors.
On the many occasions, he was attacked, he was on visits to villages that had been attacked. His actions impact the lives of his people, real people, not statistics. He inspires hope indeed and indeed.
He grants soft loans to SMEs. He inspects schools to assess their quality. His projects cut across all sectors.
Many of his colleagues live in Abuja. He lives with his people in the battles to rescue Borno State.
Zulum, 52, studied Agriculture Engineering at the University of Maiduguri, obtained a Master’s in Agriculture Engineering from the University of Ibadan and a PhD in Soil and Water Engineering from the University of Maiduguri, where he is a Professor.
He was appointed Commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement under Governor Kashim Shetima, a position he held till 2018. Zulum is in his second year as Governor.
As the year draws closer to an end, we are all offered opportunities to reflect on how we have managed our affairs, especially, those who made promises to the public as they campaigned to be President, Vice President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Senators, Members, House of Representatives, Members of State Houses of Assembly, Chairmen of Local Governments, Councillors. Others on the list would be Ministers and Commissioners.
There are other layers that bleed the system. They know themselves.
If our leaders are sincere, with what Governor Zulum is doing in Borno State, they have no reason for neglecting the parts of Nigeria they are meant to manage.
Whatever reasons there are for Zulum’s performances, they suffice to say that things can be done, no matter the challenges.
Congratulations Governor Zulum, you are my Governor of the Year.