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Zulum Hands Over Power To Deputy, Embarks On Hajj Trip

The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has temporarily transferred gubernatorial powers to his deputy, Umar Usman Kadafur, as he departs for Saudi Arabia to perform the 2024 Hajj.

The governor and 1,815 other Borno pilgrims commenced their spiritual journey early Saturday morning.

This development was disclosed during an emergency session of the Borno House of Assembly on Friday, where Speaker Rt Hon Abdulkareem Lawan confirmed that Governor Zulum would be on a 28-day vacation from June 10 to July 8, 2024.

The speaker clarified that this arrangement complies with section 190(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which mandates a formal notice for such delegation of power.

According to the speaker, the temporary transfer is meant to ensure that the deputy governor can fully handle state affairs in Governor Zulum’s absence without consulting him.

This marks the second time Governor Zulum designated Kadafur as acting governor; the first instance was during a 21-day vacation in April 2021.

Governor Zulum boarded the last flight, which was carrying 175 pilgrims, from Maiduguri International Airport at 2:35 a.m. and arrived at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina at about 8:10 a.m.

After arriving in Medina, he and his accompanying officials, including some politicians, will proceed to Makkah to begin the main rituals of the Hajj.

However, his presence in Saudi Arabia has stirred mixed reactions among the pilgrims and state officials.

While many pilgrims have shown enthusiasm, anticipating improved welfare under his direct supervision, some officials from the state pilgrims board have expressed concerns about the demanding nature of his governance style.

An anonymous official commented, “This man (Zulum) will not rest and would never allow us to rest. He will follow every detail and take charge of everything if he’s not convinced. You can see the pilgrims celebrating his coming but we know who’s coming. It is not going to be easy.”

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