Special Report:We have not Done Badly Given The Limited Resources At Our Disposal – Buhari

  • CAN Dares Islamic Group over Threat To  Bishop Kukkah
  • Nigeria Controlled By Forces Bent On  Setting It Ablaze If Their Interests Are Not Guaranteed – Ortom

By Stephen Ubanna

In spite of the criticisms against President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, of throwing the country into a  mess, the Kasina state born Nigerian President , who could no  longer take such criticisms from the country’s elite without  response had fired back , urging them ‘’ to be fair in their criticism of his Administration’’.

The  Katsina state born  Nigerian President may have opened up when Yakubu Pam, a  Clergy man  and Executive Secretary  of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, paid him a curtsy call at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, January 14, 2020. He had urged the   critics’’to be fair in terms of reflecting  on where  the  country  were before now, he resources available to the Administration and what has been done with the limited resources’’ over the last five years.

Bishop Kukka: A Fiery Critic Of Buhari Administration

 The Nigerian President may have alluded to the recent criticisms of Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, 2020, Christmas  message on the state of the nation. The Catholic Bishop, had said that ‘’the prospects  of a failed state stare the country in the face under the Buhari Administration. He had lamented of’’the endless bloodletting  in different parts of the country, a collapsing economy, social anomie, domestic and Community violence, , kidnapping and armed robberies’’, describing country as a ‘’house of horror with ‘’fear stalking  the highways’’.

The Bishop who could not hide his feelings had said that the Buhari Administration ‘’owes the nation an explanation  as to where it is headed as the country   seem to journey to darkness’’. He had accused the Nigerian President of reserving ‘’a majority of the  plum jobs in the government  to Northern Muslims’’ and  ‘’deliberately  sacrificing   the dreams  of those who had voted him into power   to what  seemed like  a programme  to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony by reducing others in public life to second class status’’.   

According to him  the Nigerian President had pursued ‘’this  self-defeating  and alienating  policy  at the expense  of greater national cohesion’’. He may have stepped on powerful toes and won more sympathisers for Buhari  when he said that ‘’there is no way  any Non-Muslim  President   could have done   a fraction   of what he had done  by his nepotism  and gotten away with it’’. He fears that ‘’there  would  have  been  a Military Coup a long time ago  or the country would have been thrown into war’’.   

The Nigerian President who has never  stopped criticizing  former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, ‘’ had repeatedly  said that the Administration left the country with many unsolved  problems, noting his Administration had been struggling over the years in paying the  debts left behind  by the Administration  to the  multi-lateral financial institutions.

 Lawan Ahmad led Senate had put the total external debt of the country owed the multi-lateral Financial Institutions and China EXIM Bank, by past and Current Administrations at about N33 trillion .

 The Nigerian President  may  to give the impression that the Administration had used the limited resources available to it, including the foreign loans in investing in road repairs and rebuilding, and  revamping of the country  rail network, which Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state, and minister of Transportation could authoritatively say   had been modernized to standard gauge as obtained in other parts of the world. The Nigerian President  was said to have also cited his Administration’s efforts in reviving the country’s power sector which was in a sorry state.

In an emotional outburst, he had asked the  elites to use his achievements in office  to compare notes with  the previous PDP Administrations in the country.  He was said to have also made reference to the security situation of the north east states of Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar, home state,  Borno, home state of Babagana Munguno, a retired Major General and National Security Adviser, NSA,  and Yobe , which was dreaded by people because of the activities of the Islamic Fundamentalists, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP.  He had confirmed the decimation of thousands of the insurgents and the purchase of new equipment  for the military to prosecute Counter-Insurgency war in the region.

He had said that a total of 46,568 barrels of stolen crude and 22,881,257 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular, petrol,  were recovered  by the military from the oil thieves.

Giving a region by region account of the  Administration’s efforts to reduce the criminality in the south-south geo-political region, he had said  that’’a total  of 8,890,300 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, popular, diesel, and 33,516 litres of DPK were impounded in Delta state. He further disclosed   that the troops had   immobilized  a’’ total of 185 illegal  refining sites, 85 dugout pits, and 163 storage tanks within the period’.

He stressed  that an additional  1,236.8  barrels of crude oil as well as 12,272,652 litres of PMS, and 45 boats engaged in illegal activities  were recovered from the t oil hieves in the region  by the troops. The troops were said to have also recovered  23 rifles, 65,330 rounds of ammunition and 25 trucks including the destruction 23 sea pirate Camps  

  In the north west, home of the armed Bandits and  the Nigerian President  home region, 5,281 lives stock, 6,951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted rifles were recovered from the bandits as 455 kidnapped victims were rescued and 473 of the Bandits killed in a gun dual.

An elated Nigerian  President  had said that  461 arrests were made in the region including high profile  armed bandits and  there Collaborators ,including  gun runners while a total cash of N6.365,550.00  was recovered from the bandits and their informants in the zone.

BokoHaram Insurgents

The situation in the north east appears very revealing. He had said that through the intensified Counter-iinsurgency Campaign in the region, the troops rescued 200 victims of kidnappers, recovered  1,385  rounds of ammunition,  45 grenades and, 95 assorted  rifles. The troops deployed to the region,he said  also’’ captured    several gun trucks from the insurgents while others were destroyed during  repeated air strikes.  He had said that 1,805 insurgents, and their Commanders were killed by the troops aside scores killed  by air raids/attacks. The Nigerian President had confirmed that a total of 79 arrests were made in the region including high value targets.

In the north central geo-political region  he had said that the troops,  recovered 513 rounds of ammunition and 105 assorted rifles.. He was ,however, silent on the group that the ammunition and rifles were recovered from  but said   125 armed bandits including militia gang leaders  were arrested.

Perhaps, worried by the large quantities of illegal  Small and Light arms circulating in the   nooks and crannies of the country which had fallen into the wrong hands in different parts of the country  may have informed why the government  is investing  heavily  in military hardware,  procurement of aircrafts. It was said to have procure 23 aircrafts  that had already been delivered  and inducted into service. The government was said to have also procured  another 18 Unmanned aircraft and 18  Unmanned  Combat Aerial Vehicles, UCAVs, which are still being awaited between now and 2022.

 The Buhari Administration was said to have also placed order for   additional  attack boats, Patrol vessels , armoured tanks and other military hardwares are that are being expected in the country soon to give a fight to the sea robbers and pirates operating in Nigerian maritime domain.        

Although, the Nigerian Prsident  based on feedback from  the army may want Nigerians to believe that the   Insurgents  have been technically defeated but there  are still be occasional attacks in the north east states, particular, Borno and Yobe bu Buhari  had said that the  security  situation  in the  region  could not be as bad  as it was  some few years ago insists that the people relocated to   the north west states  of Kaduna, Kano, including  Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.  Hear him, ‘’ The government  is doing  its best’’, but the  best ‘’  may not  be good enough’’.   

 Many believe  that  if the retired army General   is ruling the African most populous nation as  a military  Head of  State with dictatorial powers, he  would have rounded up  all the penchant  critics and clamp them  into  Jail.  Aware that this is a democratic dispensation, he could not do it. This may have informed why  the Presidency  had warned  the Islamic group over’’ its criticisms  and veiled threat against Bishop Kukkah’’   over his 2020 Christmas  message on the state of the nation.

 The Islamic, group,  Muslim Solidarity  Forum,  had asked the Catholic Bishop   ‘’to tender unreserved  apology  to Muslims in Sokoto state or leave the state, over his controversial Christmas message. Political analysts believe that it was a wrong  step to be taken  by the Muslim group to see Buhari, who is the President and Commander –In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed  Forces, as representing the Northern Muslims interest alone as a bad signal to Nigerians.

The  Leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, may have read meaning  into the Islamic group threat to Kukkah, the Catholic  Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, urging  the relevant security agencies, particular, Mohammed Adamu led Nigerian led Police Force, ‘’ to ensure  the safety of the Cleric’’ to avoid throwing the country into chaos.

Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN, General Secretary had wondered   ‘’if those that had threatened the Cleric’s life are above the  Law  or if they are sacred cows in the country’’ as that they can not be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law. He is not happy that  the security agencies personnel, particular, the Force,  are ‘’pretending as if nothing unusual is happening’’.

 The CAN, officials may have  come out to stand solidly behind the Catholic Cleric, pointing out that ‘’there is nothing wrong with the Bishop’s Christmas message on the state of the nation, noting that  they are yet  ‘’to see  any incitement  of  Islam or non-Christians in the message  to a nation that has  been under siege  of terrorists, herdsmen killers, bandits and kidnappers as if there was no government in place’’.

 CAN, had  maintained that there is  nothing wrong  in ‘’telling  a government   whose lopsided  appointments  are against  the Christians  the whole truth’’.  The Association  stressed that ‘’if  the criticisms   against Buhari, who is a Northern Muslim’’ is an incitement  to violence  against Islam, it then means  those who were criticising  the duo of  Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan, when they were in power  were actually attacking Christianity’’.

Ortom: Benue State Governor

Taking  cursory a look at  the Northern Muslim group and CAN, position, over Bishop Kukkah’s Christmas message to the nation may have given ammunition to Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, north central geo-political region   to speak out on Thursday, January 14, 2021,   that’’ Nigeria is being  controlled  by forces  that are bent  on setting  the country ablaze  if there interests are not guaranteed’’.

 Ortom had said that the  Islamic group quit  notice to  Kukkah to leave Sokoto, home of the Caliphate was a contradiction  of the country’s Constitution which states  that ‘’Nigerians have the right  to live freely  in any part of the country’’. The Benue governor who could not hide his feelings had said that  ‘’democracy  is built on the  rule of law and freedom of speech’’ but  it must not infringe on other people’s rights.     

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