Yemi Adebowale’s ‘Ring True’ musing on Yobe’s expenditure to support the security agencies in the fight against Boko Haram actually rang false (Thisday Saturday January 24). It’s amazing that someone who has a whole page in a respected news medium like Thisday would display naked provincialism with the facts and arrogate to himself knowledge of something he is totally ignorant about.
Yes, Governor Gaidam has said that from November 2011 when Boko Haram launched their first major attack against Yobe State to date, the State Government had spent N10 billion in logistics support to the security agencies, payment of allowances, provision of medical support and support to the families of security personnel killed in the line of duty.
First, the military, police and the State Security Service (SSS) have never denied or doubted Governor Gaidam’s statement. The security forces on the ground are witnesses to, and thankful for, the support that the Yobe State Government regularly offers as its contribution to the effort to reclaim our state from the murderous onslaught of Boko Haram and their sponsors.
The Yobe State Government has the records of the military, police and other security personnel who receive allowances from its coffers monthly. It also has the records, including Engine and Chassis numbers, of vehicles procured and given out to the security forces as logistics support.
So, Governor Gaidam isn’t merely making a claim for which Mr. Adebowale stand ‘flummoxed’. He was making a statement of fact that is borne out day by day. Plus, the Governor has re-stated his determination to stand with the security forces as they remain in harm’s way working to protect the people of Yobe State.
I think Mr. Adebowal’s assertion that some governors are using the Boko Haram crisis as an ‘opportunity to steal’ with reference to Governor Gaidam is borderline senseless – and arrogant. You cannot stand ‘flummoxed’ (unless you are a pathologically confused person) and reject a statement made on the basis of facts unless you have a superior argument and more demonstrable facts. Adebowale’s assertion also disrespects the pains that the Government and people of Yobe State go through every day as a result of the Boko Haram crisis and the unusual extents the Government must reach to do its part to accelerate the return to normality.
Instead of backing up his ‘flummoxing’ dubiety with facts that his readers can relate to, the writer, simply because he has a page to scribble whatever he wanted, decided to take us all for a ride, ridiculing an effort by the Yobe State Government that others, including the Nigerian military, have commended.
“Ibrahim Gaidam’s N10bn Expenditure on Boko Haram” published in Thisday last Saturday is, therefore, clearly a beside-the-point new low in column writing that is not normally associated with the newspaper.
Bego wrote in from Government House Damaturu (firstname.lastname@example.org)