From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Sunday said he endorsed Professor Babagana Umara Zulum to emerge as candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) governorship election due to his achievements while serving as the Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement.
Governor Shettima in a statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen said, “As Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement since September 2015, Professor Zulum has been in the thick of our recovery and restoration efforts. He has proved to understand the dynamics. He has established enormous amount of contact in the post conflict development sector and has earned the confidence of local and international stakeholders”
“Borno needs such confidence in the task of completing our ongoing social and economic recovery, rebuilding of communities and livelihoods”, the statement said.
“For our peculiar situation, Professor Zulum has shown the potentials to take Borno State to the next level. His age is also an advantage. At 48, Professor Zulum is in his prime, he is head & shoulders above me in terms of intellect, capacity & indefatigability. Zulum is without the slightest doubt, a workhorse”.
“Professor Zulum’s story in the struggles of life will connect with electorates. Professor Zulum fought his way from grass to grace. From a humble beginning, he hawked firewood to finance his education. Through unusual courage and determination, he is today a Professor of Irrigation Engineering and member of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies”.
“My recommendation of Professor Zulum does not, should not and will not stop any aspirant from contesting in the primaries. It is easy to market Professor Zulum before delegates. If we succeed, Insha’Allah, we shall go round Borno State, to remind electorates from Gwoza to Chibok, Bama to Damasak, Konduga to Kaga and all over Borno State. We shall tell electorates to look around their neighborhoods and see how Professor Zulum was able to rebuild their communities—from thousands of homes, hundreds of schools to healthcare centres and restored their livelihoods at the risk of being attacked by Boko Haram”.
“I will remind my fellow APC stake-holders and supporters that the contest before us is one that would require us to be together. No matter our differences, we must recognize that we stand to loose individually and as a group, when we sabotage our efforts. We must set aside our individual interests and preferences for the future of Borno and the benefit of our traumatized citizens”.
“I will like to express my continued and most profound appreciation to the honour done to me in giving me the task of making consultations on behalf of our great party. I believe I have to the best of my ability, justified the trust you have shown in me. No one would expect a Professor to become a stooge of any Governor. Professor Zulum has always been one with his independent mindset”.
“Fortunately, his mindset has proved to be highly progressive and productive. His records as rector of Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri have stood him out as much as what he so much achieved in our ongoing reconstruction and Resettlement of internally displaced persons and refugees affected by the Boko Haram crisis. In choosing Professor, I know, that I will be remembered for placing Borno above my personal interest”, he added.