One Borno picture that tells so much about vanity of power


(From left): Gov-elect Umara, Gov Shrttima, ex-Gov Sheriff
(Photo source- online Bature)

By Abdulkareem Haruna

"Anyone who has lost something they once thought was theirs foreve,  finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them."

Or is there any maxim , better than this  quote by Paulo Coelho that could  aptly describe the lives of those three Borno governors in the picture above?

From right to left, are men whom God favored to be governors of Borno state. 

One has long served his time and it lasted 8 years.

The second man has only 24 days left to end his constitutionally allowed 8 years tenure.
The third man has 23 days  to start his own tenure as Governor of Borno state.

It is indeed one of the most beautiful photographs I have seen in recent times. 

A picture that tells one a humbling story of how beautiful, sweet and some times deceptive life could be especially if it places you on the spotlight of power.

I love the picture because it tells a tale of the past the present and future of Borno state.

People, not necessarily governors or presidents alone, must understand that life is like vanishing dew, a passing apparition
or the sudden flash
of lightning -- already gone -- so should one regard one's self.

We have to always strive or develop courage to understand that as mortal humans, no permanence is ours; because we are like a wave that flows to fit whatever form it finds.

The three of the above great sons of Borno may have sometimes been deceived by the fullness of the cup of life placed, by opportunity, on their table to think that it was their special brilliance that gave them power. No it wasn't.

God grants all powers
About eight years ago,  exactly this time, Governor Kashim Shettima was the governor-elect and was in the same mood that the current governor-elect, Babagana Umara, is presently - waiting with burning anxiety, itching for May 29 to come quick.

In the same vein, about 16 years ago, on this day Governor Ali Sheriff was also counting days, waiting to take over from the then incumbent governor, Mala Kachalla (now of blessed memory).

And what is more interesting about the above picture is that the three of them are linked together by the chain of destiny.

Yes! Let no one make mistake about it that one has no influence on the realisation of the other.

For it is through the making of Ali Sherif that Kashim Shettima emerged and it was, of course  through the making of Shettima that Professor Umara is being realised.  That's how God designed it to be.

But we all must understand that a great future doesn’t require a great past and great present doesn't assure a great future. Everyone has his or her  unique opportunity to make the most of their given time. 

Sheriff has had his time; good or bad,  it is now history.

Shettima has also had his time and it will soon be judged whether good or bad.

Professor Umara will soon have his chance, and only God, who is the ultimate knife that knows the inside of a water melon, knows what it will turn out to be.

But if God spares our lives,  we will be there, at the end of the day, to give our verdict - and even his time would some day be in the book of history.

The lesson about this picture is that everything in life is ephemeral. It is time bound, and must end one day. Then people will judge you. Mostly, you are judged based on your flaws.

But what is certain is that no government or administration is completely bad.

The advise for leaders is that when they grab the reins of power, they should know that the horse pulling their chariot of glory knows where to stop. So they must not be carried away by the deceptive hailings of those falling on their knees and heads to worship them by the road sides.

Leaders must refrain from being idolised.
For when something contingent and impermanent is raised to the status of something necessary and permanent, a devil is created.

Yes! This may not be applied to political power alone; it could be an ego, a nation-state, or a religious belief taken beyond limit - the result is the same; it makes devils out of one.

I will end this photo appreciation monologue with a story once told by Abraham Lincoln about an Eastern monarch who had once charged his great wise men to help him invent words sentence that will  for ever remain in view.

A sentence that will be evergreeen in the test of time. And that this sentence will not be imaginary but a truism that will remain true and  appropriate in all times and situations from generation to generation.

The wisemen brainstormed for days and then presented him this words: "And this too, shall pass away."

The monarch was wowed because the sentence wasn't only a perfect expressesion; but it goes to express how humbling it is in the hour of pride! And how consoling it could be in the depths of affliction. 

May God guide our leaders right.

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