By Suleiman Sani
The Borno state Stakeholders Forum has strongly condemned the recent open letter written by Zanna Hassan Boguma (Zanna Boguma of Borno) to President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the state.
National President of the Forum, Ali Shettima who made the condemnation at a press briefing on Tuesday in Maiduguri also warned the Monarch against demystifying the sacrifices of the Nigeria Army and the nation at large.
The letter written to President Buhari and copied to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), the monarch claimed that from the happenings in Borno and elsewhere, the field commanders and their men in most cases have turned the theatre of war into a milking cow.
The Forum further advised Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma to rather take his plea to the politicians who have in one way or the other contributed to the challenges the state is facing currently.
The National President, Ali Shettima however, reads the position of the Forum as follows:
This press conference became necessary because the Borno Stakeholders Forum is alarmed with the misinformation emanating from the state as regards the operations of the Nigerian Military in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the state.
This is on the heels of the various news making the rounds on the social media space about Boko Haram attacks in Borno state and most recently an Open Letter written by Zanna Hassan Boguma (Zanna Boguma of Borno) to President Muhammadu Buhari criticizing the operational strategy of the Nigerian Military in Borno State.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is concerned with the way and manner certain individuals go about putting unfounded information in the public space without concern about the effect of such on the morale or psychological state of those involved in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
This insensitivity was aptly captured in the Open Letter written by Zanna Hassan Boguma, where he wittingly accused the Nigerian Military of indolence and lack of patriotism in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the state.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is alarmed as well as dismayed with such exhibition of recklessness and total disregard for the efforts of the Nigerian Military in keeping Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists at bay in Borno state since 2015.
In the Open Letter by Zanna Hassan Boguma, he attempted to make a comparison of the operations of the Nigerian Military during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the present administration.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum frowns as such an unhealthy attitude as displayed by Zanna Hassan Boguma, which is at best a mischievous attempt at seeking public attention.
The Forum wishes to state in unequivocal terms that Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma’s postulations are at best a figment of his imaginations and not in any way the position of the critical stakeholders in Borno State who are appreciative of the efforts of the Nigerian Military so far in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Forum also uses this medium to reinforce its earlier position that the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists does not stop at the table of the Nigerian Military alone. The traditional leaders, as well as the community leaders all, have a role to play in this all-important task.
The Forum wishes to ask Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma, what his efforts are as a community leader as well as a traditional leader in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in Borno State?
What efforts has Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma made towards ensuring that our youths whom Boko Haram fighters have been recruiting into their ragtag army are no longer recruited? What message has Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma sent to the politicians in the state that capitalized on the Boko Haram insurgency as it were then to their political advantage?
The Forum consequently views with reservations the Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari when there are other avenues with which Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma could communicate with the President.
It is at best an attempt to play to the gallery or an attempt to portray himself as a concerned stakeholder in the state.
The Forum states authoritatively that Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma in his capacity as the Zanna Boguma of Borno has not been known to have contributed whether in ideas or actions towards solving the myriads of challenges confronting the state.
And consequently, the Borno Stakeholders Forum would not tolerate attempts by individuals or groups to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian Military in its operations in the state.
The action of Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma does not in any way reflect the level of gratitude Nigerians owes the Nigerian Military for its efforts in protecting the territorial sovereignty of the country.
Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma must rise above petty interest in his conduct as a traditional ruler as well as a community leader.
He must in the true Borno spirit deviate from apportioning blames without evidence, and he must also live up to expectations by ensuring that his subjects are of ethical behaviour at all times.
As a community leader, he must educate the youths at all times on the demerits of joining the Boko Haram group.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is not ignorant of the numerous sacrifices of the Nigerian Military in the Theatre of Operation in the state, and consequently extends its appreciation as well as charge the troops to continue to give in their best.
The Forum extends its full support to the operations of the Nigerian Military in the state and wishes to advise individuals and organizations to desist from playing to the gallery, by making unfounded and highly misleading statements on the pages of newspapers.
The task at hand requires all hands to be on deck. The Military cannot do it alone, and as such, it behoves on religious, traditional, and community leaders to play their role effectively if we are desirous of overcoming our present challenges in the state.