Boko Haram fighters may be fleeing from several locations in northeastern Nigeria, but it may not be at the hands of the Nigerian Army.
In a major story on Friday, the New York Times said only Chadian and Nigerien soldiers, who liberated the area from Boko Haram, are on the ground with no Nigerian soldiers to take it over from them despite being asked.
Damask, on the border with Niger but close to Cameroon, was a regional headquarters for the militants.
The New York Times reporter was part of a small group of journalists the Chadians ushered around the area to look at their accomplishment, of which they are very proud. It is unclear whether any Nigerian journalists were in the group.
For now, Damask is deserted, its population of 200,000 having been dispersed or killed. And there are no Nigerian soldiers anywhere in sight, the report said.
“Hundreds of miles away in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, officials are expressing anger at the near-total absence of cooperation from the Nigerians in a crucial regional battle, even as Nigerian officials are discounting the extent of Chad’s role.
“The disquiet of the Chadian officials was echoed in the words of the front-line Chadian soldiers here who wonder why they, and not the Nigerians, are holding towns like Damasak, several days after the last Boko Haram fighter has fled or been killed.”
Said Second Lt. Mohammed Hassan about his Nigerian colleagues, “We asked them to come, to receive this town from us, but they have not come.”
And he had an explanation why: “It is because they are afraid,” he told the reporters.
The report said the brief tour of Damask offered a rare glimpse into Boko Haram’s northern Nigerian stronghold, and into the dimensions, and difficulties, of a cross-border, four-nation fight against the Islamists.
President Goodluck Jonathan today said he is not desperate to win next week’s presidential election notwithstanding his readiness and willingness to continue to serve as the President of Nigeria.
Jonathan made this disclosure at the public launch of a book, “The People’s Choice: The story of President Goodluck Jonathan”, written by Rev. Fr. Charles Imokhai, where over N170 million was raised, at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The four-part book chronicles the life of the President including his educational background, political career and family among others. Jonathan who said he had two key messages to pass to the public, advised politicians who are interested in occupying any elective position either at state or federal level not to be desperate. He said the only things needed were readiness and willingness.
His words “My second message is to all of us, especially those of us who are politicians, that for all of us who want to serve, we should ?be ready to serve but we should not be desperate to serve our people. Sometimes, people ask me that Mr. President, from what we read and what we see, we see you still smiling and unruffled.
“Yes, nothing will really ruffle me because I am willing and ready to serve but I am not desperate to serve. That is what keeps me going. All of us who want to hold offices from the least, a counselor of a ward or a chairman of a council, a member of the state House of Assembly or member of House of Representatives, Senate, Governor or the President, if all of us are always ready and willing to serve our people but we are not desperate in that our mission, then of course Nigeria will be a better place for all of us.”
Jonathan who described the story of his life as a humble one noted that most accounts of his life so far published are not accurate. He said while the book being presented provided an account that is close to being accurate, he would write the most accurate one after leaving office.
A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), who acted as the chairman of the book launch said he stood in for Ambassador Yusuff Maitama Sule, who he said had to travel back to Kano to attend to his ailing wife.
He used the opportunity to clear the air on the agreement he reached with the former Biafran leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, that was later known as the Aburi Accord. He explained that Odumegwu-Ojukwu made a statement that was contrary to what they discussed at the venue of the accord.
He said the late Biafran leader was able to accomplish that task because he (Gowon) was down with fever when Odumegwu-Ojukwu returned to make the statement. “I have seen that you (the author) have gone back in history in your research when Ojukwu and myself had the Aburi Accord. I was fascinated by that because I can assure you that that meeting was to break the ice and for all of us the military leaders at the time be allowed to be able and to agree to be discussing our problems in Nigeria and to solve them.?
“What happened to us at Aburi was that I couldn’t make it down because I was unfortunately down with a fever. Ojukwu got back and made a statement and that wasn’t what we discussed and that was the beginning of the misunderstanding, not because we agreed to work with Ojukwu. Since you presented that we have a meeting I thought I should make that comment and to correct that,” he said.
Gowon advised Nigerians to vote their conscience during the March 28 presidential elections. “Vote your conscience, but vote right. I hope all of you here will do the right thing and vote for the people’s choice,” he said.
A women group in Borno state known as Forum of retired female civil servants led by Dr. Aishatu Gulde have put Nigeria’s first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan on blast for always abusing Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC; BSF reports.
Speaking at a press conference organized on behalf of women and mothers in Borno state on Wednesday, the group said, “We are here today because we have been pushed to the walls and anyone that is pushed to the walls has to react.
We can no longer fold our arms to watch them say all manner of things against our son, General Muhammadu Buhari.
What they are saying is a slap on our faces as women of northern extraction. They say we gave birth to children and throw them on the streets to become Boko Haram.
”The First Lady has never come to Borno state but we have seen her supporting even other countries; never has she come to see for herself what the Borno people are actually passing through. She only sits in Abuja and passes judgement on what she knows nothing about. Our governor is trying. He has not rested. His wife has not rested but the President and his wife are not giving them breathing space.
Enough is enough as we cannot continue to watch them treat our people as second class citizens. ”The president has his enemies within and they are people like Fayose, Fani Kayode and Edwin Clark. They are abusing our governor to the extent that, Fani Koyode is saying that the governor will go to jail over the Chibok girls’ issue.
We are calling on them to stop this hate speeches as we do not want division in the north between Christians and Muslim. ”Patience is saying that Buhari is an old man and recently they stoned the convoy of Buhari’s wife.
If Buhari is old, I believe that Patient Jonathan is not any younger than Buhari to say the fact because as a woman we know how women hide their age behind make ups to look younger, therefore, we are saying enough is enough”. #Buhari #borno
Speaking to Christine Amanpour on CNN on Wednesday, Emir of Kano, Sanusi II, the former Governor of Central Bank said:
“Yes, General Buhari is right on the level of corruption in the country and we need to address this sufficiently. We have not helped the situation by living in denial (that the situation does not exist). I don’t want to dwell on this because of the time that we are and we are close to an election.”
Emir Sanusi maintained that $20bn was missing from the account of the NNPC, which was not remitted to the federation account. He said,
“This has not been addressed adequately and from the account of the corporation, about $20bn was not remitted to the federation account. We need to address this.” Adding when asked if there will be real change after the election, that the kerosene subsidy billions theft he raised remains a big issue that needs to be addressed. Nigeria’s minister of oil, Diezani Alison Madueke known as the oil goddess is recognized for stealing these nations billions in the kerosene subsidy fraud and other scams.
Emir Sanusi said whichever government wins must deal with the economic drain at the oil sector. Sanusi said the government must focus on people’s welfare; this will reduce crime and corruption.
The Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi, was Wednesday shot by some soldiers in Bauchi on his way to Gadau, reports have said.
The former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, was attacked when his driver overtook a military convoy.
Speaking to newsmen in Bauchi, yesterday, Professor Abdullahi said he was on his way for an official assignment at Bauchi State University, Gadau, where he is the chairman of the university’s governing council when the incident happened.
“It was in the morning as I was travelling in my official car with my driver. I was going to Gadau for a meeting. We had just passed the Awala Hotel roundabout when I saw a military convoy moving very slowly.
“I was trying to catch up for the meeting, so my driver overtook the military convoy. The next thing I knew they opened fire at us, with bullets were sprayed on the car.
“The bullets damaged the engine of the car, damaged the car that we had to park by the road side. The soldiers came out and were shouting angrily at us.
“They were demanding to know why we wanted to overtake them, asking if we didn’t know that the soldiers were exporting sensitive materials,” he said.
He lamented that the soldiers, even after the incident, the soldiers just kept going. “I have never seen such a reckless act.”
“I called the Commissioner for Higher Education and told him. The Commissioner for Higher Education called the security agencies chiefs to inform them of what happened,” Abdullahi said.
If the trio of Great Ovedje Ogboru, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Olorogun O’tega Emerhor knows what is good for their political future; they should immediately start protesting against the bankruptcy that has hit Delta State or quit immediately from contesting the 2015 guber elections holding in three weeks time, as Deltans will hold them responsible for not delivering on their electoral promises, due to the indebtedness of the State.
As I report, the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan will be leaving the state N50 billion poorer and indebted to one of the new generation banks (names withheld for reasons). Incontrovertible information at the disposal of this journalist revealed that he is set to go to the bond market for a whooping N50 billion bond when he has less than 71 days to leave the Dennis Osadebey House.
To see this through, the governor has made available the sum of N2 billion to bribe the Director General of the Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) while over N3.5 billion have also been earmarked to grease the palms of the bank directors were the money will be borrowed from, as well as BGL who is a dealing member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and is one of the leading stockbroking firms in Nigeria, strategically known for executing high volume transactions. Ironically, Albert Okumagba who is a friend to the governor is the GMD/CEO of the BGL group, who sources within the government disclose will make it easier for the criminal bond to be taken. The SEC DG has already agreed to sign the bond documents for him.
Quick investigations carried out revealed that part of the money is meant to pay contractors handling the Effurun and Asaba flyover; a job that so much money had earlier been paid for, with more budgeted for it since 2013. The remaining sum which will be over N40 will be diverted to private pockets as farewell gifts for loyal aides and himself, revealed a credible source.
Secrets Reporters, an online news plat had earlier reported on how Uduaghan had earlier borrowed N50 million from the bond market which he has been unable to account for, before going ahead now to borrow another one. Delta State is currently ranking among the five most indebted states in Nigeria, a situation that survey carried out reveals will take 12 years for any government to pay.
*** Stay tuned for more last minute dirty financial deals of the government.
…Borrowed money to pay workers after emptying State purse
Less than 75 days for the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan to bid farewell to Unity House; he has concluded plans to frustrate the incoming government through fraudulent employment of workers into the Delta State Civil Service. Unless Deltans and Nigerians cry out against this fraud, the next government for four years will be unable to do anything meaningful with its resources.
Mr Uduaghan who has deliberately refused to release the names of those who applied since 2013 and wrote exams in 2014 suddenly made a U-turn when he directed the Civil Service boss to get the list published in a national daily.
What is however the shocker is that 98% of those whose names appeared never wrote the exams neither were they ever available for the job. Authoritative sources revealed that out of the 1800 names shortlisted, only 940 names will be taken with the governor hijacking 900 of them to share to his cronies and concubines relatives in what an analyst described as “amorous farewell nepotism jobs”, while the remaining 40 were handpicked by the commission boss, and just like Uduaghan, he packed charlatans into the position, with claims that oral interview will be conducted before the jobs are eventually given out.
Even though Uduaghan has severely denied having slots in the employment saga, sources close to him tag him the king of employment racketing in Nigeria. Investigations carried out exclusively revealed that none of those who genuinely applied from Sapele Local Government has his/her names on the list, giving a clearer indication that unlike in the past were top political shots dictate who gets employed; the governor alone this time was the alpha and omega. This same style was used by fmr. Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who began employment two months to the expiration of his tenure, only for his successor, Ayo Fayose to be sworn in and sacked all the new workers.
What is not known to Deltans is that the state account is already blinking danger as all the money there have been siphoned to unknown places by the governor allegedly in connivance with his man Friday, Ovuzuorie Macaulay who doubles as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
The financial state of the treasure sources within the government revealed prompted the borrowing of yet to be disclosed billions of Naira to pay workers in the month of February. When contacted, a source close to the Labor Party guber candidate, Ovedje Ogboru disclosed on the condition of anonymity that if his principal should win, plans are already underway to jail Uduaghan as was done to Ibori, despite rumored support he is getting from the governor.
***Stay tuned for the secret meeting held with loyal commissioners to support Ogboru.
After about five hours of security meeting at the presidential villa today, Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Kenneth Minimah expressed doubts elections will go on as scheduled in Northeast region of the country, a development that may make the coming general elections inconclusive and consequently set the country on fire.
While trying to shift any likely blame on INEC, Minimah said it is the Independent Electoral Commission and not the military that will decide if elections will hold or not in the recently liberated areas from terrorists sect, Boko Haram in the North East.
He said though the territories have been re-taken from Boko Haram, government structures still needed to be reinstated before any tangible thing can take place in the zone. Minimah said at the meeting, council gave a vote of confidence on the military following the successful anti-terrorism operations in the North east with only three local governments in Borno state remaining to be liberated from the clutches of Boko Haram.
According to him “Council reviewed the North East operations, particularly, in the last three weeks and Council renewed its confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces and commended them too. You know Yobe and Adamawa states have been liberated completely and we look forward to the reinstatement of structures of government and governance.
“I am also sure you know that in Borno State out of the 27 local government we have three local governments remaining, Abadam, Kalabaldi and Gwoza and we are optimistic that with time we will liberate those local governments. I am not competent to speak on the elections. INEC is still there. INEC has to re-access the situation and evaluate because the areas have been liberated.
“But I can also tell you that not all structures of governance have been reinstated and they will need to be reinstated so that citizens can go back to their areas and it is then I think they can execute their rights as voters. How soon? I don’t know.”
Asked if the military operations could be concluded before the March 28 presidential elections, the army chief said: “it is our wish and we pray God gives that to us, but war is war. War sometimes is not fought on some platforms of permutations.”
Minimah further clarified that the mop up operations in the liberated areas did not yield any clues as to whether the abducted Chibok girls were kept there before they moved or not. According to him, “no news for now. In all the liberated areas we have, we have also made enquiries but the truth is when the terrorists are running away they also run with their families.
“And those we have come in contact have not made any comments suggesting that Chibok girls were there and taken away. But we are optimistic that as the war gets closer, the territory is becoming elusive to them (terrorists) and we will get further details on that.”
On the issues of hiring of foreign mercenaries by the Nigerian Army, he stated that they were only advisers and instructors meant to maintain the newly acquired security equipment. “Whenever you have new equipment, the equipment come with contract and the contract include maintenance and the technicians that come with them are those that we hire”, he said.
INEC had last month moved the elections by six weeks ahead, from February 14th and 28th to March 28th and April 11th, giving the security challenges in the North East as the major reason.
On his part, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega briefed President Goodluck Jonathan and heads of all security agencies, about the Commission’s preparedness ahead of the elections.
Jega emerged from the meeting at about 2.20 p.m accompanied by two top officials who attended the meeting with him. Asked by State House correspondents how the meeting, went, he replied, “I believe it went well.” Other questions relating to the use of card readers during the elections, the level of the Commission’s preparedness, and if another postponement was in the offing all went unanswered as he made his way out of the presidential villa, Abuja.
The meeting has in attendance Vice President Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; Chief of Staff to the President, Gen. Jones Arogbofa (retd.); National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki; Attorney-General of the Federation, Muhammed Adoke (SAN); Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan; Minister of Interior, Mr. Aba Moro; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali. Others in attendance are Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba; as well as the heads of the Department of State Security and the National Intelligence Agency.
Just like the fall of Monguno in January this year which happened due to president Jonathan’s political campaign visit despite the clear warning of an impending Boko Haram attack; once again president Jonathan has been blamed squarely for diverting security and thus causing deaths of innocent Nigerians.
In the Mongunu case this January, there was a military memo stating the exact days the Boko Haram attack was expected. president Jonathan decided to visit Borno on these days and pulled away the army. It can be recalled that during his visit, Boko Haram was en-route Borno, and killed 17 people in a nearby village; yet Jonathan did not release the soldiers to return to their posts but continued his political campaign. Maiduguri almost fell that January and hundreds were killed and billions lost in property as Monguno fell.
Once again, president Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of leading to a deadly robbery in Lekki Lagos state. Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday said 2, 123 policemen that would have helped to repel the Thursday bank robbery in the state were sent to protect President Goodluck Jonathan along with all the vehicles bought by the state government for the police to be able to respond rapidly to crimes when he visited Lagos.
“Let me be very clear, the President is entitled to every protection; he is our President, but the question to ask is; when you were being traumatised, where were these 2,123 men, because you are also entitled to be protected? The reason why the President gets all that protection is so that he can protect all of us.”
Fashola said he was also worried by the reports of violence and harassment of innocent citizens on Monday during a protest by members of the Oodua People’s Congress and loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Yesterday (Monday), they also showed the difference between us when the supporters of the PDP and President Jonathan came out. On March 7, just about a week ago, the APC held a solidarity walk in Lagos. Did anybody attack you on that day?
“So, yesterday, they held their own, and instead of canvassing for your votes, they were showing you knives and cutlasses.”
The chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts and APC senatorial candidate for Lagos West has said that the protest led by Mr. Gani Adams faction of Odua People Congress, OPC that disrupted the economic activities of Lagos state and destroyed APC posters under Police security is akin to going on a slave errand as a slave.
Speaking to the Conference of Ward chairmen of APC in his office on the disruptive and destructive protest against INEC chairman Professor Attahiru Jega and support for President Goodluck Jonathan, Hon. Adeola said the protest by a faction of the ethnic militia was against the interest of Yoruba people in the South West adding that no true Yoruba son or daughter would support any administration that completely excludes its people from all the commanding political positions in the running of the affairs of this nation.
Hon. Adeola recalled that during the travails of the factional OPC leader under military rule and PDP led Federal Government before his new found pipeline security contract awarding ‘ Abuja friends’, leaders of the progressives in Yoruba land had come to his rescue in several life sustaining ways adding that it is now clear that Adams is pursuing his personal interest against Yoruba interest as attested to by many founding members of OPC who have dissociated themselves from his personal economic pursuit.
The APC senatorial candidate for the largest senatorial district in Nigeria reminded Adams of the historical consequences of biting the fingers that fed him in his time of need adding that majority of Yoruba people who are noted for pursuit of equity, fair play and justice would continue in that line irrespective of few individuals running slave errands for personal enrichment.
Hon. Adeola called on the ward chairmen to remain steadfast in their control of the grassroots for the party to end 16 years of PDP rule that has destroyed all sector of the economy adding that the change that APC is championing is in the interest of the Yoruba race and the nation.
Earlier on the chairman of the over 185 members Conference of APC Ward Chairmen in Lagos West Senatorial District Alhaji Tunde Afolabi commended Hon. Adeola for being a true representative of his people over his 12 years as a legislator as well as his role in exposing national corruption through his public accounts committee in the House of Representatives.
Abusidiqu has just been reliable informed that President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega to the presidential villa over the use of card readers for the March 28 and April 11 General election.
The decision to summon Jega followed the discovery by the presidency that the plans to jam the card reading machines meant for the election would not work.
Recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC), had Monday revealed that the PDP had hired an Israeli, Gyora Berger to do the dirty job of jamming the card readers.
A statement Monday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed said ”We can authoritatively inform Nigerians that the morbid fear of card readers by the Jonathan Administration and the PDP has now been translated into concrete action: They have hired an Israeli, Gyora Berger, to do the dirty job of jamming the card readers,” the party said in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The party said that apart from disabling the card readers, the jammers will also disable all telephones, iPads, etc within the states radius of those carrying them on their persons. It said an an order has been placed for 75,000 pieces of the jammers at a cost of 200 US dollars per piece, bringing the total cost to 15 million dollars. The jammers will be air freighted to Nigeria next week.
”The plan is to deploy the card jammers to the areas deemed to be the strongholds of the APC, such as the North-west, North-east , North-central and the South-west”, the statement added.
However, a source within the presidency revealed to Abusidiqu that the hawks preparing to use the card reader jammers have discovered that the jammers cannot render INEC’s card reader ineffective.
“The have tested the card jammers with the card readers provided by INEC and they discovered that it cannot work”, a presidency source said.
Following the discovery, the source added that president Jonathan is left with no choice than to force Jega to abandon the use of the card reader for the election failure of which he will be asked to resign immediately.
“As I speak to you, Jega is in the villa meeting with some big wigs in the presidency. He will be threatened into abandoning the use of the card reader for the general election. If he refuses to bulge, he will be asked to resign immediately.
Opposition to the card reader has mounted in the past few weeks, despite the insistence by the INEC chiarman to deploy the card readers for the election. INEC has since maintained that the use of the card readers would ensure a free, fair and credible election.