“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, has been accused of planning to use a military operation code named ‘Operation Python Dance 3’ to influence the results of the February 14, 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria by the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Operation Python Dance designed as a military ‘show of strength‘ exercise by the Nigerian Army directed at silencing the growing influence of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and other criminal associations in the South East region of the country in the first and second versions of the operation took place in the region between 2017 and 2018.
Announcing the launch of a third version on Friday, the military said the exercise would now be conducted nationwide and would commence from January 1, 2019 and last till February 28.
The presidential election is billed to take place on February 16.
The army said the military operation was needed to tackle already “observed upsurge” insecurity challenges anticipated before, during and after the 2019 general election.
But kicking against the timing of the exercise, the PDP alleged that Mr Buhari was plotting to use the planned nationwide military exercise to legitimise his administration’s alleged ploy of using the military to intimidate voters and rig next year’s presidential election.
“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.
“Further investigation revealed that agents of the Buhari Presidency are working in cohort with some compromised top officials of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission to use soldiers to provide cover for diversion of electoral materials, as well as aid APC agents in their plan to unleash violence and disrupt the electoral process in areas where the PDP is winning.
“In spanning the military operation to February 28, 2019, the Buhari Presidency betrayed its anticipation of public rejection or violence, which can only come when a result that does not reflect the actual wish of the people is announced,” he said.
Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said Nigerians are eager for a new president, having lost confidence in Buhari, due to his alleged failures in governance.
“The PDP PCO, therefore, rejects this deliberate attempt by the Buhari Presidency to set our military on a collision course with Nigerians, bearing in mind the collateral damage that usually occurs whenever the civilian population clashes with military.
“Our nation is a democratic state and we are not in a state of emergency that requires the militarization of our electoral process.
“Our military, which is cherished by Nigerians, should, therefore, foreclose any attempt by the Buhari Presidency to use it to set our country on fire.”
Nigeria’s political parties are in full campaign mode ahead of national and state-level elections early next year, and unfortunately signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. It’s not too late, however, for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of coercion and possibly even bloodshed. To do so effectively, it’s crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaign for president.
In Nigeria, All Politics is Local
September’s off-cycle election for governor in the southwestern state of Osun illustrates the intensity of state elections and the accompanying risks. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the initial results inconclusive because of technical problems and other disruptions, and the vote had to be redone. In the second round, U.S., European Union and U.K. observers reported that they found “incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, and heard reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.” Social media posts showed photos of allegedly injured civilians. Higher profile state races in 2019 are likely to be even more volatile.
State-level elections are important for democratic development in Nigeria, which serves as a bellwether for stability in Africa as the continent’s most populous country and biggest oil-producing nation. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, who allocate federally disbursed revenue and shape policy on development and security, oversee the state election commissions that manage local government elections—the essence of grassroots democracy.
The 2019 state-level voting will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.
The electoral calendar will be crowded in the first quarter of 2019. Just two weeks after the general elections, balloting will take place on March 2 to select governors and state assemblies in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states (seven others are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons). In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.
In Lagos state, the APC incumbent lost in the October primary, and in the remaining nine of the 29 state contests (Borno, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Yobe and Zamfara), the incumbents cannot run again because of term limits, making for competitive open races.
A Complex Risk Environment
In the 2015 state elections, voting generally proceeded smoothly across the country, according to the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partner organization in Nigeria. Even so, “significant incidences of shootings, protests, arson and fatalities were recorded in most geopolitical zones,” the CDD reported.
Three years later, conditions have changed. The nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—must be considered in weighing whether state-level election violence is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.
The number of violent conflicts across the country and their toll have increased. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria.
In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have decimated Boko Haram, but the group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces organized in response to the terrorist threat now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno state. So, the contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.
Another change since 2015 is proliferating fissures within the APC and the PDP. In Kano, northern Nigeria’s most populous state and long considered a harbinger of a party’s political prospects across that region, divisions are deep within the APC between supporters of incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and backers of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, formerly the state’s governor, and now member of the opposition PDP. Already, the party primaries in October in Zamfara were marred by violence. Preparations for that state’s elections in March continue to be controversial, as INEC has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, saying the party submitted his name too late.
As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remains intense. That competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers state—hostility heightened by the APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the lead-up to the 2015 vote. The Fund for Peace, another USIP partner in Nigeria, reports that “the personal rivalry between former Governor Rotimi Amaechi (APC) and current Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP)” exacerbates divisions along party lines. Rivers state is considered a political crown jewel for any party able to capture control of the jurisdiction.
How Election Violence can be Mitigated
So, what can be done? Nigeria must be held to a higher standard than in the past in order to fulfill its proper role as the best example of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement in recent years, the country’s political leaders need to do better.
First, planning for prevention of election violence needs to occur earlier and be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.
Secondly, the United States and international community, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders must clearly convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties will act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They must demand that parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates should they violate standards of acceptable conduct.
Finally, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders, could be a source of support, and there may be other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence. Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency and the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing, but they can work closely with local community leaders and civil society representatives.
While Nigeria has made major strides since democracy was restored almost 20 years ago, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Reducing election-related violence, especially in the all-important state gubernatorial elections, is a crucial place to start.
Oge Onubogu is a senior program officer for Africa programs at USIP. Idayat Hassan is the director of the Centre for Democracy and Development–West Africa, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organization.
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declined signing the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 into law, saying that it was capable of derailing preparations for 2019 polls. It was the fourth time he would reject the bill as previous rejections were based on observed errors. The President said he did not want to impose on the country the electoral uncertainty his assent might cause. He said that changing the rules a few months to the next general elections could lead to disruption and confusion. He asked the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by ensuring that the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 comes into effect after the February 2019 polls. He also raised issues on four amendments to the bill and asked the National Assembly to revisit the observations. Buhari, who made his opinion known in a December 6, 2018 letter to the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said he had decided to place the interest of the country above any other matter. The letter was titled,‘Presidential decision to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018’.
It reads: “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the Senate my decision on 6th December to decline Presidential Assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly. “I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general elections, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process. “Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.
“This leads me to believe that it is in the best interest of the country and our democracy for the National Assembly to specifically state in the Bill that the Electoral Act will come into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Elections. “It is also important for the following drafting amendments to be made to the Bill:
•Section 5 of the Bill, amending Section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure “30” for the figure “60” is to be effected.
•Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the proviso is to be introduced.
•Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85(1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the “electing” to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that political parties may give 21 days’ notice of the intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84(2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merger of political parties
•The definition of the term “Ward Collection Officer” should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalised and undefined term “Registration Area Collation Officer.” “Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
President Buhari had refused to sign the Bill the first time as a result of the reordering of the election sequence by the National Assembly, and the second time because of what the Presidency called “drafting errors.” He also declined signing the bill the third time because of what the Presidency called “drafting issues that remained unaddressed.”
National Assembly may override Buhari There were indications yesterday that the National Assembly may override President Buhari’s withdrawal of assent on the Electoral Act, 2018. Although several calls made to obtain the reaction of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, yielded no result, a source close to the leadership of the Senate said the National Assembly would likely override the President on the Bill. It is, however, not clear whether the two chambers of the National Assembly can muster the required two-thirds majority to override the President.
The source said: “It is obvious that the National Assembly has bent backward almost to breaking point to give the President the benefit of the doubt. “The National Assembly has no other alternative but to override the President because nobody is in doubt that he does not want to sign the Bill.” “The days ahead will determine what will happen.” Senators express divergent views Former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, and Clifford Ordia, who spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews yesterday, expressed divergent views on the refusal of the President to sign the Electoral Act amendment Bill.
Ndume said the President must have his reasons for declining assent to the Bill. But the Borno South senator said the National Assembly was at liberty to respond as it deemed fit. He added that the rejection would not affect the conduct of the 2019 general elections, saying “the President does not conduct elections.” He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body in charge of elections.
“All the president needs to do is to provide the necessary support, which I am certain that he has done,” he said. Ndume added: “I cannot fully comment right now since I am not aware of the reasons given by the President. “I am sure his reasons will be contained in the letter addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly. Let us wait and see till next week.” Senator Ordia, on his part, noted that the rejection of the amendment bill by the President was a clear sign that the APC was not ready to conduct a free and fair election. The Edo Central senator said that the rejection will further cast doubt on the ability of the President to give Nigerians an election that will be accepted by all. Ordia said: “Many of us are not surprised. We knew the amendment bill was not going to be signed.
“The earlier excuses advanced were just to distract everyone. “Now that we know, we also need to go back to the drawing board as a party and find a way to counter any plans the APC will be hatching.” PDP campaign urges N/Assembly to override Buhari The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) yesterday charged the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by immediately overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the amendment of the Electoral Act. The PDP Campaign said the legislative action had become imperative as the President’s decision was a calculated attempt to hold the nation to ransom. In a statement signed by the spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the President’s action was capable of injecting crisis into the electoral process and ultimately scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
The opposition party insisted that the President was avoiding free and fair contest. The statement said: “President Buhari’s repeated refusal to sign amendments passed to check rigging in the election raises issues of his sincerity of purpose and has the capacity to trigger political unrest and violence, which can, in turn, truncate our hard-earned democracy. “The PPCO invites Nigerians to note that this is the fourth time President Buhari is withholding assent on the amendment, without any cogent reason following his rejection by Nigerians. “Nigerians can recall how the Buhari Presidency plotted to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy by delaying the submission of the election budget to the National Assembly, presenting it at the time the legislators were commencing their annual vacation and asking for virement of funds already approved for development projects, instead of sending a fresh supplementary budget for the election.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that are capable of destabilising our nation, just because the people are resolute in voting him out of office democratically. “It is also instructive to note that President Buhari is mortally afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register; for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have been boasting of winning the 2019 elections. “While urging the National Assembly to save our democracy and forestall an imminent electoral crisis, the PPCO also charges all political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general to rise in the interest of our nation and demand the entrenching of rules and processes that will guarantee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, as nothing short of that would be accepted.”
It may affect deepening of democracy— CNPP The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) warned yesterday that the negative impact of not assenting to amendments to Nigeria’s Electoral Act as contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) before next year’s general elections will endanger the deepening of the country’s democracy. In its reaction to the rejection of the amendments to the bill by President Buhari, CNPP’s Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that “there are indications that a cabal that resents credible electoral process is bent on frustrating the signing of any amendment to the electoral laws ahead of 2019.” It urged the National Assembly to save the country’s democracy and veto the President’s assent. According to the umbrella organisation of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, “it has become obvious that while President Buhari may ordinarily wish to ensure credible electoral process, some persons around him, which constitutes the cabal, resent free and fair contest and may have again deceived him into withholding assent to the bill.
“The CNPP as a body conceived as a common platform for political parties in Nigeria shares common concerns of well-meaning Nigerians on issues bordering on rule of law, promotion and defence of democratic principles and practices. “Therefore, this singular rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) by Mr. President is another repressive attempt to stem multi-party democracy and have completely removed the last hope of level playing ground for all political parties in the forthcoming elections. “It is ironical that President Muhammadu Buhari has been promising free and fair elections and at the same time refusing to give effect to the only instrument that would have proven his commitment to credible electoral process in 2019.
“As one of the greatest beneficiaries of free and fair election from the last administration, we thought that Mr. President and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should have been at the forefront of promoting transparency in elections. “However, to save our democracy and to take Nigeria’s electoral process to the next level of free and fair polls, not the next level of rigging, we demand that the National Assembly, as a matter of urgency, override Mr. President’s veto with a two-third-majority. “As it stands, the only hope Nigerians have left now rests on the National Assembly’s willingness to do the needful at this trying moment in our democratic journey.”
Senate President and Director General of the Atiku Abubakar PDP Presidential Campaign Council Dr. Bukola Saraki has directed the Federal Government of Nigeria and the All Peoples’ Party to stop the criminal act of distributing money to market women as free Trader Moni.
Senate President Bukola Saraki tells the Nigerian government to scrap Trader Moni, says it is a “sophisticated vote buying.”
“Owe ni Ifa npa, Omoran ni imo” Ifa’s revelation is always in parables; only the wise can understand their meanings.
In his analysis of the Shakespearean Tragedy “Macbeth” Michael Stratford argues that the essence of human pride was covered in three dimensions by this work. He asserted in supports of the works of Majorie Garber on the play which concluded that Macbeth’s confrontation with morality at the end of the play portrayed “real recovery” and completed the depiction of the phases of pride in men. He went further to outline these stages as: The hubris that hurls a man into sin and error, the false pride that secure and justifies all and perpetuates us in evil acts, and the final realization of our immortality and futility of all things.
The play Macbeth has been analyzed by many due to its relevance in everyday human progression. Macbeth was a young and virile soldier honored for his love of Scotland and bravery at war by King Duncan. He was at the zenith of his profession as a soldier and revered titled gentleman in Scotland when the story started. A chance meeting with the “three witches”, their predictions of Macbeth as the King of Scotland, transported this gentleman into a murderer and usurper and finally his death.Given the level of public exposure to education and the current public discourse about the ruler of Nigeria which pulls towards lack of proper formal education, maybe this narrative could be brought home more.
Curiosity recently made me look into the Ifa esoteric and cosmogony and I was amazed at the level of sophistication of the Odu Ifa in explaining and predicting main pattern of human conscious, and unconscious acts; going even further to reveal the purpose and destinies of humans on earth. I was further impressed by the manner with which knowledge and wisdom for managing pride and power were expressively itemized thorough the use of parables.For noninitiates, the Ifa divinity comprises of sixteen major quadrant of ancient Yoruba Ifa cult, which was subdivided into 256 distinct sub-heads detailing all areas of human: wisdom for proper interrelations, truth and moralities, science, cosmology, metaphysics, medicine and other established norms of the Yoruba People of Southwest Nigeria as established by Orunmila. Orunmila the first Ifa priest was reputed to have started the accumulation of this knowledge base, handing it over to his sixteen children, who continued to practice and develop the Ifa practice.
In Odi Isa, amongst the Odu Ifa, Orunmila tried to balance power and pride; where he depicts the travail of the Tiger, the king of the jungle when the entire animal challenged him to battle. The tiger despite his acclaimed overwhelming power, applied wisdom and appealed to the elders for help. The elders asked the Tiger to perform a sacrifice and in respect to the words of the elders, the Tiger performed all necessary rites. And to this day, no animal was able to conquer the tiger.
Tiger’s powerful could have stupidly against public opinion challenged the whole animal kingdom. which will then overrun him and take over his kingdom. When faced with adversities, he went begging the elders for advice. Instead of ruin and death as in Macbeth case, the tiger excel and its kingdom expanded.
Many writers in the pre-2015 era had lauded the achievements of the new progressives led by General Mohamadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The duo in conjunction with other heavy weights in Nigerian politics had performed the first presidential election upset in Nigerian history; the defeat of a sitting president in a general election. The global press was agog in the spirit of the wave of change coming to Nigeria politics.
The emergence of Buhari as the new government leader was heralded as a milestone in Nigerian political arena. Given the sixteen years politicking before his emergence as the president, people were thoroughly misled that the “Buhari presidential dream” was driven by passionate goals for real change. When the new government started showing signs of unpreparedness to rule and obvious lack of cohesion were being revealed, the Nigerian people still believed and attributed it to huge challenges emanating from long period of institutionalized corruption by previous governments. Nigerian new government was later revealed to have been distracted by huge amount of propaganda, vain retribution, illegal and unnecessary arrests and prosecutions in its first year in power.
Apparently, governance and economy finally start to show negative growth. Before the end of the second year, the country which was reputed as one of the ten growing global economies was in recession. Economic indicator aside, the failing security architecture has been witnessed in all theaters of operation. Conflict escalations in most areas were being witnessed. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) continued to rise as conflicts engulfs the state. Youth and elites migration have more than doubled within three years, and statistics on youth unemployment is reading above one third of population. The national currency’s value in international trade fell by over 200 percent in the first year of this government and it took direct intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to shore up the Naira to its current 360 to one dollar status.
Failed economy, repetitive conflicts, insurrections, low school attendance, thriving illicit economies, and high youth emigration, according to Mary Kaldor are signs of failing states. The constant stay outside the country by the president was a minor issue until the whole world was treated to the caricature of Nigerian President’s show of shame in faraway Poland on the Saturday Night Show recently. The lack of grace and charisma that goes with the esteemed office of the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the representative of over 200millon people and one of the fastest growing states globally by this current president reflects his depth of understanding of the power and privilege of Nigeria in global politics.
Tinubu’s rise to stardom in Nigerian politics was midwifed by the NADECO movement against military rule in the late eighties and early nineties. The movement which led to the emergence of this ongoing republic equally blessed BAT with the governorship of the most priced state in Nigeria, Lagos. Lagos represents the hub of commerce and economy of Nigeria. Nigerian position as a giant in Africa business resides in the economic performance of Lagos State. Eight years of his direct rule, twelve years of his protégés ruling, characterized by unashamed plundering of Lagos state’s resources has created a new Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The Czar of Southwest Nigeria was born. By 2014, Tinubu had in his control a war-chest big enough to start and prosecute any political war in Nigeria against any opposition.
When Tinubu pitched his tent against President Goodluck Jonathan, midwifed a coalition of parties to form All Peoples’ Congress (APC) in supports of Buhari, the die was cast. Tinubu’s prowess and political machinery was founded on the Lagos State dynasty. This base he has always controlled since 1999. Experts have posited that the loss of Lagos by the Tinubu gang will surely sound the kernel of his political demise. Recent happenings have shown the arrival of the new Tinubu. Four month to general elections, Tinubu unilaterally influenced the removal of the name of the incumbent governor of Lagos State from the ballot and imposed a new man as the party representative. A move that has been reported irked many locals and party faithful.
Obviously, Tinubu’s power as sole godfather and power broker in Lagos politics is on test as 2019 February elections looms. Buhari’s reign and reelections as president is being supported by the Tinubu’s camp. The alliance many agreed was based on the pact to return Tinubu as president in 2023. This ambition has fueled the unalloyed support from Lagos APC for Buhari’s return. It’s a big gamble on the path of Tinubu and Buhari. Like the proverbial fly, Buhari has tasted the wine and is ready and willing to die in the same cup of wine.
Tinubu’s ambition also has turned him to the fly that refused to heed the warnings of the elders and has decided to follow the corpse into the earth. Ambition is necessary to achieve and progress in life, yet ambitions should be ethically based, no normal leader will continue to aspire to hold and office in which he does not have capacity for managing, and no normal human being will sacrifice the future of his people, merely for his own selfish ambition.
Ambition contaminated by acute pride surely begets disaster. Macbeth ambition was fueled by greed and selfish ambition to rule Scotland, never because he was a pushed by a need to work a better society for his people. His endgame led to war and carnage pushing Scotland which was growing as a nation into complete recession and pillage by ravaging armies. Equally, the Tiger would have resorted to use of might against his enemies as he was in power, but wisdom led him to the elders. Tinubu and Buhari have achieved the impossible in Nigerian politics; the time has come for them both to respect the people and leave the scene. Unrestrained pride and ambition, the elders says always lead to death and destructions.
Don Michael Adeniji Director, African Initiative for Peace and Human Development, Abuja Chicago Illinois. December, 2018
Leadership have been identified as a service which combine all human and nonhuman resources nurturing them to produce real and measurable results in any organisation or society. Any society without leaders with inherent ability to manage people and resources properly always fail.
The failure of the Nigerian society is regtetable given inherent human reaources and immeasurable minerals deposits. The paucity of able men to steer the affairs of this nation to Eldorado has been blamed on obvious lack of capable hands to manage these inherent potentials.
In 2015, a desperate move by the public led to hugely aclaimed judgemental error. The people elected an ancient and tired hand to manage a festering modern problem. Several schools have concluded that the uniqueness of the Nigerian problem requires a more agile and dedicated decision maker hence current leaders cannot nd might not be the batch to negotiate a new deal for Nigerians.
Great leaders are known by their acute listening and negotiation senses. Unfortunately leadership in Nigeria is based on the use of blunt force to overwhelm all nad any opposition. Government suspends rthe ruke of law and imposes the rule of force to serve their personal ends.
As the 2019 elections approaches,aside from all rhetorics there exists need for an academic look at basic qualifications for a new president for Nigeria. While many analyst and public commentators have contribute to this discussion, I will love to add these few qualities to the till.
For Nigeria to succeed, its leaders must be willing to understand the neeed to articulate national interest and move from self or regional interest. We must have leaders willing to stand and negotiate with global leaders using articulated national interest to design a place for Nigeria in International finance and trade. No nation can develop and geow without playing a major role in international trade. Effective leaders seek to understand the interests of those they lead and to find ways of satisfying those interests in order to achieve organizational and societal goals.
Nigerian are fleeing the country in thousands because of lack of business opportunities and means of achieving their individual and collective aspurations within Nigeria. It is ab I it time the Nigerian State recognise that human security goes beyond proviso of physical armed guards. Nigerian economy needed a boast and noone will give you what you never asked for. Nigeria cannot continue to attend international organisation meeting as a side show. A nation of over 200 million people, the largest market and biggest economy in Africa should be able to negotiate trade deals that give advantage to its people.
The leader Nigeria need should be firm and meliable enough to negotiate local and international business and trading relationships. The era of illmanaged international agreements and negotiations should come to an end. The new leader shoukd look at government as viable concern with potential for growth.
Relationships are the basis of trust. Positive relationships are important because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others. People will be willing to sacrifice more when the leaders visions are clearer and are communicated in more friendly environment.
The right leadership is the voice of the people and uses his voice to negotiate a vision for the people using collaborative approach The age of know all solution leadership shoukd be jettisoned. New leasers must be able to fave squarely the challenge of forging a single vision out of the multiplicity of visions held by the group’s members.
National consensus are not easy to achieve but with the right voice, which the people can trust it’s achievable.
Central Nigeria have witnessed persistent attacks and killing from marauding herdsmen without any hope of restraints from the state security on the restless herdsmen.
Plateau Reportedly witnessed a major attack during the weekend with over aa hundred mortality. Its condemnable and cannot be allowed to countinue. The whole country should u it talking about it, its time we all stand nad take action on stopping these massacre. If the state is powerless, then the people needed to stand and look for a way to stop the evil acts.
The hue and cry on the propriety of the Federal Government payment for 12 unit of A-29 Tuccano Super Fighter Jets without due consent from the National Assembly still remain a mystery in public discussions. Clear facts revealed that several terror groups are challenging Nigerians’ security and killing innocent civilians on daily basis; the Nigerian Army need better air support to dislodge these terror groups especially the Boko Haram from their entrenched hideouts; it is a fact that the Tuccano is cheaper and retained all capabilities of more advanced fighter jets avionics; the Tuccano are also designed and has been used for guerrilla warfare and low level fast attack operations in areas similar to the Northeast Nigeria terrains, which make them ideal for the current security challenges in Nigeria; and to top these, the aircrafts have one of the lowest operation costs in the industry –at less than $1000USD per flight hour.
Incredible credentials for a turboprop trainer converted for low-intensity combat operations, so why the challenges on the purchase. We have tried to assuage two major facts behind the obstreperous challenges of this payment of $496 million for 12 A29 Tuccano Super Fighter Jets by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Average costs of the Nigerian purchase for these jets remained the highest ever paid. The airframe cost of the Tuccano as paid by the Dominican Republic for training purposes was a mere $8m. Industrial facts put the costs of a Tuccano at about $12m for a fully equipped versions though recent American buys of Super Tuccano for Afghanistan have come out to between $20 and $30 million because of inflation, different equipment, the inclusion of long-lead spares, and other factors.
The Nigeria government paid a total of $496m for 12 aircrafts giving an average of $41.33m each. Discounting the fact that four of the order were filled for basic airframe suited for Pilot trainings, the average could go higher than $50m per aircraft. Experts reasoned that Nigeria could have purchased better equipment for the price we are currently expending on these Tuccanos.
Given the expediency of current security challenges in Nigeria and the attendant-growing spate of attacks in the country, the purchase of the Tuccano would have been a welcome idea if the jets will be available to join in the fray immediately. The delivery dates for these equipment by the American government is in 2020. The jets might not come into formal usage before the end of 2020 give need for training of pilots and tests of equipment before formal commissioning and deployment.
For a nation with a depressed economy fighting serious on-going battle with terrorists using current scarce resources to purchase equipment that might not come into service to aid current security onslaught could be “technically flawed”.
I am never a fan of Nigerian politician, I have never believed in the processes and operations of the Nigerian National Assembly and I am mortified at the numbers of cases against the present members of this eight Senate of the federal Republic, yet we need to face issues when our national institution of democratic governance are being ridiculed in the public domain. Most Nigerians imbued with ‘messiah worshipping zeal’ are wont to misunderstand the basics of a presidential system of government. The Senate of the Federal Republic represents the lead organ in the National Assembly of Nigeria given power by the constitution to make laws and oversees all operations of the Executive organ led by the President.
The fact that a Nigerian would denigrate the Senate of Federal Republic as “uncultured, uncivilised, undemocratic and immature” and come into the public domain with the insult merely due to an aversion to resolutions of the Senate on the Inspector General of Police, shows a lack of patriotism; a crude and uninformed reasoning always displayed by really inequitable elements that have perpetually resolved issues in public domain through an appeal to cyclical reasoning.
Obvious lack of proper understanding of the democratic principle and harried researches would have informed the contributions of several elements deliberately engineered to perpetuate ignorance on a condescending but largely unread public via a sustain attack on their intelligence with hugely fabricated missives. For the sake of prosperity there should be proper well-researched response to properly educate the obfuscated critics amongst us and inform the public on the proper use of words in public domains.
Facts remain that Senator Dino Melaye’s travail could have been self-imposed, avoidable and clearly challenge the process of law enforcement operation in Nigeria. That Dino intentionally refused Police invitations in Kogi State would have been construed as an affront to the legal processes and local laws. Yet a clear circumstantial observation of the reason for his refusal to attend to the Kogi State Command’s requests were striking. Dino maintained he cannot and will never have fair hearing in Kogi State, stating the case of his on-going row with the state government as basis.
For the sake of Clarification, I invite Bala Ibrahim to please read:
The invitation by the Senate was for the IGP Idris to attend its session and clear issues dealing with National security based on continuous killings in Benue, Nassarawa, Kaduna and other states in Nigeria, the Melaye issue was adjunct.
For the avoidance of doubts, a look at Sections 88 of the 1999 Constitution says, “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into – (a) any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and (b) the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for – (i) executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.”
The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to;
(a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.
What amazes me in this narrative remains the assertion of invaluable excuse by Bala in his write-up for the IGP’s refusal to attend the Senate summons. Even the IGP has never in any fora denied this absolute right of the Senate to invite him to its session, but his litany of excuses shows a flagrant disdain for a democratic institution. The Police Act quoted by Mr. Bala could never and will never over rule the Constitution that empowers the Senate to act as supervisor of the public trust in the executive and all its agencies.
The office of the IGP is the central management point for coalescing all operational, intelligence and administrative operations of the Nigeria Police Force, which are gathered by separate departments. The IGP’s main duty was to manage all these resources and employ them in designing an effective operational system. DIGs are administrative heads of different department of policing operations; hence IGP Operations cannot be in possession of as much information as the IGP. Common sense would have dictated that given the fact that a formal invitation was sent to the IGP, there should have been a letter from the IGP office to the Senate leadership on his schedules and possible date for his visit.
Disparagement for any organ of democracy is the way towards anarchy. We cannot continue to condone our public officials for doing the wrong things. The president should be made to understand basic tenets of a working democracy. When the executive continually ignores National assembly resolutions on major national issues, we have drawn the line towards abrogating the rule of law in Nigeria.
The distinguished senators on individual basis could be an issue, but the national assembly is an institution we must gather round and support. The executive should learn to appreciate and support the operations of the Senate and harken to it. Our democracy needs our concerted protection and not derision.
Former Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has written the APC NEC of his intention to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr. Oyinlola communicated his decision to the leadership of the party through a letter received at the National Secretariat of the APC in Abuja on Wednesday.
It is understood that Oyinlola, alongside others would be floating a new political party soonest.
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo is said to be behind the new party.
The retired general recently emerged as the leader of the Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) floated by Obasanjo.
Oyinlola was unceremoniously removed as the National Secretary of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013 and he later joined APC in 2014 in the count down to Osun gubernatorial election of August 9.
in 2017, President Buhari appointed him Chairman of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Board. It was seen by many as a pacification after the former military man lost out in the ministerial and ambassadorial appointments.
Mr. Oyinlola has also resigned from the same office.
The Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul, on Wednesday blamed the April 18 invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace by hoodlums on an internal conspiracy between the security men and legislators.
“However, on April 18, at about 11 a.m., my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, and while I moved to address the group, I was informed that some people were running away with the mace.”
“I signaled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go.
“The strain of blood on their clothes made me suspicious and I ordered their arrest.”
“In addition, an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police.”
“It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were the same group with those that attacked”, Abdul said.
He said that there was no communication from the Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly during the invasion by the thugs.
Earlier, the Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Brighton Danwalex, had said that report from the investigation after the incident revealed that Senator Ali Ndume instructed the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion.
According to him, it was wrong for them to take orders from Ndume.
“Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks,’’ he added.
Danwalex said that security men were overpowered due to lack of non-functional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity.
“There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points.”
“The CCTV is not functioning and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said.
Chairman of the committee, Sen. Bala N’allah, requested the Police to furnish it with copies of station diary where entry of the crime was made.
He also directed that the committee should be given copies of the crime routine diary, pictures of those arrested and the transfer register explaining where the invaders were transferred to.
On her part, the Co-Chairman of the committee, Rep. Betty Apiafi, blamed the invasion on negligence on the part of the Sergeant-at-Arms.
She accused them of failing to raise alarm having observed something unusual.
Similarly, Sen. Shehu Sani accused the security operatives in the complex of regularly collecting money to allow unauthorized persons into the premises.
ABUJA, Nigeria — President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who has urged politicians not to go abroad to seek medical care, has traveled to Britain on his fifth official trip to see a doctor there.
Mr. Buhari, 75, left for London on Monday for a four-day visit, setting off renewed concerns about his health. His trip also comes after three weeks of strikes by health care professionals who are calling for better working conditions and more funding.
For nearly two years, Mr. Buhari has been receiving treatment for an unspecified illness, which he has repeatedly refused to discuss.
The president is scheduled to return to Nigeria on Saturday, at which point he will have spent more than 170 days in London on official medical leave since becoming president in 2015.
Mr. Buhari recently declared his intention to run for a second term next year, but many people in Nigeria, including some former presidents, have called on him to step down because of concerns about his health.
After Mr. Buhari visited Washington to meet with President Trump late last month, he surprised reporters by not returning directly to Nigeria but instead making what his media team called a “technical stopover” in London. His aides later confirmed that he received medical treatment while in Britain.
Mr. Buhari’s aides have insisted that the president is healthy and capable of running for office again, claiming that his political enemies are exaggerating any health concerns to attack him.
In April 2016, months before his first medical trip to London, Mr. Buhari condemned the use of Nigerian resources on international medical expenses.
“While this administration will not deny anyone of his or her fundamental human rights, we will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard-earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria,” Mr. Buhari said, according to a statement from the Health Ministry at the time.
During his campaign the president promised to end “medical tourism,” the practice of Nigerian politicians receiving medical treatment abroad even as most citizens are forced to rely on underfunded state medical services.
After what was reported to have been motorbike accident in January, the president’s son, Yusuf Buhari, was also treated abroad, although the president’s aides would not confirm where he was treated.
Nigerians see Mr. Buhari’s actions on health care as hypocritical, said Yemi Adamolekun, executive director of Enough Is Enough, a coalition of groups committed to building a culture of good government and public accountability in Nigeria. “As he’s getting a superior standard of health care for himself and his son, he’s done virtually nothing to invest in health care infrastructure and provision in Nigeria,” Ms. Adamolekun said.
This year Nigeria spent 3.9 percent of its budget on health care, a fraction of the 15 percent target set by the United Nations.
“Health professionals have been on strike now for three weeks, and they aren’t even talking about it,” Ms. Adamolekun said, referring to the government. “So we have poor health infrastructure, an exodus of qualified medical staff and now a strike with no conversation on how to fix it, yet our president jumps off to the U.K. for his own health.”
A nationwide strike of 72,000 public health care workers has crippled medical services in state hospitals across Nigeria, and many more are expected to join the protest in the next few days.
Biobelemoye Josiah, president of a coalition of unions involved in the strike, said that health care in Nigeria had suffered under Mr. Buhari’s administration. “There has long been medical tourism because our hospitals are grossly underfunded and that has continued,” Mr. Josiah said.+
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
The meeting was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari returned from his weekend trip to his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.
At the end of the meeting, Saraki and Dogara told State House correspondents that they reported the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the President over his handling of the case involving Senator Dino Melaye and his disdain for the National Assembly.
They also said the meeting which was at the instance of the President discussed the issue of the 2018 Appropriation Bill still before the National Assembly, the recent invasion of the Senate during which the mace was taken away and the fallouts or Buhari’s recent visit to the United States of America during which he met the US President, Donald Trump.
They, however, said the issue of the impeachment process being contemplated in the National Assembly over Buhari’s approval for the payment of $496m for fighter jets before he sought the approval of the Federal lawmakers was not discussed at the meeting.
In a bid to address the grievances that trailed last Saturday’s ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in several states of the federation, the party has appealed to those with complaints to direct them to the appeal panel. The party has also directed that its primary for the Ekiti State […]
Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District urged the Federal Government to declarepublic holidaysfor collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), ahead of the December 2018 deadline.
Oluremi, in a statement, said that the PVCs were the tools to participating in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. She also urged residents in the state to ensure that they collect their PVCs. The call sequel to revelations by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that over seven million PVCs were yet to be collected nationwide, with one million and four hundred thousand from Lagos Stat
After the 2015 elections, about 12 million PVCs had remained in the electoral body’s custody.”With previous elections, Nigerians developed voter apathy due to a distrust of the system. The 2015 elections taught us, however, that as individuals, our votes count. Thus, we must rise up as citizens to fulfill our civic responsibility and ensure accountability in governance,”she said.
Towards the 2019 elections, INEC had released modalities for ongoing continuous voter registration. The centres open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Tinubu pleaded that the period should be extended; and should include weekends to allow people who were unable to visit the centres during work hours to do so at weekends.
She said INEC should ensure that it had adequate resources to make the process quick and easy. She also called for increased voter education and sensitisation to achieve the desire results.
At the same time, if there are four words most Americans would associate with the country, they are not those of my sagacious cabbie but rather the ones on the signs held by Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, and other luminaries in 2014: Bring Back Our Girls. The kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls by the jihadist group Boko Haram was an international cause célèbre featuring a cast of familiar characters: a depraved millenarian warlord, a helpless group of children, and an outraged international community.
But if much of the public’s image of the country is that of an archetypal African tragedy, American investors and politicians are finding Nigeria increasingly difficult to ignore. It is one of the 30 largest economies in the world and among the 10 biggest exporters of oil. It is home to more Muslims than Egypt and more Christians than Italy. It is one of the barometers by which outsiders measure Africa’s progress or lack thereof. Nigeria is at the heart of the “Africa rising” narrative championed by optimists who contend that a young, entrepreneurial population is unleashing Africa’s economic potential. It is also exhibit A for skeptics on the right and the left who worry about the expansion of Islamist militancy across Africa, about the economic and political effects of climate change, or about the dangers posed by exploitative multinationals in the third world.
The country is inarguably America’s most important strategic partner in Africa, and on April 30, Donald Trump welcomed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, to the White House. The 75-year-old former military leader, who recently announced that he will seek reelection in 2019 despite concerns about his health, is the first African leader the president has hosted since taking office. Discussions of counterterrorism and economic growth dominated the meeting. The issue of terrorism has driven U.S.-Nigerian relations in recent years as Boko Haram and then its splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa, have made a name for themselves within the global jihadist network.
Trump, like his predecessor, is understandably reluctant to commit U.S. troops to fight Boko Haram, preferring to leave counterinsurgency efforts to the Nigerian security forces and their partners from Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin, which together constitute the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). A small contingent of U.S. special operations forces provides training and assistance. The presence of these advisers undoubtedly deters some of the task force’s more egregious behavior, but the incompetence and abusive practices of the Nigerian security forces nonetheless pose a massive impediment to an effective counterinsurgency. In late 2016, the Obama administration withheld the sale of a dozen A29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria over human-rights concerns. The Nigerian Air Force’s accidental bombing of a refugee camp in January 2017 only validated the concerns further. In December, the Trump administration approved the deal on the grounds that the aircraft would give a much-needed boost to our partner’s fitful efforts against an Islamic State-affiliate.
Boko Haram is far from defeated despite the Nigerian government’s frequent claims to the contrary. While the group’s territorial control has diminished significantly, it still moves freely throughout much of the countryside and can stage large-scale assaults and suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria, as well as in neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The kidnapping of 110 more schoolgirls this February in Dapchi, a northern Nigerian town previously untouched by the violence, should belie any claims that the insurgents are on the back foot. Further, the task of reconstruction in those areas that have been cleared is immense: Millions of Nigerians have been displaced during the nine-year insurgency.
Most Nigerians, though, have never viewed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to the country. More pressing is the growing violence between Fulani pastoralists and non-Fulani farmers in the Middle Belt, the region of states in central Nigeria that are the crossroads between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south. Religious questions have shaped the Middle Belt since the early 19th century, when the charismatic Islamic scholar Usman dan Fodio led the Fulani in a jihad against the Hausa kingdoms and established the Sokoto Caliphate. With British soldiers and traders in the late 19th century came Christian missionaries. Until 1914, the British governed Nigeria as two separate colonies: a southern Nigeria where they proselytized, invested, and built up infrastructure, and a northern one, ruled indirectly and neglected economically. The British promoted a distinct northern identity based on Islam and on Hausa and Fula culture, in opposition to a Christian south dominated by ethnic Igbo and Yoruba (though home to dozens of other ethnicities). Nigeria has never fully overcome the cultural divide resulting from the unification of these two colonies over a century ago.
If the Middle Belt has long seen cultural and religious disputes, the scale of the recent violence is nonetheless notable. A sectarian narrative that has begun to emerge around the various localized conflicts paints Muslim Fulani herders—pushed ever further south in search of pasture as a result of desertification—as an invading force linked to international jihadists. Ethnic militias have formed as the lines between reprisal and preemptive attack blur. Local politicians have rallied their constituencies around these militias as forms of collective defense in the absence of any effective security presence by the state.
The balance of power between north and south is the perennial question in Nigerian politics. Buhari is an ethnic Fula with close ties to a trade group of herders. Impartial as he considers himself, Buhari is attacked incessantly in the Nigerian media, especially by non-Fulanis, for the government’s poor response to the Middle Belt crisis. His recent comments blaming the violence on an influx of weapons through the Sahel following the fall of Qaddafi prompted a deluge of mockery on social media. President Trump may have been alluding to the Middle Belt during his joint press conference with Buhari when he expressed concern about the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying that “we’re gonna be working on that problem . . . very, very hard.” If his administration is concerned about the plight of Christians in the Middle Belt and hopes to play a constructive role, it first needs to recognize that the sources of the conflict are complex, that the violence is not one-sided, and that sectarian narratives are liable to exacerbate tensions.
Buhari’s government is also increasingly at odds with Nigeria’s Igbo population. For the past six years, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an Igbo separatist movement, has combined a mythical pseudo-zionism that posits the Igbo as descendants of ancient Hebrews with very legitimate historical grievances to agitate for independence. The group takes its name from the Republic of Biafra, the self-proclaimed Igbo nation whose attempted secession led to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70. In its own words, IPOB seeks to free its peoples from the “shackles of caliphate domination and creeping Islamization” and to remedy the injustices of the civil war, during which more than a million people died in a famine that many scholars consider an act of genocide. IPOB supporters protested outside the White House on April 30, holding signs accusing Fulani of being Sudanese invaders. One explained to me that for Biafrans to accept Buhari’s government would be akin to America accepting rule by the Taliban.
Buhari’s government has officially labeled IPOB a terrorist organization. The Igbo number some 32 million within Nigeria’s population of 190 million, and while IPOB does not necessarily enjoy sympathy among a majority of them, a heavy crackdown on the movement could fuel widespread resentment against the government. The group’s founder, Nnamdi Kanu, disappeared last September after security forces raided his house. The Nigerian government claims to be ignorant of his whereabouts, but IPOB supporters believe he was murdered. Boko Haram’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, was executed in 2009 while in the custody of security forces, who claimed he died in a failed escape attempt. Leaked footage of his killing turned him into a martyr and helped the insurgency gain traction among wider segments of the population in the northeast. If Kanu has been similarly killed, his death could push many Igbo into the arms of IPOB or even more radical movements.
If IPOB wishes to resurrect the cause of a decades-old conflict, the oil-rich Niger Delta is a region where conflict risks emerging as the result of much fresher wounds. Fighting in the delta began in the 1990s thanks to disputes between foreign oil companies and local minority communities such as the Ijaw and Ogoni. The pervasive corruption of the Nigerian state ensures that most of the profits from the oil industry go to political and business elites in Lagos and Abuja while the delta communities grapple with the environmental damage. The conflict accelerated after the execution of several peaceful Ogoni activists by state security forces in the mid-2000s. Militants frequently blew up or sabotaged pipelines and kidnapped foreign workers for ransom. In 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua announced an amnesty that included monthly stipends for any militant who would disarm, as well as lucrative contracts to guard oil installations. This bribery tempered the insurgency, but it did not prevent the militants from continuing their other criminal activities (which include drugs and arms trading).
When Buhari took office, he diverted $1 billion from Nigeria’s excess crude account to ramp up the fight against Boko Haram. This cut into the slush fund for the delta militants and, inevitably, prompted a backlash. The fact that Buhari is Fulani led many in the delta to see his move as an attempt to reward a northern community at the expense of the delta populations. That the fight against Boko Haram has been accompanied by staggering corruption has only contributed to this image. In March 2016, a new group called the Niger Delta Avengers began attacking pipelines, causing Nigeria to temporarily fall behind Angola as Africa’s largest oil producer.
The Avengers’ attacks have not yet reached the scale of the conflict prior to the amnesty, but they have exposed a crippling weakness in Nigeria’s approach to security. The smash-and-forget model of brutally suppressing dissent to the point that it morphs into insurgency and then buying off the militants leaves the state in perpetual fear of old foes taking up arms again. In the Niger Delta, any time erstwhile militants are dissatisfied with the state patronage, they can put a stranglehold on the country’s economic lifeblood by attacking the oil infrastructure. What does this foretell for the conflicts in the Middle Belt or for Nigeria’s small Shia population, hundreds of whom were killed by security forces during 2015 protests?
Nigeria’s shortcomings in governance and conflict resolution are intertwined with the generational challenges arising from an ever-more populous and diverse society. If Boko Haram is defeated, the Nigerian government will still face a northeastern population that largely supports political Islam in one form or another. And regardless of if and how the Middle Belt conflicts are resolved, Fulani herdsmen must grapple with an ecological reality that means many will have to seek other forms of livelihood than the pastoralism which has defined their communities for centuries. The Nigerian government can presumably prevent a Biafran state from ever taking form, but Igbo nationalism will not die quietly. The list goes on.
These challenges are as old as the country’s independence from Britain in 1960, and proposals for greater decentralization have gained influential backers in recent years. “Efforts at wishing away the problem associated with the Nigerian federation have only resulted in several tribal, ethnic, and religious movements that have even metamorphosed into terrorist syndicates,” Yakubu Dogara, a stalwart in Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and the speaker of Nigeria’s house of representatives, said in March. “One can, therefore, no longer fold his arms but engage some of the issues that have confronted us as a nation and threatened the federation.”
Any plan faces strong opposition from many in the country’s political elite, but the rise of such discussions reflects a recognition of the need for new thinking. U.S. policy towards Nigeria, on the other hand, continues to be driven by the same short-term security concerns. The U.S. approach clearly recognizes the gravity of the threat posed by jihadist groups in West Africa. But if the United States ignores Nigeria’s counterproductive approach towards managing both violent insurgency and peaceful dissent, the partnership will be marred by perpetual concern that Nigeria’s conflicts never die, but simply lie dormant.
James H. Barnett is a Public Interest fellow in Washington, D.C.
President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly said he only heard about Boko Haram control of territories in Nigeria from News Papers. While he acknowledged the fact that insecurity is still a big problem for his administration, he underscored the efforts of the Army in restricting Boko Haram to Sambisa Forest. This was the first time the Nigerian President will concede to the fact that insurgents are still controlling some territories in Nigeria.
Speaking during an interview with Voice of Africa (VOA), he also expressed the difference between leading the country as a former military Head of State and now as a democratically elected leader.
He said: “I don’t get to listen to music but I find time to rest. When I was a general, I gave orders, but now I receive orders” Commenting on the state of his health, he said his doctor always insist on good diet and good rest for him.
Asked what different plan he has for Nigeria if re-elected, he said: “We have not even finished what we are doing now. Insecurity is still a problem. The worst thing that Boko Haram is doing now is to get small girls, hypnotise and put explosive devices on them to go and detonate in mosques, churches, motor parks and markets and kill people.
“However, they are not able to take over any territory now, although even today, I read in some newspapers that Boko Haram are still holding territory. Well, they may still be somewhere in Sambisa Forest but the Nigerian Army has prevented them from coming out”.
Buhari, who is seeking a second term to the dismay of even some of his first-term supporters, also restated his resolve to punish more corrupt and criminal offenders if he wins in 2019
“By the time we set up these special courts and prosecute offenders, I am sure citizens will know that we are serious,” he said. “Those who embezzle public funds should be ready to face the consequences.”
President Buhari have confessed that he would have gotten caught up in the herdsmen/farmers clashes if he hadn’t enlisted in the military.
Buhari also restated his resolve to seek reelection in 2019; given the fact that he is certain of victory.
President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that had he not gone to school, he night have been one of those involved in the clashes between herdsmen and farmers, Punch reports. The president made the comment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, on Thursday, April 26, during his two-day visit to the state. The president urged Bauchi residents to allow their children go to school, as he addressed the thousands who thronged the stadium to welcome him on his first visit to the state since 2015.
Delivering his message in Hausa, he stated: “Make every effort to put your children in school, plead with them to be patient and read hard. In this generation, you cannot make it except you are educated. “Now, look at the farmers/herdsmen’s clashes in the northern part of this country. I have been telling people that if I had not gone to school, I would not have gone into the military. And where I come from, since my cows are finished, maybe, I would have been involved in this fight.
“But because I went to school, I got a job to do and because of that, desertification is everywhere, there is no bush we will go to cut down trees and destroy farms and the rainy season is not promising. Because of that, education is the guarantee. “You should strive hard and be educated, get the education that will benefit you and the society, it is not compulsory that government will give you what to do.” President Buhari also declared that he would emerge victorious in 2019 as he restated his resolve to seek reelection. Meanwhile, President Buhari had appealed to the people of Benue state not to cave in or allow themselves to be used by those he considered enemies of the country trying to bring it to a sorry point.
Buhari made the appeal in a statement by one of his spokespersons, Garba Shehu, late Thursday, April 26. It read in part: “Repeated acts of mass killings and destruction in parts of the country and Benue state in particular, point to the evil design of enemies of peace and unity who have desperately been trying to bring the country to this sorry point: a brother killing brother, a neighbor killing a neighbor and a community attacking and killing members of another community. “The president strongly warns citizens against playing into the hands of the agents of disunity.”
A Nigerian freelance Journalsit based in Washington, D.C, has revealed the staged public appearance of the Nigerian President at the Rose Garden with his host, President Trump to meet the world media. He maintained that he tried severally to ask president Muhammadu Buhari question during his state briefing with U.S president, Donal Trump at the White House yesterday.
According to the reporter, Simon Ateba who was among other journalists present at the briefing , he was prevented by a lady from asking a question as he realized that the president had already been given questions which were meant to be asked.
He shared his experience on Facebook.
“I did not ask a question today to President Trump or President Buhari because the White House has a protocol. It asks every President to choose 2 journalists who will ask them questions. Nigerian questions went through the Nigerian Embassy. The President was told what they will ask him. I felt sad. I raised my hand and President Trump came close to making me ask my question. One Nigerian lady in New York was hitting me in the back not to ask a question. It was not my day here in the Rose Garden inside the White House in Washington DC. But after the questions were asked, I realized that I may be playing on a different league. I thank God. Being independent in journalism is crucial. But sustaining it is hard without enough ads. When the government flies you to DC, lodges you and promises you money, it’s hard to do serious journalism work. But I thank God for blessing”.
The United States Government officials have confirmed the receipt from Nigeria payment for the Tucano planes. It said the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets and other weapons it agreed to sell to the Nigerian to combat Boko Haram insurgents and other extremist groups would be delivered in 2020.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report at the weekend said a senior U.S. Department of State official made the disclosure during a background briefing with ‘selected reporters’ at the U.S. Consul-General’s Residence on Sunday in Ikoyi, Lagos. The official, who confirmed that the Federal Government had paid for the war planes, said sale of the aircraft with weapons and services worth over $400 million included bombs and rockets.
The NAN report said that the propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance, surveillance and attack capabilities is made by Brazil’s Embraer.
Embraer’s second production line is in Florida in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada
The Super Tucano is said to cost more than $10 million each and the price could go much higher depending on the configuration. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT 6 engine
The meeting in the Rose Garden between Presidents Buhari and Trump was very coordial and filled with good tidings for Nigerians and American interests. While all were smooth the American president sounded a note of serious warning on ending the herdsmen violence in Nigeria. President Buhari said his administration is working to address the herdsmen killings across Nigeria.
playUS President Donald Trump asked Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to support the US bid for the 2026 World Cup
United States President, Donald Trump has condemned the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying it is unacceptable. Trump stated this while hosting Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on Monday, April 30.
“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria, we are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Buhari said his administration is working to address the farmers and herdsmen killings and to checkmate illegal cross-border activities.
President Donald Trump (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
The Nigerian leader thanked the US government for approving the sale of military hardware to Nigeria as part of its support for the anti-Boko Haram war.
Nigerian Concord Newspapers
Confirmed sources at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday night hinted Nigerian Concord that the Nigerian Army have got a nod from the Presidency to investigate the executive governor of Benue state, Mr. Samuel Ortom, a member representing Katsina Ala federal constituency, Honourable Emmanuel Udende, and some top associates of the governor following the arrest of a wanted Boko Haram leader, Aliyu Yaminu Tershaku whom was harboured by the Benue state government.
Tershaku who was wanted by various Nigerian Security agencies in connection with his roles in several terrorist attacks which were carried out by Boko Haram in 2011 was appointed by Governor Samuel Ortom as the Commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards.
According to our Defence Headquarters sources, Tershaku, in his first report, has confessed to the Army that arrested and took him to Abuja last night that it was Honourable Emmanuel Udende who introduced him to Ortom in 2015 as a capable hand to head the state government militants group.
Tershaku also told his interrogators that it was true that he is on the state government payroll as an assistant to Governor Ortom on special security.
He also confessed that all the weapons which members of the militia group as well as the ones that were found on him during his arrest in Makurdi yesterday were provided for them by the Ortom-led administration.
However, our sources have confirmed that the Nigerian Army have concluded their investigation that Tershaku and members of his militia group who are operating and hiding under the Benue State Livestock Guards, are the people behind the recent killings in the state.
Although, our sources said the suspect has not own up to the allegation, Nigerian Concord can authoritatively report that the first investigation report of the Nigerian Army has pointed at him and his gang as the masterminds of this week attacks which led to the killings of two Catholic priests and 17 worshippers in Gwer East local government.
The Army’s report also indicted Tershaku and his gang as the brain behind another attack which claimed 13 persons and several properties in Guma local government on Tuesday.
Our sources hinted that based on the Army’s request, President Mohammadu Buhari directed Vice President Yemi Osibajo to monitor the authorization given to the security agency to investigate why the Benue state governor would appoint a wanted terrorist into such sensitive position.
Part of the approval which the Army got from the Presidency was that Honourable Udende should be thoroughly investigated since Tershaku has confessed that he was introduced to Ortom by the lawmaker, and also that members of the militia group do meet at his (Udende) Makurdi residence.
It would be recalled that this newspaper had three months ago reported that Udende was camping several militias who were freshly raised for Governor Ortom in his Makurdi residence.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi, Mr. Olabisi Ayeni, has officially confirmed that Tershaku who was arrested yesterday in Makurdi by a combined team of troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade, Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services is believed to have masterminded most of the recent attacks in Benue State.
Making this known in his statement, Ayeni said that the Army’s investigation revealed that Tershaku has concluded plans with his cohorts in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Nasarawa states to launch a major attack on innocent citizens in Benue State throughout next week.
It would be recalled that Tershaku’s arrest followed an outburst by the Nigerian Army that the recent attacks and killings in Benue state were sponsored by the state government under Governor Samuel Ortom.
All the attacks took place while Governor Ortom was holidaying in far away China.