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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Boko Haram and Jonathan: The Truth Unfolds

0902F13.Goodluck-Jonathan.jpg - 0902F13.Goodluck-Jonathan.jpgWe are suddenly back to those dark days when Boko Haram terrorists strike with ease and attack military formations. That was precisely what these blood-thirsty bastards did on Tuesday when they attempted to dislodge the 120 Task Force Battalion located in Goniri, Yobe State.


Our gallant soldiers repelled the attack, killing over 100 of these terrorists. On the same day, there were multiple bomb attacks in Damaturu and two mosques in Maiduguri; 38 innocent Nigerians were killed in these attacks. Earlier on October 2, the terrorists attacked Abuja, leaving 20 people dead and scores injured. October is just 10 days old and 83 innocent lives have been lost to Boko Haram. In summary, about 1300 Nigerians have been killed, precisely 133 days after Jonathan was kicked out of office. We have never had it so bad.

The story back then was that Jonathan’s ineptitude was responsible for frequent Boko Haram attacks. Some said the North did not want Jonathan as president, and that was why Boko Haram’s atrocities persisted. For this cruel school of thought, Jonathan was the problem and must be removed. At a point, some people even said it openly that Jonathan was the one funding Boko Haram to destabilse the North and prolong his tenure.
Haba, what would he have gained with the destabilisation of a part of the country of which he was president? Even when Jonathan tried to procure equipment for the military in South Africa and it went awry, opposition politicians celebrated this. Some even said the equipment Jonathan went for was meant to arm Boko Haram. I never knew some people could be this wicked. Way back, when terrorists attack our soldiers and seize territories, the then opposition politicians mocked our gallant soldiers and made a show of it. Every Boko Haram attack was used by the opposition as an opportunity to mock Jonathan and cast aspersions on our gallant soldiers. It was used to instigate the people against the Jonathan administration. Many believed them. Now, the truth unfolds.
The then opposition party refused to join the war against these terrorists. The APC never offered any positive advice. Even Muhammadu Buhari, then opposition presidential candidate, refused to attend Council of State meetings to offer advice on how to tackle the menace. At a point, he was stoking the insurgency. He and the opposition party played politics with the Boko Haram crisis. They saw it as a unique selling point to compel Nigerians to vote for them. Buhari even promised Nigerians that Boko Haram would become history within two months of assuming office.

The blackmail worked. INEC subsequently told us that Nigerians had voted out Jonathan. Did a majority of Nigerians vote against Jonathan? That is a story for another day. For now, the truth about the Boko Haram nuisance is unfolding. The monster encouraged by Buhari and the then opposition APC has grown so big. The attacks have become ferocious. Recovered territories are being taken again by these bastards. Now, we all know that Boko Haram’s menace is not about Jonathan and ineptitude in handling the situation. We all now know that Boko Haram persisted not because the North hates Jonathan as many wicked politicians made many to believe. We all now know that it was not a deliberate attempt by Jonathan to set back the North and prolong his tenure.

The Boko Haram menace is a national problem. I had said this times without number. Patriots must join hands with whoever is in government to tackle this menace; otherwise, it will consume all of us. I am repeating the same thing today. Every Nigerian must work with this administration and the military to make Boko Haram history, regardless of the inglorious role played by Buhari and the APC in the growth of this monster called Boko Haram. God bless Nigeria as we tackle these terrorists.

NACCIMA’s Alarm about Economic Slide
Our politicians are spending too much time playing politics at the expense of the economy. The slowdown in the country’s economic growth in the last four months should be of concern to all of us. For example, the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) depreciated by N489 billion in the third quarter of 2015 as it fell from N11.218 trillion as at July 1, to N10.729 trillion on September 30. Cautious trading by investors has continued to pervade the market as a lot of them continue to watch from the sidelines, awaiting a clear economic direction from Mr. President. 
All economic indices are in decline. Already, unemployment is on the rise. This is why this government must take seriously the recent alarm raised by the Nigerian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) about the economy. NACCIMA rated the nation’s economic performance as at the end of the third quarter “low and below expectations” following inability of the federal government to put in place, policy thrusts expected to drive the economy.

“It is important to note that what an average Nigerian desire at the moment is for the ‘Change’ they voted for to be translated into a significant positive impact on the real sector and the economy in general,” declared Chief Bassey Edem, NACCIMA’s National President. Edem stressed the need for government to address macro-economic indicators that have been going negative. He also has a word for the CBN. “The CBN must seek ways to introduce structural monetary and fiscal policies that support economic and industrial development.”

The NACCIMA warning came on the heels of a similar one by the NLC asking Mr. President to immediately begin to think about creative economic measures that would save Nigeria from a possible economic recession in 2016. The union noted that the Nigerian economy “is rumoured to be going through tough periods that could lead to its collapse early in 2016,” and called on Buhari to move swiftly against the materialisation of the predictions with smart measures. I sincerely hope the president is listening.
pix: Godwin Emefiele.jpg
Buhari, Nepotism and Hackneyed Ministerial Nominees
One of the biggest problems contributing greatly to our underdevelopment is nepotism. It has been our albatross; and there is no sign that it would abate very soon. I was not shocked that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list is coated in nepotism. Our president does it with impunity.

The Afri-Projects Consortium links (a key consultant to the defunct PTF when Buhari was its chairman) is still very much alive. This country cannot make progress with paddy paddy arrangement. The nominees from Kebbi State, Suleiman Hussain Adamu was a principal consultant to Afri-Projects Consortium.

Now, let’s look at Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, another ministerial nominee and her connection with Buhari. She founded Afri-Projects Consortium. Yes, that same key consultant to the defunct PTF.

The CPC connection is also obvious here. Adebayo Shittu, the nominee from Oyo State was CPC’s gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State in the 2011 general election. The nominee from Kebbi State, Abubakar Malami was the CPC’s National Legal Adviser. He was also the lead counsel of the legal team for the defunct CPC from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court when Buhari challenged the outcome of the 2011 presidential election. Senator Hadi Sirika, the nominee from Katsina State was also a CPC chieftain. Sirika was elected into the Senate in 2011 on the platform of the CPC. Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the nominee from Edo State was the state’s Coordinator of Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organisation.

Only very few of the nominees represent a breath of fresh air as anticipated. How can we be talking about making Chief Audu Ogbeh a minister in the year 2015? Ogbe was first made minister 33 years ago. The likes of Abdulrahman Dambazzau, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and Adebayo Shittu have no business on this list.
How Governor Ayade Stings Civil Servants
Cross River State’s civil servants thought things would change a bit when Governor Ben Ayade assumed duties. This was after 8 years of being pummeled by Liyel Imoke. The workers’ dreams have been shattered. They went on a one-day strike 8 days ago in protest against a long list of unfulfilled promises by Ayade. Their grudges include huge unpaid salaries of local government workers and teachers and that of the Cross River University of Technology. The workers also complained about unpaid gratuities/pension and unremitted deductions from salaries.
They also alleged that the government was planning to use bailout funds from the federal government to offset loans instead of paying salaries. The situation in Cross River is so bad. Nothing has changed since the exit of Imoke who pauperised workers. Virtually all the MDAs in the state are grounded due to poor funding. Cross River civil servants are tired of waiting for the dividends of democracy. Ayade has been a big disappointment. I sincerely hope he would amend his ways and treat the civil servants like human beings.
Still on Boko Haram’s Attack on Army Chief’s Village
There was a bit of error in my piece last week on Boko Haram’s attacks on the country home of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in Buratai Village (Biu LG) of Borno State. Yes, the house/village was attacked thrice as reported but the attacks took place before Buratai became the Army Chief. The error is regretted. On a positive note, I had a very frank discussion with General Buratai last week on the war against Boko Haram. I was impressed by his passion for the military and commitment to ending the Boko Haram menace. However, my position remains that Nigeria should re-engage the South African mercenaries and Russian experts used by the Jonathan administration to tame Boko Haram.
We should also establish very strong military ties with Russia and China. This is not an indication of weakness by the Nigerian military. In a situation like this, there is nothing wrong with getting extra quality hands from anywhere in the world. Improved intelligence gathering, community policing and use of modern technology are also key in this war against these bastards. May Allah continue to bless General Burutai with wisdom to surmount Boko Haram challenges.
[RingTrue  with Yemi Adebowale; yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com and SMS:  07013940521]

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