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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

THERESA MAY Shed Tears As She Resigns As British PM

THERESA MAY Shed Tears As She Resigns As British PM

THERESA MAY
THERESA MAY
Photo Credit: Tolga AKMEN / AFP Via PM News
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation in an emotional address on Friday, ending a three-year tenure of near-constant crisis over Brexit.

May announces her resignation outside 10 Downing Street in central London on May 24, 2019

“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May, her voice breaking, said outside her Downing Street office.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday took note of the decision by British Prime Minister Theresa May to resign “with respect”, saying that they shared a “good and trusting” working relationship.

Pledging to keep working with May in the same spirit as long as she is in office, Merkel noted that Berlin “wishes to maintain close cooperation and a close relationship with the British government,” the German leader’s spokeswoman Martina Fietz said.

Fietz declined to comment on how May’s decision could affect Brexit, as “the development depends essentially on domestic political developments in Britain.
THERESA MAY
THERESA MAY
Photo Credit: Tolga AKMEN / AFP Via PM News
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation in an emotional address on Friday, ending a three-year tenure of near-constant crisis over Brexit.

May announces her resignation outside 10 Downing Street in central London on May 24, 2019

“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May, her voice breaking, said outside her Downing Street office.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday took note of the decision by British Prime Minister Theresa May to resign “with respect”, saying that they shared a “good and trusting” working relationship.

Pledging to keep working with May in the same spirit as long as she is in office, Merkel noted that Berlin “wishes to maintain close cooperation and a close relationship with the British government,” the German leader’s spokeswoman Martina Fietz said.

Fietz declined to comment on how May’s decision could affect Brexit, as “the development depends essentially on domestic political developments in Britain.

Report reveals how fear of tribunal judgement is tormenting Wike to blackmail Army GOC

Report reveals how fear of tribunal judgement is tormenting Wike to blackmail Army GOC

By Dansu Peter

The Centre for Conflict Investigation and Dialogue has revealed the recent verbal attack on the Nigerian Army by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

Wike had recently accused the Nigerian Army of engaging in partisan politics.

In a swift reacting, the Nigeria Army had accused the Rivers state government of arming political thugs with dangerous weapons to unleash mayhem in the state.

However, the centre in a report released on Tuesday, claimed Wike was being tormented by the fear of judgment of the election petition tribunal in the state.

The centre in the report identified some factors that pitched the Nigerian Army against and Governor Wike to include; refusal by the GOC 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sharham to compromise on the security arrangement in place as directed by the Chief of Army Staff.

Governor Wike in the report was also accused of making several mouth-watering overtures to the GOC, that included offers of millions of dollars but were turned down.

Solomon Adodo , Executive Director of the centre, who signed the report, called on the Nigerian  Human Rights Commission to investigate the root cause of the post election violence in Rivers State and Wike’s alleged involvement in the melee.

The report below.

The recently conducted Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria came with its attendant security challenges that gave rise to the postponement of the polls having declared the first round of voting inconclusive. This indeed generated a beehive of issues that made it practically impossible for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct supplementary elections in the state.   

The Rivers state governor Nyesome Wike in the wake of the impasse had accused the Nigerian Army of engaging in partisan politics, while on the other hand the Nigeria Army had accused the Rivers state government of arming political thugs with dangerous weapons to unleash mayhem in the state, especially in areas that are perceived as political strongholds of the opposition party in the state.

The atmosphere was tensed, and there were a lot of skirmishes that resulted in deaths of innocent people, including an army officer in the state. It was speculated that the governor of the state, Nyesome Wike in an attempt to have his way at all cost offered some mouth-watering incentives to the General Officer Commanding Nigerian Army 6 Division in Rivers state, Major General Jamil Sarham.

Consequently, in a bid to put paid the speculations surrounding the various allegations on the role of the Nigerian Army during the elections in Rivers state, an independent report that was devoid of government interference was commissioned.

In a bid to ensure that the general elections were free, fair, and credible, one of the measures put in place by the federal government was to ensure that there was adequate security in states that were termed volatile going by previous elections. This much required that all hands must be on deck to ensure that election violence does not escalate and disrupt the polls.

The Nigerian Army joined the fray of security architecture for the elections by launching a nationwide operation tagged Operations Python Dance III to checkmate violent groups and ethnic militia to ensure a successful 2019 elections.

The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike had stated that the negative role played by the Nigerian Army during the elections was the worst in the history of the country. He subsequently requested that the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Rivers State. Major General Jamila Sharham is redeployed.

After intense scrutiny of the issues and the role played by the various political actors and parties, it was discovered that what transpired in Rivers State during the elections was a power struggle between an incumbent governor fighting a battle for survival and an opposition hell-bent on wrestling power by all means available. And this amounted to a tensed atmosphere in the state that required both parties to put forward their best strategies, including the active use of violence and propaganda to achieve their objective.

Our team of researchers identified some factors that pitched the Nigerian Army against the governor of Rivers state, and they include; refusal by the GOC 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sharham to compromise on the security arrangement in place as directed by the Chief of Army Staff.

Governor Nyesom Wike made several mouth-watering overtures to the GOC, that included offers of millions of dollars all to no avail. It was gathered that Nyesome Wike could not stomach the rejection of his overtures by the Army commander and consequently launched a character assassination campaign against Major General Jamil Sharlam.

It was also discovered that part of the issues that affected the relationship between the state government and the Nigerian Army was also the refusal of the Army commander to be a part of the ploy by Nyesome Wike to concoct 3.5 million votes for the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the presidential elections.

This was said to have infuriated the governor so much that he vowed to discredit the operations of the Nigerian Army in Rivers state before the local and international media, and to also ensure that their operations in the state were frustrated by the people.

The Role of Security Agencies:

Our team of researchers was able to gather from reliable sources that the bulk of the security operatives in Rivers state during the elections were compromised by the governor of Rivers state who doled out huge incentives. It was realized that the directive dished out by the governor was to ensure that the security operatives work hand in hand with INEC officials to be able to deliver 3.5 million votes for the PDP presidential candidates during the elections.

This plan was not successfully carried out because of the refusal of the Nigerian Army to be a part of the ploy. It was gathered that the refusal of the Nigerian Army to be a part of the ploy indeed frustrated the governor and his cronies who thought all was already in the pipeline for a smooth ride.

The Infiltration of Arms and ammunition in Rivers State during the elections:

It was gathered that the Rivers state government procured arms and distributed same to political thugs loyal to the People’s Democratic Party in the state. This much was highlighted during the elections when political thugs exchanged gun shots with the Nigeria Army that resulted in the deaths of some persons including an army officer.

Why Nyesom Wike is after Major General Jamil Sharham:

It was reliably gathered by our team of researchers from sources in Rives state government house that after the elections, the Governor vowed to pay the Army Commander in his coin for having the audacity not to work for his plan as the governor of the state.

The governor consequently launched several campaigns of calumny against the army commander. Sources added that several millions of naira had been earmarked for the execution of the project. Part of the ploy is that the governor would grant media briefings both in print and radio to continue to discredit the Army commander before the eyes of unsuspecting members of the public. 


After a careful analysis of the events the characterized the elections in Rivers state, this report was able to identify that the crux of the disagreement between the Nigerian Army and the Rivers state government was centred principally on the insistence of the Nigerian Army to be neutral and fair to all during the elections in line with the mandate given to it by the Army hierarchy.

The Rivers state government attempted to pitch the population against the Nigerian Army by propounding that the Nigerian Army was carrying out the scrip of a former governor in the state and said to be against the interest of the state. All of these indeed made the operations of the Nigerian Army in Rivers state during the elections an extremely difficult one.

It is therefore highly recommended that the Nigerian Human Rights Commission should investigate the state-sponsored violence during the elections in River state and those found guilty are brought to book and compensation paid to families of those that lost their lives.

The infiltration of arms in Rivers state is also alarming, and it is consequently advised that the police be mandated to begin the process of mopping up these arms from the possession of the political thugs in the state.
By Dansu Peter

The Centre for Conflict Investigation and Dialogue has revealed the recent verbal attack on the Nigerian Army by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

Wike had recently accused the Nigerian Army of engaging in partisan politics.

In a swift reacting, the Nigeria Army had accused the Rivers state government of arming political thugs with dangerous weapons to unleash mayhem in the state.

However, the centre in a report released on Tuesday, claimed Wike was being tormented by the fear of judgment of the election petition tribunal in the state.

The centre in the report identified some factors that pitched the Nigerian Army against and Governor Wike to include; refusal by the GOC 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sharham to compromise on the security arrangement in place as directed by the Chief of Army Staff.

Governor Wike in the report was also accused of making several mouth-watering overtures to the GOC, that included offers of millions of dollars but were turned down.

Solomon Adodo , Executive Director of the centre, who signed the report, called on the Nigerian  Human Rights Commission to investigate the root cause of the post election violence in Rivers State and Wike’s alleged involvement in the melee.

The report below.

The recently conducted Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria came with its attendant security challenges that gave rise to the postponement of the polls having declared the first round of voting inconclusive. This indeed generated a beehive of issues that made it practically impossible for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct supplementary elections in the state.   

The Rivers state governor Nyesome Wike in the wake of the impasse had accused the Nigerian Army of engaging in partisan politics, while on the other hand the Nigeria Army had accused the Rivers state government of arming political thugs with dangerous weapons to unleash mayhem in the state, especially in areas that are perceived as political strongholds of the opposition party in the state.

The atmosphere was tensed, and there were a lot of skirmishes that resulted in deaths of innocent people, including an army officer in the state. It was speculated that the governor of the state, Nyesome Wike in an attempt to have his way at all cost offered some mouth-watering incentives to the General Officer Commanding Nigerian Army 6 Division in Rivers state, Major General Jamil Sarham.

Consequently, in a bid to put paid the speculations surrounding the various allegations on the role of the Nigerian Army during the elections in Rivers state, an independent report that was devoid of government interference was commissioned.

In a bid to ensure that the general elections were free, fair, and credible, one of the measures put in place by the federal government was to ensure that there was adequate security in states that were termed volatile going by previous elections. This much required that all hands must be on deck to ensure that election violence does not escalate and disrupt the polls.

The Nigerian Army joined the fray of security architecture for the elections by launching a nationwide operation tagged Operations Python Dance III to checkmate violent groups and ethnic militia to ensure a successful 2019 elections.

The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike had stated that the negative role played by the Nigerian Army during the elections was the worst in the history of the country. He subsequently requested that the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Rivers State. Major General Jamila Sharham is redeployed.

After intense scrutiny of the issues and the role played by the various political actors and parties, it was discovered that what transpired in Rivers State during the elections was a power struggle between an incumbent governor fighting a battle for survival and an opposition hell-bent on wrestling power by all means available. And this amounted to a tensed atmosphere in the state that required both parties to put forward their best strategies, including the active use of violence and propaganda to achieve their objective.

Our team of researchers identified some factors that pitched the Nigerian Army against the governor of Rivers state, and they include; refusal by the GOC 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sharham to compromise on the security arrangement in place as directed by the Chief of Army Staff.

Governor Nyesom Wike made several mouth-watering overtures to the GOC, that included offers of millions of dollars all to no avail. It was gathered that Nyesome Wike could not stomach the rejection of his overtures by the Army commander and consequently launched a character assassination campaign against Major General Jamil Sharlam.

It was also discovered that part of the issues that affected the relationship between the state government and the Nigerian Army was also the refusal of the Army commander to be a part of the ploy by Nyesome Wike to concoct 3.5 million votes for the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the presidential elections.

This was said to have infuriated the governor so much that he vowed to discredit the operations of the Nigerian Army in Rivers state before the local and international media, and to also ensure that their operations in the state were frustrated by the people.

The Role of Security Agencies:

Our team of researchers was able to gather from reliable sources that the bulk of the security operatives in Rivers state during the elections were compromised by the governor of Rivers state who doled out huge incentives. It was realized that the directive dished out by the governor was to ensure that the security operatives work hand in hand with INEC officials to be able to deliver 3.5 million votes for the PDP presidential candidates during the elections.

This plan was not successfully carried out because of the refusal of the Nigerian Army to be a part of the ploy. It was gathered that the refusal of the Nigerian Army to be a part of the ploy indeed frustrated the governor and his cronies who thought all was already in the pipeline for a smooth ride.

The Infiltration of Arms and ammunition in Rivers State during the elections:

It was gathered that the Rivers state government procured arms and distributed same to political thugs loyal to the People’s Democratic Party in the state. This much was highlighted during the elections when political thugs exchanged gun shots with the Nigeria Army that resulted in the deaths of some persons including an army officer.

Why Nyesom Wike is after Major General Jamil Sharham:

It was reliably gathered by our team of researchers from sources in Rives state government house that after the elections, the Governor vowed to pay the Army Commander in his coin for having the audacity not to work for his plan as the governor of the state.

The governor consequently launched several campaigns of calumny against the army commander. Sources added that several millions of naira had been earmarked for the execution of the project. Part of the ploy is that the governor would grant media briefings both in print and radio to continue to discredit the Army commander before the eyes of unsuspecting members of the public. 


After a careful analysis of the events the characterized the elections in Rivers state, this report was able to identify that the crux of the disagreement between the Nigerian Army and the Rivers state government was centred principally on the insistence of the Nigerian Army to be neutral and fair to all during the elections in line with the mandate given to it by the Army hierarchy.

The Rivers state government attempted to pitch the population against the Nigerian Army by propounding that the Nigerian Army was carrying out the scrip of a former governor in the state and said to be against the interest of the state. All of these indeed made the operations of the Nigerian Army in Rivers state during the elections an extremely difficult one.

It is therefore highly recommended that the Nigerian Human Rights Commission should investigate the state-sponsored violence during the elections in River state and those found guilty are brought to book and compensation paid to families of those that lost their lives.

The infiltration of arms in Rivers state is also alarming, and it is consequently advised that the police be mandated to begin the process of mopping up these arms from the possession of the political thugs in the state.

OSUN OKADA PROTEST: UNDERSTANDING THE NARRATIVE, By Charles Adeyemi

OSUN OKADA PROTEST: UNDERSTANDING THE NARRATIVE, By Charles Adeyemi

By Charles Adeyemi

OSUN OKADA PROTEST
The question of tax is a civic responsibility for societal progress, this is not a new practice anywhere in the world, it's the reason great nations of the world attained feat of greatness and as a state within the Nigerian federation we are getting there.

Yesterday 21st may, some okada riders protest an alleged due increment, I first thought it must have been a communication gap between the union leaders and their members BECAUSE to the best of my knowledge the leaders approach government on the need to unify their mode of due collection with government due hence the #200 levy which when paid no one will stop bikemen again for the day as against the usually practice of paying at every other junction, this is the narrative I know and understand until the leaders of the union, ACCOMORAN, MUTUM & ANAKOWA made public statement to discredit the protesters as not belonging to any association, not register to any association and are probably been used, much as I don't totally agree with that line of defense, I also believe efforts is on going to see to it that mutual understanding exist between the union members, leaders and government.

The villain in this matter is the opposition party, who bereft of information jump into the lagoon of confusion, transmitting confusion to their innocent members and readers especially the PDP chairman. We shall continue to educate them when necessary on what opposition politics is about.
By Charles Adeyemi

OSUN OKADA PROTEST
The question of tax is a civic responsibility for societal progress, this is not a new practice anywhere in the world, it's the reason great nations of the world attained feat of greatness and as a state within the Nigerian federation we are getting there.

Yesterday 21st may, some okada riders protest an alleged due increment, I first thought it must have been a communication gap between the union leaders and their members BECAUSE to the best of my knowledge the leaders approach government on the need to unify their mode of due collection with government due hence the #200 levy which when paid no one will stop bikemen again for the day as against the usually practice of paying at every other junction, this is the narrative I know and understand until the leaders of the union, ACCOMORAN, MUTUM & ANAKOWA made public statement to discredit the protesters as not belonging to any association, not register to any association and are probably been used, much as I don't totally agree with that line of defense, I also believe efforts is on going to see to it that mutual understanding exist between the union members, leaders and government.

The villain in this matter is the opposition party, who bereft of information jump into the lagoon of confusion, transmitting confusion to their innocent members and readers especially the PDP chairman. We shall continue to educate them when necessary on what opposition politics is about.

Nigerian Armed Forces not sentimental about retirement policy — Christian group

Nigerian Armed Forces not sentimental about retirement policy — Christian group

By Dansu Peter

The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria (YCFN) has described as unfounded allegations of lopsided recruitment, postings, appointments and retirements of military personnel by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

Nigerians were taken aback last week when malicious reports spread across the media about the military's alleged favouritism for a particular religion and region.

A statement on Tuesday by Onyeama Nwachukwu, Acting Director Defence Information, had rubbished claims that over 200 officers from a particular geo-political zone and religion, in the first quarter 2019, were retired prematurely.

After thorough fact-finding through its members in the Federal Character Commission, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Airforce and other related authorities, the YCFN backed the Armed Forces’ stands.

This was made public in an extensive report signed by its President Rev. Nathaniel Ochimana but represented at the press conference by Vice President, Bro. Bright Sunday.

According to the Christian group, the  assertion of premature retirement of Christian officers and lopsided recruitment of northern Muslims, postings, and appointments are utterly misleading.

“ We wish to state that the Young Christians Forum of Nigeria, an organization consisting of Christians from all works of life in Nigeria was taken aback by the claims that some Christian officers were silently retired from the Armed Forces and replaced by Muslims by the leadership of the Armed Forces led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin,” the group began.

“ So as not to leave any stone unturned, the Young Christians Forum investigated the claims with a view to ascertaining the correctness of the news making the rounds in the public domain.”

Upon completion of investigations, however, the group discovered that there was never a time in the history of the Armed Forces that promotions and retirements were based on ethnic or religious factors.

“ Findings gathered from the Federal Character Commission indicates that no such infraction was recorded in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin

“ Findings from personnel from the Army, Navy, and Airforce debunked the claims of mass retirement of Christians officers and the recruitment and lopsided posting of Muslim officers to replace them.

“ Findings from the National Human Rights Commission also indicates that the commission is not in receipt of any petition on religious and ethnic discrimination in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Christian group, therefore concluded that the allegations were concocted, and a deliberate falsehood aimed at sowing the seed of bitterness in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

They added that "the Young Christians Forum of Nigeria believes that the news is highly misleading and capable of puncturing the harmonious working relationship between Christians and Muslims in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“ We also wish to state that from the interactions we had with some select officers and men of the Armed Forces, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin upon resumption of office has instituted a number of reforms that ensures a strict adherence to the rules of engagement as it concerns discipline, promotion, postings and retirement from the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“ The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria consequently wishes to sound a note of warning to the political detractors to stay away from the activities of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so they can concentrate on the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

 “ The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria also wishes to state that the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not an ethnic or religious organization and hence it should not be associated with the promotion of ethnic or religious agenda.

“The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria also wishes to remind the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that they are indeed patriots and never give in to the cheap blackmail been bandied around by detractors.”
By Dansu Peter

The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria (YCFN) has described as unfounded allegations of lopsided recruitment, postings, appointments and retirements of military personnel by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

Nigerians were taken aback last week when malicious reports spread across the media about the military's alleged favouritism for a particular religion and region.

A statement on Tuesday by Onyeama Nwachukwu, Acting Director Defence Information, had rubbished claims that over 200 officers from a particular geo-political zone and religion, in the first quarter 2019, were retired prematurely.

After thorough fact-finding through its members in the Federal Character Commission, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Airforce and other related authorities, the YCFN backed the Armed Forces’ stands.

This was made public in an extensive report signed by its President Rev. Nathaniel Ochimana but represented at the press conference by Vice President, Bro. Bright Sunday.

According to the Christian group, the  assertion of premature retirement of Christian officers and lopsided recruitment of northern Muslims, postings, and appointments are utterly misleading.

“ We wish to state that the Young Christians Forum of Nigeria, an organization consisting of Christians from all works of life in Nigeria was taken aback by the claims that some Christian officers were silently retired from the Armed Forces and replaced by Muslims by the leadership of the Armed Forces led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin,” the group began.

“ So as not to leave any stone unturned, the Young Christians Forum investigated the claims with a view to ascertaining the correctness of the news making the rounds in the public domain.”

Upon completion of investigations, however, the group discovered that there was never a time in the history of the Armed Forces that promotions and retirements were based on ethnic or religious factors.

“ Findings gathered from the Federal Character Commission indicates that no such infraction was recorded in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin

“ Findings from personnel from the Army, Navy, and Airforce debunked the claims of mass retirement of Christians officers and the recruitment and lopsided posting of Muslim officers to replace them.

“ Findings from the National Human Rights Commission also indicates that the commission is not in receipt of any petition on religious and ethnic discrimination in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Christian group, therefore concluded that the allegations were concocted, and a deliberate falsehood aimed at sowing the seed of bitterness in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

They added that "the Young Christians Forum of Nigeria believes that the news is highly misleading and capable of puncturing the harmonious working relationship between Christians and Muslims in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“ We also wish to state that from the interactions we had with some select officers and men of the Armed Forces, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin upon resumption of office has instituted a number of reforms that ensures a strict adherence to the rules of engagement as it concerns discipline, promotion, postings and retirement from the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“ The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria consequently wishes to sound a note of warning to the political detractors to stay away from the activities of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so they can concentrate on the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

 “ The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria also wishes to state that the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not an ethnic or religious organization and hence it should not be associated with the promotion of ethnic or religious agenda.

“The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria also wishes to remind the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that they are indeed patriots and never give in to the cheap blackmail been bandied around by detractors.”

Re: Military Promotion, Retirement And Religious Politics By Tunde Johnson

Re: Military Promotion, Retirement And Religious Politics By Tunde Johnson

By Tunde Johnson

I am not impressed with some critics or “activists.” It is not enough to think, we have the liberty of expression and endowed with skills of the pen and so, can wake up any day to push all manner gibberish into public domain.

The article by Samuel Omachi titled, “Military Promotion, Retirement And Religious Politics” has the tapestry of what some Nigerians describe as armchair criticisms. I perused the entire gamut of the article and found nothing convincing. It is speculative, assumptive and very fluid. Its infantile reasoning to push the argument that some officers have been retired from military service and from a particular region of the country without any striking example.

It sounds exciting only to the extent it fulfils the inner yearnings of the critic to fuel public incitement or anger against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the current leadership of the Nigerian military and presiding officials of the Federal Character Commission (FCC). There is no modicum of credibility in anything the critic has rendered his reading fans.

It’s just like I would pick a pen and scribble that Samuel is not the son of his father. And I will not explain anything to justify this claim. But feel contented I have questioned his paternity.  Mr. Samuel, let me correct certain impressions first.

It may please Samuel to know that President Buhari is an impartial leader. It is the immutable truth. Buhari’s honesty, integrity and passion of perceiving every Nigerian like a member of his nuclear family is legendary. No Nigerian leader I know has exhibited his leadership traits. We cannot doubt it. 

Buhari has no affinity to any religion, tribe or region. It is evident in the manner he dispensed his first term in office by patronizing every section of Nigeria regardless of whether they supported his presidential aspiration in 2015 or backed out of it.

The President sees Nigeria and Nigerians as one huge united and indivisible community of people destined to be together. It is not his Presidency that would break this cord of communality.  He is not the kind of President a Samuel would gleefully seek to destroy simply because he is excited with an idle pen.

The retired or promoted military officers, Samuel glowingly alludes in his narration are shielded by this narration. I don’t believe in those who claim to be fighting injustice with fearfully or masked. Those who genuinely stand for the cause of injustice and truth do it boldly. King Martin Luther Jr died fighting it boldly; Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid and a lot more.

What about our own Gani Fawehinmi? They are human beings and also value the air they breath and the freedom savoured by the rest of us. So, hiding to claim fighting  injustice is absolute mischief.

Any informed critic like Samuel wants us to believe would have at least mentioned some names of the sacked soldiers to buttress and anchor his point. It is unwise to embark on such a senseless voyage by guessing vague figures. It demeans and defeats sound argument. The Nigerian military were gracious enough to respond to him by attempting some explanations. I am angry with them for promoting nonsensicality.

Now Samuel, let’s break your piece to shreds to establish the extent you goofed. Happily, Samuel elaborately quoted the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in his narrative. And assuming, he could vouch for whatever propaganda contained in this irritating piece, we expected him to have quoted correspondences he had with the FCC over this alleged injustice.

Oh Samuel! Public systems do not function according to personal  whims and caprices. There are procedures and, in this instance, the first step of a person convinced of a genuine case of injustice would have been to approach the FCC for redress. Activism requires commitment. It’s either you are committed to it or abandon the cause and desist from unnecessary noisemaking. I hope Samuel is with me and decoding it appropriately?       

It smacks of barefaced mischief and ridiculous posturing to the institution of the Military for Samuel or anyone else  to think he can remote control the routine internal postings, retirement or appointments. We have marketed ourselves as sticklers to religion or tribe in handling national issues and it has cost us grave retardations in the past. Some leaders adhered to such principles over merit and the 57-year old Nigeria has remained tethered to retrogression we see today. 

Samuel, do you expect for instance that if the first seven airforce pilots in seniority are Christians or all Muslims or from the same geo-political zone, you expect their junior should be catapulted from the back to head them in order to balance the sentiments espoused by you? Is it normal and if Samuel heads a place, would he consent to such anomaly?   

The day any Nigerian is appointed into any position, he knows there would come a day of retirement.  And retirement is not same as termination of appointment. So, if all those due for retirement are from one tribe, religion or region, they should hang on for the absurd reasons advocated by Samuel?

 One could secretly replace names in the public civil service or other public institutions. But it doesn’t sound plausible to me that the military could “secretly” replace retired personnel, ignoring the rigours of military training. Its not possible even in the para-military. I task Samuel to conduct his research properly and serve us verifiable and undeniable facts or respect himself with silence. 

Nigerians are the most talented and belligerent people in the world, yet our country does not reflect it. We regale in the excitement of freedom and seem to forget our limits. I don’t know which American dictates to President Donald Trump, who he should appoint into sensitive positions that are levers of the success or failure of his government. He sacked Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and appointed Mike Pampeo without consulting anybody. He sets the standard for his appointments.

We must recognize that there are certain liberties we must concede to President Buhari. If Nigeria is rated a failed or successful nation now, only Buhari takes the blame or credit. Nigerians will not blame any religion, tribe or region, but President Buhari. When insecurity rages in the country, we blame Buhari and not the ethnic champions or religious bigots who canvass for such sentiments in appointments.

 So, what is wrong if President Buhari  in the last presidential campaigns told  Ndi’gbo that none of  their sons met the criteria to be appointed any of the Security Chiefs? Was it not just yesterday Gen. Ihejirika was there as COAS? What impact did he make on the war against Boko Haram insurgency?  It rather festered under his watch. Perhaps, he was not even qualified, but the then President appointed him in response to such  unproductive sermons of Nigerians like Samuel. 

Samuel angles for us to believe his poor criticism and so, compensates himself by tasking others to do what he failed to do: Hear him; We call on the Presidency, the National Assembly and the military authorities to go beyond rebuttal of alleged divisive and religious administration of the armed forces. Let them constitute an independent panel of inquiry to forensically investigate the alleged infraction of federal character in the military and para-military appointments, postings, retirements and redeployment with the view to assuaging frayed nerves in the interest of unity, peace, tranquility, justice and fairness in the country.”

For me, this is outright expression of unpardonable intellectual and research laziness. If the result of such independent inquiry is published, would Samuel not pick loopholes in it so long as it does not favour his jaundiced thinking? 

I advise Samuel to always stoop to conquer.  Its wrong to stoke public anxiety baselessly and unnecessarily only to push the burden of proof to someone else. I repeat, nothing in Samuel’s piece alerts me to the submissions of a serious mind or critic or activist. It’s unfortunate that Military authorities stooped so low to dignify him with a response.

But let it be known to the likes of Samuel that the military under President Buhari is no respecter of tribe, religion or regionality. Its insulated from such regressive sentiments. Samuel can utilize his idleness by scavenging elsewhere. An African adage says, “idle hands scratches the anus,” and Samuel’s piece is a perfect illustration. 

 The Armed Forces of any nation is a sensitive national institution and everyone is its owner. All military personnel lose their tribe, region or religion from the first day of enlistment and garb the coat of national tribe for their country. The logic of the sentiments and bogus assertions spewed by Samuel are not derivable in the Nigerian military.  Nigerians must therefore see the need for national cohesion, national unity and national peace above every other consideration.

Johnson wrote this piece from Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos.
By Tunde Johnson

I am not impressed with some critics or “activists.” It is not enough to think, we have the liberty of expression and endowed with skills of the pen and so, can wake up any day to push all manner gibberish into public domain.

The article by Samuel Omachi titled, “Military Promotion, Retirement And Religious Politics” has the tapestry of what some Nigerians describe as armchair criticisms. I perused the entire gamut of the article and found nothing convincing. It is speculative, assumptive and very fluid. Its infantile reasoning to push the argument that some officers have been retired from military service and from a particular region of the country without any striking example.

It sounds exciting only to the extent it fulfils the inner yearnings of the critic to fuel public incitement or anger against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the current leadership of the Nigerian military and presiding officials of the Federal Character Commission (FCC). There is no modicum of credibility in anything the critic has rendered his reading fans.

It’s just like I would pick a pen and scribble that Samuel is not the son of his father. And I will not explain anything to justify this claim. But feel contented I have questioned his paternity.  Mr. Samuel, let me correct certain impressions first.

It may please Samuel to know that President Buhari is an impartial leader. It is the immutable truth. Buhari’s honesty, integrity and passion of perceiving every Nigerian like a member of his nuclear family is legendary. No Nigerian leader I know has exhibited his leadership traits. We cannot doubt it. 

Buhari has no affinity to any religion, tribe or region. It is evident in the manner he dispensed his first term in office by patronizing every section of Nigeria regardless of whether they supported his presidential aspiration in 2015 or backed out of it.

The President sees Nigeria and Nigerians as one huge united and indivisible community of people destined to be together. It is not his Presidency that would break this cord of communality.  He is not the kind of President a Samuel would gleefully seek to destroy simply because he is excited with an idle pen.

The retired or promoted military officers, Samuel glowingly alludes in his narration are shielded by this narration. I don’t believe in those who claim to be fighting injustice with fearfully or masked. Those who genuinely stand for the cause of injustice and truth do it boldly. King Martin Luther Jr died fighting it boldly; Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid and a lot more.

What about our own Gani Fawehinmi? They are human beings and also value the air they breath and the freedom savoured by the rest of us. So, hiding to claim fighting  injustice is absolute mischief.

Any informed critic like Samuel wants us to believe would have at least mentioned some names of the sacked soldiers to buttress and anchor his point. It is unwise to embark on such a senseless voyage by guessing vague figures. It demeans and defeats sound argument. The Nigerian military were gracious enough to respond to him by attempting some explanations. I am angry with them for promoting nonsensicality.

Now Samuel, let’s break your piece to shreds to establish the extent you goofed. Happily, Samuel elaborately quoted the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in his narrative. And assuming, he could vouch for whatever propaganda contained in this irritating piece, we expected him to have quoted correspondences he had with the FCC over this alleged injustice.

Oh Samuel! Public systems do not function according to personal  whims and caprices. There are procedures and, in this instance, the first step of a person convinced of a genuine case of injustice would have been to approach the FCC for redress. Activism requires commitment. It’s either you are committed to it or abandon the cause and desist from unnecessary noisemaking. I hope Samuel is with me and decoding it appropriately?       

It smacks of barefaced mischief and ridiculous posturing to the institution of the Military for Samuel or anyone else  to think he can remote control the routine internal postings, retirement or appointments. We have marketed ourselves as sticklers to religion or tribe in handling national issues and it has cost us grave retardations in the past. Some leaders adhered to such principles over merit and the 57-year old Nigeria has remained tethered to retrogression we see today. 

Samuel, do you expect for instance that if the first seven airforce pilots in seniority are Christians or all Muslims or from the same geo-political zone, you expect their junior should be catapulted from the back to head them in order to balance the sentiments espoused by you? Is it normal and if Samuel heads a place, would he consent to such anomaly?   

The day any Nigerian is appointed into any position, he knows there would come a day of retirement.  And retirement is not same as termination of appointment. So, if all those due for retirement are from one tribe, religion or region, they should hang on for the absurd reasons advocated by Samuel?

 One could secretly replace names in the public civil service or other public institutions. But it doesn’t sound plausible to me that the military could “secretly” replace retired personnel, ignoring the rigours of military training. Its not possible even in the para-military. I task Samuel to conduct his research properly and serve us verifiable and undeniable facts or respect himself with silence. 

Nigerians are the most talented and belligerent people in the world, yet our country does not reflect it. We regale in the excitement of freedom and seem to forget our limits. I don’t know which American dictates to President Donald Trump, who he should appoint into sensitive positions that are levers of the success or failure of his government. He sacked Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and appointed Mike Pampeo without consulting anybody. He sets the standard for his appointments.

We must recognize that there are certain liberties we must concede to President Buhari. If Nigeria is rated a failed or successful nation now, only Buhari takes the blame or credit. Nigerians will not blame any religion, tribe or region, but President Buhari. When insecurity rages in the country, we blame Buhari and not the ethnic champions or religious bigots who canvass for such sentiments in appointments.

 So, what is wrong if President Buhari  in the last presidential campaigns told  Ndi’gbo that none of  their sons met the criteria to be appointed any of the Security Chiefs? Was it not just yesterday Gen. Ihejirika was there as COAS? What impact did he make on the war against Boko Haram insurgency?  It rather festered under his watch. Perhaps, he was not even qualified, but the then President appointed him in response to such  unproductive sermons of Nigerians like Samuel. 

Samuel angles for us to believe his poor criticism and so, compensates himself by tasking others to do what he failed to do: Hear him; We call on the Presidency, the National Assembly and the military authorities to go beyond rebuttal of alleged divisive and religious administration of the armed forces. Let them constitute an independent panel of inquiry to forensically investigate the alleged infraction of federal character in the military and para-military appointments, postings, retirements and redeployment with the view to assuaging frayed nerves in the interest of unity, peace, tranquility, justice and fairness in the country.”

For me, this is outright expression of unpardonable intellectual and research laziness. If the result of such independent inquiry is published, would Samuel not pick loopholes in it so long as it does not favour his jaundiced thinking? 

I advise Samuel to always stoop to conquer.  Its wrong to stoke public anxiety baselessly and unnecessarily only to push the burden of proof to someone else. I repeat, nothing in Samuel’s piece alerts me to the submissions of a serious mind or critic or activist. It’s unfortunate that Military authorities stooped so low to dignify him with a response.

But let it be known to the likes of Samuel that the military under President Buhari is no respecter of tribe, religion or regionality. Its insulated from such regressive sentiments. Samuel can utilize his idleness by scavenging elsewhere. An African adage says, “idle hands scratches the anus,” and Samuel’s piece is a perfect illustration. 

 The Armed Forces of any nation is a sensitive national institution and everyone is its owner. All military personnel lose their tribe, region or religion from the first day of enlistment and garb the coat of national tribe for their country. The logic of the sentiments and bogus assertions spewed by Samuel are not derivable in the Nigerian military.  Nigerians must therefore see the need for national cohesion, national unity and national peace above every other consideration.

Johnson wrote this piece from Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos.

Wike Is Afraid Of Wike, By Okanga Agila

Wike Is Afraid Of Wike, By Okanga Agila

By Okanga Agila

“Let your consciousness, savoir faire and understanding liberate you from all the clutches of delusions, dopiness, greed, arrogance, sufferings and hopelessness. Let you reclaim your brilliance, be able to interact with the core of your being, connect, integrate and merge with your higher self  and feel the bliss, acceptance of what is and joy that comes with radiating your true self to your world. Let all the dense and menacing fog be cleared away by your own sunlight…. “-Rajesh Goyal, an author.

 Goyal’s philosophy invokes a lot of wisdom for   Rivers State  Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. If only leaders like Wike could find sense in such words on marble, they would discover like the rest of us, how needless it is to connect harshly with the outside world, when the inner self is riotous and forsakes peace on tenets of idealism. 

Unfortunately, though, Wike is not a leader to be placated with such ideas in leadership. I believe he is more attuned to his caged world of leadership brigandage, deceit, roaring or meaningless verbal attacks on opponents and its thuggish manifestations. Nigerians know him more as a clown on the leadership space of Nigeria.

I am flabbergasted by Gov. Wike’s brand of politicking, but not surprised because he is a politician groomed ab initio in such precincts. Overtime, I have known Wike as unique in political weirdness, mudslinging, vendetta and very acerbic attacks on opponents.

He is very conversant with the character of politics and leadership in Nigeria; he knows, Nigerians romance leaders who mouth one thing and do exactly the opposite behind the scenes.  One must not be a psychologist to understand that even Wike’s facial look betrays him as a political undertaker. Almost all his media photographic images have this imprimatur.

This Governor is uncouth, rasped and feels, his political survival only depends on the extent he dubiously attacks perceived rivals with concocted claims and confrontations. In such instances, he barks like a wounded lion.

The ilk of Wike were two in Nigeria, the now opposition PDP dashed Nigerians. But time has ebbed out former Ekiti Governor, Pastor Ayo Fayose. He is now more silent than an adventurous, lone soldier who stumbled across a ravenous monster in a wild forest.  But Fayose’s gulf has been bridged by Zamfara State Governor, Abduaziz Yari who swallowed all the security votes in his state when it was pleasure time but fast to resign his constitutional role as Chief Security Officer when the bandits came calling. 

And in these leaders, I sense a common denominator. They have a shameless flair for re-manufacturing reality in a sublimity that would make creative writers green with envy. The urge to twist facts and stoking hatred on the political arena, even where the circumstances defile such colorations is outstanding and outlandish.

 But for Wike, so long as the missiles weaken their targets, its alright. And like Machiavelli has echoed, the end result justifies the means, so the likes of Wike are infinitely consoled.

 I am the least dumbfounded that Gov. Wike and his soulmates have bickered everyone or institution in the country, the last four years for empty political grandstanding and reasons of grabbing power. They are easily provoked once their satanic plots are detected and scuttled. At such points, they accuse, haggle, scold and even curse those who they think constitute obstacles. From President Muhammadu Buhari to the police, to the Nigerian Army, the DSS and political opponents, Gov. Wike neither spares any weapon nor anyone. 

What I know is that such leaders are perpetually afraid of their evil haunting shadows.  Each of their actions is conceived and delivered on the altars of devilry. So, they are burdened by the phobia of reprisal attacks from the same personalities they have unjustly defamed, attacked and even murdered. But it baffles me that they dread death themselves.

And it can be glimpsed from the recent and numerous alarms by Gov. Wike who falsifies assassination claims so freely, and frequently than a man chants the name of his favorite son. Since he grabbed the governorship seat of Rivers state in 2015, Wike has been shouting alleged assassination attempts on him till yesterday.

Wike’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George as far back as 2017 alleged his Governor survived five assassination attempts. By now, the number would have increased to 10, but Gov. Wike is still alive and kicking. 

It’s Wike’s regular menu like his friend, Pastor  Fayose , once they run into brick walls after misusing political power. And it’s like a virus in some Governors today.  Gov. Wike has been quiet at his own alleged sponsored and glaring assassination attempt on his 2015 APC governorship opponent, Dr. Peterside Dakuku,  the DG,  NIMASA’s in March 2016 , when the DSS napped Wike’s Chief of Staff (COS) Mr.  Chukwuemeka Woke, in front of their office in Port Harcourt, who led a killer squad to trail Dakuku on his way home on Aba road and still followed him after he detoured on realization of being trailed to DSS office. But I am sure, Gov. Wike hates to remember the incident. 

Therefore, I am not appalled with Gov. Wike’s penchant to drag everybody into this unfounded frenzy of wild and unsubstantiated assassination alarms. If Wike is not accusing the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Buhari, he gladly picks the quarrel with all arms of security agents protecting him. No leader, I have known in my adult life with everything evil; everything dubious, nasty and brutish like Gov. Wike.

 I have come to realize, it is a gimmick Wike deploys to earn national public sympathy, to veil the execution of his dubious and satanic plots of silently eliminating his political opponents. He diverts attention with such gimmicks. 

Like most Nigerians, it’s very clear to me Gov. Wike has become a terribly tormented soul since after “winning” a controversial election in 2015 and again, in 2019 adopting the same crude arm-twisting tactics. If he is not talking about Amaechi today, he is talking about Buhari. The Wike we know as master rigger, sadist and brutal electoral thief, felt the flattering sanity on advising President Buhari against rigging the 2019 presidential polls, as if the President exhibits his greed, lust or debauchery in forcefully acquiring political power.

That’s how we know empty leaders. But has Wike ever asked himself whether he possesses an inch of the pedigree of formal and informal advisers to President Buhari on anything? Mr. President detests characters like Wike more stringently than he abhors Lucifer. 

Wike’s latest publicity stunt is to attack the General Officer Commanding (GOC),  6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major Gen. Jamil Sarham,  alleging an attempted assassination on him. He mouthed it while addressing some international observers on the eve of the February 2019 presidential and national assembly elections.

Thereafter, Wike confirmed my conviction in his personality, by engaging the Nigerian Army in sustained altercations over the alleged assassination he could not justify, even after the Army gave him a seven-day ultimatum to prove or permanently hide his face in shame. To my knowledge, Gov. Wike has not been able to substantiate beyond alleging that soldiers, on protection mission in the build-up to the 2019 general elections cordoned his residence for protection. Is this a leader?

Nonetheless, it is known to us that Wike’s grudge against the GOC, Maj. Gen. Sarham is the latter’s resolute refusal to compromise his integrity and that of the Nigerian Army by accepting  the Governor’s series of overtures and monetary inducements of millions of dollars, both in person  or  through cronies to assist rig  the general elections in favour of PDP

And Maj. Gen. Sarham is not the only victim of this campaign of calumny from Wike and his proxies. Even when the Nigeria Police Force  transferred the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, who was replaced with a new officer, Wike alleged, the new commissioner of police was redeployed to the state to assassinate him.

If any other Nigerian takes Gov. Wike seriously, I am an exemption. And I know, there are millions of us with same perception on him. When the demons which irretrievably occupy Wike’s demented soul prick his conscience to reflect about his countless atrocities, he strangely relives himself by attacking the military, instead of genuine confession and penitence.

I am constrained to emphasis that let truth be told; Wike is just afraid of the 2019 election he has rigged again to wriggle himself into office. And with Buhari’s renewed searchlight on the judiciary, Gov. Wike is angry that he may not buy justice again, like he did in 2015 against Dakuku.

  Wike is afraid that “Wike” will be exposed at the tribunal and Wike intends to divert serious attention from Wike by accusing everybody, including flies which fly past his dinning table of assassination plots. Only if Wike listens to the wisdom of author, Rajesh Goyal! But we are aware of his antics!

Okanga wrote this piece from Agila, Benue State.
By Okanga Agila

“Let your consciousness, savoir faire and understanding liberate you from all the clutches of delusions, dopiness, greed, arrogance, sufferings and hopelessness. Let you reclaim your brilliance, be able to interact with the core of your being, connect, integrate and merge with your higher self  and feel the bliss, acceptance of what is and joy that comes with radiating your true self to your world. Let all the dense and menacing fog be cleared away by your own sunlight…. “-Rajesh Goyal, an author.

 Goyal’s philosophy invokes a lot of wisdom for   Rivers State  Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. If only leaders like Wike could find sense in such words on marble, they would discover like the rest of us, how needless it is to connect harshly with the outside world, when the inner self is riotous and forsakes peace on tenets of idealism. 

Unfortunately, though, Wike is not a leader to be placated with such ideas in leadership. I believe he is more attuned to his caged world of leadership brigandage, deceit, roaring or meaningless verbal attacks on opponents and its thuggish manifestations. Nigerians know him more as a clown on the leadership space of Nigeria.

I am flabbergasted by Gov. Wike’s brand of politicking, but not surprised because he is a politician groomed ab initio in such precincts. Overtime, I have known Wike as unique in political weirdness, mudslinging, vendetta and very acerbic attacks on opponents.

He is very conversant with the character of politics and leadership in Nigeria; he knows, Nigerians romance leaders who mouth one thing and do exactly the opposite behind the scenes.  One must not be a psychologist to understand that even Wike’s facial look betrays him as a political undertaker. Almost all his media photographic images have this imprimatur.

This Governor is uncouth, rasped and feels, his political survival only depends on the extent he dubiously attacks perceived rivals with concocted claims and confrontations. In such instances, he barks like a wounded lion.

The ilk of Wike were two in Nigeria, the now opposition PDP dashed Nigerians. But time has ebbed out former Ekiti Governor, Pastor Ayo Fayose. He is now more silent than an adventurous, lone soldier who stumbled across a ravenous monster in a wild forest.  But Fayose’s gulf has been bridged by Zamfara State Governor, Abduaziz Yari who swallowed all the security votes in his state when it was pleasure time but fast to resign his constitutional role as Chief Security Officer when the bandits came calling. 

And in these leaders, I sense a common denominator. They have a shameless flair for re-manufacturing reality in a sublimity that would make creative writers green with envy. The urge to twist facts and stoking hatred on the political arena, even where the circumstances defile such colorations is outstanding and outlandish.

 But for Wike, so long as the missiles weaken their targets, its alright. And like Machiavelli has echoed, the end result justifies the means, so the likes of Wike are infinitely consoled.

 I am the least dumbfounded that Gov. Wike and his soulmates have bickered everyone or institution in the country, the last four years for empty political grandstanding and reasons of grabbing power. They are easily provoked once their satanic plots are detected and scuttled. At such points, they accuse, haggle, scold and even curse those who they think constitute obstacles. From President Muhammadu Buhari to the police, to the Nigerian Army, the DSS and political opponents, Gov. Wike neither spares any weapon nor anyone. 

What I know is that such leaders are perpetually afraid of their evil haunting shadows.  Each of their actions is conceived and delivered on the altars of devilry. So, they are burdened by the phobia of reprisal attacks from the same personalities they have unjustly defamed, attacked and even murdered. But it baffles me that they dread death themselves.

And it can be glimpsed from the recent and numerous alarms by Gov. Wike who falsifies assassination claims so freely, and frequently than a man chants the name of his favorite son. Since he grabbed the governorship seat of Rivers state in 2015, Wike has been shouting alleged assassination attempts on him till yesterday.

Wike’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George as far back as 2017 alleged his Governor survived five assassination attempts. By now, the number would have increased to 10, but Gov. Wike is still alive and kicking. 

It’s Wike’s regular menu like his friend, Pastor  Fayose , once they run into brick walls after misusing political power. And it’s like a virus in some Governors today.  Gov. Wike has been quiet at his own alleged sponsored and glaring assassination attempt on his 2015 APC governorship opponent, Dr. Peterside Dakuku,  the DG,  NIMASA’s in March 2016 , when the DSS napped Wike’s Chief of Staff (COS) Mr.  Chukwuemeka Woke, in front of their office in Port Harcourt, who led a killer squad to trail Dakuku on his way home on Aba road and still followed him after he detoured on realization of being trailed to DSS office. But I am sure, Gov. Wike hates to remember the incident. 

Therefore, I am not appalled with Gov. Wike’s penchant to drag everybody into this unfounded frenzy of wild and unsubstantiated assassination alarms. If Wike is not accusing the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Buhari, he gladly picks the quarrel with all arms of security agents protecting him. No leader, I have known in my adult life with everything evil; everything dubious, nasty and brutish like Gov. Wike.

 I have come to realize, it is a gimmick Wike deploys to earn national public sympathy, to veil the execution of his dubious and satanic plots of silently eliminating his political opponents. He diverts attention with such gimmicks. 

Like most Nigerians, it’s very clear to me Gov. Wike has become a terribly tormented soul since after “winning” a controversial election in 2015 and again, in 2019 adopting the same crude arm-twisting tactics. If he is not talking about Amaechi today, he is talking about Buhari. The Wike we know as master rigger, sadist and brutal electoral thief, felt the flattering sanity on advising President Buhari against rigging the 2019 presidential polls, as if the President exhibits his greed, lust or debauchery in forcefully acquiring political power.

That’s how we know empty leaders. But has Wike ever asked himself whether he possesses an inch of the pedigree of formal and informal advisers to President Buhari on anything? Mr. President detests characters like Wike more stringently than he abhors Lucifer. 

Wike’s latest publicity stunt is to attack the General Officer Commanding (GOC),  6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major Gen. Jamil Sarham,  alleging an attempted assassination on him. He mouthed it while addressing some international observers on the eve of the February 2019 presidential and national assembly elections.

Thereafter, Wike confirmed my conviction in his personality, by engaging the Nigerian Army in sustained altercations over the alleged assassination he could not justify, even after the Army gave him a seven-day ultimatum to prove or permanently hide his face in shame. To my knowledge, Gov. Wike has not been able to substantiate beyond alleging that soldiers, on protection mission in the build-up to the 2019 general elections cordoned his residence for protection. Is this a leader?

Nonetheless, it is known to us that Wike’s grudge against the GOC, Maj. Gen. Sarham is the latter’s resolute refusal to compromise his integrity and that of the Nigerian Army by accepting  the Governor’s series of overtures and monetary inducements of millions of dollars, both in person  or  through cronies to assist rig  the general elections in favour of PDP

And Maj. Gen. Sarham is not the only victim of this campaign of calumny from Wike and his proxies. Even when the Nigeria Police Force  transferred the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, who was replaced with a new officer, Wike alleged, the new commissioner of police was redeployed to the state to assassinate him.

If any other Nigerian takes Gov. Wike seriously, I am an exemption. And I know, there are millions of us with same perception on him. When the demons which irretrievably occupy Wike’s demented soul prick his conscience to reflect about his countless atrocities, he strangely relives himself by attacking the military, instead of genuine confession and penitence.

I am constrained to emphasis that let truth be told; Wike is just afraid of the 2019 election he has rigged again to wriggle himself into office. And with Buhari’s renewed searchlight on the judiciary, Gov. Wike is angry that he may not buy justice again, like he did in 2015 against Dakuku.

  Wike is afraid that “Wike” will be exposed at the tribunal and Wike intends to divert serious attention from Wike by accusing everybody, including flies which fly past his dinning table of assassination plots. Only if Wike listens to the wisdom of author, Rajesh Goyal! But we are aware of his antics!

Okanga wrote this piece from Agila, Benue State.

Emefiele: Centre urges Buhari to sustain culture of transparency in appointing competent persons into critical sectors

Emefiele: Centre urges Buhari to sustain culture of transparency in appointing competent persons into critical sectors

By Dansu Peter

The Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency, CSEJST, has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to sustain what it termed its “culture of transparency” in the critical sector as a panacea towards a just nation for her citizens.

It noted that such in the security sectors where Mr. President has demonstrated that competence must come above ethnic and religious coloration in the choice of his pillars has seen the nation emerging stronger out of the worst insurgency and economic recession within a short period of time.

CESJET, which was reacting to the re-appointment of Mr Godwin Emefiele as Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, said the President has always gotten it right on security and the economy through his competent appointees.

Comrade Isaac Ikpa, Executive Director of the group, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, called on the apex bank boss and others holding strategic offices in the economic sector to continue to justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to render quality and selfless services to the country in our quest to make Nigeria great again.

His statement below.

CESJET notes with enthusiasm the recent reappointment of Godwin Emefeile as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for another term of five years in reward for his outstanding stewardship in the past five years. 

CESJET sees the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as one made in the overall interest of the country and devoid of ethnic or religious sentiments. This is indeed a welcome development and a departure from the norm where ethnicity and religion are placed above merit and competence.

President Muhammadu Buhari has by his action demonstrated a Pan-Nigerian spirit geared towards nation-building that requires equity and transparency in the conduct of government business.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sufficiently exhibited this much in the choice of his appointments in critical sectors such as the economy and security since the advent of the administration in 2015.

This is quite commendable, and CESJET wishes to state that such actions are for the public good and a step towards the right direction towards eliminating the feeling of ethnic and religious superiority which have been the bane of the myriad of the challenge confronting us as a people and a country.

CESJET also wishes to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his choice of appointees into key strategic offices in the economic and security sectors of Nigeria that has been based strictly on merit, competence, and transparency.

CESJET consequently calls on Godwin Emefiele and others holding strategic offices in the economic sector to continue to justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to render quality and selfless services to the country in our quest to make Nigeria great again.

This is especially so as their actions and inactions would either make or mar the current efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to take Nigeria to the next level to reclaim our pride of place in the comity of Nations.

They should also realize that the impact of their stewardship must continually impact on the masses which constitute a critical constituency in the scheme of things in Nigeria, and as such any that would be against their interest would mean a betrayal of the trust reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari.

CESJET also charges those in the critical security sector to continue to render their invaluable services in the tedious task of keeping Nigeria safe and secured and free from both internal and external threats.

CESJET commends their efforts so far mainly in the fight against terrorism in North East Nigeria and other militant groups that threatened our relative peace and tranquillity. Their sacrifices have been invaluable and indeed worthy of commendation.

CESJET also wishes to use this medium to appeal to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to continue in the fashion of identifying and placing merit and competence above ethnic and religious affiliations in the conduct of government business which has resulted in the multiple gains in all aspects of the Nigerian economy in the past four years of this administration.

CESJET endorsees all the appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari in the economic and security sectors and encourages him to continue in this fashion in the overall interest of Nigeria.
By Dansu Peter

The Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency, CSEJST, has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to sustain what it termed its “culture of transparency” in the critical sector as a panacea towards a just nation for her citizens.

It noted that such in the security sectors where Mr. President has demonstrated that competence must come above ethnic and religious coloration in the choice of his pillars has seen the nation emerging stronger out of the worst insurgency and economic recession within a short period of time.

CESJET, which was reacting to the re-appointment of Mr Godwin Emefiele as Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, said the President has always gotten it right on security and the economy through his competent appointees.

Comrade Isaac Ikpa, Executive Director of the group, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, called on the apex bank boss and others holding strategic offices in the economic sector to continue to justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to render quality and selfless services to the country in our quest to make Nigeria great again.

His statement below.

CESJET notes with enthusiasm the recent reappointment of Godwin Emefeile as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for another term of five years in reward for his outstanding stewardship in the past five years. 

CESJET sees the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as one made in the overall interest of the country and devoid of ethnic or religious sentiments. This is indeed a welcome development and a departure from the norm where ethnicity and religion are placed above merit and competence.

President Muhammadu Buhari has by his action demonstrated a Pan-Nigerian spirit geared towards nation-building that requires equity and transparency in the conduct of government business.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sufficiently exhibited this much in the choice of his appointments in critical sectors such as the economy and security since the advent of the administration in 2015.

This is quite commendable, and CESJET wishes to state that such actions are for the public good and a step towards the right direction towards eliminating the feeling of ethnic and religious superiority which have been the bane of the myriad of the challenge confronting us as a people and a country.

CESJET also wishes to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his choice of appointees into key strategic offices in the economic and security sectors of Nigeria that has been based strictly on merit, competence, and transparency.

CESJET consequently calls on Godwin Emefiele and others holding strategic offices in the economic sector to continue to justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to render quality and selfless services to the country in our quest to make Nigeria great again.

This is especially so as their actions and inactions would either make or mar the current efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to take Nigeria to the next level to reclaim our pride of place in the comity of Nations.

They should also realize that the impact of their stewardship must continually impact on the masses which constitute a critical constituency in the scheme of things in Nigeria, and as such any that would be against their interest would mean a betrayal of the trust reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari.

CESJET also charges those in the critical security sector to continue to render their invaluable services in the tedious task of keeping Nigeria safe and secured and free from both internal and external threats.

CESJET commends their efforts so far mainly in the fight against terrorism in North East Nigeria and other militant groups that threatened our relative peace and tranquillity. Their sacrifices have been invaluable and indeed worthy of commendation.

CESJET also wishes to use this medium to appeal to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to continue in the fashion of identifying and placing merit and competence above ethnic and religious affiliations in the conduct of government business which has resulted in the multiple gains in all aspects of the Nigerian economy in the past four years of this administration.

CESJET endorsees all the appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari in the economic and security sectors and encourages him to continue in this fashion in the overall interest of Nigeria.

Emefiele: Scholars hail Buhari, task FG against replacing security chiefs

Emefiele: Scholars hail Buhari, task FG against replacing security chiefs

By Dansu Peter

Emefiele
President Muhammadu Buhari has again received a pat on the back over the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a final five-year term.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora, an umbrella organization of Nigerian scholars in the Diaspora, which gave the commendation, noted that reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank governor’s boss was indeed a welcome development that depicts a strong political will by the government of Nigeria towards repositioning Nigeria to take its pride of place in the comity of Nations.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars as a prelude delegated its committee on Economic Development that consists scholars versed in Economic Development to assess the tenure of Godwin Emefeile as the CBN governor in Nigeria and discovered that the Nigeria economy indeed gained substantial traction in the last four years and also commended the dexterity with which the governor of the CBN handled our economic crisis.

Prof Bitrus Gwamna, President of the group in a statement on Sunday averred that it would have been counter-productive if President Muhammadu Buhari had effected a change in the leadership of the CBN, especially in this critical stage of our existence because the country just exited recession.

The group also cautioned the presidency against replacing the current security chiefs the country.

The statement reads.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora consequently wishes to charge President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to bring on board more seasoned individuals to assist in Nation building regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliations.

The reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the governor of the CBN is indeed a step in the right direction, which should be replicated in other critical sectors such as security.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora also notes the invaluable efforts of the security agencies in curtailing the activities of criminal elements that have attempted to hold the country to ransom through their nefarious actions and inactions.

Worthy of mention is the role of the Nigerian Army in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. The position of the Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora is that the military hierarchy indeed displayed capacity and competence in arresting the various security challenges that almost brought the country to its knees.

Consequently, the position of the Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora is that the various heads of the security agencies in Nigeria should be supported and not replaced in the critical point of our existence.

This is in our opinion is so, upon a careful assessment of how the Nigerian military has carried on with the fight against terrorism in North East Nigeria, as well as other militant groups in other parts of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora having assessed the performances of the Service Chiefs in Nigeria, unanimously agreed that President Muhammadu Buhari would indeed write his name in gold if he extended same gesture in the economy by the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as CBN governor to the current set of Service Chiefs who by all parameters have performed creditably well in onerous task of keeping the country safe and secured.

It is necessary so due to the volatile nature of the security situation in Nigeria. And an attempt to tinker with the current security architecture might have some consequences, which in our opinion might rubbish all the gains that have been made in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

It is, therefore, the position of the Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora that the Service Chiefs should be retained so that can consolidate in the gains made in the security sector in Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora is in tandem with the position of the Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria on the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora wishes to state that President Muhammadu Buhari deserved commendation in the areas of the economy and security with the quality of appointments made so far, and having the will to resist political pressure to effect a change in the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora sees the current Service Chiefs as the best in the annals of the country and highly recommends that just like in the case of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the status quo should remain for consolidation of the gains already made in the past four years in the sensitive security sector in Nigeria by the present administration.
By Dansu Peter

Emefiele
President Muhammadu Buhari has again received a pat on the back over the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a final five-year term.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora, an umbrella organization of Nigerian scholars in the Diaspora, which gave the commendation, noted that reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank governor’s boss was indeed a welcome development that depicts a strong political will by the government of Nigeria towards repositioning Nigeria to take its pride of place in the comity of Nations.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars as a prelude delegated its committee on Economic Development that consists scholars versed in Economic Development to assess the tenure of Godwin Emefeile as the CBN governor in Nigeria and discovered that the Nigeria economy indeed gained substantial traction in the last four years and also commended the dexterity with which the governor of the CBN handled our economic crisis.

Prof Bitrus Gwamna, President of the group in a statement on Sunday averred that it would have been counter-productive if President Muhammadu Buhari had effected a change in the leadership of the CBN, especially in this critical stage of our existence because the country just exited recession.

The group also cautioned the presidency against replacing the current security chiefs the country.

The statement reads.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora consequently wishes to charge President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to bring on board more seasoned individuals to assist in Nation building regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliations.

The reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the governor of the CBN is indeed a step in the right direction, which should be replicated in other critical sectors such as security.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora also notes the invaluable efforts of the security agencies in curtailing the activities of criminal elements that have attempted to hold the country to ransom through their nefarious actions and inactions.

Worthy of mention is the role of the Nigerian Army in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. The position of the Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora is that the military hierarchy indeed displayed capacity and competence in arresting the various security challenges that almost brought the country to its knees.

Consequently, the position of the Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora is that the various heads of the security agencies in Nigeria should be supported and not replaced in the critical point of our existence.

This is in our opinion is so, upon a careful assessment of how the Nigerian military has carried on with the fight against terrorism in North East Nigeria, as well as other militant groups in other parts of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora having assessed the performances of the Service Chiefs in Nigeria, unanimously agreed that President Muhammadu Buhari would indeed write his name in gold if he extended same gesture in the economy by the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as CBN governor to the current set of Service Chiefs who by all parameters have performed creditably well in onerous task of keeping the country safe and secured.

It is necessary so due to the volatile nature of the security situation in Nigeria. And an attempt to tinker with the current security architecture might have some consequences, which in our opinion might rubbish all the gains that have been made in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

It is, therefore, the position of the Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora that the Service Chiefs should be retained so that can consolidate in the gains made in the security sector in Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora is in tandem with the position of the Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria on the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora wishes to state that President Muhammadu Buhari deserved commendation in the areas of the economy and security with the quality of appointments made so far, and having the will to resist political pressure to effect a change in the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Scholars in Diaspora sees the current Service Chiefs as the best in the annals of the country and highly recommends that just like in the case of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the status quo should remain for consolidation of the gains already made in the past four years in the sensitive security sector in Nigeria by the present administration.

2019 Elections: FG drags 2 INEC officials to court over electoral fraud

2019 Elections: FG drags 2 INEC officials to court over electoral fraud

By Dansu Peter

Sulaiman Ikhuoriah and Olugbenga Omotiloye
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has dragged two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the Federal High Court, Abuja on a five count charge of electoral malpractices in the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections held in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo state.

In a press statement from the Chamber of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Government slammed the charges against the defendants pursuant to Sections 104 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

Isah revealed the names of the culprits as Sulaiman Ikhuoriah, male, 36 years old of No.13 Aisosa Street, Off Okhoro Road, Benin City who served as Collation Officer for Ward 6 in Saint Maria Gorreti Secondary School, and Olugbenga Omotiloye, male, 50 years old of Plot 1, Longe Street, Okoh Central, Benin City, Edo State were accused to have falsified results in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate.

He disclosed that according to the charges filed by Magaji Labaran, a Principal State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice, on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, they committed the offence in their capacity as electoral officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission on and around the 23rd day of February, 2019 during the Presidential and National Assembly polls in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state which is within the jurisdiction of the honourable court.

They were alleged to have conspired among themselves and with others now at large and upon receipt of an offer to procure the return of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the House of Representatives elections for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in Edo State thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 123 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Ikhuoriah was also alleged to without lawful excuse acted in breach of his official duty by placing a call to Honourable Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma and requested him through a telephone conversation for gratification for the purpose of delivering his ward to his party, the PDP during the elections. This he did erroneously thinking he was discussing with the PDP chairman, not knowing he was talking to Hon. Agbonyinma of APC.  By doing this, he has committed an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The Collation Officer is also accused to have received the sum of a hundred thousand naira as bribe for delivering the ward for his supposed paymaster, the PDP candidate; which is an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

On his part, and as count four, the Electoral Officer, Olugbenga Omotiloye while serving in his capacity as INEC electoral officer on the 2nd day of March, 2019 at Bishop Kelly, beside St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin City held a meeting with Honourable Ise-Edehen and collected the sum of one hundred thousand naira as gratification.

The sum collected is said to be in appreciation of his effort in ensuring that PDP won the election during the February 23rd National Assembly polls for Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area.

Isah equally detailed that count five, Omotiloye on the 25th February, 2019 was directed by Senator Matthew Urhoghide not to take the Senatorial election’s result to Eghosa Grammer School which he complied in clear breach of his lawful duty thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 123 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

To quote Count Three on the charge sheet, “That you Sulaiman Ikhuoriah, male, 36 years old, of No. 13 Aisosa Street, off Okhoro Road, Benin City, Edo State, on 26th February, 2019 at Mr. Biggs, opposite the NNPC Mega Filling Station, Sapele Road Benin City, received the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only as bribe for delivering your Ward, thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended).”

While Count Five details, “That you, Olugbenga Omotilayo, male, 50 years old, of Plot 1, Longe Street, Oko Central, Benin City, Edo State, on the 25th February, 2019 was directed by Senator Matthew Urhoghide not to take the Senatorial election’s result to Eghosa Grammer School which you complied in clear breach of your lawful duty, you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 123 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended).

A case summary deposed to by Magaji Labaran, stated thus; “My Lord, the summary of this case is electoral malpractices, perpetrated by the defendants who were the INEC Collation Officer and INEC Electoral Officer (E.O) respectively during the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Edo State. The defendants have acted in breach of their official duties by been involved in electoral malpractices including bribery and conspiracy.

“The defendants were invited for interview on the 27th day of February, 2019 and 5th day of March, 2019 following a petition by the member representing Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, E.J. Agbonayinma (Hon.), where his Techno Ponvair (Model LA7) with GSM No. 0803-428-5260 was exploited. Thus, some incriminating text messages between him and one Matthew Urhoghide (Senator), with GSM No. 0803-3385-5557, Adaeze Onubagu with GSM No. 0703-528-5622 were found on the device.

“The suspects made voluntary statements under caution, and admitted collecting the sum of N100, 000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only from Ise-Idehen (Hon.), as appreciation. My Lord, during the trial, the prosecution shall lead evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant based on credible and undisputed facts
By Dansu Peter

Sulaiman Ikhuoriah and Olugbenga Omotiloye
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has dragged two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the Federal High Court, Abuja on a five count charge of electoral malpractices in the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections held in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo state.

In a press statement from the Chamber of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Government slammed the charges against the defendants pursuant to Sections 104 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

Isah revealed the names of the culprits as Sulaiman Ikhuoriah, male, 36 years old of No.13 Aisosa Street, Off Okhoro Road, Benin City who served as Collation Officer for Ward 6 in Saint Maria Gorreti Secondary School, and Olugbenga Omotiloye, male, 50 years old of Plot 1, Longe Street, Okoh Central, Benin City, Edo State were accused to have falsified results in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate.

He disclosed that according to the charges filed by Magaji Labaran, a Principal State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice, on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, they committed the offence in their capacity as electoral officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission on and around the 23rd day of February, 2019 during the Presidential and National Assembly polls in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state which is within the jurisdiction of the honourable court.

They were alleged to have conspired among themselves and with others now at large and upon receipt of an offer to procure the return of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the House of Representatives elections for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in Edo State thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 123 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Ikhuoriah was also alleged to without lawful excuse acted in breach of his official duty by placing a call to Honourable Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma and requested him through a telephone conversation for gratification for the purpose of delivering his ward to his party, the PDP during the elections. This he did erroneously thinking he was discussing with the PDP chairman, not knowing he was talking to Hon. Agbonyinma of APC.  By doing this, he has committed an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The Collation Officer is also accused to have received the sum of a hundred thousand naira as bribe for delivering the ward for his supposed paymaster, the PDP candidate; which is an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

On his part, and as count four, the Electoral Officer, Olugbenga Omotiloye while serving in his capacity as INEC electoral officer on the 2nd day of March, 2019 at Bishop Kelly, beside St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin City held a meeting with Honourable Ise-Edehen and collected the sum of one hundred thousand naira as gratification.

The sum collected is said to be in appreciation of his effort in ensuring that PDP won the election during the February 23rd National Assembly polls for Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area.

Isah equally detailed that count five, Omotiloye on the 25th February, 2019 was directed by Senator Matthew Urhoghide not to take the Senatorial election’s result to Eghosa Grammer School which he complied in clear breach of his lawful duty thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 123 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

To quote Count Three on the charge sheet, “That you Sulaiman Ikhuoriah, male, 36 years old, of No. 13 Aisosa Street, off Okhoro Road, Benin City, Edo State, on 26th February, 2019 at Mr. Biggs, opposite the NNPC Mega Filling Station, Sapele Road Benin City, received the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only as bribe for delivering your Ward, thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended).”

While Count Five details, “That you, Olugbenga Omotilayo, male, 50 years old, of Plot 1, Longe Street, Oko Central, Benin City, Edo State, on the 25th February, 2019 was directed by Senator Matthew Urhoghide not to take the Senatorial election’s result to Eghosa Grammer School which you complied in clear breach of your lawful duty, you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 123 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended).

A case summary deposed to by Magaji Labaran, stated thus; “My Lord, the summary of this case is electoral malpractices, perpetrated by the defendants who were the INEC Collation Officer and INEC Electoral Officer (E.O) respectively during the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Edo State. The defendants have acted in breach of their official duties by been involved in electoral malpractices including bribery and conspiracy.

“The defendants were invited for interview on the 27th day of February, 2019 and 5th day of March, 2019 following a petition by the member representing Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, E.J. Agbonayinma (Hon.), where his Techno Ponvair (Model LA7) with GSM No. 0803-428-5260 was exploited. Thus, some incriminating text messages between him and one Matthew Urhoghide (Senator), with GSM No. 0803-3385-5557, Adaeze Onubagu with GSM No. 0703-528-5622 were found on the device.

“The suspects made voluntary statements under caution, and admitted collecting the sum of N100, 000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only from Ise-Idehen (Hon.), as appreciation. My Lord, during the trial, the prosecution shall lead evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant based on credible and undisputed facts

Obasanjo has more to tell the world about his plans to destroy Nigeria — Coalition

Obasanjo has more to tell the world about his plans to destroy Nigeria — Coalition


The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) has called out ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over another failed plot to incite violence across the nation.

Mr Obasanjo, Nigeria's number one citizen between 1999 and 2007 had claimed that Boko Haram and marauding Fulani herdsmen are out to Islamize and Fulanize Nigeria and the entire West Africa.

However, in response, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement believes this is another coy by the “professional rabble-rouser” to cause friction in the much-admired relationship between Christians and Muslims.

The group further revealed that Mr Obasanjo's secondary aim is to pitch the south against the north, which would lead to massive deaths.

These concerns were brought to the fore in a press conference on Monday in Abuja.

According to Sabo Odeh, the group's Convener, the estranged former president could have more mischief under his sleeves hence Nigerians shouldn't be surprised.

“ We are aware that Obasanjo suffers from intermittent depression brought on by his failure wasted years in office as a president that did not do enough to positively impact the life of Nigerians. His depression has been worsened by the direction and focus that President Muhammadu Buhari has been able to show Nigerians as opposed to the lost years that the country has under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

“ It is important that Nigerians do not allow Obasanjo to lead the country into crisis, which is his age long ambition. We are not strangers to his many failed letters and antics in the run up to the General Elections, how he tried to appropriate even the name of our group in his desperate bid rally Nigerians behind his destabilization agenda. It took the maturity of Nigerians to see through his duplicity at that time.

“This has now made him to switch to sectarian and ethnic sentiments knowing that these are the only issues that make Nigerians react with passion instead of logic. He is cashing in on the weakness of the masses where their religion or ethnicity is concerned in order to plunge the country into civil a war. Nepotism, lack of continuity of policies by successive administrations, and corruption had hindered development, resulting in widespread insecurity, mistrust, nepotism, and electoral fraud that he mentioned as other reasons for the possible collapse of the country were intended to merely pad his speech and deflect attention from his true intent.

“ Coalition for Nigeria Movement is using this opportunity to remind Obasanjo that the era where he can full most people sometimes is over. He can now only fool a few people once in a while. Nigerians are wiser and they know that problems of the country today have their root in the manner Obasanjo handled the affairs of the country when he had the unusual fortune of being the first civilian president in the current democratic dispensation.”

In terms of his alleged Islamisation of the country, the group revealed that had Obasanjo done the right thing when he was in office, the then dubious governors that toyed with Sharia rule would not have had the fertile ground to sow the seed of controversy that is today bearing the fruits of extremism and radicalization.

“He ignored them and allowed them to set the country on the tortuous part it today threads. The poverty he laid the foundation for remains the foundation of the huge recruitment.

“ We state unequivocally that the ex-president is playing a game. He knows exactly where he is going which is not far from the agenda to disintegrate the country at all cost. We have seen this pattern in the assertions of those that have come out to support his evil position. It is for this reason that we declare that Obasanjo owes Nigerians and the rest of the world more explanation to shed light on his aims, intentions and objectives why he made such evil pronouncement that is now dividing the country. He him come out to tell the world about his evil plan in details.

“ The federal government must take steps to counter the damage intended by Obasanjo’s utterance. It will take the grace of God for the country not record a spike in ethno-sectarian strife when a supposed leader made the kind of criminal comments that came from Obasanjo. Citizens have to be reassured that government is on top of the security situation, which have no bearing with the lies of Obasanjo.”

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) has called out ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over another failed plot to incite violence across the nation.

Mr Obasanjo, Nigeria's number one citizen between 1999 and 2007 had claimed that Boko Haram and marauding Fulani herdsmen are out to Islamize and Fulanize Nigeria and the entire West Africa.

However, in response, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement believes this is another coy by the “professional rabble-rouser” to cause friction in the much-admired relationship between Christians and Muslims.

The group further revealed that Mr Obasanjo's secondary aim is to pitch the south against the north, which would lead to massive deaths.

These concerns were brought to the fore in a press conference on Monday in Abuja.

According to Sabo Odeh, the group's Convener, the estranged former president could have more mischief under his sleeves hence Nigerians shouldn't be surprised.

“ We are aware that Obasanjo suffers from intermittent depression brought on by his failure wasted years in office as a president that did not do enough to positively impact the life of Nigerians. His depression has been worsened by the direction and focus that President Muhammadu Buhari has been able to show Nigerians as opposed to the lost years that the country has under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

“ It is important that Nigerians do not allow Obasanjo to lead the country into crisis, which is his age long ambition. We are not strangers to his many failed letters and antics in the run up to the General Elections, how he tried to appropriate even the name of our group in his desperate bid rally Nigerians behind his destabilization agenda. It took the maturity of Nigerians to see through his duplicity at that time.

“This has now made him to switch to sectarian and ethnic sentiments knowing that these are the only issues that make Nigerians react with passion instead of logic. He is cashing in on the weakness of the masses where their religion or ethnicity is concerned in order to plunge the country into civil a war. Nepotism, lack of continuity of policies by successive administrations, and corruption had hindered development, resulting in widespread insecurity, mistrust, nepotism, and electoral fraud that he mentioned as other reasons for the possible collapse of the country were intended to merely pad his speech and deflect attention from his true intent.

“ Coalition for Nigeria Movement is using this opportunity to remind Obasanjo that the era where he can full most people sometimes is over. He can now only fool a few people once in a while. Nigerians are wiser and they know that problems of the country today have their root in the manner Obasanjo handled the affairs of the country when he had the unusual fortune of being the first civilian president in the current democratic dispensation.”

In terms of his alleged Islamisation of the country, the group revealed that had Obasanjo done the right thing when he was in office, the then dubious governors that toyed with Sharia rule would not have had the fertile ground to sow the seed of controversy that is today bearing the fruits of extremism and radicalization.

“He ignored them and allowed them to set the country on the tortuous part it today threads. The poverty he laid the foundation for remains the foundation of the huge recruitment.

“ We state unequivocally that the ex-president is playing a game. He knows exactly where he is going which is not far from the agenda to disintegrate the country at all cost. We have seen this pattern in the assertions of those that have come out to support his evil position. It is for this reason that we declare that Obasanjo owes Nigerians and the rest of the world more explanation to shed light on his aims, intentions and objectives why he made such evil pronouncement that is now dividing the country. He him come out to tell the world about his evil plan in details.

“ The federal government must take steps to counter the damage intended by Obasanjo’s utterance. It will take the grace of God for the country not record a spike in ethno-sectarian strife when a supposed leader made the kind of criminal comments that came from Obasanjo. Citizens have to be reassured that government is on top of the security situation, which have no bearing with the lies of Obasanjo.”

Godfatherism: A Monumental Blessings For Lagos And Lagosians - Derin Phillips

Godfatherism: A Monumental Blessings For Lagos And Lagosians - Derin Phillips

By Dansu Peter

Derin Phillips
Derin Phillips, a real estate financial expert and son of former Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, speaks to The View Editor about godfatherism in Nigerian politics and tells governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, that Lagosians are not tired of their godfather because of the developmental strides Lagos State is enjoying. Excerpts:

First, what is you understanding of godfatherism, especially in politics?

When we talk of godfathrism, especially in politics, we are talking of someone who has probably seen it all, by virtue of his experience, and using that experience to mentor younger one and put them through and help them up in the ladder of politics.

But unfortunately, more often than not, when we talk of godfatherism in Nigerian politics, we look at it from the negative perspective more than the positive, because of the uniqueness of the average Nigerian.

A godfather is someone who takes up the role of adopting the younger generation, supervising them and teaching them the rudiments of politics, he tries to play the role of contributing his experience and also ensure that there is continuity in the process of governance.

Continuity has plagued the Nigerian nation for long; we have suffered from lack of it in governance and that contributes in no small measure to what we are going through presently in our nation, especially in terms of abandoned projects that litter the landscape, all at the taxpayers’ expense.

Godfatherism has its positive and negative sides and the negative side is the misuse of that power, which comes with high responsibility. When you use such powers to control your godson and you are not putting the greater good of the people into consideration, then it is negative godfatherism.

And in most cases, godfathers in this category don’t last long; they get shoved aside along the way and they become irrelevant in the scheme of things, because, in as much as you try to control people, you must ensure that their welfare is well catered for, otherwise, you will only be shooting yourself in the foot.

There has been so much noise about the supposed godfather of Lagos politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. What kind of godfather, in your opinion is Tinubu?

I would say Asiwaju Tinubu has exhibited the positive traits of godfatherism in Lagos State. The term godfather, when it comes to Tinubu has always been used in the negative, but as far as I am concerned, that is far from the truth.

My mother, Teju Phillips, was a commissioner under Asiwaju Tinubu when he was governor of Lagos State, and I remembered going to the State House, Alausa and I have had the privilege of seeing him at close range. There was even a time during his tenure and even that of Babatunde Raji Fashola, when they had this concept of one-day governor; I was, as a young person, always imagining myself as governor of Lagos for just one day. Fundamentally, although no man is perfect, but I have come to discover that Asiwaju Tinubu is always interested in the greater good of the people of Lagos State.

And if anyone is looking for the outcome of his work, just take a look at Lagos today and you will find his footprints in almost every facet of the developmental strides in Lagos State.

I remember my excitement about all the beautiful projects embarked upon by him and his successors; several road projects being done and all of that and you don’t need anyone to tell you that all of these developments Lagos is witnessing today had long been planned and the foundation laid during the Tinubu tenure.

All these developments don’t just come because of whoever is occupying the office, it is a long marshaled Master Plan of Lagos and I think this is the type of “godfatherism” that we actually need in Nigeria.

Continuity is a problem; look at the Ajaokuta Steel Development Company, which had over the ears remained moribund. Go to Cross River State for example; we had the Donald Duke legacy projects: the Obudu Cattle Ranch and the Tinapa Resort, all of them were abandoned by his successors.

These projects were fantastic projects, but unfortunately, immediately he left office, the next governor after him abandoned those legacy projects and start pursuing their own agenda. This is something I feel so strongly about, honestly.

If Duke had emerged as a godfather, I am sure he would not have allowed those things to go to waste; or if he probably had taken interest in who succeeds him, maybe we would be telling a different story about those wonderful projects.

And this is why I think Asiwaju Tinubu is a very important figure, leader and politician, not only in Lagos, but across Nigeria.

Comparing Lagos with other 35 states of the federation, Lagos has been on an upscale developmental progression. What do you think is responsible for this?

Things don’t just happen per chance; you have to initiate, you have to plan and follow up on those plans before things can start falling in shape and also ensure that you put in control measures and see to the monitoring of those plans you have made and you also have to ensure that there is consistency and that is what has been done with Lagos.

There is a master plan; which has been revisited several times; it has been enforced and there is adequate monitor to ensure that nobody derail from the plan.

When you have someone coming into the office of governor, which is so powerful, each occupant would probably want to come in with his own plan, irrespective of previous government.

In the case of Lagos, there is a Master Plan, which is enforced and which is also being reviewed according to the dictates of the times and I think we need a Master plan for Nigeria as well. Where do we want to be in 20, 30 years from now; and we also need institutions and balances and checks that will ensure that we don’t derail from the Master Plan and that we are progressively moving in the right direction.

There is no harm in laying a structure that will ensure that we make progress in our developmental strides as a nation. Yes, people might fear that it could lead to dictatorship, but when you put in place checks and balances mechanisms, we won’t get to that point.

Like I said, Ajaokuta, Obudu Cattle Ranch and Tinapa Resort are left rotting away because each occupant of the seat of power has his own agenda.

Duke was Asiwaju Tinubu’s contemporary. Is it not ironic that all governors during the era of Tinubu are no more relevant today and their legacies are more or less forgotten? What do you think is responsible for this?

I think most people are selfish. And I think Nigerians are also very forgetful people, they forget easily. May be due to the pressure of surviving in this country, people quickly forget things. I think may be what we should do is to set up a record or fact checking organ for Nigeria, one that would take each governor, see where they started off from and where they were ending at the expiration of their tenure; it would be very obvious to all who has worked and who has not worked.

If you visit Obudu Cattle ranch today; if you visit Tinapa Resort, you will weep profucesly, because those structures put in place by Duke are now in ruins.

In the case of Lagos, what makes the difference is the tenacity of purpose of the godfather, who ensures that the right man gets to office as governor at every point in time and also monitors and ensures that there is no deviation from the Master Plan of Lagos.

You will notice that there are lots of federal government projects in Lagos that were abandoned by the then Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government, but which are now being executed.

Should we say that Lagos State is developing according to the Master Plan because the ‘grandmaster’ of the Master Plan takes interest in who pilots the affairs of the state, while in other states, it is survival battle which has now become their bane?

Yes. That exactly is the situation. One governor finishes his two terms of eight years and is less concerned about who takes over from him, as long as his interest is protected. Every person is taking care of themselves, trying to secure and protect their own legacy and they are not thinking about after they leave office.

One peculiar thing about them is that they embark on projects that can either be commissioned during their tenure or projects they can lay claim to; but projects like Obudu Cattle Ranch and Tinapa are 20, 30-year projects, that are meant to outlive whoever initiates it and I think these are projects that we need to focus on for our infrastructural growth in the country.

And I think the more politicians now begin to think of the greater good of the people, the better for us, because we can’t keep dancing around looking for solutions where there are none.

Abandoning your predecessor’s projects is not peculiar to Cross River State alone, it is all over the states across Nigeria, perhaps with the exception of Lagos, and this is because of the foresight of Asiwaju Tinubu.

Kaduna State governor, NAsir El-Rufai recently claimed to have retired four godfathers and even said he was coming to Lagos to retire the godfather in Lagos, apparently referring to Tinubu. What is your reaction to this development?

The first question El-Rufai should find answer to is: Are Lagosians ready to retire the godfather of Lagos politics? Are Lagosians complaining? And I think Lagosians have answered his ilks with the massive votes they gave to the APC in the last governorship election, where for the first time since 1999, the APC defeated the PDP with over half a million votes.

Are Lagosians benefitting from the godfather? Are Lagosians better off than Kaduna or worse off? Is Lagos State thriving or not? Is Lagos developing or not?

While I agree that there is always room for improvement, I make bold to say that Lagos is working; Lagos is a work in progress and it is not in any way comparable to Kaduna.

Immigration to Lagos according to statistics is about 850,000 people every month. Lagos is developing and I know for sure that the incoming governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, who has been part and parcel of the Lagos Master Plan, would take Lagos State to greater heights than it is now.

You can see the array of people who have gone through the ‘Tinubu School of Politics’ and where they are in the scheme of things in the state and in the country today.

And the best way to measure your performance is what you have done for the welfare and greater good of the people and not any other parameter.

What do you think Duke can do about his legacy projects that had been left to waste?

I don’t think there is anything he can do now. I’m sure he has said a lot about how he tried to reach out to his successors about those projects and his efforts were rebuffed. Although he is not happy about the situation, but there is practically nothing he can do now. I know he has put in a lot of efforts to ensure that the projects are either maintained or brought back to prominence, but all to no avail.

What are your expectations from the incoming governor of Lagos State, Sanwoolu?

I was fortunate to follow his campaign train for the election and when you study somebody at close range, you will be able to know more about the person.

Sanwoolu has a perfect blend of the corporate world and the public service experience he is bringing into governance and I think they are very good combinations and not many people have the privilege of both private and public service experience to bring to bear on governance. And he is also a man of the people. He has over 20 years of public service experience, he is part of the team that developed the Lagos Master Plan and he has also operated at the highest level in the corporate world and I think all of these are going to come into play in the way he would administer Lagos.

Dealing with a state as complex as Lagos, which is wearing the toga of a mega city comes with different challenges, but I have no doubt that he is equal to the task.

Diverse people of diverse interest, he would be challenged with how to satisfy these various interests. But like I said, I have no doubt that he and his team are going to do justice to whatever challenges come to the fore.

And because they are not coming in as novices, which is also a plus for him and his team, he has been trained and grilled in the system. He knows the system in and out. He has been part of the system since the days of Asiwaju even up to the present outgoing administration.
By Dansu Peter

Derin Phillips
Derin Phillips, a real estate financial expert and son of former Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, speaks to The View Editor about godfatherism in Nigerian politics and tells governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, that Lagosians are not tired of their godfather because of the developmental strides Lagos State is enjoying. Excerpts:

First, what is you understanding of godfatherism, especially in politics?

When we talk of godfathrism, especially in politics, we are talking of someone who has probably seen it all, by virtue of his experience, and using that experience to mentor younger one and put them through and help them up in the ladder of politics.

But unfortunately, more often than not, when we talk of godfatherism in Nigerian politics, we look at it from the negative perspective more than the positive, because of the uniqueness of the average Nigerian.

A godfather is someone who takes up the role of adopting the younger generation, supervising them and teaching them the rudiments of politics, he tries to play the role of contributing his experience and also ensure that there is continuity in the process of governance.

Continuity has plagued the Nigerian nation for long; we have suffered from lack of it in governance and that contributes in no small measure to what we are going through presently in our nation, especially in terms of abandoned projects that litter the landscape, all at the taxpayers’ expense.

Godfatherism has its positive and negative sides and the negative side is the misuse of that power, which comes with high responsibility. When you use such powers to control your godson and you are not putting the greater good of the people into consideration, then it is negative godfatherism.

And in most cases, godfathers in this category don’t last long; they get shoved aside along the way and they become irrelevant in the scheme of things, because, in as much as you try to control people, you must ensure that their welfare is well catered for, otherwise, you will only be shooting yourself in the foot.

There has been so much noise about the supposed godfather of Lagos politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. What kind of godfather, in your opinion is Tinubu?

I would say Asiwaju Tinubu has exhibited the positive traits of godfatherism in Lagos State. The term godfather, when it comes to Tinubu has always been used in the negative, but as far as I am concerned, that is far from the truth.

My mother, Teju Phillips, was a commissioner under Asiwaju Tinubu when he was governor of Lagos State, and I remembered going to the State House, Alausa and I have had the privilege of seeing him at close range. There was even a time during his tenure and even that of Babatunde Raji Fashola, when they had this concept of one-day governor; I was, as a young person, always imagining myself as governor of Lagos for just one day. Fundamentally, although no man is perfect, but I have come to discover that Asiwaju Tinubu is always interested in the greater good of the people of Lagos State.

And if anyone is looking for the outcome of his work, just take a look at Lagos today and you will find his footprints in almost every facet of the developmental strides in Lagos State.

I remember my excitement about all the beautiful projects embarked upon by him and his successors; several road projects being done and all of that and you don’t need anyone to tell you that all of these developments Lagos is witnessing today had long been planned and the foundation laid during the Tinubu tenure.

All these developments don’t just come because of whoever is occupying the office, it is a long marshaled Master Plan of Lagos and I think this is the type of “godfatherism” that we actually need in Nigeria.

Continuity is a problem; look at the Ajaokuta Steel Development Company, which had over the ears remained moribund. Go to Cross River State for example; we had the Donald Duke legacy projects: the Obudu Cattle Ranch and the Tinapa Resort, all of them were abandoned by his successors.

These projects were fantastic projects, but unfortunately, immediately he left office, the next governor after him abandoned those legacy projects and start pursuing their own agenda. This is something I feel so strongly about, honestly.

If Duke had emerged as a godfather, I am sure he would not have allowed those things to go to waste; or if he probably had taken interest in who succeeds him, maybe we would be telling a different story about those wonderful projects.

And this is why I think Asiwaju Tinubu is a very important figure, leader and politician, not only in Lagos, but across Nigeria.

Comparing Lagos with other 35 states of the federation, Lagos has been on an upscale developmental progression. What do you think is responsible for this?

Things don’t just happen per chance; you have to initiate, you have to plan and follow up on those plans before things can start falling in shape and also ensure that you put in control measures and see to the monitoring of those plans you have made and you also have to ensure that there is consistency and that is what has been done with Lagos.

There is a master plan; which has been revisited several times; it has been enforced and there is adequate monitor to ensure that nobody derail from the plan.

When you have someone coming into the office of governor, which is so powerful, each occupant would probably want to come in with his own plan, irrespective of previous government.

In the case of Lagos, there is a Master Plan, which is enforced and which is also being reviewed according to the dictates of the times and I think we need a Master plan for Nigeria as well. Where do we want to be in 20, 30 years from now; and we also need institutions and balances and checks that will ensure that we don’t derail from the Master Plan and that we are progressively moving in the right direction.

There is no harm in laying a structure that will ensure that we make progress in our developmental strides as a nation. Yes, people might fear that it could lead to dictatorship, but when you put in place checks and balances mechanisms, we won’t get to that point.

Like I said, Ajaokuta, Obudu Cattle Ranch and Tinapa Resort are left rotting away because each occupant of the seat of power has his own agenda.

Duke was Asiwaju Tinubu’s contemporary. Is it not ironic that all governors during the era of Tinubu are no more relevant today and their legacies are more or less forgotten? What do you think is responsible for this?

I think most people are selfish. And I think Nigerians are also very forgetful people, they forget easily. May be due to the pressure of surviving in this country, people quickly forget things. I think may be what we should do is to set up a record or fact checking organ for Nigeria, one that would take each governor, see where they started off from and where they were ending at the expiration of their tenure; it would be very obvious to all who has worked and who has not worked.

If you visit Obudu Cattle ranch today; if you visit Tinapa Resort, you will weep profucesly, because those structures put in place by Duke are now in ruins.

In the case of Lagos, what makes the difference is the tenacity of purpose of the godfather, who ensures that the right man gets to office as governor at every point in time and also monitors and ensures that there is no deviation from the Master Plan of Lagos.

You will notice that there are lots of federal government projects in Lagos that were abandoned by the then Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government, but which are now being executed.

Should we say that Lagos State is developing according to the Master Plan because the ‘grandmaster’ of the Master Plan takes interest in who pilots the affairs of the state, while in other states, it is survival battle which has now become their bane?

Yes. That exactly is the situation. One governor finishes his two terms of eight years and is less concerned about who takes over from him, as long as his interest is protected. Every person is taking care of themselves, trying to secure and protect their own legacy and they are not thinking about after they leave office.

One peculiar thing about them is that they embark on projects that can either be commissioned during their tenure or projects they can lay claim to; but projects like Obudu Cattle Ranch and Tinapa are 20, 30-year projects, that are meant to outlive whoever initiates it and I think these are projects that we need to focus on for our infrastructural growth in the country.

And I think the more politicians now begin to think of the greater good of the people, the better for us, because we can’t keep dancing around looking for solutions where there are none.

Abandoning your predecessor’s projects is not peculiar to Cross River State alone, it is all over the states across Nigeria, perhaps with the exception of Lagos, and this is because of the foresight of Asiwaju Tinubu.

Kaduna State governor, NAsir El-Rufai recently claimed to have retired four godfathers and even said he was coming to Lagos to retire the godfather in Lagos, apparently referring to Tinubu. What is your reaction to this development?

The first question El-Rufai should find answer to is: Are Lagosians ready to retire the godfather of Lagos politics? Are Lagosians complaining? And I think Lagosians have answered his ilks with the massive votes they gave to the APC in the last governorship election, where for the first time since 1999, the APC defeated the PDP with over half a million votes.

Are Lagosians benefitting from the godfather? Are Lagosians better off than Kaduna or worse off? Is Lagos State thriving or not? Is Lagos developing or not?

While I agree that there is always room for improvement, I make bold to say that Lagos is working; Lagos is a work in progress and it is not in any way comparable to Kaduna.

Immigration to Lagos according to statistics is about 850,000 people every month. Lagos is developing and I know for sure that the incoming governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, who has been part and parcel of the Lagos Master Plan, would take Lagos State to greater heights than it is now.

You can see the array of people who have gone through the ‘Tinubu School of Politics’ and where they are in the scheme of things in the state and in the country today.

And the best way to measure your performance is what you have done for the welfare and greater good of the people and not any other parameter.

What do you think Duke can do about his legacy projects that had been left to waste?

I don’t think there is anything he can do now. I’m sure he has said a lot about how he tried to reach out to his successors about those projects and his efforts were rebuffed. Although he is not happy about the situation, but there is practically nothing he can do now. I know he has put in a lot of efforts to ensure that the projects are either maintained or brought back to prominence, but all to no avail.

What are your expectations from the incoming governor of Lagos State, Sanwoolu?

I was fortunate to follow his campaign train for the election and when you study somebody at close range, you will be able to know more about the person.

Sanwoolu has a perfect blend of the corporate world and the public service experience he is bringing into governance and I think they are very good combinations and not many people have the privilege of both private and public service experience to bring to bear on governance. And he is also a man of the people. He has over 20 years of public service experience, he is part of the team that developed the Lagos Master Plan and he has also operated at the highest level in the corporate world and I think all of these are going to come into play in the way he would administer Lagos.

Dealing with a state as complex as Lagos, which is wearing the toga of a mega city comes with different challenges, but I have no doubt that he is equal to the task.

Diverse people of diverse interest, he would be challenged with how to satisfy these various interests. But like I said, I have no doubt that he and his team are going to do justice to whatever challenges come to the fore.

And because they are not coming in as novices, which is also a plus for him and his team, he has been trained and grilled in the system. He knows the system in and out. He has been part of the system since the days of Asiwaju even up to the present outgoing administration.

Emefiele: Re-appointment of CBN Gov excites Nigerians in Europe as group lauds Buhari

Emefiele: Re-appointment of CBN Gov excites Nigerians in Europe as group lauds Buhari

By Dansu Peter

The Re-appointment of Godwin Emefiele has continued to draw positive reactions in and out of the country, just as the Association of Nigerians in Europe have hailed the President’s decision as the final victory over ethnic and religious bigotry.

This commendation is coming barely one week after a United Kingdom-based group, Arise-Nigeria, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari over his reappointment the CBN Governor for another term.

Association of Nigerians in Europe in a communiqué issued at the end of the 5th Annual General, which held in Belgium to deliberate on recent happenings in Nigeria expressed excitement over the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the apex bank.

The Association also commended the numerous sacrifices made by the Nigerian troops fighting terrorism in North East Nigeria and also praised the leadership of the various Armed Forces in providing sound guidance and direction for the services.

The communiqué was jointly signed by Dr.  Agwu Onyeke President, Arc. Adesugun Lawal (Ukraine), Chief Adekoya (Italy), Engr. Bright Anyanwu (Spain), Mr. Godspower Smith (Germany), Chief Chuba Chime (UK) Mr. Charles Ayoola (UK), Prof. Afik Babarinde (Cyprus), Mrs. Anita Ibeh (Malta, Dr. John Umeh (Republic of Ireland) and Tobias Idoko esq  (Netherlands).

It reads below.




The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe the umbrella organization for Nigerian Professionals in Europe having critically studied the state of affairs in Nigeria, held its 5th annual general meeting in Belgium to deliberate on the state of affairs in Nigeria, and consequently came up with the following resolutions:

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe commends President Muhammadu Buhari for reappointing of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefeile. This action is a deviation from the past, where hard work and dedication to duty are always sacrificed on the altar of politics.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe foresees a great future for Nigeria with the disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari to issues in the critical sectors of the country despite the instigation of violence and criminality by politicians especially those that have refused to accept electoral defeat in good faith.

It is a known fact that the state of insecurity in Nigeria, are politically motivated in an attempt to discredit the efforts of the current administration and by extension the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


On the state of the Economy, the Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe commends President Muhammadu Buhari for restoring confidence on the suitability of Nigeria for businesses that have seen to a significant increase in the number of Nigerians relocating back to Nigeria to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals notes the laudable initiatives in the critical economic sectors that were implemented by the current administration in proactive ways that have caused a turnaround in the economy of Nigeria.

The Association, therefore, calls on all well-meaning Nigerians all over the world to extend their support to President Muhammadu Buhari in the quest to take Nigeria to the next level as there is nowhere else to call home, and as such we must lend a helping hand in the arduous task.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals commends the Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces for repositioning the Nigerian Military and protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria from the threats of Boko Haram terrorists and other militants’ organizations that at one point in time took the laws into their hands.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals also commends President Muhammadu Buhari for placing a high premium on the security of lives and properties in Nigeria and the tremendous support he has given to the Armed Forces in their bid to curtail the activities of terrorists, bandits and other vices in the country.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe, after a careful assessment of the various policies of the current administration in the critical areas of the economy and security, it consequently, resolved to:

Support President Muhammadu Buhari throughout his second term in office.

Continue to drum support for the Nigerian Military in its fight against terrorism and other militant groups.

Encourage Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to join hands with the present administration to take the country forward and to the next level.
By Dansu Peter

The Re-appointment of Godwin Emefiele has continued to draw positive reactions in and out of the country, just as the Association of Nigerians in Europe have hailed the President’s decision as the final victory over ethnic and religious bigotry.

This commendation is coming barely one week after a United Kingdom-based group, Arise-Nigeria, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari over his reappointment the CBN Governor for another term.

Association of Nigerians in Europe in a communiqué issued at the end of the 5th Annual General, which held in Belgium to deliberate on recent happenings in Nigeria expressed excitement over the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the apex bank.

The Association also commended the numerous sacrifices made by the Nigerian troops fighting terrorism in North East Nigeria and also praised the leadership of the various Armed Forces in providing sound guidance and direction for the services.

The communiqué was jointly signed by Dr.  Agwu Onyeke President, Arc. Adesugun Lawal (Ukraine), Chief Adekoya (Italy), Engr. Bright Anyanwu (Spain), Mr. Godspower Smith (Germany), Chief Chuba Chime (UK) Mr. Charles Ayoola (UK), Prof. Afik Babarinde (Cyprus), Mrs. Anita Ibeh (Malta, Dr. John Umeh (Republic of Ireland) and Tobias Idoko esq  (Netherlands).

It reads below.




The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe the umbrella organization for Nigerian Professionals in Europe having critically studied the state of affairs in Nigeria, held its 5th annual general meeting in Belgium to deliberate on the state of affairs in Nigeria, and consequently came up with the following resolutions:

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe commends President Muhammadu Buhari for reappointing of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefeile. This action is a deviation from the past, where hard work and dedication to duty are always sacrificed on the altar of politics.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe foresees a great future for Nigeria with the disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari to issues in the critical sectors of the country despite the instigation of violence and criminality by politicians especially those that have refused to accept electoral defeat in good faith.

It is a known fact that the state of insecurity in Nigeria, are politically motivated in an attempt to discredit the efforts of the current administration and by extension the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


On the state of the Economy, the Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe commends President Muhammadu Buhari for restoring confidence on the suitability of Nigeria for businesses that have seen to a significant increase in the number of Nigerians relocating back to Nigeria to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals notes the laudable initiatives in the critical economic sectors that were implemented by the current administration in proactive ways that have caused a turnaround in the economy of Nigeria.

The Association, therefore, calls on all well-meaning Nigerians all over the world to extend their support to President Muhammadu Buhari in the quest to take Nigeria to the next level as there is nowhere else to call home, and as such we must lend a helping hand in the arduous task.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals commends the Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces for repositioning the Nigerian Military and protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria from the threats of Boko Haram terrorists and other militants’ organizations that at one point in time took the laws into their hands.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals also commends President Muhammadu Buhari for placing a high premium on the security of lives and properties in Nigeria and the tremendous support he has given to the Armed Forces in their bid to curtail the activities of terrorists, bandits and other vices in the country.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe, after a careful assessment of the various policies of the current administration in the critical areas of the economy and security, it consequently, resolved to:

Support President Muhammadu Buhari throughout his second term in office.

Continue to drum support for the Nigerian Military in its fight against terrorism and other militant groups.

Encourage Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to join hands with the present administration to take the country forward and to the next level.

The Legend of Buratai revealed. Read full text of speech by Philip Agbese at the public presentation of book in Abuja

The Legend of Buratai revealed. Read full text of speech by Philip Agbese at the public presentation of book in Abuja

May 17, 2019

Philip Agbese
A brief rendition of Gen. Buratai’s legendary anti-terrorism exploits in Nigeria, stylishly monikered in the monograph titled, ‘The Legend of Buratai', by Philip Agbese as Guest Speaker during its public presentation, on   May 17, 2019 in Abuja.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 
I welcome you all to this occasion, the public presentation of the prosaic rendition of the counter-terrorism efforts in our dear country, Nigeria, encapsulated in the book, “The Legend of Buratai", authored by a distinguished scholar and publisher, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Sani. First, let me clarify that I am still a junior scholar in this field and unworthy to bear the cross of a Guest Speaker at this auspicious ceremony. Nonetheless, I felt highly honoured and privileged and I shall strive to share my little perspective on this book and the personality of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
2.      Before the reality of this occasion today, I have read some funny commentaries about the title of the book. I have encountered attempts at disparaging the personality of Lieutenant General Buratai, and deliberate efforts to undermine the relevance of the fictional narrative as creatively reflected in the title of the book, by some persons. I could see the futile laborious efforts to diminish the laudable impacts of the counter-terrorism operations under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the commanding heights and ingenuity of Lieutenant General Buratai, a military leader, strategist and tactician. He is unarguably one of Nigeria’s finest breeds of soldiers. 
3.      Some self-appointed critics have queried the title of the book by its reference to him as a legend. So, the egocentric critics prefer not to fete the honour of Lieutenant General TY Buratai with such grandiose concept; but to see him exit the Nigerian Army and the world, as an unknown little boy from Buratai village in Biu Local Government Area of Borno state. But fate and destiny are not susceptible to the conscious twists of debased minds. The worth of real men is measured by their actions and impact on a world consistently in search of liberators for its troubled souls. In contrast, I dare say emphatically that Lieutenant General Buratai is more than just a hero, but an eminent legend, conqueror of the most fortified terrorists’ havens in Nigeria.
4.      An American renowned psychologist, Philip Zambardo says, “…to be a hero means you step across the line and are willing to make a sacrifice, so heroes always are making a sacrifice. Heroes always take a risk. Heroes are always deviant. Heroes are always doing something that most people don't and will want to change - I want to democratize heroism to say any of us can be a hero.”  So, heroes are people who came, saw and conquered. Yes, we have many heroes; but ironically, not every hero is a legend. However Lieutenant General TY Buratai is a combination of both and much more. Through courage, selfless sacrifice and exemplary leadership, he commanded the Nigerian Army that save me and you; our brothers and sisters from the brutal strangulation of insurgents and criminal gangs in Bama, Gwoza, Sambisa forest in the Northeast and other places in Nigeria. Therefore, Lieutenant General Buratai has amazingly surpassed the mark of a mere hero, and has launched himself into the nobility of remarkable legends. A famous American athlete, Max Holloway says, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” For me, this is a perfect description of the persona of Lieutenant General Buratai and the monograph is excellently structured to keep him evergreen in our memories for his unprecedented efforts and exploits to save humanity.
5. The fictional prose is inspirational and prods into deep thoughts each time we think about the Nigeria’s numerous battles and encounters with insurgents; the retinue of tormenting religious and regional extremists and the legion of dark forces amassed against our collective existence as a nation.   Whatever respite and exculpation Nigeria savours today from Boko Haram terrorism streams from the relentless sacrifices of Lieutenant General Buratai and Nigerian Army troops' years of sleeplessness and battles in the trenches.

6.   Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you may recall that when Gen. Buratai was appointed the COAS in July 2015, he promised to make a difference in the counter-terrorism operations; he vowed to defeat Boko Haram insurgents, reclaim all seized territories and free Nigerians held hostage by terrorists. He gave us timelines to execute his assignment and has religiously complied with it. Today, we sit here to savour a greater freedom from these demonic forces. I fondly remember Lt Gen. Buratai’s adherence to the promise of decimating Boko Haram by December 2015; his speedy reclamation of seized Nigerian territories by the turn of 2016 and the symbolic defeat of Boko Haram terrorism with the invasion, penetration and capture of the dreaded Sambisa forest by December of 2016, as Christmas gift to Nigerians. I recollect the several times insurgents had ambushed Lt Gen. Buratai’s convoy in the Northeast; but with his gallant and courageous resistance, the assailing terrorists rather met their waterloo.
7.  I see in Lt Gen. Buratai the image of an uncommon soldier; rugged and combative on the battlefields and a torn in the flesh of insurgents, insurrectionists and other enemies of Nigeria.  He is a soldier tough at battlefront, but meek, kind and humble at home. His humility and compassion always leave whoever encounters him in awe. He is the face of a perfect humanity, who shares the pains and agonies of a suffering people and steps out to assist traumatized and helpless people. He counts his joy and happiness in the number of people he has freed from torments and the hangman’s noose and the lives he positively impacted.  Because of his immense love for humanity, Lt Gen. Buratai goes out of his way to assist individuals and communities. The prosperity and development he brought to many communities across Nigeria are uncountable. His numerous philanthropic and humanitarian gestures touched my heart dearly; the one dearest to me was when he supported returning Internally Displaced Persons in the Northeast to resettle in their liberated, but deserted communities and homes. Lt Gen. TY Buratai assisted them with implements and tractors to clear bushy surroundings, construction of roads and boost farming.  Elsewhere, Lt Gen. Buratai has never shirked in displaying his milk of human kindness, as we have seen in the provision of water to Abakpa Nike community in Enugu State, south east Nigeria, or the electrification of some communities in the Northeast or free Medicare to host communities in North, South and East of Nigeria. He is an epitome of a good neighbour’s keeper.
7.  A watchful world is not unmindful of these rare exploits, which have not in any way exhausted all that ought to be done on Nigeria’s inglorious path of induced insecurity. But Lt Gen. Buratai remains a legend as thoughtfully observed by a famed journalist, Don Yeager, who says,  “Sometimes legends find themselves remembered more for what they have not done than for their accomplishments. But those resume gaps can also help drive them to achieve even greater things in new arenas.” We cannot claim, every insecurity challenge has been dismantled in Nigeria. Controversial novelist, Salman Rushdie said that “There is no such thing as perfect security, only varying levels of insecurity”, reminds us.  But Lt Gen. Buratai has substantially dispensed himself as an Army Chief whose footprints are not only indelible, but have dwarfed the accomplishments of all his predecessors put together. 
8.  I am encouraged to say, Lt Gen. Buratai’s mutation from heroism to a legend is mirrored in the promises he has kept and the change from midwifing the formally agonizing and nightmarish face of insecurity in Nigeria to a peaceful and secured country, we are proud to call our dear nation.  Our men and women in the Armed Forces are truly heroes and we must commend and emulate their courage and patriotism as we think of replacing our parents as leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, as students and future leaders of Nigeria, we must know that to be a General, you must first become a soldier.  But not all soldiers are Generals and so, you must embrace hard work.   To be a legend, you must first become a hero and it is also a function of dedication to your work. But not all heroes are legends; Just like not every collection of books make up a library. If we perceive Lt Gen. Buratai today as a legend, it means, we must imbibe the virtues of hard work, patriotism and loyalty to our country. 

9.  It is pertinent that anytime we think counter-terrorism in Nigeria, we must know, Lt Gen. Buratai is an authority, a point of reference and an encyclopedia.  But again, not every collection of knowledge makes up an encyclopedia. So, assuming Lt Gen. Buratai is an encyclopedia, a book and library, and then it will be apt to state that a big library like Buratai in counter-terrorism can only be equated with the library of Congress. The legendary Buratai will remain a reference point not only for us, students, but an inspiration and motivation for the upcoming generation in emulating celebrated patriots.   Therefore, I must commend the author for ercognising these and wrote this wonderful book in honour of our legend and hero, Lieutenant Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
10.  I thank you all.

SIGNED:
Philip Agbese [Human Rights Activist]
Guest Speaker
May 17, 2019

Philip Agbese
A brief rendition of Gen. Buratai’s legendary anti-terrorism exploits in Nigeria, stylishly monikered in the monograph titled, ‘The Legend of Buratai', by Philip Agbese as Guest Speaker during its public presentation, on   May 17, 2019 in Abuja.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 
I welcome you all to this occasion, the public presentation of the prosaic rendition of the counter-terrorism efforts in our dear country, Nigeria, encapsulated in the book, “The Legend of Buratai", authored by a distinguished scholar and publisher, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Sani. First, let me clarify that I am still a junior scholar in this field and unworthy to bear the cross of a Guest Speaker at this auspicious ceremony. Nonetheless, I felt highly honoured and privileged and I shall strive to share my little perspective on this book and the personality of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
2.      Before the reality of this occasion today, I have read some funny commentaries about the title of the book. I have encountered attempts at disparaging the personality of Lieutenant General Buratai, and deliberate efforts to undermine the relevance of the fictional narrative as creatively reflected in the title of the book, by some persons. I could see the futile laborious efforts to diminish the laudable impacts of the counter-terrorism operations under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the commanding heights and ingenuity of Lieutenant General Buratai, a military leader, strategist and tactician. He is unarguably one of Nigeria’s finest breeds of soldiers. 
3.      Some self-appointed critics have queried the title of the book by its reference to him as a legend. So, the egocentric critics prefer not to fete the honour of Lieutenant General TY Buratai with such grandiose concept; but to see him exit the Nigerian Army and the world, as an unknown little boy from Buratai village in Biu Local Government Area of Borno state. But fate and destiny are not susceptible to the conscious twists of debased minds. The worth of real men is measured by their actions and impact on a world consistently in search of liberators for its troubled souls. In contrast, I dare say emphatically that Lieutenant General Buratai is more than just a hero, but an eminent legend, conqueror of the most fortified terrorists’ havens in Nigeria.
4.      An American renowned psychologist, Philip Zambardo says, “…to be a hero means you step across the line and are willing to make a sacrifice, so heroes always are making a sacrifice. Heroes always take a risk. Heroes are always deviant. Heroes are always doing something that most people don't and will want to change - I want to democratize heroism to say any of us can be a hero.”  So, heroes are people who came, saw and conquered. Yes, we have many heroes; but ironically, not every hero is a legend. However Lieutenant General TY Buratai is a combination of both and much more. Through courage, selfless sacrifice and exemplary leadership, he commanded the Nigerian Army that save me and you; our brothers and sisters from the brutal strangulation of insurgents and criminal gangs in Bama, Gwoza, Sambisa forest in the Northeast and other places in Nigeria. Therefore, Lieutenant General Buratai has amazingly surpassed the mark of a mere hero, and has launched himself into the nobility of remarkable legends. A famous American athlete, Max Holloway says, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” For me, this is a perfect description of the persona of Lieutenant General Buratai and the monograph is excellently structured to keep him evergreen in our memories for his unprecedented efforts and exploits to save humanity.
5. The fictional prose is inspirational and prods into deep thoughts each time we think about the Nigeria’s numerous battles and encounters with insurgents; the retinue of tormenting religious and regional extremists and the legion of dark forces amassed against our collective existence as a nation.   Whatever respite and exculpation Nigeria savours today from Boko Haram terrorism streams from the relentless sacrifices of Lieutenant General Buratai and Nigerian Army troops' years of sleeplessness and battles in the trenches.

6.   Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you may recall that when Gen. Buratai was appointed the COAS in July 2015, he promised to make a difference in the counter-terrorism operations; he vowed to defeat Boko Haram insurgents, reclaim all seized territories and free Nigerians held hostage by terrorists. He gave us timelines to execute his assignment and has religiously complied with it. Today, we sit here to savour a greater freedom from these demonic forces. I fondly remember Lt Gen. Buratai’s adherence to the promise of decimating Boko Haram by December 2015; his speedy reclamation of seized Nigerian territories by the turn of 2016 and the symbolic defeat of Boko Haram terrorism with the invasion, penetration and capture of the dreaded Sambisa forest by December of 2016, as Christmas gift to Nigerians. I recollect the several times insurgents had ambushed Lt Gen. Buratai’s convoy in the Northeast; but with his gallant and courageous resistance, the assailing terrorists rather met their waterloo.
7.  I see in Lt Gen. Buratai the image of an uncommon soldier; rugged and combative on the battlefields and a torn in the flesh of insurgents, insurrectionists and other enemies of Nigeria.  He is a soldier tough at battlefront, but meek, kind and humble at home. His humility and compassion always leave whoever encounters him in awe. He is the face of a perfect humanity, who shares the pains and agonies of a suffering people and steps out to assist traumatized and helpless people. He counts his joy and happiness in the number of people he has freed from torments and the hangman’s noose and the lives he positively impacted.  Because of his immense love for humanity, Lt Gen. Buratai goes out of his way to assist individuals and communities. The prosperity and development he brought to many communities across Nigeria are uncountable. His numerous philanthropic and humanitarian gestures touched my heart dearly; the one dearest to me was when he supported returning Internally Displaced Persons in the Northeast to resettle in their liberated, but deserted communities and homes. Lt Gen. TY Buratai assisted them with implements and tractors to clear bushy surroundings, construction of roads and boost farming.  Elsewhere, Lt Gen. Buratai has never shirked in displaying his milk of human kindness, as we have seen in the provision of water to Abakpa Nike community in Enugu State, south east Nigeria, or the electrification of some communities in the Northeast or free Medicare to host communities in North, South and East of Nigeria. He is an epitome of a good neighbour’s keeper.
7.  A watchful world is not unmindful of these rare exploits, which have not in any way exhausted all that ought to be done on Nigeria’s inglorious path of induced insecurity. But Lt Gen. Buratai remains a legend as thoughtfully observed by a famed journalist, Don Yeager, who says,  “Sometimes legends find themselves remembered more for what they have not done than for their accomplishments. But those resume gaps can also help drive them to achieve even greater things in new arenas.” We cannot claim, every insecurity challenge has been dismantled in Nigeria. Controversial novelist, Salman Rushdie said that “There is no such thing as perfect security, only varying levels of insecurity”, reminds us.  But Lt Gen. Buratai has substantially dispensed himself as an Army Chief whose footprints are not only indelible, but have dwarfed the accomplishments of all his predecessors put together. 
8.  I am encouraged to say, Lt Gen. Buratai’s mutation from heroism to a legend is mirrored in the promises he has kept and the change from midwifing the formally agonizing and nightmarish face of insecurity in Nigeria to a peaceful and secured country, we are proud to call our dear nation.  Our men and women in the Armed Forces are truly heroes and we must commend and emulate their courage and patriotism as we think of replacing our parents as leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, as students and future leaders of Nigeria, we must know that to be a General, you must first become a soldier.  But not all soldiers are Generals and so, you must embrace hard work.   To be a legend, you must first become a hero and it is also a function of dedication to your work. But not all heroes are legends; Just like not every collection of books make up a library. If we perceive Lt Gen. Buratai today as a legend, it means, we must imbibe the virtues of hard work, patriotism and loyalty to our country. 

9.  It is pertinent that anytime we think counter-terrorism in Nigeria, we must know, Lt Gen. Buratai is an authority, a point of reference and an encyclopedia.  But again, not every collection of knowledge makes up an encyclopedia. So, assuming Lt Gen. Buratai is an encyclopedia, a book and library, and then it will be apt to state that a big library like Buratai in counter-terrorism can only be equated with the library of Congress. The legendary Buratai will remain a reference point not only for us, students, but an inspiration and motivation for the upcoming generation in emulating celebrated patriots.   Therefore, I must commend the author for ercognising these and wrote this wonderful book in honour of our legend and hero, Lieutenant Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
10.  I thank you all.

SIGNED:
Philip Agbese [Human Rights Activist]
Guest Speaker

Celebrating Buhari’s Phenomenal Wisdom On Economy And Security

Celebrating Buhari’s Phenomenal Wisdom On Economy And Security

By Philip Agbese

Buhari
Like his predecessors, Nigerians have decorated President Muhammadu Buhari with multiple insignias.  Certainly, some of these sobriquets are positive and others negative.  It’s the favorite pastime of Nigerians. When we give our leaders some funny or indicting nicknames, most of which are humorous ones, it submits to our inner yearnings of satisfaction for reproach of a leader.

But President Buhari is luckier. Almost all his epaulets are positive, even if some mischievous persons derive derogative undertones from it. So, we have differently branded him as “Sai Baba,” “Baba Go-Slow,”Mai Geskiya,” “Mr. Integrity” “Nepotist,” “Fanatic” and a lot more. None of these is demeaning in its real application. 

However, what is obvious is that Buhari is not a leader anyone can take for granted. He is always calm and calculated. He is not a glib, but a leader who takes measured steps and actions. Buhari weighs his leadership decisions intensely and once he stamps his seal, on what his convictions prick him as right, no revolting noise from critics distracts him.

Many Nigerians lest expected he would retain any appointee inherited from his predecessor. Those who initially failed to see his wisdom in instantly sacking appointees of the Jonathan Presidency are beginning to know the reason now.

Buhari as leader in the last three decades is firmly committed to credible performance and merit. He abhors corrupt persons and believes that the foremost agenda of leadership should be service to the people and the nation. So, he refused to subscribe to the narrative that every appointee of the Jonathan Presidency never performed or is a bad Nigerian. 

So, those he sacked immediately were the Security Chiefs because it was apparent Nigeria was bleeding under insurgencies and insurrections. It was enough proof that these sets of Security Chiefs could not handle the security challenges confronting the nation.

Midway into his first tenure, some Nigerians bandied negative opinions about the leadership persona of President Buhari. He was dishonestly accused of exhibiting leadership character quite alien to some of us who have keenly followed his proclivities and idiosyncrasies.  And the President Buhari some of us pretend not to know now has again, pulled a surprise and a shocker on Nigerians.

Buhari re-appointed the outgoing Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Mr. Godwin Emefiele for another term of five years. Buhari inherited Emefiele from his predecessor, who appointed him in 2014.  He was barely a year in office when Buhari assumed leadership of Nigeria. But the nation already had teething and debilitating economic problems. Nigeria had sadly kissed economic recession.

But Buhari sighted in Emefiele  a competent and astute banker, with rich experience and  expertise in financial management. Buhari was excited with Emefiele’s commitment in rescuing Nigeria from the economic mess. 

It never mattered to our President that he inherited Emefiele from his predecessor; Buhari never even bothered that Emefiele is a Southerner and should not have held such a sensitive position under a President of Northern extraction. Emefiele’s performance satisfied him or else, though a statutory appointment, Buhari could have deployed federal might to unseat him and damned the public condemnations and outcries. 

But the performance factsheet of Emefiele has justified President Buhari’s recognition of this celebrated banker cum financial and managerial expert, as a rare asset to the nation. I  praised his wisdom because I know there is no country on earth; not even the greatest of nations that exist without problems.

 But what makes them outstanding is the capacity to withstand these challenges and surmounting them, with the right leaders in the right positions.  Emefiele has proved it beyond doubts to all Nigerians.  He has justified the confidence the President reposed in him. Its why the no-nonsense President Buhari has re-appointed him for another term.

Under a Buhari Presidency, there is no amount of influence or intensity of pressures from lobbyists that would compel him to dump a worthy public servant such as Emefiele with these sparkling track records. He is Governor of Nigeria’s apex bank who rescued the economy from recession, carefully coordinated meagre federal revenue inflows, stabilized the same economy and secured these revenues for government to fund public expenditure and capital projects running into trillions of Nigeria?

It’s the first of its kind in Nigeria’s recent history and Buhari would have ignored Emefiele for whatever sentiment? It’s impossible for a Mr. President who is unpretentiously concerned about the progress and development of a nation he leads.

Emefiele’s groundbreaking imposition of fiscal discipline in Nigeria’s banking sector, amazingly instilled sanity in this sector. Fraudulent managers of commercial banks knew it was no longer business as usual in granting unsecured loans to “big” customers, most of which ended as bad debts, thus eroding investors’ confidence in investing in the country. 

Emefiele’s stable economic monetary policies and its implementation in the face of years of sharp shortfall in crude oil revenues ensured Nigeria traced and saved every kobo earned from federal revenue sources. He ensured transparency and accountability. The economy bounced back to life from the austere times because of these stiff, fiscal discipline in the banking sector.

The re-appointed CBN boss managed scarce FOREX so ingeniously and since 2017, stabilized the Naira which stubbornly hanged at N520/$1 to now N360/$1 at official exchange rate and freely available to Nigerians for legitimate businesses in all banks. He secured Investors and Exporters Window to an unshakable $25 billion stabilization and a lot more. No investor or depositor is scared of scarce or unsecured FOREX funds today in Nigeria. 
I still vividly remember, party chieftains, power brokers and lobbyists who strongly advocated for the sacking of Emefiele when President Buhari came on board. But Buhari stood his grounds and today, we have fared better as a people. And the country is on a fast, economic progression lane, as evidence of Emefiele’s wealth of experience.
Again, Buhari reappointed Emefiele because the national economic team, on which he is a focal person has not finished its job. Only the team knows the extent of progress of work to sustain the economy and upgrade in performance.
Buhari met same messiness in the economy and did justice to it by sustaining Emefiele who showed great promise on the job, even though others hotly canvassed a change of leadership at the apex bank. But he declined.  But we are reaping the reward of Buhari’s King Solomon’s wisdom, as much has been achieved in this sector and he knows Nigeria’s economy can still do better under Emefiele, its guardian angel.

And I am prompted to also comment on the senseless nagging over the retention of Service Chiefs by President Buhari. The Nigerians who are averse to this idea have conveniently forgotten that President Buhari met a terrible insecurity situation in the country, which degenerated for six years under Security Chiefs appointed based on political, ethnic or religious patronage.
We cannot deny that insecurity in Nigeria accentuated under these Abuja-resident Service Chiefs. And it explains why they were the first to be sacked by President Buhari. He confronted same problem by appointing seasoned Military officers as Security Chief and charged them to end insurgencies and insurrections in Nigeria.
It’s not easy altogether. But our current Security Chiefs have also performed incredibly in securing Nigeria, despite the politically induced violence and killings. But they have not relented either. And even in the last few weeks, the face of security in the country has really changed in conquerors’ delight by the Army.  None of us can genuinely doubt that much has been accomplished on security, except those who perceive it sentimentally or from partisan lenses. 

Nonetheless, we still need to do more to bury the resurrecting ghosts of insecurity, their masked sponsors and covert agents. For President Buhari, it is all about competence and credibility. Those who are uncomfortable with it are free to kick and groan.  But we know Buhari has got the Security Chiefs to blend and they are working together seamlessly on security.  The President is on track and deserves the support of all Nigerians. 
The security chiefs still have more to offer in securing Nigeria and recruiting greenhorns to start the journey afresh is the most unwise decision any leader could consent. Those arguing for injection of fresh blood into the system should also ask themselves whether the fresh blood would migrate from heaven to land in Nigeria. Or else, they are personnel of the Nigerian military and if really patriotic, they can still contribute their brilliant ideas at the lower rungs of leadership within the Nigerian military to assist the Military’s apex leadership to make lasting impacts. 
 So,  like the President, I believe the economic team hasn’t finished its good work. And same goes for the security team. Buhari’s decision on Emefiele tells us plainly that we must learn to give a leader the latitude to operate freely, especially in key sectors. If he fails or succeeds, he bears the brunt of public anger or applauses solely.

Agbese is a publisher and researcher in international human rights laws based in the UK.
By Philip Agbese

Buhari
Like his predecessors, Nigerians have decorated President Muhammadu Buhari with multiple insignias.  Certainly, some of these sobriquets are positive and others negative.  It’s the favorite pastime of Nigerians. When we give our leaders some funny or indicting nicknames, most of which are humorous ones, it submits to our inner yearnings of satisfaction for reproach of a leader.

But President Buhari is luckier. Almost all his epaulets are positive, even if some mischievous persons derive derogative undertones from it. So, we have differently branded him as “Sai Baba,” “Baba Go-Slow,”Mai Geskiya,” “Mr. Integrity” “Nepotist,” “Fanatic” and a lot more. None of these is demeaning in its real application. 

However, what is obvious is that Buhari is not a leader anyone can take for granted. He is always calm and calculated. He is not a glib, but a leader who takes measured steps and actions. Buhari weighs his leadership decisions intensely and once he stamps his seal, on what his convictions prick him as right, no revolting noise from critics distracts him.

Many Nigerians lest expected he would retain any appointee inherited from his predecessor. Those who initially failed to see his wisdom in instantly sacking appointees of the Jonathan Presidency are beginning to know the reason now.

Buhari as leader in the last three decades is firmly committed to credible performance and merit. He abhors corrupt persons and believes that the foremost agenda of leadership should be service to the people and the nation. So, he refused to subscribe to the narrative that every appointee of the Jonathan Presidency never performed or is a bad Nigerian. 

So, those he sacked immediately were the Security Chiefs because it was apparent Nigeria was bleeding under insurgencies and insurrections. It was enough proof that these sets of Security Chiefs could not handle the security challenges confronting the nation.

Midway into his first tenure, some Nigerians bandied negative opinions about the leadership persona of President Buhari. He was dishonestly accused of exhibiting leadership character quite alien to some of us who have keenly followed his proclivities and idiosyncrasies.  And the President Buhari some of us pretend not to know now has again, pulled a surprise and a shocker on Nigerians.

Buhari re-appointed the outgoing Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Mr. Godwin Emefiele for another term of five years. Buhari inherited Emefiele from his predecessor, who appointed him in 2014.  He was barely a year in office when Buhari assumed leadership of Nigeria. But the nation already had teething and debilitating economic problems. Nigeria had sadly kissed economic recession.

But Buhari sighted in Emefiele  a competent and astute banker, with rich experience and  expertise in financial management. Buhari was excited with Emefiele’s commitment in rescuing Nigeria from the economic mess. 

It never mattered to our President that he inherited Emefiele from his predecessor; Buhari never even bothered that Emefiele is a Southerner and should not have held such a sensitive position under a President of Northern extraction. Emefiele’s performance satisfied him or else, though a statutory appointment, Buhari could have deployed federal might to unseat him and damned the public condemnations and outcries. 

But the performance factsheet of Emefiele has justified President Buhari’s recognition of this celebrated banker cum financial and managerial expert, as a rare asset to the nation. I  praised his wisdom because I know there is no country on earth; not even the greatest of nations that exist without problems.

 But what makes them outstanding is the capacity to withstand these challenges and surmounting them, with the right leaders in the right positions.  Emefiele has proved it beyond doubts to all Nigerians.  He has justified the confidence the President reposed in him. Its why the no-nonsense President Buhari has re-appointed him for another term.

Under a Buhari Presidency, there is no amount of influence or intensity of pressures from lobbyists that would compel him to dump a worthy public servant such as Emefiele with these sparkling track records. He is Governor of Nigeria’s apex bank who rescued the economy from recession, carefully coordinated meagre federal revenue inflows, stabilized the same economy and secured these revenues for government to fund public expenditure and capital projects running into trillions of Nigeria?

It’s the first of its kind in Nigeria’s recent history and Buhari would have ignored Emefiele for whatever sentiment? It’s impossible for a Mr. President who is unpretentiously concerned about the progress and development of a nation he leads.

Emefiele’s groundbreaking imposition of fiscal discipline in Nigeria’s banking sector, amazingly instilled sanity in this sector. Fraudulent managers of commercial banks knew it was no longer business as usual in granting unsecured loans to “big” customers, most of which ended as bad debts, thus eroding investors’ confidence in investing in the country. 

Emefiele’s stable economic monetary policies and its implementation in the face of years of sharp shortfall in crude oil revenues ensured Nigeria traced and saved every kobo earned from federal revenue sources. He ensured transparency and accountability. The economy bounced back to life from the austere times because of these stiff, fiscal discipline in the banking sector.

The re-appointed CBN boss managed scarce FOREX so ingeniously and since 2017, stabilized the Naira which stubbornly hanged at N520/$1 to now N360/$1 at official exchange rate and freely available to Nigerians for legitimate businesses in all banks. He secured Investors and Exporters Window to an unshakable $25 billion stabilization and a lot more. No investor or depositor is scared of scarce or unsecured FOREX funds today in Nigeria. 
I still vividly remember, party chieftains, power brokers and lobbyists who strongly advocated for the sacking of Emefiele when President Buhari came on board. But Buhari stood his grounds and today, we have fared better as a people. And the country is on a fast, economic progression lane, as evidence of Emefiele’s wealth of experience.
Again, Buhari reappointed Emefiele because the national economic team, on which he is a focal person has not finished its job. Only the team knows the extent of progress of work to sustain the economy and upgrade in performance.
Buhari met same messiness in the economy and did justice to it by sustaining Emefiele who showed great promise on the job, even though others hotly canvassed a change of leadership at the apex bank. But he declined.  But we are reaping the reward of Buhari’s King Solomon’s wisdom, as much has been achieved in this sector and he knows Nigeria’s economy can still do better under Emefiele, its guardian angel.

And I am prompted to also comment on the senseless nagging over the retention of Service Chiefs by President Buhari. The Nigerians who are averse to this idea have conveniently forgotten that President Buhari met a terrible insecurity situation in the country, which degenerated for six years under Security Chiefs appointed based on political, ethnic or religious patronage.
We cannot deny that insecurity in Nigeria accentuated under these Abuja-resident Service Chiefs. And it explains why they were the first to be sacked by President Buhari. He confronted same problem by appointing seasoned Military officers as Security Chief and charged them to end insurgencies and insurrections in Nigeria.
It’s not easy altogether. But our current Security Chiefs have also performed incredibly in securing Nigeria, despite the politically induced violence and killings. But they have not relented either. And even in the last few weeks, the face of security in the country has really changed in conquerors’ delight by the Army.  None of us can genuinely doubt that much has been accomplished on security, except those who perceive it sentimentally or from partisan lenses. 

Nonetheless, we still need to do more to bury the resurrecting ghosts of insecurity, their masked sponsors and covert agents. For President Buhari, it is all about competence and credibility. Those who are uncomfortable with it are free to kick and groan.  But we know Buhari has got the Security Chiefs to blend and they are working together seamlessly on security.  The President is on track and deserves the support of all Nigerians. 
The security chiefs still have more to offer in securing Nigeria and recruiting greenhorns to start the journey afresh is the most unwise decision any leader could consent. Those arguing for injection of fresh blood into the system should also ask themselves whether the fresh blood would migrate from heaven to land in Nigeria. Or else, they are personnel of the Nigerian military and if really patriotic, they can still contribute their brilliant ideas at the lower rungs of leadership within the Nigerian military to assist the Military’s apex leadership to make lasting impacts. 
 So,  like the President, I believe the economic team hasn’t finished its good work. And same goes for the security team. Buhari’s decision on Emefiele tells us plainly that we must learn to give a leader the latitude to operate freely, especially in key sectors. If he fails or succeeds, he bears the brunt of public anger or applauses solely.

Agbese is a publisher and researcher in international human rights laws based in the UK.

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