As Nigeria battles to defeat the dreaded virus that has forcefully become a pandemic to the world, Nigerian political leaders have continued to receive bashing for Nigerians who have kept thanking Coronavirus for making the leaders feel the pang of an underdeveloped health system they refused to build. As the confirmed cases call for more isolation and treatment centres, Nigerians have kept on calling out their leaders for short-changing the system and reaping the reward of their negligence. One governor that has kept on enjoying the ride is Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, the governor of Borno State, who seems to be the most popular state governor in Nigeria. Apart from the manner and way he has been handling the Boko Haram insurgency which had ravaged his state and his detribalized stance, he has won many hearts with a recent issue concerning the isolation centre he was purported to have built in Borno.
It was Dele Momodu that first shared a photo on his Twitter handle to confirm a photo that has been circulating on social media platform concerning the modern, well-equipped isolation and treatment centre claimed to have been built by the governor. Obviously, the publisher of the Ovation Magazine appeared impressed with what he has seen and was only looking for confirmation. Further investigation crowd investigation later showed that the centre was a dialysis centre built by the Borno State government and not an isolation centre. The whiff of the rumoured isolation centre got to Prof. Zulum and he took to Twitter to immediately clear the air on the matter. Tweeting @ProfZulum, the governor titled the tweet No to Falsehood. He then proceeded to write :
Hi! I have come across pictures of our kidney dialysis centre in Maiduguri, stunningly packaged as our #COVID19 isolation centre in Borno. To set the record, those pictures do not represent our modest isolation centre. Our priority is on tough prevention.
This rebuttal became a talking point in a country where politicians deny negative reports, whether true or not, but leave positive reports regardless of its veracity to fester to score political points. And Nigerians responded to Governor Zulum praising him for coming out to say the truth.Clifford Oghenovo Ovrawah tweeting @Oghenov0 said “Sir, thanks for being transparent, d dialysis centre is beautiful & to my estimation equipped, u have done well sir…. In another tweet, Gbujie Ifeanyi tweeting @Gbujiel acknowledged the man’s transparency. He tweeted “ Truth is life, this means you have in your soul & deserve your appellation as His Excellency Prof. Where your colleagues would have enjoyed the devilish unsolicited hero worship, you chose to set the records straight. For a war ravaged state that dialysis centre is top notch.“
Praising his character, A.d Musa with the twitter handle @Ad_musa_jr, described the governor “ Educated, humble, respected, hard worker, hustler, the greatest and a leader who lead by examples. I wish you’re the governor of my state.” Looking at the opportunity to politicise the information especially at the period of a crisis like this, Ikenna Ochei @ikoreal2005, he said, “ Politiciasation of information at this time of crisis only serves the interest of pseudo elitism. You are an honest public servant. God bless Borno State.”
At a time like this, it takes strong character to come out and deny a piece of information that could give the governor some digital goodwill. That Governor Zulum came out to clear the air is a sign of his strong principle of honesty.