Opinion: Gov. Shettima gets rewarded for his notorious act of irresponsibility

by Dominik Umosen
Kashim-ShettimaIf the result of the gubernatorial elections in the country, particularly in Borno State, must be believed as truly reflective of the people’s wish, then Shettima who set the stage for the abduction, deserved commendation, hence his subsequent reward (re-election as governor), for that notorious act of irresponsibility.
Hurray! The largest black nation has broken a jinx: the first successful transition from a democratically-elected administration is set to blast off after elections were successfully held in the country. The inauguration of the administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari on May 29 seals the deal and effectively ushers the country into the prestigious league of truly democratic nations.

The implication is that the various structures of governance, including the highest represented by the Federal Government at the centre, are veritable products of the people’s choice as demanded by democracy. Although nostalgia for the swinging and intoxicating days as ruling party may prevent some folks from seeing the bright side of this development, fact is that providence made President Jonathan the greatest beneficiary in the sense that only divine wisdom could have inspired him to concede defeat without hesitation, thus elevating him far above the uncomplimentary paradigms posted by his contemporaries in the continent.

By promptly conceding victory to his opponent in the 2015 presidential elections, President Goodluck Jonathan eloquently demonstrated the quality of his person as miles apart from some incumbents who would whine bitterly why they did not deserve to lose election. Examples abound of incumbents whose reluctance to relinquish power invariably triggered crises in their countries. President Jonathan, for reasons that most Nigerians may never know for now, resisted the overwhelming urge to ape continental precedence. And in the process, gained universal recognition as the next Mandela who may never be defiled by xenophobia, despite a so-called malicious gang-up to unseat him from power. Nudging President Jonathan’s profile beyond even his wildest imagination is a fact that, I am sure, not even his most virulent critics ever conceived.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega lent credence to this when he told civil society stakeholders that accepting the outcome of the presidential election was an act of exemplary courage and statesmanship because doing otherwise would have precipitated crisis in the country. From the foregoing therefore, we can say confidently say that the structures of government at every stratum across the country represent the wishes of the majority of Nigerians in fulfillment of the principles of democracy.

For the purpose of this discussion however, we can also add that because Nigerians were more interested in the persona of Buhari as a man famous for personal integrity than his allegedly wobbly intellectual credentials, efforts by his political opponents to disparage him on this score before the people went largely unsuccessful. But there is an interesting dimension to the argument about what has become accepted as the maturity of democracy in the country.

A cardinal grouse the opposition consistently levelled against President Jonathan was that his administration was lackadaisical and uncoordinated in efforts geared towards rescuing the over 200 female students of Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State who marked one year in Boko Haram captivity recently.

From when the girls were kidnapped till when their abduction by insurgents subsequently went viral on the internet, the brunt of responsibility for their abduction has always been disingenuously pushed on the president by the opposition, as if he was the one that engineered the mess. In the intoxicating heat of this conspiracy, the designer and conceptualizer of the original irresponsibility of summoning innocent pupils for examinations in a remote and unsecure location, Alhaji Kassim Shettima has been rewarded for this substantive irresponsibility with reelection.

If the result of the gubernatorial elections in the country, particularly in Borno State, must be believed as truly reflective of the people’s wish, then Shettima who set the stage for the abduction, deserved commendation, hence his subsequent reward (re-election as governor), for that notorious act of irresponsibility.

While the governor was rewarded for this transparent irresponsibility, some wags want me to swallow the crap that some one who knew nothing and had no hand in its concoction, deserved punishment in the form of electoral rejection for something he knew absolutely nothing about.

This is a curious piece of logic that is possible only in Nigeria- reward for irresponsibility! Any one who is remotely familiar with Borno State automatically knows that Chibok constitutes one of the fringes occupied by ethnic minorities, endangered species and traditional candidates for persecution in that part of the country like the former boss of the Prisons service who was roasted in his house. Their passion for western education merely worsened their predicament as testified to by Boko Haram which gave this justification for the abduction. So how could the same people have rewarded Shettima with re-election for the substantive irresponsibility of consolidating their predicament?

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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