By Kingsley Stanley
A look at the antics of former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff shows a man wallowing in self pity. As his sins continue to catch up with him on daily basis, so eminently is his struggle – battling and clinging on to any threshold that promises relevance.
And so while Borno State that Sheriff bequeathed the legacy of Boko Haram to, has refused to submit to the dictates of malicious and wicked terrorists in consonance with the aspirations of their loving governor, Kashim Shettima, with whom they have opted to return the state to the “Home of Peace” that it was known for, Sheriff on the one hand thinks everything is politics. For him Borno State is all about politics.
Some days ago a video showing Sheriff being attacked by some youths went viral as attacks on Sheriff have now become serial in Borno whenever he sneaks into town. Like a training kit, Sheriff has become everybody’s punchbag as at his sight there seems to be an inexplainable feeling for this , especially among Borno youths. To them, Sheriff attempted to mortgage the collective unity of the state and is responsible for the Boko Haram crisis, not just in the Borno State, but in the entire north eastern part of Nigeria. And even more painful is the fact that he does not give a damn as to him and his supporters, Borno is politics and politics is Boko Haram.
To further buttress Sheriff’s despicable attitude and insult to the good people of Borno State and it’s amiable governor, he again was at his wits few days ago when in reacting to the online video which went viral and again showed him being pummeled by the very angry youths, Senator Sheriff for the obvious sake of politicking accused the State governor of been behind the attack.
A statement issued by his adviser on media had blamed the circulation of the video on Shettima as according to him Shettima would employ any prank to discredit him . And the question amongst Nigerians remain what is left of Sheriff for Kashim Shettima to belabour himself over to discredit?
For a man who the people of the state rallied round and denied a seat at the Senate in 2011, for a man whose candidate, Muhammed Imam, was tossed out of the 2015 governorship by both his party- the PDP and the courts, for a man who deceived former President Goodluck Jonathan and showed voters his invalidated 2015 ballot paper for want of being labeled a betrayer in that election given the accepted rejection of Jonathan in 2015 in the state for his nonchalanace, for a man who was shown the door in the APC over his political dubiousness and now begging to return to the same fold , and for a man whom even the Supreme Court of our land labeled an impostor following his attempt to hijack the opposition PDP, one still wonders what credibility Sheriff is talking about.
That Sheriff’s political life is in a mess is to state the obvious. That he is today an irritant to both the APC and the PDP is to state the very naked truth.
To , therefore , presuppose that Governor Kashim Shettima will berth an eyelid over Sheriff is to insult Kashim as the governor that he is today and on daily basis grappling with with the challenges of returning Borno to its peaceful state and under whose directives IDPs are shutting down with people returning to start afresh their lives which Sheriff sought to destroy.
For the citizens of Borno State and indeed majority of the segment of the Nigerian people, Sheriff is a spent force. Borno has gone beyond him just as the APC and even the opposition PDP has. Perhaps his antics might thrive in any of the newly formed parties.
Rep ipso loquito might be a Latin slang but like the lawyers say, the facts speak for itself . And clearly, too, Shettima from his antecedents will never play politics with the lives of Borno people. For Sheriff, it is all about past achievements.
As is generally agreed in media circles, it is hoped that some day, Insha Allah, Sheriff will bury his head in eternal shame when he will be taken round to see the difference in an 8year reign of peace and that of another 8 years amidst challenge of insurgency as widely acknowledged by the Borno citizenry and indeed Nigeria’s ever probing media.
Again , in what seems like shooting himself on the foot, Sheriff ascribed to Shettima the toga of being the father of Boko Haram, claiming the incumbent governor, abducted Chibok girls to score political points .
But in between the lines, if interpreted carefully, is the fact that with such cheap talk, the truth is finally gradually coming as regards those who confused and deliberately misled former President Jonathan into believing that the Chibok Girls abduction was all political and so wasn’t worth any attention .
The whole world is aware of how Sheriff brought about Boko Haram due to his poor managerial skills as a result of low level of education and paltry alter ego. Whilst not tempted to beating a dead horse by recycling Sheriff’s much publicised involvements in the Boko Haram saga, Borno people have long moved past him. They have leaked their wounds and in quietness, have resolved not to ever look back but win the war foisted on the once peaceful state by Sheriff.
Kashim Shettima’s records will never be beaten by Sheriff in this life time , but perhaps another . In Shettima we see a clear headed youthful motivational leader poised to succeed and working in the spirit of oneness – the oath with Borno people.
Gradually, with the support of President Muhamadu Buhari and the Nigerian Military, Borno State is gradually returning to order. The IDPs camps where even Sheriff joined his people to vote in 2015 are winding down. And Kashim does not dream to even back down till he hits the bull’s eye and together with the people of Borno State return it back to its known peace .
Like the stallions that they truly are, Shettima and the good people of Borno State have long gone past Sheriff and no amount of shirt dragging or name-calling should distract Kashim Shettima.
I am sure that the only thing that would make Kashim Shettima look the way of Sheriff today is if the former governor volunteers some of his billions to help in the rebuilding of some Borno villages and help in giving the Borno people some meaningful lives . And if he is broke, to sell one of his private jets would not be too much after all, what is life when you cannot help your people, especially when they hold the key to your political success?
For Sheriff to continue calling Shettima’s name only when Borno youth take turns to delve him blows is unacceptable . There must be better things worth screaming for.
My sincere advice to Sheriff is that the next time he is slapped or attacked ( as I am sure it will continue eternally), he should kneel down and beg the youths of Borno for forgiveness. To continue to mention and attribute his misgivings and misadventure to Governor Kashim Shettima who along with Borno people have moved past Sheriff is sequel to “some people creating their own storms then getting upset when it rains”.
Kingsley , a public affairs commentator wrote in from Abuja.