WAR OF GENERALS: SHUWA CARPETS DANJUMA OVER BORNO
For describing Borno as a failed state, former Federal Commissioner for Works under the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Muhammed Shuwa, has dismissed the submission of former Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Danjuma, as unguarded.
In a statement to journalists, General Shuwa stated that General Danjuma was far from the reality in the beleaguered state and could not be trusted to make objective assessment of the situation there. 'I expected General Danjuma to have visited Borno State to see things for himself before passing a weighty judgment on an entire government and its people.
I cannot remember when last General Danjuma visited Borno State, not even with the crisis that should ordinarily attract empathy visits by leaders to extend hands of solidarity to fellows in turbulent times. I don't think it is right for any leader to remain far away and form an opinion without having practical knowledge of things.
'This, to me, is like treating Borno State as a 'distant cousin'. I advise General Danjuma to reconsider his statement in the interest of mutual respect and instead work for the formation of a zonal forum of like-minds to address the prevailing security challenges.' The former Federal Commissioner for Works also said that the former Chief of Army Staff came out to express concern over Boko Haram insurgence only when the sect attacked Taraba State, General Danjuma's home state.
'I am, however, worried by his very disturbing description of a state with functional executive, legislature and judicial arms of government, functional law enforcement agencies as well as citizens going about their daily routine, as a failed state. Agreed, Borno is facing challenges, but to call it a failed state is a remark in bad faith.
I just hope some Nigerians will not accuse General Danjuma of keeping silent while many parts of the country were facing problems only to come out offensively few days after his home state, Taraba, was attacked. I regard General Danjuma as an elder statesman and hope he didn't speak out of sentiment, which is not expected of a nationalist like him.
I must say that, for me, every part of Nigeria is important and our collective peace should concern all of us. It is not right for any leader to isolate some states and write them off in very unpleasant remark.
A leader ought to provide solutions either by way of advice to the federal and state public office holders in particular, or by championing a forum of discussion for problem-solving. A national leader cannot play a blame game; a national leader provides options to problem-solving and by that a leader brings something new, and not to join a bandwagon of making remarks that appear to merely attract headlines. As a national leader, I expected General Danjuma to invite any governor in Nigeria or indeed summon the governors of the North to any suitable venue to offer advice on areas of governance he feels concerned.'