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 written by Obinna  Akukwe
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Prof Ade Adefuye suggested recently that the United States deliberately refused to assist Nigeria with technology to fight Boko Haram. Adefuye made it known to members of the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday that   “The Nigerian leadership… are not satisfied with the scope, nature and content of the United States’ support for us in our struggle against terrorists,”. He added that “We find it difficult to understand how and why in spite of US presence in Nigeria with their sophisticated military technology, Boko Haram is expanding and becoming even more deadly,”
Since the Boko Haram insurgency started, I am personally aware through reliable military and diplomatic sources that the United States had always availed Nigeria of the list of those they suspect to be sponsors of Boko Haram. Immediately after the United Nations House Bombings at Abuja on the 26th of August, 2011, the US alarmed President Goodluck Jonathan and provided him a list of Boko Haram sponsors with an advice to act fast before Nigeria disintegrates.
This fact formed part of a piece published earlier  in 2012 titled ‘PDP Boko Haram and their 2015 Succession Politics’ where I stated  that “Immediately after the bombings at the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, intelligence reports indicted high level friends of government in the executive, legislature, senior party officials, elder statesmen and security officers including retired ones. It was expected that President Goodluck would seize the opportunity of the uproar and outrage against the bombings to confront the indicted senior members of the party. Instead he chose to appeal to some of them to turn a new leaf. Emboldened by presidential timidity the murderers recruited more high level personalities, hitherto sitting on the fence, into the murderous chess game”.
 The president continued to foot drag on taking actions till the Madallah Christmas Day Bombings which took 80 lives in the same year before a traumatized Goodluck Jonathan admitted two weeks later on the 8th of January 2012, for the first time, that Boko Haram Sponsors have infiltrated his government.
The military authorities, which was at the time under Generals Owoiye Azazi as NSA and  Azubuike Ihejirika  as Army Chief including  other service chiefs pushed for the arrest of the political sponsors of the group, most of which were in the ruling party. Jonathan was said to have replied that arresting key political figures would scatter his government. Thus political expediency and 2015 elections permutations overshadowed the earlier resolve of the military authorities to stamp out the insurgents until some of them decided to help themselves with a bit of the national cake politicians are looting with impunity, before their tenure expires. This turn of events led to the frustration of Azazi, who was aware of the mistrustful observation of the US, which came to Asaba and exposed to the nation that the real sponsors of Boko Haram are in the PDP.
Azazi was hounded for his frank observation till Jonathan was forced to sack him as NSA. He was however replaced with a northerner. Months after Azazi’s sack, contrary to the advice that some of us gave him, he continued to gallivant around Jonathan until his enemies (sponsors of Boko Haram) plotted an helicopter accident for him. All these developments were not lost on the US military and defense analysts and advisers.
The public outcry against the abduction of some 276 girls of Christian background from Chibok, by the terrorists, and the fear that if the conspiracy is misunderstood by Nigerian Christians, a religious conflict might ensue, coupled with other strategic reasons not excluding humanitarian, the US volunteered to help Nigeria rescue the Chibok girls and turn the tide against the insurgents.
What US military officials met on ground physically physically was enough for any sane nation not to commit its troops and weapons into operations likely to be sabotaged even before take-off.
1 It was the US that first alerted the world that 10 Generals of the Nigerian Army were among 15 officers being secretly investigated for passing sensitive information to Boko Haram.
2. It was the US that officially verified information from local observers, villagers and hunters that Boko Haram had split the Chibok Girls into three, taking them into different camps.
3 It was the US that confirmed that due to probable high level sabotage, the only way to release the Chibok girls would be through high powered negotiations since any attempt to embark on a rescue operation would likely be sabotaged, endangering the lives of both the Chibok Girls and the US troops.
4. The US military officials, after interacting with the rank and file and inspecting what is on ground in Borno 7th Division specifically created to contain the militants, alerted their home country that there is a deliberate attempt to issue the combatants with inadequate ammunition, thereby making them easy target for the insurgents.
5 The US military officials discovered that funds meant for the welfare of troops while in the combat zone is being scammed from the top, and they fingered top political sources and their military collaborators.
6 The US military officials discovered that in some cases where enough ammunitions were issued, as in the case of Mohammed Kur Barracks, Bama, that officers deliberately misled their troops to abandon their position including caches of weapons and armory for use by the insurgents.
7. The fall of Bama, despite the heavy assemblage of arms, ammunitions and the recently improved welfare of soldiers, have been a source of discussion within informed US military circles till date. The US authorities believe that with secured supply lines between Bama and the Divisional Headquarters in Maiduguri, a three hour journey through bad roads, and another support military base in Konduga, Nigerian soldiers have no business fleeing Bama.
8 The US believes that the moment Boko Haram overran the prestigious Police Mobil Training Facility in Gwoza, the Nigerian Police Force lost its pride to the insurgents, and gave them the boost to plot the fall of Bama and the ill-fated march to Maiduguri though Konduga, which was halted by soldiers and civilian JTF by the mercy of God.
9 The US is still wondering  how weapons which belongs to the Nigerian Army easily gets into the hands of the insurgents and they are still investigating all the routes through which the Nigerian Army supposedly donated or sold the weapons to them.
10 The Heroic welcome of the ruling PDP gave the political founder of Boko Haram, and former Governor of Borno State,  Ali Modu Sheriff, and how an airport closed for months over security concerns, was opened just for the use of the former governor, was a political mis-step from  Jonathan’s men which raised concerns within the US.
11 The internal sabotage which led to the botched phased release of the Chibok girls was a source of worry, especially when it was discovered that two groups played role in the botched operation independently, without the knowledge of the other. The first group has the Presidency fingered while the second group believes that opposition financiers of Boko Haram created the fear that botched the earlier scheduled release of the Chibok girls.
12 The US tipped off South African authorities that fund for illegal purchase of arms is being carried through their shores, and they suspected that the arms might end in the hands of the insurgents. The South African authorities, bent on ridding Africa of this scourge, failed to cooperate with the unknown arms vendors and buyers.
13. The US believes that any lethal weapon they give to the military authorities might end up in the hands of the insurgents, and that any deployment of American troops as combatants would be easily sabotaged, their soldiers captured and another dimension to the war on terror will be introduced.
14 The US believes that if the Nigerian Government handles high level corruption, poverty, unemployment and social unrest will reduce drastically and the insurgents may find the business of bloodletting unattractive.
The Nigerian Government knows why the US cannot commit sensitive men and materials to aid its fight against terror. Prof Adefuye’s vituperation, though patriotic, is highly inconsistent with situations the US met on ground.  Blaming the foreigners for letting Nigeria down in the fight against Boko Haram is sweeping sensitive puzzles under the carpet. The erudite professor should interact with the US military advisers and officials in Washington and around the US, and they will avail him of the rot they  met  on ground and get more insight into why the US Govt refused to assist Nigeria with the needed technology to fight Boko Haram and maybe he will apportion the blames more proportionally


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  1. famo

    November 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    This is clear picture of what is going on the country Until president Jona act the security situation will be in seesaw i.e bokoharam win today, army win tomorrow.

  2. kingsley Onos

    November 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    The us wd always give stories 2 defend their holier than thou attitude.I don’t blame them only if President Jonathan wd look 4 more truthful and committed allies then declare total war on bokoharam plus impose full state of emergency in d hard hit states,am sure within a month d surviving insurgents wd relocate 2 other climes where they had come from!

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Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?



Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye



We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth



By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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