By Sani Idris
Kaduna, Aug. 5, 2020 A coalition, comprising some pro-democracy and media stakeholders, on Wednesday described the attack on the convoy of Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, as unfortunate and uncalled for.
At the end of its two-day round table discussion and press briefing in Kaduna, the coalition described the attack as an attempt to frustrate the governor’s efforts in ensuring the well-being of the vulnerable in Borno.
The briefing was jointly addressed by Mr Dauda Mbaya, the chairman report drafting committee and coordinator, GoodNews Nigeria; and Malam Aminu Musa, the National Director Buhari Media Vanguard (BMV).
Others were Mr Bala Kabiru of Network For Good Governance (NGG) and Hon. Victor Bobai of Transparency Monitors Media.
They spoke under the theme: ‘The menace of security threats on political leaders, the case of Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum’.
According to the coalition, the attack, which occurred while Zulum was on his way to distribute palliatives to Internally Displaced Persons for the Sallah celebration, was unfortunate.
They said the attack was a desperate act by criminal elements, aimed at sabotaging a democratic leader whose efforts were anchored on reducing the sufferings of IDPs who had been traumatised by terrorists.
“These enemies of peace and humanity are capable of destroying the ingredients of hope Nigerians have upon a shinning star like Zulum, who we consider a national asset.
“It is an unfortunate situation that such incident can keep jeopardising all efforts toward making life easier for victims of violence in the state and across the country over the years.
“We strongly condemn this attack and stand with Zulum, who has demonstrated courage in personally reaching out to people in need, despite the dangers.
“We encourage him not to give up; considering the efforts of the security agencies working hard to protect lives and property of the people,” the coalition said.
The coalition also noted that political safety and democratic activities are gradually eroding, due to continuous attacks across the nation.
It stated that, over the years, the level of violence that always characterises the activities of political conflicts during periods of electoral cycle has increased, especially since after 2011-2019 electoral periods.
“We are confident that the attacks on Zulum was as a result of his rich achievements within a very short period as the most performing governor in the country,” it said.
The coalition added that, as democratic and media stakeholders, the group had placed the searchlights on Zulum’s performance and recognises his performance, which topped a nationwide comparative assessment.
“The assessment we carried out in collaboration with a critical group of journalists, however, made us stand to condemn negative acts against a leader with many achievements in less than two years of his tenure in office”, the coalition said.
The coalition also called for the establishment of an independent body to appoint heads of security agencies and who should have assured security of tenure.