Buhari Opens Up On Kanu And Other National Issues

By Suleiman Umaru And Lateef Adegbite

Those who think that there might a political solution to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, currently in Department of State Services, DSS, custody, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,   would be disappointed.  President Muhammadu Muhammadu Buhari a retired Army General may have spoken his mind on the hated Kanu in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, monitored in Lagos, by The Value news.

 The Katsina born Nigerian President has made it  clear to those that cares to listen, particular, people of the south states of  Abia, Anambra, Eboyi , Enugu and Imo, that the only Institution that could  guarantee Kanu’s release is the Judiciary, which is the third arm of government, and currently  handling the case.

 He was said to have ruled out’’ political solution to the Kanu’s case, contrary to the demand of the Igbo Elderers who  had visited him last year at the Presidential Villa.  The Nigerian President may have shown his hatred for the IPOB Leader when he disclosed that he had been saying ‘’unprintable things in Europe about the Nigerian government, the economic and security situation of the country, which were not true’’, thus exposing the country to the international Community.

 He had said that the day of reckoning has come for the IPOB leader who had been on the run over the years to defend himself against those accusations he had levelled against the Nigerian government abroad.  The Pro-Biafra, a Secessionist Group leader, was arrested in Kenya, South Eastern Africa and brought back to Nigeria to  face his charges in what people described as a well –  conceived plot and properly executed operation that was secretly guided.

 There are indications that the Nigerian government may have contracted a third party, outside the knowledge and involvement of the Kenyan government, which had made his arrest and extradition to Nigeria possible in 2021. Indeed, the retired Army General, who has been looking for an Opportunity to get the man who gave him sleepless night in his first term in office with his provocative and abusive Comments overseas. He has vowed not’’ to interfere with the legal processes’’, stressing that’’ if the Court sets him free, so be it’’.

Kanu: IPOB Leader In DSS, Custody

He may have alluded to the fact that there is nothing wrong in the IPOB leader, being in DSS detention  since his extradition to Nigeria from  the South East African country of Kenya, nothing that after all, he has spent ‘’three years in detention which many believe  was during former military President Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General, Administration.

  The Channels Interviews described as very explosive may have forced Buhari to speak out on the Party presidential Candidate for the 2023 general elections.  He has made it clear to Nigerians that he has  ‘’no preferred Candidate’’, stressing that he has an open mind to whoever would  emerge as the next President of Nigeria, whether from the Opposition People’s Democratic  Party, PDP or the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.

 He may have given a clue to who the person may be in the APC,   when he state that he will not  ‘’reveal the identity for the safety of such a person’’. Speculations making the rounds shows that it may either be Yemi Osinbajo, described in political circles as a very loyal Vice President or Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, popular , Jagaban, and his  political ally, in the battle to unseat the PDP, in 2015.   

 He had said that it could not have been easy for the APC, to ‘’overthrow‘’ the PDP , which was so confident of winning the 2015, general elections , if the five Opposition  political parties, including the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, had  not come together , to match the strength of the political behemoth .  

He was said to have  made those who believe that there will be a showdown between him and the APC, dominated National Assembly over his refusal ‘’to sign the Electoral Bill’’ passed by the Lawmakers in November, 2021.

 He had made it clear to the Leadership the National Assembly that if they could give the Parties more options on how to select their Candidates for the 2023 elections and future elections in the country without limiting them to one option, he will assent to the bill.

 The National Assembly had limited the parties to the direct primary option, but the Nigerian President had said that there are other options such as indirect primaries and Consensus, which should be included in the Bill, to make it more meaningful and accommodating for all. Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, had said that much.

 The National Assembly Leadership may have agreed with the Nigerian President as they have given their words to take another look at the Electoral Bill and make the necessary ammendents before re-sending to thee Preside for his assent.Given that the ruling APC, has the majority in the both the Senate and the House of Representatives, may have given the retired Army General, hope that the Lawmakers will do the needful without any Opposition.

  He may have taken advantage of the World-class Channels’ interview to hit back at his perceived enemy Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian President.  Although he may not have mentioned his name in his remarks but he had alluded to the fact that a one- Time Nigerian President had spent $15 billion to ensure stable power supply in the country but rhetorically asked: where is the Power?

He had lambasted the Administration for selecting investors without the technical knowledge and money to take over the operation of the Distribution Companies as part of their Political patronage, thus putting the country in total darkness.

 He noted the progress that had been achieved in the power sector by his government was because of the effort that had been put in monitoring the Distribution Companies to ensure that they do the right thing and take their project serious. Last December, Ofem Uket, minister of state Power, at the instance of  the Nigerian President  had approved the sack  of the management of  the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, over its incompetence, ‘’to prevent  the staff from  embarking  on  strike  over non-payment  of arrears of pensions, allowances, salaries and  lack of promotion for deserving employees, that threw Abuja into darkness’’.

Recall that the Nigerian government in a bid to stabilise electricity supply in the country had signed an agreement with a German firm, Siemens, in 2019.

Ikeja Discos

 In going to the agreement with Siemens, Buhari was said to have challenged the Germany firm, and other investors in the distribution companies , Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Industry Regulators  ‘’to work hard  to achieve 7,000 Megawatts of reliable  power supply by 2021. At present Nigeria is still struggling to generate 4,000 megawatts, which is still a far cry from the Presidential mandate to Siemens and the other investors in the distribution companies to achieve.

 Perhaps, what may have drawn the attention of many Nigerians to remain glued to their Television set to listen the President to respond to the Channels Televion Interviewers was to hear what he had to say    about his penchant for dragging the nation into the debt trap.

 He proved pundits rights, when he said that he is never tired of borrowing from the World Bank, Multi-lateral Financial Institutions, or any country that will’’ help in Nigeria’s Infrastructural development’’.  This Administration had been noted to be synonymous with borrowing over the last six years.

 According to the Debt Management Office, DMO, the country, for instance, had borrowed $2.02 billion from China from 2015 and now, which had risen to $3.40 billion as at March 31, 2021.  At present, the country total debt burden is put at about N35 trillion naira, going by the current exchange rate of over n400.00 to the dollar.    

 He had said that the borrowed funds are used to develop the country’s infrastructural facilities, such as roads and rail line networks. He cited the Lagos –Ibadan road, and the other road networks in the north including the extension of the rail network to Maradi, described as an area, through which the Bandits Group,  had escalated to Zamfara, described as home of the Bandits in NIgeria, because of its vast forest, Kaduna, Katsina, Buhari home state, Sokoto, the Caliphate state and the north central state of Niger.

The retired Army General , may have won himself to the heart of the people, 17 months , to the expiration of his second term in office  as he had finally bowed to pressure to declare the  Group as terrorists. A Federal High Court I Abuja, had earlier the Group as terrorists.

Bandits Group: Finally Declared Terrorists By FG And Gazetted

The declaration  titled,’’terrorism,( Prevention)  Proscription  Order Notice 2021 is contained  in volume  08 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria  Gazette. By declaring the Bandits as terrorists, it means that the same treatment meted to the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, occupying the SAMBISA forest and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, operating from the Lake Chad region, in Borno, by the Operation Hadin Kai, would be extended to them by the military. That much had been said by Buhari.

 This is bad news for the Bandits Group as they may no longer have a hiding place in the forests that dotted the entire northwest geo-political region. Take for instance in Zamfara state alone, Ibraahim Dosara, the state Commissioner had said that the Group have   over 100 Camps with 32,000 armed followers.

With the intensified security operation in the state, Ayuba  Elkanah, the state Commissioner of Police had said 80% of the Zamfara based Bandits  had relocated to the Caliphate state of Sokoto where they are killing  on a daily basis with impunity while 20% are  still operating in the state..    

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