Kanuri, Babur or Shuwa: Where Will Borno Political Future Leadership Lies?

by Abba Akhuwa

When it comes to political restructuring and power sharing in the heart of the Northeastern state of Borno, ethnicity and tribalism plays a vital role in various elective and appointive posts, that was considered to be fair and square judgment by the elders of the state- which is also believed to be the reason why the state was relegated from developing and allowing all her sisters state to a step ahead of her (the likes of Bauchi and Gombe).
Borno, like any other Nigerian states, is suffering from the incurable political disease of tribalism and sectionalism, more pertinently the seat of the Governor of the state.

Since the beginning of the fourth republic, only two contenders once opposed the mighty Kanuris for running for governorship ticket of the state- though the first to oppose belong to the third class regarded tribe in the state, the Shuwas, from Marte LGA. His chance of winning was so slim, considering the fact he belong to the most popular party back then in 1999, the PDP, which has a northern backing. He was sentenced to death for political elective office by the Kanuri’s, and since then, he only get appointment at their wish.

The other candidate, Margwi by tribe from Damboa LGA, who was trashed at the primaries in 2003 by the same party with the victim of the previous election, was swept away by the party leaders for their genuine reason to present a son of the soil who’ll be widely accepted by dominants of the metropolis. That his offense was also belonging to the minority tribe from the south didn’t came to him as a surprise. But that same Margwi candidate, which happen to be a valuable material and a national asset, was decade later seen at the federal cabinet presiding over the power sector. Performed overwhelmingly which left many of the regretters to wish they have the power of undo to undo their past  mistake of conniving to block his way to the govt house.

Traditionally, when it comes to political appointment and offices sharing, the Shuwa’s got the third ranking by capturing the Secretary to the State Govt office(a fair share). The second in line, which are the Babur/Bura mainly from the southern part of the state, got their fair share of the cake, too, which is the seat of the Deputy Governor, irrespective of any party or candidate and in as far as the high and mighty Kanuri’s will occupy the Governorship seat.

Majorly, the trio tribes are the dominant in the northern, southern, and central axis of the state. Kanuri’s at the North and some part of the central, while the Babur, Bura, Margwi e.t.c consumed almost all the parts of the south, and the Shuwas, considered to be the minority among the duo of Kanuris and Baburawas, dominated half of the central and also some part of the North. The Shuwa’s were regarded in the political circle due to their political influence and also for producing high ranking officials in both public and private spheres. They even once produced the state governor for some couple of months during the Shehu Shagari administration, Alhaji Asheikh Mohd Jarma, who later became a victim of the tsunami coup that brought the military govt of General Muhammadu Buhari.

The Babur’s, whom are regarded as the educational slaves of the state, were for a long time expected to overtook the affairs of the state due to their excessive partaking and participation in educational circles, in and outside the state. They dominate every educational, health and administrative institution of the state. Mostly, the commissioners for education and health  is like mainly reserved for them. But, still, there are some difficulties the Babur’s are facing, which grossly affect their dream of overtaking the affairs of the state. The Kanuri’s successfully divided them into two, in which, if two Kanuri contenders are in the race, each one will handpicked a deputy from different local government. That will divide the South, and for the North and central Kanuri’s, each one is a winner to them.

What influenced me to write this piece is the continued domination of the Kanuri’s at the seat of power, while contributing massively to the failure of the state by presenting certificateless candidates and some persons of a questionable character at every poll to run for every post of their wish, not considering the burden of embarrassment the state will take or carry later on his/her behalf. Their (Kanuri’s) usual participation in every electioneering season in a power hungry way or like an unwanted slave demanding freedom by violence is getting to a stage whereby one could predict their dynasty is at his crumbling stage or their certificate of occupancy to the govt house is getting burnt- which is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.

The question to ask is, should we expect a chain of gang up by the Baburs-Shuwa-Hausas and some other minor tribes in overthrowing the Kanuri’s dynasty at the govt house like the Northern-southwestern romance against the east and south-south in the previous 2015 poll? Were the Kanuri’s aware that PDP lost the seat at the center due to their continued domination by fire by force and also ‘chopping’ alone without the masses? Were the Kanuri’s also aware that once power is out of their hand, zoning will be established and the forever dominance will be history?

Before it dawned and this soon-to-be made chain roped your most beloved tool and powerful force, resurrect and rebuild Borno and shut the mouths of the minorities and continue ruling, else PDP will be the first to register their condolence.

Malam Abuy Abba Akhuwa, wrote from the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan.

Twitter: @abba_akhuwa