By Lateef Adegite
Those plotting to create a situation whereby a vote of no Confidence would be passed on President Muhammadu Buhari, popular, PMB, a retired army General, may have to watch it. This is because the Katsina state born Nigerian President is out to bite.
Acting on security reports, the Nigerian President may have told the service Chiefs and other top security Chiefs including Usman Alkali –Baba, acting Inspector General of Police, 1GP, at their Tuesday, May 3, security meeting that some people are now recruiting the Leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians around the country with the intention of ‘’Convening a Conference , where a vote of no Confidence would be passed on the Katsina state born Nigerian President to further heighten the insecurity situation in the country.
Femi Adesina, Special Assistant to the President on Media and Public, who had issued a Statement of the outcome of the security meeting may have spoken the mind of the Nigerian President when he said that ‘’the agent provocateurs had intended ‘’to achieve their aims through artifice and sleight of hands’’, noting that what they could not achieve through the ballot box in the 2019, general elections was what they want to achieve through the back door.
Only recently, Vice Prsident Yemi Osinbajo, at the instance of the Nigerian president had moblised some All Progressive Congress, APC, Chieftains from the south east Geopolitical region, including the ministers from the region to reach out to the people in order to talk to the Youths to stop hobnobbing with the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOD, and the armed Wing, Eastern Security Network, ESN, who are determined to declare Republic Of Biafra.
The Vice President was said to have used the opportunity of the visit to the south east to appeal to the Political elites to speak out against the forces of division in the county. His remarks at the meeting with the APC Chieftains from the sregion that that’’ the country cannot afford another war’’ speaks volume.
Apart from PMB, worries about the south east, Samuel Ortom and Nyensom Wike, both former ministers during Goodluck Jonathan Presidency and now governors of Benue and Rivers states respectively, have become strong critic of the Buhari Administration.
Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Director General , Department of State Security , DSS, may have given the retired army General,, the ammunition to open up, when the agency alerted Nigerians on Sunday , May 1, 2021, being Workers Day, about sinister moves by some misguided elements within the polity ‘’to wreak hoc on the government , sovereignty and corporate existence of Nigeria’’. The DSS Director General had said that the individuals and groups plotting to throw the country into deeper crisis are also ‘’in cahoots with external forces ‘’. He may have had Nnamdi Kadu, the Leader of IPOD and Sunday Egboho, from the south west state of Oyo.
The argument in both official and unofficial circles was that those making the moves are just doing everything within their capacity to drag the military back into politics. The Nigerian President, regarded in political circles as a repentant Democrat, may have read the handwriting on the wall that he had told the security Chiefs in no uncertain terms that ‘’Nigerians have opted for Democratic Rule’’, noting that ‘’the only accepted way to change a Democratically elected government is through elections’’.
He was said to have made it clear to the security Chiefs that, ‘’any other way is patently illegal and treasonable felony, which would attract the dire Consequences of being Court marshalled, which military analysts had said would result into facing the firing squad. The service Chiefs may have known that there is trouble ahead that they were said to have declared their loyalty to the retired army General, who is the incumbent Commander – In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, C-In-C.
Worried by the heightened insecurity situation of the country, which had drawn international attention, in the recent time, Buhari , who could not hide his feelings, had made it clear to those cares to listen that as long as he is still’’ vested with the mandate and the authority to rule the country till May 29, 2023, he will do everything within his powers ‘’to keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process’’.
This is where the likes of Ortoms and Wike have to watch it. Ortom, the Benue state governor, who is not happy over the killing of indigenes of the state by armed herdsmen had accused ‘’ Buhari of working for the Fulanis to take over Nigeria’’. He had described him a Fulani ethnic group President and not President of Nigeria’’. The Ortom’s accusations may have touched him as he felt disappointed.
He may have listened to the Complaints of the aggrieved Benue governor that he has never come out to condemn the killings of armed herdmen in the state that he has finally done so. He had said on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, that there is no winer in a cycle of violence, condemning the killings in Benue and Eboyi states by gunmen. Hear him: I totally condem this latest unprovoked violence and counter attacks on innocent people that had nothing to do with the cause of the violence. Many had expected him to specifically single out the armed herdsmen for total condemnation and their killings but he did not do so, . Instead, he has cautioned Nigerians against the temptation of taking the Laws into their hand in the name of revenge”. as the killings continues indifferent parts of the country by armed herdsmen, Bandits or BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, Insurgents
On his part, Wike, the Rivers governor believes that the insecurity situation I the north east states of Borno and Yobe, particular, could not have become that bad if the t government had used wisely the $1billion that was withdrawn from the excess Crude Account to purchase arms and ammunitions for the soldiers in the fight against the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, insurgents, who are, a neighbouring country to Nigeia armed with stolen weapons by rebels from the North African country of Libya which one of the, the closest country to the sahel country of TChad, a neighbouring country to iNgeria.
Given an insider information on the $1billion arms fund, Wike, disclosed that the National Economic Council, NEC, under the Chairmanship of Osinbajo, the Vice President , with the 36 states governors in attendance in its December 15, 2017, had agreed to utilize the$1billion excess Crude account to procure arms to tackle the BokoHaram and ISWAP, insurgency in the north east and other security Challenges in the country. The governo’s major worry was that the arms were not bought for the military which may have informed why he has asked PMB, ‘’to hold his officials accountable for their roles over the management of the $1billion arms fund.
Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, had told the House of Reps. Committee on Arms and ammunitions who are investigating how the $1 billion arms fund was spent had told the Committee members that specific individuals were engaged by Gabriel Olonisakin, a General and then then Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Yusuf Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and the immediate past COAS, Sadiq Abubakar, an Air Marshal and chief of Air Staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe, a Vice Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff, to purchase the arms , urging the House Committee members to invite the Individual who are in a better position to speak on the arms fund.
Many had expected the Committees who had been given a clue on how to get to the root of the matter to take up from there but the matter appears to have died a natural death as no one is talking about the Management or mismanagement of the $1 billion arms fund again.
Critics believe that the TChadian soldiers helping out in the prosecution of the anti- Jihadist war in the north east have every reason to envy Nigerian soldiers who are driving big cars around Maiduguri, the Boro state Capital and its environs, stressing that they could no longer fight like them to end the insurgency in the war thorn region as it had spread to the Late Marshall idriss Deby Itno home Country, Niger and the Central African country of Cameroon.
Some members of the Operation Hadin Kai appear to be benefiting from the prolonged insurgency in Borno and Yobe state. The recent of one Sani Mohammed, Lance Corporal, attached to the Operation Kai, with two boxes containing about 2,ooo rounds of 7.62mm ammunition , bear eloquent testimony to the sabotage going on in the north east.
Funny enough , the soldier was not arrested by his fellow soldiers but by officials of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, as he was about to board a Borno Express Bus at Maiduguri park heading to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. He had told the Police on interrogation that he had sourced the ammunition from a broken –down vehicle in his unit.
The rank and file soldier was said to have been arrested in Zamfara state through through Community driven intelligence on March 5, 2021, supplying arms to Bandits but let off the hook. This is an indication he has been in the business for years and his colleagues did not know about it to hand him over to the Authorities for thorough investigation in order to name his Collaborators in the arms supply to the insurgents in Borno and Bandits in Zamfara state.