By: Inuwa Bwala
No matter the narrative others want to promote over the security situation in Borno, fact remains that relative peace has returned to areas hitherto vulnerable and inaccessible. Nowadays except for periodic encounters in the mop up exercises by the Military, the guns seem to be silent and life is returning to normal in most communities. Credit goes to the collaborative efforts of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum and the security operatives.
For citizens who have spent close to a decade as refugees or in IDP camps, nothing could be more pleasing than returning home, to pick their pieces and bits and enjoy the new air of freedom in their ancestral abodes.
Apparently realizing the need for the people to quickly settle and to further assuage fears of future displacement, Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, in company of his predecessor, now Senator representing Borno Central, Senator Kashim Shettima decided to undertake a tour of communities being resettled.
For Governor Zulum, he was on familiar terrain and is perhaps used to the adventure, of taking cover when attacked. Having survived so many attacks in past outings, one can safely say it was a repeat adventure.
For his predecessor, Senator Shettima, who was prevented from visiting the areas for long, on security advice, it must have been both exciting and daring outing. Although Shettima has often sent emissaries with messages of empathy and palliatives in the past, this visit brought him face to face with his people and the realities of their new lives back home.
Watchers of events at home held their breaths out of fear, that, the two most progressive leaders, whose combination gives hope to the people might be exposing themselves to danger; touring what could be termed the mine fields at the same time.
Although the tour was essentially to monitor the resettlement drive, and give hope, to people, that milk of human kindness, which flows commonly with Zulum and Shettima, compelled them to do extra ordinary things: embracing the people, hugging their babies and embracing the old and sick.
Witnesses confirmed that tears of joy were flowing freely and Zulum and Shettima displayed uncommon leadership, distributing cash, food items, household materials and other items personally. As they did that, they exchange pleasantries with the commoners, even as they embarked on what people called an emotional trip, listening to what the people have to say.
Giving hints about his experiences, Senator Shettima was quoted as saying that, joining his compatriot Zulum on that tour was one of his greatest moments, as it has further proven to him, that, his choice of Zulum as Governor has indeed exposed the potentials of a great leader in the Governor.
Beyond that, it has drawn him closer to his people since he left office and has opened his eyes to the true situation of life in the rebuilding and resettlement efforts if the Governor.
For greater part of the week, the duo if Zulum and Shettima seemed to have further solidified their bond of partnership with this joint outing, giving hope to the people of Borno that the future is indeed great.
Speaking to reporters in Gamboru Ngala during the outing, the people extolled the virtues exhibited by Governor Zulum and Kashim Shettima, even as some of them openly shed tears, when the two leaders departed the areas, saying they have never known that governance could seem so far away yet very close to the people as demonstrated.