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BOKO HARAM! Waiting for Buhari-led government to save Nigerians is a waste of time, says Fayose

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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has alleged that Boko Haram has become a source of indirect treasury looting.

The governor described the alleged withdrawal of military check-points from Dapchi and other communities, few days before 110 students of Government Girls Science Technical College were abducted by Boko Haram, as a major pointer to possible conspiracy in the abduction of the schoolgirls.

He wondered why no one had been questioned up till now despite conflicting claims by the army and police.

Fayose, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said:

“Painfully, it appears we will have to live with Boko Haram for a very long time because waiting for this President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to save Nigerians is a waste of time. They boasted that Boko Haram will be defeated within three months; it is now more than 30 months. All that they have told Nigerians is grammar. Boko Haram technically defeated, Boko Haram completely defeated and now Boko Haram completely degraded.

“We have heard stories of alleged diversion of foods and relief materials meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East to Chad and Niger Republic, about 200 tons of dates donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for distribution to the IDPs sold in the open market in Abuja and most importantly, use of the IDPs camps by top government officials to perpetrate monumental fraud. As long as fight against Boko Haram remains a business venture, providing cheap money for top officials of this government, the insurgency will continue.

“The anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International said last year that corruption in the military was weakening Nigeria’s efforts to battle Boko Haram.

“In Transparency International’s words; ‘corrupt military officials have been able to benefit from the conflict through the creation of fake defense contracts, the proceeds of which are often laundered abroad in the UK, U.S. and elsewhere.’

“In its own report, the US Department of State’s Bureau for Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism said that the inability of security agencies in Nigeria to share intelligence report because of animosity is affecting the success in the fight against Boko Haram.

“The public disagreement between the army and police over the security arrangements that were in place in Dapchi and other communities in Yobe State a few days before the Boko Haram attack that led to the abduction of the 110 girls has further lend credence to the position of the US Department of State’s Bureau for Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism.

“President Buhari must therefore have to look inward and purge his government of those benefitting from the insurgency is indeed he desires that it should end.”

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Amotekun: There are ‘dangerous’ plots to create Oduduwa Republic – MURIC

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Amotekun

An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has insisted that there is a connection between the Amotekun initiative and recent agitation for the establishment of Oduduwa Republic.

The group, therefore, declared that Muslims in the region will never be part of the proposed Oduduwa Republic.

It called on the governors in the region to be wary of the activities of irredentist elements who are exploiting the euphoria of the moment to achieve their selfish and parochial objectives.

The group also warned that breaking away from the rest of Nigeria cannot be in the best interest of the Yoruba.

This was contained in a press statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Monday.

It reads, “While we are pleased to observe that it seems the authorities have taken note of our agitation to balance the appointment into amotekun by recruiting into all caders from all religious groups, our suggestion of a change of name from ‘amotekun’ to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ is yet to come to reality.

“That notwithstanding, the most pressing issue now is the call for the carving out of a Yoruba Republic out of present-day Nigeria. Moves being made include the circulation of a fraudulent survey in Yorubaland asking people to reply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the establishment of a Yoruba Republic. Anybody can guess what the result of such a survey coming from an unverified source can be.

“Another document which is also being circulated lists the capital of the proposed republic as Ibadan. However, those behind the idea exposed themselves as dreamers when, apart from the six Yoruba states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo, they claimed that the geographical area of Oduduwa Republic includes Edo, Kogi, Kwara and Delta. However, Ijaw youths have predictably denounced the Utopia.

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“It is becoming glaring day by day that the amotekun initiative is leading to the formation of a Yoruba nation. The same group that agitated for the establishment of Amotekun security outfit is the same that is now clamouring for a sovereign Yoruba nation. It is no longer a smokescreen, or a ‘bojuboju’ game. The masquerade has uncovered its face.

“Among the dangerous steps taken by the Yoruba separatist group is the quit notice they gave to Hausa-Fulani residents in the region.

“Another cause for concern is the appointment of military retirees as heads of the amotekun security outfits in Yoruba states instead of using retired senior police officers. This portrays a militant body language.

“It is noteworthy that Chief Alao Akala, a former governor of Oyo State has condemned the appointment of retired military men as heads of amotekun in five of the six states and predicted that the initiative would fail.

“The fact that the appointment of retired senior military men also coincided with the beginning of agitations for an Oduduwa Republic speaks volumes. Besides, the agitation has already been taken to the United Nations.

“It is however heartwarming that some conscious Yoruba groups have staged protests against the amotekun security outfit.

“Equally disturbing is the fact that the proponents of amotekun and Oduduwa Republic are most eager to employ both fair and foul means to achieve their target. This Machiavellian disposition reveals the group’s desperation to unleash anarchy. Their threat to assassinate the director of MURIC exposes them as a group that will not stomach opposition.

“Other foul methods adopted by the group include trailing and surveillance of the residences of those who oppose amotekun, use of fake and nonexistent Islamic organisations to demarket our organization, cyber war, ‘killing’ MURIC’s press statements and sponsorship of columnists to disparage the organisation and its director.

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“But we remain undaunted. Our resolve to uphold justice, fairplay and peaceful coexistence within a united and strong Nigeria is as solid as the Rock of Gibralta. The tough must get going when the going gets rough. For us it is ‘No surrender, no retreat’. A group that goes all out to do all the above cannot be trusted to lead the Yoruba people to El-Dorado.

“MURIC hereby declares that the silence of Muslims in the Yoruba states must not be mistaken for approval of secessionist moves. Yoruba Muslims have no confidence in the irredentists particularly because the latter have never been given fair treatment whether in political appointments, employment in the job market or in matters of Allah-given fundamental human rights. It is public knowledge that it is in Yoruba schools that Yoruba Muslim children are intimidated, harassed and humiliated over their civil rights particularly the hijab question.

“So what is the guarantee that Muslims will not face worse discriminatory treatrment, oppression and persecution in an Oduduwa Republic? It is on record that a prominent Yoruba politician, Femi Fani-Kayode threatened publicly that they know where to keep people like the director of MURIC ‘when Oduduwa … is ready’. Oduduwa Republic is therefore going to be a slaughter slab and a deadly trap for Yoruba Muslims.

“For the umpteenth time, we wish to clarify our position regarding the Yoruba security outfit, amotekun. MURIC is not opposed to a security initiative which will complement police efforts in curbing criminality in the South West. What we oppose is a system targeting Muslims and people of other tribes who reside in the region or marginalising Muslims in recruitments into its units.”

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“We also frown at all criminal propensities, including the activities of herdsmen who destroy farmlands though we are aware that this is not limited to Yorubaland alone. We strongly condemn non-indigenes in Yorubaland and other places who make crime their preoccupation and cause disaffection between the Yoruba and law-abiding people of their tribes. In this regard, we call for stiff penalties for the suspected killers of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the Afenifere leader who are currently facing trial once they are found guilty.

“We appeal to those behind the formation of an Oduduwa Republic to let Nigeria be. We are stronger in a union. There is also no guaranty that the proposed republic will last if it ever becomes a fait accompli. Yoruba Muslims will be the leading voice of opposition to the unholy union in post-secession. Next, the various tribal groups, principalities and communities will suddenly wake up from their slumber and revive the old bitter rivalries. Will the Egba submit to the Ijebu? Will the Modakekes kowtow to the Ife? What of the Ijesha? Will they stand akimbo while Iwo and Ede go away with all the milk and honey from the phantom republic? It will be a den of jealous, rancourous and disunited neighbours.

“We call on Yoruba governors to be wary of the activities of irredentist elements who are exploiting the euphoria of the moment to achieve their selfish and parochial objectives. We have no reason to assume that the governors are part of the grand scheme. Our assumption is that all the governors are interested in is to secure the people of the region and their properties. MURIC is fully in support of this kind of security arrangement.”

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Full text of  Col. Dangiwa Umar [retd]’s letter to  Buhari

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Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday 30th May 2020

President,

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,

Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dear Mr. President,

MR. PRESIDENT; PLEASE BELONG TO ALL OF US.

“One of the swiftest ways of destroying a Kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favor to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near” –Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio.

I have been prompted to write you this open letter, Mr. President, by the loud sounds of drums, singing and dancing that erupted within many groups in the last few days on the grounds that you attained the 5th year in office as President of Nigeria. It comes as no surprise that enthusiasm for the celebration is not shared equally by segments of the public. While your admirers and supporters believe you have performed well, many others believe the five years you have been in office as our President has not met the yearnings, expectations and change promised Nigerians.

Mr. President, you know me well enough and my position on issues to realize that I can be neither a rabid supporter nor a fanatical opponent of yours. I believe being a responsible citizen is enough reason to wish you well and to work for your success. As we have seen all too clearly these past few years, your success is ours as is your failure. We swim or sink with you!

You might wish to recall that after the results of the 23rd of February 2019 presidential elections were announced, giving you victory, I addressed a press conference during which I urged the runner-up, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, to concede defeat. The reason was clear: tensions were running high and little missteps by the leaders might ignite violence, as often happened after major elections. Some supporters of Abubakar Atiku disagreed with me and told me off. As it happened, Alhaji Atiku went ahead to mount a legal challenge to the outcome of the elections up to the Supreme Court. Mercifully, his actions did not result in an outbreak of violence as we feared.

At the same occasion, I counselled the declared winner, your good self, to use the opportunity of your second term to redeem your pledge of being a leader and president of all Nigerians.

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On the occasion of the first-year anniversary into your second four-year term, I feel there is an urgent need to revisit this subject matter.

Mr. President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.

And truth be told, Mr. President, there are quite a lot of things that speak to your remarkable accomplishments, not least of which is that for the first time in our democratic history, a sitting President was defeated. That feat was achieved by Muhammadu Buhari. The reason was the public belief of you as a man of integrity.

The corollary to this is that at the expiration of your 8-year tenure in 2023, your achievements will not be measured solely by the physical infrastructure your administration built. An enduring legacy would be based on those intangible things like how much you uplifted the spirit and moral tone of the nation. How well have you secured the nation from ourselves and from external enemies?

At this time and in the light of all that have happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration. All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.

Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.

Mr. President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favoring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.

I need not remind you, Mr. President, that our political history is replete with great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.

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A few examples will demonstrate this:

In February, 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun and Maimalari. The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be more qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army. His being a Muslim Northerner like the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa granted him added advantage by today’s standards. But to the surprise of even the Igbos, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The Prime Minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army.

When on 13 February 1976, the Commander-in-Chief, General Murtala Muhammed, was assassinated in a failed Coup de tat, General Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy and the most senior officer at the time, was sworn in as his successor. The Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y Danjuma, a Northern Christian, was next in line to succeed Obasanjo as the Chief of Staff, SHQ and Deputy Commander in Chief. General Danjuma however waived his right and recommended a much junior officer, Lt. Col. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, for the post. Shehu was promoted two steps up to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Chief of Staff SHQ and Deputy Commander-in-Chief. Lt. Col. Muhammadu Buhari was appointed Minister of Petroleum. This was done to placate Muslim North which was deemed to have lost one of its own, Murtala Muhammed.

Both the chief of staff, Mr. Sunday Awoniyi, and the personal physician Dr Ishaya Audu to the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, a direct descendant of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, were Christians.

Barely nine years after the civil war in 1979, the NPN Presidential candidate, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, picked an Igbo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as his running mate. They enjoyed a truly brotherly relationship as President and Vice President. President Shagari’s political advisor, Dr Chuba Okadigbo and National Assembly Liaison, assistant, Dr K.O Mbadiwe, were both Igbos. His economic advisor, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien and his Chief of Personnel Staff Dr Michael Prest, were of Niger Delta extraction. Remarkably, all his military service chiefs were Christians with the exception of his last Chief Army Staff, General Inuwa Wushishi under whose tenure he was removed in a military coup de tat.

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Mr. President, as a witness and beneficiary, it is our expectation that you would emulate these great acts of statesmanship. Which is why we have continued to engage with you.

You may wish to recall that I had cause to appeal to you, to confirm Justice Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria a few days before the expiration of his three months tenure of acting appointment to be replaced by a Muslim Northerner. We were saved that embarrassment when his nomination was sent to the senate by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo. When he was finally confirmed a few days to the end of his tenure, he was removed after a few months and replaced by Justice Muhammed, a Muslim from the North.

May I also invite the attention of Mr. President to the pending matter of appointment of a Chief Judge of the Nigerian Court Appeal which appears to be generating public interest. As it is, the most senior Judge, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, a northern Christian, is serving out her second three-month term as acting Chief Judge without firm prospects that she will be confirmed substantive head. I do not know Justice Mensem but those who do attest to her competence, honesty and humility. She appears eminently qualified for appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal as she is also said to be highly recommended by the National Judicial Council. If she is not and is bypassed in favor of the next in line who happens to be another northern Muslim, that would be truly odd. In which case, even the largest contingent of PR gurus would struggle to rebut the charges that you, Mr. President, is either unwilling or incapable of acting on your pledge to belong to everyone — and to no one. I hope you would see your way into pausing and reflecting on the very grave consequences of such failure not just to your legacy but to the future of our great country.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President.

COL. ABUBAKAR DANGIWA UMAR (RTD)

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JUST IN: Ajimobi’s aide defects to PDP

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Abiola Ajimobi

The candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the Ibadan Southeast/Northeast Federal House of Representatives in Oyo state during the 2019 general election, Mr Deji Aboderin has defected to the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

Aboderin served as the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

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He cited many cases where party leadership worked against his electoral victory in the last election

Details later…

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