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Ululations of Shekau: Why Buratai cannot lose this war!, By Idris Abubakar

Ululations of Shekau: Why Buratai cannot lose this war!, By Idris Abubakar

By Idris Abubakar 

The narrative that the rambunctious and puffy leader of the Boko Haram terrorists group, Abubakar Shekau, has been devastated to the point that he has not only become sober but is pleading for mercy would have been unimaginable in the recent past. 

Indeed when the audio tape of the Boko Haram leader was released by a major news medium, many did not believe it initially until it was confirmed by multiple sources.

Shekau, through media preps and hype has over the years  succeeded in not only terrorising the minds of people, but has succeeded in creating a myth of invincibility about himself. 

But it is true that the Boko Haram leader in a new audio, not only admitted being weakened but cried for mercy seeking protection against the firepower of the Nigerian military.

Shekau in the 1:22 seconds audio, cried that he and his men are facing difficulties  due to what he called the  devilish act and wickedness of the Nigerian military. 

He said, “We deserted Izala people to practice Your true religion; we abandoned Tijjaniyya people to practice Your true religion; we deserted the Shiites to practice Your true religion; we forsook our parents, uncles and aunties to practice Your true religion. 

“It is because of your religion that we placed knife on Your servants’ necks; but today, they are trying to change us from one thing to another. Oh Lord, have mercy upon under [the blessings] Ramadhan; Oh Lord, have mercy on under [the blessings] of Ramadhan," he said while crying profusely.

The ululations of Shekau is  not without basis.

Since March when Lt. Gen. TY Buratai moved to the theatre of war in Borno State, the fight against insurgency and terrorism took a new dimension with the Nigerian military giving the insurgents hell in each encounter.

The sustained offensive has recorded a series of successes against the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists fighting on the fringes of Lake Chad region. 

In March, Nigerian troops eliminated not less than 20 top Boko Haram commanders including one Abu Usamah, and over 100 of their fighters who were hiding in Kwalaram, Ngilewa, Sabon Tumbu, Bukarmairam, Wulgo in the Marte and Gamboru Ngala axis as well as in Gorgi, Damboa local government of  Borno State.

The troops followed up on that with the  killing of 105 insurgents in Buni Gari and captured many weapons in April and on the heels of that in May, killed 134 of ISWAP and  Boko Haram members  and  arrested 28 of their informants and overran their camps in Durfada, Allafha, Timbuktu, Bulajibi and Gonikurmi near the Sambisa forest. 

These appear too good to be true but all facts relating to the success have been fact checked and confirmed by security experts, the media and other independent bodies .

The question now is what has made it possible for these successes to be recorded within a short time and in the magnitude attained.

Hitherto, the killing of even tens of insurgents given the asymmetric nature of the fight and the lack of clear demarcation between the terrorists and civilian communities have been celebrated,  but in less than two months, over 500 of the terrorists and not less than 40 of their top commanders and informants have been  taken down bringing them to their knees and begging for mercy. 

The secret has to do with the current leadership of the military and the experience of the person leading the assault on the insurgents at the Lake Chad region.

Buratai undoubtedly is one of the best war commanders and intelligent military tactician Nigeria and indeed Africa has ever had.

Since he began leading the Multinational Joint Task Force against insurgency the pressure tilted on the terrorists.

Pathetic stories of troops fleeing from battle fields in what was known as tactical withdrawal stopped completely. 

Stories about soldiers opening fire on their commanders due to lack of trust or wives of soldiers protesting the deployment of their husbands to the battle front all stopped

Troops and their commanders who have worked directly under Buratai have described him as motivation personified.

Troops tell the story of one of his first appearances in the theatre of war after he was appointed chief of army staff. While addressing soldiers in their camps,  shots, apparently from the insurgents were heard from the nearby bushes and the COAS was said to have given an order for the troops to follow him to take down the 'irritants.'

Since confirming that the Army Chief is serious about winning the battle due to the zeal and courage he exhibits, troops no longer have cause to doubt the sincerity of their commanders and have been motivated to push harder. 

Seeing that the new helmsman is  not one that would hole himself up in a guest house partying while troops are in the battle field but one that is prepared to be in the battlefield with them, troops regained their confidence and moved with gusto. 

The Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters must noticed the change in the fighting spirit of troops and must have been asking themselves if these were the same set of troops that were scared of confronting them that many of them were said to have even deserted the army out of fear.

The fact is, Buratai, thinks, eats and drinks battles. He sees military engagement and combat as every drill that should be expected by any serious soldier no matter the rank.

Those close to him say he devotes his time to study and  planning war strategies and is meticulous and thorough in execution. 

He is said to have studied all the strategies of war heroes like Chaka Zulu, Khalid ibn Walid, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and others.

War experts and security analysts maintain that given the depth of knowledge and experience Buratai has acquired over the years, that it would be an insult to expect anything less from the current war against insurgency given the nature of the enemy who are mere street urchins trained by a sprinkle of rebels from Chad who serve as their commanders. 

The  Army Chief's latest innovation is said to be the strategy which involves moving reinforcement while troops are pressing hard against the insurgents which has completely overwhelmed the terrorists. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has indeed made the right choice as far as the military high command is concerned. 

But it is not over until it is over. 

Buratai and the troops  deserve the prayer and support of all Nigerians as we can see that he and his troops are on the last lap of putting a final stop to Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism.

Abubakar is a security expert and wrote this piece from Shomolu, Lagos.
By Idris Abubakar 

The narrative that the rambunctious and puffy leader of the Boko Haram terrorists group, Abubakar Shekau, has been devastated to the point that he has not only become sober but is pleading for mercy would have been unimaginable in the recent past. 

Indeed when the audio tape of the Boko Haram leader was released by a major news medium, many did not believe it initially until it was confirmed by multiple sources.

Shekau, through media preps and hype has over the years  succeeded in not only terrorising the minds of people, but has succeeded in creating a myth of invincibility about himself. 

But it is true that the Boko Haram leader in a new audio, not only admitted being weakened but cried for mercy seeking protection against the firepower of the Nigerian military.

Shekau in the 1:22 seconds audio, cried that he and his men are facing difficulties  due to what he called the  devilish act and wickedness of the Nigerian military. 

He said, “We deserted Izala people to practice Your true religion; we abandoned Tijjaniyya people to practice Your true religion; we deserted the Shiites to practice Your true religion; we forsook our parents, uncles and aunties to practice Your true religion. 

“It is because of your religion that we placed knife on Your servants’ necks; but today, they are trying to change us from one thing to another. Oh Lord, have mercy upon under [the blessings] Ramadhan; Oh Lord, have mercy on under [the blessings] of Ramadhan," he said while crying profusely.

The ululations of Shekau is  not without basis.

Since March when Lt. Gen. TY Buratai moved to the theatre of war in Borno State, the fight against insurgency and terrorism took a new dimension with the Nigerian military giving the insurgents hell in each encounter.

The sustained offensive has recorded a series of successes against the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists fighting on the fringes of Lake Chad region. 

In March, Nigerian troops eliminated not less than 20 top Boko Haram commanders including one Abu Usamah, and over 100 of their fighters who were hiding in Kwalaram, Ngilewa, Sabon Tumbu, Bukarmairam, Wulgo in the Marte and Gamboru Ngala axis as well as in Gorgi, Damboa local government of  Borno State.

The troops followed up on that with the  killing of 105 insurgents in Buni Gari and captured many weapons in April and on the heels of that in May, killed 134 of ISWAP and  Boko Haram members  and  arrested 28 of their informants and overran their camps in Durfada, Allafha, Timbuktu, Bulajibi and Gonikurmi near the Sambisa forest. 

These appear too good to be true but all facts relating to the success have been fact checked and confirmed by security experts, the media and other independent bodies .

The question now is what has made it possible for these successes to be recorded within a short time and in the magnitude attained.

Hitherto, the killing of even tens of insurgents given the asymmetric nature of the fight and the lack of clear demarcation between the terrorists and civilian communities have been celebrated,  but in less than two months, over 500 of the terrorists and not less than 40 of their top commanders and informants have been  taken down bringing them to their knees and begging for mercy. 

The secret has to do with the current leadership of the military and the experience of the person leading the assault on the insurgents at the Lake Chad region.

Buratai undoubtedly is one of the best war commanders and intelligent military tactician Nigeria and indeed Africa has ever had.

Since he began leading the Multinational Joint Task Force against insurgency the pressure tilted on the terrorists.

Pathetic stories of troops fleeing from battle fields in what was known as tactical withdrawal stopped completely. 

Stories about soldiers opening fire on their commanders due to lack of trust or wives of soldiers protesting the deployment of their husbands to the battle front all stopped

Troops and their commanders who have worked directly under Buratai have described him as motivation personified.

Troops tell the story of one of his first appearances in the theatre of war after he was appointed chief of army staff. While addressing soldiers in their camps,  shots, apparently from the insurgents were heard from the nearby bushes and the COAS was said to have given an order for the troops to follow him to take down the 'irritants.'

Since confirming that the Army Chief is serious about winning the battle due to the zeal and courage he exhibits, troops no longer have cause to doubt the sincerity of their commanders and have been motivated to push harder. 

Seeing that the new helmsman is  not one that would hole himself up in a guest house partying while troops are in the battle field but one that is prepared to be in the battlefield with them, troops regained their confidence and moved with gusto. 

The Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters must noticed the change in the fighting spirit of troops and must have been asking themselves if these were the same set of troops that were scared of confronting them that many of them were said to have even deserted the army out of fear.

The fact is, Buratai, thinks, eats and drinks battles. He sees military engagement and combat as every drill that should be expected by any serious soldier no matter the rank.

Those close to him say he devotes his time to study and  planning war strategies and is meticulous and thorough in execution. 

He is said to have studied all the strategies of war heroes like Chaka Zulu, Khalid ibn Walid, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and others.

War experts and security analysts maintain that given the depth of knowledge and experience Buratai has acquired over the years, that it would be an insult to expect anything less from the current war against insurgency given the nature of the enemy who are mere street urchins trained by a sprinkle of rebels from Chad who serve as their commanders. 

The  Army Chief's latest innovation is said to be the strategy which involves moving reinforcement while troops are pressing hard against the insurgents which has completely overwhelmed the terrorists. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has indeed made the right choice as far as the military high command is concerned. 

But it is not over until it is over. 

Buratai and the troops  deserve the prayer and support of all Nigerians as we can see that he and his troops are on the last lap of putting a final stop to Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism.

Abubakar is a security expert and wrote this piece from Shomolu, Lagos.

Buratai has quarantined Boko Haram terrorists, sponsors now on self isolation, says Security expert, Dogo Luqman

Buratai has quarantined Boko Haram terrorists, sponsors now on self isolation, says Security expert, Dogo Luqman

 By Dansu Peter 

A security expert,  Mr. Dogo Lukman, has applauded  the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and Nigerian troops over the recent onslaught against Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.

He said what Buratai and the troops have done to the terrorist groups is akin to placing them on quarantine while sending their sponsors on exile.

Our correspondent reports that Buratai has been coordinating military activities in the theatre of war since March at the Lake Chad region in the bid to making sure that the activities of the groups are brought to a final end has posted impressive results on the battlefield giving hope that the defeat of the terrorists is close by.

Lukman, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said after processing relevant information emanating from the Lake Chad region, there is every indication that the terrorists have finally been subdued, cornered a a cordoned off while their  sponsors have gone into hiding.

His words: "These elements that used to torment the peace of the entire country have been quarantined by the heat coming from the troops and are now self isolating themselves in caves."

The security expert who gave analyses of the information coming from the theaters of war said in March 27, 2020,  Nigerian troops eliminated not less than 20 top Boko Haram commanders including one Abu Usamah, and over 100 of their fighters who were hiding  in Kwalaram, Ngilewa, Sabon Tumbu, Bukarmairam, Wulgo in the Marte and Gamboru Ngala axis as well as in Gorgi, Damboa local government of  Borno State.

He said in April, Nigerian troops also killed 105 insurgents in Buni Gari and captured many weapons including five AK-47 rifles, three GPMG and one Duska anti-aircraft gun.

He said in May,  78 members of ISWAP and 56  Boko Haram members were killed and 28 of their informants  were arrested. 

The security expert said though the Nigerian military declared that the army killed over 300 insurgents in the recent combat operations, there are indications that over 500 of the terrorists have been killed within the period. 

Luqman said this is evident from the overrunning of insurgents’ camps in Durfada, Allafha, Timbuktu, Bulajibi and Gonikurmi and in and  around Sambisa  Forest where many of the terrorists were killed .

"These operations happening in the deep fortresses were hardly reported but the casualty rate on the part of the insurgents was quite high.

The troops normally pull put of such places to plan ahead hence tend to underestimate the level of damage but the insurgents have been given a bloody nose this time that they cannot tell what exactly hit them," he said.

The security expert said the recent audio message released by Abubakar Shekau in which he confessed that his men are under “trial” and going through rough times is a confirmation in security cycle that they have been overwhelmed.

Said Luqman: "This is a man that in all his messages used to talk about killing or abducting innocent and unarmed citizens, but this time he is saying they are passing through a trial and is encouraging them not to lose hope.

He said Nigerian troops have gone beyond technically defeating the terrorists to nearly bringing them down to their knees.

"This is because they can no longer operate as they wish and are only scampering from one point to another in utter confusion," he added. 

The security expert commended the current battle strategy of the military which he said involves moving reinforcement while troops are pressing hard against the insurgents.

This he said is commendable and has boosted the confidence of troops while overwhelming the terrorists.

Luqman called on the authorities to send more troops to the battlefield in order for the military to maintain presence in the operational locations they overrun and to avoid a situation where the Boko Haram elements regroup.

He said though the troops have done much, there is the need to take proactive and innovative steps that would confound the insurgents and accelerate their final defeat adding that concentration should not be on their fighting troops alone but efforts must be made to counter them in intelligence gathering.

"No doubt much has been achieved but the little effort remaining requires a harder push and superior strategy," he stated.
 By Dansu Peter 

A security expert,  Mr. Dogo Lukman, has applauded  the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and Nigerian troops over the recent onslaught against Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.

He said what Buratai and the troops have done to the terrorist groups is akin to placing them on quarantine while sending their sponsors on exile.

Our correspondent reports that Buratai has been coordinating military activities in the theatre of war since March at the Lake Chad region in the bid to making sure that the activities of the groups are brought to a final end has posted impressive results on the battlefield giving hope that the defeat of the terrorists is close by.

Lukman, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said after processing relevant information emanating from the Lake Chad region, there is every indication that the terrorists have finally been subdued, cornered a a cordoned off while their  sponsors have gone into hiding.

His words: "These elements that used to torment the peace of the entire country have been quarantined by the heat coming from the troops and are now self isolating themselves in caves."

The security expert who gave analyses of the information coming from the theaters of war said in March 27, 2020,  Nigerian troops eliminated not less than 20 top Boko Haram commanders including one Abu Usamah, and over 100 of their fighters who were hiding  in Kwalaram, Ngilewa, Sabon Tumbu, Bukarmairam, Wulgo in the Marte and Gamboru Ngala axis as well as in Gorgi, Damboa local government of  Borno State.

He said in April, Nigerian troops also killed 105 insurgents in Buni Gari and captured many weapons including five AK-47 rifles, three GPMG and one Duska anti-aircraft gun.

He said in May,  78 members of ISWAP and 56  Boko Haram members were killed and 28 of their informants  were arrested. 

The security expert said though the Nigerian military declared that the army killed over 300 insurgents in the recent combat operations, there are indications that over 500 of the terrorists have been killed within the period. 

Luqman said this is evident from the overrunning of insurgents’ camps in Durfada, Allafha, Timbuktu, Bulajibi and Gonikurmi and in and  around Sambisa  Forest where many of the terrorists were killed .

"These operations happening in the deep fortresses were hardly reported but the casualty rate on the part of the insurgents was quite high.

The troops normally pull put of such places to plan ahead hence tend to underestimate the level of damage but the insurgents have been given a bloody nose this time that they cannot tell what exactly hit them," he said.

The security expert said the recent audio message released by Abubakar Shekau in which he confessed that his men are under “trial” and going through rough times is a confirmation in security cycle that they have been overwhelmed.

Said Luqman: "This is a man that in all his messages used to talk about killing or abducting innocent and unarmed citizens, but this time he is saying they are passing through a trial and is encouraging them not to lose hope.

He said Nigerian troops have gone beyond technically defeating the terrorists to nearly bringing them down to their knees.

"This is because they can no longer operate as they wish and are only scampering from one point to another in utter confusion," he added. 

The security expert commended the current battle strategy of the military which he said involves moving reinforcement while troops are pressing hard against the insurgents.

This he said is commendable and has boosted the confidence of troops while overwhelming the terrorists.

Luqman called on the authorities to send more troops to the battlefield in order for the military to maintain presence in the operational locations they overrun and to avoid a situation where the Boko Haram elements regroup.

He said though the troops have done much, there is the need to take proactive and innovative steps that would confound the insurgents and accelerate their final defeat adding that concentration should not be on their fighting troops alone but efforts must be made to counter them in intelligence gathering.

"No doubt much has been achieved but the little effort remaining requires a harder push and superior strategy," he stated.

Babajide Otitoju: Why the silence whenever Nigeria is winning? By Lanre Oteniya

Babajide Otitoju: Why the silence whenever Nigeria is winning? By Lanre Oteniya

By Lanre Oteniya 

Photo source 
Opinion Nigeria 
When Chadian forces led by their president, Idris Derby Itno, launched an operation which resulted in the death of over 1000 ISWAP terrorists, media analyst, Babajide Otitoju was among those who were upbeat  drumming it into the ears of everyone what a 'great feat' the Chadians had recorded by that action. 


Otitoju while analysing the development in one of the 'Journalists Round Table' programme, spoke of Derby as a war hero who he said had done 90 percent of the work that needed to uproot ISWAP and Boko Haram for good on the surface of the earth. 

One would be forgiven to assume from the way Otitoju sounded, that he knew the exact number of the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists that are remaining for him to conclude that Derby Itno had done 90 percent of the work required.

Other fair minded observers of the war against insurgency in the Lake Chad region had pointed out to Otitoju even then, that his claims cannot be factual as Nigerian troops have done far more than what he was ascribing to the Chadians.

A particular commentator had  stated that given the magnitude of the problem, the challenge on the Nigerian soil, given its asymmetric nature was far more than what could be handled in a single operation but was optimistic that given the leadership of the Nigerian army, the terrorists would be defeated.

He encouraged Otitoju and others who prefer to take the glory of the war against insurgency to other lands while mocking Nigerian troops, to however be prepared to be fair enough to give due credit to the Nigerian military like they were doing to the Chadians when this happens. 

Not long after that, the prediction came to pass as the Nigerian Armed Forces stepped up its game when the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen.TY Buratai moved to the theaters of operation to lead the assault on the insurgents.

Within the the first week of his relocation, Nigerian troops launched an attack on Boko Haram fortresses and killed no less than a hundred of them in what has become the precursor to the pressure the military would mount on the terrorists. 

In March, during an operation that was carried out in Gorgi, Damboa local government of  Borno state more than 100 Boko Haram insurgents were killed and one of their top commanders was also liquidated. 

Not stopping at that, In April, Nigerian troops also killed 105 insurgents in confrontation at a town called Buni Gari with remnants of Boko Haram and ISWA that attempted to infiltrate the village. 

Nigerian troops also captured  five AK-47 rifles, three GPMG, one Duska anti-aircraft gun, one PKT gun, two handheld radio, while one terrorists’ gun truck was destroyed and several ammunition and ammunition links, two hand grenades, two magazines with ammunition and assorted hard drugs were also captured in that operation. 

Not done with that, Nigerian troops in their renewed vigour on the first day of this month, launched the Operation Kantana Jimlan, where 78 members of ISWAP and 56  Boko Haram members were killed.

Nigerian troops also arrested 28 informants of the groups and recovered lots of ammunition from them.

In that operation on the Timbuktu Triangle and another artillery engagement in Buk,  Damboa LG of Borno State, Nigerian troops killed134 number of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.

Between March when Buratai relocated to the theater of operation and now, Nigerian troops have killed no less 490 of the terrorists

What is more; owing to the heat from the Nigerian troops, Boko Haram leader, Abu Shekau gave an indication that he was considering turning himself in in an act of surrender.

But with all the feat recorded against the insurgents by Nigerian troops, our vibrant and observant analyste have gone silent.

The tap from which they showered encomiuoms on troops of other countries seem to have run dry.

Otitoju was nowhere to be found when he was needed most. He has become like the misguided football hooligan who hails teams of other countries but goes silent when that of his country is doing wonders. 

But perhaps noticing this bias in reportage foreign media agencies have been upbeat on reporting the gallantry of the Nigerian troops.

A French journal on African intelligence had even gone beyond reporting what the troops have achieved to revealing the level of preparation for the task ahead. 

It reported that the Nigerian Army is engaged in negotiations to purchase Chinese rotary wing AVIC AV500 drone to be able to carry out ISR missions  at medium altitude, carry out strikes and stay airborne for nine hours while at it.

This will definitely accelerate the almost completed liquidation of the terrorists. 

All these efforts are however lost on Otitoju an his ilk who seem to be upbeat only when Nigerian troops encounter defeat or some foreign countries record distant and uncoordinated break in the war.

The truth is, Nigerian  troops have even before now been doing very well in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

Nigeria has been the leader on many counter insurgency operations across the continent including the multinational joint task force currently fighting in the Lake Chad region. 

For more than four years since the coming of the current administration, the terrorists have not found it easy operating on Nigerian soil as they  have been under heat from Nigerian troops.

Due to the heat, they run to take cover in neighbouring African countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroun 

Nigeria has been able to up the game and degraded the terrorists and have been able to penetrate the base of the insurgents at Sambisa Forest, took out a great number of them and destroyed their armoury and established a base at Camp Zero.

Nigerian troops have also retaken captured military bases in  Bama, Monguno and Gwoza as well as recapture territories captured by the terrorists including the 20 local government that came under the authority of the terrorists. 

They have also put a stop to the activities of the terrorists in Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja, confining them to few communities along the Lake Chad.

Nigerian troops have put the terrorists in disarray and have made it impossible for them tto launch attacks on communities.

Given all these record of achievements, one would wonder how an objective analyst would fail to commend Nigerian armed forces for its efforts if  there's no deliberate agenda to undermine Nigeria. 

At this point there's the need to caution Otitoju in the words of Samuel Adams, the American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the founding Fathers of the United States, who said there are people who can be termed as  void of all regards for their country. 

Otitoju should be cautioned  not to allow himself drift into that category because the philosopher has only harsh words for those kinds of people. 

He said:"There is seldom an Instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections."

Otitoju and his ilk, who derive pleasure in laughing at and insulting the military when the terrorists attack Nigerian troops but will be silent when the military takes the lead need to have a rethink. 

Oteniya, a freelance broadcast journalist wrote this piece from Lagos.
By Lanre Oteniya 

Photo source 
Opinion Nigeria 
When Chadian forces led by their president, Idris Derby Itno, launched an operation which resulted in the death of over 1000 ISWAP terrorists, media analyst, Babajide Otitoju was among those who were upbeat  drumming it into the ears of everyone what a 'great feat' the Chadians had recorded by that action. 


Otitoju while analysing the development in one of the 'Journalists Round Table' programme, spoke of Derby as a war hero who he said had done 90 percent of the work that needed to uproot ISWAP and Boko Haram for good on the surface of the earth. 

One would be forgiven to assume from the way Otitoju sounded, that he knew the exact number of the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists that are remaining for him to conclude that Derby Itno had done 90 percent of the work required.

Other fair minded observers of the war against insurgency in the Lake Chad region had pointed out to Otitoju even then, that his claims cannot be factual as Nigerian troops have done far more than what he was ascribing to the Chadians.

A particular commentator had  stated that given the magnitude of the problem, the challenge on the Nigerian soil, given its asymmetric nature was far more than what could be handled in a single operation but was optimistic that given the leadership of the Nigerian army, the terrorists would be defeated.

He encouraged Otitoju and others who prefer to take the glory of the war against insurgency to other lands while mocking Nigerian troops, to however be prepared to be fair enough to give due credit to the Nigerian military like they were doing to the Chadians when this happens. 

Not long after that, the prediction came to pass as the Nigerian Armed Forces stepped up its game when the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen.TY Buratai moved to the theaters of operation to lead the assault on the insurgents.

Within the the first week of his relocation, Nigerian troops launched an attack on Boko Haram fortresses and killed no less than a hundred of them in what has become the precursor to the pressure the military would mount on the terrorists. 

In March, during an operation that was carried out in Gorgi, Damboa local government of  Borno state more than 100 Boko Haram insurgents were killed and one of their top commanders was also liquidated. 

Not stopping at that, In April, Nigerian troops also killed 105 insurgents in confrontation at a town called Buni Gari with remnants of Boko Haram and ISWA that attempted to infiltrate the village. 

Nigerian troops also captured  five AK-47 rifles, three GPMG, one Duska anti-aircraft gun, one PKT gun, two handheld radio, while one terrorists’ gun truck was destroyed and several ammunition and ammunition links, two hand grenades, two magazines with ammunition and assorted hard drugs were also captured in that operation. 

Not done with that, Nigerian troops in their renewed vigour on the first day of this month, launched the Operation Kantana Jimlan, where 78 members of ISWAP and 56  Boko Haram members were killed.

Nigerian troops also arrested 28 informants of the groups and recovered lots of ammunition from them.

In that operation on the Timbuktu Triangle and another artillery engagement in Buk,  Damboa LG of Borno State, Nigerian troops killed134 number of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.

Between March when Buratai relocated to the theater of operation and now, Nigerian troops have killed no less 490 of the terrorists

What is more; owing to the heat from the Nigerian troops, Boko Haram leader, Abu Shekau gave an indication that he was considering turning himself in in an act of surrender.

But with all the feat recorded against the insurgents by Nigerian troops, our vibrant and observant analyste have gone silent.

The tap from which they showered encomiuoms on troops of other countries seem to have run dry.

Otitoju was nowhere to be found when he was needed most. He has become like the misguided football hooligan who hails teams of other countries but goes silent when that of his country is doing wonders. 

But perhaps noticing this bias in reportage foreign media agencies have been upbeat on reporting the gallantry of the Nigerian troops.

A French journal on African intelligence had even gone beyond reporting what the troops have achieved to revealing the level of preparation for the task ahead. 

It reported that the Nigerian Army is engaged in negotiations to purchase Chinese rotary wing AVIC AV500 drone to be able to carry out ISR missions  at medium altitude, carry out strikes and stay airborne for nine hours while at it.

This will definitely accelerate the almost completed liquidation of the terrorists. 

All these efforts are however lost on Otitoju an his ilk who seem to be upbeat only when Nigerian troops encounter defeat or some foreign countries record distant and uncoordinated break in the war.

The truth is, Nigerian  troops have even before now been doing very well in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

Nigeria has been the leader on many counter insurgency operations across the continent including the multinational joint task force currently fighting in the Lake Chad region. 

For more than four years since the coming of the current administration, the terrorists have not found it easy operating on Nigerian soil as they  have been under heat from Nigerian troops.

Due to the heat, they run to take cover in neighbouring African countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroun 

Nigeria has been able to up the game and degraded the terrorists and have been able to penetrate the base of the insurgents at Sambisa Forest, took out a great number of them and destroyed their armoury and established a base at Camp Zero.

Nigerian troops have also retaken captured military bases in  Bama, Monguno and Gwoza as well as recapture territories captured by the terrorists including the 20 local government that came under the authority of the terrorists. 

They have also put a stop to the activities of the terrorists in Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja, confining them to few communities along the Lake Chad.

Nigerian troops have put the terrorists in disarray and have made it impossible for them tto launch attacks on communities.

Given all these record of achievements, one would wonder how an objective analyst would fail to commend Nigerian armed forces for its efforts if  there's no deliberate agenda to undermine Nigeria. 

At this point there's the need to caution Otitoju in the words of Samuel Adams, the American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the founding Fathers of the United States, who said there are people who can be termed as  void of all regards for their country. 

Otitoju should be cautioned  not to allow himself drift into that category because the philosopher has only harsh words for those kinds of people. 

He said:"There is seldom an Instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections."

Otitoju and his ilk, who derive pleasure in laughing at and insulting the military when the terrorists attack Nigerian troops but will be silent when the military takes the lead need to have a rethink. 

Oteniya, a freelance broadcast journalist wrote this piece from Lagos.

Covid-19 and Opportunity Cost of Survival..., By Posu Joseph

Covid-19 and Opportunity Cost of Survival..., By Posu Joseph

By Posu Joseph 


As at the time this article was pencilled , the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria stood at 4,151.

Of this total, 745 were discharged representing just 18 % while 128 deaths were recorded accounting for 3%.

Lagos State, the epicenter of the disease in Nigeria, accounted for 1764 of the total cases registered, representing 42 %. This is massive given that Lagos State is just a state in the whole of the 36 states of the Federation, including the Capital Territory, Abuja.

By the end of year 2019, no one, in his or her wildest contemplation, imagination and clairvoyance, could have ever predicted that by the first quarter of 2020, the world would have been enveloped by a global pandemic. It is a novel virus that seems to have changed the world order. It's a terrible situation.

 It was reported that in United States of America,  by March 8, 22 deaths were recorded. Going forward, by April 8, 17,600 deaths were recorded. This means that within a month, there was an increase of 79,900 % in death report. If this is a shock to you, then hear this.  As at when this report was written, the death rate in US stood at 78,600 and by implication, it means that within just two months, the percentage increase in death rate in US was 357,172 %. This astronomical surge is an affront to our common humanity.  Nothing could be more bizarre !

One ugly thing about the virus is that it is extremely contagious, making it the most contagious disease of the Century. This won't be the first time the world would experience such. In 1343, October precisely, Death Plague hit the world and claimed millions of souls. It occured in Italy but the virus was traceable to China. In 1918 as well, Spanish Flu shook the world, claiming millions of lives.

In each case, attention was paid to survival than anything. Mosques, churches, businesses were closed down. People self-isolated and those who couldn't, were quarantined. 

The same is what the world is experiencing now. To curtail the spread of the virus in Nigeria, the authorities declared a lockdown in the address made by President Buhari on the 29th of March for two weeks at the first instance and further extended it. This was for the concerned states - Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

This brought untold hardship to the people as the authorities couldn't provide enough pallatives to  cushion the effects of the lockdown.

Lagos State, the epicenter of the disease and the commercial nerve of the country, became desolate, destitute and the economy became atrophic. 

The Nigerian economy is largely characterized by informal sector with many depending on daily earnings for survival and since the authorities couldn't make palliatives available, they preferred to die of the virus than of hunger. 

The whole situation presented a dilemma. The age-long puzzle of " Chicken and Eggs " reared its ugly head here. Whichone should be considered now : Opening the economy but face the risk of the spread or total lockdown but watch the economy become more atrophic ?

This inverse relationship between the economy and the survival brought a tough position to the authorities. Afraid of uprising, the government decided to ease the lockdown gradually by opening up the economy a bit but using persuasive means to implore the people to comply with the related instructions that would curtail the spread. 

The proponents of economy opening - up argued that the virus should be managed the way other viral infections have been managed as it has come to stay. To them, Lassa, Chicken - Pox, Measles, Cholera etc all threatened humanity at their time but they are with us now and being managed. However, these people have not taken into consideration two things : the rate of contagiousness of the COVID-19 disease and its novel nature. The evolution and the pathology of the disease are still under findings and that makes the whole scenario difficult and bleak.

Now, opening the economy is not the problem. However, the most important aspect of any economy is the human capital. A sick people can definitely not run an economy. That's why labour is the most important factor of production because it has to do with the physical and mental contributions needed to manage the other factors of production. When labour is sick, the whole economy would be shut down.

Opportunity cost of taking a firm decision here is so required. Opportunity cost is an economic term. It is similar to saying for any decision taken, you must have forgo other decision or decisions given the limited resources. For example, suppose you had just a cake. It's either you eat the cake or you have it. You can't simply do the two. If you eat the cake, you would sacrifice having it. Reversely, if you want to have the case, then you must sacrifice it with being hungry. It's now left to you to take a decision given what you desire most.

What do we desire at this time ? Is it to stay alive or not  ? To stay alive, open
By Posu Joseph 


As at the time this article was pencilled , the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria stood at 4,151.

Of this total, 745 were discharged representing just 18 % while 128 deaths were recorded accounting for 3%.

Lagos State, the epicenter of the disease in Nigeria, accounted for 1764 of the total cases registered, representing 42 %. This is massive given that Lagos State is just a state in the whole of the 36 states of the Federation, including the Capital Territory, Abuja.

By the end of year 2019, no one, in his or her wildest contemplation, imagination and clairvoyance, could have ever predicted that by the first quarter of 2020, the world would have been enveloped by a global pandemic. It is a novel virus that seems to have changed the world order. It's a terrible situation.

 It was reported that in United States of America,  by March 8, 22 deaths were recorded. Going forward, by April 8, 17,600 deaths were recorded. This means that within a month, there was an increase of 79,900 % in death report. If this is a shock to you, then hear this.  As at when this report was written, the death rate in US stood at 78,600 and by implication, it means that within just two months, the percentage increase in death rate in US was 357,172 %. This astronomical surge is an affront to our common humanity.  Nothing could be more bizarre !

One ugly thing about the virus is that it is extremely contagious, making it the most contagious disease of the Century. This won't be the first time the world would experience such. In 1343, October precisely, Death Plague hit the world and claimed millions of souls. It occured in Italy but the virus was traceable to China. In 1918 as well, Spanish Flu shook the world, claiming millions of lives.

In each case, attention was paid to survival than anything. Mosques, churches, businesses were closed down. People self-isolated and those who couldn't, were quarantined. 

The same is what the world is experiencing now. To curtail the spread of the virus in Nigeria, the authorities declared a lockdown in the address made by President Buhari on the 29th of March for two weeks at the first instance and further extended it. This was for the concerned states - Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

This brought untold hardship to the people as the authorities couldn't provide enough pallatives to  cushion the effects of the lockdown.

Lagos State, the epicenter of the disease and the commercial nerve of the country, became desolate, destitute and the economy became atrophic. 

The Nigerian economy is largely characterized by informal sector with many depending on daily earnings for survival and since the authorities couldn't make palliatives available, they preferred to die of the virus than of hunger. 

The whole situation presented a dilemma. The age-long puzzle of " Chicken and Eggs " reared its ugly head here. Whichone should be considered now : Opening the economy but face the risk of the spread or total lockdown but watch the economy become more atrophic ?

This inverse relationship between the economy and the survival brought a tough position to the authorities. Afraid of uprising, the government decided to ease the lockdown gradually by opening up the economy a bit but using persuasive means to implore the people to comply with the related instructions that would curtail the spread. 

The proponents of economy opening - up argued that the virus should be managed the way other viral infections have been managed as it has come to stay. To them, Lassa, Chicken - Pox, Measles, Cholera etc all threatened humanity at their time but they are with us now and being managed. However, these people have not taken into consideration two things : the rate of contagiousness of the COVID-19 disease and its novel nature. The evolution and the pathology of the disease are still under findings and that makes the whole scenario difficult and bleak.

Now, opening the economy is not the problem. However, the most important aspect of any economy is the human capital. A sick people can definitely not run an economy. That's why labour is the most important factor of production because it has to do with the physical and mental contributions needed to manage the other factors of production. When labour is sick, the whole economy would be shut down.

Opportunity cost of taking a firm decision here is so required. Opportunity cost is an economic term. It is similar to saying for any decision taken, you must have forgo other decision or decisions given the limited resources. For example, suppose you had just a cake. It's either you eat the cake or you have it. You can't simply do the two. If you eat the cake, you would sacrifice having it. Reversely, if you want to have the case, then you must sacrifice it with being hungry. It's now left to you to take a decision given what you desire most.

What do we desire at this time ? Is it to stay alive or not  ? To stay alive, open

Is Tinubu another Awolowo?, By Oke Umurhohwo

Is Tinubu another Awolowo?, By Oke Umurhohwo

By Oke Umurhohwo  

For some people, it is a tough question. For others, it is an insult to even think of both men in the same sentence. But given the prevailing circumstances, it will not be too hard to understand why that question is coming at this point. Even though Bola Ahmed Tinubu is nowhere near comparison with late Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo, however, there is one thing that seems to bring about questions on whether the former Lagos state governor is another Awolowo.

So, it seems like a simple question with an even simpler answer, but taking a closer look, you'll find it more complex. If you're a close observer of the Nigerian political space and power structures, those two names would not be strange to you as they have featured prominently in the history of Nigeria, right from independence.

Chief Awolowo was one of the founding fathers of Nigeria, and as Premier of Western Nigeria, brought about unimaginable developments in the region that earned him cult-like followership to date. As for Tinubu, he was a former governor of Lagos state, who went from surviving a major onslaught that swept his colleagues on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to building a political empire that has the Southwest region in a firm grip.

This has nothing to do about their politics and governance milestone, but about the quest to rule Nigeria. If you're a good student of history, one thing you'll hardly miss about Chief Awolowo was his strong desire to be president of Nigeria. But he could not achieve that dream, not because he was incapable, but for some high-wire politics that is almost repeating itself.

Awolowo and Tinubu share a race and follows an almost similar political trajectory, which gained them incredible stakes in power configuration. Though many are quick to push back any rhetoric that attempt to mention Tinubu in the same breath as Awolowo, it would be so unfair to ignore his progress over the years.

Tinubu apparently wants to model himself after Awolowo as the rallying point for Yoruba's political interests, and possibly, someone that would dare the odds and take the top seat in the country. This isn't hard to decipher especially if you pay close attention to the politics of Tinubu, who have shown a remarkable understanding of the public's mood, and how to manipulate foes and friends to reach for power.

Like Awolowo, Tinubu will most certainly, come out openly to pursue his longtime dream of getting the presidency. Forget the denial or pretense, Tinubu has his eyes set on the presidency and would make his intention known when he believes the time is right. But as a realist, I'm careful not to let the impression of history be lost on me, but instead, pay more attention to the lessons it taught us. What does that mean? A lot, but only if people can be objective. 

In a recent chat with a friend, the 2023 presidential election came up and in between, he introduced Tinubu into our discussion and tried to debate his likely chance to the coveted presidential seat. For several minutes, I was silent. Surprised at my posture, he tried to know why I've chosen not to make any contribution.

When I broke my silence, I simply asked him if he had ever heard about Awolowo and his quest to rule Nigeria. Probably, finding what to say, I showed him a WhatsApp broadcast that tried to bring back the past and its bearing on the present. In the broadcast, the author adduced that Awolowo was deceived by the former military ruler, Yakubu Gowon when he said: "Immediately after the war is over, you will be the head of Federal Government of Nigeria as elected president."

But Awolowo was not alone with such experience as the author of the broadcast suggested, citing other examples including that of Tinubu. Though, some may try to play down the message but doing that will only show their naivety and poor understanding of historical trajectory. As memory fades, events of the past can easily repeat itself, and by that, we would have the past, right in the present.

The miscalculation, which could prove fatal, that Tinubu can ever make, is to believe anyone owes him a debt that would be repaid. Every man, no matter how strong he is, lies to himself about something. Thinking that 2023 would be about compensation would be a lie that the experience with Awolowo can easily break.

As 2023 draws closer, pundits set their gaze to see where the pendulum will swing. Taking cues from history and maneuvering, nothing is really sure at this moment, but one thing which almost everyone is keen to find out is whether Tinubu will be another Awolowo or if he will be able to pull the biggest surprise of Nigeria's democratic history. Time will tell.

Written by Oke Umurhohwo, a Political Analyst and Strategist. He tweets via @OkeStalyf and can be reached via oke.umu@gmail.com
By Oke Umurhohwo  

For some people, it is a tough question. For others, it is an insult to even think of both men in the same sentence. But given the prevailing circumstances, it will not be too hard to understand why that question is coming at this point. Even though Bola Ahmed Tinubu is nowhere near comparison with late Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo, however, there is one thing that seems to bring about questions on whether the former Lagos state governor is another Awolowo.

So, it seems like a simple question with an even simpler answer, but taking a closer look, you'll find it more complex. If you're a close observer of the Nigerian political space and power structures, those two names would not be strange to you as they have featured prominently in the history of Nigeria, right from independence.

Chief Awolowo was one of the founding fathers of Nigeria, and as Premier of Western Nigeria, brought about unimaginable developments in the region that earned him cult-like followership to date. As for Tinubu, he was a former governor of Lagos state, who went from surviving a major onslaught that swept his colleagues on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to building a political empire that has the Southwest region in a firm grip.

This has nothing to do about their politics and governance milestone, but about the quest to rule Nigeria. If you're a good student of history, one thing you'll hardly miss about Chief Awolowo was his strong desire to be president of Nigeria. But he could not achieve that dream, not because he was incapable, but for some high-wire politics that is almost repeating itself.

Awolowo and Tinubu share a race and follows an almost similar political trajectory, which gained them incredible stakes in power configuration. Though many are quick to push back any rhetoric that attempt to mention Tinubu in the same breath as Awolowo, it would be so unfair to ignore his progress over the years.

Tinubu apparently wants to model himself after Awolowo as the rallying point for Yoruba's political interests, and possibly, someone that would dare the odds and take the top seat in the country. This isn't hard to decipher especially if you pay close attention to the politics of Tinubu, who have shown a remarkable understanding of the public's mood, and how to manipulate foes and friends to reach for power.

Like Awolowo, Tinubu will most certainly, come out openly to pursue his longtime dream of getting the presidency. Forget the denial or pretense, Tinubu has his eyes set on the presidency and would make his intention known when he believes the time is right. But as a realist, I'm careful not to let the impression of history be lost on me, but instead, pay more attention to the lessons it taught us. What does that mean? A lot, but only if people can be objective. 

In a recent chat with a friend, the 2023 presidential election came up and in between, he introduced Tinubu into our discussion and tried to debate his likely chance to the coveted presidential seat. For several minutes, I was silent. Surprised at my posture, he tried to know why I've chosen not to make any contribution.

When I broke my silence, I simply asked him if he had ever heard about Awolowo and his quest to rule Nigeria. Probably, finding what to say, I showed him a WhatsApp broadcast that tried to bring back the past and its bearing on the present. In the broadcast, the author adduced that Awolowo was deceived by the former military ruler, Yakubu Gowon when he said: "Immediately after the war is over, you will be the head of Federal Government of Nigeria as elected president."

But Awolowo was not alone with such experience as the author of the broadcast suggested, citing other examples including that of Tinubu. Though, some may try to play down the message but doing that will only show their naivety and poor understanding of historical trajectory. As memory fades, events of the past can easily repeat itself, and by that, we would have the past, right in the present.

The miscalculation, which could prove fatal, that Tinubu can ever make, is to believe anyone owes him a debt that would be repaid. Every man, no matter how strong he is, lies to himself about something. Thinking that 2023 would be about compensation would be a lie that the experience with Awolowo can easily break.

As 2023 draws closer, pundits set their gaze to see where the pendulum will swing. Taking cues from history and maneuvering, nothing is really sure at this moment, but one thing which almost everyone is keen to find out is whether Tinubu will be another Awolowo or if he will be able to pull the biggest surprise of Nigeria's democratic history. Time will tell.

Written by Oke Umurhohwo, a Political Analyst and Strategist. He tweets via @OkeStalyf and can be reached via oke.umu@gmail.com

Enemy of the state, By Femi Adesina

Enemy of the state, By Femi Adesina

By FEMI ADESINA
 
You have possibly watched the 1998 action-thriller film with the above title, starring Will Smith. It was the box office hit story about a group of people plotting to kill an American Congressman, and the tape of the plot was discovered.

Well, an Enemy of the State struck in Nigeria on Monday, but this time, it was no fiction. It was real life act of sabotage from somebody who does not wish his own country well at all, and who derived a sinister kind of pleasure from undermining the system.

President Muhammadu Buhari was to broadcast to the country by 8 p.m, to give an update on the battle against COVID-19, and what becomes of the lockdown that had lasted four weeks, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States. Kano was also a point of heavy interest, with the strange deaths ravaging the state. Was it COVID-19 or not?

As the country waited for the President with great expectations, a purported copy of the broadcast began to circulate on social media from about 4 p.m. Whodunnit?

I took a look at the circulating document, and within one minute, I knew that it was a rogue copy. What immediately gave it away was the paragraphing. It was completely different from the one I had been part of producing, and which had been recorded for broadcast by the President.

Another tell-tale to the dubiousness of the document was the date it gave. It said the lockdown in the affected states and the FCT would be eased from May 2, while the authentic copy bore May 4. There were some other discrepancies. Paragraphs that had been excised from the final copy were still intact, and the document was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, which you would rarely find in a presidential broadcast, which would have passed through a number of select and trusted hands.

I made a few phone calls to those of us involved with the script, right from origination, which was from outside the Presidency, to final editing, which I did, and the conclusion was easy to reach. Somebody had spirited out the original draft, which had gone through many stages of fine-tuning in terms of content and language, and thinking that it was a world exclusive in terms of artifice and underhand action, he fed it into the social media.

Who would do such a thing, except an Enemy of the State, someone who wants to ridicule the government, cause utmost confusion in the polity, and smirk his lips in malevolent pleasure, as the government, and possibly the media handlers of the President were flagellated, and taken to the cleaners.

Yoruba people talk of ‘ba ase je.’ Somebody who spoils the feast. Everybody is rejoicing and making merry, and he comes to pollute their joy. He could bring extremely bad news that sends everyone scurrying home, or looking for cover. He could even urinate in the big pot of soup in the full glare of the merrymakers. Or he could pour sand in the big pot of rice on the fire. Ba ase je (spoiler of the feast) can strike in many ways. That was the same thing the Enemy of the State did.

Igbo people speak of the proverbial lizard that ruined his own mother’s funeral. That was what the hidden hostile hand did. But he forgot that in these days of technology, almost everything leaves a trail. Before the end of that evening, computer evidences had narrowed down the suspect, and he was already answering for his evil action.

There is the house mouse called ‘oofon ‘ in Yoruba. And there is a delicious soup made from beans called ‘gbegiri.’ Yes, do you remember the popular amala and gbegiri politics as championed by Lamidi Adedibu in Oyo State in those days? That’s the soup I’m talking about. What happens when the house mouse urinates inside the bowl of gbegiri soup? Lassa fever! 

That’s why we have the Yoruba saying; oofon to si gbegiri, ki eleko ko eko e dani. Translating this into English makes it lose some originality, but let me try. The house mouse has urinated in the pot of gbegiri soup, let all merrymakers find their ways home. That was what the evil mind attempted to do by leaking the presidential broadcast hours before it came. But he fired blank, having laid hands on a wrong copy.

However, if that person had got the final, authentic copy, that is the same way he would have leaked it. To what end, to what purpose? Sinister. Sneaky. Hateful.

Some people hate their own country, and ironically would be the first to complain that things were not going well. Every act of the government (any government) they would undermine. If they can stick a knife into the soft underbelly of government in any way, they do it with relish, and would be the first to grumble that things were not going right. Enemies of the State.

If the person that leaked the unedited draft of the broadcast had access to more sensitive national documents, he would do the same thing. If he cottons on information that could sell Nigeria to the enemy, he would gladly do it. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.

I am surprised that a large number of people, including newspaper houses, fell for the gambit. They took their information from the wrong source, and ended up publishing falsehood. That was what the Enemy of the State wanted. Cause maximum confusion. And he succeeded to some extent.

There is a way we release information from the media office of the President. And the media knows it. If a presidential speech was to be given ahead, there would be an embargo on it for a particular time. The circulating copy bore no embargo, yet they fell for it. And got embarrassed by publishing inaccurate information. Serves them right, do you say? The final copy was released by 8.06 p.m, good enough time for a newspaper to still produce and get early to market for the next day.

The social media is being used for every purpose: good and bad. It is the bastion of fake news, hate news, concoctions and all sorts of conjurations. Will the users and consumers be more discerning? It is said that the person that stole a keg of palm oil from the rafter is not the only thief. The person that collected the keg from him is also a rogue. Those who began to share an obvious leak, rebroadcasting it, are also not guiltless. Be quick to hear, and slow to speak.

It was amusing to me to hear armchair critics blaming the media office of the President for the leakage. Ignorance. Why pontificate about what you don’t know? They were on radio and television stations the next morning, magisterially shooting breeze. 

It was Dr Reuben Abati, immediate past media adviser to a President who gave some proper perspectives on how a presidential broadcast is originated and produced, and how it was improbable that the leakage came from the Presidency. The lesson? Seek information, get your facts right, before arriving at a conclusion, lest you look foolish and uninformed.

Some people are not interested in the well- being of their own country. Sad, very sad. Such would sell their mothers, and their country for thirty pieces of silver. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.

Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari
By FEMI ADESINA
 
You have possibly watched the 1998 action-thriller film with the above title, starring Will Smith. It was the box office hit story about a group of people plotting to kill an American Congressman, and the tape of the plot was discovered.

Well, an Enemy of the State struck in Nigeria on Monday, but this time, it was no fiction. It was real life act of sabotage from somebody who does not wish his own country well at all, and who derived a sinister kind of pleasure from undermining the system.

President Muhammadu Buhari was to broadcast to the country by 8 p.m, to give an update on the battle against COVID-19, and what becomes of the lockdown that had lasted four weeks, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States. Kano was also a point of heavy interest, with the strange deaths ravaging the state. Was it COVID-19 or not?

As the country waited for the President with great expectations, a purported copy of the broadcast began to circulate on social media from about 4 p.m. Whodunnit?

I took a look at the circulating document, and within one minute, I knew that it was a rogue copy. What immediately gave it away was the paragraphing. It was completely different from the one I had been part of producing, and which had been recorded for broadcast by the President.

Another tell-tale to the dubiousness of the document was the date it gave. It said the lockdown in the affected states and the FCT would be eased from May 2, while the authentic copy bore May 4. There were some other discrepancies. Paragraphs that had been excised from the final copy were still intact, and the document was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, which you would rarely find in a presidential broadcast, which would have passed through a number of select and trusted hands.

I made a few phone calls to those of us involved with the script, right from origination, which was from outside the Presidency, to final editing, which I did, and the conclusion was easy to reach. Somebody had spirited out the original draft, which had gone through many stages of fine-tuning in terms of content and language, and thinking that it was a world exclusive in terms of artifice and underhand action, he fed it into the social media.

Who would do such a thing, except an Enemy of the State, someone who wants to ridicule the government, cause utmost confusion in the polity, and smirk his lips in malevolent pleasure, as the government, and possibly the media handlers of the President were flagellated, and taken to the cleaners.

Yoruba people talk of ‘ba ase je.’ Somebody who spoils the feast. Everybody is rejoicing and making merry, and he comes to pollute their joy. He could bring extremely bad news that sends everyone scurrying home, or looking for cover. He could even urinate in the big pot of soup in the full glare of the merrymakers. Or he could pour sand in the big pot of rice on the fire. Ba ase je (spoiler of the feast) can strike in many ways. That was the same thing the Enemy of the State did.

Igbo people speak of the proverbial lizard that ruined his own mother’s funeral. That was what the hidden hostile hand did. But he forgot that in these days of technology, almost everything leaves a trail. Before the end of that evening, computer evidences had narrowed down the suspect, and he was already answering for his evil action.

There is the house mouse called ‘oofon ‘ in Yoruba. And there is a delicious soup made from beans called ‘gbegiri.’ Yes, do you remember the popular amala and gbegiri politics as championed by Lamidi Adedibu in Oyo State in those days? That’s the soup I’m talking about. What happens when the house mouse urinates inside the bowl of gbegiri soup? Lassa fever! 

That’s why we have the Yoruba saying; oofon to si gbegiri, ki eleko ko eko e dani. Translating this into English makes it lose some originality, but let me try. The house mouse has urinated in the pot of gbegiri soup, let all merrymakers find their ways home. That was what the evil mind attempted to do by leaking the presidential broadcast hours before it came. But he fired blank, having laid hands on a wrong copy.

However, if that person had got the final, authentic copy, that is the same way he would have leaked it. To what end, to what purpose? Sinister. Sneaky. Hateful.

Some people hate their own country, and ironically would be the first to complain that things were not going well. Every act of the government (any government) they would undermine. If they can stick a knife into the soft underbelly of government in any way, they do it with relish, and would be the first to grumble that things were not going right. Enemies of the State.

If the person that leaked the unedited draft of the broadcast had access to more sensitive national documents, he would do the same thing. If he cottons on information that could sell Nigeria to the enemy, he would gladly do it. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.

I am surprised that a large number of people, including newspaper houses, fell for the gambit. They took their information from the wrong source, and ended up publishing falsehood. That was what the Enemy of the State wanted. Cause maximum confusion. And he succeeded to some extent.

There is a way we release information from the media office of the President. And the media knows it. If a presidential speech was to be given ahead, there would be an embargo on it for a particular time. The circulating copy bore no embargo, yet they fell for it. And got embarrassed by publishing inaccurate information. Serves them right, do you say? The final copy was released by 8.06 p.m, good enough time for a newspaper to still produce and get early to market for the next day.

The social media is being used for every purpose: good and bad. It is the bastion of fake news, hate news, concoctions and all sorts of conjurations. Will the users and consumers be more discerning? It is said that the person that stole a keg of palm oil from the rafter is not the only thief. The person that collected the keg from him is also a rogue. Those who began to share an obvious leak, rebroadcasting it, are also not guiltless. Be quick to hear, and slow to speak.

It was amusing to me to hear armchair critics blaming the media office of the President for the leakage. Ignorance. Why pontificate about what you don’t know? They were on radio and television stations the next morning, magisterially shooting breeze. 

It was Dr Reuben Abati, immediate past media adviser to a President who gave some proper perspectives on how a presidential broadcast is originated and produced, and how it was improbable that the leakage came from the Presidency. The lesson? Seek information, get your facts right, before arriving at a conclusion, lest you look foolish and uninformed.

Some people are not interested in the well- being of their own country. Sad, very sad. Such would sell their mothers, and their country for thirty pieces of silver. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.

Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari

Undressing The Auchi Fake Masquerade Called Aisha Yesufu By Ruth Ochogwu

Undressing The Auchi Fake Masquerade Called Aisha Yesufu By Ruth Ochogwu

By Ruth Ochogwu

The proclivity of some Nigerians to abuse noble concepts is alarming and appalling. Elsewhere, activism is a dignified enterprise and those who engage in it are translucently selfless, cerebral, purposeful and focused. But the concept of activism has been terribly bruised and abused in Nigeria.

It is common to hear about branded versions of activism in Nigeria. The categories are many and varied. Often, one hears of “emergency activists,” “hired activists,” “street activists" and lots more. And because of the extremely unstructured pattern of life in the country, it is difficult to even differentiate activists from critics. Anyone who has a personal grudge or is disgruntled with government for selfish reasons wears the badge of “rights activist” and begins to prance about making hallucinatory noise.  

Genuine activists crusade popular causes, which are unambiguously beneficial to the people. The actions tilt to pro-masses agenda.  They do not personalize the struggle or hide under the veil of activism to champion self-centered interests in disguise. But Nigeria is unfortunate to have many of such fake and pseudo activists.  

The co-convener, #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group, and self-styled and accidental rights activist, Aisha Yesufu holds the latest flag of those who defame and traduce activism in Nigeria. Her conscription into BBOG under the pretext of campaigning for the release of abducted Chibok schoolgirls was to find a convenient platform to promote a personal agenda.

Aisha Yesufu has goofed terribly and the frustration is making her endlessly restless. She erroneously thought she had struck gold by her membership of BBOG group, which she could manipulate to ascend to power. But President Muhammadu Buhari did not meet her expectations. The President disappointed her.  

The consequence is Aisha Yesufu’s nurtured and bubbling pathological hatred for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, his appointees and all who serve in the government at different capacities. She posits herself as the author of knowledge in Nigeria and so, faults everything done by government, but has no worthwhile clue on a better alternative.  

She spreads criticisms on the present government like Coronavirus. And some gullible people erroneously term her watery and fluid criticisms as activism.  Aisha Yesufu wakes up everyday, looking for even the most irrelevant issues or insignificant matters to parrot. She parrots on everything under the sun, even on issues she is barren of knowledge.  And listening to her most times, it gives the impression that her upbringing was poor.

Aisha Yesufu feigns the posture of pro-masses activist. But her greatest burden is identifying the distinction between activism and criticism. But it is not controvertible that Aisha is a messenger of falsehood and her only motivation is the masked pursuit of a personal agenda, evident in acting the script of external forces against her country. She is a curse upon herself and nation.  Her grudge against Nigeria is that she suffered a deprived childhood and perceives the whole of society as her greatest enemy.  She is out to extract vengeance by force.

She is out on a revenge mission, but lacks the wisdom to prosecute it decently. She only manifests in perpetually faulting everything done by the leaders of Nigeria. Aisha Yesufu has mastered the antics of blackmailing and arm-twisting the government for patronage in appointment or other ways to compensate for her deprived childhood. It is a faulty approach.

She hypocritically feigns fighting for the poor or projects herself as the voice of the voiceless. But it is outright falsehood. The undeniable truth is that Aisha Yesufu is a reprobate and fake personality. A pseudo activist, her hypocrisy and capitalist quest clothed with the garments of a do-gooder are polluting any vestige of personality in her very fast and disgracefully.   

President Buhari’s government happens to be a victim of her unrestrained anger and frustration. So, she seeks every day to lower the esteem of the President and his administration in the eyes of Nigerians, but anchored on very feeble arguments and criticisms.

She hates PMB to a fault and therefore blind to reason. Her permutations using the plank of the BBOG forum was to strategically position herself to be noticed and consequently sneak her way into the administration of Buhari as Minister or head of a federal agency. But she was ignored and its spurred indignation. The fallout is that she finds it difficult to forgive the administration for failing to name her a minister in the same manner, Mrs.  Oby Ezekwesili is also mad at Mr. President. 

The irony in Nigeria is that people who obviously pursue personal agenda and vendetta posture as pro-masses crusaders to attract public sympathy. Aisha Yesufu’s case is more shameful because she is unconscionable, uses crude tactics and lacks tact in playing the game.  

Therefore, even if Mr. President coughs, she criticizes the  manner of coughing. Where it pains more is that she mouths on issues, it is apparent that she is less knowledgeable and speaks like a demented soul.

For instance, when President Buhari addressed the nation in the aftermath of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Nigeria and announced certain measures to curb the spread of the virus, Aisha Yesufu was in the news saying that she is not pleased with the advice given by the President. She created the impression of someone who is an expert in pandemic management; whilst she has no idea. Is Aisha advocating that President Buhari administer Nigeria based solely on the template defined by her?

And when the Hate Speech Bill was introduced in the Senate, Aisha Yesufu pushed it back to President Buhari. She failed to recognize that the executive and legislature are separate arms of government and so, Mr. President cannot interfare  with the conduct of their affairs.

In any case, in her excitement to be noticed or to blackmail the Presidency, Aisha Yesufu rushed to brand President Buhari as the number one hate speech purveyor, ludicrously citing the President’s description of Nigerian youths as lazy as constituting hate speech. What wisdom equates the utterance “laziness” to hate speech?  

And if it is not the display of barefaced insanity, what rationale should compel someone to question the decision of Mr. President directing the CBN to  stop issuing forex for the importation of food? Nigeria has achieved a significant level of food sufficiency and has no reason to keep enriching foreign nations through food importation.

But in Aisha Yesufu’s wisdom, hence forex is banned on food importation, it must also apply  on importation of petroleum products. In juxtaposition, can a normal person claim Nigeria has achieved self-sufficiency on refining of crude oil to service its domestic consumption?  

Not long ago, Aisha Yesufu almost had a fisticuff with the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi over the fake claims that the latter and passengers escaped kidnap by hoodlums at the Rigasa train station. She was not present at the scene of the incident; relied on secondary sources of information, but vouched for the concocted information as if she experienced it herself. It is the extent desperation has drenched Aisha Yesufu into a fake news monger for the simple reason of ridiculing the administration.   

It is easy to see the over-bloated ego in Aisha. It has become a serious burden to the management of her image and reputation. Fooling the people has become her habit  and she is finding it difficult to discard. What she has failed to realize is that Nigerians now know that behind the veil-wearing woman is a notorious and lavish liar, an opportunist and a woman whose insatiable quest for money cannot be quantified.

But Aisha nailed herself.  Her suspicious handling of the proceeds of the BBOG campaigns is reason the Buhari administration has maintained a safe distance from her and quarantined her from public funds. She hardly resists the temptation of money and those who know her perfectly claims she is a pilferer of naira not minding the source. 

So, the reality of her neglect has injected an endemic hatred into her against President Buhari and all that relates to him. Its only the President that she sees in her dreams. If she is not criticizing the military in the morning, she is criticizing Mrs. Buhari the next morning or the president’s ministers.

No one should be fooled by Aisha Yesufu’s antics. Her criticisms are not for altruistic reasons. Charity begins at home, but Aisha has never ever spoken about her downtrodden and impoverished people of Auchi in Edo state.

Worse still, she has extended her hate for Nigeria and Nigerians by enlisting into the Boko Haram terrorist group as both a cyberspace terrorist and a tormentor of innocent Nigerians that support the administration’s battle against terrorism.  She is unaware that Nigerians already knows her person. Her fake garments and hypocrisy are now open secrets.

Ochogwu is a concerned citizen and wrote this piece from Wuye, Abuja.
By Ruth Ochogwu

The proclivity of some Nigerians to abuse noble concepts is alarming and appalling. Elsewhere, activism is a dignified enterprise and those who engage in it are translucently selfless, cerebral, purposeful and focused. But the concept of activism has been terribly bruised and abused in Nigeria.

It is common to hear about branded versions of activism in Nigeria. The categories are many and varied. Often, one hears of “emergency activists,” “hired activists,” “street activists" and lots more. And because of the extremely unstructured pattern of life in the country, it is difficult to even differentiate activists from critics. Anyone who has a personal grudge or is disgruntled with government for selfish reasons wears the badge of “rights activist” and begins to prance about making hallucinatory noise.  

Genuine activists crusade popular causes, which are unambiguously beneficial to the people. The actions tilt to pro-masses agenda.  They do not personalize the struggle or hide under the veil of activism to champion self-centered interests in disguise. But Nigeria is unfortunate to have many of such fake and pseudo activists.  

The co-convener, #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group, and self-styled and accidental rights activist, Aisha Yesufu holds the latest flag of those who defame and traduce activism in Nigeria. Her conscription into BBOG under the pretext of campaigning for the release of abducted Chibok schoolgirls was to find a convenient platform to promote a personal agenda.

Aisha Yesufu has goofed terribly and the frustration is making her endlessly restless. She erroneously thought she had struck gold by her membership of BBOG group, which she could manipulate to ascend to power. But President Muhammadu Buhari did not meet her expectations. The President disappointed her.  

The consequence is Aisha Yesufu’s nurtured and bubbling pathological hatred for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, his appointees and all who serve in the government at different capacities. She posits herself as the author of knowledge in Nigeria and so, faults everything done by government, but has no worthwhile clue on a better alternative.  

She spreads criticisms on the present government like Coronavirus. And some gullible people erroneously term her watery and fluid criticisms as activism.  Aisha Yesufu wakes up everyday, looking for even the most irrelevant issues or insignificant matters to parrot. She parrots on everything under the sun, even on issues she is barren of knowledge.  And listening to her most times, it gives the impression that her upbringing was poor.

Aisha Yesufu feigns the posture of pro-masses activist. But her greatest burden is identifying the distinction between activism and criticism. But it is not controvertible that Aisha is a messenger of falsehood and her only motivation is the masked pursuit of a personal agenda, evident in acting the script of external forces against her country. She is a curse upon herself and nation.  Her grudge against Nigeria is that she suffered a deprived childhood and perceives the whole of society as her greatest enemy.  She is out to extract vengeance by force.

She is out on a revenge mission, but lacks the wisdom to prosecute it decently. She only manifests in perpetually faulting everything done by the leaders of Nigeria. Aisha Yesufu has mastered the antics of blackmailing and arm-twisting the government for patronage in appointment or other ways to compensate for her deprived childhood. It is a faulty approach.

She hypocritically feigns fighting for the poor or projects herself as the voice of the voiceless. But it is outright falsehood. The undeniable truth is that Aisha Yesufu is a reprobate and fake personality. A pseudo activist, her hypocrisy and capitalist quest clothed with the garments of a do-gooder are polluting any vestige of personality in her very fast and disgracefully.   

President Buhari’s government happens to be a victim of her unrestrained anger and frustration. So, she seeks every day to lower the esteem of the President and his administration in the eyes of Nigerians, but anchored on very feeble arguments and criticisms.

She hates PMB to a fault and therefore blind to reason. Her permutations using the plank of the BBOG forum was to strategically position herself to be noticed and consequently sneak her way into the administration of Buhari as Minister or head of a federal agency. But she was ignored and its spurred indignation. The fallout is that she finds it difficult to forgive the administration for failing to name her a minister in the same manner, Mrs.  Oby Ezekwesili is also mad at Mr. President. 

The irony in Nigeria is that people who obviously pursue personal agenda and vendetta posture as pro-masses crusaders to attract public sympathy. Aisha Yesufu’s case is more shameful because she is unconscionable, uses crude tactics and lacks tact in playing the game.  

Therefore, even if Mr. President coughs, she criticizes the  manner of coughing. Where it pains more is that she mouths on issues, it is apparent that she is less knowledgeable and speaks like a demented soul.

For instance, when President Buhari addressed the nation in the aftermath of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Nigeria and announced certain measures to curb the spread of the virus, Aisha Yesufu was in the news saying that she is not pleased with the advice given by the President. She created the impression of someone who is an expert in pandemic management; whilst she has no idea. Is Aisha advocating that President Buhari administer Nigeria based solely on the template defined by her?

And when the Hate Speech Bill was introduced in the Senate, Aisha Yesufu pushed it back to President Buhari. She failed to recognize that the executive and legislature are separate arms of government and so, Mr. President cannot interfare  with the conduct of their affairs.

In any case, in her excitement to be noticed or to blackmail the Presidency, Aisha Yesufu rushed to brand President Buhari as the number one hate speech purveyor, ludicrously citing the President’s description of Nigerian youths as lazy as constituting hate speech. What wisdom equates the utterance “laziness” to hate speech?  

And if it is not the display of barefaced insanity, what rationale should compel someone to question the decision of Mr. President directing the CBN to  stop issuing forex for the importation of food? Nigeria has achieved a significant level of food sufficiency and has no reason to keep enriching foreign nations through food importation.

But in Aisha Yesufu’s wisdom, hence forex is banned on food importation, it must also apply  on importation of petroleum products. In juxtaposition, can a normal person claim Nigeria has achieved self-sufficiency on refining of crude oil to service its domestic consumption?  

Not long ago, Aisha Yesufu almost had a fisticuff with the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi over the fake claims that the latter and passengers escaped kidnap by hoodlums at the Rigasa train station. She was not present at the scene of the incident; relied on secondary sources of information, but vouched for the concocted information as if she experienced it herself. It is the extent desperation has drenched Aisha Yesufu into a fake news monger for the simple reason of ridiculing the administration.   

It is easy to see the over-bloated ego in Aisha. It has become a serious burden to the management of her image and reputation. Fooling the people has become her habit  and she is finding it difficult to discard. What she has failed to realize is that Nigerians now know that behind the veil-wearing woman is a notorious and lavish liar, an opportunist and a woman whose insatiable quest for money cannot be quantified.

But Aisha nailed herself.  Her suspicious handling of the proceeds of the BBOG campaigns is reason the Buhari administration has maintained a safe distance from her and quarantined her from public funds. She hardly resists the temptation of money and those who know her perfectly claims she is a pilferer of naira not minding the source. 

So, the reality of her neglect has injected an endemic hatred into her against President Buhari and all that relates to him. Its only the President that she sees in her dreams. If she is not criticizing the military in the morning, she is criticizing Mrs. Buhari the next morning or the president’s ministers.

No one should be fooled by Aisha Yesufu’s antics. Her criticisms are not for altruistic reasons. Charity begins at home, but Aisha has never ever spoken about her downtrodden and impoverished people of Auchi in Edo state.

Worse still, she has extended her hate for Nigeria and Nigerians by enlisting into the Boko Haram terrorist group as both a cyberspace terrorist and a tormentor of innocent Nigerians that support the administration’s battle against terrorism.  She is unaware that Nigerians already knows her person. Her fake garments and hypocrisy are now open secrets.

Ochogwu is a concerned citizen and wrote this piece from Wuye, Abuja.

Pantami: Understanding The Shining Star And His Detractors, By David Onmeje

Pantami: Understanding The Shining Star And His Detractors, By David Onmeje

By David Onmeje 

It is a truism that opposition and robust criticisms suckle democratic wheels and allow governance flourish on beneficial templates. The problem in Nigeria is that a number of critics are more confused than the views they reel out in criticisms. Sometimes, they even reel out criticisms which burp with warped opinions, obviously pointing to the shadows of hirelings.

The National Communications Commission (NCC) Complex at Mbora was recently commissioned with President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance. It was a great accomplishment and a successful ceremony by all gradations.

But thereafter, a critic, apparently on a hatchet job, staged out with vituperations of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa  Ali Pantami.  Apparently, he had personal or instigated issues with the Honourable Minister, but unfortunately presented them in an award-winning trophy of flawed style and lost senses from the first word to the last with his flawed ink. Candidly, he impressed himself, but no one else.     

The critic, Emmanuel Johnmar was loud in condemnations of the Minister; labelled him a liar, corrupt, incompetent and a neophyte in managing Nigeria’s Telecommunications industry. Scrutinizing the contents of his criticisms, there was the confounding problem of establishing his real intent. He got himself confused more than the public he staged out to elucidate.

Was Johnmar attempting to praise Mr. President or berate him for appointing an incompetent person like Dr.  Pantami to superintend on Nigeria’s communication’s industry and digital economy?  At a point, the critic sounded like someone weeping for President Buhari for having a “disaster” like Pantami in his government. But could the critic be more catholic than the Pope?

What befuddled most was the critic’s parameters of what his intelligence could deliver to him as yardsticks of excellence or commendable performance on a job or public office. It was laughable that the critic’s notion of splendor in the case of NCC, one of the many agencies under the supervision of Dr. Pantami was that there is “no credibility in employment, promotions and awards of contracts.” Is this his idea of perfection in a public office? How could a normal person degenerate this poorly in reasoning?

Sadly, that’s the critic’s idea of excellence of a government agency or ministry and not service delivery to the public. It provided clear insights to discerning minds that disgruntled staff of NCC and their shadowy accomplices in the Ministry have contracted him to run down the Minister at all cost.

These are same critics who abuse President Buhari’s principle and philosophy that government is continuity. Nigeria’s landscape is dotted with billions upon billions of uncompleted projects. And public funds have been sunk into them, but every successive government abandon such projects. But President Buhari introduced a new approach to governance by completing these abandoned projects, yet the critics are still fuming and mouthing all manner of insanities in condemnations.

When Buhari completes projects abandoned by his predecessors, the critics claim he is devoid of wisdom to initiate and complete his own projects. If he overlooks them and apply his principle, in the greater interest of Nigerians, the same critics still complain. One is compelled to think whether Buhari’s predecessors brought out the money for such projects from their family patrimony.   

The crux of Johnmar’s criticisms on President Buhari, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) NCC, Prof. Garba Danbatta is that the incumbent administration never appreciated the NCC Complex building they commissioned as started by previous administrations in Nigeria.  What is the heck here?

The same senior officials Johnmar sought desperately and provocatively to disparage have traversed a long trajectory in public leadership. President Buhari’s public leadership antecedents are open secrets. Whilst Prof. Danbatta has an established niche as a famed academic in his field of specialization, who by virtue of public service, works under Minister Pantami. And both are crack brains in the Information and communication (ICT) industry in Nigeria.

Dr. Pantami particularly has come a long way in the ICT industry home and abroad. He established his fame years back,  right from the point he was the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the outset of the President Buhari’s administration.  

Buhari wanted to indoctrinate Nigeria into e-governance and he had to look for an ICT expert. He found an Information Communication Technology (ICT) specialist and Internet Technology (IT) czar, Dr. Isa Pantami, a Fellow of British Computer Society (FBCS).  His briefs from the Presidency was to spearhead reformations and innovations that would restructure and reposition NITDA as a vibrant agency of the federal government that will drive the Buhari administration’s dream of e-governance for Nigeria.

And Dr. Pantami marshalled out a work-plan and a template, which accomplished this mandate within the shortest possible time through an action frame-work he christened, as, “The Strategic Roadmap To Transform the Nigerian IT Sector,” document. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy elevated the Nigeria’s regulation of the IT industry and left relics such as e-governance in MDAs; enhanced cybersecurity; digital inclusion; platforms for private sector capacity building by IT stakeholders, development of local content and its promotion. 

Nigeria as a nation benefited a lot from his initiatives in NITDA. Through e-governance, ghost workers from the federal civil service numbering over 34, 000 were fished out and government saved billions of taxpayers’ money to invest in other sectors. JAMB now conducts Computer Based Tests (CBTs) and several other federal government MDAs are seamlessly harnessing the treasures of Dr. Pantami’s  IT knowledge in different sectors of governance.

It is the reliability and impact of Dr. Pantami’s performance in NITDA that ASUU is hesitating enrolment into IPPIS and advancing all manner of excuses. Its therefore, uncharitable for any critic to descend his contracted ink or axe on such a rare gift to Nigeria in the IT or ICT sector. Pantami’s elevation to the position of Minister streams from his preceding excellent performance as NITDA boss. President Buhari knows Pantami  has the knack for the job and willing to do it to the fullest to salvage Nigeria. Whatever Johnmar wrote adequately expressed itself in frustration.  

Nonetheless, as Minister, Dr. Pantami has taken full control of Nigeria’s Telecoms industry and IT world; he was first to decry to Telecoms operators that they are over-billing Nigerians on data. He was frank that once Nigerians purchase data, it should not expire. He is working towards implementing the pay -as- you-go package for all GSM operators in the country.  He is perfecting plans to compel Telecoms to charge Nigerians less for the services they offer.  

It is very unconscionable for a self-styled critic to brand Dr. Pantami  and those who work under him with such baseless allegations. These are allegations even the so-called critic has not dropped any hint about their veracity. It’s not  all about anyone sleeping to wake up and some demons quarantining his senses to scribble rubbish. The critic imagined and wrote frivolous allegations against Dr. Pantami because Nigeria is in a democratic government and freedom of expression is permitted. It smacks of the abuse of the same liberty of freedom of expression.

Minister Pantami remains one of the best leadership personalities in the new team of President Buhari  and a vital cog in the #NextLevel blueprint. And it is definite that detractors such as Johnmar would maliciously come after him. President Buhari selects his team carefully.

So, those trying to crucify Pantami’s efforts are both local and international enemies of Nigeria who do not want the progress of the country and have conscripted critics to act at their behest. The Minister’s stewardship is stainless and  
he is poised to add more value to the development of Nigeria in the ICT and IT sector. Let the angels of darkness allow the star to shine on Africa.

Dr. Pantami has demonstrated  himself as a dynamite in ideas, which are beneficially explosive. The critics should take an honourable bow out of his leadership space. Nothing written against Pantami has any modicum of conviction. It is  the simple and plain truth. Johnmar is however appreciated for exercising his freedom of expression in a democracy.  

Onmeje is Group Managing Director of TheNigerian News Group and wrote this piece from London.
By David Onmeje 

It is a truism that opposition and robust criticisms suckle democratic wheels and allow governance flourish on beneficial templates. The problem in Nigeria is that a number of critics are more confused than the views they reel out in criticisms. Sometimes, they even reel out criticisms which burp with warped opinions, obviously pointing to the shadows of hirelings.

The National Communications Commission (NCC) Complex at Mbora was recently commissioned with President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance. It was a great accomplishment and a successful ceremony by all gradations.

But thereafter, a critic, apparently on a hatchet job, staged out with vituperations of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa  Ali Pantami.  Apparently, he had personal or instigated issues with the Honourable Minister, but unfortunately presented them in an award-winning trophy of flawed style and lost senses from the first word to the last with his flawed ink. Candidly, he impressed himself, but no one else.     

The critic, Emmanuel Johnmar was loud in condemnations of the Minister; labelled him a liar, corrupt, incompetent and a neophyte in managing Nigeria’s Telecommunications industry. Scrutinizing the contents of his criticisms, there was the confounding problem of establishing his real intent. He got himself confused more than the public he staged out to elucidate.

Was Johnmar attempting to praise Mr. President or berate him for appointing an incompetent person like Dr.  Pantami to superintend on Nigeria’s communication’s industry and digital economy?  At a point, the critic sounded like someone weeping for President Buhari for having a “disaster” like Pantami in his government. But could the critic be more catholic than the Pope?

What befuddled most was the critic’s parameters of what his intelligence could deliver to him as yardsticks of excellence or commendable performance on a job or public office. It was laughable that the critic’s notion of splendor in the case of NCC, one of the many agencies under the supervision of Dr. Pantami was that there is “no credibility in employment, promotions and awards of contracts.” Is this his idea of perfection in a public office? How could a normal person degenerate this poorly in reasoning?

Sadly, that’s the critic’s idea of excellence of a government agency or ministry and not service delivery to the public. It provided clear insights to discerning minds that disgruntled staff of NCC and their shadowy accomplices in the Ministry have contracted him to run down the Minister at all cost.

These are same critics who abuse President Buhari’s principle and philosophy that government is continuity. Nigeria’s landscape is dotted with billions upon billions of uncompleted projects. And public funds have been sunk into them, but every successive government abandon such projects. But President Buhari introduced a new approach to governance by completing these abandoned projects, yet the critics are still fuming and mouthing all manner of insanities in condemnations.

When Buhari completes projects abandoned by his predecessors, the critics claim he is devoid of wisdom to initiate and complete his own projects. If he overlooks them and apply his principle, in the greater interest of Nigerians, the same critics still complain. One is compelled to think whether Buhari’s predecessors brought out the money for such projects from their family patrimony.   

The crux of Johnmar’s criticisms on President Buhari, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) NCC, Prof. Garba Danbatta is that the incumbent administration never appreciated the NCC Complex building they commissioned as started by previous administrations in Nigeria.  What is the heck here?

The same senior officials Johnmar sought desperately and provocatively to disparage have traversed a long trajectory in public leadership. President Buhari’s public leadership antecedents are open secrets. Whilst Prof. Danbatta has an established niche as a famed academic in his field of specialization, who by virtue of public service, works under Minister Pantami. And both are crack brains in the Information and communication (ICT) industry in Nigeria.

Dr. Pantami particularly has come a long way in the ICT industry home and abroad. He established his fame years back,  right from the point he was the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the outset of the President Buhari’s administration.  

Buhari wanted to indoctrinate Nigeria into e-governance and he had to look for an ICT expert. He found an Information Communication Technology (ICT) specialist and Internet Technology (IT) czar, Dr. Isa Pantami, a Fellow of British Computer Society (FBCS).  His briefs from the Presidency was to spearhead reformations and innovations that would restructure and reposition NITDA as a vibrant agency of the federal government that will drive the Buhari administration’s dream of e-governance for Nigeria.

And Dr. Pantami marshalled out a work-plan and a template, which accomplished this mandate within the shortest possible time through an action frame-work he christened, as, “The Strategic Roadmap To Transform the Nigerian IT Sector,” document. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy elevated the Nigeria’s regulation of the IT industry and left relics such as e-governance in MDAs; enhanced cybersecurity; digital inclusion; platforms for private sector capacity building by IT stakeholders, development of local content and its promotion. 

Nigeria as a nation benefited a lot from his initiatives in NITDA. Through e-governance, ghost workers from the federal civil service numbering over 34, 000 were fished out and government saved billions of taxpayers’ money to invest in other sectors. JAMB now conducts Computer Based Tests (CBTs) and several other federal government MDAs are seamlessly harnessing the treasures of Dr. Pantami’s  IT knowledge in different sectors of governance.

It is the reliability and impact of Dr. Pantami’s performance in NITDA that ASUU is hesitating enrolment into IPPIS and advancing all manner of excuses. Its therefore, uncharitable for any critic to descend his contracted ink or axe on such a rare gift to Nigeria in the IT or ICT sector. Pantami’s elevation to the position of Minister streams from his preceding excellent performance as NITDA boss. President Buhari knows Pantami  has the knack for the job and willing to do it to the fullest to salvage Nigeria. Whatever Johnmar wrote adequately expressed itself in frustration.  

Nonetheless, as Minister, Dr. Pantami has taken full control of Nigeria’s Telecoms industry and IT world; he was first to decry to Telecoms operators that they are over-billing Nigerians on data. He was frank that once Nigerians purchase data, it should not expire. He is working towards implementing the pay -as- you-go package for all GSM operators in the country.  He is perfecting plans to compel Telecoms to charge Nigerians less for the services they offer.  

It is very unconscionable for a self-styled critic to brand Dr. Pantami  and those who work under him with such baseless allegations. These are allegations even the so-called critic has not dropped any hint about their veracity. It’s not  all about anyone sleeping to wake up and some demons quarantining his senses to scribble rubbish. The critic imagined and wrote frivolous allegations against Dr. Pantami because Nigeria is in a democratic government and freedom of expression is permitted. It smacks of the abuse of the same liberty of freedom of expression.

Minister Pantami remains one of the best leadership personalities in the new team of President Buhari  and a vital cog in the #NextLevel blueprint. And it is definite that detractors such as Johnmar would maliciously come after him. President Buhari selects his team carefully.

So, those trying to crucify Pantami’s efforts are both local and international enemies of Nigeria who do not want the progress of the country and have conscripted critics to act at their behest. The Minister’s stewardship is stainless and  
he is poised to add more value to the development of Nigeria in the ICT and IT sector. Let the angels of darkness allow the star to shine on Africa.

Dr. Pantami has demonstrated  himself as a dynamite in ideas, which are beneficially explosive. The critics should take an honourable bow out of his leadership space. Nothing written against Pantami has any modicum of conviction. It is  the simple and plain truth. Johnmar is however appreciated for exercising his freedom of expression in a democracy.  

Onmeje is Group Managing Director of TheNigerian News Group and wrote this piece from London.

The Nigerian Military vs our enemies of progress, By Solomon Oseke

The Nigerian Military vs our enemies of progress, By Solomon Oseke

By Solomon Oseke

These are indeed interesting times in Nigeria where the media has elected to be on the other side of the divide, churning out divisive news items that serve the country no good, all in return for a plate of porridge. It is also a sad epoch in our existence as a people and as a country where some news platforms have taken the role of being the mouthpiece of the enemies of Nigeria. 

I get confused most times on how we got it so wrong in this country like we are a bunch of uneducated folks that know nothing about National interest. Some news platforms now see it as the fad to lead the assault against the government not for what it worth but to promote the interest of their paymasters that have refused to come to terms with the reality that Nigeria belongs to all of us and not a select and those that have also refused to come to terms that it is no longer business as usual where a few share the commonwealth of the people at the detriment of the over 180 million Nigerians. 

These news platforms are obsessed with everything about Nigeria. From the choice of the President to who has the right to appoint and sack Service Chiefs in the country. The Nigerian Military has also not been spared from their venomous attacks. Day in day out, we are regaled with fictitious stories about the President and how whatnot about the operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria. 

This trend is indeed worrisome and should give all well-meaning Nigerians a reason for worry because as it stands, we are not only fighting terrorism in North-East Nigeria, we have also been confronted by lack of patriotism from a constituency that is meant to maintain editorial independence, accuracy and fairness, social responsibility and public interest. 

This is the starkness of the reality confronting us as a country now and a vivid definition of the enemy within. The enemy within are those that use their positions to cause havoc rather than promote peaceful coexistence in the society. The enemies within are those who would stand truth on its head by publishing false and misleading stories for the consumption of the general public. The enemies within are those who would intentionally spread inaccurate figures from the North East and push to the public space without minding the consequences of such actions on the overall psyche of the fighting troops as well as the generality of Nigerians. 

The enemies within are those who would collect gratification from members of the opposition and spread propaganda using their news medium all in the name of playing politics and at the detriment of National Interest. The enemies within are those who are not happy with the gains been recorded by the Nigerian Military in the war against terrorism in the country. The enemies within are those who would leak to the Boko Haram terrorist the operational strategies of the Nigerian Military. 
The enemies within are those who quote military commanders out of context to destabilize the system, and the enemies within are those that wine and dine with the enemies of Nigeria in their quest for the disintegration of Nigeria. And the list goes on. 

I have had reason to state in numerous forums that the challenges facing Nigeria are orchestrated and sustained with the active connivance of some news platforms that have elected to be the devil’s advocate in time as critical as this in the annals of the country. 

In recent times, the worst hit is the Nigerian Military in the theater of operations in North-East Nigeria. It is so grave that now these individuals twist everything that comes from the theater of operations to give a different interpretation to the general public. The recent casualty of their mischief is the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, where he was quoted out of context in such a despicable manner. 

I am at a loss as to how we got it so wrong in Nigeria. As a start, since 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed leadership of the country, Nigerians sighed relief and wished for our hopes and aspirations to be translated into tangible realities. This much we saw with the quality of appointments into critical areas of the Nigerian economy, including the Nigerian Military. 

Using the Boko Haram war as an example, the Nigerian Military hit the ground running after the presidential directive for the relocation of the military command to Maiduguri in Borno State. And in less than a year, we saw tangible results with territories under the control of the Boko Haram group recaptured. The leadership of the Boko Haram group was dislodged from their operational headquarters in Sambisa Forest, and their remnants scattered all over the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region. 

Nigerians were relieved. They were grateful and encouraged the Nigerian Military to do more to put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram group. Little did we know that some were not happy, and they consequently ganged up against Nigeria. And as funny as this might sound, the likes of Sahara Reporters led this charge in their onslaught against Nigeria. 

Sahara Reporters and their agents have been at the vanguard of ensuring that Nigeria does not know peace. They have twisted and falsified figures. They have misinterpreted government policies and efforts towards ending the war against terrorism in Nigeria. They are in the habit of going to town with false casualty figures in an attempt to instigate mutiny in the Armed Forces. 

This was the case during the Goodluck Jonathan era, and they succeeded, and Nigeria suffered the consequences. And ironically, this same strategy is what is happening now in Nigeria, and Nigerians must be aware of this nefarious plot against the Nigeria Military. 

We must realize that they are more ferocious than before and would stop at nothing to ensure that they achieve their notorious agenda. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Nigerian Military is their strategic focus due to its exploits in the war against terrorism in North-East Nigeria. But for how long they intend to carry on remains to be understood. This would only be possible if Nigerians allow it. 

In all of these, I am more than convinced that all those that have elected to be on the side of the evil plot against Nigeria would be indeed put to shame. And how would this be possible? This would be possible if all Nigerians, as a matter of urgency, begin to disregard the activities of Sahara Reporters and their agents scattered all over Nigeria. 

The good news is that Nigeria is indeed bigger than those individuals and their agents that are against the interest of Nigeria. I firmly believe that Nigerians would, in one voice, reject and rebuke those that are against our progress as a people and as a country. 

The government also has a role to play. They must strive to control the narrative in the media to feed Nigerians with the actual situations of things at all times and every given opportunity. They must not allow the likes of Sahara Reporters and their agents to take the lead as this might have harsh consequences for the morale of its troops in operation in North-East Nigeria. 

Nigerians must stay united in our quest for sustainable growth and development. We must form a common voice to defeat the enemies within and as well as the enemies of our progress. Nigeria is indeed on the path of greatness. I salute the enormous sacrifices of our Military and can only encourage them to do more in service to fatherland.


Oseke wrote this article from Auchi. 

These are indeed interesting times in Nigeria where the media has elected to be on the other side of the divide, churning out divisive news items that serve the country no good, all in return for a plate of porridge. It is also a sad epoch in our existence as a people and as a country where some news platforms have taken the role of being the mouthpiece of the enemies of Nigeria. 

I get confused most times on how we got it so wrong in this country like we are a bunch of uneducated folks that know nothing about National interest. Some news platforms now see it as the fad to lead the assault against the government not for what it worth but to promote the interest of their paymasters that have refused to come to terms with the reality that Nigeria belongs to all of us and not a select and those that have also refused to come to terms that it is no longer business as usual where a few share the commonwealth of the people at the detriment of the over 180 million Nigerians. 

These news platforms are obsessed with everything about Nigeria. From the choice of the President to who has the right to appoint and sack Service Chiefs in the country. The Nigerian Military has also not been spared from their venomous attacks. Day in day out, we are regaled with fictitious stories about the President and how whatnot about the operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria. 

This trend is indeed worrisome and should give all well-meaning Nigerians a reason for worry because as it stands, we are not only fighting terrorism in North-East Nigeria, we have also been confronted by lack of patriotism from a constituency that is meant to maintain editorial independence, accuracy and fairness, social responsibility and public interest. 

This is the starkness of the reality confronting us as a country now and a vivid definition of the enemy within. The enemy within are those that use their positions to cause havoc rather than promote peaceful coexistence in the society. The enemies within are those who would stand truth on its head by publishing false and misleading stories for the consumption of the general public. The enemies within are those who would intentionally spread inaccurate figures from the North East and push to the public space without minding the consequences of such actions on the overall psyche of the fighting troops as well as the generality of Nigerians. 

The enemies within are those who would collect gratification from members of the opposition and spread propaganda using their news medium all in the name of playing politics and at the detriment of National Interest. The enemies within are those who are not happy with the gains been recorded by the Nigerian Military in the war against terrorism in the country. The enemies within are those who would leak to the Boko Haram terrorist the operational strategies of the Nigerian Military. 
The enemies within are those who quote military commanders out of context to destabilize the system, and the enemies within are those that wine and dine with the enemies of Nigeria in their quest for the disintegration of Nigeria. And the list goes on. 

I have had reason to state in numerous forums that the challenges facing Nigeria are orchestrated and sustained with the active connivance of some news platforms that have elected to be the devil’s advocate in time as critical as this in the annals of the country. 

In recent times, the worst hit is the Nigerian Military in the theater of operations in North-East Nigeria. It is so grave that now these individuals twist everything that comes from the theater of operations to give a different interpretation to the general public. The recent casualty of their mischief is the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, where he was quoted out of context in such a despicable manner. 

I am at a loss as to how we got it so wrong in Nigeria. As a start, since 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed leadership of the country, Nigerians sighed relief and wished for our hopes and aspirations to be translated into tangible realities. This much we saw with the quality of appointments into critical areas of the Nigerian economy, including the Nigerian Military. 

Using the Boko Haram war as an example, the Nigerian Military hit the ground running after the presidential directive for the relocation of the military command to Maiduguri in Borno State. And in less than a year, we saw tangible results with territories under the control of the Boko Haram group recaptured. The leadership of the Boko Haram group was dislodged from their operational headquarters in Sambisa Forest, and their remnants scattered all over the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region. 

Nigerians were relieved. They were grateful and encouraged the Nigerian Military to do more to put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram group. Little did we know that some were not happy, and they consequently ganged up against Nigeria. And as funny as this might sound, the likes of Sahara Reporters led this charge in their onslaught against Nigeria. 

Sahara Reporters and their agents have been at the vanguard of ensuring that Nigeria does not know peace. They have twisted and falsified figures. They have misinterpreted government policies and efforts towards ending the war against terrorism in Nigeria. They are in the habit of going to town with false casualty figures in an attempt to instigate mutiny in the Armed Forces. 

This was the case during the Goodluck Jonathan era, and they succeeded, and Nigeria suffered the consequences. And ironically, this same strategy is what is happening now in Nigeria, and Nigerians must be aware of this nefarious plot against the Nigeria Military. 

We must realize that they are more ferocious than before and would stop at nothing to ensure that they achieve their notorious agenda. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Nigerian Military is their strategic focus due to its exploits in the war against terrorism in North-East Nigeria. But for how long they intend to carry on remains to be understood. This would only be possible if Nigerians allow it. 

In all of these, I am more than convinced that all those that have elected to be on the side of the evil plot against Nigeria would be indeed put to shame. And how would this be possible? This would be possible if all Nigerians, as a matter of urgency, begin to disregard the activities of Sahara Reporters and their agents scattered all over Nigeria. 

The good news is that Nigeria is indeed bigger than those individuals and their agents that are against the interest of Nigeria. I firmly believe that Nigerians would, in one voice, reject and rebuke those that are against our progress as a people and as a country. 

The government also has a role to play. They must strive to control the narrative in the media to feed Nigerians with the actual situations of things at all times and every given opportunity. They must not allow the likes of Sahara Reporters and their agents to take the lead as this might have harsh consequences for the morale of its troops in operation in North-East Nigeria. 

Nigerians must stay united in our quest for sustainable growth and development. We must form a common voice to defeat the enemies within and as well as the enemies of our progress. Nigeria is indeed on the path of greatness. I salute the enormous sacrifices of our Military and can only encourage them to do more in service to fatherland.


Oseke wrote this article from  Auchi.
By Solomon Oseke

These are indeed interesting times in Nigeria where the media has elected to be on the other side of the divide, churning out divisive news items that serve the country no good, all in return for a plate of porridge. It is also a sad epoch in our existence as a people and as a country where some news platforms have taken the role of being the mouthpiece of the enemies of Nigeria. 

I get confused most times on how we got it so wrong in this country like we are a bunch of uneducated folks that know nothing about National interest. Some news platforms now see it as the fad to lead the assault against the government not for what it worth but to promote the interest of their paymasters that have refused to come to terms with the reality that Nigeria belongs to all of us and not a select and those that have also refused to come to terms that it is no longer business as usual where a few share the commonwealth of the people at the detriment of the over 180 million Nigerians. 

These news platforms are obsessed with everything about Nigeria. From the choice of the President to who has the right to appoint and sack Service Chiefs in the country. The Nigerian Military has also not been spared from their venomous attacks. Day in day out, we are regaled with fictitious stories about the President and how whatnot about the operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria. 

This trend is indeed worrisome and should give all well-meaning Nigerians a reason for worry because as it stands, we are not only fighting terrorism in North-East Nigeria, we have also been confronted by lack of patriotism from a constituency that is meant to maintain editorial independence, accuracy and fairness, social responsibility and public interest. 

This is the starkness of the reality confronting us as a country now and a vivid definition of the enemy within. The enemy within are those that use their positions to cause havoc rather than promote peaceful coexistence in the society. The enemies within are those who would stand truth on its head by publishing false and misleading stories for the consumption of the general public. The enemies within are those who would intentionally spread inaccurate figures from the North East and push to the public space without minding the consequences of such actions on the overall psyche of the fighting troops as well as the generality of Nigerians. 

The enemies within are those who would collect gratification from members of the opposition and spread propaganda using their news medium all in the name of playing politics and at the detriment of National Interest. The enemies within are those who are not happy with the gains been recorded by the Nigerian Military in the war against terrorism in the country. The enemies within are those who would leak to the Boko Haram terrorist the operational strategies of the Nigerian Military. 
The enemies within are those who quote military commanders out of context to destabilize the system, and the enemies within are those that wine and dine with the enemies of Nigeria in their quest for the disintegration of Nigeria. And the list goes on. 

I have had reason to state in numerous forums that the challenges facing Nigeria are orchestrated and sustained with the active connivance of some news platforms that have elected to be the devil’s advocate in time as critical as this in the annals of the country. 

In recent times, the worst hit is the Nigerian Military in the theater of operations in North-East Nigeria. It is so grave that now these individuals twist everything that comes from the theater of operations to give a different interpretation to the general public. The recent casualty of their mischief is the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, where he was quoted out of context in such a despicable manner. 

I am at a loss as to how we got it so wrong in Nigeria. As a start, since 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed leadership of the country, Nigerians sighed relief and wished for our hopes and aspirations to be translated into tangible realities. This much we saw with the quality of appointments into critical areas of the Nigerian economy, including the Nigerian Military. 

Using the Boko Haram war as an example, the Nigerian Military hit the ground running after the presidential directive for the relocation of the military command to Maiduguri in Borno State. And in less than a year, we saw tangible results with territories under the control of the Boko Haram group recaptured. The leadership of the Boko Haram group was dislodged from their operational headquarters in Sambisa Forest, and their remnants scattered all over the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region. 

Nigerians were relieved. They were grateful and encouraged the Nigerian Military to do more to put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram group. Little did we know that some were not happy, and they consequently ganged up against Nigeria. And as funny as this might sound, the likes of Sahara Reporters led this charge in their onslaught against Nigeria. 

Sahara Reporters and their agents have been at the vanguard of ensuring that Nigeria does not know peace. They have twisted and falsified figures. They have misinterpreted government policies and efforts towards ending the war against terrorism in Nigeria. They are in the habit of going to town with false casualty figures in an attempt to instigate mutiny in the Armed Forces. 

This was the case during the Goodluck Jonathan era, and they succeeded, and Nigeria suffered the consequences. And ironically, this same strategy is what is happening now in Nigeria, and Nigerians must be aware of this nefarious plot against the Nigeria Military. 

We must realize that they are more ferocious than before and would stop at nothing to ensure that they achieve their notorious agenda. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Nigerian Military is their strategic focus due to its exploits in the war against terrorism in North-East Nigeria. But for how long they intend to carry on remains to be understood. This would only be possible if Nigerians allow it. 

In all of these, I am more than convinced that all those that have elected to be on the side of the evil plot against Nigeria would be indeed put to shame. And how would this be possible? This would be possible if all Nigerians, as a matter of urgency, begin to disregard the activities of Sahara Reporters and their agents scattered all over Nigeria. 

The good news is that Nigeria is indeed bigger than those individuals and their agents that are against the interest of Nigeria. I firmly believe that Nigerians would, in one voice, reject and rebuke those that are against our progress as a people and as a country. 

The government also has a role to play. They must strive to control the narrative in the media to feed Nigerians with the actual situations of things at all times and every given opportunity. They must not allow the likes of Sahara Reporters and their agents to take the lead as this might have harsh consequences for the morale of its troops in operation in North-East Nigeria. 

Nigerians must stay united in our quest for sustainable growth and development. We must form a common voice to defeat the enemies within and as well as the enemies of our progress. Nigeria is indeed on the path of greatness. I salute the enormous sacrifices of our Military and can only encourage them to do more in service to fatherland.


Oseke wrote this article from Auchi. 

These are indeed interesting times in Nigeria where the media has elected to be on the other side of the divide, churning out divisive news items that serve the country no good, all in return for a plate of porridge. It is also a sad epoch in our existence as a people and as a country where some news platforms have taken the role of being the mouthpiece of the enemies of Nigeria. 

I get confused most times on how we got it so wrong in this country like we are a bunch of uneducated folks that know nothing about National interest. Some news platforms now see it as the fad to lead the assault against the government not for what it worth but to promote the interest of their paymasters that have refused to come to terms with the reality that Nigeria belongs to all of us and not a select and those that have also refused to come to terms that it is no longer business as usual where a few share the commonwealth of the people at the detriment of the over 180 million Nigerians. 

These news platforms are obsessed with everything about Nigeria. From the choice of the President to who has the right to appoint and sack Service Chiefs in the country. The Nigerian Military has also not been spared from their venomous attacks. Day in day out, we are regaled with fictitious stories about the President and how whatnot about the operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria. 

This trend is indeed worrisome and should give all well-meaning Nigerians a reason for worry because as it stands, we are not only fighting terrorism in North-East Nigeria, we have also been confronted by lack of patriotism from a constituency that is meant to maintain editorial independence, accuracy and fairness, social responsibility and public interest. 

This is the starkness of the reality confronting us as a country now and a vivid definition of the enemy within. The enemy within are those that use their positions to cause havoc rather than promote peaceful coexistence in the society. The enemies within are those who would stand truth on its head by publishing false and misleading stories for the consumption of the general public. The enemies within are those who would intentionally spread inaccurate figures from the North East and push to the public space without minding the consequences of such actions on the overall psyche of the fighting troops as well as the generality of Nigerians. 

The enemies within are those who would collect gratification from members of the opposition and spread propaganda using their news medium all in the name of playing politics and at the detriment of National Interest. The enemies within are those who are not happy with the gains been recorded by the Nigerian Military in the war against terrorism in the country. The enemies within are those who would leak to the Boko Haram terrorist the operational strategies of the Nigerian Military. 
The enemies within are those who quote military commanders out of context to destabilize the system, and the enemies within are those that wine and dine with the enemies of Nigeria in their quest for the disintegration of Nigeria. And the list goes on. 

I have had reason to state in numerous forums that the challenges facing Nigeria are orchestrated and sustained with the active connivance of some news platforms that have elected to be the devil’s advocate in time as critical as this in the annals of the country. 

In recent times, the worst hit is the Nigerian Military in the theater of operations in North-East Nigeria. It is so grave that now these individuals twist everything that comes from the theater of operations to give a different interpretation to the general public. The recent casualty of their mischief is the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, where he was quoted out of context in such a despicable manner. 

I am at a loss as to how we got it so wrong in Nigeria. As a start, since 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed leadership of the country, Nigerians sighed relief and wished for our hopes and aspirations to be translated into tangible realities. This much we saw with the quality of appointments into critical areas of the Nigerian economy, including the Nigerian Military. 

Using the Boko Haram war as an example, the Nigerian Military hit the ground running after the presidential directive for the relocation of the military command to Maiduguri in Borno State. And in less than a year, we saw tangible results with territories under the control of the Boko Haram group recaptured. The leadership of the Boko Haram group was dislodged from their operational headquarters in Sambisa Forest, and their remnants scattered all over the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region. 

Nigerians were relieved. They were grateful and encouraged the Nigerian Military to do more to put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram group. Little did we know that some were not happy, and they consequently ganged up against Nigeria. And as funny as this might sound, the likes of Sahara Reporters led this charge in their onslaught against Nigeria. 

Sahara Reporters and their agents have been at the vanguard of ensuring that Nigeria does not know peace. They have twisted and falsified figures. They have misinterpreted government policies and efforts towards ending the war against terrorism in Nigeria. They are in the habit of going to town with false casualty figures in an attempt to instigate mutiny in the Armed Forces. 

This was the case during the Goodluck Jonathan era, and they succeeded, and Nigeria suffered the consequences. And ironically, this same strategy is what is happening now in Nigeria, and Nigerians must be aware of this nefarious plot against the Nigeria Military. 

We must realize that they are more ferocious than before and would stop at nothing to ensure that they achieve their notorious agenda. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Nigerian Military is their strategic focus due to its exploits in the war against terrorism in North-East Nigeria. But for how long they intend to carry on remains to be understood. This would only be possible if Nigerians allow it. 

In all of these, I am more than convinced that all those that have elected to be on the side of the evil plot against Nigeria would be indeed put to shame. And how would this be possible? This would be possible if all Nigerians, as a matter of urgency, begin to disregard the activities of Sahara Reporters and their agents scattered all over Nigeria. 

The good news is that Nigeria is indeed bigger than those individuals and their agents that are against the interest of Nigeria. I firmly believe that Nigerians would, in one voice, reject and rebuke those that are against our progress as a people and as a country. 

The government also has a role to play. They must strive to control the narrative in the media to feed Nigerians with the actual situations of things at all times and every given opportunity. They must not allow the likes of Sahara Reporters and their agents to take the lead as this might have harsh consequences for the morale of its troops in operation in North-East Nigeria. 

Nigerians must stay united in our quest for sustainable growth and development. We must form a common voice to defeat the enemies within and as well as the enemies of our progress. Nigeria is indeed on the path of greatness. I salute the enormous sacrifices of our Military and can only encourage them to do more in service to fatherland.


Oseke wrote this article from  Auchi.

Truth vs. falsehood: When not to crucify the Military, By Ebuka Jackson

Truth vs. falsehood: When not to crucify the Military, By Ebuka Jackson

By Ebuka Jackson 

I am one of those that that have long stated that journalism has been destroyed in Nigeria with the half-truths and often malicious reportage of events in recent times. It is so despicable that some news mediums would go any length to spread falsehoods, not minding the consequences of such actions in the polity. 

The recent redeployments carried out by the Nigerian Army has again elicited reactions from some certain quarters after a news medium in their wisdom twisted the narrative in an attempt to mislead the general public into believing what is not the case. 

As a start, it must be stated in unequivocal terms that should the likes of Sahara Reporters carry on in this fashion, Nigeria might wake up one day and realize that we do not have a country anymore.  

It is no secret that Sahara Reporters thrives in falsehood, and the content of their news items are highly paid for by their numerous clients that consist mainly of those who do not have the interest of the country at heart. I stand to be corrected; Sahara Reporters can be termed a platform dedicated to the propagation of Armageddon in Nigeria. 

Its editorial style smacks a mockery of what journalism entails. Its writing style is unprofessional and lacks every sense of standard editing protocols. It’s more like a copy and pastes session where they are eager to publish in return for their paycheck. 

This brings me to the recent publication by the same Sahara Reporters wherein it stated mischievously that the recent redeployment of the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole in North-East Nigeria by the Nigerian Army was done because Major General Olusegun Adeniyi complained and exposed the inefficiencies of the operations of the Nigerian Army in North-East Nigeria. 

This was not surprising coming from the stable of Sahara Reporters. But the challenge here is the fact that the news medium would elect to pass such falsehood to the unsuspecting general public with so much impunity, not minding whose ox is gored.    

As a first, Sahara Reporters is not conversant with military operations, and as such, it is smacks of a mockery for it to attempt to blackmail the Nigerian Military for a purely military action. I am constrained to pen this article to put issues in proper perspectives as one conversant with the operations of the Nigerian Military with regards to promotions, demotions, appointments, and redeployments. 

As a start, there are standard procedures in the Nigerian Military with regards to the above mentioned. The operational strategies of the Military are always subjected to routine appraisals, and based on reviews, such things as promotions, deployments, and the likes are effected in boosting the operational effectiveness of the force. 

I want to use the case of rotation of troops in the battlefront as an example. It is standard procedure, not just in the Nigerian Military, for occasional rotation of officers in their various commands. This is so because when an officer stays too long in a duty post, there is a tendency for such officer to get compromised in the cause of the discharge of their duties. This practice is not just restricted to Nigeria but the world over. This is easily verifiable. 

So, that Sahara Reporters sees the redeployment of Major General Olusegun Adeniyi as witch-hunting is a function of two variables. One is the fact that they must have acted in crass ignorance of standard military practice, and two, they carried out the instructions of their paymasters to cause disaffection in the polity. 

Either of the above, their action is quite despicable and capable of causing unrest in the country. And not just that, their actions can go a long way in causing mutiny in the Nigerian Military for very obvious reasons. It must be stated that since the formation of Operation Lafiya Dole in North-East Nigeria, scores of commanders have been appointed and replaced by the military hierarchy in line with standard practice. And this standard practice was what led to the appointment of Major General Olusegun Adeniyi in August of 2019 when he took over from Major General Benson Akinroluyo. 

It also suffices to add that Major General Olusegun Adeniyi has been in the theatre of operations in Maiduguri for a while. He was the deputy theatre commander to Major General Benson Akinroluyo, whom he subsequently took over from as commander in 2019. So in a way, the narrative been pushed by Sahara Reporters is not only defective, but it is also of poor taste given the fact that Major General Olusegun Adeniyi has been in the theatre of operations for over four years as deputy theatre commander and subsequently as commander. 

I must state that this is standard practice, and this much as seen to the various rotations of officers across military formations in the country. Mind you; the recent redeployments didn’t affect Major General Olusegun Adeniyi alone as scores of officers were also affected. 

At this point, the public must be aware that Sahara Reporters desist from crucifying the Nigerian Military for no justifiable reason. It must also do well to learn not to delve into issues that are routine military practice the world over. It is, therefore, my considered opinion that this is not a time to play to the gallery. They can continue their money for stories regime, but I beg that the Nigerian Military is spared their shenanigans. 

The enormity of the task at hand requires all levels of concentration, and this much Sahara Reporters must realize and come to terms with. They should also do well to educate their paymasters that spreading falsehood against the Military serves no good now and always. 

The public must also do well to see through the veil of Sahara Reporters and consequently views its reportage of issues with a pinch of salt. A word is indeed enough for the discerning. This is my take.


Jackson is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Abuja.
By Ebuka Jackson 

I am one of those that that have long stated that journalism has been destroyed in Nigeria with the half-truths and often malicious reportage of events in recent times. It is so despicable that some news mediums would go any length to spread falsehoods, not minding the consequences of such actions in the polity. 

The recent redeployments carried out by the Nigerian Army has again elicited reactions from some certain quarters after a news medium in their wisdom twisted the narrative in an attempt to mislead the general public into believing what is not the case. 

As a start, it must be stated in unequivocal terms that should the likes of Sahara Reporters carry on in this fashion, Nigeria might wake up one day and realize that we do not have a country anymore.  

It is no secret that Sahara Reporters thrives in falsehood, and the content of their news items are highly paid for by their numerous clients that consist mainly of those who do not have the interest of the country at heart. I stand to be corrected; Sahara Reporters can be termed a platform dedicated to the propagation of Armageddon in Nigeria. 

Its editorial style smacks a mockery of what journalism entails. Its writing style is unprofessional and lacks every sense of standard editing protocols. It’s more like a copy and pastes session where they are eager to publish in return for their paycheck. 

This brings me to the recent publication by the same Sahara Reporters wherein it stated mischievously that the recent redeployment of the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole in North-East Nigeria by the Nigerian Army was done because Major General Olusegun Adeniyi complained and exposed the inefficiencies of the operations of the Nigerian Army in North-East Nigeria. 

This was not surprising coming from the stable of Sahara Reporters. But the challenge here is the fact that the news medium would elect to pass such falsehood to the unsuspecting general public with so much impunity, not minding whose ox is gored.    

As a first, Sahara Reporters is not conversant with military operations, and as such, it is smacks of a mockery for it to attempt to blackmail the Nigerian Military for a purely military action. I am constrained to pen this article to put issues in proper perspectives as one conversant with the operations of the Nigerian Military with regards to promotions, demotions, appointments, and redeployments. 

As a start, there are standard procedures in the Nigerian Military with regards to the above mentioned. The operational strategies of the Military are always subjected to routine appraisals, and based on reviews, such things as promotions, deployments, and the likes are effected in boosting the operational effectiveness of the force. 

I want to use the case of rotation of troops in the battlefront as an example. It is standard procedure, not just in the Nigerian Military, for occasional rotation of officers in their various commands. This is so because when an officer stays too long in a duty post, there is a tendency for such officer to get compromised in the cause of the discharge of their duties. This practice is not just restricted to Nigeria but the world over. This is easily verifiable. 

So, that Sahara Reporters sees the redeployment of Major General Olusegun Adeniyi as witch-hunting is a function of two variables. One is the fact that they must have acted in crass ignorance of standard military practice, and two, they carried out the instructions of their paymasters to cause disaffection in the polity. 

Either of the above, their action is quite despicable and capable of causing unrest in the country. And not just that, their actions can go a long way in causing mutiny in the Nigerian Military for very obvious reasons. It must be stated that since the formation of Operation Lafiya Dole in North-East Nigeria, scores of commanders have been appointed and replaced by the military hierarchy in line with standard practice. And this standard practice was what led to the appointment of Major General Olusegun Adeniyi in August of 2019 when he took over from Major General Benson Akinroluyo. 

It also suffices to add that Major General Olusegun Adeniyi has been in the theatre of operations in Maiduguri for a while. He was the deputy theatre commander to Major General Benson Akinroluyo, whom he subsequently took over from as commander in 2019. So in a way, the narrative been pushed by Sahara Reporters is not only defective, but it is also of poor taste given the fact that Major General Olusegun Adeniyi has been in the theatre of operations for over four years as deputy theatre commander and subsequently as commander. 

I must state that this is standard practice, and this much as seen to the various rotations of officers across military formations in the country. Mind you; the recent redeployments didn’t affect Major General Olusegun Adeniyi alone as scores of officers were also affected. 

At this point, the public must be aware that Sahara Reporters desist from crucifying the Nigerian Military for no justifiable reason. It must also do well to learn not to delve into issues that are routine military practice the world over. It is, therefore, my considered opinion that this is not a time to play to the gallery. They can continue their money for stories regime, but I beg that the Nigerian Military is spared their shenanigans. 

The enormity of the task at hand requires all levels of concentration, and this much Sahara Reporters must realize and come to terms with. They should also do well to educate their paymasters that spreading falsehood against the Military serves no good now and always. 

The public must also do well to see through the veil of Sahara Reporters and consequently views its reportage of issues with a pinch of salt. A word is indeed enough for the discerning. This is my take.


Jackson is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Abuja.

Exclusive: Blackmailing Buhari is the new crude oil, Abubakar Shehu 

Exclusive: Blackmailing Buhari is the new crude oil, Abubakar Shehu 

By Abubakar Shehu

As world economies brace for the financial impact of the COVID-19 virus and with Nigeria steeling itself for the economic strain that will come from slump in crude oil prices, persons recruited to blackmail and malign President Muhammadu Buhari are set to pocket huge payouts that rival crude oil revenue.  

Details that have leaked from the circuit involved in the anti-Buhari propaganda indicated that paid activists, opinion influencers, public commentators and others that have been recruited for the purpose get paid as much as $10,000 for each round of damaging story that they deliver to undermine the president.  

A favourite target for these reputational hitmen is the military against which they have coordinated series of damaging reports in recent days, ostensibly in an effort to indirectly undermine the image of the President, whose re-election campaign hinged significantly on restoring security to Nigeria’s troubled northeast region and other parts of the country where there are security breaches.  

These paid activists, who must have proven portfolios of consistently being pro-opposition and antagonistic of the present administration, were specifically commissioned to work on actions that will generate news reportage that beam a negative light on the incumbent government.  interfaces were created between them and select media organizations that are ready to publish the contents they generate and also amplify same using their social media assets.

In the space of one week, the recruited activists have launched major offensives on the President using incidents like the handling of COVID-19 Pandemic, Boko Haram attack on government troops in Yobe state, the routine transfers conducted in the army, donations from private sector for managing the corona virus spread amongst others. These offensives were responsible for the seeming lack of coherence in the claims being made against the president and the military like when the same activists that drew attention to the Boko Haram attack became angry with the army for re-organizing for efficiency. 

By replicating these misleading information on various platforms and delivered by different activists, the mercenaries are able to create the impression that the view they are pushing is widespread and reflects the preponderance of perception in Nigeria. 

A media analyst, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, noted that the public opinion space is being poisoned by the mercenaries as they now make it impossible for people to make logical deductions based on the facts in the public domain. He said “It is amazing that the people who have anointed themselves as experts in the way President Buhari, through the military, is handling the war against Boko Haram, are able to report and celebrate 50 to 70 troops killed in an attack without minding to spare one line to mention the more than 120 terrorists that were killed in that operation.  

“it is a grave danger that a few people, flush with bloodstained dollars, can totally dictate what the populace focuses on, including manipulating the mainstream media to point that they became incapable of independently verifying facts. When a neighbouring country, Chad, suffered a worse casualty count, these propaganda urchins stayed silent possibly because there was no dollar credit for maligning the Chadian President,” he stressed.  

Clergy Involved   

A consequent outcome of manipulating the mainstream media on the scale that the crisis entrepreneurs have done is a resounding loss of credibility. Media platforms have been compromised over time such that those that sponsors of these propaganda onslaughts want to believe their lies can no longer be reached by these same media.   

This has compelled them to recruit some pastors into their ranks so that they are able to use the credibility of their pulpits to push the propaganda messaging at their members. Such pastors attempt to whip up sentiments against the government in their sermons like telling congregants that the present government is the most wicked and insensitive in history. 

Some clergymen have also been lined up to put up defiance against measures announced to contain the spread of COVID-19, like keeping their churches opened in violation of the directive on social distancing. The activists have been quick to cite religious persecution in defence of such pastors by claiming that their freedom of worship should not be infringed upon.  

Tenfold Incentive 

A few of the mercenaries received their $10,000 payouts without being able to make the kind of dent expected of them in tarnishing the reputation of President Buhari and when they were queried over their failure they reported back that the amount was insufficient to do the job and still leave some profits for the hitmen.   

The outcome was increasing the reward system by ten folds. Those that were able to convincingly push damaging contents about the military get the base $10,000 while those that are able to take on the credibility of President Buhari get ten times that amount, which is $100,000 or N40 million.  

Leaked information indicated that these paid activists are positoned to further demonize the military by questioning any roles they are assigned in curbing the spread of COVID-19 especially as it pertains to enforcing the shutdown of several states of the federation, which would necessitate the enforcement of the restiction placed on movement as part of the social distancing strategy.  

Several countries that have taken huge fatalities from the virus were compelled to activate their military to enforce quarantine and movement restrictions that have been found to help slow down the virus. In other places, the military was strategic in setting up emergency field hospital, which the military in Nigeria is also capable of.  

But to ensure that President Buhari’s response to the virus is constrained, they have launched first wave of attack in the form of asking questions about the legality of the Federal Government shutting down FCT, Lagos and Ogun in response to the virus. Legal practitioner, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, SAN, had led the charge among those questioning the legality of the shutdown. While it appeared that these critics backed down from their criticism after being schooled by the attorney-general and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in reality they have set down the groundwork for questioning any roles that the president assigns to the Army in countering coronavirus.  

Suppressed content   

The mercenaries hired to undermine the president suppress more than the execution of their own projects as seen in the climbdown on asking about the legality of the shutdown. They are also implementing a strategy of dampening news about any exploit recorded by the administration, especially the military. The aim of this is to ensure that only negative news about the government and the military are promoted in order to drown out whatever positive achievements is recorded. 

The killing of top Boko Haram commander, Abu Usamah, on March 22 is one of such instances. When Boko Haram terrorists make any seeming gains, these activists and their associates are quick to grant media interviews, pen analyses and produce other media contents that keep such attack in the news and allow it to maintain currency. But with the Military making such a significant kill, the activists deploy a tactic of first belittling the importance of the incident on social media and then churning out unrelated and irrelevant contents that will drown out the development in the media space.  

This approach has proven dangerously effective in diminishing the work that the military has been doing especially when online searches will return negative contents about the troops and their commanders. 

Need to Act  

The antics of these activists are known to those in authority but there does not seem to be any action against them. This reluctance on the part of the government to curb their anti-Nigeria activities have made them bolder as they increasingly take on newer briefs to further undermine the office of the president, which is effectively undermining the integrity of Nigeria as a country, a major crime in any jurisdiction. 

Checks revealed that authorities do not need to go after the activists since this will be interpreted as clamping down on them, which would be a proven instance of suppression of human rights by the government. What the paid activists are aware of and have extensively discussed in their circle is the capacity of government to identify the source of their funding, shut it down and take in those responsible for terrorist financing. Doing this will automatically kill off the contracts that have been undermining not just the president but also the military by limiting their ability to respond to threats.  

The media analysts cited earlier is of the view tht time is of essence if the government must prevent permanent damage, not just to the perception of the president and the military but to the corporate integrity of Nigeria. Those damaging the military’s reputation in their bid to blackmail the president for money have to be stopped lest the country pay a steep price for it in the foreseeable future.
By Abubakar Shehu

As world economies brace for the financial impact of the COVID-19 virus and with Nigeria steeling itself for the economic strain that will come from slump in crude oil prices, persons recruited to blackmail and malign President Muhammadu Buhari are set to pocket huge payouts that rival crude oil revenue.  

Details that have leaked from the circuit involved in the anti-Buhari propaganda indicated that paid activists, opinion influencers, public commentators and others that have been recruited for the purpose get paid as much as $10,000 for each round of damaging story that they deliver to undermine the president.  

A favourite target for these reputational hitmen is the military against which they have coordinated series of damaging reports in recent days, ostensibly in an effort to indirectly undermine the image of the President, whose re-election campaign hinged significantly on restoring security to Nigeria’s troubled northeast region and other parts of the country where there are security breaches.  

These paid activists, who must have proven portfolios of consistently being pro-opposition and antagonistic of the present administration, were specifically commissioned to work on actions that will generate news reportage that beam a negative light on the incumbent government.  interfaces were created between them and select media organizations that are ready to publish the contents they generate and also amplify same using their social media assets.

In the space of one week, the recruited activists have launched major offensives on the President using incidents like the handling of COVID-19 Pandemic, Boko Haram attack on government troops in Yobe state, the routine transfers conducted in the army, donations from private sector for managing the corona virus spread amongst others. These offensives were responsible for the seeming lack of coherence in the claims being made against the president and the military like when the same activists that drew attention to the Boko Haram attack became angry with the army for re-organizing for efficiency. 

By replicating these misleading information on various platforms and delivered by different activists, the mercenaries are able to create the impression that the view they are pushing is widespread and reflects the preponderance of perception in Nigeria. 

A media analyst, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, noted that the public opinion space is being poisoned by the mercenaries as they now make it impossible for people to make logical deductions based on the facts in the public domain. He said “It is amazing that the people who have anointed themselves as experts in the way President Buhari, through the military, is handling the war against Boko Haram, are able to report and celebrate 50 to 70 troops killed in an attack without minding to spare one line to mention the more than 120 terrorists that were killed in that operation.  

“it is a grave danger that a few people, flush with bloodstained dollars, can totally dictate what the populace focuses on, including manipulating the mainstream media to point that they became incapable of independently verifying facts. When a neighbouring country, Chad, suffered a worse casualty count, these propaganda urchins stayed silent possibly because there was no dollar credit for maligning the Chadian President,” he stressed.  

Clergy Involved   

A consequent outcome of manipulating the mainstream media on the scale that the crisis entrepreneurs have done is a resounding loss of credibility. Media platforms have been compromised over time such that those that sponsors of these propaganda onslaughts want to believe their lies can no longer be reached by these same media.   

This has compelled them to recruit some pastors into their ranks so that they are able to use the credibility of their pulpits to push the propaganda messaging at their members. Such pastors attempt to whip up sentiments against the government in their sermons like telling congregants that the present government is the most wicked and insensitive in history. 

Some clergymen have also been lined up to put up defiance against measures announced to contain the spread of COVID-19, like keeping their churches opened in violation of the directive on social distancing. The activists have been quick to cite religious persecution in defence of such pastors by claiming that their freedom of worship should not be infringed upon.  

Tenfold Incentive 

A few of the mercenaries received their $10,000 payouts without being able to make the kind of dent expected of them in tarnishing the reputation of President Buhari and when they were queried over their failure they reported back that the amount was insufficient to do the job and still leave some profits for the hitmen.   

The outcome was increasing the reward system by ten folds. Those that were able to convincingly push damaging contents about the military get the base $10,000 while those that are able to take on the credibility of President Buhari get ten times that amount, which is $100,000 or N40 million.  

Leaked information indicated that these paid activists are positoned to further demonize the military by questioning any roles they are assigned in curbing the spread of COVID-19 especially as it pertains to enforcing the shutdown of several states of the federation, which would necessitate the enforcement of the restiction placed on movement as part of the social distancing strategy.  

Several countries that have taken huge fatalities from the virus were compelled to activate their military to enforce quarantine and movement restrictions that have been found to help slow down the virus. In other places, the military was strategic in setting up emergency field hospital, which the military in Nigeria is also capable of.  

But to ensure that President Buhari’s response to the virus is constrained, they have launched first wave of attack in the form of asking questions about the legality of the Federal Government shutting down FCT, Lagos and Ogun in response to the virus. Legal practitioner, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, SAN, had led the charge among those questioning the legality of the shutdown. While it appeared that these critics backed down from their criticism after being schooled by the attorney-general and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in reality they have set down the groundwork for questioning any roles that the president assigns to the Army in countering coronavirus.  

Suppressed content   

The mercenaries hired to undermine the president suppress more than the execution of their own projects as seen in the climbdown on asking about the legality of the shutdown. They are also implementing a strategy of dampening news about any exploit recorded by the administration, especially the military. The aim of this is to ensure that only negative news about the government and the military are promoted in order to drown out whatever positive achievements is recorded. 

The killing of top Boko Haram commander, Abu Usamah, on March 22 is one of such instances. When Boko Haram terrorists make any seeming gains, these activists and their associates are quick to grant media interviews, pen analyses and produce other media contents that keep such attack in the news and allow it to maintain currency. But with the Military making such a significant kill, the activists deploy a tactic of first belittling the importance of the incident on social media and then churning out unrelated and irrelevant contents that will drown out the development in the media space.  

This approach has proven dangerously effective in diminishing the work that the military has been doing especially when online searches will return negative contents about the troops and their commanders. 

Need to Act  

The antics of these activists are known to those in authority but there does not seem to be any action against them. This reluctance on the part of the government to curb their anti-Nigeria activities have made them bolder as they increasingly take on newer briefs to further undermine the office of the president, which is effectively undermining the integrity of Nigeria as a country, a major crime in any jurisdiction. 

Checks revealed that authorities do not need to go after the activists since this will be interpreted as clamping down on them, which would be a proven instance of suppression of human rights by the government. What the paid activists are aware of and have extensively discussed in their circle is the capacity of government to identify the source of their funding, shut it down and take in those responsible for terrorist financing. Doing this will automatically kill off the contracts that have been undermining not just the president but also the military by limiting their ability to respond to threats.  

The media analysts cited earlier is of the view tht time is of essence if the government must prevent permanent damage, not just to the perception of the president and the military but to the corporate integrity of Nigeria. Those damaging the military’s reputation in their bid to blackmail the president for money have to be stopped lest the country pay a steep price for it in the foreseeable future.

Armed Forces Commission: What does Abaribe want again ? By Idoko Ainoko

Armed Forces Commission: What does Abaribe want again ? By Idoko Ainoko

By Idoko Ainoko

Every system and in all political dispensations, there are enough spoilers and destroyers.  The professional sabs stop at nothing to rock the boat even where the circumstances resist. There are people who hate progress and invent all antics to ensure progress is interrupted.  Their only joy is when they cause confusion.

Nigeria has a fair share of such people. And unfortunately, they are also found in the corridors of power and they use such positions to pursue personalized agenda at the detriment of the nation. Nigeria’s most urgent challenge now is the insecurity.

But it is glaring that there is no meaning approach or suggestions to assist the President and Heads of Security agencies overcome the challenge of insecurity.  Most Nigerians are out to weaken the attempts by the President to surmount our security challenges.

And the National Assembly has many of such Nigerians who are opposed to President Buhari’s stringent actions on security. I can argue conveniently and boldly with Nigeria’s best of political Socrates that since 1999 the National Assembly (NASS) has been Nigeria’s greatest incumbrance on the country’s progressive match to peace and prosperity.

NASS has consistently affirmed itself as the static and haunting nightmare of the country’s match to a stable or vibrant democracy, good governance and progressive development. Every evil plan against Nigeria is hatched through NASS.  which they usually back with pristine laws.

The   negative shadows of NASS are too overflowing and have overshadowed any modicum of respect or honour it has ever earned on credibility as an important institution of government in a democracy. I am not hesitant to say, NASS has marketed itself as an institution which also deserves an independent body to monitor it’s sinister and destructive activities in the nation.

The National Assembly is currently deliberating on a law Christened “Nigerian Armed Forces Commission Bill 2019.” The Bill is sponsored by Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe from Abia state. The law seeks to dissolve all the powers constitutionally vested in the President in hiring and firing his Service Chiefs. The powers which presently resides with the President is transferred to the Commission whose composition comprise politicians and National Assembly members.

It is difficult to understand the direction or intention of the proposed Bill. It is hogwash in every sense.  It is the most senseless Bill ever contemplated in Nigeria or known to any country in the world. Outside its obvious aberration, I see it as a duplication hence existing laws already empowers the Senate to confirm Service Chiefs nominated by the President. So, what does the Senators want to do to Nigeria with that Bill?

What the Sen. Ahmed Lawan-led Senate is attempting to do by the Armed Forces Commission is to politicize  and weaken the management of national security. It is a masked attempt to polarized the Nigerian military and make it susceptible to the mercy of politicians to recklessly manipulate. This is how we consciously embark on actions that are capable of destroying our country.  The Senators themselves know that such a Bill is irrational and destructive to the security architecture of the nation.

But a lot of Nigerians are comfortably silent, because the darts are directed at  a President they hate. But they have forgotten that President Muhammadu Buhari will not remain Nigeria’s President forever. Every Nigerian knows the Armed Forces Commission Bill will spell doom for the country if allowed to scale through the legislature.

The contents of the Bill overtly endanger the future of Nigeria because it is a sure way of polarizing the Nigerian Armed forces which will begin to function by the dictates of political parties and politicians. This is not permissible anywhere. We cannot leave sensitive decisions on national security in the hands of multitudes as the Senate is contemplating.

I am convinced that this is not justifiable. It surprises me that members of the Senate are hypnotized and hoodwinked by Sen. Abaribe into believing such a destructive and worthless Bill is worth their attention and energy to the point of debating. It is not possible for one nation to have two Commanders-In-Chief. The Bill seeks to create two Commanders-In-Chief for Nigeria.  Where else is this aberration obtained?

Abaribe is a diehard apostate and  an unrepentant agent of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra  (IPOB). He is the Senator who took the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu on bail when every one else declined.  He failed to produce Kanu in court on the appointed day, which betrays his total allegiance to IPOB. It is clear to me that Sen. Abaribe is the veiled official force of IPOB in government and the Senate. And therefore, he is using his privileged position to nourish IPOB’s agenda as evidenced by his contemplation of this absolutely useless Bill.

And we all know that the main agenda and determination of IPOB is to lead a war against the country. It has not given up on this ambition.  And its agents like Sen. Abaribe are working in diverse ways to create fertile and unchallengeable grounds for the IPOB war on Nigeria.  No one is in doubt as to where they are deriving their inspiration.

And the nonsensical Armed Forces Bill sponsored by Abaribe is cleverly crafted to weaken the power of the Nigerian Military in the event IPOB declares war on the country. It is honed to sow the seed of disloyalty to Mr. President among the Armed Forces when IPOB steps out again against Nigeria.

So, we  are not going to allow Sen. Lawan  and his cahoots to rubbish the Nigerian Armed Forces.  If Sen. Lawan is blind to Abaribe’s prosecution of IPOB’s agenda, Nigerians are not blind to it. The Bill is a façade by Sen. Abaribe to feather the nest of IPOB.  It is Sen. Abaribe’s  drive for IPOB’s agenda to destabilize Nigeria. But we don’t think, it is correct for him to use the Senate as platform in promoting and emboldening the ferocious and criminal activities of IPOB.


Ainoko  is a public affairs commentator based in Kaduna.
By Idoko Ainoko

Every system and in all political dispensations, there are enough spoilers and destroyers.  The professional sabs stop at nothing to rock the boat even where the circumstances resist. There are people who hate progress and invent all antics to ensure progress is interrupted.  Their only joy is when they cause confusion.

Nigeria has a fair share of such people. And unfortunately, they are also found in the corridors of power and they use such positions to pursue personalized agenda at the detriment of the nation. Nigeria’s most urgent challenge now is the insecurity.

But it is glaring that there is no meaning approach or suggestions to assist the President and Heads of Security agencies overcome the challenge of insecurity.  Most Nigerians are out to weaken the attempts by the President to surmount our security challenges.

And the National Assembly has many of such Nigerians who are opposed to President Buhari’s stringent actions on security. I can argue conveniently and boldly with Nigeria’s best of political Socrates that since 1999 the National Assembly (NASS) has been Nigeria’s greatest incumbrance on the country’s progressive match to peace and prosperity.

NASS has consistently affirmed itself as the static and haunting nightmare of the country’s match to a stable or vibrant democracy, good governance and progressive development. Every evil plan against Nigeria is hatched through NASS.  which they usually back with pristine laws.

The   negative shadows of NASS are too overflowing and have overshadowed any modicum of respect or honour it has ever earned on credibility as an important institution of government in a democracy. I am not hesitant to say, NASS has marketed itself as an institution which also deserves an independent body to monitor it’s sinister and destructive activities in the nation.

The National Assembly is currently deliberating on a law Christened “Nigerian Armed Forces Commission Bill 2019.” The Bill is sponsored by Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe from Abia state. The law seeks to dissolve all the powers constitutionally vested in the President in hiring and firing his Service Chiefs. The powers which presently resides with the President is transferred to the Commission whose composition comprise politicians and National Assembly members.

It is difficult to understand the direction or intention of the proposed Bill. It is hogwash in every sense.  It is the most senseless Bill ever contemplated in Nigeria or known to any country in the world. Outside its obvious aberration, I see it as a duplication hence existing laws already empowers the Senate to confirm Service Chiefs nominated by the President. So, what does the Senators want to do to Nigeria with that Bill?

What the Sen. Ahmed Lawan-led Senate is attempting to do by the Armed Forces Commission is to politicize  and weaken the management of national security. It is a masked attempt to polarized the Nigerian military and make it susceptible to the mercy of politicians to recklessly manipulate. This is how we consciously embark on actions that are capable of destroying our country.  The Senators themselves know that such a Bill is irrational and destructive to the security architecture of the nation.

But a lot of Nigerians are comfortably silent, because the darts are directed at  a President they hate. But they have forgotten that President Muhammadu Buhari will not remain Nigeria’s President forever. Every Nigerian knows the Armed Forces Commission Bill will spell doom for the country if allowed to scale through the legislature.

The contents of the Bill overtly endanger the future of Nigeria because it is a sure way of polarizing the Nigerian Armed forces which will begin to function by the dictates of political parties and politicians. This is not permissible anywhere. We cannot leave sensitive decisions on national security in the hands of multitudes as the Senate is contemplating.

I am convinced that this is not justifiable. It surprises me that members of the Senate are hypnotized and hoodwinked by Sen. Abaribe into believing such a destructive and worthless Bill is worth their attention and energy to the point of debating. It is not possible for one nation to have two Commanders-In-Chief. The Bill seeks to create two Commanders-In-Chief for Nigeria.  Where else is this aberration obtained?

Abaribe is a diehard apostate and  an unrepentant agent of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra  (IPOB). He is the Senator who took the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu on bail when every one else declined.  He failed to produce Kanu in court on the appointed day, which betrays his total allegiance to IPOB. It is clear to me that Sen. Abaribe is the veiled official force of IPOB in government and the Senate. And therefore, he is using his privileged position to nourish IPOB’s agenda as evidenced by his contemplation of this absolutely useless Bill.

And we all know that the main agenda and determination of IPOB is to lead a war against the country. It has not given up on this ambition.  And its agents like Sen. Abaribe are working in diverse ways to create fertile and unchallengeable grounds for the IPOB war on Nigeria.  No one is in doubt as to where they are deriving their inspiration.

And the nonsensical Armed Forces Bill sponsored by Abaribe is cleverly crafted to weaken the power of the Nigerian Military in the event IPOB declares war on the country. It is honed to sow the seed of disloyalty to Mr. President among the Armed Forces when IPOB steps out again against Nigeria.

So, we  are not going to allow Sen. Lawan  and his cahoots to rubbish the Nigerian Armed Forces.  If Sen. Lawan is blind to Abaribe’s prosecution of IPOB’s agenda, Nigerians are not blind to it. The Bill is a façade by Sen. Abaribe to feather the nest of IPOB.  It is Sen. Abaribe’s  drive for IPOB’s agenda to destabilize Nigeria. But we don’t think, it is correct for him to use the Senate as platform in promoting and emboldening the ferocious and criminal activities of IPOB.


Ainoko  is a public affairs commentator based in Kaduna.

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