By Lawan Bulama
The season of elections often, gives a platform, especially the social media to a coterie of self-appointed critics to influence public perception of the electioneering, some are knowledgeable about the subject and X-rays the process and candidates based on the campaign issues, manifestos of the candidates, their competences, integrity and their precedents in contributing to community development with the view to help the electorate make informed choices; the second clique are the supporters of a political party and its candidate, whatever they say about an opponent is scrutinised by the people within the context of their vested interest to determine its veracity, in this case, a deliberate falsehood against an opponent will be considered as merely a politicking; the third category is the narcissists who disguised their purpose and make the people believe they are fighting the cause of the society, they assume the role of public commentators but in their Phantom role, they spread deliberate falsehood, seed hate and polarize people in their usual antics of character assassination, this category is the focus of my article in the wake of the purported establishment of the University of Biomedical Technology in Gashua, Bade Local government Yobe State.
Last week, the misconstrued saga of the purported University awash social media platforms with all manners of commentators in and outside the Senator’s constituency who took a nibble on the situation and, from the trolling, it was evident that many opinions were unguarded and insensitive to the social relations and peaceful coexistence between the local government areas and enjoyed by the people who have no history of political prejudice and antagonism.
The posts on the social media on the issues were unjustified allegations of nepotism, tribalism and selfishness allegedly promoted by the Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (Sardaunan Bade), despite the clear evidence of even distribution of projects and social investments across the constituency.
Senate president Lawan is not a tribalistic person and will never be by the grace of God. It is unfortunate that the disgruntled elements accused him of tribalism and favoritism, securing more employment to his kinsmen. Instead of them to delve into fact finding mission to unravel the tribalistic tendencies of the senator but deliberately and myopically resorted to campaign of calumny to rail and spread ludicrous and concocted story to discredit and paint black an excellent leader.
Sadly, we have allowed the outpouring of emotions, calling our hero all sorts of absurd names to jettison our sense of reason, a man who is selflessly and tirelessly working to better the condition of living for the people of our zone; it is sad, that we have failed to protect Senator Ahmed I. Lawan from the envious attacks from the people of other zones of the state who are now putting forward a narrative that the position of the Senate President is for the entire state hence the impact must be felt beyond his zone, rather we have chickened into intra zonal squabbles that are capable of straining our strong and cordial political relationship existing for decades.
It is laughable, that the war of words on social media was mostly between overzealous youths of Gashua and Nguru towns, the two major beneficiaries of the Senator’s constituency projects, each group laying claim to the desirability of sitting the University in their town, those for Nguru argue that Gashua already has a federal university and it will be too selfish for the Senator who is from Gashua to allow two federal institutions in one local government, they tagged it “Gashua, the only local government with two federal universities, ” – a seeming justification claim of selfishness, isn’t it?
On the other hand, the youth in Gashua feels Nguru has a Federal Medical Centre and Federal College of Sciences of Technology, so why not based the new university in Gashua, quite a plausible argument, isn’t it? However, they forget that there are four other LGAs that equally have rights to benefit from these facilities but agree to the centrality of the two major towns as the centres of business, governance, social and urban developments in the zone without question.
While answering the constituents of other zones, we agree that Damaturu and Potiskum are the most suitable places to establish the institution but we appeal to your sense of good judgment to set your lenses from our prism, we have voted for the distinguished Senator since 1999, those who lacked patience and understanding refused to contend with the fact that as a member of the opposition party, he had little influence to impact on the zone, but we trusted him and kept the faith while you were enjoying federal presence, especially in Potiskum and we had no problem with that, now that it’s our turn, we hope you will congratulate us and in particular the Senator for raising the performance bar so that it becomes the general measure of performance for the people in elected positions.
Lest I forget, it befitting to call on our elders to occasionally make effort to intervene and douse the ensuing tension whenever the situation demands their wise counsel, it would save the cost of doing so during the election period when the youth draw the machetes and ready to defend a misinformed story. Is now easy to shelve it, my dear compatriots, the purported university of medical sciences and biotechnology is a college of medicine that will be established at Federal Universities, the name is used in political parlance when politicians want to make something small look bigger than itself to amplify their accomplishments, and they make it sound outlandish.
Lawan Bulama writes from behind emir’s palace, Gashua, Bade local Government Yobe state. He can be reached via 08065029050/comradeLb@yahoo.com