I Am Happy Boko Haram Is Uniting Nigerians” – Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu

Why it’s difficult to defeat Boko Haram— Col
Abdulmumini Aminu
Says everbody’s now at war in North East
Commends Gov Shettima’s developmental strides
Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu (retired) was
Military Governor of old Borno State between
1985 and 1987before the creation of Yobe
State in 1991 by the administration of Military
President, General Ibrahim Babangida. In this
interview, Col Aminu took a cursory look at
some of the changes he saw in the state he
governed 30 years ago. He also tasked the
citizenry on how to collaorate with the security
agencies in order to bring Boko Haram to its
knees saying terrorism was the most difficult
war in any part of the world.
Excerpts:-
Sir, is this your first visit to Borno State since
you left office?
As you know, I came to Borno purposely to
attend the wedding Fatiha of the daughters of
my friend and Elder statesman, Dr. Mohammed
Indimi but it is not my first since leaving
office. I come from time to time to visit
friends here. I was here shortly after Governor
Kashim Shettima came into power.
As a former governor, you must have known
that Borno used to be a peaceful state in the
Northeast; but the state is now in its ninth year
of Boko Haram crisis, how would you describe
the situation?
I left Borno state exactly 30 years ago now. It
is also very interesting to tell you that I spent
30 months as Military Administrator in Borno
state. Looking at the past and present, you
know, so many things have taken place or
happened. There is the issue of Boko Haram
which has been a source of terror for both the
people and the government but I am impressed
with how the state governor has been handling
the crisis, how he has stood for the people and
how he has efficiently tabled the crisis before
the international community.
I am also highly impressed with what is
happening in terms of development put in place
by the present administration of Governor
Kashim Shettima. To put politics aside, I was
humbled when I saw positive changes in
Maiduguri and other parts of the state. What I
have seen is unbelievable considering my
knowledge that Borno receives less federal
statutory allocations compared to other states
in addition to the crisis that has forced
millions people out of their homes and are now
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). I have
seen secondary schools that are fully air-
conditioned, digitally constructed classrooms
with laptops, computers, ICT materials which
have really enhanced the learning processes in
the state. I have seen newly constructed
network of roads and drainages within the
metropolis, I have seen different housing
estates like the Legacy Garden in Bulumkutu
ward, Model Primary and Secondary schools in
Gomari Airport, Hospitals, beautification and
interlocking of the streets, in fact, the whole
town I saw has changed. We must give credit to
Governor Shettima who has done so much
despite the security challenges in the state. I
like his courage, I like his focus, I like his
belief in the masses, I also love his tenacity of
purpose, he is fantastic, and I must commend
him and his people for giving their maximum
support to achieve these. The developments are
very glaring. By the way,
I have seen the transformations in Agriculture;
I have seen quite a number of tractors,
combined harvesters and other modern farming
inputs provided by this government. If you go
to Agric Farm Centre, you will be amazed with
the kinds of agricultural equipment purchased
and ready for distribution to our farmers in
this cropping season. This is why I will advise
the people of Borno State ahead of 2019 to be
careful in their choice of Shettima’s successor.
You can imagine if an incompetent person had
been the governor of Borno in this kind of
situation. Governor Shettima’s successor has to
be someone who will consolidate on these good
records and do more for the people of the
state. Such person should be a good person who
will have the interest of the people at heart
just like Governor Shettima.
The people should ensure that they give their
massive votes to a person with good character
and integrity, a person with no questionable
character and who will carry everybody along.
You sound as if you did not envisage such
development happening within the last 30 years
How can anyone expect these kinds of good
things under the security challenges in this
State? I expected development no doubt but
these positive changes took place very fast and
despite the activities of insurgents, which the
governor actually inherited from his
predecessor.
This kind of development is what democracy is
all about. It is government’s responsibility to
provide an enabling environment to its people,
it is also the responsibility of the people to take
advantage of such provisions by government in
the society. People need to play their own role
in the society. If the leadership is playing its
roles, and the followers do not play their roles
well, there would be problem. Therefore, in
moving any society to greater heights, it is a
collective responsibility. Even if you give Borno
State Government the entire 2018 Budget of
this country, this budget will not be adequate
given the demanding nature of our people, so I
am appealing to our people to really
understand governance. I want to advice that
government needs to enlighten our people on
the complexity of governance, so that they will
understand.
As someone with military background, what do
you think is the solution to the Boko Haram
challenges facing the Borno you once governed?
Terrorism is the most difficult war in any part
of the world. Just like Boko Haram, you do not
know who is a member of Boko Haram and who
is not. Boko Haram members can go and kill,
cause destructions, come back to the society
and mingle with people. It is very difficult to
identify a terrorist, and that is why all hands
must be on deck to end Boko Haram.
Everywhere in the world, security is very
expensive and when you are talking of security,
as I keep on saying ‘security belongs to
everybody, it is everyone’s business. Everybody
has to play his/her own part. When Boko Haram
thing started it was left in the hands of
government and security agencies, and that
was why it went viral. These operations going on
here in the North East must be a collective
responsibility.

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Everybody must be adequately involved, whether you are a Muslim, a Christian or pagan, otherwise we will continue to have disconnect and there would be a problem that may consume all of us. We should all be informants to security forces. What I mean is that the citizenry should volunteer to give information to our security agencies, especially on the movement of criminals around their environment or within the theatre of war.

Such information is normally treated with confidentiality. Let us wake up from our slumber, let us be more courageous for all of us to fight this menace of Boko Haram. I am not saying that you should do something which at the end of the day will get you killed, but there are things you should do before losing hope to your enemy. As a man there are certain things you should do to safeguard yourself and your family, and one of those things is courage. We are in a situation that everybody is at war now in the North East and we must have courage and support government and security agencies so that at the end we come victorious.

I am happy that this Boko Haram war is uniting us as a state and country, because when Boko Haram terrorists strike, they strike at everybody whether you are a Muslim or a Christian and that is why people have started teaming up to fight the war irrespective of religious inclinations, tribes or ethnic considerations. I must commend the Federal Government, the state governments in the North East and our security agencies as well as our people for taking the bull by the horn to see to
the end of Boko Haram insurgency.

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Source:- Vanguardngr

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