Prof. Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State is clearly one of the most celebrated politicians in Nigeria. Since May 2019 when he became the Governor of the troubled state, he has demonstrated an uncommon level of leadership that has endeared him to the hearts of millions of Nigerians.
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But none of his action has been as celebrated as his recent decision to reward a class teacher in Borno for her punctuality.
Zulum visited Shehu Sanda Kyarimi 2 primary school around 6:30 am where he met Obiageli Mazi, a class teacher. Impressed by her dedication to work, the governor commended and rewarded her with a cash gift of N100,000 cash. She has also been promoted as an Assistant Headmistress.
But interestingly, not everyone is happy with the Governor. In fact, he has been labelled a racist for allegedly referring to the woman as nyamiri during his interaction with the woman.
This was pointed out by Dr. Bongo Adi, a respected lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS). In a recent Facebook post, Dr. Adi, while commending the Governor for his uncanny leadership, slammed the Governor for placing emphasis on the state of origin of the woman and also referring to her as “nyamiri”, which is a derogatory term.
In his comment which was posted on 9 February, 2020, he said, “Yesterday, this footage
made the headlines and every mouth was spilling with praises for Gov Prof Zulum of Borno State, for showing uncanny leadership and passion for his job and rewarding a primary school teacher who made it very early to school before other teachers and students at 6.30am. Prof Zulum has been exceptional in his dedication to work, integrity and commitment to development despite the challenges of Borno, the hotbed of Boko Haram.
“But I have a problem with him and the system he superintends. Do not get me wrong. A system that makes a governor ask an employee of his state who has put in 31 years of service in that state, “where do you come from?” is sick and a broken one at that. Again, to refer to a woman who has spilled her blood for 31 years for the children and people of Borno derogatorily as “nyamiri” is worse than racist. It is tribalism at its worse.
“While we applaud Gov Zulum on the surface, I read from these two grave manifestations, his disdain for the Igbo and his haughtiness and asinine supercility. Nigeria is broken. The psychological infrastructure and mental technology that inform behaviour are perverse. Such a foundation can never stand a developmental state.
The post has attracted a lot of mixed reaction form Nigerians. However, one of the commenters was quick to point out that the governor may not have been the one that asked the woman her state of origin or made the comment on nyamiri.