Opinion - News Proof

News:

Politics

Opinion

Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts

RASHIDAT YAHAYA BELLO; A Quitessential Woman Of Distinct Valour As Kogi First Lady

RASHIDAT YAHAYA BELLO; A Quitessential Woman Of Distinct Valour As Kogi First Lady

By Yusuf Abubakar

Rashidat Yahaya Bello
Rashidat Yahaya Bello
There is always a saying that later metamorphosed to an adage in Nigerian and African parlance,that 'Behind every successful man,there is a woman' for Rashidat Yahaya Bello,Kogi First lady,the story is beyond the origin of the widely accepted norm.

From her roles as Kogi First Lady,that predates from her days both in the public service and private citizen of the state,hence it was a round peg in a round hole,on her new role as number one woman in Kogi, soon after the governor was sworn in January 2016,but that's not where am going.

The immediate roles that ushered in the Govenor to win the second term election, trascends beyond the remote and official roles in the last four years as kogi state First Lady.

The events and programs engaged by the number 1 woman in Kogi before,during the electioneering,was not only mobilising women across the state for political participation and awareness,but to see the need for continuity of governance under APC, rather than starting all over,capable of retarding the progress of the state.

Mrs Bello stood through thick and thin,criss cross the nooks and crannies of the state to detonate the general negative notion about the adminstration of the governor,campaign vigorously for both women and men to see the need to re-elect the present admnstration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello of APC .

The high level Mobilisation of women and support garnered across the state,was a conviction of the earlier notion that Kogi First Lady, drives and sustain the fortune of her dear husband,Governor Yahaya Bello .

Her approach, mien,humility and candour towards the disposition of the people of the state, particularly women had been moderate and lacked ethnic and tribal coloration ,as those that directly worked under her purview and extension of his office,testified severally to her credit.this is unlike the previous occupants of the highly revered office .

This is far from her performance in office as Kogi First Lady, that focused on the vulnerable,less priviledged,charity,humanitarian and social services to the women in the society at large, outside the purview of the state and the country in general .

Kogi mother was able to deliver it's campaign promises and that of her husband new direction agenda by fulfilling all the programs and policies of the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello's APC.

No wonder the outcome of the weekend election reflected her dogedness,zeal, desire and efforts to deliver the APC led goverment under Yahaya Bello,that saw his emergence as a re-elected governor of the state, with a landslide victory.

Her Excellency,Kogi First Lady has come,see,and conquer on the people's mandate,as the victory of the APC,the state government under the current administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello success story, will not be written/complete without mention of her efforts and contributions.

As we match towards the second term in office of her husband,the state governor and that of her office,we are confident that her efforts will be redoubled towards the much talked about,house hold name Pet Project and other interventions, focused towards the emancipation of the poverty ridden society,provision of more empowerement outlets and charity, meant to eradicate social stratification in the state and our society at large.
By Yusuf Abubakar

Rashidat Yahaya Bello
Rashidat Yahaya Bello
There is always a saying that later metamorphosed to an adage in Nigerian and African parlance,that 'Behind every successful man,there is a woman' for Rashidat Yahaya Bello,Kogi First lady,the story is beyond the origin of the widely accepted norm.

From her roles as Kogi First Lady,that predates from her days both in the public service and private citizen of the state,hence it was a round peg in a round hole,on her new role as number one woman in Kogi, soon after the governor was sworn in January 2016,but that's not where am going.

The immediate roles that ushered in the Govenor to win the second term election, trascends beyond the remote and official roles in the last four years as kogi state First Lady.

The events and programs engaged by the number 1 woman in Kogi before,during the electioneering,was not only mobilising women across the state for political participation and awareness,but to see the need for continuity of governance under APC, rather than starting all over,capable of retarding the progress of the state.

Mrs Bello stood through thick and thin,criss cross the nooks and crannies of the state to detonate the general negative notion about the adminstration of the governor,campaign vigorously for both women and men to see the need to re-elect the present admnstration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello of APC .

The high level Mobilisation of women and support garnered across the state,was a conviction of the earlier notion that Kogi First Lady, drives and sustain the fortune of her dear husband,Governor Yahaya Bello .

Her approach, mien,humility and candour towards the disposition of the people of the state, particularly women had been moderate and lacked ethnic and tribal coloration ,as those that directly worked under her purview and extension of his office,testified severally to her credit.this is unlike the previous occupants of the highly revered office .

This is far from her performance in office as Kogi First Lady, that focused on the vulnerable,less priviledged,charity,humanitarian and social services to the women in the society at large, outside the purview of the state and the country in general .

Kogi mother was able to deliver it's campaign promises and that of her husband new direction agenda by fulfilling all the programs and policies of the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello's APC.

No wonder the outcome of the weekend election reflected her dogedness,zeal, desire and efforts to deliver the APC led goverment under Yahaya Bello,that saw his emergence as a re-elected governor of the state, with a landslide victory.

Her Excellency,Kogi First Lady has come,see,and conquer on the people's mandate,as the victory of the APC,the state government under the current administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello success story, will not be written/complete without mention of her efforts and contributions.

As we match towards the second term in office of her husband,the state governor and that of her office,we are confident that her efforts will be redoubled towards the much talked about,house hold name Pet Project and other interventions, focused towards the emancipation of the poverty ridden society,provision of more empowerement outlets and charity, meant to eradicate social stratification in the state and our society at large.

Sowore: Before we crucify the secret Police, By Idoko Ainoko

Sowore: Before we crucify the secret Police, By Idoko Ainoko

 Idoko Ainoko

Omoyele Sowore
Omoyele Sowore
The recent attacks on the Department of State Service (DSS) with regards to the handling of the demonstrators demanding the release of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, is at best uncharitable. I say this for the fact that the demonstrators acted out of ignorance, and as usual, some segment of the country that does not see anything right with this present administration went to the market.

They were quick to cast aspersion and attempt to crucify the secret Police. This is somewhat not surprising in the sense that the nation has witnessed the upsurge of individuals and organizations that are hell-bent on causing unrest in the country. And the free Sowore protesters fall under this same category.

We must get the issues in proper perspectives and counter the harmful intentions of those that are hell-bent on causing unrest in the country. The Omoyele Sowore issue is a case of an attempt to instigate the people against the constituted authorities and by extension effecting a change in government by calling for a revolution. If this is not a treasonable offense, I don’t know what else to call it unless the gang of monetarily induced protesters would feign ignorance to the consequences of calling for a revolution that would see to the overthrowing of a democratically elected government.

Let us make no mistakes; national interest should always surpass personal interest if we are desirous of making progress in this country. We must learn to call a spade and spade in the interest of the sensibilities of over 180 million Nigerians who have nowhere to call home other than here.

I also wonder how some individuals’ would think they can attempt to cause mayhem in the country and walk away scot-free. Even in civilized climes, there are consequences for our actions and inactions. Can an Omoyele Sowore go to the United States and call for a revolution and street protest if he has some reservations about the effectiveness of government? The answer is a huge no. And so, the question is why such anomaly should be tolerated in Nigeria?

That aside, when an individual is viewed as a high risk to societal peace, would it be wise to have such an individual in circulation to cause more damage? There are cases of such individuals in Nigeria that, for the sake of National interest, they must be kept outside circulation till the determination of their cases by a court of competent jurisdiction.

This, in a way, explains the case of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as well as the founder of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zarzarky. You would agree with me that these individuals, as well as Omoyele Sowore, are high-risk individuals and by extension, agents of destabilization.

The law is clear on this, and this much we must come to terms with. I am quite sure that if the revolution that Omoyele Sowore had planned succeeded, the bulk of the people clamouring for his release under various nomenclatures would have been greatly affected. Again, just maybe they either by omission or commission refused to see the disservice in that revolution agenda. And just perhaps, they thought calling for violent change would do Nigeria and Nigerians any good.

My opinion has been this, and it won’t change anytime soon. There are decent ways of expressing grievances if such grievances are genuine. But to call for violence is a no and would remain one, especially in a democratic setting. The wounds of the civil war in Nigeria are still fresh in our minds, and to think someone somewhere would opt to set Nigeria once again on that dangerous path is most despicable.

So, just before we elect to crucify the secret Police, we should task our conscience to understand that an offense was committed in the first place, and that gave rise to the actions taken by the government in the overall interest of the generality of Nigerians. Some might want to argue that a court had granted him bail and he was refused bail. But what they failed to understand was that there were conditions that must be fulfilled before bail would be granted. And is it on record that his bail conditions were met and the secret Police refused to release him?

We should not be deceived by the antics of some people who are gifted in the art of spreading fake news to win public sympathy. Some also argued that the bail conditions were stringent, and my answer is: calling for violence to set the country on fire is grave enough for strict bail conditions to be issued.

I believe that the government must act decisively to serve as a deterrent to others. This is the case with Omoyele Sowore. And my advice for those that pursue public causes blinded is that they should employ objectivity and sound reason because National interest is the watchword, and no individual is bigger than the country. Nigeria cannot afford any attempt at truncating its nascent democracy. We must call a spade a spade.

Ainoko  wrote this piece from Kaduna.
 Idoko Ainoko

Omoyele Sowore
Omoyele Sowore
The recent attacks on the Department of State Service (DSS) with regards to the handling of the demonstrators demanding the release of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, is at best uncharitable. I say this for the fact that the demonstrators acted out of ignorance, and as usual, some segment of the country that does not see anything right with this present administration went to the market.

They were quick to cast aspersion and attempt to crucify the secret Police. This is somewhat not surprising in the sense that the nation has witnessed the upsurge of individuals and organizations that are hell-bent on causing unrest in the country. And the free Sowore protesters fall under this same category.

We must get the issues in proper perspectives and counter the harmful intentions of those that are hell-bent on causing unrest in the country. The Omoyele Sowore issue is a case of an attempt to instigate the people against the constituted authorities and by extension effecting a change in government by calling for a revolution. If this is not a treasonable offense, I don’t know what else to call it unless the gang of monetarily induced protesters would feign ignorance to the consequences of calling for a revolution that would see to the overthrowing of a democratically elected government.

Let us make no mistakes; national interest should always surpass personal interest if we are desirous of making progress in this country. We must learn to call a spade and spade in the interest of the sensibilities of over 180 million Nigerians who have nowhere to call home other than here.

I also wonder how some individuals’ would think they can attempt to cause mayhem in the country and walk away scot-free. Even in civilized climes, there are consequences for our actions and inactions. Can an Omoyele Sowore go to the United States and call for a revolution and street protest if he has some reservations about the effectiveness of government? The answer is a huge no. And so, the question is why such anomaly should be tolerated in Nigeria?

That aside, when an individual is viewed as a high risk to societal peace, would it be wise to have such an individual in circulation to cause more damage? There are cases of such individuals in Nigeria that, for the sake of National interest, they must be kept outside circulation till the determination of their cases by a court of competent jurisdiction.

This, in a way, explains the case of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as well as the founder of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zarzarky. You would agree with me that these individuals, as well as Omoyele Sowore, are high-risk individuals and by extension, agents of destabilization.

The law is clear on this, and this much we must come to terms with. I am quite sure that if the revolution that Omoyele Sowore had planned succeeded, the bulk of the people clamouring for his release under various nomenclatures would have been greatly affected. Again, just maybe they either by omission or commission refused to see the disservice in that revolution agenda. And just perhaps, they thought calling for violent change would do Nigeria and Nigerians any good.

My opinion has been this, and it won’t change anytime soon. There are decent ways of expressing grievances if such grievances are genuine. But to call for violence is a no and would remain one, especially in a democratic setting. The wounds of the civil war in Nigeria are still fresh in our minds, and to think someone somewhere would opt to set Nigeria once again on that dangerous path is most despicable.

So, just before we elect to crucify the secret Police, we should task our conscience to understand that an offense was committed in the first place, and that gave rise to the actions taken by the government in the overall interest of the generality of Nigerians. Some might want to argue that a court had granted him bail and he was refused bail. But what they failed to understand was that there were conditions that must be fulfilled before bail would be granted. And is it on record that his bail conditions were met and the secret Police refused to release him?

We should not be deceived by the antics of some people who are gifted in the art of spreading fake news to win public sympathy. Some also argued that the bail conditions were stringent, and my answer is: calling for violence to set the country on fire is grave enough for strict bail conditions to be issued.

I believe that the government must act decisively to serve as a deterrent to others. This is the case with Omoyele Sowore. And my advice for those that pursue public causes blinded is that they should employ objectivity and sound reason because National interest is the watchword, and no individual is bigger than the country. Nigeria cannot afford any attempt at truncating its nascent democracy. We must call a spade a spade.

Ainoko  wrote this piece from Kaduna.

Reward For Gallantry and Gen. Buratai's Leading Example, By Robert Audu

Reward For Gallantry and Gen. Buratai's Leading Example, By Robert Audu

By Robert Audu

Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai
Lt. Gen. Tukur
Yusufu Buratai
"For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.” – Sun Tzu

A great leader motivates and inspires his followers. He continuously craves for excellence and erects favorable templates or incentives to compel and induce hard work. Rewards are the oyster of performance in any workplace. And leaders conscious of success imbibe the policy of reward for hard work, dedication and exceptional performance as bait for outstanding productivity.

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff ( COAS) and emperor of the anti-insurgency operations in Nigeria, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai is a perfect leader in this sense. Though, it is the natural and constitutional duty of the Army to fight wars, but he knows soldiers need to be emboldened to go the proverbial extra-mile in battles.

The job of a soldier is quite a difficult one. A soldier in the battlefield is perpetually under the threats of death or life deformities. He is the bulwark of nations and citizens against deadly enemies in peace or war times.

Gen. William T. Sherman of the American Army captures the dreariness of war in these scary words; “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”

War is really hellish, but the life of a soldier is confined to it. Besides the era of the unfortunate Nigerian civil war of 1967-70, Gen. Buratai is presiding over the Nigerian Army in the country’s second most difficult phase in history. The age of ravaging Boko Haram insurgency is certainly not a storm in a tea cup. Terrorism has proven to be an obstinate malignant turmoil on souls of nations and successive leaders of Nigeria.

But President Buhari has made the difference. Under Gen. Buratai as the helmsman of the counter-insurgency operations, Nigerian troops have performed exceedingly commendable. The Army boss has vanished the spirit of spinelessness, soldiers’ feminine retreats from the frontlines and the remonstrative balking of troops before enemy forces in tales of mutiny at the battlefield.

Joyfully, the years of gloom, hesitance and frustrations to battle insurgents by Nigerian troops have eclipsed. Gen. Buratai has reactivated the reward system for his troops fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the country. He rewards gallantry, but punishes indolence or dereliction of duty.

Like the US war veteran and diplomat, Collin Luther Powell, the Nigerian Army Chief has inculcated in soldiers that   "All work is honorable. Always do your best because someone is watching.” And rewards in special promotions’ have been Gen. Buratai’s perfect weapon in bolstering the performance ego and  strides of Nigerian troops battling Boko Haram.

Chinese war veteran, Sun Tzu once echoed that “Rewards for good service should not be deferred a single day.” So, Gen. Buratai  does it promptly and indiscriminately once any soldier earns it by dint of gallantry, valour and hard work.

Iconic warlords have theorized on the reverence of soldiering. Gen.  George S. Patton Jr for instance says; "The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

Therefore, Gen. Buratai has consistently elevated deserving soldiers to stimulate what Collin Powell clarifies with his timeless and immortal philosophy in positing that;  “The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average.”

From the outset, part of Gen. Buratai’s intrinsic vision and policies sighted  reward for gallantry and hard work. Barely weeks after assumption of duty in 2015 as COAS and leader of counter-insurgency, headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole Command Theatre went agog in wild celebration. Gen. Buratai effected the promotion of over 5,000 soldiers fighting insurgency in the Northeast and allied operations in the country.

 He took the action to boost their combat readiness and willingness to serve fatherland. The promotion was a pledge made to the soldiers by his predecessor.  Gen. Buratai  stated at the opening session of the 2015 COAS Third Quarter Conference, in Army Headquarters Abuja that; “Since we came on board, we have introduced several measures aimed at encouraging our troops to give their best in the service of their nation. “

“The approval of the accelerated promotion of 5,000 soldiers was to redeem the promise made by my predecessor to the troops fighting insurgents in the North-East. It is my belief that this promotion, coupled with other incentives, will encourage our troops to fight for our country,” he added.

And the leader of counter-insurgency operations has kept faith his vision and pledges of reward for gallantry and exceptional impact in the course of battling insurgencies and insurrections in the country.  It is outside his implementation of normal promotions timely and promptly to soldiers, like he caused the promotion of  34 senior Army Generals last week.

Therefore, in August 2017,  Gen. Buratai also splashed special promotions for 3,729 troops of Operation Lafiya Dole who participated in “Operation Deep Punch II” in Sambisa Forest.

The then Army’s spokesperson  articulated in a public statement that the Army Chief specially rewarded the gallant troops in recognition of their valour and uncommon commitment to duty during the “Operation Deep Punch.” It was an operation that laid to rest the ghost of the much dreaded Sambisa forest.

So, 223 Staff Sergeants were promoted to the rank of Warrant Officers, 511 Sergeants promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeants; while 994 Corporals were promoted to the rank of Sergeants. Others are 1064 Lance Corporals promoted to the rank of Corporals, while 932 Private soldiers were appointed Lance Corporals. Such magnitude of special promotions were seldom in the Army until Gen. Buratai reactivated it as morale booster for troops.

Later the same year, during one of his frequent visits to the frontlines in Bama,  Borno state, Gen. Buratai, also gave special automatic promotion to  two soldiers for their gallantry in fighting Boko Haram.

The COAS visited troops of 21 Brigade at Bama and was impressed with their performance against Boko Haram.  Troops of the brigade had liberated Bama from Haram terrorists  after hours of  fierce battle. Many terrorists were neutralized during the encounter, and a cache of arms and  Improvised Explosive Device, IED, making materials were recovered from insurgents. Therefore, Corporal Thomas Orim of 202 Battalion and Corporal Abubakar Usman Usman of 150 Task Force Battalion were rewarded with this special promotion.

To Gen. Buratai, it is inconsequential whether it is a single soldier or bunch of soldiers who demonstrates acts of valour or gallantry and merits a reward.  A soldier, Master Warrant Officer, Garba Abdullahi of 159 Battalion, Nigerian Army was elevated to the rank of Captain in recognition and reward for his outstanding military professionalism, gallantry, courage and selfless service and enjoyed  the special privilege of Executive Commission.

The then  Director army public relations officer, Brig. General Sani Kukasheka explained; “Garba Abdullahi’s leadership qualities endeared him to his Commanding Officer who deemed it fit to assign him a higher responsibility as platoon commander of one of the arrow head sub-units of the Battalion, the role he played excellently to the admiration of both his superiors and subordinates alike

“Under his able leadership, his platoon achieved great exploits of daring bravery and courage for which the Battalion was reputed. The 159 Battalion is of one the rugged and most experienced cohesive fighting unit that make up Operation Lafiya Dole…the Battalion primarily occupies a blocking position from where it conducts Counter Terrorist and Counter Insurgency operations to defeat Boko Haram terrorists, deny them freedom of action….”

Gen. Buratai has sustained the string of special elevations, rewards and promotions of deserving officers and soldiers to date. Even in October 2019, he recommended  for accelerated promotion to President Muhammadu Buhari  two  Army Generals and a Subaltern of the Nigerian Army as reward for their gallantry and exemplary leadership.

Acting Director, Army Public Relations,Col. Sagir Musa explained that the soldiers earned the President’s approval for the special promotion  for their “extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the Northeastern part of the country.”

The benefitting two senior officers were Maj.Gen. L.O Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations at Army Headquarters, who was also promoted to the rank  Lieutenant General; Brig.-Gen. A.B Biu, General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander, Sector 2, “Operation Lafiya Dole”  Maiduguri was decorated with the rank of Major General and the subaltern, Lieutenant A.J Danjibrin of 211 Demonstration Battalion, Bauchi was elevated to the rank of a Captain.

Also, Lt. Col. Mohammed Abu Ali  (aka BH killer) who commanded the Army’s 272 Tank Battalion under “Operation Lafiya Dole” enjoyed this rank for the recognition of his outstanding efforts in blighting the fire of insurgents  under his area of jurisdiction. Shortly afterwards, he was killed in an ambush by Boko Haram. 

The quantum of special rewards and promotions extended to soldiers in the counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast is an apt indication that Gen. Buratai meticulously picks his postings of officers and soldiers. He ensures only his best and competent hands are deployed to every area of military operation.

In the counsel of Collin Powell, "There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence." So, through Gen. Buratai  Nigerian soldiers clearly understands that hard work and loyalty is beneficial.

Audu wrote this piece from Abuja.
By Robert Audu

Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai
Lt. Gen. Tukur
Yusufu Buratai
"For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.” – Sun Tzu

A great leader motivates and inspires his followers. He continuously craves for excellence and erects favorable templates or incentives to compel and induce hard work. Rewards are the oyster of performance in any workplace. And leaders conscious of success imbibe the policy of reward for hard work, dedication and exceptional performance as bait for outstanding productivity.

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff ( COAS) and emperor of the anti-insurgency operations in Nigeria, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai is a perfect leader in this sense. Though, it is the natural and constitutional duty of the Army to fight wars, but he knows soldiers need to be emboldened to go the proverbial extra-mile in battles.

The job of a soldier is quite a difficult one. A soldier in the battlefield is perpetually under the threats of death or life deformities. He is the bulwark of nations and citizens against deadly enemies in peace or war times.

Gen. William T. Sherman of the American Army captures the dreariness of war in these scary words; “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”

War is really hellish, but the life of a soldier is confined to it. Besides the era of the unfortunate Nigerian civil war of 1967-70, Gen. Buratai is presiding over the Nigerian Army in the country’s second most difficult phase in history. The age of ravaging Boko Haram insurgency is certainly not a storm in a tea cup. Terrorism has proven to be an obstinate malignant turmoil on souls of nations and successive leaders of Nigeria.

But President Buhari has made the difference. Under Gen. Buratai as the helmsman of the counter-insurgency operations, Nigerian troops have performed exceedingly commendable. The Army boss has vanished the spirit of spinelessness, soldiers’ feminine retreats from the frontlines and the remonstrative balking of troops before enemy forces in tales of mutiny at the battlefield.

Joyfully, the years of gloom, hesitance and frustrations to battle insurgents by Nigerian troops have eclipsed. Gen. Buratai has reactivated the reward system for his troops fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the country. He rewards gallantry, but punishes indolence or dereliction of duty.

Like the US war veteran and diplomat, Collin Luther Powell, the Nigerian Army Chief has inculcated in soldiers that   "All work is honorable. Always do your best because someone is watching.” And rewards in special promotions’ have been Gen. Buratai’s perfect weapon in bolstering the performance ego and  strides of Nigerian troops battling Boko Haram.

Chinese war veteran, Sun Tzu once echoed that “Rewards for good service should not be deferred a single day.” So, Gen. Buratai  does it promptly and indiscriminately once any soldier earns it by dint of gallantry, valour and hard work.

Iconic warlords have theorized on the reverence of soldiering. Gen.  George S. Patton Jr for instance says; "The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

Therefore, Gen. Buratai has consistently elevated deserving soldiers to stimulate what Collin Powell clarifies with his timeless and immortal philosophy in positing that;  “The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average.”

From the outset, part of Gen. Buratai’s intrinsic vision and policies sighted  reward for gallantry and hard work. Barely weeks after assumption of duty in 2015 as COAS and leader of counter-insurgency, headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole Command Theatre went agog in wild celebration. Gen. Buratai effected the promotion of over 5,000 soldiers fighting insurgency in the Northeast and allied operations in the country.

 He took the action to boost their combat readiness and willingness to serve fatherland. The promotion was a pledge made to the soldiers by his predecessor.  Gen. Buratai  stated at the opening session of the 2015 COAS Third Quarter Conference, in Army Headquarters Abuja that; “Since we came on board, we have introduced several measures aimed at encouraging our troops to give their best in the service of their nation. “

“The approval of the accelerated promotion of 5,000 soldiers was to redeem the promise made by my predecessor to the troops fighting insurgents in the North-East. It is my belief that this promotion, coupled with other incentives, will encourage our troops to fight for our country,” he added.

And the leader of counter-insurgency operations has kept faith his vision and pledges of reward for gallantry and exceptional impact in the course of battling insurgencies and insurrections in the country.  It is outside his implementation of normal promotions timely and promptly to soldiers, like he caused the promotion of  34 senior Army Generals last week.

Therefore, in August 2017,  Gen. Buratai also splashed special promotions for 3,729 troops of Operation Lafiya Dole who participated in “Operation Deep Punch II” in Sambisa Forest.

The then Army’s spokesperson  articulated in a public statement that the Army Chief specially rewarded the gallant troops in recognition of their valour and uncommon commitment to duty during the “Operation Deep Punch.” It was an operation that laid to rest the ghost of the much dreaded Sambisa forest.

So, 223 Staff Sergeants were promoted to the rank of Warrant Officers, 511 Sergeants promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeants; while 994 Corporals were promoted to the rank of Sergeants. Others are 1064 Lance Corporals promoted to the rank of Corporals, while 932 Private soldiers were appointed Lance Corporals. Such magnitude of special promotions were seldom in the Army until Gen. Buratai reactivated it as morale booster for troops.

Later the same year, during one of his frequent visits to the frontlines in Bama,  Borno state, Gen. Buratai, also gave special automatic promotion to  two soldiers for their gallantry in fighting Boko Haram.

The COAS visited troops of 21 Brigade at Bama and was impressed with their performance against Boko Haram.  Troops of the brigade had liberated Bama from Haram terrorists  after hours of  fierce battle. Many terrorists were neutralized during the encounter, and a cache of arms and  Improvised Explosive Device, IED, making materials were recovered from insurgents. Therefore, Corporal Thomas Orim of 202 Battalion and Corporal Abubakar Usman Usman of 150 Task Force Battalion were rewarded with this special promotion.

To Gen. Buratai, it is inconsequential whether it is a single soldier or bunch of soldiers who demonstrates acts of valour or gallantry and merits a reward.  A soldier, Master Warrant Officer, Garba Abdullahi of 159 Battalion, Nigerian Army was elevated to the rank of Captain in recognition and reward for his outstanding military professionalism, gallantry, courage and selfless service and enjoyed  the special privilege of Executive Commission.

The then  Director army public relations officer, Brig. General Sani Kukasheka explained; “Garba Abdullahi’s leadership qualities endeared him to his Commanding Officer who deemed it fit to assign him a higher responsibility as platoon commander of one of the arrow head sub-units of the Battalion, the role he played excellently to the admiration of both his superiors and subordinates alike

“Under his able leadership, his platoon achieved great exploits of daring bravery and courage for which the Battalion was reputed. The 159 Battalion is of one the rugged and most experienced cohesive fighting unit that make up Operation Lafiya Dole…the Battalion primarily occupies a blocking position from where it conducts Counter Terrorist and Counter Insurgency operations to defeat Boko Haram terrorists, deny them freedom of action….”

Gen. Buratai has sustained the string of special elevations, rewards and promotions of deserving officers and soldiers to date. Even in October 2019, he recommended  for accelerated promotion to President Muhammadu Buhari  two  Army Generals and a Subaltern of the Nigerian Army as reward for their gallantry and exemplary leadership.

Acting Director, Army Public Relations,Col. Sagir Musa explained that the soldiers earned the President’s approval for the special promotion  for their “extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the Northeastern part of the country.”

The benefitting two senior officers were Maj.Gen. L.O Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations at Army Headquarters, who was also promoted to the rank  Lieutenant General; Brig.-Gen. A.B Biu, General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander, Sector 2, “Operation Lafiya Dole”  Maiduguri was decorated with the rank of Major General and the subaltern, Lieutenant A.J Danjibrin of 211 Demonstration Battalion, Bauchi was elevated to the rank of a Captain.

Also, Lt. Col. Mohammed Abu Ali  (aka BH killer) who commanded the Army’s 272 Tank Battalion under “Operation Lafiya Dole” enjoyed this rank for the recognition of his outstanding efforts in blighting the fire of insurgents  under his area of jurisdiction. Shortly afterwards, he was killed in an ambush by Boko Haram. 

The quantum of special rewards and promotions extended to soldiers in the counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast is an apt indication that Gen. Buratai meticulously picks his postings of officers and soldiers. He ensures only his best and competent hands are deployed to every area of military operation.

In the counsel of Collin Powell, "There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence." So, through Gen. Buratai  Nigerian soldiers clearly understands that hard work and loyalty is beneficial.

Audu wrote this piece from Abuja.

Boko Haram: The Taming Of A Monster, By Dan Abakpa

Boko Haram: The Taming Of A Monster, By Dan Abakpa

By Dan Abakpa

In September 2014, the Jonathan Presidency served a pyrrhic victory to Nigerians over claims that   it has killed Boko Haram’s most vicious leader, Abubakar Shekau. The public statement excited Nigerians, but sadly turned out to be a  ruse like previous such claims  in July 2009 and another in late June 2013.

The then Defence spokesman Chris Olukolade told reporters in Abuja that the  man posing as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was his  moniker adopted by the sect. He insisted that Shekau had been killed earlier during a gun battle with troops. And the military played some videos to back up the fake claims.

To the military, it was another Islamist fighter, who was  scoring the shots as replacement for Shekau. They identified him as Mohammed Bashir, claiming he   posed as Shekau’s moniker and responsible for recent threats videos in the guise of the real Shekau , but was also killed in clashes at Konduga.

Olukolade  said “Bashir had been acting or posing as the deceasedAbubakar Shekau…the eccentric character known as the leader of the group".  But the Military could not explain convincingly how it killed Shekau.  It was indisputably fake claims. Abubakar Shekau was alive, hale and hearty, providing leadership to insurgents.

Therefore, in early January 2015, Nigerians were scared stiff. Shekau, the  Boko Haram leader, morphed into a berserk monster, threatening Nigerians and its government to prove he is alive and counter the military’s claims that he is dead. Shekau appeared in a 15-minute recorded video and pledged to disrupt the 2015 general elections scheduled for February 16, 2015 at “any cost.”

Shekau vowed in Hausa language in a message released through the sect’s Twitter account; “This election will not be held even if we are dead.” These potent threats from  the leader of Boko Haram to disrupt the general elections, one of Nigeria’s most important national events caused stir and made the Jonathan Presidency apprehensive. The government was forced to postpone the elections by six weeks to enable troops dislodge insurgents from their strongholds in Northeastern Nigeria.

But the feeble action  of government angered, rather than   appease Shekau, who backed his threats  by unleashing deadly attacks  on communities in the Northeast.  Twine suicide attacks on the same day, the video was released, sniffed life out of 38 persons. And the string of bombings continued as  on February  15, 2015, as a  female suicide bomberkilled at least 10 passersby in a local  market in Borno.

It was the extent Shekau and Boko Haram terrorists held Nigeria hostage in braggadocio, mindless bloodletting and carnages.  This was before President Muhammedu Buhari was elected the democratic leader of Nigeria. He also vowed to blight the fire of Shekau and his bloodsucking sect.

And keen observers of the operations of Abukakar Shekau would concede that the terrorists leader had a style of asserting his authority. He was in the habit of consistent video appearances to either raise fresh controversies, brag about his might and exploits/atrocities or convey his satanic messages.

Under Shekau’s command, Boko Haram was expansive and virile  to the extent it  annexed Nigerian territories; named Gwoza and Bama in Borno as headquarters and its subsidiary of the sect’s Caliphate respectively. Its atrocities and horrendous attacks drenched Nigerians in endless tears and sorrows.

However, under the Buhari Presidency, Boko Haram has been decimated and defeated. The COAS and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and troops have been able to run Abubakar Shekau out of relevance.  It is quite curious that in the last two years, Shekau  nor any  moniker has not appeared in any public video issuing threats or bragging or claiming responsibility about gruesome killing and abductions.

Pertinently, at the end of October 2019, a tragedy hit the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).  Its  leaderAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi  was killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria. Again, the ISIS spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir  and a close aide to al-Baghdadi  was also  killed  in a joint US operation with Kurdish forces in the northern Syrian city of Jarablus hours after al-Baghdadi's death.

Both US  President Donald Trump and the  ISIL's legislative and consultative body have confirmed the deaths of these two terror kingpins. It is a sad moment in the terrorists’ world globally, as humanity and governments rejoices.

In a  public statement,  via  the group's media arm, al-Furqan, ISIL’s new spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, announced  Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new chief and replacement forAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The statement read in part; "We mourn you ... commander of the faithful…Do not rejoice America. The new chosen one will make you forget the horror you have beholden ... and make the achievements of the Baghdadi days taste sweet."

“The Islamic State shura council convened immediately after confirming the martyrdom of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the elders of the holy warriors agreed on a replacement,”  al-Qurayshi stated.

America has designated Boko Haram as a terrorists group. US also placed  a $7 million reward for Shekau's capture as part of its rewards for Justice programme, after its  designation of Shekau as a "global terrorist.”

Consequently, in the bid to shore-up his international standing, in March 2015  Shekau publicly pledged its allegiance to ISIL and its  now murdered leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Thus, Boko Haram transmogrified into  the "Islamic State's West Africa Province" (ISWAP) and Abubakar Shekau became its first “vali” (Governor).

Shekau had thundered in  a video message; “We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims ... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding that which there is a proof from Allah.”

Therefore, the tragedy which rocked ISIL, the global headquarters of terrorism, as manifest in the killing of two principal leaders, ought to have shuddered Shekau enough to release another video. He would have proudly staged out to  express condolence to his martyred  lords, threatening Nigerians with reprisals and upping the tempo of atrocities. Shekau has no strength to even congratulate his new terror chief, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. Its abnormal that weeks after the incident Shekau or anybody acting at his behest has summoned the courage to mouth out in lashings or comments about the new order in ISIS.

No sign which has potently conveyed the fall of Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau more that the unusual silence over the deaths in ISIL’s headquarters.  It is an incontrovertible admission of the final eclipse of Shekau and Boko Haram, a trajectory laid for them by Gen. Buratai.

Gen. Buratai’s reclamation of all the Nigerian territories annexed by Boko Haram in the Northeast; the incapacity of insurgents to retake the freed local government areas, including Gwoza and Bama and troops stoppage of recruitments of vulnerable youths into the sect’s fold as foot soldiers have been serious setbacks for Shekau and his incensed terrorists.

Furthermore, Gen. Buratai’s December 2016’s demystification of Sambisa forest, which provided protective shield for Shekau and his army of terrorists have been a great setback to the operations of Boko Haram and Shekau. As precursor to the final conquest of Sambisa  forest, the Army had overran four Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa, where over 300 female hostages were freed in April 2016.  The Army presented captured Sambisa forest as Christmas gift to Nigerians on December 24, 2016. 

In addition, the overwhelming flooding of troops in the Northeast has been another weakening nightmare for insurgents and Shekau. The relentless and consistent pressures mounted on insurgents in the frontlines for months and years, coupled with eagle-eyed surveillance forced Shekau into an effeminate disappearance from the battle turf, dressed in hijab and disguised as  a woman to evade arrest.

That last encounter with troops two years ago reportedly left Shekau fatally wounded, (if not dead) and fatigued.  Months later, a  Boko Haram commander, Abdullahi Bello (alias Abu Zainab), who was  arrested by  the Army  in Bauchi revealed that Abubakar Shekau veiled himself and   sneaked out of Nigeria  on  bush paths to Kolofata in neighbouring Cameroun. It was his historic fall, as Shekau is a new permanent guest of birds and reptiles in caves and mountains’ of Cameroun.

 Shekau  is forced to  bow out  of “active”  service and the residues of his lieutenants still parading the fields have not found it easy either.  Gen, Buratai and Nigerian troops are not giving them a chance to breath. Clearance operations is fetching out a lot of the remnants of terrorists from far-flung hideouts.

It is unthinkable that Shekau and Boko Haram insurgents would ever again have the chance  to attack and massively massacre Nigerians in a manner reminiscence of the January 3-7, 2015,  insurgents tragic  invasion of Baga, where they slaughtered over 2,000 Nigerians. Shekau has become an inevitable history in Boko Haram terrorism, courtesy of President Buhari and the leader of counter-insurgency operations, the irrepressible Gen. Buratai.

Abakpa wrote this piece from Imperial College, London.
By Dan Abakpa

In September 2014, the Jonathan Presidency served a pyrrhic victory to Nigerians over claims that   it has killed Boko Haram’s most vicious leader, Abubakar Shekau. The public statement excited Nigerians, but sadly turned out to be a  ruse like previous such claims  in July 2009 and another in late June 2013.

The then Defence spokesman Chris Olukolade told reporters in Abuja that the  man posing as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was his  moniker adopted by the sect. He insisted that Shekau had been killed earlier during a gun battle with troops. And the military played some videos to back up the fake claims.

To the military, it was another Islamist fighter, who was  scoring the shots as replacement for Shekau. They identified him as Mohammed Bashir, claiming he   posed as Shekau’s moniker and responsible for recent threats videos in the guise of the real Shekau , but was also killed in clashes at Konduga.

Olukolade  said “Bashir had been acting or posing as the deceasedAbubakar Shekau…the eccentric character known as the leader of the group".  But the Military could not explain convincingly how it killed Shekau.  It was indisputably fake claims. Abubakar Shekau was alive, hale and hearty, providing leadership to insurgents.

Therefore, in early January 2015, Nigerians were scared stiff. Shekau, the  Boko Haram leader, morphed into a berserk monster, threatening Nigerians and its government to prove he is alive and counter the military’s claims that he is dead. Shekau appeared in a 15-minute recorded video and pledged to disrupt the 2015 general elections scheduled for February 16, 2015 at “any cost.”

Shekau vowed in Hausa language in a message released through the sect’s Twitter account; “This election will not be held even if we are dead.” These potent threats from  the leader of Boko Haram to disrupt the general elections, one of Nigeria’s most important national events caused stir and made the Jonathan Presidency apprehensive. The government was forced to postpone the elections by six weeks to enable troops dislodge insurgents from their strongholds in Northeastern Nigeria.

But the feeble action  of government angered, rather than   appease Shekau, who backed his threats  by unleashing deadly attacks  on communities in the Northeast.  Twine suicide attacks on the same day, the video was released, sniffed life out of 38 persons. And the string of bombings continued as  on February  15, 2015, as a  female suicide bomberkilled at least 10 passersby in a local  market in Borno.

It was the extent Shekau and Boko Haram terrorists held Nigeria hostage in braggadocio, mindless bloodletting and carnages.  This was before President Muhammedu Buhari was elected the democratic leader of Nigeria. He also vowed to blight the fire of Shekau and his bloodsucking sect.

And keen observers of the operations of Abukakar Shekau would concede that the terrorists leader had a style of asserting his authority. He was in the habit of consistent video appearances to either raise fresh controversies, brag about his might and exploits/atrocities or convey his satanic messages.

Under Shekau’s command, Boko Haram was expansive and virile  to the extent it  annexed Nigerian territories; named Gwoza and Bama in Borno as headquarters and its subsidiary of the sect’s Caliphate respectively. Its atrocities and horrendous attacks drenched Nigerians in endless tears and sorrows.

However, under the Buhari Presidency, Boko Haram has been decimated and defeated. The COAS and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and troops have been able to run Abubakar Shekau out of relevance.  It is quite curious that in the last two years, Shekau  nor any  moniker has not appeared in any public video issuing threats or bragging or claiming responsibility about gruesome killing and abductions.

Pertinently, at the end of October 2019, a tragedy hit the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).  Its  leaderAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi  was killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria. Again, the ISIS spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir  and a close aide to al-Baghdadi  was also  killed  in a joint US operation with Kurdish forces in the northern Syrian city of Jarablus hours after al-Baghdadi's death.

Both US  President Donald Trump and the  ISIL's legislative and consultative body have confirmed the deaths of these two terror kingpins. It is a sad moment in the terrorists’ world globally, as humanity and governments rejoices.

In a  public statement,  via  the group's media arm, al-Furqan, ISIL’s new spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, announced  Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new chief and replacement forAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The statement read in part; "We mourn you ... commander of the faithful…Do not rejoice America. The new chosen one will make you forget the horror you have beholden ... and make the achievements of the Baghdadi days taste sweet."

“The Islamic State shura council convened immediately after confirming the martyrdom of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the elders of the holy warriors agreed on a replacement,”  al-Qurayshi stated.

America has designated Boko Haram as a terrorists group. US also placed  a $7 million reward for Shekau's capture as part of its rewards for Justice programme, after its  designation of Shekau as a "global terrorist.”

Consequently, in the bid to shore-up his international standing, in March 2015  Shekau publicly pledged its allegiance to ISIL and its  now murdered leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Thus, Boko Haram transmogrified into  the "Islamic State's West Africa Province" (ISWAP) and Abubakar Shekau became its first “vali” (Governor).

Shekau had thundered in  a video message; “We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims ... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding that which there is a proof from Allah.”

Therefore, the tragedy which rocked ISIL, the global headquarters of terrorism, as manifest in the killing of two principal leaders, ought to have shuddered Shekau enough to release another video. He would have proudly staged out to  express condolence to his martyred  lords, threatening Nigerians with reprisals and upping the tempo of atrocities. Shekau has no strength to even congratulate his new terror chief, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. Its abnormal that weeks after the incident Shekau or anybody acting at his behest has summoned the courage to mouth out in lashings or comments about the new order in ISIS.

No sign which has potently conveyed the fall of Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau more that the unusual silence over the deaths in ISIL’s headquarters.  It is an incontrovertible admission of the final eclipse of Shekau and Boko Haram, a trajectory laid for them by Gen. Buratai.

Gen. Buratai’s reclamation of all the Nigerian territories annexed by Boko Haram in the Northeast; the incapacity of insurgents to retake the freed local government areas, including Gwoza and Bama and troops stoppage of recruitments of vulnerable youths into the sect’s fold as foot soldiers have been serious setbacks for Shekau and his incensed terrorists.

Furthermore, Gen. Buratai’s December 2016’s demystification of Sambisa forest, which provided protective shield for Shekau and his army of terrorists have been a great setback to the operations of Boko Haram and Shekau. As precursor to the final conquest of Sambisa  forest, the Army had overran four Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa, where over 300 female hostages were freed in April 2016.  The Army presented captured Sambisa forest as Christmas gift to Nigerians on December 24, 2016. 

In addition, the overwhelming flooding of troops in the Northeast has been another weakening nightmare for insurgents and Shekau. The relentless and consistent pressures mounted on insurgents in the frontlines for months and years, coupled with eagle-eyed surveillance forced Shekau into an effeminate disappearance from the battle turf, dressed in hijab and disguised as  a woman to evade arrest.

That last encounter with troops two years ago reportedly left Shekau fatally wounded, (if not dead) and fatigued.  Months later, a  Boko Haram commander, Abdullahi Bello (alias Abu Zainab), who was  arrested by  the Army  in Bauchi revealed that Abubakar Shekau veiled himself and   sneaked out of Nigeria  on  bush paths to Kolofata in neighbouring Cameroun. It was his historic fall, as Shekau is a new permanent guest of birds and reptiles in caves and mountains’ of Cameroun.

 Shekau  is forced to  bow out  of “active”  service and the residues of his lieutenants still parading the fields have not found it easy either.  Gen, Buratai and Nigerian troops are not giving them a chance to breath. Clearance operations is fetching out a lot of the remnants of terrorists from far-flung hideouts.

It is unthinkable that Shekau and Boko Haram insurgents would ever again have the chance  to attack and massively massacre Nigerians in a manner reminiscence of the January 3-7, 2015,  insurgents tragic  invasion of Baga, where they slaughtered over 2,000 Nigerians. Shekau has become an inevitable history in Boko Haram terrorism, courtesy of President Buhari and the leader of counter-insurgency operations, the irrepressible Gen. Buratai.

Abakpa wrote this piece from Imperial College, London.

NDDC Interim Management Committee: Buhari Scores Hat-trick

NDDC Interim Management Committee: Buhari Scores Hat-trick

By Marvin Lulu Seyibo

“Whenever you commend, add a compelling reason for doing so; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense from the flattery of sycophants and the admiration of fools.”― Richard Steele

I do not like the present administration. I have never hidden my disdain for the manner in which the President Muhammadu Buhari led government has piloted the affairs of our motherland, in respect to the how state security apparatus under his watch are being used to harass journalists for carrying out their constitutional duties, intimidating political opponents as well as the nosedive of the economy.
If in times past I have condemned his actions and policies; should I not in his good times commend his action especially when it touches my root, the very soil I come from? First, he caused the emergence of Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege to be elected the Deputy Senate President and engraved on the sands of time that under his leadership, the Urhobo nation attained their highest political level.
Everything seems to be working for the political good of the South South under this current administration, but how they maximize it for the benefit of the region will only show its scorecard after four years. For now, Ovie Omo-Agege is right on track, playing the political chess game to the favor of his kinsmen and the region. They never had it this good.

Those familiar with the game of football understands that only skillful players are blessed with scoring of hat trick during their playing days. It sends wild jubilation across the fans once such brace is done. Like soccer, only political maestros have the ability to take three quick successive decisions that goes down well even among political critics.
In less than three months, Buhari has scored a hat trick in the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). First, he made the commission to be removed from the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government and domiciled it in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

While the nine oil rich states were yet to catch their breath with such excitement, he nominated a board that will be led by the progressive moving Benard Okumagba as the Managing Director, who turns everything he touches to gold. No one has ever faulted Benard’s nomination as it has been accepted that his appointment is a Daniel come to judgment.

And then came the shocker that could make a new born baby speak, when he embraced the political net by sending the board member names to the Senate for screening and confirmation but rather than leave the board empty without political leadership, he set up a three man interim management committee to oversee the affairs of the board pending when a holistic forensic audit will be carried out since NDDC formation till date.

Anyone who kicks against the forensic audit is worse than a fraudster who does not mean well for the people of Niger Delta. The President has shown his love for the people of the region by this act to carry out surgical audit on the board before Benard Okumagba will come onboard to start on a fresh and clean note, devoid of the baggage of the past, where the commission became a conduit pipe for political buccaneers, who carted away the monies meant for the development of the region, into their private bank accounts both home and abroad.

There would have been no better interim committee members that would have successfully presided over NDDC and give free room for the auditing firms to carry out their forensic duty than the trio of Dr. Gbene Joy Nunieh as the Acting Managing Director, Dr Cairo Ojugboh as the Acting Executive Director Projects and Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang as the Acting Director, Finance and Administration.

Those who know Dr Joy readily testify of her royal bloodline with activism running in her veins like her father. The respected Ogoni woman will no doubt be pained at how the NDDC has not lived up to its expectation, with her Ogoni people still living in stone age and the commission past board members using money meant to develop her backyard for personal pleasure.

In holy anger, she will cooperate hundred percent with the auditors, avail them every documents and financial assistance they need to bring the perpetrators and traitors of the NDDC to book. For the few months that she will run the affairs of the board. She has a family name behind her to remind her as she makes every move, a respected name she cannot disgrace.

Dr Joy pedigree speaks for her as one that will not come to pilfer the money of NDDC.  As the daughter of late Senator Cyrus Nunieh, she has been exposed to wealth and moral upbringing and has used her services over the years to uplift her people. Mr President must have been divinely told in his dream that there lives a lady christened “Esther of Ogoni”, who cannot be intimidated in the course of her duties by anybody.

The notion that she is a member of the already constituted board and therefore should not have been picked to head the Interim Committee is tales told to babies who cannot decipher wrong from right. If there is anything her addition as a member of the Bernard led board will do to this new team, it’s the fact that the three man committee will be very careful and prudent with funds, knowing that she is coming back to be answerable to her boss, and all the contracts she will give approval to, may be probed by Bernard, which if not diligently done, will send her to jail. The President must have known this by making her the head, as one who will steer the ship to the habour for the Bernard flight to take off to higher heights.

With her inclusion as the Acting MD of the interim committee, Buhari has done noble, even though I hate to admit it.
“Dr. Cairo Ojougboh is the only politician in Delta State who says it as it is. He is not afraid to speak the truth” – Obi (Prof) Joseph Chike Edozien the Asagba of Asaba on the occasion of conferment of Traditional title of Akinuwa Anioma by Forty five traditional Rulers of Anioma Nation at the Asagba’s Palace.

Those words by the highly respected traditional ruler confirm that Ojugboh as the Acting Executive Director Projects onboard the Interim Management Committee of NDDC is a square peg in a square hole. A soldier of truth, a carrier of good news, a man of style and swag, with a high taste for class and beauty, the months that will be spent by Ojugboh in assigning projects to various states of NDDC will remain a reference point for future holders of such position, as man who never tolerates substandard construction both in quality and quantity.

As a dedicated All Progressive Congress chieftain, it is to Cairo’s credit that the Delta State APC became alive and provided a viable opposition to the Peoples Democratic Party government of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. Buhari should be praised for critically constituting a committee that has a man of Cairo’s integrity clout, who will give the auditors an enabling environment to perform the butchering of the commission from inception, without hindrance.

It is very important that the new board that will be coming to start as the messiah that will come to redeem the NDDC back to the reason for its establishment. Upright men like Cairo who have found favor in the eyes of Mr President are the John the Baptist that will usher in the way for Benard and his team. As a honest politician, he was the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on EFCC recoveries, a position that only men without political dirt, men who will not corner public properties to themselves as recovery chairman are allowed to hold.
The Cairo Ojugboh we know will not be intimidated to do what is not right in the commission or divert the funds of the commission. It is no mean feat that forty five traditional rulers of the Anioma Kingdom gathered to crown him as the Akinuwa of Anioma. It is the attestation of his ability to be steadfast to the truth and what is moral that bestowed on him such rare honor.

To Cairo, Service to humanity is a call to duty, devoid of malice and anger. He has never played politics of bitterness, but sees it as a game where winners must emerge and losers joining the winners to build. He was the only Delta State APC gubernatorial candidate who came for the victory party of DSP Ovie Omo-Agege which held in Transcorp Hotel, even when the election was skewed to favor Great Ovedje Ogboru. He immediately put behind all that happened behind him to felicitate with his kinsman, seating on the high table with Ogboru and the Senator.

In summing Cairo’s personality, the University of Benin Medical School award in his honorary citation in 2005 nailed it thus “His High Sense of Duty and commitment to results make him treat issues with the required dispatch. He is also a man with excellent public relations and communication skills; a man capable of establishing positive and productive rapport with people, to move things forward. He is a man with ability to maintain steady grace under intense pressure as well as being ever willing to learn”.

With him onboard, Buhari can go to sleep with his two eyes closed, knowing that the three man board will bring good news.

For Chief Bassey Ibanga Etang, his sterling leadership when he was President of the Apex socio-cultural organization of Ekid Federal Constituency (Afighi Iwaad Ekid),is still being talked of as the golden era of the group. As former local government Chairman of Esit Eket local government council, and as a two time SSA to the Governor Godswill Akpabio on project monitoring, he is credited with monitoring almost all the flyovers and standard roads that was built by the past administration. His wealth of experience in supervising projects is a plus to the NDDC as he will not sign any cheque for payment to any contractor whose work is not certified up to standard.

Every agitation from every quarter should cease. We cannot be seeking for progress and protesting every minute.
Everyone from the Niger Delta should join hands with this new Interim Committee and give them all necessary support to give the Niger Delta a face lift, and handover a brand new commission that we will all be proud of to Bernard Okumagba after this forensic audit.

As the new month kicks off with the leadership of the board, we will hold the Acting MD who is a lawyer and an activist to her words during her inauguration when she said "We'll get a list of every village in the Niger Delta and also give attention to the disabled and the blind. I consider rural development very important. So, we will give attention to the villages. The president has been worried about the Niger Delta region; the amount of money that is allocated to the region and how they are utilized for the development of the region. I welcome you to the Next-Level NDDC. From the end of next month, people of Niger Delta will begin to testify that they have a commission that is responsible for them”.
Ekene Israel, an anti corruption activist writes from Bayelsa State

By Marvin Lulu Seyibo

“Whenever you commend, add a compelling reason for doing so; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense from the flattery of sycophants and the admiration of fools.”― Richard Steele

I do not like the present administration. I have never hidden my disdain for the manner in which the President Muhammadu Buhari led government has piloted the affairs of our motherland, in respect to the how state security apparatus under his watch are being used to harass journalists for carrying out their constitutional duties, intimidating political opponents as well as the nosedive of the economy.
If in times past I have condemned his actions and policies; should I not in his good times commend his action especially when it touches my root, the very soil I come from? First, he caused the emergence of Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege to be elected the Deputy Senate President and engraved on the sands of time that under his leadership, the Urhobo nation attained their highest political level.
Everything seems to be working for the political good of the South South under this current administration, but how they maximize it for the benefit of the region will only show its scorecard after four years. For now, Ovie Omo-Agege is right on track, playing the political chess game to the favor of his kinsmen and the region. They never had it this good.

Those familiar with the game of football understands that only skillful players are blessed with scoring of hat trick during their playing days. It sends wild jubilation across the fans once such brace is done. Like soccer, only political maestros have the ability to take three quick successive decisions that goes down well even among political critics.
In less than three months, Buhari has scored a hat trick in the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). First, he made the commission to be removed from the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government and domiciled it in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

While the nine oil rich states were yet to catch their breath with such excitement, he nominated a board that will be led by the progressive moving Benard Okumagba as the Managing Director, who turns everything he touches to gold. No one has ever faulted Benard’s nomination as it has been accepted that his appointment is a Daniel come to judgment.

And then came the shocker that could make a new born baby speak, when he embraced the political net by sending the board member names to the Senate for screening and confirmation but rather than leave the board empty without political leadership, he set up a three man interim management committee to oversee the affairs of the board pending when a holistic forensic audit will be carried out since NDDC formation till date.

Anyone who kicks against the forensic audit is worse than a fraudster who does not mean well for the people of Niger Delta. The President has shown his love for the people of the region by this act to carry out surgical audit on the board before Benard Okumagba will come onboard to start on a fresh and clean note, devoid of the baggage of the past, where the commission became a conduit pipe for political buccaneers, who carted away the monies meant for the development of the region, into their private bank accounts both home and abroad.

There would have been no better interim committee members that would have successfully presided over NDDC and give free room for the auditing firms to carry out their forensic duty than the trio of Dr. Gbene Joy Nunieh as the Acting Managing Director, Dr Cairo Ojugboh as the Acting Executive Director Projects and Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang as the Acting Director, Finance and Administration.

Those who know Dr Joy readily testify of her royal bloodline with activism running in her veins like her father. The respected Ogoni woman will no doubt be pained at how the NDDC has not lived up to its expectation, with her Ogoni people still living in stone age and the commission past board members using money meant to develop her backyard for personal pleasure.

In holy anger, she will cooperate hundred percent with the auditors, avail them every documents and financial assistance they need to bring the perpetrators and traitors of the NDDC to book. For the few months that she will run the affairs of the board. She has a family name behind her to remind her as she makes every move, a respected name she cannot disgrace.

Dr Joy pedigree speaks for her as one that will not come to pilfer the money of NDDC.  As the daughter of late Senator Cyrus Nunieh, she has been exposed to wealth and moral upbringing and has used her services over the years to uplift her people. Mr President must have been divinely told in his dream that there lives a lady christened “Esther of Ogoni”, who cannot be intimidated in the course of her duties by anybody.

The notion that she is a member of the already constituted board and therefore should not have been picked to head the Interim Committee is tales told to babies who cannot decipher wrong from right. If there is anything her addition as a member of the Bernard led board will do to this new team, it’s the fact that the three man committee will be very careful and prudent with funds, knowing that she is coming back to be answerable to her boss, and all the contracts she will give approval to, may be probed by Bernard, which if not diligently done, will send her to jail. The President must have known this by making her the head, as one who will steer the ship to the habour for the Bernard flight to take off to higher heights.

With her inclusion as the Acting MD of the interim committee, Buhari has done noble, even though I hate to admit it.
“Dr. Cairo Ojougboh is the only politician in Delta State who says it as it is. He is not afraid to speak the truth” – Obi (Prof) Joseph Chike Edozien the Asagba of Asaba on the occasion of conferment of Traditional title of Akinuwa Anioma by Forty five traditional Rulers of Anioma Nation at the Asagba’s Palace.

Those words by the highly respected traditional ruler confirm that Ojugboh as the Acting Executive Director Projects onboard the Interim Management Committee of NDDC is a square peg in a square hole. A soldier of truth, a carrier of good news, a man of style and swag, with a high taste for class and beauty, the months that will be spent by Ojugboh in assigning projects to various states of NDDC will remain a reference point for future holders of such position, as man who never tolerates substandard construction both in quality and quantity.

As a dedicated All Progressive Congress chieftain, it is to Cairo’s credit that the Delta State APC became alive and provided a viable opposition to the Peoples Democratic Party government of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. Buhari should be praised for critically constituting a committee that has a man of Cairo’s integrity clout, who will give the auditors an enabling environment to perform the butchering of the commission from inception, without hindrance.

It is very important that the new board that will be coming to start as the messiah that will come to redeem the NDDC back to the reason for its establishment. Upright men like Cairo who have found favor in the eyes of Mr President are the John the Baptist that will usher in the way for Benard and his team. As a honest politician, he was the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on EFCC recoveries, a position that only men without political dirt, men who will not corner public properties to themselves as recovery chairman are allowed to hold.
The Cairo Ojugboh we know will not be intimidated to do what is not right in the commission or divert the funds of the commission. It is no mean feat that forty five traditional rulers of the Anioma Kingdom gathered to crown him as the Akinuwa of Anioma. It is the attestation of his ability to be steadfast to the truth and what is moral that bestowed on him such rare honor.

To Cairo, Service to humanity is a call to duty, devoid of malice and anger. He has never played politics of bitterness, but sees it as a game where winners must emerge and losers joining the winners to build. He was the only Delta State APC gubernatorial candidate who came for the victory party of DSP Ovie Omo-Agege which held in Transcorp Hotel, even when the election was skewed to favor Great Ovedje Ogboru. He immediately put behind all that happened behind him to felicitate with his kinsman, seating on the high table with Ogboru and the Senator.

In summing Cairo’s personality, the University of Benin Medical School award in his honorary citation in 2005 nailed it thus “His High Sense of Duty and commitment to results make him treat issues with the required dispatch. He is also a man with excellent public relations and communication skills; a man capable of establishing positive and productive rapport with people, to move things forward. He is a man with ability to maintain steady grace under intense pressure as well as being ever willing to learn”.

With him onboard, Buhari can go to sleep with his two eyes closed, knowing that the three man board will bring good news.

For Chief Bassey Ibanga Etang, his sterling leadership when he was President of the Apex socio-cultural organization of Ekid Federal Constituency (Afighi Iwaad Ekid),is still being talked of as the golden era of the group. As former local government Chairman of Esit Eket local government council, and as a two time SSA to the Governor Godswill Akpabio on project monitoring, he is credited with monitoring almost all the flyovers and standard roads that was built by the past administration. His wealth of experience in supervising projects is a plus to the NDDC as he will not sign any cheque for payment to any contractor whose work is not certified up to standard.

Every agitation from every quarter should cease. We cannot be seeking for progress and protesting every minute.
Everyone from the Niger Delta should join hands with this new Interim Committee and give them all necessary support to give the Niger Delta a face lift, and handover a brand new commission that we will all be proud of to Bernard Okumagba after this forensic audit.

As the new month kicks off with the leadership of the board, we will hold the Acting MD who is a lawyer and an activist to her words during her inauguration when she said "We'll get a list of every village in the Niger Delta and also give attention to the disabled and the blind. I consider rural development very important. So, we will give attention to the villages. The president has been worried about the Niger Delta region; the amount of money that is allocated to the region and how they are utilized for the development of the region. I welcome you to the Next-Level NDDC. From the end of next month, people of Niger Delta will begin to testify that they have a commission that is responsible for them”.
Ekene Israel, an anti corruption activist writes from Bayelsa State

Philosophy Behind General Buratai's Stellar Performance

Philosophy Behind General Buratai's Stellar Performance

By Yakubu Mohammed

Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai
Gen. Tukur Yusufu
Buratai
“Soldiers would marry the prettiest women, live in the best homes, eat the best food, wear the best cloth and drive the best cars because when war comes, they die first” ---Muhamadu Ribadu

 I stumbled on this quote of Nigeria’s first Defence Minister after independence and a reputable Northern politician of his time, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu. He lived an eventful life between 1909 and 1965.

He was not a soldier, but knew exactly the pains of a soldier. So, I was fascinated at this catchy wisdom.  In Ribadu’s time, Nigeria knew no war, but peace. However, it was clear to his mind that peace could only, but be ephemeral, as there would come a time to war, when only soldiers are the dutiful rescuers.

It has struck me strongly that Ribadu must have been gifted with a stunning clairvoyance. He correctly envisaged that an Army in Nigeria would one day face war. He had the power of prediction; he had prophetic wisdom. Ribadu never lived to see the fulfilment of his prophesy, as he answered the divine call on May 1st, 1965, the eve of the 1966 coup, which disrupted the politics of the first republic and the eventual three-year Nigerian civil war.

Like Ribadu predicted, scores of soldiers laid down their lives to break the cord of secessionists in Nigeria. These soldiers died so that we could live and for the nation to thrive in unity, peace and progress.  The need to give  soldiers  absolute comfort in peace times was the strong message conveyed by the ditty of the cerebral Ribadu.

He was lucid that a soldier must be entitled to all the niceties and luxuries of life, hence in times of war, the soldier is the first to sacrifice his life for others to live.

Is there any justification for anyone to claim, a soldier does not value his life or entitled to the epicurean lifestyles of the rest of us? There is absolutely no reason.

So, as the then serving Minister of Defence, Ribadu ensured rapid expansion of the Nigerian Army and other arms of the military. In tandem with his mindset of welfare for the soldier, Ribadu established the Defence Industries Corporation and many other such initiatives designed for the comfort of soldiers.

It is the same philosophy, the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and ombudsman of the counter-insurgency war, Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai has imbibed in his leadership of the Nigerian Army. The Army Chief believes soldiers have signed a pact to die for us. They keep vigil for us to sleep in peace; they accept the bullets of the enemy for us to have life. The Army is a call only for the strong-hearted and soldiers deserve maximum comfort.

Naval war veteran and former US President, John F. Kennedy, fondly exhumes this pride in military service when he said; "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.”

Gen. Buratai is a combatant soldier who is fired by the innate passion of service to humanity. He is an epitome of an ideal soldier anywhere in the world. My perception of him is that of an officer who embodies selflessness, patriotism, excellence and loyalty in leadership. Like Ribadu, he prioritizes the welfare of soldiers. Sun Tzu admonished military commanders to give every comfort to their soldiers and they can follow “you to the deepest valley.” Gen. Buratai is today fondly referred to as Sun Tzu of Africa by his  patriots and mentees within the military for religiously upholding soldiers' welfare and comfort like a commandment.

Gen. Buratai’s adoption of this philosophy is responsible for the Army’s winning streaks in the anti-insurgency battles. What has propelled our Army officers and soldiers to fight unflinchingly and win the war on terrorism is rooted in the policy of Gen. Buratai’s fixation on the absolute comfort and niceties his administration is building for soldiers nationwide.

Famously, the Army Chief instituted the culture of prompt and timely payment of salaries and allowances of soldiers. He considers it an inviolable and sacrosanct obligation especially for soldiers in the frontlines. The era of soldiers grumbling for non-payment of legitimate entitlements is long gone with Gen. Buratai on board.

Furthermore, Gen. Buratai knows a soldier deserves a decent and habitable shelter for himself and family. In 2016, barely months after he assumed office, Gen. Buratai’s heart was drenched in sorrow as bemoaned the years of neglect of accommodation for the Army thus; “The soldiers are staying in a very bad accommodation, it is unfortunate!” Therefore, his administration embarked on massive renovation of Army Barracks and offices to provide both residential and office accommodation for soldiers.

Such imprints of Barracks renovations or constructions signposted very early in his administration as noticeable in Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Jos; Obienu Barracks in Bauchi and  Nigerian Army Barracks in Bama among others. Gen. Buratai has also made provision of portable water in Army Barracks a fundamental objective, where it is also extended to host communities.

A few examples like the Army Division in Enugu and its host community, Abakpa feels this impact; the Rukuba and Miango communities are also serviced by the Multi-Purpose Dam at Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Jos. And it is replicated fairly in all Army Barracks across the nation.

The Army Chief has also initiated the building of new schools and refurbishment of old ones. He aggressively embarked on renovation and construction of new Army schools across Nigeria for children of Army officers and soldiers, starting from Abuja to elsewhere in the federation.

Access roads in Army Barracks are also rehabilitated, much like Army hospitals. Under Buratai’s leadership, soldiers enjoy a large dosage of comfort. He is aware that happy troops are the backbone to the success of any military expedition. 

Its apparent that Gen. Buratai’s passion for the Army and service to his fatherland is innate. It can be gleaned from the background that in his time as a teenager, many of his peers naturally dreaded the Army. The military was perceived as a fearsome and hazardous vocation.  Existing and working to die for others to live is a hard decision to adopt. But the young Buratai opted for it.

Himself the son of the World War II veteran, Mallam Yusuf Buratai  who served under the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) from Nigeria, Gen. Buratai is a descendant of the lineage of  chauvinists. So, he dreads no war and aims to conquer enemies of the state at all times.

Shortly before his demise two years back at the age of 106, the elder Buratai revealed that he never prodded his son to enlist in the Army, and that Gen. Buratai voluntarily opted for a military career.    Pa Buratai said,“I did not ask him to join the army. He joined willingly. When he finished school here in Maiduguri, there was an advertisement urging young men to join the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). He applied and was successful, so he voluntarily joined the army.”

Mallam Buratai believed that mankind must be freed from the excesses of demonically possessed souls and the only way to contribute his quota in enthroning global peace was the romance with the boots. He had a conviction that a soldier lives and dies for his country. He was infinitely sad with tales of soldiers these days, retreating from the battlefield in the face of enemy forces. That was his notion of the Army.

Therefore, Gen. Buratai has stood on these principles and perception of his father throughout his military career. It accounts for his superfluous performance as a soldier, crack combatant and leader for what his admirers have described as a rewarding military career to his nation.

As a leader of the Nigerian Army, Gen. Buratai finds the wisdom of Gen.  Colin Powell worthwhile. Powell proclaimed that  "The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow."

Thus, under Gen. Buratai’s leadership, the Nigerian Army has been on a steady progressive match in excellence and performance in all ramifications because he is an ardent exemplar in official duties. Nigerians have seen a reformed and re-professionalized Army, which is loyal and patriotic. Soldiers are recording remarkable and uninterruptedsuccesses in the battles against Boko Haram and bile insurrections in the country.

Soldiers under Gen. Buratai’s guidance have stamped their dominion in all special assignments in Nigeria. Soldiers engaged on Internal Security (IS) observe the highest professional standards, maintain maximum respect for human rights of Nigerians as well as humbly sticking to the Rules of Engagement (ROE). 

The Nigerian Army under Gen. Burataiis not only excelling in war, but expanding its base. From five Divisions of the NigerianArmy, which Gen. Buratai inherited in 2015, he has increased it to eight Army Divisions for ease of military operations. There are thousand Army Forward Bases stationed in crisis prone areas. Gen. Buratai has been able to establish an Army Aviation School and the Nigerian Army University, the first Army varsity in Africa within theshort time of his leadership.

In Gen. Buratai’s prosecution of the counter-terrorism war in Nigeria, he is resolute and resilient. Like the British Field Marshal Sir Herold Alexander said, Gen. Buratai knows, “The knowledge of not only the enemy’s strength and disposition, but also how, when and where he intends to carry out his operations; brought a new dimension to the prosecution of the war”

When Gen. Burtai hops into the trenches against insurgents, in the words of the British Air Marshall ‘Bomber’ Harris, he steps out vengefully because “They sowed the seed, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.”

In all the military engagements by Gen. Buratai and soldiers, they are exposed to grave dangers for no fault linked to them. Some have even paid the supreme price fighting to enthrone peace in a conflict they are oblivious of its causes. But they have remained loyal and patriotic to the entrenchment of peace. It now struck the wisdom of Ribadu in me, justifying why a soldier needs the best in peace times.

No doubt, Gen. Buratai has been inspired and guided by the advice his father offered him the first day he enlisted into the Army.  Pa Buratai counselled the young officer Buratai  to , “… be loyal to his superiors and constituted authority. I warned him to avoid any form of vice and I am grateful to God, he obeyed what I told him.”

It is the religious observance of this self-discipline or ethical code that has guided Gen. Buratai’s service elevation in the Army. This philosophy has always compelled Gen. Buratai to go the proverbial mile to seek comfort for soldiers. It explains why his leadership and administration of his office as COAS and leader of the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria is a success story.

Mohammed, a public affairs commentator wrote this piece from Minna, Niger State.
By Yakubu Mohammed

Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai
Gen. Tukur Yusufu
Buratai
“Soldiers would marry the prettiest women, live in the best homes, eat the best food, wear the best cloth and drive the best cars because when war comes, they die first” ---Muhamadu Ribadu

 I stumbled on this quote of Nigeria’s first Defence Minister after independence and a reputable Northern politician of his time, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu. He lived an eventful life between 1909 and 1965.

He was not a soldier, but knew exactly the pains of a soldier. So, I was fascinated at this catchy wisdom.  In Ribadu’s time, Nigeria knew no war, but peace. However, it was clear to his mind that peace could only, but be ephemeral, as there would come a time to war, when only soldiers are the dutiful rescuers.

It has struck me strongly that Ribadu must have been gifted with a stunning clairvoyance. He correctly envisaged that an Army in Nigeria would one day face war. He had the power of prediction; he had prophetic wisdom. Ribadu never lived to see the fulfilment of his prophesy, as he answered the divine call on May 1st, 1965, the eve of the 1966 coup, which disrupted the politics of the first republic and the eventual three-year Nigerian civil war.

Like Ribadu predicted, scores of soldiers laid down their lives to break the cord of secessionists in Nigeria. These soldiers died so that we could live and for the nation to thrive in unity, peace and progress.  The need to give  soldiers  absolute comfort in peace times was the strong message conveyed by the ditty of the cerebral Ribadu.

He was lucid that a soldier must be entitled to all the niceties and luxuries of life, hence in times of war, the soldier is the first to sacrifice his life for others to live.

Is there any justification for anyone to claim, a soldier does not value his life or entitled to the epicurean lifestyles of the rest of us? There is absolutely no reason.

So, as the then serving Minister of Defence, Ribadu ensured rapid expansion of the Nigerian Army and other arms of the military. In tandem with his mindset of welfare for the soldier, Ribadu established the Defence Industries Corporation and many other such initiatives designed for the comfort of soldiers.

It is the same philosophy, the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and ombudsman of the counter-insurgency war, Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai has imbibed in his leadership of the Nigerian Army. The Army Chief believes soldiers have signed a pact to die for us. They keep vigil for us to sleep in peace; they accept the bullets of the enemy for us to have life. The Army is a call only for the strong-hearted and soldiers deserve maximum comfort.

Naval war veteran and former US President, John F. Kennedy, fondly exhumes this pride in military service when he said; "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.”

Gen. Buratai is a combatant soldier who is fired by the innate passion of service to humanity. He is an epitome of an ideal soldier anywhere in the world. My perception of him is that of an officer who embodies selflessness, patriotism, excellence and loyalty in leadership. Like Ribadu, he prioritizes the welfare of soldiers. Sun Tzu admonished military commanders to give every comfort to their soldiers and they can follow “you to the deepest valley.” Gen. Buratai is today fondly referred to as Sun Tzu of Africa by his  patriots and mentees within the military for religiously upholding soldiers' welfare and comfort like a commandment.

Gen. Buratai’s adoption of this philosophy is responsible for the Army’s winning streaks in the anti-insurgency battles. What has propelled our Army officers and soldiers to fight unflinchingly and win the war on terrorism is rooted in the policy of Gen. Buratai’s fixation on the absolute comfort and niceties his administration is building for soldiers nationwide.

Famously, the Army Chief instituted the culture of prompt and timely payment of salaries and allowances of soldiers. He considers it an inviolable and sacrosanct obligation especially for soldiers in the frontlines. The era of soldiers grumbling for non-payment of legitimate entitlements is long gone with Gen. Buratai on board.

Furthermore, Gen. Buratai knows a soldier deserves a decent and habitable shelter for himself and family. In 2016, barely months after he assumed office, Gen. Buratai’s heart was drenched in sorrow as bemoaned the years of neglect of accommodation for the Army thus; “The soldiers are staying in a very bad accommodation, it is unfortunate!” Therefore, his administration embarked on massive renovation of Army Barracks and offices to provide both residential and office accommodation for soldiers.

Such imprints of Barracks renovations or constructions signposted very early in his administration as noticeable in Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Jos; Obienu Barracks in Bauchi and  Nigerian Army Barracks in Bama among others. Gen. Buratai has also made provision of portable water in Army Barracks a fundamental objective, where it is also extended to host communities.

A few examples like the Army Division in Enugu and its host community, Abakpa feels this impact; the Rukuba and Miango communities are also serviced by the Multi-Purpose Dam at Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Jos. And it is replicated fairly in all Army Barracks across the nation.

The Army Chief has also initiated the building of new schools and refurbishment of old ones. He aggressively embarked on renovation and construction of new Army schools across Nigeria for children of Army officers and soldiers, starting from Abuja to elsewhere in the federation.

Access roads in Army Barracks are also rehabilitated, much like Army hospitals. Under Buratai’s leadership, soldiers enjoy a large dosage of comfort. He is aware that happy troops are the backbone to the success of any military expedition. 

Its apparent that Gen. Buratai’s passion for the Army and service to his fatherland is innate. It can be gleaned from the background that in his time as a teenager, many of his peers naturally dreaded the Army. The military was perceived as a fearsome and hazardous vocation.  Existing and working to die for others to live is a hard decision to adopt. But the young Buratai opted for it.

Himself the son of the World War II veteran, Mallam Yusuf Buratai  who served under the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) from Nigeria, Gen. Buratai is a descendant of the lineage of  chauvinists. So, he dreads no war and aims to conquer enemies of the state at all times.

Shortly before his demise two years back at the age of 106, the elder Buratai revealed that he never prodded his son to enlist in the Army, and that Gen. Buratai voluntarily opted for a military career.    Pa Buratai said,“I did not ask him to join the army. He joined willingly. When he finished school here in Maiduguri, there was an advertisement urging young men to join the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). He applied and was successful, so he voluntarily joined the army.”

Mallam Buratai believed that mankind must be freed from the excesses of demonically possessed souls and the only way to contribute his quota in enthroning global peace was the romance with the boots. He had a conviction that a soldier lives and dies for his country. He was infinitely sad with tales of soldiers these days, retreating from the battlefield in the face of enemy forces. That was his notion of the Army.

Therefore, Gen. Buratai has stood on these principles and perception of his father throughout his military career. It accounts for his superfluous performance as a soldier, crack combatant and leader for what his admirers have described as a rewarding military career to his nation.

As a leader of the Nigerian Army, Gen. Buratai finds the wisdom of Gen.  Colin Powell worthwhile. Powell proclaimed that  "The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow."

Thus, under Gen. Buratai’s leadership, the Nigerian Army has been on a steady progressive match in excellence and performance in all ramifications because he is an ardent exemplar in official duties. Nigerians have seen a reformed and re-professionalized Army, which is loyal and patriotic. Soldiers are recording remarkable and uninterruptedsuccesses in the battles against Boko Haram and bile insurrections in the country.

Soldiers under Gen. Buratai’s guidance have stamped their dominion in all special assignments in Nigeria. Soldiers engaged on Internal Security (IS) observe the highest professional standards, maintain maximum respect for human rights of Nigerians as well as humbly sticking to the Rules of Engagement (ROE). 

The Nigerian Army under Gen. Burataiis not only excelling in war, but expanding its base. From five Divisions of the NigerianArmy, which Gen. Buratai inherited in 2015, he has increased it to eight Army Divisions for ease of military operations. There are thousand Army Forward Bases stationed in crisis prone areas. Gen. Buratai has been able to establish an Army Aviation School and the Nigerian Army University, the first Army varsity in Africa within theshort time of his leadership.

In Gen. Buratai’s prosecution of the counter-terrorism war in Nigeria, he is resolute and resilient. Like the British Field Marshal Sir Herold Alexander said, Gen. Buratai knows, “The knowledge of not only the enemy’s strength and disposition, but also how, when and where he intends to carry out his operations; brought a new dimension to the prosecution of the war”

When Gen. Burtai hops into the trenches against insurgents, in the words of the British Air Marshall ‘Bomber’ Harris, he steps out vengefully because “They sowed the seed, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.”

In all the military engagements by Gen. Buratai and soldiers, they are exposed to grave dangers for no fault linked to them. Some have even paid the supreme price fighting to enthrone peace in a conflict they are oblivious of its causes. But they have remained loyal and patriotic to the entrenchment of peace. It now struck the wisdom of Ribadu in me, justifying why a soldier needs the best in peace times.

No doubt, Gen. Buratai has been inspired and guided by the advice his father offered him the first day he enlisted into the Army.  Pa Buratai counselled the young officer Buratai  to , “… be loyal to his superiors and constituted authority. I warned him to avoid any form of vice and I am grateful to God, he obeyed what I told him.”

It is the religious observance of this self-discipline or ethical code that has guided Gen. Buratai’s service elevation in the Army. This philosophy has always compelled Gen. Buratai to go the proverbial mile to seek comfort for soldiers. It explains why his leadership and administration of his office as COAS and leader of the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria is a success story.

Mohammed, a public affairs commentator wrote this piece from Minna, Niger State.

Boko Haram, Ndume and the Rest of Us, By Abraham Yomi

Boko Haram, Ndume and the Rest of Us, By Abraham Yomi

By Abraham Yomi

Senator Ali Ndume
Senator Ali Ndume is a lucky man. But that luck has become torture for him so he is desperate to undo it in the hope that he can point to whatever sufferings follows as proof that karma has dealt him punishment for the bad things he has done against the land, against the rest of us. He is hooked on seeking redemption through penance for being among the leading financial backers and strategic supporters of Boko Haram terrorist group, more like the major godfather that allowed it grow from an irritant band of extremists into the bloodthirsty machine that requires the army to destroy.

The court of law might have acquitted Ndume of sponsoring Boko Haram but the real court, the court presided over by conscience has not allowed him rest. He knows that minus the technicalities that sometimes allow hardened criminals to evade justice, the arrest of the spokesman of the terrorist sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, also known Al-Zawahiri, in his house is a crime that is intolerable. It is understandable if this has sent him into a manic-depressive spin.
That acquittal has damaged Ndume on two levels.

 First is that he suffers the pain of not being able to satisfactorily pay for his sins, which makes him feel haunted by the sheer number of people that his associates have killed. It is this profound guilt that seems to take charge in the moments he tend to display a nationalistic zeal about crushing or defeating Boko Haram.

But on the dark side, escaping justice has made an unrepentant monster out of a man that has benefited so much from terrorism that not even a troubled conscience can make him kick the addiction of getting highs from the killings he paid for. His being re-elected as the Senator representing Borno South District has worsened his identity crisis as he now goes around with the notion that it matters not that his political empire is built out of human skeletons and watered by blood. He will have no incentives to halt his murderous pastime.

Unfortunately, irrespective of what remorse he feels in his human moment, the inordinate ambition in him has become set in using Boko Haram to haunt the rest of us. He has graduated from merely housing the spokesperson of the terrorist group to becoming its defacto mouthpiece. Why be seen with senior propaganda commanders of Boko Haram when he can himself run the propaganda while exploiting parliamentary immunity that ensures no one remembers to charge him to court as was the case when he was found out harbouring a terrorist.


That explains Ndume’s new tactics of hiding behind oversight visits and poor budgetary funding to continue the work he has being doing for Boko Haram terrorists, helping them to project the Nigerian military, indeed the entire Nigerian state in bad light. To get this job done, he quoted figures of military fatalities that strongly confirm that he got his own tallies from Boko Haram commanders, who definitely inflated figures to create the impression that they gave the Nigerian military as much bloodied nose as they have been given the present administration first came into office. 

Ndume, who is handicapped enough to not know how to improve the lives of the people he claims to represents, was able to find graves and mass graves in a cemetery, making it sound as if cemeteries are meant to perform other functions other than holding human remains. Perhaps, his confusion arose from not seeing as many graves there as his boys had promised him he would find.


The Senator will never learn to the extent that the rest of us, particularly his constituents, have neglected to teach him the lessons he deserves to learn. His demotion from House Leader and rejection when he attempted to become the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria were befitting outcomes that had already set him on the path of rehabilitation from his obsessive pursuit of power.

But some people later fell for his blackmail and made him the chairman of Senate Committee on Army; if the intention of those that did this was to ‘give the cat custody of the fish’ then it is not working. This cat does not possess the requisite capacity for remorse to know not to eat the fish in its custody. Giving Ndume oversight of the Army in Senate has not done much to dampen his murderous pursuits. If anything, he now sees an easier way to achieve ascendancy for Boko Haram in a way that is far more effective than when he was holding secret telephone conversations with the group’s commanders or when he was providing them accommodation.


On top of that, the position has now given him the platform to play the hand we have given him against the country. He is now baiting the country, taunting the rest of us with a supposed prowess of Boko Haram against an Army we assigned with keeping us safe. It is a situation we should all be worried about for the very reason that this same man that is openly supporting Boko Haram gets to decide what funding the Army gets as it continues its war against terrorists. To the extent that he has not given up his ways, affiliation and sympathies for the group then the military will not get the legislative support it requires to function effectively.


Logic dictates that the Senate leadership should drop Ndume from the current role that gave him oversight of the Army. But even if the Senate gets around to doing this, Ndume will remain a threat to national security so long as he remains in the Senate. A country that has a pressing need to defeat terrorism cannot afford to have even one pro-terrorist lawmaker in its parliament, even when it is one facing the emotional crisis of confronting his past and ongoing romance with terrorists.


Yomi  is a security expert based in Lagos.
By Abraham Yomi

Senator Ali Ndume
Senator Ali Ndume is a lucky man. But that luck has become torture for him so he is desperate to undo it in the hope that he can point to whatever sufferings follows as proof that karma has dealt him punishment for the bad things he has done against the land, against the rest of us. He is hooked on seeking redemption through penance for being among the leading financial backers and strategic supporters of Boko Haram terrorist group, more like the major godfather that allowed it grow from an irritant band of extremists into the bloodthirsty machine that requires the army to destroy.

The court of law might have acquitted Ndume of sponsoring Boko Haram but the real court, the court presided over by conscience has not allowed him rest. He knows that minus the technicalities that sometimes allow hardened criminals to evade justice, the arrest of the spokesman of the terrorist sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, also known Al-Zawahiri, in his house is a crime that is intolerable. It is understandable if this has sent him into a manic-depressive spin.
That acquittal has damaged Ndume on two levels.

 First is that he suffers the pain of not being able to satisfactorily pay for his sins, which makes him feel haunted by the sheer number of people that his associates have killed. It is this profound guilt that seems to take charge in the moments he tend to display a nationalistic zeal about crushing or defeating Boko Haram.

But on the dark side, escaping justice has made an unrepentant monster out of a man that has benefited so much from terrorism that not even a troubled conscience can make him kick the addiction of getting highs from the killings he paid for. His being re-elected as the Senator representing Borno South District has worsened his identity crisis as he now goes around with the notion that it matters not that his political empire is built out of human skeletons and watered by blood. He will have no incentives to halt his murderous pastime.

Unfortunately, irrespective of what remorse he feels in his human moment, the inordinate ambition in him has become set in using Boko Haram to haunt the rest of us. He has graduated from merely housing the spokesperson of the terrorist group to becoming its defacto mouthpiece. Why be seen with senior propaganda commanders of Boko Haram when he can himself run the propaganda while exploiting parliamentary immunity that ensures no one remembers to charge him to court as was the case when he was found out harbouring a terrorist.


That explains Ndume’s new tactics of hiding behind oversight visits and poor budgetary funding to continue the work he has being doing for Boko Haram terrorists, helping them to project the Nigerian military, indeed the entire Nigerian state in bad light. To get this job done, he quoted figures of military fatalities that strongly confirm that he got his own tallies from Boko Haram commanders, who definitely inflated figures to create the impression that they gave the Nigerian military as much bloodied nose as they have been given the present administration first came into office. 

Ndume, who is handicapped enough to not know how to improve the lives of the people he claims to represents, was able to find graves and mass graves in a cemetery, making it sound as if cemeteries are meant to perform other functions other than holding human remains. Perhaps, his confusion arose from not seeing as many graves there as his boys had promised him he would find.


The Senator will never learn to the extent that the rest of us, particularly his constituents, have neglected to teach him the lessons he deserves to learn. His demotion from House Leader and rejection when he attempted to become the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria were befitting outcomes that had already set him on the path of rehabilitation from his obsessive pursuit of power.

But some people later fell for his blackmail and made him the chairman of Senate Committee on Army; if the intention of those that did this was to ‘give the cat custody of the fish’ then it is not working. This cat does not possess the requisite capacity for remorse to know not to eat the fish in its custody. Giving Ndume oversight of the Army in Senate has not done much to dampen his murderous pursuits. If anything, he now sees an easier way to achieve ascendancy for Boko Haram in a way that is far more effective than when he was holding secret telephone conversations with the group’s commanders or when he was providing them accommodation.


On top of that, the position has now given him the platform to play the hand we have given him against the country. He is now baiting the country, taunting the rest of us with a supposed prowess of Boko Haram against an Army we assigned with keeping us safe. It is a situation we should all be worried about for the very reason that this same man that is openly supporting Boko Haram gets to decide what funding the Army gets as it continues its war against terrorists. To the extent that he has not given up his ways, affiliation and sympathies for the group then the military will not get the legislative support it requires to function effectively.


Logic dictates that the Senate leadership should drop Ndume from the current role that gave him oversight of the Army. But even if the Senate gets around to doing this, Ndume will remain a threat to national security so long as he remains in the Senate. A country that has a pressing need to defeat terrorism cannot afford to have even one pro-terrorist lawmaker in its parliament, even when it is one facing the emotional crisis of confronting his past and ongoing romance with terrorists.


Yomi  is a security expert based in Lagos.

Analysis: Boko Haram, prayers, indoctrination and science

Analysis: Boko Haram, prayers, indoctrination and science

By Ademola Adegbamigbe

In recent times, two individuals dominated public discourse pertaining to the war by other means against Boko Haram: Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. They advocated the involvement of Muslim clerics in the war against Boko Haram. While the Borno Governor believes that with prayer, God could deploy Angel Gabriel and the hosts of heaven to smoke the insurgents out of their holes, Buratai’s position tilts more towards the pre-emptive approach of ideology or indoctrination.

The two men will be ranked in history along with men like Sun Tzu, author of Art of War and Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian general and military theorist who wrote the classic, On War. While Clausewitz argued that war “is the continuation of politics by other means,” Buratai and Zulum also advocated that religion is a continuation of war by other means!

Let us start with the latest. On 6 October Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State engaged 30 clerics from Saudi Arabia to pray over the insurgency in the North East, especially, Borno the epicentre. Zulum, a professor of Soil and Water Engineering at the University of Maiduguri before he became governor, according to The Punch, interacted with the devotees on 5 October at the Ka’aba, the Islamic holiest place located inside the grand Al-Haram mosque in Makkah, expressing gratitude and seeking continued prayers.

He told the devotees: “Rather than sending anyone, I am here, on behalf of the good people of Borno. I thank you so much for your empathy and the compassion in devoting yourselves to prayer for us every day at the Ka’aba which, for us as Muslims, is the most sacred place. We need prayers more than ever before; we are handling our problem from different approaches. Prayer is key to everything that we seek. We will continue to seek prayers from many fronts. We will keep supporting our clerics of different faiths in Nigeria for prayers and we will seek the same from all of you that are always here around the holy Ka’aba. I beg you; continue to pray for us towards achieving three things: first, for us to regain peace in Borno State, the North and Nigeria in general. We will have to continue to pray on a permanent basis because we need peace to be sustained. Secondly; we need prayers for us to achieve our ambitious plan for Borno State; and lastly, for Allah to make us remain focused and not to get carried away by power.”

In a statement signed by his image-maker, Isa Gusau,  Zulum signed the agreement with the selected persons “who are residents of Makkah, to permanently offer daily ‘Dawaf’ (circumambulation of the holy Ka’aba), to offer prayer for the return of sustained peace in Borno and the country.” He revealed that the men of God hailed variously from Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, Kano and parts of the northwest and they had been “spending hours at the Ka’aba daily for the purpose of worship.” One of them, as Gusau wrote in his press statement, had “been a Ka’aba devotee in the last 40 years.”

Guasau wrote further: “The critical move is aimed to combine different approaches that include sustained support for the Nigerian Armed Forces, aggressive mass recruitment and equipping of more counter-insurgency volunteers into the Civilian Joint Task Force, hunters and vigilantes as well as socio-economic approach to enhance access to education, job opportunities and provide other means of livelihood through social protection initiatives.”

Buratai, on the other hand, in a speech delivered on his behalf by Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen. Sani Yusuf on Monday, 30 October, submitted that insurgency cannot be stopped alone by the military “unless religious bodies and organisations in the country come to the forefront of the spiritual battle.”  It was at a spiritual warfare seminar at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, with the theme, ‘Countering insurgency and violent extremism in Nigeria through spiritual warfare.’ However, Buratai advised Islamic and Christian clerics to join the fight “against terrorism and reorient the people against negative ideologies.”

In his words: “It is easier to defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists than their ideology because while we degrade the terrorists and their havens, the narrative of the ideology grows the group. Therefore, communities, families and groups should join in the fight and narratives to reject and prevent the ideologies of the terrorists and extremist groups. Religious bodies and organisations in particular, which interface regularly with the grassroots, should be at the forefront of this spiritual battle and fashion out ways of stepping up their roles.

“It is a well-known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups cannot be totally eliminated by mainly military actions. This means focusing our efforts on the underlying narratives through ideologies employed by these terrorists to lure innocent citizens into their fold. The need to defeat the ideologies of Boko Haram and ISWAP is based on the awareness that it is the ideologies that enhance their resources and help to recruit new fighters to their fold and as such, kill their ideology and the terrorist movement withers and dies.”

Here is the difference between what Zulum and Buratai stood for. While the former advocated contemplative meditation and prayers, the Army Chief wanted clerics to target the area of ideology or indoctrination. Buratai’s position sounds more plausible for many reasons. The heart is from where every act originates and it is what comes out of the abundance of that organ that defines a man. That is why a man can be brainwashed to tie a bomb on his own body, go to a market place and blow himself and innocent persons into smithereens, his boldness made possible by the reward of heavenly bliss, complemented with beautiful virgins!

How the heart of man can be twisted this way happens from a child’s school impressionable age. An adult’s mind can become skewed too with the type of sermons or messages or religious books and exegeses he reads. Government, as I wrote on this platform in an article, Our National Pride, published on Wednesday, 21 May 2014, government at all levels has to do something decisive about the social condition that threw up Abubakar Shekau: poverty and the right education. Two examples will suffice here, one real, the other fictional.

On education, whether it is Western or Arabic, I wrote that it could be misdirected as was the case in the formative years of Osama bin Laden, the late leader of al-Qaeda, the international terror group that operated from the Middle East but caused mayhem in far-flung places.

‘As a pupil of Al-Thagher Model School, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, young Osama was indoctrinated by his Physical Education teacher, a Syrian. It was a time when King Faisal of Saudi Arabia needed expatriate teachers and some of those Muslim Brotherhood members, driven into the four winds by President Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt, became useful. After school, the man would gather the pupils, in the name of sports, to recite the Quran and narrate some parts of the Hadith. Then the man would veer off tangent and delve into some stories that were not parts of the teachings of their religion. One of such narratives is entitled, “A Boy Who Found God”.’

Steve Coll, in his New Yorker magazine piece, entitled “Young Osama”, wrote that there was this righteous and brave boy who wanted to please God. Since his father stood between him and quest for God, the teacher explained how the boy procured a bullet, loaded the gun, and made a plan. Strategically, the teacher would deliver the punch line: “Finally, the boy shot the father. Lord be praised.”

The pupils’ eyes would now be as wide as saucers, and as I wrote earlier, the faces of young demons in the making! Such instances of indoctrination abound in the Middle East and they happen during the impressionist age of school pupils. This reminds me of a Palestinian teacher in one of Leon Uris’ novels (Hajj or Exodus, I am not sure now). In an Arithmetic class, he asks the pupils: “If a Palestinian kills five out of six Zionists, how many Zionists do you have left?” The children would chorus “five Zionists”. It was a subtle way of brewing anti-Jew hate in the minds of Palestinian kids. And it worked.

I concluded that piece this way: ‘In Nigeria, therefore, it is not enough to build educational infrastructure. Parents and governments at all levels must monitor what teachers, pastor and Islamic clerics pack inside the brains of their wards in the western schools, churches and the various madrasas in the North. When you give all children (not only sons and daughters of emirs and chiefs) good education, you have provided a level playing field for wealth creation. Moreover, government should create more jobs to close the gap between the rich and poor.’

It is my humble submission that those criticising Buratai are uncharitable; they should revisit the speech read on his behalf. The man acknowledged how strong ideology and religious doctrines could breed monsters and war mongers. Buratai did not say he would not be brutal against Boko Haram the way President Muhammadu Buhari (as he told this magazine in 1993), gave the Chadian rebel, Hissen Habre, “a bloody nose” when he invaded part of Nigeria’s terrotory.
By Ademola Adegbamigbe

In recent times, two individuals dominated public discourse pertaining to the war by other means against Boko Haram: Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. They advocated the involvement of Muslim clerics in the war against Boko Haram. While the Borno Governor believes that with prayer, God could deploy Angel Gabriel and the hosts of heaven to smoke the insurgents out of their holes, Buratai’s position tilts more towards the pre-emptive approach of ideology or indoctrination.

The two men will be ranked in history along with men like Sun Tzu, author of Art of War and Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian general and military theorist who wrote the classic, On War. While Clausewitz argued that war “is the continuation of politics by other means,” Buratai and Zulum also advocated that religion is a continuation of war by other means!

Let us start with the latest. On 6 October Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State engaged 30 clerics from Saudi Arabia to pray over the insurgency in the North East, especially, Borno the epicentre. Zulum, a professor of Soil and Water Engineering at the University of Maiduguri before he became governor, according to The Punch, interacted with the devotees on 5 October at the Ka’aba, the Islamic holiest place located inside the grand Al-Haram mosque in Makkah, expressing gratitude and seeking continued prayers.

He told the devotees: “Rather than sending anyone, I am here, on behalf of the good people of Borno. I thank you so much for your empathy and the compassion in devoting yourselves to prayer for us every day at the Ka’aba which, for us as Muslims, is the most sacred place. We need prayers more than ever before; we are handling our problem from different approaches. Prayer is key to everything that we seek. We will continue to seek prayers from many fronts. We will keep supporting our clerics of different faiths in Nigeria for prayers and we will seek the same from all of you that are always here around the holy Ka’aba. I beg you; continue to pray for us towards achieving three things: first, for us to regain peace in Borno State, the North and Nigeria in general. We will have to continue to pray on a permanent basis because we need peace to be sustained. Secondly; we need prayers for us to achieve our ambitious plan for Borno State; and lastly, for Allah to make us remain focused and not to get carried away by power.”

In a statement signed by his image-maker, Isa Gusau,  Zulum signed the agreement with the selected persons “who are residents of Makkah, to permanently offer daily ‘Dawaf’ (circumambulation of the holy Ka’aba), to offer prayer for the return of sustained peace in Borno and the country.” He revealed that the men of God hailed variously from Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, Kano and parts of the northwest and they had been “spending hours at the Ka’aba daily for the purpose of worship.” One of them, as Gusau wrote in his press statement, had “been a Ka’aba devotee in the last 40 years.”

Guasau wrote further: “The critical move is aimed to combine different approaches that include sustained support for the Nigerian Armed Forces, aggressive mass recruitment and equipping of more counter-insurgency volunteers into the Civilian Joint Task Force, hunters and vigilantes as well as socio-economic approach to enhance access to education, job opportunities and provide other means of livelihood through social protection initiatives.”

Buratai, on the other hand, in a speech delivered on his behalf by Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen. Sani Yusuf on Monday, 30 October, submitted that insurgency cannot be stopped alone by the military “unless religious bodies and organisations in the country come to the forefront of the spiritual battle.”  It was at a spiritual warfare seminar at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, with the theme, ‘Countering insurgency and violent extremism in Nigeria through spiritual warfare.’ However, Buratai advised Islamic and Christian clerics to join the fight “against terrorism and reorient the people against negative ideologies.”

In his words: “It is easier to defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists than their ideology because while we degrade the terrorists and their havens, the narrative of the ideology grows the group. Therefore, communities, families and groups should join in the fight and narratives to reject and prevent the ideologies of the terrorists and extremist groups. Religious bodies and organisations in particular, which interface regularly with the grassroots, should be at the forefront of this spiritual battle and fashion out ways of stepping up their roles.

“It is a well-known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups cannot be totally eliminated by mainly military actions. This means focusing our efforts on the underlying narratives through ideologies employed by these terrorists to lure innocent citizens into their fold. The need to defeat the ideologies of Boko Haram and ISWAP is based on the awareness that it is the ideologies that enhance their resources and help to recruit new fighters to their fold and as such, kill their ideology and the terrorist movement withers and dies.”

Here is the difference between what Zulum and Buratai stood for. While the former advocated contemplative meditation and prayers, the Army Chief wanted clerics to target the area of ideology or indoctrination. Buratai’s position sounds more plausible for many reasons. The heart is from where every act originates and it is what comes out of the abundance of that organ that defines a man. That is why a man can be brainwashed to tie a bomb on his own body, go to a market place and blow himself and innocent persons into smithereens, his boldness made possible by the reward of heavenly bliss, complemented with beautiful virgins!

How the heart of man can be twisted this way happens from a child’s school impressionable age. An adult’s mind can become skewed too with the type of sermons or messages or religious books and exegeses he reads. Government, as I wrote on this platform in an article, Our National Pride, published on Wednesday, 21 May 2014, government at all levels has to do something decisive about the social condition that threw up Abubakar Shekau: poverty and the right education. Two examples will suffice here, one real, the other fictional.

On education, whether it is Western or Arabic, I wrote that it could be misdirected as was the case in the formative years of Osama bin Laden, the late leader of al-Qaeda, the international terror group that operated from the Middle East but caused mayhem in far-flung places.

‘As a pupil of Al-Thagher Model School, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, young Osama was indoctrinated by his Physical Education teacher, a Syrian. It was a time when King Faisal of Saudi Arabia needed expatriate teachers and some of those Muslim Brotherhood members, driven into the four winds by President Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt, became useful. After school, the man would gather the pupils, in the name of sports, to recite the Quran and narrate some parts of the Hadith. Then the man would veer off tangent and delve into some stories that were not parts of the teachings of their religion. One of such narratives is entitled, “A Boy Who Found God”.’

Steve Coll, in his New Yorker magazine piece, entitled “Young Osama”, wrote that there was this righteous and brave boy who wanted to please God. Since his father stood between him and quest for God, the teacher explained how the boy procured a bullet, loaded the gun, and made a plan. Strategically, the teacher would deliver the punch line: “Finally, the boy shot the father. Lord be praised.”

The pupils’ eyes would now be as wide as saucers, and as I wrote earlier, the faces of young demons in the making! Such instances of indoctrination abound in the Middle East and they happen during the impressionist age of school pupils. This reminds me of a Palestinian teacher in one of Leon Uris’ novels (Hajj or Exodus, I am not sure now). In an Arithmetic class, he asks the pupils: “If a Palestinian kills five out of six Zionists, how many Zionists do you have left?” The children would chorus “five Zionists”. It was a subtle way of brewing anti-Jew hate in the minds of Palestinian kids. And it worked.

I concluded that piece this way: ‘In Nigeria, therefore, it is not enough to build educational infrastructure. Parents and governments at all levels must monitor what teachers, pastor and Islamic clerics pack inside the brains of their wards in the western schools, churches and the various madrasas in the North. When you give all children (not only sons and daughters of emirs and chiefs) good education, you have provided a level playing field for wealth creation. Moreover, government should create more jobs to close the gap between the rich and poor.’

It is my humble submission that those criticising Buratai are uncharitable; they should revisit the speech read on his behalf. The man acknowledged how strong ideology and religious doctrines could breed monsters and war mongers. Buratai did not say he would not be brutal against Boko Haram the way President Muhammadu Buhari (as he told this magazine in 1993), gave the Chadian rebel, Hissen Habre, “a bloody nose” when he invaded part of Nigeria’s terrotory.

El-Rufai Politics And Our Tachas, By Firsts Baba Isa

El-Rufai Politics And Our Tachas, By Firsts Baba Isa


El-Rufai and Tacha

El Rufai sent his son to a public school; it is politics. 

El Rufai pays minimum wage; it is politics.

All these is because of 2023. He wants to be president. He should stop deceiving us.

Well, El Rufai is not deceiving me. I know it's politics. The man, like all other governors, is a politician; I don't expect him to play football. Politicians play politics. All of them. Wait, let me repeat that so that you don't miss it: I said all politicians play politics. If you meet anyone who says he is not playing politics, then that one is the patron saint of liars.

So now that you know that all politicians play politics, your concern should be what kind of politics are they playing, especially with the office you gave them and the resources they control. 

Those who don't have even one of their children in a public school in Nigeria are also playing politics. Is that the kind of politics you want? Won't you prefer a governor who will have even if it is a child, just one, in a public school? 

Those governors who have refused to pay workers salaries are also playing politics. Won't you rather have a governor that play politics by paying salaries and paying the minimum wage that even the Federal Government is still debating on?

It is never about whether this politician or that politician is playing politics or not, it is always about the brand of politics being played with your life that you think you deserve.

In the final analysis, this is about our acute poverty and evidence of being shackled to penury and maladministration by the ruling class. 59 years after Independence it is still headline news that a governor enrolls his son in a public school; it is news because we have come to accept that our schools are shitholes. We are still celebrating N30, 000 minimum wage in a country blessed with so much natural and human resources; we are grateful for crumbs from their table.

We are so backward that just one toe ahead is celebrated as forward. We are a conquered people and our slave masters are our own brothers. Gradually we are losing our humanity so much so that we consider it a favour if our leaders eat what we eat, drink what we drink and send their children to our schools or hospitals. 

One day we will wake up and see: "Breaking News: Governor El Rufai, his colleagues and their children breath the same oxygen like the rest of us," and we will be expected to be grateful.

For now, we can only lift up our eyes to heaven and cry, "Oh Biggie, deliver us from all these Tachas."

- Firsts Baba Isa (FBI) is a legal Practitioner and writes from Abuja.
meandisa@gmail.com

El-Rufai and Tacha

El Rufai sent his son to a public school; it is politics. 

El Rufai pays minimum wage; it is politics.

All these is because of 2023. He wants to be president. He should stop deceiving us.

Well, El Rufai is not deceiving me. I know it's politics. The man, like all other governors, is a politician; I don't expect him to play football. Politicians play politics. All of them. Wait, let me repeat that so that you don't miss it: I said all politicians play politics. If you meet anyone who says he is not playing politics, then that one is the patron saint of liars.

So now that you know that all politicians play politics, your concern should be what kind of politics are they playing, especially with the office you gave them and the resources they control. 

Those who don't have even one of their children in a public school in Nigeria are also playing politics. Is that the kind of politics you want? Won't you prefer a governor who will have even if it is a child, just one, in a public school? 

Those governors who have refused to pay workers salaries are also playing politics. Won't you rather have a governor that play politics by paying salaries and paying the minimum wage that even the Federal Government is still debating on?

It is never about whether this politician or that politician is playing politics or not, it is always about the brand of politics being played with your life that you think you deserve.

In the final analysis, this is about our acute poverty and evidence of being shackled to penury and maladministration by the ruling class. 59 years after Independence it is still headline news that a governor enrolls his son in a public school; it is news because we have come to accept that our schools are shitholes. We are still celebrating N30, 000 minimum wage in a country blessed with so much natural and human resources; we are grateful for crumbs from their table.

We are so backward that just one toe ahead is celebrated as forward. We are a conquered people and our slave masters are our own brothers. Gradually we are losing our humanity so much so that we consider it a favour if our leaders eat what we eat, drink what we drink and send their children to our schools or hospitals. 

One day we will wake up and see: "Breaking News: Governor El Rufai, his colleagues and their children breath the same oxygen like the rest of us," and we will be expected to be grateful.

For now, we can only lift up our eyes to heaven and cry, "Oh Biggie, deliver us from all these Tachas."

- Firsts Baba Isa (FBI) is a legal Practitioner and writes from Abuja.
meandisa@gmail.com

Winners Chapel Is An Evil Church?, By FBI

Winners Chapel Is An Evil Church?, By FBI

By Firsts Baba Isa (FBI)

I sat down there. Painfully listening to this girl spew rubbish. The younger me would have answered her but the older me is wiser. Answering her will not help anybody. My time will come... Most times it does. But if it doesn't this time around, at least we will all go in peace.

She is Igbo. And she was telling everyone at the top of her voice how she will rather die than marry a Yoruba man. Yorubas are too tribalistic. They are dishonest people. They are this. They are that.

O God I was dying to tell her to shut up. How can such an educated girl spew such rubbish? See, you have a right to decide which tribe or race you want to marry from but concluding that a particular tribe is entirely bad or entirely good is a low form of foolish.

I was telling my friend the other day that one of the persons who really inspired me to do law is Igbo (himself a lawyer), another Igbo even supported me financially in Law School but some of the most dishonest lawyers I have met are Igbos.

So the point is every tribe has good and bad people. Period. If we do a proper research we will see that the people that have caused us the most hurt are members of our household, village or tribe. Na them we no suppose marry sef.

The best way to check personal stupidity level is when one is behaving as if he even chose to be born in a particular place or into a particular tribe. No you didn't! Stop the arrogance already.

You dated one Tiv girl who broke your heart and now all Tiv girls are whores. One Igbo man cheated you in the market and now all of them are thieves. Excuse me? Has your brain been hacked?

God caught that girl.

Just when we are at Mararaba, she started giving us flyers, inviting us to attend Winners Chapel, Goshen. I smiled that wicked FBI smile that only Firstlady can decode. If she was there she would have just known there was something up my sleeves.

She tapped my shoulder: "Oga let me invite you to service tomorrow at Goshen. It will be a great time. Our Bishop will..."

"I'm not attending that evil church!"

Freeze. Dead silence in the bus.

"Excuse me sir?" She was clearly taken aback in a frightened way. I had been the most quite in the bus. She didn't see it coming.

"Is it not Winners Chapel?"

"Yes?"

"Founded by Bishop David Oyedepo? And the one in Goshen headed by Bishop David Abioye?"

Impatiently. "Yes?"

"It's an evil church na. The two bishops are Yoruba men. And you have spent over one hour from Makurdi to Lafia convincing us of how evil Yoruba men are. So that church must be evil. Thank you for opening my eyes."

She was petrified. She sat down without saying a word. Everybody started laughing. Clapping. And talking at once.

Me: just looking forward to hug Firstlady. Dazzol.

You see the foolishness of tribal sentiments? You can't marry a Yoruba man because they are evil. Then you go to church on Sunday and a Yoruba man prays for you in the name of a Jew and you shout "Amen!"

Mtcheew.

- Firsts Baba Isa (FBI)
By Firsts Baba Isa (FBI)

I sat down there. Painfully listening to this girl spew rubbish. The younger me would have answered her but the older me is wiser. Answering her will not help anybody. My time will come... Most times it does. But if it doesn't this time around, at least we will all go in peace.

She is Igbo. And she was telling everyone at the top of her voice how she will rather die than marry a Yoruba man. Yorubas are too tribalistic. They are dishonest people. They are this. They are that.

O God I was dying to tell her to shut up. How can such an educated girl spew such rubbish? See, you have a right to decide which tribe or race you want to marry from but concluding that a particular tribe is entirely bad or entirely good is a low form of foolish.

I was telling my friend the other day that one of the persons who really inspired me to do law is Igbo (himself a lawyer), another Igbo even supported me financially in Law School but some of the most dishonest lawyers I have met are Igbos.

So the point is every tribe has good and bad people. Period. If we do a proper research we will see that the people that have caused us the most hurt are members of our household, village or tribe. Na them we no suppose marry sef.

The best way to check personal stupidity level is when one is behaving as if he even chose to be born in a particular place or into a particular tribe. No you didn't! Stop the arrogance already.

You dated one Tiv girl who broke your heart and now all Tiv girls are whores. One Igbo man cheated you in the market and now all of them are thieves. Excuse me? Has your brain been hacked?

God caught that girl.

Just when we are at Mararaba, she started giving us flyers, inviting us to attend Winners Chapel, Goshen. I smiled that wicked FBI smile that only Firstlady can decode. If she was there she would have just known there was something up my sleeves.

She tapped my shoulder: "Oga let me invite you to service tomorrow at Goshen. It will be a great time. Our Bishop will..."

"I'm not attending that evil church!"

Freeze. Dead silence in the bus.

"Excuse me sir?" She was clearly taken aback in a frightened way. I had been the most quite in the bus. She didn't see it coming.

"Is it not Winners Chapel?"

"Yes?"

"Founded by Bishop David Oyedepo? And the one in Goshen headed by Bishop David Abioye?"

Impatiently. "Yes?"

"It's an evil church na. The two bishops are Yoruba men. And you have spent over one hour from Makurdi to Lafia convincing us of how evil Yoruba men are. So that church must be evil. Thank you for opening my eyes."

She was petrified. She sat down without saying a word. Everybody started laughing. Clapping. And talking at once.

Me: just looking forward to hug Firstlady. Dazzol.

You see the foolishness of tribal sentiments? You can't marry a Yoruba man because they are evil. Then you go to church on Sunday and a Yoruba man prays for you in the name of a Jew and you shout "Amen!"

Mtcheew.

- Firsts Baba Isa (FBI)

IMN: Between Civil Disobedience and Terrorism By Philip Agbese

IMN: Between Civil Disobedience and Terrorism By Philip Agbese

By Philip Agbese

In a world that has become global, replication of what has worked in other countries is expected. Civil disobedience has been used by some countries with appreciable results. There are examples to cite: Arab Spring, Orange Protest, Yellow Vests Protest and the ongoing Hong Kong protests.

But protests are not for terrorists. Global best practice is for protestors to act within limits dictated by the law of the land. Violence taints protests, removes legitimacy from the cause of protestors that rely on violence. Shedding blood in pursuit of any goal sours the end product. Purveyors of the Arab Spring can attest to this much; in countries where they used violence,  peace has taken flight. Find out from  Libya. It is a scenario that some embittered politicians are keen to replicate in Nigeria. They have been shopping for terrorists to blow up the country.


The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, is unaware of these dynamics. At the very least it is aware about them but is pretending that they do not exist. IMN never had a basis to protest. It has now worsened its lack of a basis by shedding blood when it invaded the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The blood on the hands of the brainwashed fighters of IMN is thick because it is the blood of policemen. The blood sticks fast to their hands because it was guns they shot at the policemen, when IMN had always claimed to have no weapon.

IMN fighters hurt even the populace that was once sympathetic. They stoned hapless Nigerians that were caught in the crossfire of the attack on policemen. Scores of cars were either torched or vandalized. If IMN claimed self defence in attacking the policemen what will it claim for harming innocent civilians? The Shia fanatics attacked people because their objective at the National Assembly was to cause terror. Unleashing violence is not new to this group. It has a long history of violence that earned it a ban in Kaduna state. Its members once killed a soldier for which they are still standing trial. They invaded Abuja and attempted to steal weapons from a military convoy in transit. They committed arson all over the city while putting its resident through hell by obstructing free flow of traffic. Add these to the invasion of the National Assembly and it is obvious this is no agitation. It is a posse of sectarian terrorists.

IMN counsel, Chief Femi Falana has confirmed that much. He warned the government against provoking an insurgency when his clients have already started one. A statement he officially issued said “This nation cannot afford another war of insurgency which is being provoked by the contemptuous conduct of the federal government in the handling of the case of the El-Zakzaky.”
Anyone that has doubt should by now realize that IMN is bent on escalating its protests to full terrorist attacks. Falana, their lawyer’s statement is a confirmation. Several IMN spokespersons have threatened insurgency as well. They make it sound like threats made in desperation but it is something they have prepared for.

It is sad that the lawmakers are taken in. They see helpless protestors in IMN fighters when terrorists are at their own very gates. But it is now proven that the resolution of the House was sold and purchased at the behest of the political opposition. Someone must educate our lawmakers that the differences between protestors and terrorists are as clear as the incompatibility of night and day. Terrorists attack the state, its agencies and organization while seeing civilians as fair game should they be caught in their attacks; terrorists make unrealistic demands like asking for a man standing trial for treason and murder to be freed without a verdict being reached by the bench. Protestors remain civil even in the face of extreme provocation, which IMN cannot lay claim to; protestors stick to realistic demands.

Those propping up IMN must thus desist. The invasion of the National Assembly, the shooting of policemen, the industrial scale arson against Nigerians should perturb even the most unrepentant of IMN sponsors. It happened before when Boko Haram terrorists turned upon their sponsors. It is a matter of time before IMN consumes those that are aiding and abetting it today. IMN may be the desirous bride of the opposition right now but when it bares its fangs as a terror group it will poison even its sponsors. The monster has already been created. Bad. The only good news is that the IMN genie is still in the bottle. That is if the opposition and poorly informed lawmakers will leave it right there in the bottle.

The situation calls for realistic approach to curbing IMN’s rise into an insurgent group. This is not the time for the kind of do-gooder pontificating that is making the round. Those seeking to be perceived as politically correct have no business here. The danger posed to Nigeria by this group negates any political capital to be made from promoting them. When the IMN storm that is being brewed makes landfall there will be no People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Igbo or Yoruba. It will be IMN terrorist group and its victims.

Agbese is a researcher in human rights laws and wrote from Middlesex University London.
By Philip Agbese

In a world that has become global, replication of what has worked in other countries is expected. Civil disobedience has been used by some countries with appreciable results. There are examples to cite: Arab Spring, Orange Protest, Yellow Vests Protest and the ongoing Hong Kong protests.

But protests are not for terrorists. Global best practice is for protestors to act within limits dictated by the law of the land. Violence taints protests, removes legitimacy from the cause of protestors that rely on violence. Shedding blood in pursuit of any goal sours the end product. Purveyors of the Arab Spring can attest to this much; in countries where they used violence,  peace has taken flight. Find out from  Libya. It is a scenario that some embittered politicians are keen to replicate in Nigeria. They have been shopping for terrorists to blow up the country.


The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, is unaware of these dynamics. At the very least it is aware about them but is pretending that they do not exist. IMN never had a basis to protest. It has now worsened its lack of a basis by shedding blood when it invaded the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The blood on the hands of the brainwashed fighters of IMN is thick because it is the blood of policemen. The blood sticks fast to their hands because it was guns they shot at the policemen, when IMN had always claimed to have no weapon.

IMN fighters hurt even the populace that was once sympathetic. They stoned hapless Nigerians that were caught in the crossfire of the attack on policemen. Scores of cars were either torched or vandalized. If IMN claimed self defence in attacking the policemen what will it claim for harming innocent civilians? The Shia fanatics attacked people because their objective at the National Assembly was to cause terror. Unleashing violence is not new to this group. It has a long history of violence that earned it a ban in Kaduna state. Its members once killed a soldier for which they are still standing trial. They invaded Abuja and attempted to steal weapons from a military convoy in transit. They committed arson all over the city while putting its resident through hell by obstructing free flow of traffic. Add these to the invasion of the National Assembly and it is obvious this is no agitation. It is a posse of sectarian terrorists.

IMN counsel, Chief Femi Falana has confirmed that much. He warned the government against provoking an insurgency when his clients have already started one. A statement he officially issued said “This nation cannot afford another war of insurgency which is being provoked by the contemptuous conduct of the federal government in the handling of the case of the El-Zakzaky.”
Anyone that has doubt should by now realize that IMN is bent on escalating its protests to full terrorist attacks. Falana, their lawyer’s statement is a confirmation. Several IMN spokespersons have threatened insurgency as well. They make it sound like threats made in desperation but it is something they have prepared for.

It is sad that the lawmakers are taken in. They see helpless protestors in IMN fighters when terrorists are at their own very gates. But it is now proven that the resolution of the House was sold and purchased at the behest of the political opposition. Someone must educate our lawmakers that the differences between protestors and terrorists are as clear as the incompatibility of night and day. Terrorists attack the state, its agencies and organization while seeing civilians as fair game should they be caught in their attacks; terrorists make unrealistic demands like asking for a man standing trial for treason and murder to be freed without a verdict being reached by the bench. Protestors remain civil even in the face of extreme provocation, which IMN cannot lay claim to; protestors stick to realistic demands.

Those propping up IMN must thus desist. The invasion of the National Assembly, the shooting of policemen, the industrial scale arson against Nigerians should perturb even the most unrepentant of IMN sponsors. It happened before when Boko Haram terrorists turned upon their sponsors. It is a matter of time before IMN consumes those that are aiding and abetting it today. IMN may be the desirous bride of the opposition right now but when it bares its fangs as a terror group it will poison even its sponsors. The monster has already been created. Bad. The only good news is that the IMN genie is still in the bottle. That is if the opposition and poorly informed lawmakers will leave it right there in the bottle.

The situation calls for realistic approach to curbing IMN’s rise into an insurgent group. This is not the time for the kind of do-gooder pontificating that is making the round. Those seeking to be perceived as politically correct have no business here. The danger posed to Nigeria by this group negates any political capital to be made from promoting them. When the IMN storm that is being brewed makes landfall there will be no People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Igbo or Yoruba. It will be IMN terrorist group and its victims.

Agbese is a researcher in human rights laws and wrote from Middlesex University London.

A discourse on the Security Chiefs in Nigeria By Professor Emmanuel Ome

A discourse on the Security Chiefs in Nigeria By Professor Emmanuel Ome

By Professor Emmanuel Ome

A lot has been said about the security situation in Nigeria. Some have said the situation has worsened, some have also said the situation has improved. While it's normal for divergent views on the security situation in Nigeria, one thing stands sacrosanct. The security  chiefs in Nigeria have  performed creditably well.

There is a significant challenge that I have come to realize in this country. A situation where, for inexplicable reasons, hard work is not always appreciated. A situation where people throw all manners of spanners in the wheels of progress. Also, a situation where people cry wolf where non exist.

I want to use the tenure of the present security chiefs in Nigeria as an example. I recall in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the security  chiefs, he did state that he never knew any one of them personally, but relied on the track record in their careers.

Most Nigerians didn’t believe it because it sounded strange and not the usual way of doing things in a country where one must have a godfather to be so appointed into a strategic or sensitive position of authority. But President Muhammadu Buhari changed the norm, and the nation was shocked.

But today he has proved that his judgment was not in error. Not in error in the sense that the security chiefs have lived up to expectations and defied all the odds to prove doubting Thomases  wrong that there are people whose passion and commitment to the Nigerian cause is unflinching.

A critical analysis of the security situation of the country before 2015 and now gives us a vivid example of how hard the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Olonisakin and the various services chiefs have worked towards ensuring that the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria is preserved at all cost. Make no mistakes. The present chiefs came on-board when Nigeria was on the brinks. There was the Boko Haram threat; there was also the Indigenous People of Biafra threat, the Niger Delta Avengers as well as that of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and other clandestine forces within and many being fueled from outside just  too numerous to mention.

That the Federal Capital Territory is now safe for all is a testament. That no local government in Nigeria is under the control of Boko Haram terrorist is also a testimony.  If these are not noteworthy, I don’t know what else to call it.

We must be true to ourselves to know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes, there might be pockets of security challenges here and there, but if we must admit, we have made substantial progress in ensuring that Nigeria is safe for all. 

And this brings me to the call in recent times about the suitability of President Muhammadu Buhari continuing with the present security  chiefs in his next tenure. This is quite an interesting topic that I would like to highlight on in this piece.

As a start, it is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint those he feels he can work with. It is also the prerogative of the president to know those who have delivered in their national assignments.

I, therefore, ask, what will be the problem if the Security  Chiefs also make the President's second term list for another four years? What is the difference between civilian appointments and military appointments? What does the constitution say about appointments?

I stand to be corrected; it is only those with mischief that would want to impress on the president to change a winning team. But they forget that the president himself was once a member of the constituency and he knows what to expect from those handling the various services in the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

If we must admit, the past four years have witnessed the rebuilding of state institutions like the military that saw an unimaginable level of rot with the morale of its personnel  at its lowest ebb. But can we say of that now? Your guess is as good as mine.

If only we could realize the efforts made towards ensuring that the military institution recovers from the rot it was entangled in by past administrations. This much can be seen in the substantial gains recorded since 2015. Those that have refused to be on the side of the truth probably are basking in the prism of their selfish interest. Just maybe, it has not been business as usual for them, and as such there must be a change in leadership so that they can take advantage of the heist that reigned supreme in previous administrations.

As a researcher, I can say that I know what has gone into making the military institution what it is today. I also know for a fact that the Nigerian military of today has experienced a transformation that has defied the odds. The odds that stated that Nigerian would disintegrate. The odds that posited that Boko Haram was going to overrun the country and establish caliphates. The odds that stated that the people of Zaria would not know peace under the threat of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. The odds that also predicted that the Niger Delta Avengers would cripple critical oil infrastructures and cripple the economy. But they were proved wrong.

All of these didn’t happen by magic. But for the efforts of a group of people who have strived day and night for Nigeria to stay united.  These are no mean feat, and we must give kudos to those that have made significant contributions in service to the country — starting with Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs.

Aside sentiments, I have always identified with the paradigm that posits that “you don’t fix it when it is not broken” and not in a sector as sensitive as the security architecture in the country.  I stand to be corrected, the bulk of Nigerians want the present crop of security  chiefs to continue in office for as long as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces so decide. Personally, changing the security  chiefs now would do the country no good. This is not to say there are not others out there, but we must understand the peculiarities of our security challenges and why there is a need for consistency. But it remains the president’s prerogative, and no one should make no mistakes about that. If the president so decides, we must give him that support and understanding.

In a similar light, the Customs has also not done badly in terms of revenue generation. This is another area where the president’s choice of appointment has also proven to be effective. Under the present arrangement, the Nigerian Customs Service has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of revenue generation, and Nigeria is better for it.

We cannot deny these facts, and as such we should stop playing to the gallery on the efforts of the present administration towards ensuring that Nigeria is on the path to greatness through the quality of appointments in these critical sectors.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is undergoing the same kind of healing permissible by Mr. President’s wisdom. It is a historical fact that has settled in our polity today that Godwin Emefiele will be the first CBN Governor to be appointed back to back for a second term. This tells much about President Buhari building strong institutions for our country and never interested in playing politics with critical aspects of our national life. Those who mouth ethnic and religious sentiments in appointments went to bed at this point.

I can go on non-stop on this topic. But I would not because I firmly believe that Nigeria is on the path of greatness. And those with a contrary opinion should provide us with facts and figures and not sentiments. Like I stated earlier. This is a discourse.

Ome is a professor at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
By Professor Emmanuel Ome

A lot has been said about the security situation in Nigeria. Some have said the situation has worsened, some have also said the situation has improved. While it's normal for divergent views on the security situation in Nigeria, one thing stands sacrosanct. The security  chiefs in Nigeria have  performed creditably well.

There is a significant challenge that I have come to realize in this country. A situation where, for inexplicable reasons, hard work is not always appreciated. A situation where people throw all manners of spanners in the wheels of progress. Also, a situation where people cry wolf where non exist.

I want to use the tenure of the present security chiefs in Nigeria as an example. I recall in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the security  chiefs, he did state that he never knew any one of them personally, but relied on the track record in their careers.

Most Nigerians didn’t believe it because it sounded strange and not the usual way of doing things in a country where one must have a godfather to be so appointed into a strategic or sensitive position of authority. But President Muhammadu Buhari changed the norm, and the nation was shocked.

But today he has proved that his judgment was not in error. Not in error in the sense that the security chiefs have lived up to expectations and defied all the odds to prove doubting Thomases  wrong that there are people whose passion and commitment to the Nigerian cause is unflinching.

A critical analysis of the security situation of the country before 2015 and now gives us a vivid example of how hard the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Olonisakin and the various services chiefs have worked towards ensuring that the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria is preserved at all cost. Make no mistakes. The present chiefs came on-board when Nigeria was on the brinks. There was the Boko Haram threat; there was also the Indigenous People of Biafra threat, the Niger Delta Avengers as well as that of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and other clandestine forces within and many being fueled from outside just  too numerous to mention.

That the Federal Capital Territory is now safe for all is a testament. That no local government in Nigeria is under the control of Boko Haram terrorist is also a testimony.  If these are not noteworthy, I don’t know what else to call it.

We must be true to ourselves to know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes, there might be pockets of security challenges here and there, but if we must admit, we have made substantial progress in ensuring that Nigeria is safe for all. 

And this brings me to the call in recent times about the suitability of President Muhammadu Buhari continuing with the present security  chiefs in his next tenure. This is quite an interesting topic that I would like to highlight on in this piece.

As a start, it is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint those he feels he can work with. It is also the prerogative of the president to know those who have delivered in their national assignments.

I, therefore, ask, what will be the problem if the Security  Chiefs also make the President's second term list for another four years? What is the difference between civilian appointments and military appointments? What does the constitution say about appointments?

I stand to be corrected; it is only those with mischief that would want to impress on the president to change a winning team. But they forget that the president himself was once a member of the constituency and he knows what to expect from those handling the various services in the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

If we must admit, the past four years have witnessed the rebuilding of state institutions like the military that saw an unimaginable level of rot with the morale of its personnel  at its lowest ebb. But can we say of that now? Your guess is as good as mine.

If only we could realize the efforts made towards ensuring that the military institution recovers from the rot it was entangled in by past administrations. This much can be seen in the substantial gains recorded since 2015. Those that have refused to be on the side of the truth probably are basking in the prism of their selfish interest. Just maybe, it has not been business as usual for them, and as such there must be a change in leadership so that they can take advantage of the heist that reigned supreme in previous administrations.

As a researcher, I can say that I know what has gone into making the military institution what it is today. I also know for a fact that the Nigerian military of today has experienced a transformation that has defied the odds. The odds that stated that Nigerian would disintegrate. The odds that posited that Boko Haram was going to overrun the country and establish caliphates. The odds that stated that the people of Zaria would not know peace under the threat of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. The odds that also predicted that the Niger Delta Avengers would cripple critical oil infrastructures and cripple the economy. But they were proved wrong.

All of these didn’t happen by magic. But for the efforts of a group of people who have strived day and night for Nigeria to stay united.  These are no mean feat, and we must give kudos to those that have made significant contributions in service to the country — starting with Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs.

Aside sentiments, I have always identified with the paradigm that posits that “you don’t fix it when it is not broken” and not in a sector as sensitive as the security architecture in the country.  I stand to be corrected, the bulk of Nigerians want the present crop of security  chiefs to continue in office for as long as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces so decide. Personally, changing the security  chiefs now would do the country no good. This is not to say there are not others out there, but we must understand the peculiarities of our security challenges and why there is a need for consistency. But it remains the president’s prerogative, and no one should make no mistakes about that. If the president so decides, we must give him that support and understanding.

In a similar light, the Customs has also not done badly in terms of revenue generation. This is another area where the president’s choice of appointment has also proven to be effective. Under the present arrangement, the Nigerian Customs Service has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of revenue generation, and Nigeria is better for it.

We cannot deny these facts, and as such we should stop playing to the gallery on the efforts of the present administration towards ensuring that Nigeria is on the path to greatness through the quality of appointments in these critical sectors.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is undergoing the same kind of healing permissible by Mr. President’s wisdom. It is a historical fact that has settled in our polity today that Godwin Emefiele will be the first CBN Governor to be appointed back to back for a second term. This tells much about President Buhari building strong institutions for our country and never interested in playing politics with critical aspects of our national life. Those who mouth ethnic and religious sentiments in appointments went to bed at this point.

I can go on non-stop on this topic. But I would not because I firmly believe that Nigeria is on the path of greatness. And those with a contrary opinion should provide us with facts and figures and not sentiments. Like I stated earlier. This is a discourse.

Ome is a professor at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Aisha is her father’s daughter By Lasisi Olagunju

Aisha is her father’s daughter By Lasisi Olagunju

By Lasisi Olagunju

(First Published in the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, June 3, 2019)

"As I watched our First Lady on television on Saturday, I saw dissent. I saw deviance. I saw resistance. I saw opposition to what the present gives. She is a rare combination of beauty, brain and bravery. She talks straight. Did you listen to what she said?"

"I heard her. She said the security agencies 'should either assist to take action or allow the situation to continue until bandits finished killing all our people.' That was quite tough."

"Are the times not tough already? Abeg, let her talk tough. Tough times demand tough people. If a man discovers a cobra under his pillow and faints, what shall we say is wrong if it is his wife who gets up and kills the snake? At least, we have someone speaking out, especially now that all the loud voices of the past have gone dumb, quiet. We don't even know what has taken their vocal cords away? Is it food or fear?"

‘Both, I think...’

"Well, I believe Mrs Aisha Buhari has done very well, filling the void. But the role she is playing is quite strange, very unusual; the face and voice of the opposition to the ways of her husband's government."

‘The apple does not fall far away from the tree. She is her father's daughter. Her granddad, Muhammadu Ribadu, was exactly like that: Bold, assertive, brilliant, even domineering. His nickname was Power of Powers.’
"Interesting."

‘He was our first republic minister of defence. He died early, at 55 years old on May 1, 1965. If he were around, the belief is there in the North that no one born of woman would have done what those Ibo soldiers did on January 15, 1966."

"Really?"

‘Yeah. He created the Nigerian Army as we have it; recruited brave and adventurous soldiers, including our current president and Murtala Mohammed and IBB and Shehu Yar'Adua and Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar. He loved the North, from Adamawa to Sokoto. At a point, he decreed that 50 per cent of the intake into the army must come from the North, 25 per cent each from the West and the East. He called it “the principle of regional balance”. That was what gave birth to the quota system we have today. He did whatever he wanted to do without allowing any statute or rule stand on his way.’

"Where were his bosses when he was doing all that?"

"He was second vice president of the Northern People's Congress (NPC) – that name sounds almost like today's All Progressives Congress (APC). It was the party in power in the first republic. Balewa was NPC's first vice president while Ahmadu Bello was president. Ribadu's biographer, Sidi H. Ali, wrote that as a very fearless, outspoken man, he was one minister who would 'silence Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa by just saying: “you Abubakar, you cannot do that or must do that.” To Sadauna, he acted similarly. He was just blunt and always to the point. He was...a man completely devoid of diplomacy." '"

"Interesting."

"Yeah. Very. Look for the biography, it is on page 15. There are many more there. He would fight his party men and support the other side, scoring own goals if doing that would bear long-term fruits for his people. He would not keep quiet whenever he found his own side was not doing well. You will be shocked at other things he did. If you listen to what our First Lady says and how she says it, and you believe in reincarnation, you would say Ribadu simply came back this time around as a woman."

"Hmmmmm."

"If you think Aisha is too impatient with today's go-slow, go and read page 33 of Ribadu's biography. I found something quite intriguing there. Have you ever heard of same person holding three ministerial positions?"

"Yes. Fashola just did..."

"Come on, not that kuekue kind. I am talking of real ministerial power triplets. For some days, Ribadu acted concurrently as prime minister and as minister of finance in addition to his own defence portfolio and minuted files, to himself, from each of these offices to the other - sending recommendations to himself and then giving approvals."

"It's a lie. How could that happen?"

"Ok. Listen to this, and I am quoting the book verbatim: “On another occasion, he was acting prime minister while Sir Abubakar (Tafawa Balewa) was out of Lagos. He was also acting minister of finance at the same time and holding his own substantive office as minister of defence. Then the question of purchasing a new office for the ministry of defence came up. He negotiated and purchased the place. He then wrote this in his file: ‘As minister of defence, I have bought the new office. As minister of finance, I have approved the purchase, and as prime minister, I have no objection.' ""

"He did that?!"

"Yes o. He did and no one dared query his judgement. Our first republic had such audacious people across all regions. There was a time Chief Samuel Akintola of the Western Region was told that his party's treasurer was building two houses simultaneously for himself with party funds. He summoned the party chief and shouted: "Lagbajaaa, they said you are constructing two buildings at the same time! Can't you build them one after the other...?" Akintola was to explain later that the man could not be punished because the person who reported him had also just completed a storey building for one of his numerous mistresses."

“Even such perfidy happened that time? Na wa o. Can we go back to Ribadu...”

"Yes, he was never afraid to tell truth to power – even in his own party."

"No wonder his granddaughter also says it as she feels, very clear-headed."

"Whatever...She recently said her husband's government has failed in taking care of the vulnerable."

"Ah haa! She didn't say that. Read her again. What she said was that the N500 billion Special Intervention Programme (SIP) of the federal government failed in the North, in Kano and did not reach her state, Adamawa..."

"Yes… and that a whole $16 million went into a mass purchase of mosquito nets."

"Imagine. $16 million to buy mosquito nets. How much is that in naira terms?”

"She also said that that humongous amount –$16 million –would actually fumigate all homes in Nigeria."

"She is something else. What was she suggesting? That our government of integrity misapplied that money? She can't be serious!"

"She kept talking of the North and of her state, Adamawa. I wish we all love our states as she does her own."

"Adamawa? I thought she is from Katsina. Or is Daura no longer in Katsina State?"

"That is her husband's state, not hers. Or you want her to do Change of State?"

"I actually thought as the First Lady, every state in Nigeria should be her state?"

"You are from the South, I suppose?"

"Yes."

"No wonder you are thinking with your anus. You know how someone described you people?"

"How?"

"Sophisticated morons."

"Very unfair. Very uncouth."

"Well...you just proved him right with your utopian recommendation of every state as our first family's state. It doesn't work that way. Every rope, no matter how long, must have a root, its beginning."

"Someone replied her. You heard that one too?"

"Yes. A woman who said our First Lady was ignorant."

"Was that how she put it? She said the mother of the nation spoke without having the correct knowledge of what she spoke about..."

"Hmmmmmm. What an insult!"

"What again?"

‘That person is a woman also?’

"Yes, Uwais, from the North. Very courageous too. Our women don't suffer in silence. They are manly."

"Northern women, you mean?"

"What is the difference? Are you suggesting that courage is a northern monopoly?"

"Can you point at any southern woman, or even man, in this government with the courage to speak truth to power or to take on even a remote relation of our strongman?"

"Speaking while eating is a dirty habit. We learnt that very early in our lives."

"People who won't talk when they should talk are dead, very dead. Not knowing when to break loose from crippling silence is always the foundation of misfortune."

"The First Lady said so on Saturday. She warned all of us: 'We should not keep silent while things are happening, thinking that if something happens today, it will not happen tomorrow. What happened today will happen tomorrow; it will also happen next tomorrow if we keep silent. It is compulsory to speak the truth. It is not proper for us to give the highest number of votes during the general elections and allow bandits to continue killing people and keep quiet. We must speak on whatever is going wrong in the country.' "

"She is right. Is there not a warning like: 'Resist much. Obey little' ?"

"Yes. That is 'Caution' from Walt Whitman. And he adds rather darkly: 'Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever afterwards resumes its liberty.' "

"I hope we will learn from Mrs Buhari and find our voice and reclaim our lives
By Lasisi Olagunju

(First Published in the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, June 3, 2019)

"As I watched our First Lady on television on Saturday, I saw dissent. I saw deviance. I saw resistance. I saw opposition to what the present gives. She is a rare combination of beauty, brain and bravery. She talks straight. Did you listen to what she said?"

"I heard her. She said the security agencies 'should either assist to take action or allow the situation to continue until bandits finished killing all our people.' That was quite tough."

"Are the times not tough already? Abeg, let her talk tough. Tough times demand tough people. If a man discovers a cobra under his pillow and faints, what shall we say is wrong if it is his wife who gets up and kills the snake? At least, we have someone speaking out, especially now that all the loud voices of the past have gone dumb, quiet. We don't even know what has taken their vocal cords away? Is it food or fear?"

‘Both, I think...’

"Well, I believe Mrs Aisha Buhari has done very well, filling the void. But the role she is playing is quite strange, very unusual; the face and voice of the opposition to the ways of her husband's government."

‘The apple does not fall far away from the tree. She is her father's daughter. Her granddad, Muhammadu Ribadu, was exactly like that: Bold, assertive, brilliant, even domineering. His nickname was Power of Powers.’
"Interesting."

‘He was our first republic minister of defence. He died early, at 55 years old on May 1, 1965. If he were around, the belief is there in the North that no one born of woman would have done what those Ibo soldiers did on January 15, 1966."

"Really?"

‘Yeah. He created the Nigerian Army as we have it; recruited brave and adventurous soldiers, including our current president and Murtala Mohammed and IBB and Shehu Yar'Adua and Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar. He loved the North, from Adamawa to Sokoto. At a point, he decreed that 50 per cent of the intake into the army must come from the North, 25 per cent each from the West and the East. He called it “the principle of regional balance”. That was what gave birth to the quota system we have today. He did whatever he wanted to do without allowing any statute or rule stand on his way.’

"Where were his bosses when he was doing all that?"

"He was second vice president of the Northern People's Congress (NPC) – that name sounds almost like today's All Progressives Congress (APC). It was the party in power in the first republic. Balewa was NPC's first vice president while Ahmadu Bello was president. Ribadu's biographer, Sidi H. Ali, wrote that as a very fearless, outspoken man, he was one minister who would 'silence Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa by just saying: “you Abubakar, you cannot do that or must do that.” To Sadauna, he acted similarly. He was just blunt and always to the point. He was...a man completely devoid of diplomacy." '"

"Interesting."

"Yeah. Very. Look for the biography, it is on page 15. There are many more there. He would fight his party men and support the other side, scoring own goals if doing that would bear long-term fruits for his people. He would not keep quiet whenever he found his own side was not doing well. You will be shocked at other things he did. If you listen to what our First Lady says and how she says it, and you believe in reincarnation, you would say Ribadu simply came back this time around as a woman."

"Hmmmmm."

"If you think Aisha is too impatient with today's go-slow, go and read page 33 of Ribadu's biography. I found something quite intriguing there. Have you ever heard of same person holding three ministerial positions?"

"Yes. Fashola just did..."

"Come on, not that kuekue kind. I am talking of real ministerial power triplets. For some days, Ribadu acted concurrently as prime minister and as minister of finance in addition to his own defence portfolio and minuted files, to himself, from each of these offices to the other - sending recommendations to himself and then giving approvals."

"It's a lie. How could that happen?"

"Ok. Listen to this, and I am quoting the book verbatim: “On another occasion, he was acting prime minister while Sir Abubakar (Tafawa Balewa) was out of Lagos. He was also acting minister of finance at the same time and holding his own substantive office as minister of defence. Then the question of purchasing a new office for the ministry of defence came up. He negotiated and purchased the place. He then wrote this in his file: ‘As minister of defence, I have bought the new office. As minister of finance, I have approved the purchase, and as prime minister, I have no objection.' ""

"He did that?!"

"Yes o. He did and no one dared query his judgement. Our first republic had such audacious people across all regions. There was a time Chief Samuel Akintola of the Western Region was told that his party's treasurer was building two houses simultaneously for himself with party funds. He summoned the party chief and shouted: "Lagbajaaa, they said you are constructing two buildings at the same time! Can't you build them one after the other...?" Akintola was to explain later that the man could not be punished because the person who reported him had also just completed a storey building for one of his numerous mistresses."

“Even such perfidy happened that time? Na wa o. Can we go back to Ribadu...”

"Yes, he was never afraid to tell truth to power – even in his own party."

"No wonder his granddaughter also says it as she feels, very clear-headed."

"Whatever...She recently said her husband's government has failed in taking care of the vulnerable."

"Ah haa! She didn't say that. Read her again. What she said was that the N500 billion Special Intervention Programme (SIP) of the federal government failed in the North, in Kano and did not reach her state, Adamawa..."

"Yes… and that a whole $16 million went into a mass purchase of mosquito nets."

"Imagine. $16 million to buy mosquito nets. How much is that in naira terms?”

"She also said that that humongous amount –$16 million –would actually fumigate all homes in Nigeria."

"She is something else. What was she suggesting? That our government of integrity misapplied that money? She can't be serious!"

"She kept talking of the North and of her state, Adamawa. I wish we all love our states as she does her own."

"Adamawa? I thought she is from Katsina. Or is Daura no longer in Katsina State?"

"That is her husband's state, not hers. Or you want her to do Change of State?"

"I actually thought as the First Lady, every state in Nigeria should be her state?"

"You are from the South, I suppose?"

"Yes."

"No wonder you are thinking with your anus. You know how someone described you people?"

"How?"

"Sophisticated morons."

"Very unfair. Very uncouth."

"Well...you just proved him right with your utopian recommendation of every state as our first family's state. It doesn't work that way. Every rope, no matter how long, must have a root, its beginning."

"Someone replied her. You heard that one too?"

"Yes. A woman who said our First Lady was ignorant."

"Was that how she put it? She said the mother of the nation spoke without having the correct knowledge of what she spoke about..."

"Hmmmmmm. What an insult!"

"What again?"

‘That person is a woman also?’

"Yes, Uwais, from the North. Very courageous too. Our women don't suffer in silence. They are manly."

"Northern women, you mean?"

"What is the difference? Are you suggesting that courage is a northern monopoly?"

"Can you point at any southern woman, or even man, in this government with the courage to speak truth to power or to take on even a remote relation of our strongman?"

"Speaking while eating is a dirty habit. We learnt that very early in our lives."

"People who won't talk when they should talk are dead, very dead. Not knowing when to break loose from crippling silence is always the foundation of misfortune."

"The First Lady said so on Saturday. She warned all of us: 'We should not keep silent while things are happening, thinking that if something happens today, it will not happen tomorrow. What happened today will happen tomorrow; it will also happen next tomorrow if we keep silent. It is compulsory to speak the truth. It is not proper for us to give the highest number of votes during the general elections and allow bandits to continue killing people and keep quiet. We must speak on whatever is going wrong in the country.' "

"She is right. Is there not a warning like: 'Resist much. Obey little' ?"

"Yes. That is 'Caution' from Walt Whitman. And he adds rather darkly: 'Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever afterwards resumes its liberty.' "

"I hope we will learn from Mrs Buhari and find our voice and reclaim our lives

Trending

randomposts

Like Us

fb/https://www.facebook.com/newsproof
google.com, pub-6536761625640326, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0