•Gaidam tackles Babangida Aliyu over comments
From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Kaduna
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has described as surprising, the report credited to the Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, to the effect that Yobe lawmakers and the State’s commissioners had allegedly relocated to Jigawa, owing to the deteriorating security situation in the State.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, yesterday, the governor noted that his government had always confronted headlong, the security challenge facing the State, adding that government’s effort in conjunction with security operatives was responsible for the return of normalcy to the extent that economic activities and social life had since picked up again in the State.
Muazu Babangida Aliyu had spoken last Monday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, at the Sardauna Memorial lecture, where he said among things that “governmental institutions in Yobe State have moved out of the state,” as a result of the deteriorating security situation. Responding to the claim of the Niger State governor however, his Yobe State counterpart said: “As one of the states mostly affected by a mindless insurgency and the bloodthirsty activities of criminal gangs, Yobe had seen first-hand what effects a breach of the peace and breakdown of law and order could have.
“But we have always risen to the challenge, working with the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security agencies and the good people of the State – who have never relented in seeking for divine intervention. The government is able to restore the peace and ensure a return to normality. Most residents who fled at the height of the crisis have returned to their homes and social and economic activities resumed fully. “Significantly, our administration remains faithful to its mandate, and continues undaunted to deliver on its target to transform the state.
It therefore came as a huge surprise that Governor Babangida Aliyu, relying on a speculative, unattributed report from one newspaper, would speak of ‘governmental institutions’ taking flight out of the state.” Insisting that as a leader, once Aliyu saw the newspaper report, which he used as the basis for his claim, he ought to have called Yobe State, to seek clarification. The Yobe governor quoted Aliyu: ‘I wasn’t very happy when I read in the papers that in Yobe State, the legislators and the commissioners were moving to Jigawa. Is it true Gwamnan Jigawa?
It is true! That means we are already giving up, because if the governmental institutions moved, it means those who are after us have defeated us and have taken over. What is the best way out? How do we arrest the situation because if governmental institutions in Yobe moved, then it means gradually we will begin to move…?’ “First, if the Niger State Governor feels strongly about the report, we would expect that the first thing he would do was to contact his colleague in Yobe to find out if it was true that his commissioners and lawmakers in the state were moving to Jigawa.
“Second, even if Governor Aliyu was unable, for whatever reason, to contact Governor Gaidam, one would expect him to show circumspection using a newspaper report to make such weighty comments. Interestingly, the newspaper in question had quoted the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Adamu Dala Dogo in its attempt to balance the story, rejecting the notion that legislators had fled the state and explaining that all government officials were on ground in Yobe doing their work. Would it not be more statesmanlike that the governor also reflects on what the Yobe Assembly Speaker had said?