The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Borno is “highly impressed” with Governor Babagana Umara Zulum’s handling of security and general performance that is “unusual in less than one year”, Usman Badeiri, factional chairman of the party said in a statement he shared.
He however said himself and the state, local and ward executives he leads have no plan to ever leave the PDP.
The PDP in Borno State has been sharply divided between two factions, one led by Badeiri who has been in the party since inception and the other faction led by Alhaji Zanna Gaddama who defected from the APC to PDP ahead of 2015 election.
Badeiri, who leads what he calls “authentic members of the PDP in Borno State” with executives at the state, local government and ward levels, said on Monday that the opposition party felt compelled to set aside party difference and give honour to whom it is due.
IT TOOK US 8 MONTHS TO DECIDE
Badeiri said the party, realizing it is an opposition took long to come public.
“It took us 8 months to come to terms with what we consider an obligatory need for us to speak about the kind of Governor Borno is very lucky to have. The PDP in Borno acknowledges, that Governor Zulum has been extremely supportive of the fight against Boko Haram, by not only providing the necessary tools to the established armed forces, but to equally critical volunteers.
Zulum has regularly been on humanitarian and developmental tour of most of Borno’s communities across the 27 local government areas, including tough and high risk terrains. He passes the night with our people to show leadership by example and in all visits to these communities, he strengthens community security with patrol vehicles, recruitment of more hunters and civilian JTF with increase in monthly allowances. In all his visits, the governor kick starts, monitors or commissions numerous projects” Badeiri said.
BEYOND 100 DAYS
Badeiri explained that the PDP started seeing some gains back in September 2019 when Zulum marked 100 days but the party has seen far more recently.
“In Zulum’s first 100 days, he delivered 120 projects, some of which are major ones in all sectors: healthcare, public schools, water etc. Beyond 100 days, he has laid foundation for an estate of 500 houses and the first flyover in the northeast, coming to live in Maiduguri.
“Zulum has never delayed payment of workers salaries and has turned out to be one of the first Governors to implement the minimum wage.
“The Governor has recently travelled to Chad to support multinational forces. He has equally been to see all the service chiefs and the IGP and has regularly received them in Borno state to exchange ideas.
UNPREDICTABILITY & TIME MANAGEMENT
The PDP in Borno state was also impressed with Governor Zulum’s unpredictable nature and how is works with time.
Badeiri explained thus: ”Like he was aptly described in a beautiful publication titled PZ REVIEW, Zulum has been fearless and has unpredictably been showing up unannounced in hospitals at night, at schools and public establishments all in an effort to see realities without relying on information that might be biased.
“The Governor has also been effective in his time management, and as we know keeping to time is a high level of discipline, that is not common with the political class in Nigeria.
“The Governor has established another office at the state secretariat and he shows up there without schedule and this has made commissioners and permanent secretaries to start going to offices knowing the Governor can show up in any ministry at any time.
“Most importantly the Governor spends more time not just in Borno, but in communities requiring needs and this is the kind of leadership every Nigerian should be proud to acknowledge and support. We are happy with Professor Babagana Umara Zulum and we urge him to continue in this direction” Badeiri noted.
WE ARE UNUSUAL BUT NOT HYPOCRITES
The PDP chairman said had at the beginning of his statement established the basis of what he described as an unusual position from an opposition party but said it was to avoid hypocritical.
“We know that it is extremely unusual for the most competitive opposition party like the PDP in Borno State to publicly speak highly of the Governor in a ruling party.
“What a typical Nigerian politician in the opposition would do, is to openly criticize a Governor no matter how well he performs and use the advantage of criticality to blackmail and seek favours from the same Governor at night. We are not those kind of politicians.
“We are straight, firm and with integrity. We accept that it is unusual for us in opposition to speak in the direction we have chosen, but we also recognize and accept that things are not usual in Borno state.
“Unlike other states, Borno is faced with severe challenges and having a leader who understands and shows high level of competence and character in handling these tough challenges, calls for the support from well meaning citizens who must, for a moment, put Borno ahead of political interest.
WE WILL PRAISE AND CONDEMN
Badeiri also said the PDP will, going forward, look at Zulum from both sides. He spoke thus:
”We are not like desperate impersonators that came into our home and trying to take the PDP over by hook or crook. Original members of PDP in Borno are known to be the most educated and sharp minded citizens. We are modern day politicians that are constructive in criticism. We will praise and also condemn when the need arises”
WE WILL CHALLENGE ZULUM IN 2023
Despite his praises for the Borno Governor, the PDP factional chairman said Zulum should prepare for formidable challenge come 2023.
“Zulum sustaining his leadership of aggressive development will mean greater challenge for us in the PDP ahead of the 2023 elections.
“That notwithstanding, his performance is merely raising the bar for the PDP in our search for a PDP candidate with the potentials to out perform him.
“As a notice of courtesy to the APC in Borno state, the PDP intends to produce a better candidate come 2023 and we shall in a united front market our candidate to takeover from the APC and do far more than the very good things Governor Zulum is currently doing”
WE WILL NEVER LEAVE PDP
Badeiri had in the opening of his statement said strongly that himself and his state, local government and ward executive do no plan to defect from the PDP they contributed in building.
“We are in PDP and shall, insha’Allah remain in PDP no matter what. Nevertheless, we recognize the fact that we are first of all Nigerian citizens of Borno State, who were mostly born and grew up in Borno State.
“We have obligations towards the Borno and our generality of people, as much as we have obligations towards our great party, the PDP. As part of the discharge of our obligations to the good people of Borno State, we as a political opposition normally scrutinize the affairs of the government in Borno.
“We have since May 29, 2019, critically followed the affairs of Borno’s Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum. The long and short aspect of our critical analysis of Zulum so far is that, even as an opposition in the PDP, we are highly impressed with his very unusual performance in less than one year.”