President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians to remain calm, cautioning that panic over news of the first case of Covid-19 in the country, would only cause undue alarm and do more harm than good.
Buhari said rather than panic, Nigerians should strictly observe the advisories disseminated by the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the best way to prevent infection.
“This information is being broadcast in all available media by the Federal Ministry of Information,” he said.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari expressed sadness over the confirmed case despite preparedness and response measures put in place in the country’s borders and beyond.
He, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies whose diligence and efficiency enabled the case to be detected, diagnosed and isolated quickly, even while swift measures were taken to identify and follow up on those with whom the index patient came into contact.
He also commended the responses of the Federal Ministry of Health and Governments of Lagos and Ogun States as well as other relevant agencies to the reported incident and calls for vigilance on the part of all citizens and responsible government agencies.
This came shortly after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed worries that President Buhari had nor addressed Nigerians over the issue.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said Buhari’s silence showed him as a failed as a leader.
“PDP is worried at President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in standing up to the responsibilities of his office to address heightening national anxieties since the detection of the deadly COVID-19 in our country,” the statement read.
The party described as “absolute leadership failure that Mr. President has not considered it imperative to show concern by directly addressing a panic-stricken nation even in the face of escalated national trepidation and conflicting reports.”
“The PDP charges President Buhari to wake up and treat the COVID-19, deservedly, as a looming national disaster, which requires a prompt and full presidential involvement at the top level.”
President Muhammadu Buhari felicitated with the executive governor of Kaduna State, Gov. Nasir El Rufai on his 60th birthday.
The celebratory message was sent by the president’s media aide, Shehu Garba on Saturday. In his message, President Buhari said that although the governor’s entry into public service was accidental, his contributions so far to the growth of the nation have been well-thought-of and strategic.
The president commended el-Rufai for his insight and wisdom to lead people to achieve greatness at various levels, adding that the governor’s efforts were instrumental to the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 presidential election.
He also prayed for more good health and wisdom as he continues to lead the state to greater positive heights.
Critic and former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation.
Read the letter below:
Mr. President, many believe that you cannot read and those that believe that you can claim that you cannot go beyond three lines and that outside of that you can only comprehend cartoons.
I do not share either view. I know you well enough to concede that when you consider a literary submission of sufficient importance you have the presence of mind, discipline, health, intelligence and ability to read through it very slowly and very carefully weighing up every word. And that is precisely as it should be.
The first open letter that I wrote to you was in December 2015 and the following serves as the second.
You will forgive me because this is a long letter and I am fully aware that your attention span or ability to retain too much information in one fell swoop may not be as good as it used to be.
Nevertheless I urge you to do your best to muster the courage, energy and intellectual stamina to stay the course and to find the time out of your busy schedule to read it from beginning to end.
I have written it because our nation is entering into dangerous and precarious waters and I sense that something will give very soon. I am therefore constrained to use this medium to bring my observations to your attention.
Be rest assured that I speak out of nothing but love and concern for the welfare of the Nigerian people and it is not my intention to insult you or undermine and disrespect your office but rather to shine the light of truth on all your activities with a view to assisting and encouraging you to change your ways.
You will agree with me that, no matter how bitter it may be, that truth must be told. This is a sacred obligation on our part as leaders and a matter of duty and honor.
I owe you, the Nigerian people and posterity that much and I have little doubt that no matter how badly you may feel after reading it, history will vindicate me and prove me right and one day you will acknowledge and recognise the profundity, wisdom and foresight in my constant and consistent criticisms, admonitions and counsel.
Outside of that it is my earnest prayer that the God of Heaven, whose I am and whom I serve, will judge between you and I.
Your Excellency, kindly note and consider the following.
You released hundreds of Boko Haram fighters from prison claiming that they are reformed and a few days later 30 of your citizens are blown up by the same Boko Haram in Borno state.
Worse still on that same day 16 members of the same family and four others were herded into a room and burnt alive by Fulani militants in Kaduna state.
After these terrible events instead of rushing back home to stand with your people, you stayed in Addis Ababa, lamenting and crying about the security situation in Libya and you sent your Vice to a funeral in Nairobi. Such insensitivity, even by your own standards, is rarely seen.
It took you three long days to finally see fit to leave your foreign friends, leave Addis Ababa and fly directly to Maiduguri to express your condolences to the Governor and people of Borno.
Even then you could not muster the courage to go to the town of Auno where the bombing took place but only to Maiduguri, the capital of the state.
Understandably you were received with boos, jeers and shouts of “ba ma so” (meaning “we don’t want”) by the crowds that lined the streets and this was an eloquent testimony to the fact that the entire nation, including the north that you claim to represent and be a champion of, is fed up with you and can no longer bear your incompetence and inability to run the affairs of our nation.
Worst still hours after your condolence visit Boko Haram attacked Maiduguri itself hitting one of its suburbs called Jidari Polo.
Their leader, a cowardly creature that can best be described as a psychopathic, delusional, sociopathic, mentally-deranged, murderous, bloodthirsty, blood-lusting and unconciable monster by the name of Abubakar Shekau, even had the nerve to send you a public warning in a recorded message that was released to the public after you left in which he arrogantly and boastfully declared that you must never come back to Borno again or you would be attacked and that you “should fear and serve God and not cows”. He added the following:
“Buhari thinks he is a general but God says he is nothing. He hasn’t achieved anything in the sight of God. Buhari is deceiving the people and playing to the gallery”.
Mr. President, he has sent his message to you and to Nigeria and we have heard him loud and clear.
Yet most disturbing was not his sheer effrontery but the fact that the only thing that you had to offer the leaders and people of Borno state when you got there was a lame and self-debasing question which was “I wonder how Boko Haram still survives?”
You went further by blaming them for “not taking care of local security” forgetting that that is meant to be your job and not theirs.
In your so-called condolence visit you refused to take responsibility for your own inaction and failure and instead you sought to pass the buck to the very victims of terror that you claim to have come to mourn!
You refused to inspire and encourage them and instead you accused them of, at best, irresponsible behaviour and, at worst, collusion with the enemy.
This is not just a case of rubbing salt in their wounds but it is more like blowing them up and killing them all over again. Worse still as you spoke your Minister of Defence, who sat just a few feet away from you, fell fast asleep!
Mr. President I really do wonder whether you have any feeling or any compassion at all? Has the milk of human kindness stopped flowing through your veins?
Do you know that young students, women, infants and babies were amongst those that were blown up in the Auno atrocity?
Yes, you issued a statement immediately but you didn’t show up till three days later and your Vice, who was in the country the day it happened, never showed up at all and instead jetted out to President Arap Moi’s burial in Nairobi!
Kindly tell me what the Nigerian people have done to deserve this level of contempt? Or is there more to it than meets the eye?
Forgive me Mr. President but I am constrained to ask, why do you love terrorism, bloodshed and violence so much? Why do you find it so easy to forgive terrorists that are slaughtering your own people? Are you feeding your spiritual foundation and getting your power from the spilling of innocent blood?
Meanwhile your own Chief of Army Staff has told us today that:
“We have defeated insurgency but we are facing the challenge of terrorism. There is no-where you will not find Boko Haram, even in Lagos here, there are Boko Haram. In Kaduna there are Boko Haram. There are more across the North East. Many have been arrested here in Lagos. We have been tracking them. We arrest them and taken them into custody”.
I commend the Chief of Army Staff for his admission of failure but what he didn’t add was that after taking them “into custody” you ordered him to release them and even draft some of them into the Nigerian Army on the spurious grounds that they have repented and that they have been reformed.
Again the truth is that neither you or him ever “defeated insurgency” or anything else. Instead you encouraged and supported it! Both of you have failed the Nigerian people just as I predicted that you would and if you had any decency or honour you would BOTH resign.
Aside that it takes a very mean, callous, wicked and cruel President and Commander-in-Chief to release 1,400 terrorists who have murdered, butchered, slaughtered, tortured and maimed his soldiers and terrorised his people over the last 5 years.
Mr. President I am constrained to tell you that some believe that you are a sadist! They believe that your heart is as hard as stone and your soul is as black as night.
Relevant and instructive are the words of Mr. Charles Ogbu, a brilliant writer and essayist who has consistently proved that he is not only insightful but also deeply profound. Three days after the Auno bombing he wrote the following:
“Those who are asking for the sack of the Service Chiefs as a solution to the upsurge in Boko Haram terrorism are missing the point.
Nigeria is not currently being overrun by terrorists because we have a set of incompetent service Chiefs or soldiers who cannot fight the terrorists. Not at all. The only reason the Boko Haram terrorists are having a field day is because we have a President and a Commander in Chief who shares the same ideology as the terrorists and as a result prefers pandering to them as opposed to fighting them”.
He went further by writing,
“In fact a betting man would bet that the only difference between the Boko Haram terrorists killing, maiming and beheading Nigerians in the Northeast and our President and Commander-In-Chief is in their name and location. One is named “Boko Haram” and operates from the bush while the other one is named “Muhammadu Buhari” and operates from Aso Rock. If we were to remove the cloak of fear of detention by state oppressive forces, we would all admit they are both pursuing the same goal and doing a very good job of it. You that is reading this, you know this is exactly what is happening even if you may not want to publicly say it for whatever reason”.
He concluded by asking,
“Who ‘rehabilitates’ and releases captured terrorists back into the wild at a time the terrorists are still visiting death and destruction on his country? Even America with her sophisticated military doesn’t release arrested terrorists in the heat of the war because the chances of these terrorists going back into the wild to continue killing are very high”.
Mr. President, forgive me for saying so but the verdict is out and Mr. Ogbu has made a valid point. This calls for much soul-searching on your part.
I urge you to bear in mind that trading in the blood of your own people and indulging in all manner of barbarity, suppression of dissent, persecution of your perceived enemies and evil comes with a heavy price.
Every Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Herod, Jezebel and Nebuchadnezzar has a bad end.
Every tyrant, no matter how powerful and highly-placed, will eventually account to God and the people for his brutality and wickedness. Yours will be no different.
Anyone that doubts that should consider the plight of the Sudan’s former President, General Al Bashir. As the great black American Nation of Islam leader and one of my favourite heroes, Malcom X, once said “the chickens have finally come home to roost”. This has always been the case and it will always be the case. It is only a matter of time.
Over the last 5 years hundreds of thousands have died under your watch and virtually all have been killed by those from your core northern region. You turned a blind eye to it and even encouraged it.
Today belongs to you but let me assure you that tomorrow belongs to those of us that you have killed, persecuted, oppressed and treated with disdain and contempt.
On the 11th of February, at the burial ceremony of the 18 year old Christian martyr Nnandi Michael (the Seminarian that was abducted and later murdered by Fulani herdsmen) the respected Catholic cleric Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, a man of immense moral authority and intellectual vigour, courageously admonished you before the entire world, spoke the bitter truth and reflected the thoughts of millions from all over the country. Amongst many other things he said the following:
“This President has displayed the greatest degree of insensitivity in managing our country’s rich diversity.
He has subordinated the larger interests of the country to the hegemonic interests of his co-religionists and clansmen and women. The impression created now is that, to hold a key and strategic position in Nigeria today, it is more important to be a northern Muslim than a Nigerian.”
He did not stop there but went on to say,
“We are being told that this situation has nothing to do with Religion. Really? It is what happens when politicians use religion to extend the frontiers of their ambition and power. Are we to believe that simply because Boko Haram kills Muslims too, they wear no religious garb? Are we to deny the evidence before us, of kidnappers separating Muslims from infidels or compelling Christians to convert or die? If your son steals from me, do you solve the problem by saying he also steals from you?”
He then said,
“The Fulani, his (President Muhammadu Buhari) innocent kinsmen, have become the subject of opprobrium, ridicule, defamation, calumny and obloquy. His north has become one large grave yard, a valley of dry bones, the nastiest and the most brutish part of our dear country”.
“Today, our years of hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud and Pharisaism have caught up with us. Nigeria is on the crossroads and its future hangs precariously in a balance. This is a wake-up call for us. As St. Paul reminds us; The night is far spent, and the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. It is time to confront and dispel the clouds of evil that hover over us.”
He concludes by saying,
“On our part, I believe that this is a defining moment for Christians and Christianity in Nigeria. We Christians must be honest enough to accept that we have taken so much for granted and made so much sacrifice in the name of nation building. We accepted President Buhari when he came with General Idiagbon, two Muslims and two northerners. We accepted Abiola and Kingibe, thinking that we had crossed the path of religion, but we were grossly mistaken. When Jonathan became President, and Senator David Mark remained Senate President while Patricia Ette was chosen by the South West became a Speaker. The Muslim members revolted and forced her resignation with lies and forgery. The same House would shamelessly say that they had no records of her indictment. Today, we are living with a Senate whose entire leadership is in the hands of Muslims. Christians have continued to support them. For how long shall we continue on this road with different ambitions? Christians must rise up and defend their faith with all the moral weapons they have”.
I assure you that these were not the words of Bishop Kukah alone but rather the Holy Spirit speaking through him. He spoke the mind and the oracles of the Living God and you would do well to humble yourself, take heed and appreciate the Lord’s admonition and counsel.
Let us hope that you disregard the advice of the hardliners around you, learn from these words and change your dastardly ways though I doubt that you will.
Whatever the case and whatever you choose to do or not to do, know this: the die is cast, Caesar has crossed the Rubicorn, the horse has bolted from the stable, the cat is out of the bag, our eyes have been opened, we have lost all sense of fear and Nigeria can NEVER be the same again.
Mr. President, here ends my counsel to you but permit me to conclude this contribution with a closer look at the north that you love so much and that you seek to empower and enthrone forever.
According to the World Bank “87% of poor people in Nigeria are in the North”.
One wonders what 58 years of northern oppression, tyranny, aggression, manipulation and hegemony over Nigeria has actually done for the northern masses.
Since Independence mass poverty, terrorism, religious bigotry, ethnic hegemony, Islamic fundamentalism, arrogance, born to rule syndrome, the worship of cows, ignorance, disease, hate, racism, feudalism, pedophilia, child marriage, VVF, gender inequality, male chauvinism, the persecution of Christians, the suppression of women, corruption, deceit, greed, ingratitude, a sense of entitlement, tyranny, insensitivity, bloodshed, genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and gratuitous violence have all been deeply embedded in and associated with the core north.
Worse still, according to UNICEF, if Nigeria were to ever break up the core north would be the poorest spot on planet Earth.
I guess this is why northerners keep screaming “one Nigeria” and threatening the lives and liberty of those that do not share their view. Without Nigeria they would be groping in the dark, wobbling on their feet and literally starve to death.
All this yet they insist that they were “born to rule” and that southerners and Middle Belters were “born to serve” them and be their slaves!
Professor Yusuf Dankofa of the Faculty of Law at Ahmadu Bello University who happens to be a northerner himself put it in very clear terms and spoke the bitter truth when he wrote the following:
“I think the north is only interested in power and nothing more.The sweetness of power and the allure it brings is what appeals to them and not work. If not, how can a region be so decimated by its own internal contradictions and trudge on as if the region is not regressing. In the face of calamity, what you see is eerie silence, since power is with their elites who are thoroughly dependent on public treasury to survive. The poor too draws happiness from the fact that power is in the hands of their elites even if they will die of poverty and insurgency. We are happy that power is with us even though we don’t know what to do with it. This mindset will definitely lead others to seek to move out of the union. You can’t slow down your own progress and those of others and expect them to clap for you.”
Dankofa is absolutely right! What a people! What a country!
Yet I do not blame the core northeners: I blame southern and Middle Belt politicians and leaders who have refused to unite and who have failed to resist them and stand up to them over the last 58 years.
The history of our nation records that there were a few great men of remarkable courage, extraordinary fortitude and immense valour that not only did their best but were also gallant, fearless, selfless and outstanding in their quest to deliver our people.
Some of them were martyred and others were jailed whilst all suffered an unprecedented and unbearable level of humiliation and persecution. Yet despite it all they continued the struggle.
They identified and understood the problem and fought hard in their respective ways to fix it and deliver our people from northern hegemony, domination and bondage but sadly they all failed.
The new generation of southern and Middle Belt leaders must NOT fail because this is the final lap. For our generation failure is NOT an option.
We have no choice but to use all lawful and non-violent means to break the yoke of subjugation, servitude, slavery and bondage and to succeed in our quest for total liberation. If we fail to do so future generations of our people shall NEVER be free again.
We need the prayers of the saints and the fastings and supplications of the intercessors, the Prophets, the men and women of God and the Body of Christ!
We need the Holy Spirit of the Living God: the El Shaddai, the Elohim and the Adonai.
We need the Man of War, the Comforter, the Lord of Hosts and the Ancient of Days!
We need a great deliverer: a Moses, a Joshua, a Caleb, a David, a Cyrus, a Samson, a Gideon, a Jeptha, an Esther and a Jehu all rolled into one.
We need men and women of courage to pick up the gauntlet, take up the challenge and lead us in this great and cataclysmic battle and this monumental struggle.
We need to close ranks, build bridges amongst ourselves and forget past hurts, past disputes and past disagreements and agree to be totally and completely united.
Finally we need to look within ourselves and firmly resolve that it would be better to live a short life and die as free men than live a long one and live as slaves.
We fight not for ourselves but for future generations of our family, our lineage, our loved ones and our compatriots.
God forbid that they should have to live through the hell that we had to suffer called Nigeria: a land where the accursed rule over the blessed and where slaves ride on horseback whilst Princes and Kings walk around in bare feet.
The presidency has exposed grand plans by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to tarnish and rubbish the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidency said as part of this overall scheme, the PDP, with its belligerent politics, had been marching from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari’s administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said “They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative.
“The recent incident in Maiduguri, Borno State, where an overwhelmingly cheering crowd gathered to welcome President Buhari, while a handful were recorded booing him, is a part this elaborate scheme. It is misleading, as some analysts have tried to do, to read this as verdict against President Buhari, who emerged winner with 94 per cent of the votes cast in the Presidential election in the state in February last year.
“This was clearly a hired few, but the news was promoted by the opposition who had of course positioned themselves to record the booing – all just to embarrass the President.”
Shehu also cautioned a section of the political class against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions.
He said this had become necessary in view of received reports that about two thousand men and women had been hired to demonstrate against Nigeria’s service chiefs on Monday.
“This imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We urge the media to remain unbiased and discerning in their reporting, instead of becoming unwitting tools in the hands of the opposition.
“A group of politicians and beneficiaries of the Boko Haram insurgency is right now paying for people to join their planned protest against our country’s service chiefs, and they will no doubt seek the media’s collaboration on this as usual.
“But there is news and there is promoted content – two very different things, one of which should never make the headlines as these recent fake protests have done,” he said.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Maiduguri, Borno State on a solidarity visit after Boko Haram terrorists killed 30 people few days ago.
Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant on New Media to the President, on his twitter, said the visit was sympathise with the government and people of Borno State.
Buhari arrived Nigeria today after spending five days in Ethiopia, where he paid a state visit and also attended the 33rd Ordinary summit of African Union in Addis Ababa.
While in Ethiopia, he condemned the Boko Haram killings in Auno and promised to free the fresh dozens of abducted women and children.
For two days in a row, President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to tackle insurgency and defeat the menace.
He declared that his administration is fully determined to combat and defeat all acts of criminality, banditry and terrorism in the country.
He gave the assurance at a meeting with the Executive Committee members of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia (NICE), where he appealed to all Nigerians to support and cooperate with security agencies, who are ready to defend and preserve the unity of the country.
This is coming hours after he renewed the pledge to ensure freedom of all kidnapped children from the shackles of Boko Haram, at a High-Level Breakfast Dialogue on ‘Stop the War on Children Affected by Armed Conflicts, Dividend of Silencing the Guns’, a side event during the 33rd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Buhari, reacting to killings of passengers by the Boko Haram terrorists near Maiduguri, Borno state, Monday, assured that his administration will continually frustrate the operations of Boko Haram and bring it to an end, adding that his administration “is ever determined to frustrate their goal to hold Nigeria to ransom.”
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari at a meeting moderated by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, assured Nigerians at home and abroad that their protection would continue to remain a key priority of his administration, as well as fighting corruption and bringing prosperity to Nigerians.
On economic matters and doing business in Ethiopia, the Nigerian leader said he had been briefed on the challenges faced by some Nigerian companies with investments in the country, especially the Dangote Group and Lubcon.
“I have directed the relevant ministries to take up these issue with a view to resolving all complaints amicably with the Ethiopian authorities,” he said.
On the issue of Diaspora voting, the President, while responding to a request by the leader of NICE, David Omozuafoh, said he was in support of it, but that legislation was required to make it a reality.
“I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make Diaspora voting a reality,” he said.
On the conduct of Nigerians living in the Diaspora, the President expressed concern that some of their actions have not projected the country in a good light, urging them to change their ways and obey the laws of their countries of residence.
He, however, commended Nigerians in Ethiopia, noting that they had the highest concentration of professionals working in international organisations such as the African Union, United Nations agencies.
“This is a correct representation of the Nigerian spirit of excellence and high achievement,” the President stressed.
President Buhari told the meeting that his government is committed to supporting and protecting all law-abiding Nigerians, at home and abroad, to prosper, urging all in the Diaspora to help achieve this by being good citizens and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.
The President also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, reminding them that “while you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.”
He urged them to use their resources, skills and talents to help the development of Nigeria.
In his remarks at the meeting, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ethiopia since independence through the Embassy.
He described the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa as one of the Nigerian missions in the whole of Africa with the largest diplomatic and residential premises.
“Nigeria has continued to live the saying that Africa is the centrepiece of her foreign policy, especially with the many impacts in the AU, the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA) and Ethiopia as a whole,” he said.
The Ambassador commended President Buhari for reciprocating the visit to Abuja of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia given the country’s zeal to develop stronger ties with Nigeria.
He further extolled the President as one who has appointed the highest number of career ambassadors and attributed it to his flair for professionalism.
Also speaking, the President of NICE commended the President for the establishment of NIDCOM and his continuous leadership and contributions which have cemented Nigeria’s role as a central player in strengthening the AU.
Omozuafoh appealed to the Nigerian government to fast-track the implementation of the MoU with the United Nations on the Junior Professionals Programme allowing young Nigerians access to opportunities in international organizations.
“Similar opportunities should be explored with the UN Volunteers Programme, the AU Volunteers Corps as well as the ECOWAS Youth Volunteer Programme,” he said.
A minute of silence was observed in honour of Nigerians brutally murder by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday in Borno state.
…it is one sided, not from the full house
Former Lagos Commissioner of Police and member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Board of Trustees, Abubakar Tsav, has decried the statement issued by some of the forum members on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying the board was not aware of the statement.
Tsav spoke on Monday in Makurdi, that the statement was not a “unanimous decision of entire NEF membership.” N.Rs learnt
According to him, members of the board of trustees were not invited for the meeting where the decision was taken.
A Professor Ango Abdullahi-led NEFmeeting on Sunday had declared that the Buhari administration has failed to tackle insecurity and improve the economy.
Tsav, however, said the verdict was one-sided and not a unanimous decision.
According to him, he has not received any invitation for the NEF meetings for a very long time, adding that the last meeting he attended was when Paul Unongu was removed as NEF Chairman.
His words: “I am a member of the Board of Trustees of NEF, but for a very long time now, I have not been invited to NEF meetings.
“The last meeting I attended was when Wantaregh Paul I. Unongu was removed as NEF Chairman. I don’t know if the situation applies to me alone or to all other Board of Trustees members.
“The decision to discredit President Buhari may be one-sided and may not be a unanimous decision of entire NEF membership.
“All decision-making by NEF should involve all Board of Trustees members. It should be all-inclusive.”
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) led by Professor Ango Abdullahi has risen a verdict on Sunday, that the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has failed Nigeria during its meeting in Zaria.
The forum lamented on how President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has failed to tackle insecurity and improve the economy. The group alleged that the administration appeared helpless in finding solutions to insecurity as well as poverty in the country.
Addressing Journalists shortly after the meeting convened by the chairman of the forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, the forum’s Director, Advocacy and Engagements of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmad, said poverty, particularly in the North and massive social security have worsened under Buhari’s administration.
In attendance at the meeting were: Abdullahi, former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alamin Daggash (retd); Secretary of the Coalition of Northern Groups, Abdullahi Usman and Ambassador Yahaya Kwande; Deputy National Chairman of NEF, Alhaji Bello Kirfi (Wazirin Bauchi), DIG Labaran Wurno, Alhaji Yakubu Shehu and former MD, defunct Bank of the North, Hajiya Amina Yahaya, among others.
Baba-Ahmed stated categorically that NEF had before the 2019 elections warned Nigerians that Buhari lacked the will, competence and commitment to lead the country into a secure and prosperous future.
While noting that the relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, the Northern Elders said, the current administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution.
Speaking on the 2023 Presidential election, the Forum said the north will only support candidate who can find solutions to problems bedevilling the region.
According to Dr. Baba-Ahmed: “Northern Elders Forum has refrained from comments on major developments relating to management of national security and governance because it is convinced that these are times which require the highest levels of responsibility and circumspection in the manner elders and leaders in the nation contribute to the search for solutions to the multiple problems which face the nation.
“It has become necessary and appropriate, however, to make public, the position of the Forum on important matters that affect the manner Nigerians live, and the future we must address.
“The Forum regrets that by any standard of judgement, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security. Poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration. The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution.
“It gives the Forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that President Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead it into a secure and prosperous future before the 2019 elections.
“It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians.
“With this type of mind set, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation. Nonetheless, we believe that Nigerians must continue to raise our voices and organize through all legitimate means to demand that the administration addresses major failings in his perception of our situation and his response to our demands for our rights to security.
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the renewed vigour by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries to mobilise their own resources to combat terrorism.
He gave the commendation at the weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the opening of High-Level meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the State of Peace and Security in Africa at the 33rd AU Summit.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari called for new strategies by the Union to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in the face of new circumstances and emerging challenges.
He also announced that Nigeria has fulfilled its financial obligations to the AU Peace Fund up to 2019, pledging to continue investing in peace and security on the continent.
President Buhari declared that Nigeria is proud to continue to serve as a strong contributor to the peace roles played by the ECOWAS region.
”In Burkina Faso, we (ECOWAS) pledged to mobilise one billion US dollars to address the challenges of insecurity in our region and the Sahel. In Guinea Bissau, ECOWAS successfully midwifed the general elections.
”Nigeria along with ECOWAS member states led in the restoration of democracy and peace in the Gambia,” he said while welcoming the collaborative leadership of the AU with other Regional Economic Communities in resolving conflicts on the continent.
On security challenges on the continent, Buhari said it was regrettable that terrorism, violent extremism and other forms of vicious conflicts had continued to cause mayhem and untold crisis on the continent.
”Nigeria condemns, in the strongest terms, the perpetrators of terrorism in Libya, the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and parts of the Horn of Africa.
”We reiterate that efforts must continue to be pooled to mitigate this dreadful violence and secure the future of our continent,” he said.
On new strategies to resolve conflicts on the continent, the President said: ”The AU must strengthen its own capacity for mediation and develop an effective intervention roadmap.”
He added that more emphasis should be placed on promoting national dialogue, reconciliation and social cohesion in order to rally all actors towards sustainable peace.
On the Peace Fund, the President reminded the meeting that drawing from the Kigali and Johannesburg Assembly Decisions, the fund is structured for the internal peace support arrangements within the continent and not as resources to subsidize the mandate of the UN Security Council.
”In this regard, my delegation will always fervently contest attempts to make Africa subsidise the primary responsibility of the UN as clearly provided in it Charter,” he said.
President Buhari also welcomed the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to adopt the regional stabilization strategy for the Lake Chad Basin and the renewal of mandates of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.
Buhari hails ECOWAS for mobilising own funds to tackle terrorism
He told the meeting that Nigeria was very encouraged by the resolution of the continent’s standing decision-making body for conflict prevention, management and resolution, on the Lake Chad Basin.
”We are hopeful that the Inter Water Basin Transfer Initiative for the recharging of the Lake Chad will address some of the drivers of terrorism, particularly the impact of climate change and inter-communal clashes over access to natural resources.
”We equally call on the Assembly to direct the full implementation of these AU-inspired initiatives,” he said.
President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Olasupo Ayokunle, has said the body will not keep quiet against the killings of Christians in the country until such wicked acts stop.
According to him, the Federal Government needs to rise up to its responsibility of providing adequate security to tackle the spate of insecurity in the country.
Ayokunle spoke at the 12th annual lecture and awards of the Bible Society of Nigeria in Lagos.
He said but for the sustained pressure of the association on government, recent moves by the state to address insecurity would have not been made possible.
He said, “The government must rise up to its responsibilities. All our money is with the government, the entire commonwealth of the nation. So they have the duty to make sure that they provide security. I will not keep quiet until I see that this is done.
“To overcome insurgency, there is the need for the words of God to be in the hand of every Nigerian. The fact that not everybody has the knowledge of God is the reason the country is battling with insurgency.”
He said if the youth were equipped with the word of God, it would minister to their hearts.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Curbing communal conflicts and terrorism for sustainable national growth and development’, guest speaker and chief executive officer, Halogen Group, Mr Wale Olaoye, said despite repeated commitments of successive governments to tackling the nation’s perennial development and security challenges, the country was appearing to be an unsustainable nation.
He said, “Sustainability suggests that, as a nation, we have the ability to exist and coexist despite conflict and terror.
“It demands of us to maintain change, a balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change and future potential to meet our needs and aspirations.”
Olaoye said to attain those, the country would require the pursuit of a common ideal, as available resources must not be depleted faster than resources are naturally generated.
At the event, the BSN presented awards to the CAN president, founder, Centre for Value in Leadership, Prof Pat Utomi; Chairman, GTBank Plc, Mrs. Osaretin Demuren; and General Manager, Avein Offshore Limited, Joseph Duntoye.
Details have emerged surrounding the refusal of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sack the service chiefs after meeting with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, over the deteriorating security situation in the country at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
This came days after both chambers of the National Assembly passed resolutions on the security situation to formally present the resolutions to Buhari.
While the House urged the President to sack the service chiefs and appoint new ones, the Senate sought the imposing of a state of emergency on insecurity.
Findings indicated that though Buhari at the meeting saw reasons in the position of the House, in particular, he was not obliged to act immediately as requested by the lawmakers.
A top National Assembly official said that the President did not want to appear like he was taking directives from the legislature.
The official said, “The President was on the same page with the National Assembly but did not want to seem he was under the directive of the National Assembly.”
It was learnt that the legislators argued that given the current cordial relationship between the President and the legislature, Buhari should act on the resolutions, just as he expected the lawmakers to act on his requests.
The source said, “There was the argument that for reciprocity he should act on the resolutions of the National Assembly since he too expected the lawmakers to yield to his proposals to the National Assembly.
“But the President felt he would decide by himself if he needed to (sack the service chiefs), not because the National Assembly said so. He is not taking directives from them.” However, the President was said to be “truly embarrassed” by the security situation and admitted so to Lawan and Gbajabiamila at the meeting.
The official, who chairs a key legislative committee, added, “From the conclusions reached, he will eventually sack the service chiefs.
“He is buying time. What is not certain is when he will do it. He will allow some time to pass. If you know the President, he will not act now simply because the legislature wants him to sack the service chiefs.” Speaking with State House Correspondents after the one-hour meeting, both Lawan and Gbajabiamila admitted that the case of the service chiefs was a key issue mentioned among the general discussions on insecurity.
When Lawan was asked a specific question on whether the sacking of the service chiefs was discussed with Buhari, he said, “We discussed everything that matters as far as the issue of security of this country is concerned.
“We believe that we must be able to provide the necessary equipment and welfare for the armed forces and the police to ensure that they can operate and perform efficiently and effectively.”
When asked what Buhari’s response was, Lawan said the President agreed with the National Assembly that the security situation required urgent attention.
He said, “Mr President was forthcoming. Of course, as the leader of this country, he is more worried than anybody else about the situation.
“So, we are on the same page that we should to do whatever it takes to ensure that the security agencies can perform better than they are doing now.”
When asked again whether he thought replacing the service chiefs would bring immediate solutions, Lawan said the security situation had reached a “tipping point” that needed the intervention of all Nigerians, including whatever decisions the government had to take to bring succour to the people.
Gbajabiamila said “changes” would be witnessed by Nigerians soon, following their discussions with Buhari.
Buhari, not in haste to sack service chiefs – investigations
Meanwhile, those expecting the President to sack his service chiefs may wait a little while because an investigation conducted revealed they might not lose their jobs soon.
Our correspondent, who spoke with some senators on condition of anonymity after a closed-door session on Tuesday, learnt that the service chiefs might spend an additional year in office.
A senator from the South-West said the issue of the service chiefs was discussed extensively at the meeting between Buhari, Slawan and Gbajabiamila on Monday.
The Senator said, “The Senate President briefed us on the outcome of the meeting. From what he said, the President is not considering the sacking of the service chiefs for now.
“He has sought the understanding of the presiding officers on the issue and had promised to ensure a positive action in the areas of insurgency and insecurity across the country.”
A ranking senator from the North-East also said the President would not sack the service chiefs now, based on the briefing by the Senate President.
He said, “The Senate did not adopt the sacking of service chiefs as a resolution. It is the House of Representatives. I don’t believe that they should go. I am of the firm belief that our military will do better in the fight against insurgency with adequate funding and recruitment of more energetic personnel.”
A Senator from the South-South, who spoke vehemently against the service chiefs during the Senate debate on Wednesday, also confirmed that Lawan’s briefing had shown that Buhari would not sack the service chiefs immediately.
The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, IYC, has advised Nigerians to take up other measures of protecting themselves, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has failed.
This was contained in a statement signed by Pereotubo Oweilaemi, Esq., President, IYC worldwide, and made available to us on Saturday.
The youth group commended the Governors of the Southwest for coming up with the Operation Amotekun security outfit and called on Governors and leaders of the other zone to replicate the same in their regions.
IYC declared that Nigeria will know no peace until President Buhari rules this Country in accordance with the unity of diversity.
The statement added, “The growing insecurities across the Country are a clear indication of system failure. The central government has failed in its primary responsibility of securing lives and property in the Country. The people in power at the center has lost control of the system.
“Nigerians in the circumstance need to look for alternative measures to secure their lives.
“No place is safe in the Country because the center is no longer holding the ace. All-State Governors should, therefore, device a means to provide alternative security measures to save lives and property.
“IYC commends the southwest governors for taking that bold step to establish a regional security outfit called Amotekun.
Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, Senior Adviser to the President on Judicial Reforms and International Relations, has threatened a legal suit against institutions and individuals spreading fake news that she benefited from corrupt funds.
Mr Atuegwu Okafor, a Solicitor to Ibekaku-Nwagwu disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
“We have read with profound dismay a publication in a popular online outfit which it alleged that Ibekaku- Nwagwu was indicted for illegally benefiting from corrupt funds.
“We have conferred with Ibekaku-Nwagwu and hereby state unequivocally that the publication is false in its entirety.
“In the said publication that was published by this popular online outfit and widely disseminated to several papers, it claimed that EFCC has alleged that Ibekaku Nwagwu benefited from funds that were gifted to the Federal Ministry of Justice in 2011’’, he said.
Okafor further explained that: “since reading that report, we have made efforts to find out the source of the information as we only became aware of such story on the pages of the newspaper’’.
He said the firm would take the necessary legal actions to protect Ibekaku-Nwagwu, her family, and her hard-earned reputation.
According to him, the widespread fake news is a crass design to dent the good reputation the adviser to the president has built over the years.
“ The EFCC is yet to inform Ibekaku Nwagwu of how she benefited personally from the funds and why her name was mentioned in a document that does not reflect the work she did for the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“It is important to put on record that Ibekaku Nwagwu was only an Adviser to the Federal Ministry of Justice on Justice Reform in 2011 as she was on leave of absence from EFCC, her primary place of assignment.
“She was also providing support through the British High Commission to the Federal Ministry of Justice. She was never a staff of the Ministry of Justice’’, Okafor said.
Okafor also said: “all her work was geared towards providing training to various departments in the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“She was also tasked with developing Justice Reform Plans for the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“She never had any approving or accounting role and therefore could not have benefitted from any fund personally’’.
Okafor also said that the popular online medium falsely stated that Justice Funmilayo Ajayi of the Federal High Court Benin in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/103/2018 had indicted Ibekaku-Nwagwu in Nov. 2019 over corruption charges.
“It has become necessary to reiterate that Ibekaku- Nwagwu was not a party to the said suit and at no point was she indicted by the Court.
“We have read through the record of proceedings and Judgment of the court and nowhere was Ibekaku-Nwagwu mentioned in the whole process.
“This latest false media report by this popular online medium is simply a conjecture meant to hurt and blackmail our client’’, he said.
Okafor explained that it was on record that the news medium that first reported this false information orchestrated by a “fifth columnist’’ withdrew it and apologized to Ibekaku-Nwagwu.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has alleged that Nigeria would have been dead and gone if his principal was not elected as the country’s President in 2015.
In a new article titled “Insecurity: What Buhari has done, and is doing”, the Presidential spokesperson claimed Boko Haram who were heading to the south would have taken over the entire northern Nigeria.
According to Femi Adesina, bombs were going off like firecrackers in the country daily before President Buhari took over. He stated that the first thing Buhari did after he resumed office was to restore morale of the Nigerian military by reequipping, retraining and improving salaries and welfare.
Read the article below;
Each time he itemizes the three focal areas of government, President Muhammadu Buhari follows the same order: we shall secure the country, because you have to first secure a country or institution before you can efficiently manage it. We will revive the economy, and create jobs, particularly for our teeming youths, and then, we will fight corruption.
The order above shows the priority that the President gives to security, as well as law and order in the country. But each time there’s a glitch or snafu (situation normal all fouled up) in the country, some naysayers scream and wail as if nothing is being done. But the hard truth is that a lot has been done in terms of security, and is still being done by the Buhari Administration.
When he came in May 2015, what did he meet? A country that was almost in disarray, with bombs going off like firecrackers daily. The insurgency by Boko Haram was festering in the North-east, North-West, North-Central, with Abuja, the Federal capital having been serially bombed. There was Nyanya 1, Nyanya 2, United Nations Building, Police Force Headquarters, series of shopping malls, churches, mosques, and many others, all bombed, with many lives lost.
The insurgents were already in Kogi State, almost overrunning it. And from there, where would they have headed? South-west, from where they would bivouac in South-south, and the country would be gone. Dead. Forgotten.
But at Eagle Square, where he took the oath of office on that memorable day, the brand new President gave a directive. The command centre of the Boko Haram war should move to Maiduguri, in Borno State, which was the epicenter of the insurgency. Pronto, the Service Chiefs moved, and the country was saved.
Boko Haram got flushed out of Abuja, North-central, North-west, Yobe, Adamawa, and got circumscribed in Sambisa Forest. Soon, their last stand, Camp Zero fell, and since then, they have been scattered like sheep without shepherd. They mingled with the civilian population, from where they launch cowardly atavistic attacks. They became degraded, but just like a scorched snake, not beheaded yet, they still retain capacity for evil. But can you compare what is, with what used to be? Not at all.
But some people have short memories. They say not much is being done to tackle insecurity by the Buhari government. Really?
Admittedly, many more frontiers of insecurity have been opened: banditry, kidnapping for ransom, communal clashes, farmers/herders clashes, and many others. But the baby that says the mother will not sleep, he too will not snooze at all.
The Nigerian military was in tatters before Buhari came. They were ill equipped, ill trained, ill motivated, and were turning their backs to the enemies in the frontline. First thing to do was to restore morale through reequipping, retraining and improvements of salaries and welfare. It affected both the police and the military.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar gave an idea of what was, and what is, in Abuja two days ago, when President Buhari inaugurated two Agusta 109 Power and one MI-171 E helicopters.
Said the Air Chief: “Just five years ago, the Nigerian Air Force was facing serious challenges with an abysmal 35 percent aircraft serviceability status for all operable aircraft. At the same time, terrorism, insurgency and other heinous crimes were ravaging the nation with Improvised Explosive Devices exploding not only in the North-east but, indeed, in several urban centers, including the Federal Capital Territory.
“On assumption of office, the President approved the procurement of military equipment including fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships. This visionary step has profoundly impacted positively on Nigerian Air Force operations…Government has so far procured and inducted 22 aircraft, the Service is expecting 17 additional platforms including 12 Super Tucanos from the United States… The Service has undoubtedly come a long way from where it was in 2015.”
Just like its motto, the Nigerian Air Force is now willing, able and ready. President Buhari did it.
The army, navy, police, and all other security agencies are not left out in the new wind of reequipping and retraining blowing across the sector. And the result is the bloody nose being given criminals in different parts of the country. And it continues, till the whole land is secured.
If there was efficiency, why is there proliferation of regional security outfits; Amotekun in the South-West, Shege-Ka-Fasa in the North, and with other parts of the country warming up to set up their own? Good question. Security is collective responsibility. It is a collaboration between the government and the people, and those who heap all the blame on government, for political capital, are missing the point. The people must be involved in securing their communities and country, but within the bounds of the law.
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), established by Nigeria and her neighbors to combat insurgency, got a fillip as soon as President Buhari got to office. With headquarters in N’djamena, Chad, it became a potent fighting force, under the inspiration of Buhari. The contribution to routing of the insurgents is unquantifiable.
What of the many military operations launched in different parts of the country, without which the land may have been impossible to live in?
Operation Lafiya Dole has recorded remarkable successes against Boko Haram. Over 12,000 hostages held by Boko Haram have been released, roads abandoned for many years have been reopened, same for schools closed for over two sessions, while emirs who fled their palaces have returned.
Operation Safe Corridor was established in 2015 to de-radicalize repentant insurgents. Thousands of them have reformed.
Operation Sharan Daji is a collaboration between the armed forces and other security agencies set up to combat banditry and cattle rustling in the North-West. Last week, the President said government was going to be harder on bandits, and two days ago, special forces of the police raided the Ansaru terror group in Kaduna, killing about 250 terrorists.
What of Operation Safe Haven/ Whirl Stroke? This was set up, composed of the military and other security agencies, to combat cases of farmers/ herdsmen clashes in states like Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, and others. It is recording relative successes.
There’s Operation Delta Safe, which has restored sanity in the Niger Delta, Operation Awatse, which flushed out all manners of criminals in the riverine areas of Ogun and Lagos states, Operation Puff Adder by the police, and many others. Does anybody then still wonder what the Buhari Administration is doing on tackling insecurity? Even the blind can see it, and the deaf can hear it. Well, except those who choose to be willfully blind and willfully deaf. There’s not much anybody can do to help them.
There was a time the Abuja-Kaduna road was crawling with abductors and kidnappers. Not anymore. Relative sanity has been restored. Kidnappers are being arrested, and made to face the law. And it is work in progress.
Consider this checklist of breakthroughs against criminals in recent times:
• Arrest in April 2016 of Usman Mohammed, aka Khalid Al-Barnawi, leader of the Ansaru Terrorist group and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, with a US$6m United States bounty on his head. He’s currently being prosecuted alongside his accomplices.
• Arrest in March 2017 of Amodu Omale Salifu, leader of an ISIS affiliate group active in North Central Nigeria, plotting to bomb foreign embassies.
• Arrest of two suspected Ansaru leaders, Ahmed Momoh and Al-amin Mohammed Jamin, in April 2017 at Igarra in Edo State. The two were confirmed associates of Abu Uwais, a prominent Ansaru kingpin terrorising residents in Kogi and Edo states.
• In December 2017, the following notorious kidnappers were killed in Kogi State: Ahmadu Sulaiman (aka Oga), Shumo Haruna (aka Halilu Aliyu) and Abdullahi Abdulkadir aka Maijaki. They were responsible for high-profile killings and kidnappings in/around Ajaokuta.
• Militant, Don Waney, responsible for several murders in Rivers State, killed by the military in January 2018
• Badoo Ritualists’ gang, dismantled in Lagos State
• In January 2018, four suspects notorious for robbing and/or kidnapping commuters in Kogi State and its environs, were arrested by the DSS in Otokiti, Adavi LGA of Kogi State: Mohammed Kabir (aka Master and Nicko), Muhammed Musa (aka World Best), Audu Emmanuel (aka Sneider) and Jallo Yunusa.
• On 17th February, 2018, at Irrua, Edo State, DSS operatives arrested a gang of high profile kidnappers who dominated the Kogi and Edo corridors: Umar Abubakar (aka Small), Abubakar Ahmadu (aka Sarkin Yaki), Aliyu Abubakar (aka Koroko), Aliyu Mohammed (aka Chogo) and Abubakar Umaru (aka Bokolori).
• Cattle Rustling kingpin, Tsoho Buhari, aka Buharin Daji, killed in Zamfara State in March 2018. Several members of his gang have also been killed or arrested by security forces. (On 14th December, 2017, Umar Abubakar (aka Yellow), one of his top associates, was shot and killed by DSS in a gun battle in Adavi LGA, Kogi State.
• Arrest in May 2018 of 56 suspected criminals / kidnappers / gunrunners in and around Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna State, by the Nigeria Police Force
• Major masterminds of the Offa Robbery, in Kwara State, arrested by the Nigeria Police Force in May 2018.
Mobile police squadrons and military formations are being established in different flash points in the country. Humongous financial resources, which could have been used on infrastructure and other areas of development, are being deployed to security, just so that Nigerians can live in peace. And it continues.
Just like Air Marshal Abubakar said at the induction of new helicopters for the Air Force on Thursday, “In the race to add value to our society and secure our communities, there is no finishing line.”
Yes, securing Nigeria is a task that must be done, and is being done. The work continues.
President Buhari while receiving delegates of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday February 6, stated that some Lagosians living in Victoria Island have never visited Ikeja.
The corps members who were led by Minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare and the director-general of the NYSC Ibrahim Shehu, came to thank the president for increasing their monthly allowance from N19,800 to N33,000.
In the statement released by President Buhari’s spokesperson Femi Adesina, the Nigerian leader commended former Head of State Yakubu Gowon for introducing the scheme which he said has made youths to know the country better and understand other cultures.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday February 6, announced that he has kept his promise to end Boko Haram and other forms of criminalities after being first voted into power in 2015.
The Nigerian leader who said this at the official induction of Nigerian Air Force Helicopters at the Eagle’s Square in Abuja, stated that professionalism, capacity building and adequately equipping the armed forces and the other security agencies are major policies of this administration.
“I promised to put an end to Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities that have bedeviled our country during my inaugural speech as president.
“You will all agree with me that the successes we have achieved so far have restored our pride and honour the world over. Consequently, I want to sincerely thank Nigerians for believing in our government in spite of occasional outrages, coming together as a nation, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliations in our strive to bring this menace to an end”.
President Buhari who praised the intervention of the Nigerian Air Force in The Gambia, Guinea-Konakri, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon, added that the acquisition of inducted aircrafts amongst other military equipment is an expression of the commitment of his administration.
“I’m delighted to be here this morning to once again commission two Augusta 109 Power and MI17 into the Nigerian Air Force inventory. About a year ago, we commissioned two Augusta 109 Power Helicopter Gunships, which were procured from Italy.
“The platforms were subsequently inducted into the Nigerian Air Force inventory to boost the operational capability. This was necessary to improve the delivery of promised air power in support of our counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts”.
“It is on record that these additional platforms have contributed immensely to the Air Force’s successes in decimation of Boko Haram insurgents. The Nigerian Air Force, since its establishment in 1964 has been playing critical roles in national security as well as in peace-keeping operations on the African continent.
“Your contributions in international security, peace-keeping and humanitarian operations in places like The Gambia, Guinea-Konakri, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon has not only been a source of pride to us as a nation, but has also projected us as a reliable regional power.
“This is indeed most commendable as our Air Force, alongside other services, continues to play its unique role in the current insurgency operations and other operations, particularly in the North-East and the North-West, where our officers, airmen and airwomen, soldiers and ratings, are performing gallantly.
“We promised to re-professionalise and re-equip the armed forces and security agencies, to effectively discharge their duties to our nation. I have no doubt; with the deployment of these Augusta 109P Gunships and the MI171E Helicopter will add impetus to the combat efficiency of the Air Force in combating our contemporary security challenges.
“We are committed to taking the right steps in achieving the desired results. The acquisition of these aircrafts, amongst other military equipment, despite our budgetary constraints, is an expression of our commitment. We shall ensure that every sector of our nation experiences the change that we have promised”.
President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Eagle Square on Thursday for the induction ceremony of Nigerian Air Force 3 brand new combat helicopters.
According to Presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad, Under Buhari’s administration, NAF has procured and inducted 22 fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships, and 17 additional aircraft are expected.
Former Vice President and 2019 Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has educated President Muhammadu Buhari not to “rationalise killings.”
Atiku made the statement while reacting to the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday which says 90 percent of Boko Haram’s victims in the past years have been Muslims.
President Buhari in an article published in Speaking Out, a guest opinion column for “Christianity Today”, had said that the perception that members of the sect were always targeting Christians in Nigeria is not true.
“it is the reality that some 90 percent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims,” Buhari said.
“They include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate, shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams.
“It is a simple fact that these now-failing terrorists have targeted the vulnerable, the religious, the non-religious, the young, and the old without discrimination, ” the President stressed.
Reacting to the statement made by President Buhari, Atiku Abubakar said the killing of any human being irrespective of religion must be condemned unequivocally.
“We mustn’t rationalise killings. Whether Christian, Muslim, Traditionalist, or Atheist, the killing of any human being, by Boko Haram, or any misguided group, is wrong & should be condemned unequivocally. There is no compulsion in religion. Only love,” Atiku tweeted on Wednesday.
Critic and former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has branded President Muhammadu Buhari a liar for saying that 90 percent of Boko Haram’s victims are Muslim.
Buhari had on Tuesday said 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims in the past years have been Muslims.
The president, in an article published in ‘Speaking Out,’ a guest opinion column for “Christianity Today”, said that the perception that members of the sect were always targeting Christians in Nigeria was not true.
“It is the reality that some 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims,” Buhari said.
“They include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate, shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams.
“It is a simple fact that these now-failing terrorists have targeted the vulnerable, the religious, the non-religious, the young, and the old without discrimination, ” Buhari said.
Reacting to this development, Fani-Kayode said Buhari was lying about the matter as majority of communities being attacked were dominated by Christians.
“This is a lie.The overwhelming majority of communities that Boko Haram targets are Christian.The same with the Fulani militias.
“The killing of Christians in Nigeria is a common blood sport which shall continue as long as Buhari is President,” he stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari has broken his silence after leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN protested the killing of its Chairman, Lawan Andimi, from Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State by Boko Haram.
Buhari expressed pains over the death of Andimi.
Recall that some leaders of CAN alongside the General Overseer of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, had protested over the killing of Christians in the Northeast and the country.
However, Buhari in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu said CAN leaders reserved the right to protest.
He said: “The actions of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in recent days represent the peaceful right of all Nigerians to protest and express their views on matters of religion, ethics, politics and society.
“The origination of their protests is the shocking, unacceptable death of Pastor Lawan Andimi at the hands of Boko Haram. The President feels their pain, and that of his family, for his loss.
“The President believes, as does every member of his administration, both Christian and Muslim in the words of CAN’s placards: “All life is sacred.”
Buhari said either as a Christian or Muslim, all Nigerians and their beliefs must be respected.
“The duty of all of us is to uphold the rights of others to worship according their faith – and to respect the rights of each other to do so freely in the spirit of brotherhood and respect – and without interference.
“This means, however, that we must stop false claims that only serve to divide one community against the other. There is no place in Nigeria for those who politicise religion. This is the President’s message to both Muslim and Christian communities alike.
“In the light of this, the CAN-inspired prayers and street enlightenment in our cities are much welcome as sensitizers to the need for ALL CITIZENS irrespective of faith, religion or language to accept their duty and role in law enforcement, to prevent crime in all its manifestations, be it corruption, theft, terrorism, banditry or kidnapping. Without citizen involvement, there is no miracle with which less than half-a-million policemen can effectively protect a population of 200 million.
“CAN is right to arouse popular consciousness to this duty to the state.
“One more thing is this: it is the added need for citizen-consciousness to stand up for nation. Nigerians, only Nigerians can defend their nation against these abhorrent killings and all sorts of crimes worrying us as a nation.
“From the prayers and advocacy by CAN, citizens need to take an important lesson, which is, that our people must rally around the flag. Together, they rise to defeat the enemy and defend the state. In Nigeria, some groups rally against the government instead of the enemy. This is not right. It has the effect of playing into the hands of the enemy of the state.
“We will not defeat the terrorists, nor speed the return for those citizens, young and old taken by them by division in our own ranks. To pull apart is to play into the hands of the terrorists: this is what they want,” he added.
President Buhari has said that contrary to the opinion in some quarters, Boko Haram is not primarily targeting Christians as Muslims form about 90 per cent of its victims.
The President said this in an op-ed published in Christianity Today, titled “Buhari: Pastor Andimi’s faith should inspire Nigerians,”.
In the article which was published on Monday February 3rd, the president eulogised the chairman of Michika, Adamawa State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lawan Andimi, who was recently beheaded by Boko Haram for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
President Buhari in the article, stated that the attacks by Boko Haram members have repeatedly shown that it is not religious based. According to the President, the sect members have over time attacked and kidnapped many Muslim faithfuls.
“Christianity in Nigeria is not—as some seem intent on believing—contracting under pressure, but expanding and growing in numbers approaching half of our population today. Nor is it the case that Boko Haram is primarily targeting Christians: not all of the Chibok schoolgirls were Christians; some were Muslims, and were so at the point at which they were taken by the terrorists.
Indeed, it is the reality that some 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims: they include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate; shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams. Perhaps it makes for a better story should these truths, and more, be ignored in the telling” the article in part reads
He appealed to Nigerians never to allow themselves be divided along religious lines. The president said Andimi’s attribute even in the face of death, should inspire all Nigerians.
Read the article below
Nigerians everywhere, those of belief and those of none, are mourning the death of pastor Lawan Andimi, taken from us by Boko Haram for his refusal to denounce his Christian faith.
I did not know Pastor Andimi personally. Yet Nigerians and I both know him and his church by their works: healing, caring, feeding and educating, particularly in the northeastern regions of my country—in those areas threatened for too long by terrorists. Every day, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) places itself there bravely where the brotherhood of man is most in need of sustenance.
Pastor Andimi’s ministry was located only 60 miles from the town of Chibok, from where in 2014 the world witnessed the shocking kidnapping of 267 schoolgirls. That even one individual—this time a man of the church—could still be taken by the terror group seven years later might be viewed as evidence the terrorists are fully functional, and undefeated. But it is not.
Since I was first elected to office in 2015, 107 of the Chibok girls have been freed. Today we seek the others. Boko Haram are no longer one, unified threat, but fractured into several rivals. These splinters are themselves degraded: reduced to criminal acts which—nonetheless no less cruel—target smaller and smaller numbers of the innocent. We owe thanks to the Nigerian defense forces, bolstered by our partnership with the British, American militaries and other countries that we are winning this struggle in the field.
But we may not, yet, be completely winning the battle for the truth. Christianity in Nigeria is not—as some seem intent on believing—contracting under pressure, but expanding and growing in numbers approaching half of our population today. Nor is it the case that Boko Haram is primarily targeting Christians: not all of the Chibok schoolgirls were Christians; some were Muslims, and were so at the point at which they were taken by the terrorists. Indeed, it is the reality that some 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims: they include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate; shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams. Perhaps it makes for a better story should these truths, and more, be ignored in the telling.
It is a simple fact that these now-failing terrorists have targeted the vulnerable, the religious, the non-religious, the young, and the old without discrimination. And at this point, when they are fractured, we cannot allow them to divide good Christians and good Muslims from those things that bind us all in the sight of God: faith, family, forgiveness, fidelity, and friendship to each other.
Yet sadly, there is a tiny, if vocal, minority of religious leaders—both Muslim and Christian—who appear more than prepared to take their bait and blame the opposite religious side. The terrorists today attempt to build invisible walls between us. They have failed in their territorial ambitions, so now instead they seek to divide our state of mind, by prying us from one from another—to set one religion seemingly implacably against the other.
Translated into English, Boko Haram means “Western teachings are sinful.” They claim as “proof” passages of the Quran which state that Muslims should fight “pagans” to be justification for attacks on Christians and those Muslims who hold no truck with them. They are debased by their wilful misreading of scripture—at least those of them who are able to read at all.
Of course, there is much of Christianity and Islam—both in teaching and practice—that are not the same. Were that not so, there would be no need for the separateness of the two religions. Yet though these unread terrorists seem not to know it, there is much between our two faiths—both the word and the scripture—that run in parallel.
For the Bible teaches, “Each one must give as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion” (2 Cor. 9:7), while the Quran states: “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Similarly, the Bible states: “For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror” (James 1:23). The Quran concurs: “Those who believe and do good works, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward” (35:7).
I call on Nigeria’s faith leaders, and Nigerians everywhere, to take these words of concord—and the many more that exist—to their hearts and their deeds. Just as my government, and our international partners, quicken our campaign to defeat Boko Haram within and without our borders, we must turn our minds to the future. There is no place in Nigeria for those who seek to divide us by religion, who compel others to change their faith forcibly, or try to convince others that by so doing, they are doing good.
Rather, we might all learn from the faith and works of Pastor Andimi. There seems little doubt he acted selflessly in so many regards—giving alms and prayers to both Christians and Muslims who suffered at the hands of the terrorists. And he passed from us, rightly refusing to renounce his faith that was not for his captors to take, any more than his life. His belief and his deeds are a lesson and an inspiration to all of us.
Muhammadu Buhari is President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
…Perform or resign, sack service chiefs, lawmakers tell President
There was uproar on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday when the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, called for the immediate resignation of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Abaribe made the call at the plenary, where he was reacting to a statement by the President, who on Tuesday said he was taken aback by the increasing insecurity in the country.
The Senate minority leader said the resignation became imperative in view of the Buhari regime inability to curtail the alarming security challenges confronting the country.
Abaribe spoke after the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, presented his motion on rising security challenges in the country.
Although the Senate was divided on Abaribe’s demand for President’s resignation, senators, who commented on the insecurity in the country, were unanimous in berating Buhari for failing to sack the service chiefs despite their dwindling performances.
Also, there was outrage in the country over the President’s statement as groups including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, backed the call on the President to sack the service chiefs.
But the calls by Abaribe and other prominent Nigerians elicited an angry reaction from the Presidency, which described the Senate minority leader as an arm chair critic.
A President and his ‘tired’ service chiefs
Buhari, while addressing eminent indigenes of Niger State at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, had said he was taken aback by banditry and other forms of insecurity in the North-West and other parts of the country.
The President’s position was in sharp contrast with that of his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who, on Sunday, said insecurity was not as bad as it was being reported by the media.
In the last three months, bandits and insurgents have been attacking residents and troops in Zamfara, Niger, Katsina, Borno and many other states.
At the Senate plenary on Wednesday, Abaribe said the attitude of the President to insecurity in the country surprised him.
Abaribe said, “When I was coming this morning, I saw the newspaper headlines; ‘Mr president, Commander- in- Chief expresses shock at the level of violent crime.’
“In other words, Mr President was expressing surprise. But in accordance to our Rule 53(13), I will not go into that, but I will only say, Mr President (of the Senate), in pidgin English, this surprise, surprised me.
“You have told us that on this solemn day that we are discussing this matter; that we may not at any point be partisan and I want to tell you Mr President, if you didn’t insist that we should not be partisan, I would have called out the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina.
“Adesina, who, when the Christian Association of Nigeria leaders complained about the killing of a priest, turned around and said CAN was acting like a political party.
“Now that we are talking about it here, let me hear him say that all of us are acting like a political party; when somebody is complaining about these incessant deaths in this country.
“We have to get to the root of this matter. I can only say one thing, those who live on propaganda will die by propaganda. It is a matter of life and death.
“Everything was being done to make sure that the hard work that was supposed to be done in securing Nigeria was not done because certain people did not do their work and preferred to cover the eyes of Nigerians with propaganda.
“All the time that we wasted in Nigeria trying to find all these excuses for non- performance has now come to stare us in the face.
“Reality is no respecter of persons. It is that reality we are facing now. Senator Sani Musa is shouting every day his people are being killed in Niger. We just took one (a motion) from Jos; a student who was murdered in the full view of everybody with a pistol. Yet, we are being told that they (Boko Haram terrorists) have been defeated.
“Nigerians did not elect the Inspector General of Police. We did not elect the Chief of Staff. We did not elect the service chiefs. We did not elect the National Security Adviser.
“We elected the government of the APC in 2015 and reelected them in 2019. The reason we reelected them was that they continued to tell us they had a key to security.
“When you want to deal with a matter, you go with the head, so we will go with the government and ask this government to resign because they can no longer do anything.
“Yes, the Nigerians voted a government into power and that government even said, ‘if we don’t perform, stone us, we are going with the stones to stone them now because they are no longer performing.”
There was an instant noise in the camps of the majority and minority caucuses of the red chamber which lasted for a while before the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, brought the rowdy session under control.
Some senators hailed the submission of Abaribe while others described it as unnecessary.
However, when the uproar subsided, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said Abaribe’s submission was unnecessary.
He wondered why Lawan had not stopped Abaribe earlier because senators should be seen as statesmen. He urged the Senate President to demand an apology from the minority leader.
Adamu, an APC member from Nasarawa West, however admitted that Abaribe had legislative immunity to express his views.
He said, “There is no doubting the fact that we do face security challenges in the country, anybody who says otherwise is only pretending.”
The President of the Senate appealed to his colleagues to approach the security issue with caution. He, however, did not ask Abaribe to apologise.
Senators divided over state police creation
The chamber was, however, thrown into another rowdy session when the senators protested the rejection of the state police creation by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Omo-Agege’s predecessor, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and many lawmakers are currently championing the reintroduction of the State Police Bill in the 9th National Assembly.
The bill suffered a setback in the 8th Senate, but the federal lawmakers alarmed by the rising crime rate across the country believe that it is the right way to go.
Omo-Agege, in his contribution, vehemently opposed the creation of state police on accounts of paucity of funds crippling the states and possible abuse by the state governors.
A former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, supported the creation of state police and attempts by regions to set up security outfits.
He said releasing adequate equipment to the regional and state security personnel would solve the insecurity challenges.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu also expressed support for the creation of state police. She described the fears being expressed in some quarters, as unnecessary.
Senator Adamu Bukachuwa from Bauchi State sought the recognition of the traditional institution in crime prevention.
He said they were supposed to be given the task of monitoring their people and organisng local security men to protect them.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele noted that the unity of Nigeria was threatened. He supported the idea of restructuring the security architecture. He also said state police should be established to tackle all forms of insecurity.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State supported the creation of the South-West security outfit, Operation Amotekun, because the police had failed to protect Nigerians.
Senator Sam Egwu, who also supported state police, said governors should be empowered to protect their people, saying no foreigner would come in if states were in charge.
Senator Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano) also threw his weight behind the creation of state police.
He said, “When I was the governor of Kano State, Hisbah guards were established. He called for the recruitment of more police personnel and adequate funding.
He said the Federal Government was recruiting 10, 000 policemen every year but that 6, 000 policemen were retiring every year.
Others who supported state police were Abubakar Yusuf and Olubunmi Adetunmbi and Sunday Omor.
However, Senator Gabriel Suswan said the creation of state police would solve no problem.
He demanded the restructuring of the police with a view to empowering them for effective performance.
Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe State disagreed with the proponents of state police, claiming that governors would take advantage of it to perpetuate themselves in power.
He said, “The creation of jobs and setting up empowerment strategies would solve the problem of insecurity in the country.”
Senators ask Buhari to sack service chiefs
Meanwhile, Senator Betty Apiafi from Rivers State, led the call for the sack of the security chiefs, saying that they had outlived their usefulness. The service chiefs were appointed by Buhari in 2015.
Senator Rochas Okorocha from Imo State also called for the immediate sacking of the service chiefs, claiming that they had outlived their usefulness.
Senator Matthew Urhoghide said findings by the 8th Senate indicated that there was no inter-agency cooperation among the security agencies in the country. He said approving huge sums of money for them would continue to be wasteful.
Senators Opeyemi Bamidele, Elisha Abbo, Adeola Olamilekan, Urhoghide, Sani Musa, Gabriel Suswan and Emmanuel Bwacha also said the service chiefs should go.
Senator Tolu Odebiyi called for the mopping up of arms and checking of the nation’s borders.
He said proper identification of most Nigerians and foreigners would also check activities of the criminals.
Senator Aisha Dahiru-Ahmed (Adamawa) said poor leadership and unemployment contributed to insecurity.
Senate sets up ad hoc panel, summons IGP
The red chamber which extended its sitting hours to 4:25pm to enable members to engage in robust debate, resolved to set up a 17-member panel to collate the views and come up with a report within two weeks.
Lawan asked the panel headed by the Senate Leader to hold talks with heads of military and other security agencies and come up with realistic and effective solutions to the worsening security situation in the country.
The Senate also asked the Inspector-General of Police, Abdullahi Adamu, to appear before it at plenary on Wednesday next week.
Meanwhile, Abaribe’s call for Buhari’s resignation attracted diverse reactions on Wednesday.
Resign or be sacked, Reps tell service chiefs
The House of Representatives debated the killings by Boko Haram in the North-East based on a motion moved by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno.
The lawmaker representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State, Ahmadu Jaha, called for the sacking of the service chiefs, saying their efforts had failed to stop insurgency in the North-East.
Jaha said, “I know what I am saying; I know that tomorrow people can come for me. I am calling for the immediate removal of all the service chiefs and their immediate replacement with competent ones. The truth of the matter is that they have overstayed and the officers under them are not stimulated (motivated) to work, perform and to end this war. This is my position.”
The lawmakers, who were initially divided over whether the service chiefs should resign or be sacked, later resolved to “call on all the service chiefs to resign immediately, failing which the President should remove them.”
Buhari’s comment distressing – PDP
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, described the statement by Buhari that he was surprised by the heightened insecurity across the country as defeatist and demoralising.
The PDP, in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said by the comment, the President displayed a disheartening dereliction of duty.
He said, “Such a statement from a Commander-in-Chief, who promised to lead from the front, is distressing as it further exposes an abdication of duty and shows that Mr President is not even abreast of his major task in governance which is the security of lives and property.
“The PDP is particularly worried about this apparent display of leadership failure as Mr President ought to be receiving a daily brief from his service chiefs on the actual situation on the ground.
“His comment therefore speaks volumes about the manner with which the security of our nation is being handled at the highest level despite the huge resources reportedly committed to security issues by the Buhari administration.”
He also said the party would want Buhari to resign. Ologbondiyan said, “The party (PDP) therefore backs the call by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, asking President Buhari to resign.”
Buhari was expressing an honest opinion, says ACF secretary
But the Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mr. Anthony Sani, said it was not enough for the President to resign simply because he shared his honest view on the security situation in the country.
Sani, in an interview learnt by NobleReporters, said, “While I appreciate the concerns about the recent surge of attacks leading to the killing of some innocent people – thereby hyping insecurity – I do not share the views of those who call for the resignation of President Buhari for expressing his honest view of surprise at the recent surge.
Buhari’s statement deceptive – Afenifere
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, dismissed Buhari’s claims that he was surprised by the murderous activities of bandits in parts of the country, saying he was playing games with the sensibilities of Nigerians.
Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, accused the President of duplicity, adding that his statement showed that he was engaging in Taqqiya (deception).
He catalogued the various attacks by terrorists and bandits across the country, noting that the Presidency had always acknowledged the bloodshed and rising insecurity in the country without providing any solution.
He stated, “We see his statement as playing games with our sensibilities. When Fulani herdsmen killed over 21 people in Benue State on January 1, 2018, did he not invite Governor Samuel Ortom to the Presidential Villa, where they advised him to tell his people to learn how to live with their killers? We want to say that Taqqiya (deception) should have a limit.”
On its part, the Ohanaeze Youth Council said it supported the call for Buhari’s resignation.
OYC National President, Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, explained that Ndigbo had lost confidence in the security architecture and the leaders of the country.
Igboayaka pointed out that Buhari’s body language indicated that he lacked the political will and capacity to tackle the security challenges affecting Nigeria.
Admission of insecurity shows failure of security chiefs – Ohanaeze
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, said that the President’s admission showed that his security chiefs had failed and he should do the needful, adding that their retirement was overdue.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu, said, “His admission implies his commanding officers have failed. He should do the needful and should stop promoting people on the basis of where they come from but on the bases of their performances. He should stop retiring people on the basis of where they come from but on the bases of their inefficiency.”
The Deputy Executive Director, Civil Empowerment and Rule of Law Support Initiative, Majirioghene Etemiku, in an interview, condemned the President’s statement. NobleReporters culled
He said, “This is not what anyone would expect from a Commander-in-Chief; a man getting daily or monthly briefings from the Army, Navy, Air force, the Police, and the Department of State Services.”
Abaribe, an arm chair critic – Presidency
But the Presidency hit back at Buhari’s critics, particularly Abaribe, saying the Senate Minority leader should resign.
It said the lawmaker should resign for failing to honour the bail bond he secured for the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement by Buhari’s media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, the Presidency called Abaribe an arm chair critic.
It said, “President Buhari to resign on what basis? Just because some characters think that President Buhari should resign, then they expect him to quit? That call does not represent the opinion of the country. This is the opinion of an armchair critic, known for making strange comments.
“If a leader like President Buhari needs to resign, there are millions of other Nigerians who need to resign, including Senator Abaribe, who unlocked the door to enable the escape of traitorous and treasonable suspects.
“He signed the bond for the court to release Nnamdi Kanu on bail, from which moment the suspect disappeared into the thin air.”
Reacting, the Buhari Media Organisation accused the PDP of taking the president’s statement out of context.
The Chairman of BMO, Niyi Akinsiju, said Abaribe’s statement was typical of a desperate opposition lacking morality and with “ennobling precedent, to take issues out of context.”
“The truth is in black and white as reported by the media. President Muhammadu Buhari while hosting a delegation of eminent people from Niger State explained the variant of violence that had recently erupted in northwest Nigeria and other parts of the country, describing it as an evil plan against the country because, unlike the BokoHaram insurgency which he confronted in 2015, this new threat to the peace of the country has no ethnic or religious underpinnings, even as he observed the likely consequences of banditry on the nation’s agricultural sector.”