Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture: Govs Zulum, Yahaya, others caution North, Nigeria on insecurity, restructuring

Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum yesterday said that banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity would continue unabated in the country if corruption in leadership position is not tackled frontally.

Zulum was responding to the recommendations for uprooting banditry and insurgency in the North given by the Guest Speaker, Prof Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, at the 10th Edition of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture and Merit Award in Maiduguri, Borno State held yesterday in the state.

Prof Muhammad-Bande, Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, had delivered a paper entitled; “Beyond Lamentations: Uprooting Banditry and Insurgency through Good Governance for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.”

He recommended the rebuilding of trust by leaders in the North, quality education, modernization of agriculture and building of infrastructure to end insecurity in the region.

But Zulum in his remark maintained that the recommendations would not completely solve the challenges until corruption is tackled.

“All these suggestions are apt, but we need to address corruption which is the root cause of our problems in this country. Once we address the issue of corruption, we will be able to solve banditry, kidnapping and insurgency,” he maintained.

Zulum noted with dismay that often times fund meant for the provision of quality education ends in the “melting pot of ministerial bureaucracy” of the public service.

“When we squander money for education then we can’t get quality education,” he stated, pointing out that lack of commitment by leaders and those in public offices is also corruption.

He said that the cost of governance in Nigeria is very high, adding that money sunk in hosting the Ahmadu Bello Memorial event in Borno would have taken over 1,000 people from poverty if channeled for such purpose.

The governor also said that disobedience to rules and regulations by those in authority would continue to affect the growth of the country.

He maintained that the constitution does not recognize the sons and wives of the governors, as well as those of the president.

“What happened during Sardauna’s regime is obedience to rules and regulations.

We will never get it right if we don’t obey our laws,” he declared, just as he urged the 19 Northern governors to take action rather than mere talking.


The Special Adviser to the Vice President on Political Affairs, Dr Hakeem Ahmed agreed with Zulum’s position, admitting that insecurity cannot be fixed until Nigeria addresses issue of corruption.

Also, the Gombe State governor and Chairman Northern Governors Forum, Inuwa Yahaya, urged the region not to be afraid of restructuring and resource control.

“We should not be afraid of the clamour for restructuring as long as it is with honest intuition,” he said.

The event was attended by the governors of Niger, deputy governor of Bauchi, representative of Katsina, former Niger and Kano states governors, Muazu Babangida and Ibrahim Shekarau.



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