What is wrong with Southern Borno?

This is one of those mornings I am going to rant because I have held these thoughts within me for far too long, so bear with me:

I have wondered for a very long time how is it that the people of Southern Borno, a people that compared to the rest of the state are the most educated, most traveled and most exposed, are still largely in political wilderness. We barely have any political voice, and cannot influence the political events not just within the state but even within the zone and our local governments; from appointments from the area and which candidates run for elections, it is those from outside that make these decisions. Of course, we are also unable to mobilize influence to ensure projects that will change the senatorial zone for good is executed.

What we have ended become very good at is sitting in our houses and complaining, especially the Christians from the region. We complain that we are overlooked in appointments or those appointed from the senatorial zone do not deserve it; we complain that the people who run for political office and win have nothing to offer; we complain that nothing changes in the senatorial zone in no matter how long a period of time.

Yet, from each local government, from each of the ethnic groups that make up Southern Borno, we can easily count people who are extremely well-educated, possess integrity and have also reached the heights of their careers; people who can expectedly deliver. Sadly, they have not brought this to bear in building political influence that can shape the direction the senatorial zone takes.

I am not going to mention names but if you are from the region, you can easily list up to five names that should today if not have run for office or entered politics, should be the kingmakers in your local government, the senatorial zone or the entire state as a whole.

Sadly, we are rather too individualistic, looking only to build the financial security of ourselves and our immediate families. We have not learnt to organize ourselves in a potent force to shape the region, if not the entire state. We have not built bridges across religious & ethnic boundaries and not just be spectators in our own state.

What is even scarier is that this attitude is not just with our parents; our own generation is showing it too: we continue with our role as Chief Complainers, but yet we are not making effort to change things – a highly educated population of the state filled with professionals completely absent from the politics of the state.

If we think our complaining will by itself change things, then we have never been more wrong. In the words of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, “Power is not served a la carte.” No one will give you power – you have to take it. You will have to roll up your sleeves and get into the game; and in today’s Nigeria, if you are not involved in politics to present the case of your people or work to change their situation, it would hardly ever change.

You might be asking yourself, “Why should I care? After all, I am not even going to live in Borno.”

Well, unless you absolutely have no emotional connection to Borno State as a whole or Southern Borno in particular, there is no way that you will not be concerned about the current situation of the senatorial zone and state and the direction it is currently headed.

I hope this spurs you into doing more than just complaining and gets you to start to organize yourselves politically.

I rest my case.


1 Comments on this post

  1. Dear Mark. You have made a mark again. Your thoughts are directed at the solution to our problem generally in the Middle Belt. We love to just sit down and analyse our ugly predicament and then do nothing to change it. I fully agree with you that we are falling into this same style that took our fathers nowhere. In fact, some of them did better than we are doing. We must get involved with the politics of our villages, towns, LGs States and the country if we do not like what we see. Edmund Burke, a 19th century English parliamentarian said, “Evil thrives only because good people do nothing about it.” keep encourages us all to take our destiny in our hands. Each one of us must act.

    James / Reply

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