It is a shame that some people have suddenly relegated reports about these atrocities to the background. We are not putting pressure on this administration to take proactive action. Even Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State and Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State have suddenly become quiet. So, these lives no longer matter because two of them now belong to the party at the centre? The Buhari administration has simply been grandstanding about taming Boko Haram; all words no action. Running to the leaders of Chad and Niger Republic for help is not a bad idea. Goodluck Jonathan did the same; but it cannot put an end to suicide bombings in our country.
Troops from the MNJTF won’t come into Maiduguri or Damaturu to help stop suicide bombings. They can only help battle cross-border infiltration. The trip to G7 Summit by President Muhammadu Buhari where this same issue was tabled was obviously a waste of time. Deep down, the G7 guys are not bothered one bit about the war against Boko Haram. Buhari should be moving close to Russia and China.
Aside from moving the Command and Control Centre of the war to Maiduguri, Buhari has so far not done anything special in the war against Boko Haram in the last 36 days. This is basically because he has no blue print for tackling the crisis. While campaigning for the Presidency, Buhari simply played politics with the Boko Haram crisis. He did not have any Think Tank working on strategies for taming the monster. The movement of the C and C to Maiduguri did not impact positively on the war as seen from the data below. The movement itself is an archaic war technique. There is clearly no sense in this. Buhari simply wants to jeopadise the Command and Control Centre.
The United States did not move the Pentagon to the Gulf region before decapitating Iraq troops. Just as I clearly stated in an earlier piece, the suicide bombers are within the country, manufacturing and using Improvised Explosive Devices. They are using petrol and gas cylinders, all obtained within the country. Intelligence gathering and technology are vital for detecting and curtailing the deadly activities of these suicide bombers. Community policing is also key. We need to put our internal security in order instead of just running to G7 leaders, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and the rest of them. Of course, leadership matters a great deal if we are to curtail terrorism. Buhari needs to be told that occupying a position of authority does not make a man a leader. It is the ability to inspire others to achieve a positive goal that makes a man a leader.
Being honesty alone does not make a man a leader. Competence is a key factor in leadership. Ability to identify other competent people and then making positive use of them is also vital in leadership. If honesty is all that is required to turn around the fortune of a country, then, a country like Tanzania would have joined the league of developed country. Their former President, late Julius Nyerere who ruled the country for over two decades was one of the most honest leaders in the world. When he left office, he had no house of his own. The country had to build one for him. In spite of his honesty, Tanzania remained on the inglorious list of very poor countries in the world. The point I am making is that in this war against Boko Haram and other challenges facing this country, we need a leader who combines competence and honesty. For now, I don’t think we have that leader. A man cannot give what he does not have. An honest leader who is not competent will not get us anywhere. A competent leader who is dishonest will also not get us anywhere. May Allah save us from the scourge of Boko Haram and Buhari’s ineptitude.
Timeline of Deadly Boko Haram Attack in 36 days
May 30 13 killed during an attempted night invasion of Maiduguri
May 30 26 killed, in bomb attack on a mosque near Borno market
May 31 Four killed at Gamboru market, Maiduguri
June 2 17 killed at Maiduguri abattoir
June 3 Four killed in attack on mechanical workshop on Baga Road
June 4 Female suicide bomber kills two near military checkpoint in Maiduguri
June 5 40 killed in suicide attack on Jimeta Night Market
June 7 Three killed in suicide attack on Baga/Monguno Highway
June 11 37 killed in separate attacks on six Borno villages
June 15 Twin suicide bomb attacks kill 11 persons in Potiskum
June 17 Accidental explosion kills 15 persons in Monguno
June 22 Eight killed in twin suicide attacks on Baga Fish Market, Maiduguri
June 23 15 killed in suicide bomb attack on Nannawaji Village, Gujba LG
June 23 20 killed in attack on Debiro, Hawul LG
June 27 Five killed at General Hospital, Molai, Borno State
June 30 48 killed in Mussaram I and Mussaram II near Monguno
July 1 98 killed in Kukawa Village
July 2 11 killed at Malari Village along Bama/Konduga Highway
July 3 29 killed in Mussa Village, Askira-Uba LG.
RINGGRUE with Yemi Adebowale; email@example.com; Phone nos. 07013940521
In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at the graduation ceremony of the Senior Course 37 of the Command and Staff College in Jaji on Friday, President Buhari promised that "I will like to assure you that our administration will not relent in equipping the Armed Forces to firmly address all forms of threats that may arise both in peace and war."
Besides, the Vice President also visited the National Defense Academy, NDA, in Kaduna, where he met some of the Nigerians who escaped or where rescued from the Sambisa forest base of Boko Haram terrorists.
At the graduation ceremony in Jaji, President Buhari reminded members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, that they have "a principal role to play in protecting the lives and property of our citizens from all forms of internal or external threat.
He noted that while the civil police continues to be primarily responsible for internal security, "the scale of the current security challenges facing our nation requires the military to play a more decisive role in support of civil power."
The President asserted that the Nigerian military must remain apolitical and neutral in performing its constitutional role, stressing that the military has made good progress in the war against terror, even though faced with contemporary security challenges that were not envisaged some decades ago.
Warning members of the Armed Forces to be generally mindful of "today's highly sensitive media environment," the president observed that
some of the new graduates of the College would be deployed in crisis prone areas inside or outside the country.
To them, he said "you must be conscious of your actions, given that we live in a common global environment." But he added that there is no doubt that the quality of training "you have received has adequately prepared you to confront current threats to national and global security."
Commenting on the international composition of graduates and participants in the course at the Command and Staff College, President Buhari said praised other African nations that nominated candidates for the College.
He said such action, "enhances the ideals of African governance integration for regional cooperation vital for collective security and development of the continent.
For instance, he restated that fact that under the auspices of the Multi National Joint Force of neighboring countries and Nigerian forces, "we are progressively winning the fight against Boko Haram."
Describing the College as a "prestigious institution," he also noted that the federal government "will also continue to ensure that this College gets the type of support that it deserves."
A total of 174 officers drawn from 7 African countries including Nigeria graduated on Friday, at the ceremony attended by service chiefs, College officials and the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
Osinbajo who stood in for the President at the Guest of Honor at the graduation also visited a center at the NDA where those recently rescued and escaped from Sambisa forests where being "deradicalized."
A total number of 307 persons including women and children are based at the center receiving instructional, medical and psychological rehabilitation services.
Addressing them, Prof Osinbajo said "President Buhari wanted me to greet you and to say that he thinks about you everyday and about your welfare. And he wants to know that you are doing very well and that you are strong and that you are well taken care of."
He added that "I pray that all of you would be well, to work and all the young people here will be able to go back to school. That is the message I have for you from President Buhari. God bless you all."
I WISH HIM THE BEST IN THE TASK OF FIXING NIGERIA AND THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON TO SUCCEED...MAY GOD GRANT HIM THE GRACE TO OVERCOME ALL THESE CHALLENGES..BUT WE WILL NOT RELENT TO CRY OUT WHEN THE NEED CALLS FOR IT..MINE CRITICISM WILL REMAIN CONSTRUCTIVE, OBJECTIVE AND NOT SUBJECTIVE..MAY GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
CHRIS KEHINDE NWANDU IS THE PUBLISHER,EDITOR IN CHIEF OF CKN NEWS
This was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna.
Governor Ambode’s directive followed newspaper publications which narrated the ordeal of the woman, who spoke with reporters during her distress visit to the Government Secretariat, Alausa on Thursday.
The Governor who was visibly touched after reading the plight of the woman and her children, noted that as a responsible government, the well-being of the people of the State irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation is paramount to his administration and assured that his government will continue to provide good leadership that will guarantee adequate protection of lives and properties of all Lagosians.
Her husband, Mr. Benjamin Uche was alleged to have absconded from home as a result of the expected birth of another set of twins from his wife, making it the third in a row.
While acknowledging the present economic situation in the country, the Governor noted that it is not proper for anyone to abandon his family, especially young children that they willingly brought to life, admonishing that it is only when such children are properly taking care of that they can achieve their full potentials in life and become responsible citizens in the future.
Conspicuously absent were the man often considered the animator of the party, Lagos former governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his close political ally and former pro term chairman of the party, Bisi Akande; Tinubu’s strong acolyte and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo. Besides, all APC chairmen from the South-west abstained.
Spokesman of the APC, Lai Mohammed, explained away their absence, saying they were not members of NEC and may not have been invited by the National Working Committee (NWC) and NEC whose responsibility it was to extend invitation to NEC meetings.
Regardless, the absence of the key party figures has triggered off excitement in some quarters where it is believed that there is leadership struggle in the APC.
Early indications of this emerged at the outbreak of the National Assembly crisis and mutual suspicion within the party.
Sequel to the emergence of Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, on June 9, the leaders of the party appeared to have thrown revealing jibes at one another.
The crisis, it would be recalled, deepened when the Senate rejected the party’s choices for the remaining principal offices, by adopting the nominees of the zonal caucuses of the party in the senate for the positions of majority leader, deputy majority leader, and deputy chief whip.
Up till now, the House, which is also sharply divided into two factions, is yet to name its principal officers.
Not long after, Spokesman, Mohammed, claimed in a television programme that President Buhari was not the leader of the APC and that the party has many leaders.
“The President is a product of the party and they are many leaders of the party,” he had said.
Afterwards, the presidency issued a statement insisting that Buhari was leader of the party.
Under the circumstances, critics have interpreted Friday’s absence of the gladiators as indication that the leadership issue was still brewing.
According to observers, the conflict at the National Assembly was crucial enough to warrant the invitation of these leaders to a meeting that would resolve it.
In any case, President Buhari, at the NEC meeting, impressed it on the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the need to respect party’s supremacy by way of complying with its (party) directive on the selection of principal officers at both chambers of the national assembly.
The president, in his first public personal comments on the crisis made at the opening session of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, in Abuja, on Friday, expressed and reiterated the need for the “warring” lawmakers to respect the supremacy of the party and “put their personal interest in their pockets for the sake of the country’s democracy.”
The President said: “Whatever your personal interests put them in your pocket. Let APC work. Let the system work. I appeal to you to accept the superiority of the party. I cannot confine myself in Sambisa Forest and refuse to participate in the meeting because I respect the superiority of the party.”
“The elections have come and gone and the APC has won the battle and lost the war, this is the paradox of democracy and we can see how we are going to manage it.
“I have a worthy appeal to you, the chairman, to you the leadership of the party, to you the senators and members of the House of Representatives, and to you the governors, that the APC must not disappoint our constituencies and the nation state.
“We thank God in four years we have to convince our constituencies that we are individually worthy of the sacrifices they have made. We stayed awake days and nights, travelling around to make sure that the party emerge victorious.”
“What subsequently happen is human, and as human beings, we are not perfect but let our collective action in this party rule because we have won the election and we will eventually win the war.”
Buhari emphasised that the party remained superior to any member since it was on its platform that “they” were elected.
His words: “As for me as a president, I have to clearly understand the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the constitution of APC, and having tried three times and successfully lost three times and successfully ending up at the Supreme Court, I think I have tasted the bitter disappointments and the sweetness of success.”
“What happened to APC must be given to God almighty. The opposition party has ruled the country for sixteen years, with all the treasuries literally in their pockets and all the coercing forces in their command, but they still meekly conceded defeat. We congratulate them for that.
“I clearly understand the constitution from which INEC was developed with clear terms of reference and one of its important responsibilities is to register political associations as political parties, and whoever wants to participate in elective office as a Nigerian must seek a platform and that platform is the political party, hence the superior state of the parties. APC has been damn lucky. If I can use that.”
Speaking on the sideline of the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, stated that the NEC meeting had provided an enabling environment to look into ways of resolving the National Assembly logjams, adding that the governors elected under the platform of APC will be meeting with the speaker and the senate president in a further attempt to find a lasting solution to the lingering logjam at the national assembly.
“It is important to let you know that everybody in the party is united on two issues which are party supremacy and the need to ensure that this government delivers its campaign promises,” he said.
When asked whether the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives will now consider the position of the party on the selection of principal officers in both chambers of the National Assembly, Mohammed said: “I have told you that the NEC has provided a platform to resolve this issue and part of the resolution is the meeting that will be held today between the governors, the senate president, and the speaker of the House of Representatives. The president said he believes in party supremacy, we have a problem on our hands and we must find the best means to resolve it. One thing I can assure you is that this house (the APC) shall not fall.”
When asked to comment on when to draw a line between party’s supremacy and the sanctity of the country’s constitution in the selection of principal officers at the national assembly, Mohammed said: “The less said about this logjam the better it’ll be not for only this party but the whole nation. It is for the interest of everyone who voted for change. I would not want to go into the knitty gritty of what the resolution will be because as I speak for now I don’t know. When you talk about party’s supremacy, it is derived from the constitution.
When asked why notable chieftains of the party like Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande were absent from the meeting, Mohammed said: “Invitation to the meeting was at the discretion of the NWC or NEC who to invite or not, and it is not out of respect to question why they are not here, but the bottom line is that neither of them are members of the exco of the party.
Those who attended the meeting were President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, Yobe state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, Kastina state governor Aminu Bello Masari, Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, Ogun state governor Abikunle Amosun, Niger state governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Adamawa State governor, Jibrilla Bindow.
Others were Lagos state governor Akinwumi Ambode, Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, state governor Atiku Bagudu, Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole, Governor of Zafara state, Abdulaziz Yari, Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Also in attendance were the Deputy governors of Bauchi, Nasarawa, Borno, Kwara, Kebbi, Sen. Ahmed Lawal, and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
They said the appointments were lopsided and not in the best interest of the country.
President Buhari is from Katsina State, Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, are from Kwara and Bauchi states respectively. The judiciary is led by Justice Mahmud Mohammed from Taraba State.
Of the nine appointments made by Buhari so far, eight are from the North, while one is from the South. The appointments are: Director-General of the State Services, Lawal Daura, Katsina State; Acting Chairman, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, Jigawa State; Director, the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan; and the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Kano State.
Others are the State Chief of Protocol, Mallam Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure; Aide De Camp, Lt.-Col. Muhammed Lawal Abubakar, Kano State; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu; and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, South-West.
The appointments, however, drew the ire of Nigerians who asked Buhari to respect the country’s principle of federal character.
Already, the Internet, particularly the social media and blogs, are agog with reactions and counter-reactions on the matter.
A commentator named Daamazing, on Nairaland, Nigeria’s largest discussion forum, accused Buhari of appointing only Northerners into key positions announced so far.
The enraged citizen said in pidgin, “After all your mumu promises, one thing you’ve not achieved, na to dey appoint all the people for your family tree, dey do tourism up and down. (After all your promises, you’ve not achieved anything. All you have done is to appoint your kinsmen and travel all around the world).”
Another commentator identified simply as Augster, said, “Buhari, don’t let those who voted for you down because your appointment of only Northerners into top positions is baffling us.”
SenseiX, another Nairaland commentator, said it was wrong for Buhari to have brought Daura, the acting DSS DG, from retirement to head the agency when there were qualified persons from other regions of the country still in service.
He said, “He ignored the entire senior cadre of the agency- from Bassey Eteng to the least- simply because they are Southerners. Even if he wanted to pick a a Northerner, he should have picked from the service rather than a 62-year-old retiree, whose only qualification is being Buhari’s kinsman, who was in the DSS. When former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Ekpenyong, he was already a Director of Operations, same for Gadzama, who was appointed by Umaru Yar’Adua.”
As of the time of filing this report, the story- Buhari sacks DG DSS, service chiefs may go- had been read by 30,722 Nigerians on the PUNCH website, some of who expressed anger over the development.
A reader named as Ify, said, “In as much as I do not subscribe to ethnic sentiments, I am sensitive to the malaise of ethnic distrust in the country. A wise leader would therefore, thread cautiously around this landmine. We must patiently navigate our way out of ethnic bias.
“Let me also point out that Nigeria’s strength is derived from her diversity, therefore, any government that wishes to succeed must draw from our diversity, and not limit itself to the talents from one region alone.”
Another reader, Omoyooba, said, “In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria, it is insensitive of him to be making appointments made up of Northern Muslims. What of the Christians and the Southerners? President Muhammadu Buhari should know that former President Goodluck Jonathan started with greater goodwill than this in 2011 and he ran it aground in four years. Buhari should not make the same mistake. Nigeria belongs to everybody.”
On Facebook, Fidelis Anumole-Oparaku, who was apparently disappointed with the situation, said the President’s ministerial appointments would not be much better.
He said, “Because he lacks the power to do so with ministerial appointments, he will likely give key positions to Northern Muslims, then the soft ones will be given to Northern Christians and the South.”
Like the online community, prominent groups in the South-West – Afenifere, Yoruba Unity Forum and the Movement for Oodua Republic – said this kind of lopsided appointments had never happened in the political history of the country.
While describing the President’s actions as worrisome, the YUF Secretary-General, Senator Anthony Adefuye, warned that the earlier the situation was reversed, the better, adding that the YUF would not expect the North to marginalise the South.
He said, “The fact that the President, Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are from the North is worrisome. There is no way the North can take all the principal offices and leave the deputy to us. It has never happened before and the earlier it is reverted, the better.
“There is no way that can continue because the South is not subordinate to the North. The think tank committee of the YUF will meet soon to look at the issue and see how it affects the Yoruba people. However, the development is a wrong signal that must be corrected.”
While calling on Southerners to be patient and watch events unfold, Adefuye said no region could be a subordinate of the other.
“What is more worrisome is that the immediate past INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, handed over to a Southerner but the Presidency changed it to a Northerner. We are watching and waiting to see what comes out of this new government.”
Adefuye added, “Southerners are always careful and concerned not to marginalise the North. Therefore, I will not expect the North to marginalise the South now that the Presidency is shifted to the region.”
The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the group was watching the President’s actions and taking note of them.
Odumakin, who spoke with one of our correspondents on Friday, said, “We have taken a position in Afenifere to watch the President’s actions before we begin to make comments. By the time we have a clearer picture of what is happening in the first 100 days of the President in office, we are certainly going to make a comprehensive statement.”
Also, the leader of MOR, Mr. George Akinola, said the country was heading towards total conflict should the situation continue.
He said, “The country has already been divided along religious lines. The fault lines are there and will always be there. This will continue until a time when one way or the other a conference or a referendum happens. There is no option that is not on the table but at least we will prefer the path of peace.”
Representing the interest of the South-Eastern people, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, asked the President to respect the principle of federal character in his appointments.
Enwo-Igariwey said, “We expect the President to recognise other nationalities that make up Nigeria. Elections are over, it is time for governance. We expect that the principle of federal character, which is constitutional, should be respected.
“It is important that in making his appointments, the President should recognise that there are six geo-political zones in the country and it is imperative that he carries all of them along in the spirit of nation building and as a statesman.”
The Igbo World Union and the Ohanaeze Youth Council described the President’s actions as a threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
The OYC National President, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said, “Buhari should not abuse his privileged position as the President of Nigeria for the moment. He should not forget our federal system but reflect the federal character in his appointments.
“We are warning him to drop the Northern agenda and govern Nigeria in line with the constitution which he sworn to protect. We will hold him by his statement that ‘he is for nobody and for everybody ‘ except he now wants to tell us that he is the President of the North alone.”
According to Isiguzoro, Buhari’s actions demonstrate that he came to power to reverse the positive steps made by Jonathan, who gave consideration to Nigeria’s ethnic plurality in his appointments.
“Jonathan appointed Northerners as his National Security Adviser, Defence Minister, Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Defence Staff etc. But so far, Buhari has shown us that he has no regard for other parts of the country.”
In his reaction, the President-General of Igbo World Union, Dr. Mishak Nnanta, asked the President not to succumb to any ill- advice from individuals with parochial interest.
The National President of Njiko Igbo Forum, Reverend Okechukwu Obioha, warned Buhari against running what he described as a “Northern government.”
Obioha expressed the fear that the trend, if left unchecked, could destroy the country.
He said, “Buhari is simply running a Northern government. He is making his appointments as if he is angry with other sections of the country. The appointments are lopsided in favour of the North and that is not acceptable.”
This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Friday, in an interview with the BBC.
In the interview, which was monitored in Lagos, Adesina said the Federal Government was not ruling out negotiations with the sect if it would put an end to the activities of the group. He lamented that the insurgents had attacked so many villages and killed scores of people.
“These were very vicious attacks. People were killed in scores and it’s so sad,” he said.
The President had during his inauguration speech said he had launched a strategy to deal with the sect by relocating the military headquarters to Maiduguri, Borno State.
When asked whether this would work, Adesina replied, “This is going to work. There are machineries being put in place. It’s going to work. The recent killings by the sect were meant to break our resolve, to weaken it, but that will stop. It remains a priority to him (Buhari) to deal with the group.
“You will notice that his first two weeks of administration were dedicated to tackling the insurgency. He visited Chad and Niger Republics and the following week, the Presidents of those countries also visited him in Abuja.
“The President of Benin Republic and the Defence Minister of Cameroon visited him; machinery is being put in place and once we’re through, we will see the end of the group. The target time for the deployment of the multinational force is July ending; that is in a couple of weeks.”
When the BBC also asked if the Federal Government was considering negotiations with the insurgent group, Adesina replied in the affirmative.
He said, “If they are willing, why not? You know attempts have been made for negotiations in the past and they didn’t work. Every reasonable person would want to see the end to this insurgency. So if they are willing, why not? You can’t rule that out.”