The Assistant-Inspector General of Police Zone 2, Lagos, AIG Ibrahim Adamu has reviewed the Orderly Room proceedings and approved the punishment of dismissal of AP. No. 136207 Inspr. Charles Olusola Omotosho from @PoliceNG wef 16.07.2018.#BailisFree #EndSARS pic.twitter.com/hEsWqZBPGh
The police have dismissed an operative of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Inspector Charles Omotosho, over an allegation of extortion.
The Force Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) revealed this in a series of tweets on Friday, three months after Omotosho was arrested for the offence.
His dismissal was approved by the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2, Lagos, Ibrahim Adamu, following a review of the Orderly Room proceedings, the PCRRU added.
According to the unit, Omotosho was found guilty of the anti-corruption laws of the police while his uniforms and identity card have since been retrieved from him.
The police also demoted other accomplices of the dismissed inspector, whose identities were not disclosed, from the rank of sergeant to corporal.
Omotosho attached to SARS Ikorodu, Lagos at the time was found guilty of Corrupt Practices and Discreditable Conduct contrary to Para. C (ii) and E (iii) of Police Act and Regulations CAP. P19 LFN 2004.#ChangeBeginsWithMe #PoliceAccountability #NoToImpunity #EndSARS #PCRRU316356
Three other accomplice (names withheld) of the dismissed Inspector were awarded punishment of reduction in rank from Sergeant to Corporal by the AIG.
All @PoliceNG items (uniforms & ID card) have since been retrieved from the dismissed Inspector.
Omotosho was apprehended in May for allegedly arresting a lady in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, after which he was said to have forcefully collected N5,000 from the victim.
The police said he was immediately removed from front-line duties and taken into custody after the dismissed officer was identified to have committed the crime.
Ovation Magazine Publisher, Dele Momodu has revealed what he and Senate President Bukola Saraki told him about Buhari and Tinubu.
Both men had the discussion during the Eid El Kabir festival, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Momodu made the revelation on Saturday in an article entitled, “How Saraki plans to defeat Buhari in 2019”.
Momodu said Saraki discussed about the 2019 election, President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Tinubu, among others.
See what Momodu wrote below;
“Saraki’s roadmap to victory is simple. Buhari is going to play the usual ethnic card that only a candidate from North West can win a Presidential election in Nigeria. Saraki feels otherwise. He believes that the pro-restructuring crusaders now have an opportunity to make the Presidency available to other Nigerians. He concedes that it may be difficult for any candidate from North West and North East to compete or beat Buhari hands down, despite the fact that PDP parades more experienced politicians and competent aspirants.
“What is then needed is to keep North Central on lockdown with a popular candidate from that zone. With the support of PDP stalwarts from the other two Northern zones, Buhari’s votes would be whittled down to make up the requisite percentages in terms of spread but no more. He believes that it may be a waste of time and resources trying to compete in the President’s traditional enclave other than to strive to get up to 25%. PDP should instead focus on mobilising the forces from the opposite direction and lockdown four out of the six geo-political zones.
“Saraki says he is well-positioned to make this happen. With one leg in the North and another in the South, especially the South West, the people would have a higher stake in the Presidency and this will galvanise more passionate voters. If the PDP presents just anyone, there may be voter apathy and Buhari would coast home to victory. As to where his deputy will come from, it would have to be from the South-East/South-south axis, since he has already covered the South West, technically. Theoretically, this would ignite enthusiasm in that region. He believes the APC has played into his hands somehow by this calculation.
“According to Saraki, the only reason Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been fighting him is because he wants to take over from Buhari in 2023. “Where does that then leave the Igbo people who have not been able to produce any Vice President or President since Dr Alex Ekwueme in 1979-1983?” In simple Arithmetic “PDP needs a candidate who can block the South West and the South East simultaneously since Buhari will still run with Osinbajo…” This race is getting mathematically interesting and the Saraki option is looking feasible, I thought. However, Saraki said he was only just starting. He said those days are gone when an individual can instruct people to go out and vote as if they have no minds of their own.
“He plans to challenge and tackle Buhari strictly on issues and not pettiness, which he sees to be the current order of the day. He said the world is driven today by knowledge and not by crude force. He said he is better informed on how to resurrect the comatose economy which collapsed because of the over-simplistic and myopic handling of affairs since Buhari took over. “Any student of elementary economics would know that a country can never develop in an atmosphere of obsession for scaremongering, instability, uncertainty, Stone Age policies… Nigeria urgently needs a unifier in deed and not in words… I’m one of the most cosmopolitan leaders around today with every sense of modesty…”
“Saraki is looking forward to a serious debate between him, Buhari and other candidates on every aspect of daily life in Nigeria. “If Buhari likes, he can stay at home and do the debate by Skype or whatever, but moving forward, we must discuss Nigeria publicly…Anyone wanting to lead a country as important as Nigeria in this century must be someone who can ably represent us in the comity of nations and has a grasp of modern ways of life.”
“Saraki says he has matured with time in various offices and his cumulative executive and legislative experiences are almost second to none in the country… ‘You can see this in the way I have conducted the affairs of the Senate, and we are easily the best, but for the occasional and unfortunate distractions from people who see me as serious threat to their personal ambition. They had to feed the President with lies and destroy our relationship. I did all I could to support the government, but I was constantly harassed and treated like a pariah by those desperate to keep a firm grip on Nigeria…’ But he continues to see the positive side of his travails. ‘Perhaps, I would not have declared interest in this race, but they kept pushing me away, demonising me for no reason, but, inadvertently, they made me very popular by their action and some of those who never liked me started pitying me as a victim of oppression.”
Courtesy: Laila’s News.com
Eniola Akinkuotu, Gbenro Adeoye, and Jesusegun Alagbe
At least eight out of the politicians working for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 2019 election have pending corruption cases worth N232bn, checks by Saturday PUNCH have revealed.
Investigation by our correspondents showed that the amount involved in the various graft cases, which are currently pending before security agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, range from N223m to N100bn for each of the politicians.
Some of the eight politicians, who used to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party and other opposition parties, had allegedly defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress to stop the dangling axe of the EFCC and other security agencies from falling on them.
Specifically, the politicians who are currently either under probe or prosecution for allegedly diverting government funds have separately vowed to ensure Buhari remains in power untill 2023.
The eight politicians include the senator representing Nasarawa West at the National Assembly, Abdullahi Adamu; the senator representing Sokoto North and former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko; ex-Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, who recently defected from the PDP to the APC; and a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Others are the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; the former Governor of Rivers State and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in 2015, Rotimi Amaechi; the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari; and former National Chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff.
Abdullahi Adamu (N15bn)
For instance, Adamu, a serving senator and former Governor of Nasarawa State, is one of the President’s allies in the Senate. He is also a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Buhari 2019 Presidential Support Committee.
The lawmaker is being prosecuted alongside 18 others for allegedly stealing N15bn from the treasury through contracts awarded when he was governor for eight years.
His son, Nurianu, was also arraigned by the EFCC in January 2018 for alleged N90m fraud. However, the former governor has been one of the fiercest critics of Senate President Bukola Saraki.
According to Saraki, the former governor has been insulting him in order to get a soft landing.
Saraki had said in July, “I have deliberately ignored the antics of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, especially his constant media attacks on me and the Senate since the EFCC dusted his file on alleged case of corruption and also went ahead to arraign his son in court.”
Aliyu Wamakko (N15bn)
Senator Aliyu Wamakko is in charge of Buhari’s campaign in Sokoto State. A few weeks ago, he held a massive rally on behalf of Buhari in order to prove to the President that Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s defection would be of no effect.
Wamakko, who served as governor from 2007 to 2015, is under investigation over allegations of theft of public funds and money laundering totalling N15bn, an allegation he has vehemently denied.
Spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had confirmed in April that the commission was investigating allegations contained in a petition against Wammako and that he would soon be invited to defend the allegations.
Godswill Akpabio (N100bn)
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State has been under probe by the EFCC for over three years based on allegations that he diverted over N100bn from the coffers of the state between 2007 and 2015.
Akpabio was welcomed into the APC by the President himself.
The former governor, who represents Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, recently vowed that the APC would take over Akwa Ibom the way Adolph Hitler invaded Poland.
Akpabio, who on Friday travelled to China with the President is arguably the closest defector to Buhari and has vowed to do everything possible to ensure Buhari is re-elected.
Although he has been grilled by the EFCC, he has not been charged.
Orji Uzor Kalu (N3.2bn)
Kalu, who governed Abia State from 1999 to 2007, was one of the most influential politicians in the South-East during his time in government. After leaving the PDP, he formed the Progressive Peoples Alliance from where he contested and lost a senatorial election in 2015.
The following year, he defected to the APC and has paid several visits to the President since then.
Recently, he visited the President in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, where he was bestowed with the title, ‘Dan Baiwan Hausa’ by the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq.
According to the emir, Kalu was bestowed with the title in appreciation of his “unwavering support for our son, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, Bayajida II .”
However, the former governor has been having a running legal battle with the EFCC since leaving office.
The EFCC alleged that Kalu and the others committed fraud between August 2001 and October 2005. It accused Kalu of utilising his company (Slok Nigeria Limited) to retain in the account of First Inland Bank, now First City Monument Bank, the sum of N200m.
The commission said that the sum formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State government. The EFCC also said that the accused retained, in different bank accounts, about N2.5bn belonging to the state government, adding that he diverted about N3.2bn from the coffers of the same government.
Regardless of his travails, the former governor has insisted that he will do all within his power to ensure that Buhari is re-elected.
Babachir Lawal (N223m)
The immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, was accused by the Senate ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East, led by Senator Shehu Sani, of awarding a N223m consultancy contract for the removal of invasive plant species in Komadugu, Yobe Water Channels to his company, Rholavision Engineering in contravention of Section 43(iii) and (iv) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
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A committee headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo subsequently investigated Lawal and recommended his dismissal in October 2017, a year after he was indicted by the Senate.
Although he is under probe by the EFCC, Babachir is among the key figures running Buhari’s re-election campaign in Adamawa State. He also revealed during a recent interview on Channels Television that he still had direct access to the President.
The former SGF has been having a leadership tussle with Governor Jibrilla Bindow over who should lead Buhari’s campaign in the state.
Rotimi Amaechi (N97bn)
Amaechi, who was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in 2015, has been charged with the task of ensuring that Buhari is elected a second time.
The Minister of Transport, who is the face of the Buhari campaign, was indicted by the Justice George Omeregi-led Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the sale of state assets.
He and others were accused of allegedly misappropriating N97bn through the sale of the state valued assets.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had alleged that $150m (N30bn at the time) was spent on Buhari’s campaign in 2015.
Amaechi challenged his indictment but lost at the Appeal Court. Although anti-graft agencies have refused to state if he is under investigation or not, he has yet to clear his name and is still under investigation by the state government.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, insisted that Amaechi was not cleared by the panel that indicted him on the sale of some assets belonging to the state.
Also, a top official at the Government House in Port Harcourt, pointed out that at the last count on the matter, the former governor had gone to the Supreme Court.
An appeal filed by Amaechi against the Justice George Omereji-led panel was in May 2017 dismissed by the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt.
The Appeal Court had said that the refusal of Amaechi to appear before the panel amounted to self-denial.
But Okah said that the matter was currently at the Supreme Court.
“He (Amaechi) went to court against the panel and the matter is still in the Supreme Court. The state government has not cleared him on the matter concerning the sale of valued assets belonging to the state,” he said.
Amaechi could not be reached for comments, as he did not answer calls to his mobile phone.
A text message sent to him on the matter did not get any reply.
However, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Transportation told our correspondent that the minister was out of the country.
The official, who also works directly with the minister, stated he (the official) was not aware of the said allegations against Amaechi.
“I have not seen it (the report) and can’t speak on it. However, the minister is in China right now,” the official, who pleaded to be anonymous, said.
Abdul’aziz Yari (N680m)
Yari has been engaged in a fierce battle with the EFCC for over a year following allegations that he diverted nearly N700m which formed part of the Paris Club refund due to his state.
In July last year, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of N500m and $500,000 (N180m) said to have been looted from the Paris Club refunds made by the Federal Government in favour of the 36 states of the federation.
The sums of money said to have been recovered from two firms, First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, and Gosh Projects Limited, were allegedly linked to the governor.
The EFCC also alleged, in an affidavit filed in support of its ex parte application seeking the interim forfeiture of the sums of money, that the N500m was diverted to offset Yari’s personal loan obtained from the First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited.
In July, the Presidential Support Committee of Buhari 2019 appointed Sheriff as the director-general.
The National Secretary of the group, Kassim Kassim, said in a statement that the conglomerate of about 300 Buhari supporters’ groups unanimously endorsed Sheriff to lead the Presidential Support Committee, Buhari 2019 and not the Buhari’s Campaign Organisation for the 2019 election.
He said groups that made up the Presidential Support Committee were all registered with the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters.
Sheriff and others are under investigation for allegedly receiving N450m out of the N23bn ($115m) bribe allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the build-up to the 2015 elections.
He has been grilled several times by the EFCC but was never charged. His private jet was also impounded by the commission but later released to him.
Sagay, EFCC react
Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), said joining the President’s camp would not save any politician from probe or prosecution.
He said those whose cases had already been taken to court would continue to face prosecution.
Sagay, however, said there was room for plea bargain, an option he said stubborn people would never use.
He said, “I know Akpabio is still under probe and if he is found culpable, he would be invited and prosecuted. For me, the only import of him joining the President’s campaign is that he can be persuaded to make a plea bargain quickly, which everyone is entitled to, but the stubborn ones will not take that option
“As for allegations against Amaechi, he was indicted by a fake and useless judicial panel set up by Wike, who is himself under investigation for corruption. He set up a kangaroo panel, which Amaechi refused to answer to.”
When asked about the Appeal Court ruling which ordered Amaechi to answer to the panel, Sagay added, “he doesn’t have to answer to rubbish. Judges who allow themselves to engage in injustice deserve to be disregarded. Amaechi is innocent. All the charges were trumped up.”
Also speaking with our correspondent, the EFCC Spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said joining the President’s camp would not translate to immunity from prosecution.
Uwujaren said, “The EFCC neither closes cases nor clears people. Also, being in the President’s party does not give anyone immunity from prosecution.”
Buhari, who later won the presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress had consistently accused the then ruling party, the PDP of engaging in mind-boggling corrupt practices.
“If Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria,” Buhari had said repeatedly during the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
However, no sooner had he been declared winner than some politicians from the same corrupt party began defecting to the President’s own party.
While some of the allegedly corrupt persons were kept at arm’s length, others became very close to the President, constantly appearing in pictures with the professed anti-corruption champion and sending mixed signals to Nigerians.
SERAP, CACOL react
The Executive Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Adetokunbo Mumuni, however, said it would be wrong to condemn the President for being supported by people alleged to be corrupt if there was no proof that he had prevented anti-corruption agencies from prosecuting such people.
He said, “Unless you want to tell me that the anti-corruption agencies will not do anything unless they are prompted or unless somebody says they should do it, I don’t want to believe rumours. Allegations must be backed by concrete evidence for it to be substantiated. I don’t want to think that somebody with convincing evidence against him will be prevented from facing the music simply because he supports the President. For example, Kalu still has his case in court.”
Similarly, the Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said it would be wrong to presume people guilty because they have corruption allegations against them and that the President could not have stopped anyone from supporting him, in any case.
He said, “You can’t prevent sinners from going to a religious place, what you don’t have to allow is for them to take over the pulpit to preach the doctrine of the crimes that they have been committing. From our recent experience, defecting to the ruling party has not, in practical terms, stopped the trial of some of politicians. For instance, Kalu’s case is still in court.
“And as of now, Akpabio has yet to be convicted and until someone is convicted, you cannot say they have committed a crime. Even Kalu, whose case is in court, cannot be said to be guilty of the offence until he is convicted. So, it is a moral question and the moral suasion has its limit.”
But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Onueze Okocha, said President Buhari was sending a dangerous and negative signal to Nigerians by allowing people with pending corruption cases to work for his re-election.
He said, “The whole thing sends a dangerous and unhappy signal to all of us that the so-called anti-corruption war is not whole. We can all see that only those in the opposition are mainly those investigated of corruption while those in the ruling party are regarded as sacred cows.
“It’s what we’ve always known; there is no effectiveness in the anti-corruption war. Look at Akpabio, for instance, shortly after he was elected to the Senate, the EFCC raided his house and found lots of cash. Now that he has defected to the APC, what happens to him?
“Babachir Lawal, though has been sacked, is still free to walk around. Look at the issue of fake National Youth Service Corps certificate held by Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, all these tell us there are sacred cows in the anti-corruption war.”
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The leaders of Europe and Africa’s largest economies have met for talks in Abuja. Promoting economic measures to stem migration has been a priority during the German chancellor’s trip to western African countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in the last leg of her trip to three African countries.
The smiling leaders appeared at ease as they met for talks that are set to focus on boosting economic development and curbing migration to Europe.
A delegation of business leaders and potential investors accompanied the chancellor during her to trip in an effort to encourage investment in western Africa.
Merkel said that economic cooperation between Germany and Nigeria would be expanded and pointed to the planned production of Volkswagen cars in Africa, DW’s correspondent in Abuja reported.
“This, too, is an important step,” the chancellor said. “It is an example for many more possible economic partnerships.”
Prior to her talks with Buhari, Merkel met with Jean-Claude Brou, the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is headquartered in Nigeria.
Merkel is also expected to address the security situation in Nigeria. The country has been grappling with terror attacks in the north by the extremist group Boko Haram.
An estimated 20,000 people have been killed since 2009 while some 2.5 million have fled the region.
Combatting economic woes
Nigeria is the main country of origin for migrants who are seeking to travel to Germany and other European countries across the Mediterranean. It’s also the largest economy on the African continent.
President Buhari side-stepped the question of whether Nigeria would agree to take back Nigerians living in Germany who lack permission to reside there. Chancellor Merkel, meanwhile, said the issue needed to be resolved in a “win-win situation” for both countries.
Although migration has been one of the main focuses of Merkel’s visit, the number of people crossing the Mediterranean is at its lowest in five years.
Some leaders in Europe hope that by encouraging security and investment in western Africa, people will be more likely to remain in a region currently impacted by extremist attacks, unemployment and the detrimental effects of climate change.
Nigeria is the last stop on Merkel’s three-day tour through the region, which included visits to Senegal and Ghana — two of the fastest-growing economies in Africa.
rs/rt (AP, AFP, dpa)
Katrin Gänsler contributed reporting from Abuja.
The media hits Trump for “dangerous Islamophobic rhetoric” for pointing out that “Christians are being murdered in Nigeria”.
It is somehow racist to demand from the Muslim president of Nigeria to protect the Christian community who are facing genocide in Nigeria.
Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, according to studies
The Western world ignores the cruel persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.
Where are all the human rights organizations of the UN? Where are all human rights organizations in the West?
Please pray for the Christian minorities in the Muslim world.
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/y0ntPm8rB8s?rel=0&showinfo=0Liberals and leftists in the West use the made up term “Islamophobia” to portray anyone who criticizes Islam as a “racist”.
Radical Muslim terrorists all over the world carry out terror attacks “in the name of Allah”.
They justify their violence by quoting verses from the Quran.
Islamophobia is a made up word created by the Muslim Brotherhood specifically to silence debate.
Liberals and leftists ignore the fact that Islam is an ideology that has nothing to do with race.
Islamophobia is a neologism created to silence any possible debate about the problems Islamic extremism has got with modernity, with the intention of using the collective post-colonial “guilt” to exempt a particular set of beliefs from scrutiny, analysis and criticism.
It’s a buzzword used in an attempt to silence anyone, whenever had legit questions or criticisms about the religion.
Islam is not a race. It’s a religion.There is an attempt in the West to impose a sharia-blasphemy law to criminalize criticism of Islam.
It started when Saudi Arabia and Muslim countries tried to pass a UN resolution to force Western states to criminalize criticism of Islam.
The Parliament in Canada passed “Motion M-103” to condemn the so-called “Islamophobia (Fear of Islam)” in a preparation for a blasphemy law in Canada.
According to the sharia blasphemy law anyone who criticizes Islam or the Prophet Muhammad should be killed.
Under Sharia blasphemy law in Saudi Arabia and Iran Muslims are executed if they are accused of blasphemy.
In Pakistan, the situation is even worse, radical Muslims use the blasphemy law to persecute the Christian minority.
Is this the law the liberals in the West want to adopt?
If you think Sharia blasphemy law has no place in the West, share this post!
In a recent remark, the Vice President and Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was quoted as having said that the spate of crossovers from one party to the other which is threatening the very fabric of democracy in the body politic is “a fight between good and evil.”
That, in our considered opinion, is putting it very succinctly. However, at the very root of what should be considered acceptably good or bad depends on the lens from which one is said to be observing the happenings which have held us spell-bound for months on end, not just within the few weeks during which the esteemed Senators deemed it inevitable that they were in conscience and duty bound to leave the APC, and return to the PDP which they left to amalgamate with others to oust the PDP from the Presidency.
Any observer of the political landscape must recall that in the late months of 2014 and the months to the run-up to the 2015 elections which ushered President Buhari to power, Nigeria was practically made ungovernable by a conglomeration of forces such as: the unending fuel scarcity; the escalation of attacks and killings by Boko Haram; and the onset of the mayhem unleashed on the non Hausa-Fulani States in the Middle Belt, North-East; South-West; South-East and South-South zones by the Fulani militia, generally known as Fulani Herdsmen.
In hindsight, most observers believe that those events were politically motivated with a view to turning the tide against the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan and ensuring a shoo-in for Mohammadu Buhari. The further marriage of the Hausa-Fulani north and the Yoruba West on one hand, and the Mosque and Penticostal Christianity on the other by the Buhari and Tinubu engineered coup of nominating Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate ensured that the unbending retired army general secured the Presidency.
However, like someone remarked lately, it was asking for too much for a general who retired thirty years back to correct all the ills of the economy which the incumbent Phd holder found formidable when he, in all those thirty years: didn’t start a company; didn’t sit on the board of any established organisation; didn’t write a book on either his command in the armed forces, or his brief Head of Stateship; and never gave any public lectures.
In the three plus years of his incumbency, Buhari’s Presidency has been known mostly for six things: its oft-touted anti-corruption stance; its selective hounding of “the corrupt”; the reintegration of Boko Haram militants into the society as rehabilitated; its obsession with creating Grazing Reserves in every state of the Federation; and the unabated killings and destruction of properties in the non Hausa-Fulani States. Not to be forgotten is the venom with which President Buhari, who did nothing about the Fulani militia’s terror on law abiding Nigerian citizens, descended on IPOB on his return to the country after his 100 plus days health vacation in the UK via his appropriately named “operation python dance.”
With the turn of the year, the Fulani terror increased a huge notch; while the Federal government insisted on seeing the problem as “farmers and herders” clashes, those affected in the North-Eastern, Benue, Plateau, and the Southern States insisted that these were terror attacks instigated by the AK 4O-wielding Fulani militia.
The hallmarks of such attacks were, a) the invasion of farms by the herdsmen who chop into bits and pieces yam, potato and cassava tubers and other cash crops which they feed their cattle, followed by the unleashing of terror with bullets and matchetes on any group of farmowners who raise any form of objection over the liberality with which the Fulani herdsmen treated their means of livelihood; b) that initial skirmish often leads to the fight being taken by the herdsmen to the nearest villages, resulting in destruction of lives and property; c) the ensuing pogrom often left in its wake men, women, children and the very elderly with heads, chests, stomachs, backs and limbs
split open or completely hacked off with matchetes, belying the notion of clashes between such murderous cattle hérders and farmers, as children cannot by any dint of the imagination be numbered amongst farmers.
That prominent people like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was compelled to write his famous open letter to the President expressing his distaste over his perception of how Buhari had governed the country is now history. On his part, General TY Danjuma in a lecture had opined that the military was aiding and abetting the killer herdsmen, and therefore advised the besieged Nigerians to defend themselves.
Almost immediately after Danjuma’s lecture, the Fulani militia unleashed fresh terror on Benue and Plateau States. Meanwhile, in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, discussions on the daily killings had become perfunctory; Senators Marafa, Ben Bruce-Murray, Dino Milaye and a host of others shouted themselves hoarse over the fact that in spite of the daily slaughter and the then usual expressions of condemnation, the executive arm of government basically did nothing.
Outside the hallowed chambers of the Nigerian Senate, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a minister of Aviation in the Jonathan administration shouted and condemned the atrocities committed by the herdsmen on Nigerian citizens, all to no avail. The Senate President, a fellow Fulani as the President and murdering herdsmen, was compelled, at that stage, to wade into the issue.
He insisted on the Inspector General of Police submitting to the Senate, the statistcs of the killings in Benue and Plateau States by Fulani herdsmen during a month’s period. The chilling verdict was close to one thousand. Senator Saraki released the said report to the public and all hell broke loose.
Prior to that development, there was what was characterized as a bank robbery at Offa in Kwara State during which over thirty persons were killed. Police reports indicated that the mastermind behind the robbery were men who were in Senator Saraki’s employ, and that one of the vehicles had a SARAKI plate number. In essence, the Police concluded, Senator Saraki had a case to answer.
Then began a daily siege by the Police to arrest Saraki. When this seemingly failed, attempts were made, as some Senators claimed, by the Presidency to impeach Saraki. It was in the bid to thwart that move and express their anger that the now famous defections commenced.
There have been few cross-carpeting from the PDP to the APC – negligible by comparison – the most prominent being Senator Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Of note in all these are, firstly, the claim of … the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State Assembly who stated that he was offered N2 bn by the Presidency to abandon PDP for APC. What does that say of the claims and posturing of the Buhari administration to anti-corruption? Secondly, the fact that in the house of the recently dismissed Director General of the Department of State Security, Mohammed Daura were found: N21 billion; stacks of Voter cards PVCs; and hoards of arms and ammunition paints a picture of what the ruling party is planning ahead for the February 2019 scheduled elections.
Furthermore, the fact that the same Daura was the one who posted hooded security personnel to prevent the President of the Senate from attending the session of the Senate during which he would have been impeached speaks volumes about APC’s respect for other constituted authorities, and its respect for the rule of law. Lastly, the way and manner in which the Presidency and the entire force of the APC invaded Ekiti State, and the ensuing intimidation and the ultimate election of Fayemi, the APC candidate paints a picture of what Nigerians should expect in 2019.
Given all these, we would love to echo the Vice President’s assertion that the 2019 elections would be one between good and evil. There have been so much evil in the land that it cannot be otherwise. In closing, we crave the reader’s indulgence to outline the issues that would be relevant in determining which party has consistently been on the side of good, and on the side of evil.
Although there is a plethora of reasons relevant to determining which of the contending parties has sided with either good or bad, we shall, for the purposes of this discourse limit ourselves to five, viz, Governance, Anti-corruption, Security, the Grazing Bill, and the Economy.
Let us now have a cursory look at the foregoing issues:
From the very onset after candidate Buhari became the President Elect after an election in which children were not only allowed to register as potential voters, but actually voted in the north, Buhari who avoided debating the issues, said nothing beyond the litany of promises belted out during the electioneering period. Nigerians became aware that we were headed for trouble when forming the Federal Cabinet took all of a whole year. This meant that for most of that twelve month period, President Buhari ran Corporate Nigeria alone, with the assistance of Civil Servants.
Most Nigerians, three years into the Buhari administration, can’t point at anything positive that has impacted their lives for good through the APC government. The only thing the Buhari government has been consistent at is shouting ”anti-corruption”. On his return from his oft-repeated health vacations, he has resolved to jail all looters. We only hope that this time, in his bid to impress his would-be voters in 2019, he would prosecute all looters, beginning with the looting that has gone on in Aso Rock by way of very bogus budget provisions, and the looters of Federal and State economies in the APC.
The only other thing the Buhari Administration has done consistently is her desire to impose its Cattle Grazing Policy on the rest of Nigeria. It seeks to have large expanses of land cut out and reserved for grazing of cattle in every State of the federation. At the rate of 10,000 hectares of land in every State, it would amount to reserving one third of the entire land area for cattle rearing which doesn’t bring in one dollar to the GDP. Moreover, the Buhari government has earmarked N198 billion from Oil Revenue to which not one square meter of land has been allocated for the building of cattle rearing facilities for the Fulani. When confronted over these outrageous provisions, the President was reported to have retorted that it was better to give up land than to be dead.
As most Nigerians now know through personal experience, the state of insecurity has never been as bad as it has been in recent times. Candidate Buhari promised to end the Boko Haram terror months into his administration. Three years into Buhari’s term, the only certainties we know are: first, Boko Haram is still alive and well; it is still abducting and killing Nigerians; the government is still paying ransom money to Boko Haram; captured members of Boko Haram, who should be serving time in jail are being released back into society as rehabilitated; and by the reckoning of the UN, Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen have collectively butchered 26,000 Nigerians.
With the inception of the Buhari Administration, the state of insecurity became worse with the influx of the Fulari from every conceivable place in West Africa. Early this year, Senator Marafa of Zamfara remarked that there were strangers all over Zamfara State. The same thing applies to most states of the Federation. It would seem that there is a preparation of sort to force people to vote in a certain direction in 2019, or be slaughtered the way Fulani Herdsmen are doing right now unchecked.
4.The Grazing Reserve
Along with the inexplicable influx of the Fulani into Nigeria, the spate of killings increased in the North Eastern zone, the Middle Belt zone, especially Benue and Plateau States, and the Southern States. With the inception of the year, the killings increased to the extent the Senate summoned the Inspector General of Police who supplied the Senate damning evidence on the statistics of the number of Nigerians being butchered on a daily basis. There’s no other way to see things than from the viewpoint that the herdsmen were positioning themselves for their grazing reserve.
The Nigerian economy is still in the doldrums. The economy has gone from bad to worse on a yearly basis. Recent reports have it that within the three-year period it has been in power, the APC government has increased the Debt burden to N23 trillion. The unemployment rate has been on the increase, and the Abacha loot which return the previous administration discovered and negotiated to have repatriated, the Buhari Administration has resolved to share to the poor in an unverifiable manner, instead of being used to reduce the domestic debt burden.
Finally, no one knows what spin the Federal government would put on the N21 billion cash, 400 assorted and sophisticated small arms and thousands of PVCs belonging to Niger Republic immigrants found in the house of the ”sacked” DSS boss, Alh. Daura.
Given the foregoing, it seems which party is on the side of GOOD, and which is on the side of EVIL. If there is still a God in Heaven, like we believe, then the issue of which party would win is obvious.
May God save Nigeria from evil.
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