Boko Haram: Why Northerners Believe Jonathan Is Guilty By Abubakar Liman
– “It is my belief that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government working with a faction of MEND planned and executed the bombings of 14 March 2010 and 1 October 2010- Henry Okah (PUNCH, September, 11, 2010).
– “PDP got it wrong from the beginning, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule Mr. B can rule Mr. B cannot rule ccording to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution and that created the climate for what has manifest itself this way(Boko Haram),…Today, if you arrest all the leaders of Boko Haram, I don’t think the problem would end, because the situation that created the sect has not been tackled e.g. religion, poverty and the desire (of some people) to rule Nigeria. These issues cannot be isolated unless they are handled comprehensively” – General Owoye Azazi (Channels Television, April, 27, 2012)
– “Allegation of keeping over 1000 people on political watch list rather than criminal or security watch list and training snipers and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political purposes like Abacha and training them where Abacha trained his own killers, if it is true, it cannot augur well for the initiator, the government and the people of Nigeria.” -Olusegun Obasanjo (A Letter of Appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan, December 2, 2013)
– They started killings in Borno State we kept quiet. The hired killers got to Yobe State we remained mute. They proceeded to Adamawa State we watched. They attacked Kano, Katsina and Sokoto we said nothing. The North-East is under occupation. The North-West is under assault. Now their tanks and marauders have begun rolling into the North-Central. The North is under occupation. Yet we are still silent! Nigerians stand-up and talk! Injury to one is injury to all! Murtala Nyako (A Memo to Northern Governor, April 19, 2014)
– “Our country has gone through several rough patches, but never before have I seen a Nigerian President declare war on his own country as we are seeing now.” – General Muhammadu Buhari (Premium Times July 21, 2014)
– IF President Jonathan wins the forthcoming election Boko Haram will never stop and if PDP has what it takes to stop this carnage they would have done it a long ago – Rochas Okorocha (Saharareporters December, 6 2014).
The recent attempts by the Nigeria’s Vice-President, Arch. Namadi Sambo in Emir of Kano’s place and in Radio France International (RFI) to clear Goodluck Jonathan administration from being involved in Boko Haram insurgency as well as the move Nigerian Department of Secret Service (DSS) to exonerate Ali Modu Sheriff and Ihejirika from Boko Haram (BH) sponsorship by presenting some young men as those responsible for falsely orchestrating the “rumour” is nothing but a show of shame and a better reason to believe that Jonathan’s administration is surely dining and wining with the devil or perhaps it is the very ravenous wolf desperately trying to keep deep cover under the sheep’s skin. How on earth can Nigerians believe that VP and the DSS when the body language of the President is visible even to the blind and audible even to the deaf? How can Nigerians believe their president when he is not willing in any way to accept the result of an independent investigator or allow the court of law to take charge. Isn’t that enough to tell Nigerians that the insulation of these suspected criminals clearly indicates that the president himself might be part of the overall conspiracy in the mass murder of Northerners since 2010 and is protecting them to disallow any outcome that may directly linked their actions to him? Why is it that only the DSS is active in Boko Haram investigation even when it appeared to be a police job? Could it be because the leadership of the DSS is dominated by the president kinsmen to keep everything secret? These are not the only suspicious activities on the part of the Jonathan’s government, there are much more.
MEND, PRESIDENT JONATHAN, THE INDEPENDENCE DAY BOMBING AND THE RISE OF A “NEW BOKO HARAM
1st October, 2010, the Nigeria’s Independence Day were the year the Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory was first attacked by a terrorist group. In this regard, the Nigeria’s renowned terrorist group, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), which were known for oil theft, pipe vandalisation, brutal killings of Nigerian security personnel) carried out an attack on Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Despite their prior warnings before the attack and their subsequent insistence that they did carried out the attack, President Jonathan appeared on the national television exonerating them. In his words, “what happened yesterday was a terrorist act and MEND was just used as a straw; MEND is not a terrorist group… It is erroneous to think that my people who have been agitating for good living will deliberately blow up the opportunity they have now,”. Despite public criticism against the president, he forged ahead and staged a scene where he invited leaders of MEND to the State House (and not court or police headquarters) where they “testified” against their earlier assertion that MEND was truly responsible. In a reply, the president said “… I am happy that you here and I know all the actors and leadership of MEND”. Attempts by Jonathan’s government to implicate northern leaders (notably General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida(rtd), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as well as Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai (Nigeria’s former FCT minister) as in the case of their accusations as Boko Haram sponsors by the ruling party) for the deadly act failed. The arrest and conviction of Henry Okah, one of MEND leaders in South Africa under a suspicious condition, saw him breaking silence by accusing the aides of Mr. President (indirectly referring to the president’s involvement) for working with “a faction of MEND” to carry out October 1, 2010 bombing. In fact, there were a lot of suspicious issues surrounding his arrest and prosecution in South Africa, one of which is the Nigerian government deliberate denial of any witness to travel to South Africa in defence of the accused. Indeed, there is an adage in Hausa language which says “biri yayi kama da mutum” meaning, a monkey truly looks like human. If the president was not involved, why was he so quick to exonerate and protect such a well known terrorist group (like he did Ihejirika and Ali Modu Sheriff) that were known for the same act for over a decade without investigation? Why did he have to invite them to the state house and not to allow the police or other security agencies to carry out their job?
Since then there has emerged an underground and a well equipped group of organised terrorists operating in the name of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria, and responsible for planting bombs in churches and mosques, killing villagers in Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa and other dominant Christian communities in the north central and some North Eastern and North western states under the guise of Boko Haram Fulani herdsmen. The argument on the part of many Northerners is that, the absence of any serious action or concern on the part of the government indicated that it is Jonathan’s government who is orchestrating the attacks in order to widen the already rooted mistrust between Muslim and Christian of the North and it is using such division as a tool for weakening the region to gain political advantage. This became evident and crystally clear when General Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Nigerian former COAS clearly stated that the insurgents killing people and destroying properties are in fact, hired foreign insurgents. Furthermore, Nigeria’s former head of state and the Governor of Benue state, Yakubu Gowon and Gabriel Suswan, clearly stated it was not Fulani were responsible for the attacks in the Christian communities of the north central but hired insurgents. However, what the trio failed to do was to tell Nigerians where these hired machineries came from, who hired them and for what reason? The worst part of it is that these criminals are still at large, the Nigerian security circle is yet to make any significant move to curtail future occurrence while the president did not give a damn about it.
“NEW BOKO HARAM”: WHOSE HIRED MERCINARIES?
If General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former head of state, General Abdulrahman Dambazau, Nigeria’s former COAS, Gabriel Suswan and Murtala Nyako will admit but fail to tell us about the hired mercenaries terrorising northern Nigeria, they left northerners with no choice but find out themselves. In many videos circulating in Northern Nigeria (and of course some available on youtube.com) showed how Boko Haram captured foot soldiers confessing that they were be paid for their heinous crimes. Some confessed that they were paid eight hundred thousand Naira (800, 000) to over a million Naira (1,000.000) per person. In other videos you can vividly see and hear the insurgents asking captured security personnel “how much is your salary?” is it because of this amount you are doing this job?” Why is cash so much important to the insurgents? Why are the insurgents so much interested in ransacking the communities they want to make their caliphate, killing its people and destroying its economic formations? The answer is that they did not come to stay but hired to destroy and leave when the contract is over.
Chad is a land with history of rebellions and hired rebels. Late Ghaddafi employed many them and the Tuaregs of Niger to support his army. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that a group of youths in Niger republic in Diffa region attest to the fact they were once paid $3,000 each to fight for Boko Haram and that many of their friends died in the northeast. Equally, in a recent interview with BBC Hausa, a hunter attests that he killed over ten Chadians and that most of them carry marks bearing “ch” while their Hausa language is highly influenced and mixed with the French language.
Many Nigerians believed Ali Modu Sheriff and Ihejirika are the core sponsors, but only a narrow minded thinking person will bear that in mind. With President Jonathan harbouring those who are suspected of harbouring Boko Haram, what then could be the hierarchical position of the President in the organisational structure of Boko Haram sponsorship? Why did he have to travel with a suspected sponsor who is also a close friend of Chadian president (another key suspect)? Is it possible that Idris Deby is also paid by the president through Ali Modu Sheriff who in turn employ the Chadian rebels into Nigeria while Ihejirika and his boys (or the trained snipers stated by Obasanjo) provides the logistics as well as the what, where and how of the attack? The widely held opinion by the southerners that the Northern elites is responsible for sponsoring such group cannot hold water as none of them can explain why northern leaders suffer the greatest casualty of the menace. They have failed to point out why Boko Haram has never attacked the South-south or southeast not even a single leader of the two regions. The explanation will have been comprehensible if the south-south or other parts of Nigeria are equally affected. The attempt by “Jonathan boys” or aides to accuse Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Muhammadu Buhari Boko Haram sponsorship Boko Haram sponsorship or Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida of Independence Day Bombing is an attestation to the fact the blame game is simply run by Jonathan through his aides (as in the case of Ihejirika and Ali Modu Sheriff).
JONATHAN’S ASSERTION: “BOKO HARAM HAS INFILTRATED MY GOVERNMENT”
The wider perception about Boko haram Group since it began its deadly attack was that it was a group that is opposed to western education and western orientated government and that its followers engage in menial jobs such as shoe shining, trading and other petty jobs, etc. until 8th of January when it was widely reported that president Jonathan made a speech in the church pointing that Boko Haram has infiltrated his government. According to him:
?Some of them are in the executive arm of government; some of them are in the parliamentary/legislative arm of government while some of them are even in the judiciary. Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies. Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house (Premium Times, January, 8th, 2012).
All attempts by the Nigerian public and civic organisations to exert pressure on the president to fish out, investigate them and bring them to justice failed. Even when the likes of Ali Modu Sheriff, General Ihejirika and the other one in CBN among others who were later identified by an independent negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis as key suspects, president Jonathan government not only quickly exonerated them openly and tacitly but was also able to enforce security around them. This clearly indicated that they might be working for the president as no sincere leader will allow the calibre of such people to stay close to him, at least in the interest of the national security and interest. In fact, northerners now believe that Jonathan’s inability to take any significant action indicated that he wasn’t actually referring to the “traditional Boko Haram” but the “new Boko Haram” who have taken over from the traditional ones and are sponsored within the circle of government, more suspiciously, by President Jonathan himself.
In the legislature, Northerners remained suspicious of the actions of David Mark. At a period when Northerners are suspecting President Jonathan of promoting and sustaining the violence and state of emergency in the north east for political advantage (re-election or tenure elongation), the Senate president was systematically backing the idea by declaring that Nigerians should not think of election because the country is in a state of war. In other words, President Jonathan’s tenure should be elongated until when peace is settled. Northerners therefore ponder whether the Senate president is also one of the sponsors Boko Haram in the legislature as pointed by President Jonathan. The biggest problem with the senate president is that he lacks the spirit of an army general or even a nationalist. It very easy hear him calling for national prayers when Boko Haram are attacking Nigeria but very difficult to hear him criticising or investigating the executive arm for its role in underfunding the army that resulted in the death of many of his comrade. I sometimes wonder whether Mark served all his military life in military chaplain. Nigerian did not elect God to represent them in Abuja and they elected men and women and therefore expect rational decision that is backed by clear explanation instead of national prayers. Mark must tell Nigerians what the executive arm is doing with the fund budgeted for defence.
In the Executive, we saw the actions of the likes of Pastor Reno Omokri (a.k.a Windell Smillin) and Reuben Abati, who play the blame game for the president, secretly sending messages of accusations on anyone who stand in the path of the president (like the accusation of Buhari, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Boko Haram sponsors, etc.) and yet the president continued to pose as if nothing happened.
In the Military, Ihejirika and his boys in the army were key suspects, In the secret service, the action of the Director-General Ita Ekpeyong and organisation’s spokeswoman, Marylyn Ogar of converting the Department of secret service (DSS) to Jonathan secret service (JSS) is now evident. A typical example is the Apo killings, the staged massacre of the so-called Boko Haram insurgents (many northerners believed they were not killed but released to Boko Haram), exoneration of Ihejika without any sort of investigation over Stephen Davis revelation, the continued accusation of the opposition party for Boko Haram sponsorship (even when their boss and NSA said that they are in PDP. The SSS cleared Ihejirika on the most flimsy ground even when it is supposed to be a police job. Sarcastically, she said: “I would want to say here that it is absolutely uncharitable for us as Nigerians to reward somebody who laid down his life in pursuing these same people, for us to accept that he can in any way be associated as sponsoring the same sect.” Equally, the body language of the new Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba is unquestionably calling for explanation. From the attack on the national assembly to the detention of the Chief Hunter who led to the recapture of Mubi and refusal to recognise the speaker all appear as a complementary attitude to what the SSS is doing.
THE NIGER DELTANS, THE “MYSTERY CHOPPERS” AND THE MASS MASSACRE OF NORTHERNERS
The local communities of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Birnin Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states have in one way or the other expressed concern over how mystery choppers were observed dropping food items and people in the forest areas of their states after raids. Although the Nigerian government had denied such widely spread statement without investigation. This is despite the fact that many communities in these areas have faced or even continue to face attacks from unknown criminals. For instance, apart from Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other parts of the middle belt, where attacks were regular and carried out without the culprits ever caught and brought to justice by the constituted authority. The visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Katsina state saw over one hundred people killed. The people of the area complained that they sighted a chopper at the night before the attack. However, during a chat with the president in NTA, he debunked the claims urging anyone with such claim to present a video clip of the helicopter. The questions however begging for answers are, why should so many disconnected communities unite and speak lies over regular, observed phenomena? What would they benefit from that? If the government is unconnected why did it treat the peoples complain as it had always treated the case of government criminals? But alas! the northerners knew that the only people capable of flying choppers are the so-called Niger Delta “ex-militants”. Already, over two hundred of them have been trained by Goodluck administration in helicopter flying and maintenance among other things. The argument on the part of the government is that such training will give them employment in the private sector. However, what we need to ask ourselves is that, why should a responsible government embark on such a dangerous venture of recruiting well known criminals? Is few months rehabilitation programme enough to deter them from their previous act of terrorism, drug addiction, etc? Which responsible private sector do we expect to hand over their choppers to people with such a criminal and violent history? However, the interception of the Nigerian government in illegal arm and helicopter deal proved that it was “Jonathan boys” who were responsible for such atrocities. Experts have also pinpointed that it is impossible for choppers to illegally fly in Nigerian airspace without connivance. Could that be the reason why the president consistently maintained his kinsmen in charge of aviation sector? Indeed, the failure to secretly smuggle fifteen million dollars to acquire a helicopter along side with weapons for political match attest to this position.
BOMBING BUHARI, SHEIKH DAHIRU BAUCHI AND THE KILLING OF ZAKZAKY CHILDREN: A PLAN TO IMPORT THE “NEW BOKO HARAM” TO THE NORTH WEST
Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo has in the past wrote an open letter to President Jonathan that was involved in keeping one thousand political actors under his political watch list as well as acquiring weapons and training killers to match for political purpose. These are all visible today. The secret acquisition of weapons by Jonathan administration as well as assassination of Northern traditional, religious and political leaders as in the case of General Shuwa, Sheikh Albanny of Zaria, Emir of Gwoza, the three children of Nigerian Shiite leader, Ibrahim Zakzakky and the failed attempt on Governor Suswan, Emir of Borno and late Ado Bayero and Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi and recently Sanusi Lamido Sanusi among others. The most vivid of all is the failed attempts to bomb Nigeria’s former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari in Kaduna. Muhammadu Buhari was bombed (like Azazi) but survived a day after he condemned Goodluck Jonatha’s administration for declaring war against his country.
The questions begging for answers are; why should the army engage in such a deliberate targeting of three sons of El-Zakzaky as well as his over thirty followers when they knew that the atmosphere of the state was tense over the attempt on Bauchi and Buhari? This creates more suspicion if we look into the scenario that led to the death of Zakzaky young sons.
According to Zakzaky, despite his direct call to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) categorically told him that his sons would be released but not alive. What a complete act of provocation! If the GOC could make such a careless provocative statement with impunity just a day after Buhari and Bauchi were attacked and the nation was in tension, doesn’t that explain that the three scenarios were orchestrated by the GOC under the direct order of the Defence Headquarters or presidency? Although the president, his NSA and the Inspector General of Police have exonerated the president for such action, it is however well known that the president does not tolerate criticism especially from top political opponents. The removal of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over his alarm over $20 million theft and Murtala Nyako over alledge genocide accusation as well as the attacks and attempted removal of Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state by the president clearly indicated that such an act can be committed under his command. Besides, the failure to prosecute the those responsible for the killings (like Col. Okuh) in a manner he always neglect the dirty actions of his Media assistance Mr.“Wendell Smilin” shows that he was well aware of their dirty actions and if possible, under his direct authority.
Therefore the motive for this was pretty clear. The killing of Buhari and Bauchi was expected to create political and religious mayhem while the killings of the followers and children and the provocation that followed was expected to swing the Shiites into attacking the Nigerian army bearing in mind the militant disposition of the group. Already the killings of Sheikh Albany and Sheikh Ja’afar have failed to create any reaction on the part of the Sunni group.
It is therefore the opinion Northern elements that the government of Jonathan was trying to create a scenario that will lead to the activities of insurgency as experienced in North Eastern Nigeria. This means if the Shiite group had reacted as expected, Zakzakky may as well be arrested and brutally killed (like Muhammad Yusuf) which may lead his followers to go wild thereby giving Jonathan’s administration the power to use the military and commit the likes of Borno Massacre in the North West. This will surely lead to uprising and finally state of emergency in some selected states and thereby truncate any attempt to conduct free and fair election in the region which means the two regions in which each is larger than all other parts of Nigeria where Jonathan enjoys overwhelming support will be under control. If however state of emergency failed to come into action, the government may have better justification to declare that the nation is at war and therefore inevitably call for the truncation of 2015 elections and tenure elongation of the President as attempted by the senate president, David Mark.
It is my personal opinion at this point that with “Jonathan boys” out there carrying out their functions, the life of Muhammadu Buhari is surely at stake. I just hope they will be tolerant enough to bear the bitter of competition by sparing his life to the end of 2015.
HUGE DEFENCE BUDGET, ILL EQUIPPED ARMY VERSUS WELL EQUIPPED TERRORIST: WHERE IS BOKO HARAM FUNDING COMING FROM?
At a time when Nigerian government is budgeting trillions of naira on defence, the irony is that it is not the Nigerian army who is getting stronger but the enemy. The question is, where did the money go to? With Jonathan unable to tell Nigerians the source of Boko Haram funding, deliberately protecting the only suspected sponsors of Boko Haram, clandestinely and illegally aquiring weapons (when governments of the world do it in the open), conceding Nigerian oil pipeline security to terrorist groups, MEND, the Northerners have no any other choice but to point at their president as the co-sponsor of the insurgency. President Jonathan is currently paying MEND of 5.6 billion Naira annually for oil pipeline protection. MEND leaders are now defence contractors, envoys and spokesmen of the president. The Northerners believe that this is a “tactical manoeuvre” by the President to promote mass stealing of crude oil to sponsor the dreaded group without a trace. Already, Jonathan administration has been recorded the highest oil theft in Nigerian history with the country currently loosing over $4billion annually to oil theft.
A proof to the above statement is when agents of Nigerian government were intercepted in South Africa using Pastor Ayo Orisejafor’s private plane trying to smuggle weapons worth 10 million dollars cash and two days after their failed attempt, Boko Haram was not only remarkably defeated at the battle of Konduga, but the insurgents ran out of ammunition with some of them helplessly submitting themselves to the Nigerian army, a pretty surprise that was never recorded before which of course indicated that the weapons were directed to feed Boko Haram. Equally, two days after the failure to acquire another set of $5 million dollar worth illegal arms; Northerners equally saw the defeat of Boko Haram in Michika and other parts of Adamawa. It was evident that the army was succeeding over the enemy suddenly Jonathan’s government announced negotiation with the enemy (an act both Jonathan and Shekau vowed never to happen) and since then, Jonathan’s administration became occupied with the issue of negotiation including visiting of Chad with a key but long suspected Boko Haram sponsor, Ali Modu Sheriff. The government categorically warned the army not to violate the cease fire agreement. The end result was that Boko Haram regrouped and became better equipped, including the capture of Mubi and Mahia local governments among others. What Nigerians finally got from their government is the usual game of blame shift, Chad is to be blamed while Jonathan government was clean. Doesn’t that explain that the power possesed by Boko Haram in overrunning the Nigerian army and territory is indeed strategized and financed by the government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or perhaps by his very self? In fact, when hunters recaptured Mahia and parts of Mubi, the chief hunter (Sarkin Baka) was detained and questioned. It is equally evident that Boko Haram is more informed than the Nigerian army despite $40 million secret deal with the Israeli security company, Elbit to collect information for the government, Boko Haram appear to know better the movement of our armed forces and therefore find it easy to ambush them, while the Nigerian army is in the least aware of Boko Haram movement and therefore easy to fall into their trap. The most pressing issue about Jonathan administration is its deliberate failure to employ latest military technology to fight the war despite huge defence budget. A drone can perform the work of over a thousand soldiers but neither did the government employ military or spy drone in the war and with the level of causality among our soldiers, it is my believe that not even satellite technology is employed is ground surveillance. The worst part is when army see Boko Haram taking over Nigerian armoured tanks and we ask aren’t those armoured tanks and APC’s attached to GPS technology? I guess not. Our soldiers always complained of being left with AK47 at the expense terrorist superior technology and if they complained, they are sentenced to death by firing squad as in the case of over 50 soldiers sentenced to death.
May Allah save us from evil minded leaders. Amen.
ABUBAKAR LIMAN WRITES FROM SOKOTO
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