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Posts tagged ‘Yobe State’

President Jonathan’s Curious Silence On Wendell Simlin – Karo Orovboni.


By Karo Orovboni

If you are reading this article then you are privileged and fortunate enough to afford internet connection; I say privileged because there are millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to eat three square meals a day, not to even conceive paying for an internet service.

Regardless of whom you speak with, they would concur when you pose this statement that we need a better Nigeria. Having agreed on that, it would be difficult for some to agree to certain facts based on their sentiments to issues or loyalty to personalities and their pockets. The fact remains that Nigeria is what it is today because some people, through their actions or inactions have directly or indirectly affected Nigeria.

Another fact is that Boko Haram has hitherto been a thorn in the flesh of Nigeria; their recent attack and show of bestiality was on a boarding school in Buni Yadi, Yobe State; school children were killed. Now, please pause for a moment, think slowly about what would be going through the thoughts of the parents of those innocent children that were killed in their school. Think about how the parents would look back to the last time they saw their children, the last time the children said goodbye mum/dad. The parents would never have thought it would be the last goodbye they would say to their children, not to even conceive the children would be killed in such gruesome manner.

As this was still fresh in the minds of the parents and Nigerians at large, reports broke on how the special assistant to the president on new media, Reno Omokri, posed as “Wendell Simlin”. He sent out a write-up to media outfits, trying to link the suspended Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to the increased violent activities of Boko Haram in the north-east region of the country. But Reno Omokri was exposed, as the document was linked back to him, with various examples of seemingly concrete evidence.

Now imagine what would have happened had Reno Omokri (Wendell Simlin) succeeded in his smear job, he would have successfully sent Nigerians on a wild goose chase while Boko Haram continue to maim and kill innocent children. The media has been thronged with calls for Reno Omokri to be investigated, but this has been met with robust silence by the presidency, possibly in the hope that there will be calm or there will be another issue to cover this up and people will gradually forget that this ever happened. Well, we may forget, oh yes we may, but not until the parents of those innocent children that were killed forget about the pain of the death of their children.

Some have said Reno was just doing his job; I would advise that if a job description desires a candidate who must be able to: lie to his conscience, morals, and integrity – it’s not worth applying. A job that would be insensitive to the killings of innocent children is no job; but an insult to mankind; which further raises questions surrounding the integrity of your paymaster. Many will rather the status quo continues, for corruption, and injustice to remain, as long as they continue to make their money, but what about the downtrodden and the poor? What about those who have no voice and cannot be heard? You have a voice but what are you using it for? It is written that those that shut their ears to the cry of the poor will one day cry and will not be heard.

So I will like to join my voice with others and implore the president to break the silence on Wendell Simlin as the robust silence from the presidency is deafening. The president had promised to spare no sacred cow in bringing to justice all those involved in the evil perpetration and early termination of innocent souls, this is just the perfect time and avenue to do so. The fact that the story emanated from the presidency should itself prompt the president into swift action and make sure he gets to the bottom of the issue. Reno Omokri’s action is a grievous national security issue and should be treated as such.

There are some very important questions that are begging to be answered. Why did Reno Omokri write such a document? Was the purpose of his piece to disseminate false information just for political gain; are the lives of the children that cheap for people to play politics with – if this is true? Did he act alone or was he under orders? Does Reno know something about the incessant killings by Boko Haram that he may want to avail the security agents with? He may just know something that will help Nigeria nip Boko Haram in the bud once and for all.

We all owe Nigeria a duty to make sure issues like this are not swept underneath the carpet irrespective of what your bias is. If we choose to be silent, our silence on issues such as this may well turn out to be sinful silence. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke. Whatever we do, posterity will judge us all by the role we played in whatever this nation becomes.

You can engage Karo on Twitter @Karo_Orovboni

 

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

A Nation Without Empathy By Femi Fani-Kayode.


By Femi Fani-Kayode

A few days ago (12th February 2014) in Borno state Boko Haram killed 60 innocent Nigerians and carted off 24 young girls without any trace. On January 27th 2014 no less than 70 innocent Nigerians were murdered in cold blood by Boko Haram in a series of attacks in Borno and Adamawa states.

On January 14th 2014 at least 50 innocent Nigerians were blown to pieces by a Boko Haram suicide bomber in  the heart of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Not too long before then they attacked an army barracks in Borno, killed 200 soldiers, carted off the wives and children of our military personnel and burnt the barracks to the ground.

A few weeks prior to that, numerous schools were attacked and hundreds of our children were either shot to death, hacked to pieces or had their throats cut and blood drained. Consequently many schools have been closed down in Borno and Yobe states respectively.

A few weeks back no less than 160 of our soldiers were killed by Boko Haram in one skirmish simply because they ran out of bullets. Worst still it has been generally acknowleged that the Boko Haram fighters are better equipped and better supplied than our soldiers. Goodness me….what a mess.

Finally no less than 130 churches were burnt down in Borno state in 2013 alone and the Catholic Church alone lost 53 churches out of that figure. All in all Nigeria has lost almost 8000 innocent civilians to Boko Haram in the last three years and that includes women and children. It does not however include the vast number of women that have been captured and kidnapped by them and that are now being used as sex-slaves.

All this and yet some complain about the fact that I recently wrote that we have a   ”President without balls” who is simply incapable of facing the challenge of Boko Haram. Given his accursed weakness in the face of what is undoubtedly the greatest insurgency and rebellion of our time since the civil war and given his inability to behave like a real Commander-in-Chief and to properly engage and crush the enemy, I do not regret my choice of words (or title) for that celebrated essay. As a matter of fact I ought to have gone much further because our President deserves far worse.

As I wrote in another contribution almost one month ago, ”the problem that we have is the President himself- a President who prides himself on his own weakness and incompetence and whose love of false prophets and strange women knows no bounds and has no end. A President who is as confused and as clueless as the comic character called Chancey Gardner in the celebrated 1970’s Peter Seller’s Hollywood blockbuster titled ”Being There”. A President who does not understand the meaning of the word ”class” or ”honesty” and who breaks his own word consistently. A President who has abdicated his responsibilities, destroyed his own political party, divided his own country, alienated his own friends, humiliated his own mentor, abandoned his own people, brought ridicule to his own faith, cowers before his own officials, betrays his own governors, scorns the international community and BREAKS HIS SOLEMN OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE. A President who does not even have the nerve or the guts to call to order any of the numerous Jezebels that control him. He is the problem we have in our country today and until he resigns, is impeached or is voted out of power nothing will change and Nigeria will continue to go from bad to worse. That is what you get when you vote for a man who never wore shoes to school’- (‘JONATHAN, TUKUR AND A GOVERNMENT OF JEZEBELS’, Premium Times, 19th January, 2014).

It is no wonder that President Goodluck Jonathan has been endorsed for a second term by a motely and hitherto unknown group known as the ”Witches and Wizards Association of Nigeria”. As my good friend and brother and the Kakaki Nupe, Mr. Sam Nda Isaiah, recently wrote in response to this rather strange ”endorsement” from an equally strange group- ”the devil is a liar”.

Each time a precious soul is snuffed out and a life is cut short by Boko Haram, whether that person be a christian or a muslim, or a northerner or a southerner, it takes something away from our collective humanity and it wounds our nation’s soul. Worse still it diminishes us before the entire world and confirms the fact that our country has been turned into a human abbatoir and slaughterhouse where, no matter how many innocents are butchered, no-one really cares anymore.

Such matters no longer even make it to the front pages of our newspapers anymore and neither do our politicians or newspaper columnists even talk or write about it anymore. All that stopped long ago and now we see such atrocities as a norm that we must just accept and live with. We have accepted it as our ”lot in life” and, as our President said last year, we regard it simply as ”Nigeria’s contribution to the war against terror”. Early in 2013 our President also said that he regarded Boko Haram as his ”siblings” whom he ”could not move against” whilst Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the erstwhile National Chairman of his political party the PDP, described them as ”freedom fighters”.  Can you imagine that? These are commendations from Mr. President and the then serving National Chairman of the PDP for Boko Haram barely one year ago. Jumping Jehoshaphat. It is only in Nigeria that a terrorist organisation can kill thousands of it’s citizens in the most brutal, violent and horrendous manner and yet the President and the National Chairman of the ruling party still feel comfortable and safe with calling them their ”siblings” and ”freedom fighters”. What a terrible insult this is on the Nigerian people and what a bitter pill to swallow for the family members of all those that have been killed in the last three years by these terrorists. I really do wonder whose ”freedom” Boko Haram is fighting for, whose interest they seek to further and protect and what blood ties exist between them and our President. What a shameful and insensitive set of leaders we have and what an indolent and insensitive followership who are not prepared to call them to order and keep them on their toes when they make such outrageous comments and who have absolutely no empathy with or sympathy for the many victims of Boko Haram.

The truth is that we as a people have lost all sense of compassion and decency when it comes to such matters and our feelings and conciences have become seared. To the majority of Nigerians those precious souls and compatriots that have been killed by Boko Haram over the last three years are just a number- they are nothing but distant names, from a distant place, belonging to distant figures.

There is simply no sense of national outrage from our people about this insidious rebellion and about these brutal killings and vicious attacks and neither is their any sense of urgency on the part of our government to bring it to an end. Given the way we conduct ourselves one would not have thought that Nigeria is currently enmeshed in the most brutal war against terror in it’s entire history.

Yet as we go on with our day to day business and act as if all is well thousands are being killed in the north-eastern part of our country by Boko Haram. There can be no greater evidence of man’s inhumanity to man when one considers our attitude. Such inhumanity and insensitivity to the plight of others has taken firm root in the Nigeria of today. What a monuemental tragedy this is. When did we, as a people, degenerate to this abysmal level of lack of empathy and when did we stop becoming our brother’s keeper?

As millions of Nigerians join the world to celebrate Valentines day today and indeed throughout this weekend, please let us spare a thought and say a little prayer for those whose loved ones will not be with them on this day, or indeed on any other day, simply because they have been murdered or kidnapped by Boko Haram.

May God heal their wounds and have mercy on them even as we grieve with them. And may God forgive our President and the majority of the Nigerian people for simply ”not giving a damn” about their sad and unfortunate plight.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Northern govs meet over oil exploration.


Northern-Elders-Forum

Thirteen northern governors, whose states falls under the regions’ sedimentary basin are set to meet today on how to kick start oil and gas exploration activities in the Inland Basin States.

Niger State governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern State Governors Forum, NSGF, will declare the meeting of the Association of Petroleum Inland Basin States of Northern Nigeria, APIBONN, open, according to a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo.

The statement said Governor Aliyu in his capacity as the chairman of the forum has invited his counterparts whose states fall within the region’s sedimentary basin to direct their relevant commissioners to attend a meeting of the association in Minna, the Niger State capital.

 

The meeting, according to the statement, would enable them brainstorm on the modalities and action plan that would kick start and sustain oil and gas exploration activities in the north.

The forum said; “The meeting will fashion out strategies to harness the resources in Sokoto Basin, Chad Basin, Bida basin and Benue Trough, whose hydrocarbon contents are yet to be properly developed and estimated.”

The forum expressed support for the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to explore oil in the sedimentary basin of northern Nigeria.

The Inland Basin States comprise of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto States. Others are Zamfara, Kwara, Nasarawa, Taraba, Yobe and Plateau States.
by PRISCILLA DENNIS

Source: Radio Biafra.

Recent Church Bombing: Is There A Method to Boko Haram’s Madness? By Peregrino Brimah.


By Peregrino Brimah

The recent Church bombing and deadly rampage across Borno and Adamawa remind us, lest we dare say we transiently forget, about the seriousness of the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria. Our dear nation is one of the most terrorized in the entire globe.

All rebellion, terrorism and upheaval, regardless of undertones and superficial affiliations are organized politically and very rarely random. This means that when several people are prompted and able to gather together and work in harmony to rebel, kill and destroy, this is hardly spontaneous, but the result of clear political planning and sponsorship. Read: “Inside Rebellion: the Politics of Insurgent Violence.”

Boko Haram was initially created, as Ecomog and a political thuggery enterprise, Boko Haram after becoming abandoned by its founding fathers, became a for-hire terror organization, adopted successively by other inhuman politicians.

The cult has metamorphosed since it was invented. There are different arms of the terrorist network, some who now go after villages and rape, kill and burn. These are desperate bandits, annoyed at the Civilians who have bravely turned totally against them, arresting and routing out their members. But there remains a sophisticated arm, the bombing arm, which is still sponsored by Nigerian cabal and politicians who use this arm for political statements and machinations. Jean Herskovits in an article published January 2nd, 2012 in the New York Times, described the for-hire nature of the terror group.

When ex-governor and one of the eternally impune, clearly implicated founders of the Ecomog Frankenstein, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (SAS) recently returned to Borno, we had a political Boko Haram, bombing revival. Prior to that, there had been raids on villages and army installations, but it had been long since bombs were thrown at us people in urban capitals, to make political statements.

Words were immediately traded in Borno among the political class, who each accused one another of being behind that political bombing. The people demanded the arrest of Ali Modu Sheriff, but alas, we do not expect that soon.

As an intelligent people, it will be dangerous and reckless if we do not seriously consider and thoroughly investigate and demand the investigation of political and politician associations in Boko Haram terrorism, both now and in the past. And as we approach the next presidential elections—just few months ahead—God-forbid, but there is increased risk of aggravated, senseless terror. One must act and demand the right action, because we the ‘valueless’ masses will continue to be the only victims sacrificed in what could possibly be sick cabal political squabbles.

If several episodes of seemingly random bomb attacks of bus stops and churches are examined, it may be disturbing to realize that many times these attacks are related to a featuring political event or tussle.

While we the innocent and ‘stupid’ masses look only at the site of impact, we fail to follow the trajectory of these bombs. We see a bus stop bombed in Sabon Gari, for seemingly no reason, but fail to investigate the political event happening at a ballot or in the Senate at the time.

While it may seem harsh to suggest such callous behavior from our pristine dressed politicians, the question to ask is, are Boko Haram sponsors ghosts? Did the politician sponsors Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, our late ex-NSA Andrew Azazi and others refer to, retire from the political parties and government, or ‘turn a new leaf?’

There is precedence of Boko Haram using carnage to move political agenda as revealed in the case of now free, Senator Ndume, arrested for terrorism and accused of furnishing Boko Haram with classified information and phone numbers to send text messages through. Senator Ndume replaced Ambassador Pinda who picked up the armed Ecomog thugs used and discarded by Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, according todetails provided by SSS spokesperson, Deputy Director for Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar. See Transparency, Nov. 22, 2011: “Senator Ali Ndume arrested over alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram”.

According to the report, terrorist Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, a.k.a. Usman Al-Zawahiri, said ECOMOG sent messages to threaten the prominent individuals because Late Pindar told them that former President, Obasanjo, was behind ex-Gov. Ali Modu Sheriff and the message was supposed to serve as a deterrent to influence Obasanjo to withdraw his support for Gov. SAS. The text message sent by ECOMOG to the Tribunal Chairman were meant to frighten the chairman in order to sway judgment in favor of PDP in the Borno State Governorship Election Petition.

Boko Haram sent messages to the Attorney General (AGF) to make him influence the tribunal in order for PDP to be victorious in the court case with SAS’ ANPP losing. Bombing was promised across the state.

But for this particular case becoming public, the people are never aware that threatening texts are sent ahead of terror carnage. We, the common people, also usually do not know that Boko Haram is sending such messages to impress and influence top level political decisions on behalf of political candidates. When these bombings typically occur, we see them as sporadic events and do not realize that the government has been forewarned about them and that these events are being used for politics.

This Monday, a Church in Adamawa was reported bombed and dozens were slaughtered. We focus on that event, but fail to realize that it may not be un-linked with the government shut-down and failure of the Senate to screen the service chiefs or confirm the ministers, including three time failed NSA under whose watch Ecomog, and eventually Boko Haram and MEND came into existence, Spy-master Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, gunning for control of Nigeria’s total security and defense apparatus.

Is it possible that the deadlock in the Senate has a connection to the tossing of the bombs and massacre of innocent Church goers? Can we rely on our security operation under NSA Sambo Dasuki to investigate such links and determine possible politicians involved in using Boko Haram to maneuver political positions, now and till the 2015 elections? Can terror ever end if the politician sponsors remain free?

According to a White-paper report chaired by the Interior minister, Abba Moro, published in government’s official gazette since 2011, as detailed in DailyPost since May 23, 2012; also in PremiumTimes, Boko Haram evolved from private militias run by key politicians in Borno, who sought to outflank opponents ahead of 2003 elections. The report submits:

“For several months or maybe years ahead of the polls, the groups, under titles as ECOMOG, Yan Kalare in Gombe, and Sara Suka in Bauchi, amassed huge cache of weapons made available by the political leaders in a broad effort that stretched to adjoining Yobe, Gombe and Bauchi states, the report states.

After the elections, the youth, still armed, but discarded by their sponsors-a well-known electioneering habit for most Nigerian politicians- became easy preys for a radical brand of Islam preached at the time by Mohammed Yusuf, the sect’s leader.”

‘Government accepts this recommendation, and directs the National Security Adviser to coordinate the investigation of the kingpins and sponsors to unravel the individuals and groups that are involved,’ the report says.”

What has Nigeria’s NSA, Sambo Dasuki done since as promised in this report? As poor and Church going Nigerians continue to die, where are the political sponsors of terror?

In September of 2011, the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said: Let me use this occasion to reassure Nigerians and members of the international communities that we now have strong links as to those involved in this terror war on Nigeria and Nigerians. I have directed security operatives to go after them, no matter where they may be hiding.

In January 2012, he again said of Boko Haram terrorists: Some of them are in the executive arm of government, some of them are in the parliamentary/legislative arm of government, while some of them are even in the judiciary, some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies. Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house…

We ask: who are they Mr. President? Where are they?

Why have you not arrested the Borno politicians who created Ecomog as determined by the report on your desk? Is SSS and the police only good for harassing opponents and breaking up protests?

What must we masses wait for and do to get you to take our lives seriously, dear president?

We masses seriously and vehemently rebuke the idea that these cabal politicians are too valuable to your political aspirations to arrest them, and that rather you employ them and appoint them for top party and cabinet posts to placate them! Why do you hate us so much? We are tired of dying.

We demand an end to this senseless carnage now. Arrest political sponsors of Boko Haram. Investigate all those whose responsibility it was to protect Nigeria, but failed and aided and abetted the rise of terror, including commissioners and governors in related states and the past NSA’s like Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, whose paid duty it was to forestall such rise of terror. Value our lives.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah
http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]
Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

 

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

Nigeria; 2015 And A ‘Diminished’ Sovereignty.


By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Few days before last year’s yuletide, a major political statement with far-reaching constitutional import was made by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission[INEC] Professor Attahiru Jega to the effect that if the violent and bloody insurgency in the North Eastern states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa persisted till January 2015 when the next General elections would hold, then the war torn states may not witness any of the election activities meaning that the chunk of the electorate from a sub-section of the nation would be disenfranchised in one of the Nigeria’s most historic elections since amalgamation one hundred years back.

President-Goodluck-JonathanIronically his ugly picture was graphically painted to depict a clear state of war in the North East barely two weeks after the confused technocrats in the Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry disputed the account of the International Criminal Court [ICC] which stated that the North East of Nigeria is indeed witnessing a civil war. If the Nigerian state say the North East is not in a state of war, why then will the same government come up to admit that a situation of war going on in that same section of the country was capable of scuttling the holding of the general election in January 2015?

The same foreign affairs ministry opposed the United States government some months back to declare the dreaded Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization only for the same Nigerian state to applaud the United States Government late last year when the administration indeed proceeded with the declaration of the global terrorists status against the Nigerian-based Boko Haram.

But in order not to detract from our subject of debate in this piece it is appropriate to remind my readers that almost immediately that significant warning was issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission that the continuous insurgency and armed insurrection in the North East may lead to withholding election in that section of the country come January 2015 polls, the political establishment of the opposition wing misconstrued that to mean that the Federal Government under the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] was only rehearsing through the mouth piece of the supposed independent electoral umpire how it intends to scheme out a  large percentage of the support base of the newly registered opposition All Progressives Congress in the coming polls to provide soft landing for the expected flag bearer of the national ruling party and the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Good luck Jonathan.

Jonathan it would be recalled has neither declined or declared his intention to seek reelection in the January 2015 general election. Sadly, the political opposition in Nigeria has spectacularly failed to set up scholarly think tank made up of find minds to proffer alternative solutions to the prevailing state of insecurity in the North East which it controls both in the executive and the legislative arms. Nigeria’s political opposition indulge in playing huge political gambits with the state of insecurity threatening the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Back to the bone of contention concerning whether election will hold or not in the North East if insurgency continues, those  In the opposition political bloc who believe President Jonathan is scheming to run say his body language shows clearly that his ambition to be reelected in 2015 is overwhelming. Incidentally, supporters of the current President whose hidden ambition to run as the Presidential flag bearer of his party with largely hand picked national hierarchy has divided the once formidable national party, are bent on ensuring that President Jonathan is returned elected.

The intensity of the contest among the ruling national party on which section of Nigeria should produce the next Presidential candidate which led to the formation of a break away faction [New PDP] that later merged with other opposition parties that coalesced into the single largest opposition political platform the All Progressives Congress [APC] has also been played up in the kinds of reactions that have emerged following the warning of the possibility of not holding election in the terrorism afflicted North Eastern states come 2015.

In a surreptitious attempt to put a lie to the fear expressed by the electoral commission that the ongoing insurgency may deny the electorate of the affected states of their constitutional civil and political rights in the coming national election, the Yobe state government staged a choreographed local council polls during which time no incidence of terrorism happened and indeed the newly formed All Progressives Congress which controls the state staged a successful but massively dramatic political rally in the trouble spot of Damaturu, Yobe state.

The local council poll that followed resulted in the eventual emergence of the All Progressives Congress [APC] as the winner in all the councils which means that even though the state indeed produced the nation’s junior finance minister who is a card carrying member of the national ruling party [PDP]and also the immediate past national women leader Hajia Chiroma who now holds a strategic Federal Board appointment under the current Jonathan administration could not even win their local councils of origin.

The Yobe political scenario that played up in the just concluded local council polls may have achieved two points in the thinking of the opposition All Progressives Congress namely, that the Independent National Electoral Commission need not fear to conduct the general election in January 2015 in the North Eastern states even with the disturbing phenomenon of violent terrorism attacks and secondly that the opposition political platform which gained Adamawa state with the cross carpeting of the PDP produced Governor Murtallah Nyako with the possible decampment of the former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the fold of opposition politicians, it may as well be appropriate to admonish the national ruling party to begin singing nunc dimitis [it is finish] as long as their political fortune is concerned in the coming election. How true are these political conjectures?

However, while career politicians continue to debate the merit and demerit of the threat by the electoral panel not to go ahead with election in January 2015 in the North East if the terrorists attacks persist, it is noteworthy to observe that the usually media omnipresent Nigerian military establishment has not said a word regarding the national security implication of the possibility that the violent insurgency by the dreaded armed Islamic rebels [Boko Haram]  could hamper the smooth conduct or indeed undermine the holding of election in all parts of Nigeria giving the fact that the constitutional mandate of the Nigerian military is to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and effectively safeguard the national interest of Nigeria and ensure that constitutional events such as the coming national election is not unduly sabotaged by armed insurrectionists.

The hierarchy of the Nigerian Armed Forces may have deliberately overlooked the obvious fact that if the next general election is in any way undermined leading to it not being held in any part thereof then the sovereignty of Nigeria can as well be adjudged diminished. This scenario must be avoided by all legitimate means. How do we feel as a sovereign state to wake up one morning to find out that some armed hoodlums who indeed crumbled the Maiduguri international airport by a barrage of successful attacks [in December 2013] leading to its closure to air traffic for three months [till March 2014] can successfully impede the conduct of election in over five states of the country with significant electorate?

Now a basic question to be asked is why the Nigerian armed forces has yet to implement comprehensive and effective combat strategies to clearly demonstrate to all Nigerians that it is capable of eliminating any major terrorist threat that may indeed scuttle the coming election in any form, shape or nature or indeed any criminal and rebellious activities by any armed hoodlums that will stop the constitutionally empowered electoral panel from holding election in all parts of Nigeria simultaneously. Why was it possible for the Iraqi and Afghanistan governments to have successfully organized national elections amidst civil wars whereas Nigeria that has over the last two years started fighting the armed insurgents in the North East not being able to confidence building measures to enable election that is one clear calendar year away from holding successfully in Nigeria? Where have all the Billions of public fund said to have been invested in procuring state of the art security infrastructure to change the security architecture of Nigeria to battle terrorists gone to? Have the massive defence budget of Nigeria been stolen in 2013? Nigerians need answers to these critical posers.

+Emmanuel Onwubiko; Head; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs

Source: African Examiner.

Ngama Rejects Yobe LGAs Elections, Says Governor Operates From Abuja With Family, Commissioners.


By SaharaReporters, New York

Nigeria’s Minister of State Finance, Yerima Ibrahim Ngama who hailed from Yobe State on Saturday rejected Saturday’s local government elections in his home state.

The Minister who insisted that there cannot be election in a State of Emergency accused Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of double standard on the basis that, the governor, his wife, children, and some commissioners operates from Abuja, hence he wonder the hypocrisy that the atmosphere in the state was conducive for elections.

The minister while rejecting the All Progressive Congress (APC) victory in Abuja said, “If he is saying that there was election, it is a shame. Because himself the governor sleeps here in Abuja. He is here in Abuja with his wife and children, if they said there was election, who was seen with his wife among his commissioners.

“I was home in Potiskum and there was even problem that week that led to the killing of about seven persons. It is laughable and shame if they are telling the world that there was election. They just went and write results and returned their selected people.”

Spokesman of Gaidam, Abdullahi Bego could not be reached but it would be recalled that Gaidam has two months back denied a report of SaharaReporters that he has relocated his family to Abuja.

Despite Boko Haram, Yobe Council Polls Witness Large Turnout – PREMIUM TIMES.


Photo: Premium Times
by PREMIUM TIMES

Voters across Yobe on Saturday turned out in large numbers to cast their votes to elect chairmen and councillors of the 17 local government areas in the state.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited some polling booths in the capital Damaturu as well as some local government areas reports that scores of people lined up at the various polling booths as early as 7 a.m. to accredit and cast their votes.

A correspondent, who also visited Bamari, Kalalawa, Ajeri, Gaidam and Bukarti towns, also reported large turnout of voters.

There was, however, heavy security presence in all the polling booths as well as major streets in Damaturu with a combined team of soldiers, police, civil defence corps and immigration officers watching over.

Shops and other businesses were closed while restriction on movement was imposed throughout the state from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reports from other parts of the state also spoke of security build up to forestall any unforeseen circumstances.

Only 10 parties participated in the polls while the major opposition party in the state, the PDP, boycotted the election.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said the conduct of the election had proved skeptics wrong on the security situation in the state.

He blamed “mischievous politicians’’ for raising false alarm of a possible breakdown of law of order in the state.

Yobe is one of the three states under emergency rule following the activities of the Boko Haram.

“We know what is going on here because we are here on the ground. We know the security situation in our state that is why we went ahead to conduct the election,” Mr. Gaidam said.

The governor said that from the reports he received, eligible voters cast their votes peacefully in all the 17 local government areas in the state.

“You can see we have gotten relative peace when I was coming here; I inspected about three areas and the elections were going on peacefully and I am sure we will conclude it safely.

“So, I think politicians should stop making noise since they are not on ground. We are the ones on the ground; anytime this kind of thing is happening, they should call us to give them the true positions of things on the ground,’’ Mr. Gaidam said.

Also speaking to journalists, a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawal, described the election as successful, adding that many people came out to cast their votes.

Mr. Lawal said that he went round about 10 local government areas to inspect the conduct of the polls and found that a large turnout of voters was recorded in the many areas.

Femi Bafunsho, Chairman Justice and Equity for All, an NGO, who was observing the conduct of the polls, said the turnout in most polling units was commendable.

The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Hannatu Binyat, said that reports received from across the state indicate a peaceful conduct of the elections.

(NAN)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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