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Posts tagged ‘APC’

We are seeing hell – Borno Elders.


 

The Bornu Elders, Monday gave a graphic details of how life in Borno and the entire north east has been reduced to hell by the activities insurgents.

Addressing a gathering of Northern Elders Forum in Kano, Zanna Hassan Boguma who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of Borno Elders Forum declared that the entire region is now engaged in full time war from enemy within.

Boguma stated that “we have been seeing hell, our people are constantly decimated, our towns and villages razed, properties destroyed, schools and places of worship burnt, even innocent travelers were not spared” .

The elder stateman said that from the inceasant attack that the axis had witnessed in the last weeks was a confirmation of how vulnerable the entire region is.
He disclosed that the region has been turn in to a war zone with attendant humanitarian crisis, stressing that this is the time the whole country should mobilized to stop the carnage.

Boguma who doubted the intention of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity in the region was quick to add that “much as we know, the whole matter has nothing to do with claimed intention of a section imposing their will on the others, or issues of sharia or making the country ungovernable for the President or a religious war as they want to look at it”.

He however accused the Federal Government of lacking the political will to address the crisis, pointing out that Borno Elders is surprised at the grave yard silence of Government and its inability to implement several report on the insurgency turned in by expert engaged to do so by the same Government.

The Borno Elders noted that the solution to the crisis does not lie with the PDP or APC, maintaining that the situation at hand transcend politics and urged the entire Country to identify with them at the moment of need.

This catastrophe which has befallen us should be the concern of all Northerners irrespective of tribe, region, or creed. Those of you who are residing far away shold know that other citizens needed your sympathy and attention”.

Boguma posited that “until those who were namd as supporters, financiers, and alliesto the Boko Haram were brought to justice, until the political Boko Haram were apprehended and prosecuted, until the operations to contain this madness is sincerely handled, lives of our innocent villagers will continued to be sacrificed”.

By AbdulSalam Muhammad

Source: Radio Biafra.

Jonathan 2015 & The Parable Of The Prostitute By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo.


 

Columnist:

By Rudolph Okonkwo

You must have seen one of those must read stories. There is this one about a lady who was a prostitute. She did her job so well and for so long. It also meant that she had to undergo a lot of abortions. At one point she decided to undergo a full hysterectomy to avoid any need for further abortions. The doctors indulged her after getting her to sign the consent. One of the lines on the consent form said she agreed that she would never have a baby again.

Along the way, as these stories go, she got redeemed. She accepted Christ and became born again. Her new passion for Christ found favor in the heart of the dashing pastor of her new age church. In no time, the pastor proposed to her. She was reluctant to accept, for obvious reasons. The pastor insisted that God spoke to him to marry her. She asked the pastor to check again for he must have misunderstood what God said. After going back and forth with the pastor insisting that he heard God well, she told the pastor that her womb had been taken out.

“No problem,” the pastor said. “I’ll still marry you.”

They got married. Lo and behold, before you could say honeymoon over she became pregnant. And that was when the story became interesting.

She returned to the doctor that removed her womb and reported that she was pregnant. After a natural bout of dismissal and doubts, the doctor did a pregnancy test and as the story put it, “to his greatest surprisation” the pastor discovered that the woman was pregnant for real.

To crown it all, on the ninth month, she gave birth to a baby. Not just any baby- she gave birth to the gold standard baby- “a bouncing baby boy.”

I know. By now your heart has melted like a spoon of butter left in the sun. And that’s when the peddlers of this tale finally strike. They now say to you in upper case:

“IT WAS THE GRACE, FAVOUR AND MERCY OF GOD that the prostitute could have a child. Therefore, I decree upon your life that whatsoever that has or might have damaged in your life, in your body, in your skills, your career, your academics, your business, MAY THE FAVOUR, MERCY, GRACE AND MIRACLE OF GOD LOCATE YOU. YOU TYPE AMEN TO THIS PRAYER, IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME, AMEN. My brothers & sisters, God still does this kind of miracles, just write “Amen” and share this story to your friends, you will see GOD perform a Miracle in your life today!!!”

Immediately, thousands of our compatriots rush to type Amen. If it is the one that urges you to forward the tale to 60 friends in six minutes so that Bill Gates will drop an iPad under your pillow, thousands of us will do so.

Nobody pauses to ask simple questions. Like, where will a fertilized egg get implanted on when the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the cervix were taken out during hysterectomy? Even in a partial hysterectomy, if fertilized egg is not self-aborted before the woman knows she’s pregnant, it gets attached to the other organs of the abdomen or the walls of one of the fallopian tubes, immediately putting the life of the mother in danger. Gynecologists and obstetricians often remove such rare fetuses. Unless a didelphic uterus is involved, hysterectomy is as good as sterility.

Those are the questions we should be asking and not singing, Amen. But trust us, Nigerians! We long for signs and wonders in place of reason and proof.

President Goodluck Jonathan knows this. And that’s why his handlers have designed a strategy that will keep him in Aso Rock until 2019. That strategy is very simple: show the people their miserable lives and point to them the people to blame for it. That’s how elections are typically won. In the case of Jonathan, he has crafted the people to blame – others.

Even though the presidency just issued a book, “The Reforms that have transformed Nigeria (2010-2013),” they are not basing the upcoming campaign on highlighting the various achievements listed in the book which they claim has made the lives of Nigerians more meaningful. Instead, they want you to just write Amen.

The ethno-religious reality of Nigeria has made it very simple for the president. The safe zones of the president are the South-South and the South East, the Middle Belt and the Christian North. The only region at play in the 2015 election is the South West. The Jonathan-Sambo ticket’s only path into the South West is through the church. The president has to grab 40% of the votes in the South West to win the election.

The opposition party, the APC is placed in a difficult position by this reality. The party also needs the South West vote to win. To get a significant number of the South West vote, the party has to juggle some complex parameters.

First, on the biggest masquerade in APC- General Buhari. A good analogy of his political fortune can be deduced from that of Emeka Ojukwu when he returned from exile in 1982. On Ojukwu’s return, an analyst said that, “if Ojukwu joins NPN, NPN is finished and if he joins NPP, NPP is finished.” Looking at the 2015 elections, the feelers out there is that the fate of APC is to a large extent dependent on whether Buhari runs or not. If he runs, APC is finished and if he doesn’t run, APC is finished. This thinking is based on the calculation that no matter how much President Jonathan screws up, Buhari cannot overcome the fair or unfair negative perceptions of him in some parts of the south. Some potential northern candidates are using this argument to keep Buhari from contesting at all.

The APC can pick a South West candidate for president. To ensure that the candidate has a chance up north, he or she must be a Muslim. The other alternative is to pick a Northern candidate for president and then pick a South West candidate for vice president. In this permutation, the only viable candidate from the South West with the kind of crossover appeal is Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State. But the Northern candidate cannot be a Muslim, too. Otherwise that will play into the hands of Jonathan and his PDP group already tagging APC a Muslim party.

If Fashola is the presidential candidate, he could deliver the South West votes but will the North line up behind him in the numbers needed to deflate Jonathan’s inroad into the North via the Middlebelt and the Christian North? If Fashola is the vice-presidential candidate which northern candidate at the head of the ticket will inspire enough confidence in the South West to secure over 70% of the votes there? Buhari did not in 2011 and he will not do so in 2015.

That is why Jonathan’s only challenge in these permutations is to squeeze out 40% of the South West vote, irrespective of the candidate APC will come up with. And the only way to do so is to carry the bible and the cross until election time.

And once the bible and the cross come out, like in the story of the prostitute, it is miracle and grace that follows not logic and reason. Objectivity disappears. Empirical evidence becomes irrelevant. Amen stands upon other Amen until the ladder climbs up to heaven under the whirlwind of promises.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

You’ve no powers to stop Jonathan 2015, Jubril Aminu tells northern politicians.


 

Northern politicians opposed to the re‑election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 have no power to stop him from running for a second term in office, former Petroleum Minister, a Professor Jubril Aminu, warned, yesterday.
The former petroleum minister said while it was proper for people to hold their views in a democratic setting, it was wrong for some elements to cause avoidable political rancour over a matter that did not warrant any protracted argument.

He pointed out that any Northerner who wanted to stop Jonathan from getting a second term should not try to stop him by stoking unnecessary debate, which the law court could settle, but should go to the poll to vote against him.

Aminu said: “I don’t support the argument that Jonathan has the right or not to contest in 2015. That is not the issue because you cannot stop him from exercising his political right.

“But I want to say that instead of arguing whether Jonathan is qualified or not, let those opposed to him use the ballot box to vote him out during the election.

“If those opposed to him can muster enough votes to prevent him from winning, will the President not stand down?” he asked.

Aminu, who spoke exclusively to Vanguard in Abuja, claimed that most of those parading themselves as Northern politicians opposed to Jonathan’s re‑election, did not represent the voice of the northers, but their selfish interest.

BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

Source: Radio Biafra.

Jonathan’s 2015 Onslaught By Charles Ofoji.


By Charles Ofoji

Only the naive would still be waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to formally declare his intention to seek reelection in 2105. The body language of the president and his calculated speeches, inactions and actions leave no one in doubt that he will not only ask the Nigerian people to renew his mandate, but in fact he has started campaigning for reelection. The firing of his Chief of Staff and four ministers last week are unmistakable canons, kick starting a reelection bid.

At last, Jonathan, albeit reluctantly, sacked his controversial political ally, Stella Oduah. Undoubtedly, if not the fact that 2015 is dangerously too close, he would never have fired the woman, who not only played a pivotal role in his emerging as president in 2011, but also, despite her malfeasance, arguably did a good job in the aviation industry as minister. Jonathan was awfully disinclined to sacking Oduah for the two reasons I have mentioned. Her discharge is a loss to Jonathan personally and the Nigeria people. The Aviation Industry will miss the vision this ambitious woman had for it. She wanted to reform the rotten industry and she did well in this direction. I guess her greatest undoing was that she failed to realize that no matter how well you mean or how well you might be doing your job, public service has rules which are sacrosanct.

Oduah got carried away. In that way, she unwisely played into the hands of her enemies, who are predominantly the cabal holding aviation industry hostage – those who want business to remain as usual. At the end, she paid the price for not playing by the rules and her enemies rejoiced. Her greatest mistake was that you cannot be a reformer and live below board. Reforms hurt special interests. The owners of such interests would naturally fight back to retain the status-quo which guarantees their profit.

I was one of those who personally admired Oduah. I had wished she did well, being a woman. It would have gone a long way in bridging gender inequality in Nigeria. I also, on a personal note, wished her well, being a friend of her brother during my times in Cologne, Germany. Nevertheless, her misbehaviour was not tolerable, neither was it pardonable. You don’t bend the rules because people you like broke them.

Jonathan had tried to bend the rules for Oduah until he found out that the heat was unbearable. She had only become an agonizing political liability. This is why I refrain from congratulating this president for sacking those enmeshed in corruption, who dined with him. There is no sincerity in their sacking. They were not sacked because Jonathan was interested in ethics or in the fight against corruption. It was only onslaught towards 2015 – a selfish move aimed at winning back the trust of the Nigerian people.

It is useless to inquire if Jonathan would be successful in getting Nigerians to trust him again. Even if Nigerians would not trust him again, who would they? The so-called Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) has not presented Nigerians with a viable alternative. It takes only an extraordinary candidate to defeat an incumbent anywhere in the world, more so in Africa, where it rarely happens. The names I hear of in the APC do not come near to even being average candidates. In fact, they are worse than Jonathan.

Based on the covenant between Nigerians and Jonathan and his performance as president, he should not bother asking for another mandate. He failed to deliver on his promise – a breath of fresh air. The air got worse under his watch. For those who love Nigeria, it saddens to know that he would remain president beyond 2015. There is simply no credible challenger.

This cast a big question mark on Nigeria’s recruitment and reward system. The mere fact that all those within a touching distance of challenging Jonathan are people of questionable character simply goes to underline that something is terribly wrong with the country. No thanks to a dubious recruitment and reward system bequeathed on the Nation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, those who are competent and those who genuinely love Nigeria and have something to contribute to her forward-march never get a chance to serve their fatherland. As a result of godfatherism, mostly unqualified people and charlatans ambled their way up Nigeria’s political ladder.

Recently, I listened once more to the brilliant speech of former Prime Minister, late Tafawa Balewa before the United Nations. Again I cried for Nigeria. You could only ask yourself, where did people like Balewa, Azikiwe and Awolowo go? Nigeria did not stop producing such people. The truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of people like them. The only thing is that the sycophants the military handed over power to, so that they could protect their interests, hijacked the country. And they would do all, including assassinating, to make sure that people like Balewa are prevented from coming close to power.

Jonathan is the biggest beneficiary of a system that encourages mediocrity. He should never have been president in the first place. He was propped up by a dubious system. Unfortunately, as he said recently, he is still better than those calling him names.

*checkpointcharley@yahoo.de

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

As We Await Jega’s Imperfect Elections In 2015 – By Peter Claver Oparah.


By Peter Claver Oparah

I don’t know what was probably on the mind of Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently when he warned Nigerians not to expect a perfect election from his INEC in 2015. I am yet to fathom what message he wanted to send by that apparent admittance of failure before he sets out to deliver what Nigerians have rightly termed a crucial election that will make or mar the fragile country. It is not as if most Nigerian expected a perfect election; not from INEC and most certainly, not from Jega’s INEC that delivered an untidy farce in 2011 and had been delivering more egregious parodies in states it had conducted elections since that sordid show in 2011. Perhaps the high point of Jega’s incapacity to conduct elections in Nigeria was the November 16, 2013 tragedy in Anambra State which merely worked from an answer to a pre-determined question. The nationwide condemnation trailing that anti-climactic election jolted Jega, first to admit the infractions that besmirched the so called election while curiously approving the outcome (as is traditional with his questionable objectivity) and now, to seek to prepare us for the worst in 2015.
Yes, Jega wants to lower the high expectations Nigerians have built for a credible election in 2015.  Yes, he wants to pre-offload the seeming massive umbrage that awaits him should he play a predictable script of mismanaging the 2015 election to favour those that tele-guide him on the job. Yes, Jega was creating a convenient alibi for the predicted failure his INEC plans to shock Nigerians with in 2015 but I don’t think we should allow him such a cheeky escape route. Come to think of it, when did Jega wake up to the reality that his INEC cannot deliver a perfect election after he reveled in the syndicated applause that attended his abhorrent conduct in 2011? When did he wake up to realize that indeed, his INEC, with its present composition and carriage cannot be trusted to deliver an election that will even compete within the regional standard obtainable in West Africa? I ask the last question because Nigerians, I know, will certainly hail Jega and swathe him in flamboyant allure should he deliver an election that nears the standard obtainable in Ghana or even Benin Republic.

After his appointment, Jega was to embark on an expensive voter registration exercise that involved the capturing of the personal data of eligible Nigerian voters. From its face value, that looked a sure bet towards dealing with the virus of multiple thumb printing, which riles the country’s electoral process. It also stood to verify the authenticity of declared results for whenever the thumb printed votes come in contact with the captured data of voters, there is bound to be a scientific filtering to separate the actual votes from the fake votes. What should shock Nigerians was the first observation from curious Nigerians that there was no central server to store the cumulative data captured all over the country. That meant there was no base for the expensive data Jega captured at every polling booth in Nigeria. Also the deliberate manipulation of the voters’ register, as seen in the elections in Ondo, Anambra and Delta Central Senatorial constituency points to the fact that the data that were collated has been seriously compromised and cannot be trusted to form the cornerstone of credible election in Nigeria. Again, there was no known relationship between the data captured and the votes cast. On election day, one needs to present merely his temporary voters card for possible identification and nothing more. What really was the essence of the thumb print that was central to the voters’ registration? With this lacuna, desperate politicians were to corner all the ballot papers and in some cases, one person thumb printed as much as twenty booklets and all were accounted as real votes in the 2011 sham of an election. This was the magic behind the history-breaking 90 to 99 per cent votes the PDP appropriated in the South East and South South States in 2011.

Jega is being clearly mischievous by his latest warning to Nigerians not to expect a perfect election in 2015 and every Nigerian must tell him in unmistakable terms that we expect nothing more than a perfect election from him. If he cannot deliver, let him quit in time for the country to have for herself an election umpire that is ready to claim responsibility for his actions. Yes, let it be clear and candid that we will not accept any more of Jega’s farces again. I can attest that Jega’s INEC cannot conduct a credible election because Jega is too indebted to those that appointed him than disappoint their schemes to corner every election in Nigeria by hook or crook.

It has been the mantra of those that support the entrenchment of fraudulent elections in Nigeria to argue that there can no prefect election. Again, they freely charge that election losers in Nigeria can never accept defeat. These positions have been proven false by the conduct, outcome and reactions that trailed the June 12 1993 presidential election. Truth is Nigerians know a credible election when they see one and whenever it occurs, even losers will accept the outcome. Perfectness is a relative word and that elections are deemed perfect does not mean it is free from error. Nigerians know this and when they demand a perfect election, they want an election with minimal errors and not one that is deliberately schemed as a farce. A bigger truth is that apart from the 1993 presidential election, all other elections held in Nigeria have been mere concoctions put in place to dupe the electorates and further the ends of corruption and bad governance.

As it is now, Jega’s INEC is fully packed with leading PDP members. The rest are mere nominees of the PDP and President Jonathan. One wonders how a credible election can happen with the upper deck of INEC populated by members of a political party that had sworn to retain power till eternity through every available means. The process and procedures of elections are mere malleable tools at the hands of the PDP to arrive at pre-ordained ends. No foundation for credible election is built on such partial foundation and that is one of the burdens Jega carries and why Nigerian elections remain perpetually shambled with deliberately erected bulwarks stalking it at every end.

But this country has a well thought out report on electoral reform, as recommended by the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Panel. The panel is comprehensive enough as to remove most of the bulwarks that stand between Nigerians and credible election in its report. For understandable reasons, the ruling PDP sabotaged the report because while it stands to guarantee a free, independent and credible electoral organ and process, it threatens the plot by the PDP for perpetual fiefdom. The party rather prefers a system where we wobble through highly manipulated elections, executed according to its wills and by people of questionable integrity and party mercenaries. It rather prefers a situation where it enters the game both as a player and referee. It is within this pliable template that we locate Jega, his shoddy conducts so far and his frustration that gave vent to the recent warning. The question every Nigerian, especially the opposition must ask is whether we must continue to endure the process that threw up Jega and makes room for all his failures and still threaten us with future failures?

Methinks every Nigerian must rise up and tell Jega that we expect him to conduct a credible election in 2015 or find the exit door, if he feels he cannot guarantee that. We have collectively borne the brunt of fraudulent elections far too long that we cannot put up with another deliberately fabricated ruse in 2015. In fact, he should muster the courage and tact to steer off the way so as to enable the country address its electoral woes by strictly applying the Uwais Electoral Reform Panel Report. This must be made clear to Jega and the opposition should ensure that Jega is perpetually kept on his toes so as not to once again, dump another electoral charade on the country’s doorstep in 2015.

Peter Claver Oparah
Ikeja, Lagos.

E-mail: peterclaver2000@yahoo.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Help Wanted: Nigerian President For 2015 – By Bayo Oluwasanmi.


By Bayo Oluwasanmi

The race for the presidency is shaping up. In the right-place-right-time theory of politics, the moment matters. It’s scary to visualize what the political landscape will look like in 2015. For sure, there will be events that will try our souls between now and then.

With the disappearing act of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerians are looking for the next strongest leader to take over. Nigerians are fed up with the leadership of Mr. Jonathan. In the absence of a leader, Nigerians are like sheep without a shepherd and we yearn for a leader. Like any other group of people, we focus on our immediate needs, we struggle with delayed gratification, we feel insecure and begin to worry without abundant signs of hope, and we always ask: what has the leader done for us lately?

Leadership, like life, is the sum total of the decisions we make. Every decision has consequences. The president decides how he’ll respond to issues, decides on the size of the budget, decides on whom to hire, and decides what values and priorities are worth fighting for, and most importantly, decides what will be his legacy.

It is evident that the three-year presidency of Mr. Jonathan portrays him as a leader who lacks commitment, suffers from a scattered focus, looks for excuses, forgets the big picture, go public with private thoughts, behaves inconsistently, creates poor relationships, and avoids change.

For 2015, we want a leader who will separate himself regularly from the crowd. A leader who will pursue truth over popularity, a leader who is willing to take risks, who is ready to be watched by the public even though it feels intimidating to be watched and scrutinized.

We want a leader with character, a leadership with competence – ability to get the job done and leadership that produces results. We want a leadership with conviction – a leadership that has backbone, someone who will always stand for what is right. Tomorrow’s production begins with today’s preparation. We need a leader that will solve problems because the fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems.

The cost and expectations of leadership are high and expensive. The failure of a leadership usually results in consequences far more greater than the fall of a non-leader. We want a leader that will live at a standard higher than others. A leader that cares for the interest of the poor, who lives with integrity and keeps his word. We want a leader that manages time and the nation’s resources well.

Nigerians want a leader who is ready to listen to the people, who practices patience of silence and submission. He must be faithful and committed as a trustworthy partner of the people. We want a leader with charisma, a man who enjoys a sense of giftedness.

Example is the most important tool a leader possesses. People do what people see. We need a leader that will set example. “Example is not the main thing influencing others,” says Albert Schweitzer, “it is the only thing.”

I remember an incident of leadership by example that took place when I was in high school. Our principal – a strict disciplinarian – had warned us several times to stop dumping refuse at a particular spot near the hostel. We refused to use the new pit dug for that purpose because it was a bit far from the hostel. Over time, the refuse pit had become a dunghill. Well, one day after the morning assembly, in his characteristic style of leadership by example, our principal gave the marching order: “Follow me.” We all lined up behind him. He headed straight to the dunghill. Without a word, he bent down and with his two hands grabbed his own piece of the dirt. Without any hesitation, mumbling, or grumbling, we all snatched our share of the mess. Within few minutes, the whole mess was gone. End of story!

By now, Nigerians are sick of scheming leaders who will do anything for the sake of power. Our political history shows that our leadership revolves around Machiavellian leadership style based on amorality, deception, power, ego, and personal advantage. By contrast, the leadership style required for 2015 should be based on morality, truthfulness, servanthood, humility, and meeting the needs of our people. It should be a leadership based on self-giving and not self-preservation.

We need a leader who projects confidence, strength, hope, optimism, and sincerity who can always inspire Nigerians through personal power in seemingly hopeless situations. In the darkest days of the Second World War in 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the parliament: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” he said. “We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering,” he assured the Brits.

Despite Churchill’s depressing words, it was the realistic assessment of the crisis faced by Britain. Indeed, as it turned out, those words lifted the morale and ignited the fighting spirit of the British people. With defiant courage, Churchill declared: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” This is the type of president Nigeria needs. We don’t need a skilled manipulator with superficial charm without the experience, ability, values, and character that make an authentic leader as president.

In a nutshell, the next president of Nigeria must be a leader with a sense of “I am eager” meaning a sense of passion and urgency about reaching Nigerians and meeting their needs, a sense of “I am obligated” that is, a feeling that he cannot do anything else vocationally, and a sense of “I am not ashamed” by way of conviction to do what others may think illogical.

So, let the race begin!

byolu@aol.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Boko Haram: Military Leadership Underserves President And Junior Soldiers.


By Abiodun Ladepo

“Gunmen from Islamist sect Boko Haram killed 51 people in an attack on a town in northeast Nigeria…in a region where President Goodluck Jonathan’s troops are struggling to contain its insurgency.  Dozens of Boko Haram fighters speeding along in trucks painted in military colours and armed with automatic weapons and explosives stormed Konduga local government area in Borno state at around 4 p.m. on…burning houses and shooting fleeing villagers…The insurgents also took 20 young girls from a local college hostage…The military confirmed the attack took place but said it was still assessing the number of casualties.”

The above was the lead paragraph in a Reuters’s story published a couple of days ago.  The story’s screaming headline was: “Nigeria’s Boko Haram kill 51 in northeast attack.”   Before this headline, there had been many such screaming headlines published by different media: “Gunmen kill 22 in Nigeria church attack: Witnesses”; “Attacks by extremists kill about 75 Nigerians”; “Nigerian gunmen attack toll reaches 85”; “Nigerian Muslim Cleric Opposed to Boko Haram Shot Dead.”  And we can go on and on quoting screaming headlines that have assailed our ears since gunmen first laid siege to northern Nigeria.  Does anybody even pay any attention to these headlines anymore?  Anybody…the Federal government, the military, and the rest of us not directly affected by the carnage…do we pay any attention to these headlines anymore?  Could it be that we don’t pay attention to these headlines because they have apparently screamed themselves hoarse?  Or have we all just become inured to (and inoculated against) their potency?

But probably the one headline that should have bothered Nigerians the most was this from ThisDay newspaper: “Five Aircraft Razed as Boko Haram Attacks Maiduguri.”  The paper reported on 03 December 2013 that the president was so perturbed by the brazen and gory nature of the attack that he called an emergency meeting of the Security Council.  Erstwhile Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, (now CDS) along with National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) were in attendance.  Soon after that meeting, the Air Force launched a few air sorties in the area, dropping a few bombs on what it thought were the enemies.  Many of the bombs were so erratic they missed their targets by kilometers.  Some hit “friendly forces” while others landed in open fields.  The attacking insurgents disappeared into thin air almost effortlessly and our military retreated back to their barracks claiming what later amounted to nothing but Pyrrhic victory – the fact that it successfully drove the attackers away.

Drove the attackers away?  That was part of the bragging statements issued by the Army as it went on a shameless victory lap around the mangled corpses of Nigerian Soldiers and the bloods of civilians, including those of innocent women and children, now mostly Muslims.  It used to be that these attackers targeted Christians and their churches; and because of that, we attributed their attacks to part of Boko Haram’s quest to Islamize the whole of Nigeria.  For a considerable length of time now, these attacks have been launched against Nigerians irrespective of religion, sect, age, ethnicity and gender.  Commonsense should, by now, inform the collective wisdom of our highest military echelon to consider the possibility that these are probably no longer the original Boko Haram adherents we were fighting.

Our military “drove the attackers away”, turned around and came back home?  And we are satisfied with that?  What is wrong in following the attackers to whatever hole from where they came – Cameroon, Chad, or Niger – and finishing them off there?  What is wrong in following the attackers, capturing those we can capture and bringing them back to our bases for interrogation?  Believe me, if we subject these Prisoners of Wars (POWs) to internationally sanctioned interrogation techniques – those authorized by relevant Geneva Conventions articles and guaranteed to preserve the rights and dignity of the POWs – we will obtain actionable intelligence from them that would aid in our execution of this war.  Instead, we allowed the attackers to retreat and re-group so they can fight us another day.  We tucked our tails between our legs, scampered back to our bases and declared victory.  And a few weeks later, the commander whose Air Force Base was so ravaged – Alex Badeh; the one whose subordinate personnel’s wives were carted away by the enemies in that bold attack, was rewarded with promotion to Chief of Defense Staff.

None of the senators who screened Badeh for the appointment had the good conscience to ask him where he was when the attack on the base occurred; what policies he had in place, as then Chief of Air Staff, to forestall the breach of his bases, and what policies he had since put in place to prevent another such attack.  If the senators (led by David Mark, himself a former senior military officer) had had the gumption to ask the tough questions, they would have learned, for instance, that the Nigerian military is languishing in archaic war fighting equipment and doctrine.  They would have learned that our Air Force did not have something as simple as up-to-date maps of our own country – maps which would have come in handy when trying to locate the enemy’s possible fortresses; maps showing all of our man-made and natural terrains that the enemies and our forces could use for cover, concealment and mobility.  The senators would have found out that our Air Force had very limited serviceable and air-worthy fighter aircraft.  They would have learned that because of the paucity of aircraft, only very few of our fighter pilots are well-trained in their jobs.  And those who have the training may not even retain much of these perishable flying-and-fighting skills due to lack of regular sustainment training.  Our senators would have learned that our Army still carries around moribund and often malfunctioning personal and crew-served weapons; that they move around in dilapidated Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs); that our Soldiers regularly run out of ammunition, petrol, food and other essential items in the middle of firefights.  Our senators would have found out to their utter chagrins the nauseating fact that we are sometimes late in paying our Soldiers’ combat and deployment allowances; and that when they die in combat, we take forever in paying their gratuities to their families, thereby keeping morale at the lowest ebb.

Our senators might also have learned that our senior military officers do not understand the difference between conventional war (country vs. country) and Counter-Insurgencies (COIN) (country vs. insurgency) war.  And what they do not know, they could not teach to their subordinates or supervise.  The senators would have learned that we have probably been fighting an armed insurrection or an armed unconventional invasion (assuming these attackers are from neighboring Cameroon, Chad, or Niger) with the tools needed to fight a conventional war.  Had our senators done their due diligence, they would have learned that our military and our intelligence agencies, especially the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), lack the technical knowhow to emplace and employ ground/aerial, static/mobile, human/electronic intelligence collection capabilities that would greatly complement the efforts of our gallant Soldiers.  (For example, we acquired for surveillance a couple of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), otherwise known as Drones.  But with what and whom are we coordinating the images we receive from these Drones?)  Gallantry without effective fighting weaponry is nothing but suicide.  Only when our Soldiers encounter unarmed civilians do their egos swell to match their menacing muscles.  When faced with well-motivated hooded insurgents wielding Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers and vehicle-mounted 60mm machine guns, our soldiers scamper for cover.  Had the senators asked the right questions, they would have known that without motivating and empowering our Soldiers with modern, up-to-date equipment, quality training, and rewarding pay, it is as if we have consistently tied their fighting hands behind their backs and sent them to battle to die.

This low-level war with insurgents has exposed the systemic rot in our military and we should wake up to our responsibilities.  Unless we are deluding ourselves, Nigeria may not survive a full-blown invasion from one of its neighboring countries.  At the minimum, we would suffer great losses in the hands of a determined foe.  Ordinary bands of rag-tag fighters probe and infiltrate our borders at will (daytime, nighttime and evenings); they conduct successful attacks and then successfully retreat with minimal casualties.  A few days later, they repeat the attacks with slight changes to their modus operandi, throwing our soldiers into confusion.  Haba!  These are textbook basic offensive tactics that have continued to make mincemeat of our so-called dreaded military.  And any Nigerian Soldier worth his or her salt should be embarrassed to no end by this.

If we eschew politics, Goodluck Jonathan has no blame in this whatsoever.  Because he was dissatisfied with their performances (and rightfully so) he sacked Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim and Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika.  To make it a clean sweep, he also sacked the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba.  While Badeh replaced Ibrahim, Ihejirika, and Ezeoba were replaced by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Minimah and Rear Adm. Jibrin Usman respectively.  Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu slid into Badeh’s old seat as the Air Force’s Chief of Staff.

That is all one could expect of a civilian Commander-in-Chief – reinvigorating the military at the top with fresh hands in the expectation that the new appointees will inject the Force with a new sense of purpose, direction and motivation.  Jonathan should not be expected to understand the minutiae of military Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs).  In fact, he is probably as angry and as surprised as the rest of us that we have not beaten this insurgency scourge.  Jonathan can only understand and approve what the military brasses put before him.  And anyone with a scintilla of expertise in advanced military operations, not just rudimentary knowledge of how the military conducts successful operations, should know that the succession of military brasses have not served Jonathan well.  They appear to me to have become either too obtuse and/or too impervious to designing radical changes to their TTPs.

So, as a matter of urgency, Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh should begin to earn his rank and salary by immediately setting up for himself a Command Post (CP) in Maiduguri and temporarily move his office there.  If anything, this would signal to all his subordinate commanders that he means business and it is no longer business as usual.  This is war and it should be treated as such.  It would also boost the junior Soldiers’ morale to knowing their overall boss is on the battlefield with them, not ensconced in Abuja drinking pepper soup.  Badeh will now be able to see up-close what his Soldiers are facing and can effectively assess what they need in order to win the war.  When he orders them to face death, he would be doing so with moral authority, not just rank authority.  Badeh will see firsthand how a typical fellow Nigerian in Konduga lives his or her daily life and can then report same to Jonathan.  Badeh will be able to go to the National Assembly (NASS) and to Jonathan to make a good argument why Nigeria needs to recruit more Soldiers.  He would be able to convince the NASS to increase the defense budget, allowing for training in modern warfare, equipment, remunerations and emoluments for its personnel.

Finally, Jonathan will then be able to inform (not seek permission from) the leaders of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic; the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), that henceforth, Nigeria would deal decisively with anybody or group of persons that violates its territorial integrity.  Jonathan will mandate Badeh and his entire military leadership to employ the Powell Doctrine of maximum force each time any part of Nigeria is attacked.  And, of course, with credible and actionable intelligence, superior equipment and a motivated military, Nigeria will meet its threat of lethal force with precision and deadly overwhelming delivery.  This will serve as an effective deterrence to would be aggressors and fomenters or anarchy.  This practice of watching whole families slaughtered in cold blood; of survivors gnashing their teeth, wailing and throwing themselves on the ground; and of our military and politicians throwing up their hands in total helplessness will then come to an end.  And we would have our country back.

Abiodun Ladepo                                                                                                                           Los Angeles, California, USA                                                                                   Oluyole2@yahoo.com.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Pot Calling The Kettle Black By Hannatu Musawa.


 

Columnist:

Hannatu Musawa

Some days back I had the bizarre experience of reading a statement made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman, Olisa Metuh, on the just concluded nationwide membership registration exercise by the All Progressives Congress (APC). Bizarre, because, not only did Mr. Metuh accuse the APC of a plot to disrupt the 2015 general elections using its membership registration as the platform, the premise of his allegation lay on the notion that the APC would collude with INEC in order to manipulate the electoral process.

PDP, through Mr. Metuh, alleged that the opposition party was planning to register 28 million phantom members, which it maintained the APC was planning to use as a plot, in conjunction with INEC, to claim victory in the 2015 general election and to “truncate the current democratic process”. Mr. Metuh further stated that part of the plot by the APC was to use the “fraudulent membership” registration to hype up a phantom public support, after which it would declare a particular bogus figure and create a false impression of massive public followership ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Hopefully Mr. Metuh, understanding the sheer hypocrisy of his claim will appreciate the irony of the black pot trying to call the teakettle black in this instance.

At first glance, I suspected that the statement was a cleverly disguised satirical piece; Mr. Metuh was not trying to be serious, he was trying to prove that in addition to being an eloquent and skilled orator, he is also a master of the ever-subtle art of ironic humor. For if not that, why would he speak and make suggestions to the Nigerian populace in a manner that one would address kindergarten students on their very first day in school?

The allegation he made that INEC is in collusion with the APC to rig the 2015 election is indeed so absurd and incongruous that one can’t imagine how he kept a straight face when making it. While we can come up with all sorts of punch lines for such a joke, it must be said that, on the contrary, it is believed by a large number of Nigerians that it is the PDP that has, since our nascent democratic dispensation, been in connivance with the electoral body to rig elections.

As proof for the purported connivance between INEC and APC, Mr. Metuh went ahead to present the fact that the APC registration-exercise was being conducted in INEC election centers and buildings. In reality, the INEC buildings in question are public infrastructures and public buildings, such as schools and people have the right to use these buildings legally. In fact, in various localities where the registration took place, the indigenous people recognized the right of the party to utilize these structures and, in all cases, lent their full and unwavering support to the party. Accordingly, and in a swift reaction to the allegation and claims of the PDP, INEC debunked the claims that it was aiding APC, adding that the commission has no monopoly, right or control over public structures.

To accuse the APC of planning to rig the 2015 elections is one thing, but to further allege that the APC is carrying out some covert and Machiavellian scheme, together with INEC, in order to rig the 2015 elections sounds ridiculous to the average human brain. The thought of INEC working with an opposition party in order to topple a government that it has allegedly been unfairly assisting in the past three elections is an interesting and laughable notion. But it would be very difficult for anyone to be convinced that Mr. Metuh does himself believe that INEC is unfairly working with an opposition party, against the ruling party in this day, in Nigeria. Or perhaps he believes that come the 2015 elections, Martians will descend from Uranus down into Nigeria (INEC specifically), and blow green fairy dust into the eyes of the electoral umpires which will equip them with the super power of creating a level playing ground, of which PDP will not be given an undue advantage over every other party.

Although the entirety of Mr. Metuh’s statement was laced with the usual bravado expressed by the PDP, a more intense scrutiny exposes nervousness on the part of the ruling party, which most likely was triggered by the acceptance and overwhelming support the APC has been getting and generating.

A great deal of what Mr. Metuh described takes the form of a cleverly scripted, tried and tested strategy. Almost as if he was describing the kind of strategy that the PDP has been allegedly accused of applying in past elections. Call me sneering, but there just maybe some truth to the adage; “it takes one to know one!”

If, as the ruling party described, pupils and students were being lured by the APC to get the passport photographs of their parents in order to have them secretly affixed to the APC membership forms without the knowledge of the parents, then the PDP has a responsibility to expose this or any other fraud or face the accusation themselves that they know about this strategy solely because it is one that they may have used in the past.

But out of the whole statement that Mr. Metuh made, the most shocking was the claim that the APC is “currently using every foul means at its disposal to build a particular membership figure, running into tens of millions, which it intends to use as a justification to fault, dispute, reject and subsequently take to violence when it loses the 2015 general elections.” Forget the fact that Mr. Metuh used the mandatory term ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’, giving the impression that he’s some sort of clairvoyant with the power to see that PDP has already won the 2015 election, one would hope that accompanying such a serious claim of violence would be some evidence. Or are we supposed to accept this solely on the fluffy words of Mr. Metuh? Curious however, is that despite the harsh tone and dire warning of Armageddon woven throughout his statement, Mr. Metuh ignores the fact that he has raised a very serious and dire security alarm, of which he has a duty, as a Nigerian, to report to the appropriate security department and furnish them with the evidence to support such a strong claim, especially in the present volatile atmosphere in Nigeria. If Mr. Metuh genuinely believes that the APC is already planning for violence should it lose the 2015 elections and he knows for a fact that APC will lose the election, then he really has a duty to step up and offer any information he knows to the state security so that they can investigate, first the threat of violence and second, the conspiracy to rig the 2015 election. Even if the party of which he speaks for is part of such a conspiracy and desperately wants to maintain this diversion tactic ruse, he has a patriotic duty to step up and do right by Nigeria.

Forging ahead in his bid to discredit the gains the APC has achieved within a year of its formation using the words and method that he did, what Mr. Metuh really did was expose real fear on behalf of the PDP. If anybody thought otherwise, Mr. Metuh’s statement has made it very clear that the PDP is troubled by the popularity, acceptance, and alternative Nigerians have accorded the APC. After all, in just over a year of its existence as a political party in Nigeria, it currently occupies about 58 seats in the 109 seats in the Senate, 172 seats out of the 360 seats in the House of Representatives, and 16 governors out of the 36 states in the country. These commendable figures are expected to increase tremendously after next year’s elections, as the APC is poised to upstage and unseat the ruling party in many constituencies. Maybe that would explain the real reason why Mr. Metuh is already fidgeting and representing PDP in the light of the party that cried wolf.
Despite Mr. Metuh’s accusation of an attempted declaration of a particular bogus membership figure running into tens of millions, creating a false impression of massive public followership by the APC, there is little doubt that he himself, surreptitiously also believes what most the rest of the world knows to be true: that the majority of PDP members are unceasingly abandoning the party and joining an alternative platform. For now, APC seems to be the biggest beneficiary. And as a result of that and the fact that the APC is a merger of different opposition parties — Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and part of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), APC is bound to be larger than any of the legacy parties were before. This would indeed automatically explain the increase of its membership figures, boosted by new and formerly undecided and disillusioned Nigerians who are merely looking for a way out of the confused quagmire the nation finds itself.

Instead of praising the party for its contribution so far to the democratic process by creating an atmosphere where Nigerians are interested in participating in the political development of this nation, Mr. Metuh choose to view the cup from a position where it appears to be half empty. Instead of commending the APC on its fulfillment of the requisite political plurality obtainable in other democratic climes and opening up democratic liberty so as to enable Nigerians choose whichever political party platform they so wished, PDP has resorted to cheap quibbling, crying wolf and attempting to deter optimistic Nigerians who are so desperate for change, desperate for something new.

In fact, one could say that Mr. Metuh’s rhetoric is a deliberate attempt by the ruling party to dissuade the enthusiastic teeming populace from coming out en masse in partaking and becoming members of an alternative and formidable party, the first of its kind since 1999, capable of wresting power from the ruling party.

The intended audience of Mr. Metuh’s speech was meant to be the average Nigerian but, of that audience, only those who are willing to gullibly be led down the dark alley yet again would have fully absorbed the marrow of his words. Nigerians have for too long been the naïve cheerleaders of the power brokers who have done us so wrong. But the scars from 15 years of PDP corruption and lies have left profound grooves in the minds of Nigerians who dared to hope and believe while they were so compellingly made.

Nigerians have evidently had enough. When the PDP puts out a statement saying: “We wish to remind the APC that no political party has the monopoly of mischief,” one can only laugh out loud. Because, despite the fact that PDP is the party that has allegedly thrived on mischief, guile and deceitfulness over the past 15 years, they are the ones who are unashamedly crying foul loudest in the face of a formidable adversary.

Thus, as the PDP and Mr. Metuh continues to cry foul about election malpractices, one hopes that they fully understand the sheer hypocrisy and irony of their claim. And if one was ever to look for a case of the pot calling the kettle black, then they need not look any further than this PDP’s cry wolf.

Article Written by Hannatu Musawa

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Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Come With Me To APC, Atiku Urges Supporters.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

Erstwhile Vice President and new darling of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has urged all his supporters and loyalists in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties or associations to immediately register with the opposition party.
In a personally-signed statement released by his media office on Friday, he implored all his supporters to move to a common platform to accelerate the much-needed change in Nigeria’s democratic direction.

“The imperative of change demands a united front and voice. Instead of being on the fence, all my supporters should not hesitate to register with APC in order to be part of the historic movement towards revitalising our democracy by making it more results-oriented”, he said.

“For my supporters to be part of the much-needed change, they must register massively, as participation is the vehicle to influencing change in every society”.

Atiku left PDP in 2006 for the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), but he returned three years later. He again exited the ruling party on 2nd February 2014, citing the party’s failure to abide by the reform programmes it promised, as well as the plan of its leaders to constantly overlook him.

“Over these years since I returned, the PDP hasn’t invited me to any party functions. Even as a statutory BOT member. Even after walking out of the special convention to force changes, the party never contacted me. Not once. PDP doesn’t want change. I have also been kept out of NEC meetings and locked out of its caucus”, had written on his page on social networking site, Twitter.

“Like in 2006, it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision [to defect]. Let me emphasise that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it, but as it is today we may be losing this country. That is not acceptable”.

But PDP replied him the following day through its deputy national chairman, Uche Secondus, who described the former VP’s latest defection as a voyage that would end in no time.

“The good thing is that the PDP is so consistent and constant that when they leave, they go on a voyage and they come back and we receive them” Secondus had said.

“I can tell you that they will go and come back and we are waiting for Atiku to go on this voyage and to come back. He has done it before. This is not the first time, and we will welcome him back when he comes because APC cannot win [any] election. They are not firmly rooted”.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Why The South-West Did Not Vote For Me In 2011- Ribadu.


 

Nuhu Ribadu
By Sani Tukur

“…if I was doing Obasanjo’s bidding, how comes those opposed to him are the ones who asked me to come and run under their platform?”

Nuhu Ribadu worked in the Nigerian Police Force where he rose to become the Chief prosecutor and Head of Legal Unit of the Force. In 2003, he was appointed the pioneer head of the newly formed anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He was forced out of the agency in 2007 for failing to do the biddings of the then President Musa Yar’Adua.

In 2010, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, selected him as its presidential candidate for the 2011 election. He lost the election, but continued to be a member of the ACN which has now merged with three other political parties to form the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In this chat with Ashafa Barkiya, editor of the well-regarded Hausa newspaper, RARIYA, Mr. Ribadu speaks about his life, career, politics and why he accepted to serve as Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force. The interview was translated to English by PREMIUM TIMES’ Sani Tukur.

Excerpt:

You were not well known prior to your appointment as Chairman of the EFCC. How did you join the Police, and why?

Thanks to Allah, I joined the Police after I completed my first degree in 1984.  I also went to law school and qualified as a Barrister. We were some of the earliest to join the Police after qualifying as lawyers from the North.
Certainly, there were reasons why I decided to join the police, even though I was offered direct employment by the NNPC, UBA, PZ and Corporate Affairs Commission after I completed my youth service. Many people were surprised at my decision to join the police. They thought my lean frame disqualified me from being a police officer. Secondly, no one in my family had ever worked with the police. Thirdly, people thought the police was not for the well-educated.
In fact, even in terms of pay, I was relegating myself because what I would have earned from all the other organisations that offered me employment was twice what I got as police officer. But I felt it was important to work where I would get fulfillment from the job, achieve some aims like helping the people, and shape my own philosophy of life.
Honestly, I grew up passionate about protecting people’s rights, to help the weak and helpless. I want to see the truth upheld. I always want fairness to prevail all the time. So I felt I could only achieve those goals in the police more than any other place.

Were you always been like that or were you ‘radicalised’ at the University?

I am not sure it’s about ‘radicalism’. I think it has to do with wanting to see things done right and with the fear of God. I can say that I grew up seeing it practiced in my family home. Our father, Alhaji Ahmadu Ribadu, was well known in Yola, and people attest to the kind of life he lived. He was a politician and always stood by the truth.
Well, I can tell you that I shared the ‘radical’ philosophy at school, but what really is the radicalism? It is just about knowing your right and standing up for it as allowed by the laws. In the university I was a member of the Peoples Redemption Party. I was part of those who demonstrated against the impeachment of former Governor Balarabe Musa in Kaduna state. We were the ones who went to Kaduna House of Assembly to protest and they kept sending us away, with the police beating us. We were the boys of Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman. Don’t also forget that my family members were in the National Party of Nigeria then.

What was your first posting as a policeman, and what were the challenges you faced?

The first place I worked was Mushin Police Station in Lagos in 1986. From there, I was posted to Apapa Area Command and Police Station. From there, I worked at Ajegunle as Crimes Investigations Officer.

So what were the challenges you faced, since there were frequent robbery incidents then?

I also remember that was when the police faced the challenge of the renowned armed robber, Lawrence Anini.
Certainly there were lots of confrontations with armed robbers at Ajegunle, Apapa and Mushin. I personally used to carry my gun and engage the robbers in exchange of fire. It’s really a long story.

After all the confrontations; did you regret joining the police?

It happened once shortly after I joined the force and it happened at the first place I was posted to. When I reported for duty at Mushin Police station, the DPO asked me to lead an operation to a place we received a report about. I took three policemen with me and when we got there we saw someone who was killed by armed robbers and they took away his car.
As soon as we alighted from our car, the policemen that came with me began to search the dead man’s pocket and were removing money to stuff in their pocket. One of them removed his wristwatch and put it in his pocket.
So, I processed the corpse and we took it to Ikeja Hospital. I also found out where he was staying and how to contact his family. When we returned to the office, I noticed that these policemen did not submit all the stuff they took from the dead man, and I asked them why. They simply said I should ‘just forget there is no problem’. I was so angry because I saw them steal from a dead man.
That incident disturbed me a lot. I just left for home and refused to come the following day and the day after. There was a policeman called Musa Dan Gombe, he was also a Fulani man like me, who came looking for me at home. He sought to know why I did not go to work for two days and I told him that I honestly can’t do this work because it was contrary to my objectives. What I saw really demoralised me, and I just couldn’t do it.
But Musa told me that the force needed people like me because without people like me change will not come. His advice strengthened me and that was why I stayed and resolved to fight these types of ugly behaviour. I resolved and pledged to God since that moment to fight decay in the police force. I began the crusade since then and as God would have it I was getting successful such that I even arrested a sitting Inspector General of Police for graft.
Throughout my service in the police, I just concentrated on upholding what is right. A lot has happened that often made me contemplate leaving the force, but with God’s help I withstood the challenges and continued my work. Some of them I don’t even want to recall. But you also know that we have some very good people in the police, and I worked with a lot of them.

Where were you when Anini was arrested?

I was in Apapa. I was the one who first set up the road block at Tin Can Island. That was when the order came for senior officers to also man roadblocks.

In your position as police prosecutor, how did you feel when a judge released a hardened criminal on bail two days after his arraignment and the case died thereafter?

That is actually what spoils our work and bastardises the constitution and rule of law. It comes about because of corruption, which usually happens either during investigations or prosecution. But I don’t accept bribe and my lieutenants also dare not accept bribe. If you are prosecuting my case, even if you are mad you will not collect money. It so happens that apart from being a policeman, I am also a lawyer. So, I know how everything works. Both the policeman prosecuting the case I investigated and the judge cannot therefore accept money to bastardise the case. That is the reason why we had the highest number of prosecutions when we were at Alagbon.
Releasing criminals, especially armed robbers, is very dangerous especially to the policemen prosecuting the case. When we were working, there were several cases of policemen who were killed by the armed robbers they arrested earlier. So the judges demoralise police prosecutors by releasing hardened criminals.

You made history in the EFCC especially with the arrest of Tafa Balogun, your boss, James Ibori, as well as some governors and highly placed individuals. But did you ever face threats or attacks while you held sway as chairman of the agency, like your successor, Farida Waziri, said she faced?

A. Is this anything worth recalling? It would seem as if I don’t know the job if I go back to recounting all these stories. Whoever does what is right and fight the bad eggs in the society knows that he would face a lot of challenges. There was no kind of plot that was not hatched against me while I was in both the EFCC and the Police, but I feel it would be demeaning for me to start talking about them now.

The Federal Government appeared to have confidence in you and appointed you to head the Committee on Petroleum Revenue. Your committee completed its task and submitted a report to government, however, nothing appears to be have been done about it. How do you feel?

I am unhappy about it especially because I worked tirelessly with the fear of God, for the good of your country. I suffered for eight months doing that work without receiving a kobo. And I left my job in Afghanistan where I was heavily paid. They asked me to come back for the job and I told them I would not receive a dime. I said I would do it as service to my fatherland.

Were you offered compensation and you refused?

I refused the money I was offered. I told them I did not need money to do that kind of service for my fatherland. When I accepted to do the work, some people were saying why should I accept to work for a PDP government since I was in the opposition. I said then that I was working for the Nigerian people, not the PDP government. If I could work for Afghanistan to shape up things, I see nothing wrong in my coming back to work for my country.
I accepted to do it because I knew I could bring out facts that someone else may not be able to. In our report of eight months, we brought out the damages being done in the Oil and Gas industry, the kind of money being stolen and ways to block the theft and strengthen the sector.
We submitted our report, but there was an attempt to sabotage us even while we worked because surprisingly, some members of my committee were appointed into the board of the NNPC, a parastatal we were investigating. They tried to sabotage the work we did.
But thank God, all Nigerians have seen what we did. God exposed them, and the president received the report and promised to work on it. But over a year later, he has not uttered a word to me, not to talk about implementing the report.

You have been facing the challenge of refusing to accept bribe or gratification since you started your working life. Seeing how people get rich while in government; people ask what is wrong with Ribadu, doesn’t he like money? Do you abhor or fear money?

I thank God for the way I live my life. I was properly brought up in a way that shaped my life. I am naturally not materialistic. For instance, I have never worn a wristwatch.
Even those small….
Any type at all. That is how I am. I leave a simple life. Go into my house and see how I live.

May be you find it heavy…?

No. I even noticed that it is used for fashion these days

Or you put it inside your pocket?

What will I do with a watch inside my pocket? There is a clock inside the car, office, at home, cell phone, why should I worry myself tying it around. In fact I just hate all these bling bling lifestyle.
I have one wife, my kids are here, six of them, I am satisfied with whatever God has given me. I can take care of my needs you know?
It’s not as if I don’t like money, but I am just afraid of taking what is not mine, forbidden ones. If you cling to this life style, God will give you your own. I love seeing rich men, so it’s not as if I hate the rich. I like to see people make progress. But as for me, I never consider making so much money a priority in life.

The Federal Government recently entered into a pact with the British Government to exchange prisoners, and already some people are speculating that the pact was simply aimed at returning James Ibori back to the country. What do you have to say about it, since you were the first to arrest him?

Well, I really don’t know what to say. It is really confusing since they said it was prisoner exchange. The question is how many Britons do we have in our jails here? None! But we have so many out there; so with whom are we going to exchange?  I understand that Britain will even give us money to build prisons. In fact, I am not going to say anything on this matter yet. In my opinion it is a wrong arrangement since no prisoner will be transferred back to England.
Ibori offered you a bribe of $15million, which is over N2.5 Billion, which you received and handed over to the CBN. Why didn’t you have a second thought and pocket the money since no one knew you were offered that money?

But it is not my money, it was ill-gotten and I do not see myself benefitting from ill-gotten wealth. The God I serve forbids that. I can’t take stolen money.  In fact, apart from the $15 million dollars, I was offered much higher amount as bribe while I was in the Police, but I refused to accept. I have jailed many lawyers who collected large sums of money from their clients to bring to me. It is not as if I don’t need those monies, but, but I cannot be the one to benefit from stolen funds, when I was given the mandate of fighting such crimes, God forbid.
Let me tell you something, life is very easy.  God has been faithful to me, because without searching, job opportunities kept coming from many countries that help me to keep body and soul together. I also have many rich friends. Even when I decided to join politics, these friends from all over Nigeria gave me maximum support by contributing enough funds to help me run my campaign.
This house was my official quarters and the government decided to sell most of its houses at subsidised rates. They said occupants could pay for the house in installments. Should I have said I don’t need it? Isn’t that a way of acquiring wealth legally without recourse to dubious means?
Apart from this house, the only other one I have is my home in Yola.

Because of your anti-corruption stance and your sojourn in the EFCC, it is believed you know many corrupt people; so, many people thought that your political aspiration in 2011 will improve our politics. Things did not go as planned; what do you have to say about your experience in politics and the 2011 defeat?

Firstly, it is wrong to assume that I know more thieves than anyone in this country. I just worked to fight bribery and corruption. May be it was because of what we did, which people saw, that was why they keep making such assertions. It may also be because I was the first person to head the EFCC and our efforts were simply aimed at making things right in all aspects of our country’s development.
It was because of our efforts that the international community agreed to start having financial dealings with Nigerians via the internet. They used to fear transacting with us through that channel. We have also helped in getting respite and respect for the country in many aspects, especially as it relates to reducing to the barest the scourge of 419 and money laundering.
We also almost stopped oil theft in the Niger Delta and it only resumed with higher intensity after we left office. All these were aimed at returning our country to the right pedestal and economic prosperity.
As for politics, I never imagined myself being a politician, it was simply meant to happen.
I actually belong to a political family. When I was about to come back to Nigeria, I was persuaded by not just the ACN, but many others, including the government. But I was more convinced with the party I eventually joined, because I had a dream of uniting all opposition parties under one roof. I am a Northerner, yet the strongest party in the South decided to trust me. Like you rightly pointed out, in less than ten months after I joined politics, I ran for the presidential election. It has never happened before. Here I am, not rich and just returning from exile, yet people said they trust me to be their
presidential candidate. All these happened within a short time; but I saw a lot.
Although I withdrew for General Muhammadu Buhari on the eve of the election, when all of us were called to a meeting with General Ibrahim Babangida, General Aliyu Gusau, Buhari himself and Atiku Abubakar, as well as Tinubu and Akande. The meeting was aimed at finding a consensus, and I promptly told them I will withdraw for Buhari. It was actually from that moment that a form of alliance and understanding was reached among opposition parties. After the talks, I did run under ACN, but merger talks had already kick started.

But what many in the North said at the time was that the ACN drafted you to run, but refused to vote for you; what do you say to that? You have said so before, that you are still in this merged party, don’t you think what happened before can be repeated?

As far as I know, they did not abandon me. What happened was that before Election Day, I had told them that I withdrew from the race and they agreed. There were witnesses also, such as General Babangida, Aliyu Gusau, Buhari, Atiku, Sule Yahaya Hamma, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, and the rest.
But there was misunderstanding between the CPC and ACN, even though I had withdrawn. The two parties failed to agree. That incident discouraged a lot of people especially in the South West because as far they were concerned, they had no candidate. Since they had no candidate, they did not even appoint agents to polling units, and so did not spend a kobo at the time. So people were allowed to freely elect who they wanted. You cannot blame them since they failed to reach an agreement with CPC.

But many were already of the view that you came to divide Northern votes?

It’s not true. I pray to God not to let me live that kind of life. I will never do anything that will shortchange the people of this country, because whatever I do, I put the fear of God first. And as God would have it, what I had set out to achieve is what eventually happened because the opposition parties have now come together.

It can be argued that the APC stands a good chance of forming the next government, but there appears to be internal crisis in the party, especially between PDP governors who joined the party, and ex-governors who were original members. Recently also, we understand that Governor Fashola of Lagos said he is supporting Adams Oshiomhole of Edo to run for president. What is your view about these hiccups?

As for me, I know that we all have to be patient with each other. You should expect these sorts of things in a mega party such as ours. But with God on our side, all will be sorted in due course, all those who are in the party, and those willing to join, should know that PDP is our problem in this country. So we must all keep our prejudices aside.
I ran for the office of the president, right? But, did you ever hear me say anything in Adamawa? Did you hear me fight anyone? So why should anyone do it? We should all be patient; if God said something is yours, no one has the power to deny you. If we know that we are doing this for the good of the land and our people, we should know that selfishness cannot take us to the Promised Land.
If we are all patient with each other, everyone will know their position in due course. I think people tend to misunderstand the situation, I just urge us all to be patient and build the party first.
If everyone insists on getting his way, we cannot go anywhere; it means PDP will continue to hold sway and misgovern the country. As for Adams Oshiomhole, I guess everyone has the right to run for anyone office, right?

In a situation where everyone who wants to run comes out, but a consensus was reached because politicians look at certain things, and for instance say General Buhari is getting old and has run three times, and it is observed that Buhari has a successor in one of the states, and they consider that he had been a loyal member of the ACN in spite of everything and they choose you; will you accept?

This question is too strong for me to and I don’t know how to answer it. My prayer is that God should decide what is right for us, and I am sure he will decide on the best for us. When we get to the bridge, we shall cross it Insha Allah.

What is your ambition in 2015?

Today I am a member of the APC, I have the hope that we will build a party that will salvage our people and I am just focussed on ensuring that we build it to achieve that purpose, especially in Adamawa state, North East, the North in general and Nigeria as a whole. I pray that we produce the right leaders that will take this country to the next level.
I am a contented person and I am grateful to God for what I have achieved in life. All I can tell you is that I will work assiduously as I used to anywhere I find myself.

Those of you who worked in PDP government and find yourself in opposition afterwards really know that the party is in shambles. What can you tell Nigerians you are trying to do?

Firstly, I have never been a member of the PDP. After I left the EFCC, I decided to join the opposition. I do not agree with what the PDP has done in Nigeria. I saw the way the PDP operates and they even nearly sacked me while I worked in the EFCC. I did not leave the job on my own volition.
It means your achievements in the EFCC were not appreciated?
The truth is I feel the PDP has not kept its promise to the Nigerian people. The country has witnessed underdevelopment since the PDP assumed the mantle of leadership. The country made more than expected in terms of revenue, which if handled well would have ensured that we have stable power supply, good roads and the rest.
We should have no business going outside the country for medical attention; our schools are depreciating. We should be living in peace, with an effective police force and a strong army. There should be harmony among us beyond what prevails now, but the PDP has failed to achieve all these. The country’s wealth is in the hands of a few people, we have rich people all over, but the country is struggling. So in essence, I do not like the way they are handling things, that is why when I decided to join politics, I refused to join them.  I have never joined it; never supported it and never liked it for once.
I joined politics with the philosophy that this country requires change because those given the mandate in the past have abused it.

Some are also of the view that you only went after the opponents of President Obasanjo when you were at the EFCC, what do you have to say?

That is also not true, because I have never done anything just to make the president or the PDP government happy. If you check well, most of the people we arrested were PDP members, and were mostly close to the president.
A minister cannot be arrested and you will say it was because he was fighting with the president because he was his minister working under him. Police IG was also his own. These are just mere accusations since they lacked any basis. It was not the case at all. And no one can say we lied against him because it was very open for all to see.
Up till today, no court has quashed any of the cases we prosecuted while I was at the EFCC. No one has ever taken me to court for wrongfully accusing him and the court agreed. We were successful in all appeal cases against us. There was no single case in which I was found wanting. Besides, we recovered billions of people’s money and the country was on the way to getting things right, things were changing for the better.

I am sure you now interact with some of the people you arrested in the past. Do you exchange pleasantries, or do you just shun them?

There is no disharmony between us. Some of them have said to me that they know I just did my job with the fear of God. I am surprised when I get these comments. I am in perfect relationship with most of the people I arrested because they know it was not personal.
I am still waiting for someone to come out and say I did something to him because of politics, or abuse of power; I have been saying this for quite a while now, and I am repeating it, if there is anyone who felt I wrongfully arrested him, he should narrate his own side of the story.
Incidentally, those who thought I was arresting people because of them are the ones now fighting me. Also those ones I arrested or their allies are the ones who supported me while I ran for office. And if I was doing Obasanjo’s bidding, how comes those opposed to him are the ones who asked me to come and run under their platform?
My advice is that everyone should just do everything according to their conscience and with the fear of God. If you do that, no matter how long, the truth will bail you out.

PREMIUM TIMES got the permission of the Hausa newspaper, Rariya, to translate and republish this interview in English.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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