By Idoko Ainoko
Interesting times have refused to go in Nigeria so much that I wondered how and why some individuals that rose to prominence through the goodwill of the people have now constituted themselves as a nuisance to the same people that voted them into office. I must state that those that are elected as representatives of the people are most culpable in this regard.
The case of Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, a member representing Chibok, Damboa and Gwoza federal constituency in the House of Representatives is indeed a pathetic one and a vivid example of how politicians play to the gallery and at the detriment of the people.
I say this after stumbling on a video during plenary where he stated that some wards in his federal constituency are still under the control of Boko Haram terrorists. I was a bit confused and wondered the areas he was indeed referring to given the fact that I am also conversant with the happenings in Chibok, Dambao and Gwoza federal constituency.
As the first line of action, I quickly made frantic calls to contacts in Borno state to verify the information that Hon Ahmadu Usman Jaha has just availed the country. But surprisingly my contacts in those areas wondered what I was trying to confirm because there was no such scenario in place. I was not satisfied.
I also reached out to more and more people, and in one instance I had to mobilize a friend who was resident in Maiduguri to visit these areas to get the first-hand information for me, and guess what? He returned with the same response as those I earlier contacted and this time around told me not to dissipate energy on issues that concern Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, as he is a known hypocrite and one of those that have benefitted from the system and also one of those that does not want an end to the insurgency so that he can continue to smile to the bank.
It was then that it dawned on me that I was indeed confronted with a mediocre individual that had thrived on exploiting the people for his selfish gains right from when he was a member of the State House of Assembly. To put in succinct terms, Hon Ahmadu Usman Jaha is such a cantankerous individual that is far from intelligence and one that is given to political and emotional blackmail when he wants his bread to be buttered.
I recall in 2014 when he failed to clinch the APC ticket for the House of Representatives elections, he went to town badmouthing his political mentor, Senator Ali Ndume and threatening to work against the APC during the elections. An account stated that the disrespect so piqued senator Ali Ndume that he gave him some slaps for his despicable behaviour and utterances that did not contain an iota of truth. That is the Ahmadu Usman Jaha for you.
So in a way, I wasn’t surprised when he went to town spreading half-truths about the occupation of some wards in his constituency by Boko Haram terrorists. I only suspected he was up to something in his usual cantankerous manner of raising false alarms, especially when his interest is not met. I can bet that if we dig further, we would realize that there is more to why Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha indeed raised this false alarm.
As stated earlier, as one conversant with how politicians have been exploiting the insurgency situation in North-East Nigeria, I know for a fact that the likes of Ahmadu Usman Jaha would do anything and everything possible to throw clogs in the wheels of progress as far as the insurgency in Borno state is concerned. For them, the status quo must remain.
So in a way, some of us were not surprised when some months back, he gathered over 5,000 youths in Gwoza constituency and handed them shoe shining kits which came fully equipped with polish and brushes as a way of empowering the people.
Wait for this? The situation is so pathetic that in Government Secondary School Ngoshe, in Chibok constituency, students learn under terrible conditions. When it is raining, the classrooms are flooded. When the sun shines, students take cover. Yes, this is the situation of things in the constituency of the self-acclaimed and self-righteous member of the federal house of representatives.
The questions that require honest answers are: How many people in Jaha’s constituency have received scholarships in his name? How many schools in his constituency has Jaha renovated? How many books has Jaha bought for school kids? How many have learned trades like tailoring, mechanics, carpentry, or other better paying artisanal jobs? Your guess is as good as mine.
This is more worrisome when it is realized that the same Hon Ahmadu Usman Jaha is a former commissioner of Higher Education in Borno State until his recent political sojourn in the Federal House of Representatives to represent a people that he is part and parcel of their present predicament.
I am afraid that the likes of Hon Ahmadu Usman Jaha are nothing but misfits and merchants of fortunes. They can go any length to protect their evil interest. They don’t care whose ox is gored. They speak from both sides of the mouth. Also, they feast on the commonwealth of the people with recklessness.
I am not sure Hon Ahmadu Usman Jaha is such that should be taken seriously on the floor of the House of Representatives and by the generality of Nigerians given his antecedents. Mind you they have been in this business of spreading half-truths, and it has worked for them in Borno state. But whether it would work at the federal level remains to be seen given the level of political awareness and enlightenment at the centre.
This first shot by Hon Ahamdu Usman Jaha, in my opinion, is more like testing the waters to see if it would be business as usual. However, I dare say this is the wrong environment for him and his travellers. The politics of Borno should remain in Borno.
Ainoko is a public affairs commentator and wrote this piece from Kaduna.