Chris Steven, Abuja
Borno Stakeholders Forum (BSF) has sent a stern warning to one of its traditional rulers to desist from undermining the sacrifices of the gallant Nigerian military in the state.
In an open letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, Zanna Boguma of Borno, Zanna Hassan Boguma, had attempted to rubbish the massive gains of the military even while acknowledging their “gallantry” in the frontline.
In a press statement signed by President Ali Shettima on Tuesday, the group of indigenes, consisting of critical stakeholders, expressed dismay at the “misinformation regarding the operations of the Nigerian Military in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist”.
According to the Borno Forum, the monarch’s assertion is merely a figment of imagination and not in any way the position of the people of the state “ who are appreciative of the efforts”.
Acknowledging that the fight against insurgency is not restricted to the military alone, the group questioned the contribution of the traditional ruler in solving the myriads of challenges that he and his subjects may have indirectly created.
The Borno stakeholders, however, advised the monarch to quit the blame game without evidence and raise up to expectations by ensuring that his subjects are of ethical behaviour at all times.
Read the full statement below.
Being text of a press conference by the Borno Stakeholders Forum on the Operations of the Nigerian Military in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in Borno State and North-East Nigeria.
Gentlemen of the Press and other critical stakeholders, I welcome you all to the important press conference organized because of the false information making the rounds in the public space as regards the efforts of the Nigerian Military in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in Borno State and its fringes.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is an association, consisting of critical stakeholders drawn from various walks of life in Borno State devoted to the political and socio-economic upliftment of the state.
This press conference became necessary because the Borno Stakeholders Forum is alarmed with the misinformation emanating from the state as regards the operations of the Nigerian Military in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in the state.
This is on the heels of the various news making the rounds on the social media space about Boko Haram attacks in Borno state and most recently an Open Letter written by Zanna Hassan Boguma (Zanna Boguma of Borno) to President Muhammadu Buhari criticizing the operational strategy of the Nigerian Military in Borno State.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is concerned with the way and manner certain individuals go about putting unfounded information in the public space without concern about the effect of such on the morale or psychological state of those involved in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist.
This insensitivity was aptly captured in the Open Letter written by Zanna Hassan Boguma where he wittingly accused the Nigerian Military of indolence and lack of patriotism in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in the state.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is alarmed as well as dismayed with such exhibition of recklessness and total disregard for the efforts of the Nigerian Military in keeping Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorist at bay in Borno state since 2015.
In the Open Letter by Zanna Hassan Boguma, he attempted to make a comparison of the operations of the Nigerian Military during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the present administration. The Borno Stakeholders Forum frowns as such an unhealthy attitude as displayed by Zanna Hassan Boguma, which is at best a mischievous attempt at seeking public attention.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum wishes to state in unequivocal terms that Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma’s postulations are at best a figment of his imaginations and not in any way the position of the critical stakeholders in Borno State who are appreciative of the efforts of the Nigerian Military so far in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum also uses this medium to reinforce its earlier position that the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist does not stop at the table of the Nigerian Military alone. The traditional leaders, as well as the community leaders all, have a role to play in this all-important task.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum wishes to ask Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma what his efforts are as a community leader as well as a traditional leader in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in Borno State?
What efforts has Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma made towards ensuring that our youths whom Boko Haram fighters have been recruiting into their ragtag army are no longer recruited? What message has Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma sent to the politicians in the state that capitalized on the Boko Haram insurgency as it were then to their political advantage?
The Borno Stakeholders Forum wishes to advise Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma to take his plea to the politicians in Borno State who have in one way or the other contributed to the challenges Borno State is facing currently.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum consequently views with reservations the Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari when there are other avenues with which Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma could communicate with the President. It is at best an attempt to play to the gallery or an attempt to portray himself as a concerned stakeholder in the state.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum states authoritatively that Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma in his capacity as the Zanna Boguma of Borno has not been known to have contributed whether in ideas or actions towards solving the myriads of challenges confronting the state. And consequently, the Borno Stakeholders Forum would not tolerate attempts by individuals or groups to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian Military in its operations in Borno State.
The action of Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma does not in any way reflect the level of gratitude Nigerians owes the Nigerian Military for its efforts in protecting the territorial sovereignty of the country.
Alhaji Zanna Hassan Boguma must rise above petty interest in his conduct as a traditional ruler as well as a community leader. He must in the true Borno spirit deviate from apportioning blames without evidence, and he must also live up to expectations by ensuring that his subjects are of ethical behaviour at all times. As a community leader, he must educate the youths at all times on the demerits of joining the Boko Haram group.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum is not ignorant of the numerous sacrifices of the Nigerian Military in the Theatre of Operation in Borno State, and consequently extends its appreciation as well as charge the troops to continue to give in their best.
The Borno Stakeholders Forum extends its full support to the operations of the Nigerian Military in Borno State and wishes to advise individuals and organizations to desist from playing to the gallery by making unfounded and highly misleading statements on the pages of the newspapers.
The task at hand requires all hands to be on deck. The Military cannot do it alone, and as such, it behoves on religious, traditional, and community leaders to play their role effectively if we are desirous of overcoming our present challenges in the state.

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