By IKE ABONYI
“It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different” – John Templeton.
The title of this week’s discourse echoes issues raised by the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum at the palace of the Shehu of Borno last week after surviving a frontal attack by gunmen on his convoy. The follow up question is, why is the governor being attacked? Answers to the last question explains also the first. The governor is under attack because he is trying to find answers to the first question.
To make a difference you must have to think outside the box. Outside the box thinking is used metaphorically to describe ideas that emerge from new perspectives due to different thinking of some heads.
When you stay within the box of normal learning you are not likely to make a meaningful impact of adding to knowledge. It’s when one walks outside the box to think that he or she is more likely to be a better thinker because in his unconventional means of directing his mind to something, a new strategy could emerge to implement new found concepts or knowledge.
Last week while Nigeria continued with their familiar bad news about social maladies, such as corruption in high places, terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, militancy, unemployment, cybercrime, immorality of all kinds, violence and killing at extreme measures, social media came up with two strange characters in their profession who chose to think and act outside the box. One a medical practitioner and the other a politician. One a female, the other a male, one in Nigeria, the other in the United States of America. The two of them Nigerians.
The striking similarity about the duo is that they are rebels who chose to think outside the box in seeking solutions to their challenges. They are touched by other people’s conditions and like to serve humanity even at the risk of their lives.
In America, a Nigerian-trained medical doctor, an Igbo woman but married to a Cameroonian, Dr. Stella Immanuel has been in the international news over her resolve to confront the global pharmaceutical mafia on the efficacy or otherwise of hydroxychloroquine drug in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Even though most of those who recovered from the virus have confessed to taking the drug, the World Health Organization (WHO) and some powerful health operatives in the World have continued to list the drug on the risk class that should be avoided.
Even President Donald Trump of America who tried to bring up the drug earlier by confessing that he took hydroxychloroquine drug was shut down by the powerful anti-hydroxychloroquine group supported by the WHO.
Here in Nigeria notable figures who contracted the virus like Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammad, amongst others have insisted they came out of COVID-19 after taking hydroxychloroquine, but some experts continue to play it down holding in secrecy the curing drugs for the dreaded virus.
But it took the courage and sagacity of Dr. Immanuel to break the jinx. After treating over 300 patients that comprises young and old including those with underlying ailments and recorded 100% success, no death, she felt the urge to fight the drug mafias. She attacked the WHO, the famous American physician and Immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been at the forefront of anti- hydroxychloroquine and challenged them to come out and prove that hydroxychloroquine is not curing COVID-19 disease on patients.
Since then she has received all kinds of threats including death, withdrawal of license and imprisonment but she refused to budge. As we speak, medical practitioners are divided as a result of her courageous exposure. France and other nations who hitherto barred hydroxychloroquine are already reviewing their positions.
Why are they against hydroxychloroquine you may ask, it’s too cheap and affordable to all and not too profitable for the drug mafias who want to use the COVID-19 time to make money before proliferating its drugs.
But before you scream wicked world, go no further, here in our beloved country for over a decade the country has been engulfed in a mindless terror war waged by a section of its citizens in the name of religious belief. Thousands of innocent souls have been wasted and trillions Naira worth of property destroyed, yet like COVID-19 some people milking from the hazard are helping to perpetuate it.
Just as there have been conspiracy theories over COVID 19 drugs so it has been over all the issues surrounding Boko Haram. This unending war has become a conduit to siphon the nation’s resources and enrich practitioners. The story of Boko Haram has been hazy since its inception in 2002 when late Yusuf Mohammad founded the group. Its history has remained conflicting just as its operations.
In May 29, 2019 Prof. Zulum emerged just like Dr. Immanuel did in COVID-19 incident as Governor of Borno State, the epicentre of the Boko Haram war, displaying true compassion for his people.
For 15 months now as governor, Prof. Zulum has been trying to unravel the real story behind the unending terror war in his state. To get to the root of the matter he needed to ruffle some feathers and march on some big toes and bear the accompanying consequences.
His first fight was against the military whom he confronted for exploiting his people through illegal tolls. Governor Zulum has been trying hard to mobilize his people out of the post war trauma. His passion can be seen in all his actions tailored towards ending his people’s sufferings. At a point rather than sit in the luxury of his gubernatorial office in Maiduguri, Zulum chose to take governance to the people at their various IDP camps and most troubled villages. He could be seen severally mingling with his people hearing and attending to their needs.
Last week evidence emerged that his style of people-oriented governance was provoking some powerful forces. He was attacked by persons said to be Boko Haram, but the governor sees it beyond the sect. According to him, the shooting may have come from non-Boko Haram members possibly from soldiers who were supposed to protect him and his people. Governor Zulum did not mince words when he said there was clear sabotage as he wondered how over a thousand armed troops could not contain less than 10 Boko Haram terrorists. All the posers he raised to the military commander on the attack on him did not elicit any convincing response.
“There is a very important question we need to ask, why is the insurgency not ending?” That vital question from Governor Zulum says it all about the wicked intrigues going on in the region. He feels that the President is not aware of the situation and should know the truth so as to resolve it?
Is somebody benefiting from prolonging Boko Haram war? The answer is in the affirmative given the unexplainable happenings including the avoidable attacks and deaths of troops.
After several intimidations and harassment and the governor is not shifting, the probable step now is to go for his life or to harass him back to office to careless about the harrowing conditions of his people.
You may be shocked like me and want to know why anybody would not want the killing of the people to stop and why a committed and compassionate leader like Governor Zulum would be a target. It’s all about money and interest. The same anti-people group indulging in blood money allegedly shared N100 billion allocated to the North East Development Commission to develop the war raged region.
It’s perhaps the same agenda that makes the Federal Government also to be more interested in the rehabilitation of the so-called Boko Haram surrenders than the welfare of the widows and children whose fathers were killed by them and now displaced at the IDP camps. It’s about money and interest, the same thing that is squaring WHO and some pharmaceutical drug mafia with Dr. Immanuel in the U.S.
But what is interesting and rewarding despite the pushy instinct of money over reason is that those who chose to think outside the box like these two heroes and heroines in Nigeria and America for the common good of society are usually under providence.
If problems must be solved in Nigeria, we must search and locate leaders who think outside the box like Dr. Immanuel and Prof. Zulum who will be willing to risk their lives and forgo their interests for the good of society. It’s usually said that everything we ever desired is on the other side of fear.
These two great characters are in the positive limelight today because they chose to imbibe the views of a Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh, that “Normality is a paved road, comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” Let Nigerian Government help Zulum find out why insurgency is not ending in the North-East? God bless.