By Mbaya Lawan
To the Executive Governor Borno State
Your Excellency Prof. Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum
It is with heartfelt pleasure we daily receive news of something remarkable, good and just that you do since you assumed office. However, it was a good start for your predecessor, former Governor Kashim Shettima, whose first 100 days was well lived but that did not last his two terms of eight years. He did have a good finish as his last acts as governor led to some reformations and your entry to the office.
I, like many, have stayed on the sidelines not interested in politics nor complaining in the deeds of governance but quietly and subtly taking note of things as God is truly in charge of all affairs.
I believe it is high time we now move beyond the sidelines and step up to voice out to the one in charge of leadership. I pray you seek God in all you do. Irrespective of religion, let both Imams and Pastors be led into daily prayers for you and our state. I do not speak of men who speak truth to please leaders but men who fear none but God and seek nothing but the truth. May God use such men and women to protect you, advice you and guide you where necessary.
May you daily remember to thank God on behalf of us all being our leader even as we too commit you daily to God both in churches and mosques as well as our homes.
Maiduguri and Borno State have bled enough. It is time we seek God and live together in forgiveness and unity. Poverty and mismanagement led to the birth of the insurgency as a response to correct a broken system laced by greed, bureaucracy and impunity.
You have a chance to make right what was wrong. You are not the governor of Muslims alone, not Kanuris; you have been placed as a leader and governor over all inhabitants of Borno State. And although we all will be accountable to God on the last day, you will be held accountable for more than most.
I play my part by writing this open letter hoping it reaches you, and I pray many like me who have stood on the sidelines will roll our sleeves and join in rebuilding what was lost – our “Home of Peace.”
In doing good at the top, you inspire us to do good and God will surely reward us all. May your deeds be counted as noble deeds, may they transcend your first 100 days in office and may you surround yourself with those who will speak truth to you unbiased and unapologetically but respectfully and genuinely in reverence to God Almighty.
We all have a role to play directly or indirectly, and may we use the opportunity we have of outside aid to help us get back on our feet and stand firmer and stronger than before. May we not lazily depend or celebrate aid as a livelihood but see it as a good start to rebuild, reconstruct and revive all that was lost beyond the physical to the emotional wounds and spiritual strength in loving one another, forgiving one another and helping one another. These three I believe are backed by the golden rule that is:
Islam: “None of you believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” (An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith 13)
Christianity: “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:21)
May we truly trust in God. Long live Maiduguri, long live Borno State, and long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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