Ali Modu Sheriff, former governor of Borno state
Like the presidential election has come and gone, the gubernatorial polls will soon follow, pregnant with its victors and losers. But in a contest where only one is a victor, the presidential election had many with an even more number of losers. It was not only President Goodluck and PDP that lost it, but also all those who voted and rigged for and on his behalf, outrageously while still very conscious of his stark incompetence, on the basis of creed and tribe. It is a loss even also to all the satanic entities who wished our nation all that is bad–who meant to snuff life out of our crucial institutions, even that of unity, to balloon their misbegotten fortunes and progressively practicalized it, without even an intended end any soon.
In fact what seemed to be the case is that virtually everyone has his own designated losers, besides the ruling party. On a personal note, among the major losers according to what is exclusively my estimation are those who had been fooled by the thought that they are invincibly untouchable–but ruthlessly on their part, touch and crush whosoever they wish, break all the supposedly unbreakable rules and so on– because of a so-called 'connection', in what is a Nigerian way of expressingthe close ties that is established between themand the delusional high and mighty, or even having them in their pockets.
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They are afforded state protection and fully armed security, fly and land in airports officially closed down by the government, and allowed to engage in all the unthinkable overstepping of officials limits–as if they exclusively operate within a constitutional framework, with their sets of choice rules, designed for and by them. One such entities who has written his name boldly with a mark of an indelible permanence in this realm is Ali Modu Sheriff, the former governor of Borno state, notoriously SAS. Here WAS a man who breaks all the sacred rules of the land and still enjoys both immunity and protection of the same state. He had a proud reputation of ruthless aggression and still entertains aspirations for the same or more in the future. As an agency of divine bliss, he had enriched, and proudly impoverished many because of difference of opinion or sometimes merely for pleasing self.
To so many, he and his tenure constitutes a failure. But this is the height unfairness and ingratitude could go. Like every regime, his was also interlaced with inbuilt failures. But by any standard, it isn't a failure.
In his 8years tenure, water supply across Jere and themetropolis for the record first time became stable. In no way such can be overlooked, or be seen to, if seen, constitute failure. The housing estates he had built, in a state where such is the only single most important legacy, cannot mean failure. I can remember this (mis)adventurist built the Umaru Shehu Hospital, within of course, a blink of an eye–and blazed it with fire, they said, and rebuilt his thing again, whatever he got out of that. He built the building occupied by the Borno Radio Television and did his best to improve service delivery–and invited late President Yaradua to commission it. And if, by our estimation, the current government is the best we have ever had, as has been said, being the architect of its emergence, there simply can't be anyway he can be seen to be a failure. These things can easily be overlooked, especially by cynics who specialized, by profession, in seeing the worst of situations. At least, as his legacy, one archetype of a street life, even reminded me of his 'yirne' or 'spray paparazzi'–which as his style of campaign, was a spray of money on the streets as he drove past for plebs to pick!
But his, unfortunately culminated in what was clearly a misadventure. Having struggled from the outset to endear himself to all and sundry, and sustained it for best part of his tenure, he ensured that he exhausted all before he left the scene, almost hated by all.
On the allegations made against him on the case of Boko Haram, I do have a discipline as an individual. Discipline is the ability to acquaint oneself with all the available laws and set limits for self, and try never to overstep it, and refuse to be made to do so. And it is not arrogance. Arrogance is when you are made to understand that a thing is wrong, and still refuse to adjust. So I have been disciplined not to ever take what is obviously an allegation to mean a fact. The allegations making rounds about Ali Sherif's complicity in the Boko Haram is still on the run, but as good as useless, since it is never taken to the court of law, where all such cases ought to be.
Ali Sheriff is a loser in this election only because he thought he was a born winner. He would have been part of the new government but driven by what someone's literary naughtiness so succinctly called 'short man's syndrome', he boastfully left the party–leaving behind the victory he thought is always with him. He re-established connection with the high and mighty in his own right–but lost it by the choice of Nigerians. The federal government has been a friend to him and has afforded him every luxury he never deserved. It is the same thing he enjoyed that led him to promise to unseat the sitting governor of Borno and install his choice. It is too easy to discern the impossibility of that now. His choice candidate, Alh Muhammad Imam, who will have no doubt given the sitting governor a hard run for his money, became a victim of his godfather's misadventure. No doubt, it was a game he is best at, only that the handle and tools involved have been altered overnight. Let us hasten to add that any individual who thinks he or she is in control of all situations and behaves in the manner Ali Sheriff did, will equally follow suit. Thank you.
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