Did Zulum play to the gallery?

Borno State Governor, Zulum

By Yakubu Ahmed-BK

The so-called “outburst” of Borno state Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum against alleged extortion by soldiers at a military checkpoint near Maiduguri a couple of days ago, has attracted mixed reactions.

While many Nigerians from all walks of life see the Governor’s reaction as right and driven by patriotic instincts, we have a minority but very informed group of people who feel that the conduct of the Governor was, more or less, playing to the gallery.

The former feel that the level of extortion by security forces at the checkpoint was so brazen and irresponsible that no Governor worth his salt would condone it. In their view, the “outburst” was about the only way to send the message that “enough is enough.”

The later group, on the other hand, believes that the Professor should have been more tactical by protesting to the military high command and sitting down with them to address the grey areas, instead of openly lampooning the soldiers and disgracing them in public.

Some people say that the upsurge of attacks by insurgents particularly on the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway lately, was as a result of soldiers’ “siddon look” to drive home their anger at the “outburst.” Their fear is that if the military decides to be lackadaisical with the war against terror in the North East, the consequences would be dire.

What do you think?