Following a visit to N’Djamena in January, the Patriotic Front of Nigeria (PFN) has cautioned Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State against engaging Chadian soldiers.
The motive of Professor Zulum’s visit, according to PFN, was to invite the country’s army to come occupy Nigeria and help fight insurgency.
Speaking on behalf of the group at a press conference on Saturday in Abuja, President Dr. Tunde Olorunfemi revealed that Zulum acted as though he was Nigeria’s president with the gravity of utterances he made in Chad.
The group disclosed that Zulum plans to cede a part of Nigeria under the pretext of inviting Chadian forces to help Nigeria curtail the activities of Boko Haram and ISWAP.
The Patriotic Front of Nigeria, however, warned the governor to desist from this plot, urging well meaning Nigerians and the international community to join in the condemnation.
Read full statement below:
The Patriotic Front of Nigeria (PFN) is concerned to learn about the planned ceding of Nigerian territory to the Republic of Chad or to alternatively declare an enclave nation made up of Borno state and local government areas from neighbouring states.
This nefarious plan came to light with the decision of Borno state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, to elevate himself to the status of a president by running a diplomatic shuttle to the Republic of Chad, where he held several high level meetings in addition to making utterances that should only be attributable to a head of state or government.
It should be noted that Professor embarked on journey to Chad only after President Muhammadu Buhari upbraided the political leadership of the state for propping up terrorists to kill their own people. His visit to Chad, which he used to invite the army of that country to come and occupy Nigeria, is apparently a fall back option to escape justice for supporting terrorist by switching his state’s jurisdiction to another country.
Furthermore, experts see greed at work on the part of the governor, who possibly hopes to make monetary gains from crude oil exploration in the wakes of the proven reserves that have recently been confirmed. France has been after this natural resources deposit and had undermined Nigeria’s interest through Chad; it is this same interests that the Borno state governor is now latching into to undermine Nigeria.
We see an existential urgency for caution in this development considering that Professor Zulum now appears to be acting from the same script as the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists that had vowed to create insurgent nation states governed by the strictest configuration of Sharia law. It is one thing for the Nigerian state and military to be the fighting to keep the nation united in spite of the terrorist insurgency but is becomes totally dangerous when a governor deploys the instrument of state to back the terrorists’ quest to break up the country.
The seemingly lesser evil that Professor Zulum is out to cede a part of Nigeria to Chad under the pretext of inviting Chadian forces to help Nigeria curtail the activities of Boko Haram and ISWAP is equally unacceptable since it also undermines the integrity of Nigeria.
Even the populist posturing of the governor is not enough to atone for his treachery against Nigeria because it is most uncharitable to contemplate the invasion and occupation of any Nigerian territory by Chad on the invitation of Borno State Governor.
We urge well meaning Nigerians and the international community to join in the condemnation Professor Zulum’s romance with chaos. There are clear dangers to ceding even an inch of Nigeria to Chad while a breakaway Borno will be a runway disaster.
The entire region will be destabilized even as the waning insurgency and terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin will take a turn for the worse. There also the long term stability of Nigeria that would be jeopardized.
Whilst we are still battling with our territory that was handed to Cameroon by the Gowon administration, Nigerians will not tolerate any attempt to cut off any part of their country for Chad. The Federal Government must show that it understands this sentiment among Nigerians by identifying and punishing those that accompanied the Borno state governor on his treasonous journey to Chad while his own trial for this crime should commence on the day he loses his immunity. An example should be set to discourage any over ambitious politician from threatening the territorial integrity of Nigeria.