Angered by online reactions, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has queried his Commissioner for Higher Education and an aspirant for the House of Representatives in 2019, Usman Jaha (Babawo) for distributing kits with shoe polish and other items to youths in Gwoza as part of his personal welfare programme.
It was gathered that Governor Shettima lambasted the commissioner for embarrassing not only himself but the administration, a government official familiar with the development told a group of journalists.
A release issued and made available to Daily Sun said that, “The governor reminded the commissioner that his own Ministry has so far facilitated the approval of foreign Universities Scholarship to more than 300 Borno Youths amongst them almost 100 ladies studying medicine abroad as part of the Governor’s standard in human resource development.
“The Governor also reminded the Commissioner that his ministry is the one building Borno’s first State University after 41 years of the State’s creation and therefore wondered why on earth the Commissioner who is a Degree holder and has been visiting Borno students abroad, chose to distribute shoe polish as part of his own understanding of human capacity development for youths in Gwoza” the official told journalists.
There had been reports in the social media with pictures of hundreds of youths receiving shoe polish as part of poverty alleviation materials.
Some online media had reported that the programme was that of the state government.
Earlier, the Commissioner had issued clarification, on Wednesday evening, explaining that the programme was his personal intervention based on the request from the beneficiaries.
According to the commissioner, “The programme is my personal effort and it is based on the peculiar needs of the beneficiaries in Gwoza. All communities have their needs and these needs change from time to time. In my years as a politician who served at the Borno State Assembly before becoming a Commissioner, I have always interacted with constituents before making any welfare intervention.
“I make interventions based on their peculiar needs. There are times people ask for a particular support and we don’t have the liberty of imposing our preferences. We support communities in all sectors that include education, vocational skills and businesses.
“There are records. What do what our people want. I have once seen the picture of a serving Governor from a different part of this country distributing life chickens to citizens and I am sure it was based the peculiarities of needs.
“A good politician must be conscious of the peculiarities of needs in the communities he or she represents. A politician must be pragmatic and must not shamed of doing what his people want because the people make the politician.
“What is important to me is the happiness of our people in Gwoza, nothing else really matter,” Jaha has said in his statement.