Jonathan Condemns Boko Haram’s Reversion of Attacking Soft Targets

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has condemned the reversion by the terrorist group, Boko Haram to the callous bombing of soft targets in parts of Nigeria in the wake of the ongoing rapid recovery by Nigerian troops and their multinational allies of areas formerly controlled by the sect.

A statement from the presidency today said “President Jonathan commiserates with all families who have lost loved ones in the bombings which continued today with attacks on Kano and Potiskum. The President shares the grief of all the bereaved families and is deeply saddened by the continued loss of many innocent lives at the hands of misguided and desperate fanatics who are now feeling the heat of the intense counter –insurgency operation by the Nigerian Armed Forces.

“The President assures all Nigerians and the people of the North-Eastern states in particular that the days of mourning victims of incessant terrorist attacks in the country will soon be over as the tide has now definitely turned against Boko Haram.

“President Jonathan further assures the people of Nigeria that the gallant, courageous and patriotic officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, supported with new platforms, equipment and logistics provided by the Federal Government will carry the ongoing operations against the terrorists through to a successful conclusion in the shortest possible time.

“He affirms that his administration will continue to take all necessary action to guarantee the success of ongoing military operations against the terrorist group and drastically reduce its ability to take and hold territory or recruit, groom and brainwash young persons to undertake suicide bombing attacks on soft targets.”


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How INEC’s Card Reader Can Be Fooled

By Vanguard

The card reader has been hailed as the antidote to election rigging in emerging democracies. It has been extensively used in a number of emerging democracies in Africa with positive reports of its contributory role in stemming election rigging.

The card reader, however, has its limitations even as Mr. Kayode Idowu, the chief press secretary to Prof. Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC said in an interview with Vanguard.

Though the card reader cannot be fooled by a PVC, it, however, would fail when all the human components in the polling unit agree to disregard it or conspire against the device.

“The way INEC has designed the Card Reader, it will only take a community conspiracy for the system to be manipulated and if that happens there is nothing anybody can do about it and it will not be the fault of INEC because it is designed in such a way that it is unique. Number one it has a voice propt which will speak out loudly from the speaker if a voter is accredited or not the moment the finger print is placed on it.

What it then means is that for there to be any manipulation at the polling centre, all the people there including the agents of the political parties, the observers and INEC staff will be in agreement to subvert the process in favour of one political party.

Human components

The human components of the polling process at the unit include the voter, the political party agents who are there to protect the interests of their candidates, election observers, security agents and journalists.

All of them would have to agree to disregard the prompt of the card reader on the validity or otherwise of the PVC to enable a voter to proceed to vote or not.

Even if they all disregard the card reader where it is detected that someone has presented a card not belonging to him and he is allowed to vote, the card reader would only transmit the number of those who passed its biometric verification to the central server.


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Jonathan Under Fire Over Illegal Land Acquisition in Abuja

The All Progressives Congress and some lawyers have faulted President Goodluck Jonathan’s acquisition of 90.04 hectares of farmland at the Aviation Village in Abuja barely seven months after he was sworn into office.

They said his action was a clear breach of the provisions of section 138 and 5th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, Parts 1 and 2.

The APC, in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary,   Lai Mohammed, therefore asked Jonathan to apologise for abusing his office and   engaging in corrupt practices by acquiring the farmland as a sitting President.

It said nothing could justify the indiscretion exhibited by the President in acquiring such a swath as contained in a newspaper advert   which had yet to be refuted by him.

A group, the Purpose Driven Initiative, had in the advertorial claimed that Jonathan incorporated Ebele Integrated Farms Limited which he used   to acquire the land.

The APC said the claim by the President’s apologists that their boss got the land because he wanted to engage in farming and that a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, did the same while in office, missed the point.

According to the APC, the claim by the apologists that the 5th Schedule, Part 1 (Code of Conduct for Public Officers) of the   constitution empowers a President to engage in farming, was also not tenable.

It stated that the issues involved went beyond the fact that a public officer was legally allowed to engage in farming .

‘The Fifth Schedule Part 1(Code of Conduct for Public Officers) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 1 states that, a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.’

“Would President Jonathan have been given 90.04 hectares of such a prime land were he not a sitting President?,” the APC asked. It said the President leveraged on his   office to “grab” the land.

The APC statement partly read, ‘‘What happened in that Abuja land grab is nothing but the height of indiscretion and abuse of office, and cannot be justified or explained away just like that. Without mincing words, it also amounts to corruption, which is defined in part as a perversion of integrity and a glaring instance of bad leadership.”

It   said the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, was emboldened to also grab   land in the area   because the President had done so.

The APC said,   “Those pushing this kind of argument are worsening the President’s case and insulting Nigerians. When did one bad act become a justification for another? Does a thief escape punishment by saying he stole because someone else had stolen? If indeed Chief Obasanjo did it, does that make it right? Is this not part of the reasons this President has been unable to fight corruption?

“It is also important to point out that the Aviation Village, under the Abuja Master plan, is meant only for Aviation-related activities and not farming.

“The President knew this, yet he went ahead to apply and was allocated land for farming in the Aviation Village.

“Perhaps his intention is to subsequently apply for a change of use. How many other people were allocated land for farming in the Aviation Village?’’

The APC asked   Jonathan to immediately give back the land he has grabbed.

Some   lawyers – Jiti Ogunye,   Festus Keyamo and Monday Ubani – in separate interviews with The PUNCH in Abuja, also   faulted   the     acquisition of the land by the President.

Ogunye argued that act of corruption was not limited to dipping hands into public treasury but also “includes all forms of illicit conduct in office in violation of the code of conduct and other laws of the land.”

Ogunye likened the President’s action to an attitude   common with Nigerian leaders, who he said, “are involved in primitive acquisition of capital, including fixed assets, like land.”

He added, “Land belongs to the people, so says the Land Use Act. The Land Use Act says, the President, a governor or the Federal Capital Territory minister is a trustee of the land for the people.

“When that trustee then uses his position to acquire public resources, including fixed assets, which in this case is large expanse of land, which he ought not to have obtained while in office, it is condemnable.

“The critical question is that what kind of farming is he going to use that large size of land for? Is it for cocoa or groundnut?

“This act is condemnable regardless of who is in power – be it Obasanjo or Jonathan.”

Keyamo on his part said though the law allowed a President to be involved in farming while in office,   Jonathan had no defence for acquiring the land since he had not started using it for the purpose for which he claimed to have acquired it.

Keyamo said, “Farming is an exception. Public officer can acquire land for farming. But the President has not started the farming. Since he has not started it, there is no evidence that he wants to use it for farming.

“The issue of farming is an exception for public officers, but the truth is that we don’t know what he wants to use it for. He can later build an estate there or use it for a big business. We don’t know what it is meant for. It is what you know that you can defend.”

Ubani, a former Chairman, Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, said the President and many state governors were       guilty of   illicit acquisition of land.

He said, “They all abuse powers. Even in Lagos. It is something that happens across all the states of the federation. It is not limited to the federal level.

“The Land Use Act says land should be held in trust for the people. But the manner in which these public officials abuse their powers shows that they are not holding the land in trust for the people but in trust for themselves.

“They acquire land meant for public purposes and sometimes revoke the land of citizens and allot it to their friends, cronies and even to themselves.”

The Presidency had on Sunday said that Jonathan had not done anything against the laws of the land by owning a farmland in Abuja.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said, ‘‘It is not against the constitution for either a civil servant or a public officer to engage in farming.

“One APC-funded, motivated and inspired NGO placed an advert in a newspaper, alleging that the President and the Minister of the FCT have farms somewhere in Abuja. They were alleging conflict of interest.


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How Nigerian Govt Plans to Rope in Buhari as Boko Haram Sponsor with a Fake Shekau – CUPS

My people, because of the tireless and fearless work that we do at CUPS, which involves enlightening our people on how to save themselves from corruption, misrule, tyranny, occupation, and genocide, we get a lot of leaked information from informants in Nigeria. Some of it is excellent, and some of it is just recycled conspiracy ideas on Facebook. Meanwhile we at CUPS have near perfected ways of verifying leaked information sent to us using different techniques, including the use of digital forensics, which is one of my fields of expertise as Computer Security Research Scientist.

The story below reached us this morning (23/02/2015). It came from one of our reliable sources in Nigeria. It is one of the most disturbing stories that we have yet received. Read it and make your own judgement!

“I have it on a strong ground that there is a plan to capture a Shekau before the week to elections. And the captured Shekau who is currently undergoing training on what to say and do will mention Buhari as one of their core sponsors.

READ: Boko Haram Leader, “Abubakar Shekau” Reportedly In Nigerian Govt Custody

The target according to the source is to discourage Southern voters and the Northern Christians (from liking Buhari). The confession is alleged to be so perfectly planned that Buhari may even be arrested and even those who love
him may think twice (about his sincerity).

The sum of 4.5 billion Naira is purportedly budgeted. The purpose of this budget I am told is for bribing some Northern clerics so when the time comes, they will pacify their followers (to reject Buhari as he is BoKo Haram sponsor).

There will purportedly be audio of phone calls (between Buhari and the Boko Haram leaders). Buhari will not be able to sue the government since it will be an arranged confession of a captured terrorist.

Now, I am not saying this (leak) is true. But knowing how desperate these PDP people are, they can do just anything to get Buhari out of the way. Honestly, I am deeply, deeply, deeply, worried. In fact, I am troubled. Kindly share this
and let the world know about this evil machination of the PDP before it is too late. Kindly do it. The person who gave me this information is an Intelligence officer with the Army. He looks worried too.

May God save Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen.
Dr. Idris Ahmed.

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Troops Arrest Boko Haram Terrorists Disguising as Women in Baga

Troops involved in the ongoing counter-terrorism operation in the North-East have arrested a number of terrorists who disguised as women in Baga, Borno State.
Baga, the headquarters of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, was captured by the insurgents in January but was recaptured by the Special Forces on Saturday.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, who stated this in a statement on Monday, did not give the exact number of the terrorists arrested, who disguised as women.
“Meanwhile, in furtherance of the mission to clear terrorists from all their enclaves by the military, the Nigerian Air Force has stepped up its air bombardment of identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission. The air strikes have been highly successful as they achieved the aims, hitting vital targets with required precision.  Terrorists are now in disarray as they scamper to escape from the impact of air bombardment of their locations in the forest.”

“Having successfully liberated Baga where the terrorists have been marauding, the troops’ attention has now been focused on consolidation of the security of the area to pave way for return of citizens.”


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Obasanjo Disowns Twitter Account @SegunObasanjo, Says it is Fake

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disowned a twitter opened in his name and has been giving out information purpoted to be coming from him.

Speaking in Abeokuta on Monday, the former president said he does not have any accounts on any social media networks.

He was reacting to a post by another twitter account, @newsvergeonline, which had on Sunday quoted him as saying that the Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, as a “democracy wrecker.”

He said the fake twitter account with his name, Olusegun A. Obasanjo, posted the story with caption: ‘Fani-Kayode is a democracy wrecker, who’s very fluent in stupidity. Give him food, and he will sing and do shoki dance for you’.

Dismissing the twitter account, he explained that  all his previous accounts on either Facebook or Twitter had long been blocked.

Obasanjo said, “I don’t know where this comes from. I don’t have any account on either the Facebook or Twitter again. Go and block it.”

Obasanjo used the opportunity to caution those using his name to operate illegal social media accounts, warning that the security agencies had been placed on the alert to fish out the perpetrators.

He said, “Nemesis will catch up with anyone doing this. It is illegal and criminal. If I have to pass any message to the good people of Nigeria, I know how to go about it with no controversy.”


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Fleeing Boko Haram Members Reportedly Calls For Ceasefire

Members of the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram that are running away from the fire-power of Nigerian troops are reportedly calling for ceasefire and immediate stop to hostilities.

The group that has lost almost all their camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are reportedly distributing flyers in Potiskum and Yobe areas in Adamawa state asking for ceasefire as they are fleeing for safety. But observers are skeptical of the calls for ceasefire since even as Nigerian military regains key towns lost to Boko Haram last week, the insurgent group stoops to even bloodier tactics

The $1Billion request from President Jonathan was delayed by the House of Representative for nearly 5 Months and Nigerians lost over 148 soldiers using war equipment used during the Biafran war.

In the last three weeks, the war planes, attack Helicopters, armoured vehicles with Night vision, Body armour for the Boys ordered have arrived and the Boko Haram and their supporters are not finding it funny.

Nearly 400 Members of Boko haram got drowned last week while trying to escape through the Lake Chad river.


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Boko Haram Leader, “Abubakar Shekau” Reportedly In Nigerian Govt Custody

Intelligence sources have leaked that the Nigerian government with its Chadian partners have captured a current “Abubakar Shekau,” leader character of the Boko Haram sect.

Our sources did not tell us exactly when he was detained, however he said categorically that “we have Shekau and he is alive.”

The Nigerian army and unusually the president himself this week promised to capture “Shekau” alive before the March 28th elections.

Meanwhile, an authentic leak has informed us that Shekau is currently being drilled and fed a confession statement to be made when he is recorded on the “battle field” being “captured” and interrogated. The confession is to claim opposition candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, is the sponsor of Boko Haram.
Curiously, the APC Campaign Organisation has also released a statement accusing the Federal Government of plotting to create a fake Shekau to score cheap political point and indict Buhari as the sponsor of the sect.

boko haram joker2Our sources said that only an inner circle of intelligence chiefs were in on this plan, including the nation’s national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki. He said a video will soon be released in which Nigerian soldiers appear to be capturing Abubakar Shekau and as he is beaten in the video, he will accuse General Buhari and other top opposition candidates of being behind the sect. Dasuki has been promised to be made the Sultan of Sokoto by president Jonathan as we earlier reported.

Our sources said that this dangerous and desperate plan is to galvanize all fanatic religious support possible for the ruling PDP party. He said that the confession by the Boko Haram terrorist leader double is not expected to lead to an indictment as terrorist words are usually dismissed, but is to be used as widely propagated videos on the internet and via text files, in attempt to scare potential voters for General Buhari.

who wants buhari dead


The formal libelous accusation of opposition candidate and ‘integrity’ contestant, General Buhari is not new from the ruling camp. Ruling party spokesmen have propagated very serious accusations against his person; he promptly contested in court leading to the ruling PDP spokesmen retracting the claims after the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan personally begged Buhari to settle the libel suit he won against them out of court. SEE: Jonathan Presidency Begged Buhari To Settle Abati “Ungovernable” Slander Libel Suit Out of Court

There have also been serious Boko Haram activities including bombings and an attempt on General Buhari’s life which the ruling party has been accused of directly having a hand in.


President Jonathan and Idriss Deby, linked to Boko Haram

Investigations have revealed that the first real person bearing that title has been killed in August of 2013; another double who adopted the role was killed last year. The current double who has been working parallel to the “Shekau” killed at Konduga last year is a close ally of Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, remembered for duping Nigeria with a scam ceasefire. According to intelligence information, the ceasefire was actually brokered between Deby and Shekau, but Shekau could not convince the other majore Ansaru terror leaders also on US terror watch list and who were actually in possession of the abducted Chibok goirls, to agree to the scrumptious deal and payment.

Since the election 6-week war began Boko Haram terrorists have been telling us that their “contract” is over and they are returning to their home countries. Who signed this contract is yet to be established, however after Stephen Davis implicated the Nigerian government through its chief of army, General Azubuike Ihejirika and Borno senator, Ali Modu sheriff in Boko Haram, the tides turned and the sect failed in its chief use for slandering the opposition.

It was barely 10 days after the expose by Davis that the “ceasefire” meeting was held in Ndjamena with implicated senator Modu Sheriff, Nigeria’s president and his Chadian counterpart in attendance.


A recent “Shekau” video had him sitting unusually in front of a blue background in a studio. Our sources tell us that that video in which he furthered a common agenda the ruling party has, which is to disrupt the elections that do not currently favor the ruling party, was said according to our sources, to have been made in the custody of the Nigerian government with their Chadian partners.

In the new video, Shekau promised that they will rather die than see Nigeria through the March 28th presidential elections. Obeservers quickly noticed and commented that suddenly Shekau changed from Boko Haram to Elections Haram. We have in the past few days reported that the Nigerian army has also according to eye  witnesses, been aggressively distributing flyers on behalf of Boko Haram claiming the group members or a faction of them were repentant, this move is designed to gain favor among the indigens of Nigeria and to allow the terrorists re-assimilate in local communities during the temporary period of deactivation.

READ: Another Military Helicopter Allegedly Drops Boko Haram Flyers in Song, Adamawa State


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Tony Blair Confirms Meeting Buhari in London; Chattam House also Confirms His Speaking Engagement on Thursday

A former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has confirmed that he held a private meeting with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, in London on Saturday.

The confirmation is against the backdrop of speculations by supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, led by Governor Fayose claiming that Mr. Buhari is in the UK for medical treatment.

Although the Buhari’s campaign office had stated that the former head of state was in the U.K. on a working visit, part of which involved talks with the Blair, the PDP supporters had specifically claimed that a picture showing Messrs. Blair, Buhari and Governor Amosun as well as a former Kwara state governor, Bukola Saraki, was photoshopped.

To buttress their claim, some of the critics claimed Mr. Blair was not in the U.K. on Saturday and could therefore not have met Mr. Buhari.

But responding to an inquiry by an online news platform Premium Times, the office of Mr. Blair confirmed that the former British PM actually held a meeting with Buhari in London.

“Mr. Blair had a private meeting with General Muhammadu Buhari in London,” said Rianne Buter in an email response.

Ms. Buter also said Mr. Blair “hopes to visit Nigeria shortly when he will see the President”.

Meanwhile, the prestigious foreign policy hub, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, in London, has confirmed the speaking slot of the APC presidential candidate.

A post on the website of Chatam on Monday disclosed that General Buhari who is on a working visit to the United Kingdom will be speaking on the topic “Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Nigeria’s Transition.”

The programme to be chaired by Sir Richard Gozney, former British High Commissioner to Nigeria will commence at 10am London time and last for just one hour.

“The postponement of Nigeria’s fifth election since its return to civilian rule in 1999, together with fierce political competition, a security crisis and severe economic challenges linked to the drop in oil price, have thrown into sharp relief the challenges of conducting this essential process in such a complex environment. While there is widespread speculation as to the reasons for the delay, there is also widespread acknowledgment of the necessity that national elections do now take place as scheduled on 28 March,” Chatam House said in its website while announcing the programme on Monday.

According to Chatam House, “General Muhammadu Buhari, former military ruler (1983-85) and now opposition presidential candidate, will discuss the importance of democracy for Africa’s future, and in particular why delivering dividends of elected government matter both to Nigeria and internationally.”

There will be a live streaming of the event commencing at 10am GMT and all those wishing to pose a question to General Buhari are advised to do so via Twitter using the hash tag #CHAfrica.

All prospective attendees are encouraged to apply to attend on or before midnight of Tuesday, 24 February.

Chatham House has now confirmed that Mr. Buhari will speak Thursday on the topic: “Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Nigeria’s Transition”.

Details of the event as posted on the website of Chatham House also revealed that Mr. Buhari would speak for one hour between 10 and 11a.m. and the event would be chaired by Richard Gozney, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria between 2004 and 2007.

Chatham House encourages interested persons to send questions to Mr. Buhari via Twitter.

“Send questions for the speaker by using #CHAfrica on Twitter. A selection will be put to him during the event,” it said


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Two Generals Purportedly Express Shock Over Jonathan’s Boko Haram War Politics

Two Military Generals have expressed shocked why the Federal Government and the President have decided to play politics with the fight of insurgency in Nigeria. One of the Generals who spoke on anonymity said

“I am still unsettled why on earth the President decided to play politics with the fight against insurgency in Nigeria. Last year, before the appointment of the current Chief of Defence Staff, there was an intelligence report from the DMI on how we could end the insurgency in the North East. The CDS read the report, was highly impressed and ready to implement it. It was based on that report from the DMI that the CDS announced that he would end Boko Haram by the end of April last year. The CDS had that zeal and agility until he debriefed the presidency. As officers, we don’t know what the briefs were, but the officer and men noticed that the enthusiasm and spirit  that burned in the CDS just dropped. The existing command structures were immediately adjust and special units created.”

He added further: “the command and control system became incoherent and uncoordinated. The men were deployed to bits and without clear reasons and intelligence, they were recalled or sometimes redeployed to other bits. The sad part of it is that these postings and repostings were done in an unprofessional manner that it rendered the officer and men vulnerability and prone to attacks by the insurgents. You were aware of how some of our men were ambushed and killed. To cover up, it was reported that it was an insider information that sold them out. There was no such insider but the unintelligible orders issued by the unit and leadership.

He continued: It was then officers and men began to complain at different levels over the lose of their colleagues. Today, I am glad that the Presidency and the CDS have fallen back to the same Report from the DMI which the Military had before the CDS was appointed and we can see the progress the Military is making against the insurgents. My only question to the CDS is why did we not use that Intelligence Report. Why did we wait till now before we used intelligence report”

Another Col Kuwe, who is currently on AWOL for not obeying some orders which according to him would have put the insurgents in possession of some military hardwares said: “President Goodluck Jonathan must tell Nigerians why he inflicted this level of wickedness and pain on the people of the North East and Nigerians in general. He can not deny his involvement, but he must tell us his motive. You can see that all of a sudden the military is beginning to win the war against the Boko Haram. Is there a new military? No. Did you hear of any special training of the men? No. Did the terrain change? No. So what is the sudden magic? The answer is the demonstration of political will: the military leadership has now allowed for the adoption of a proper military tactics and strategy”

He continued: “Take my case for instance; what was my offence? That I didn’t allow Boko Haram to capture our Military Hardwares. I was in-charge of a military formation at Baga. We had military hardwares, including APCs which had some mechanical and operational challenges at the time. As part of our rules of engagement, if you are under enemy aggression and you have military equipment which you cannot evacuate, instead of allowing them fall into the use of the enemy, you are obliged to destroy them. This is an international military rule and applicable to Nigeria. When we got intelligence reports that the insurgents would attack our base, we called for reinforcement, for more than 14 hours we never got the any help. When the Insurgents eventually came and we were been overrun by superior firing power with several of our men being killed, instead of allowing the insurgents to  capture those equipment, I ordered that they should be destroyed before we took a retreat. Sadly, that is why I am been persecuted. My offence is: why did I not allow Boko Haram members to capture those equipment, which they would have used to unleash further acts of terrorism on the Nigerian people”

“Remember that America sent some personnel to aid our operations shortly after the kidnap of the Chibok girls. The question is: why did they withdraw? The Americans came here and in less than no time, they assisted us to locate the exact position of the kidnapped girls. We were still mapping out strategy for their rescue when a top military chief sabotaged the move. He came out public to say the military had found the position of the girls, he almost gave the exact location. What was he expecting, that the insurgents should keep the girls at the place, waiting for the military after such lead? The Americans considered that highly unprofessional and risky for the safety of its men. They felt that our military was sabotaging itself and they pulled out.”

The Col added: “Now, because President Jonathan wants to score a political point, the military is recapturing all the towns taken over by the insurgents; women who were hitherto kidnapped are now been released seamlessly and in very inexplicably circumstances. What is the magic? Who is fooling who? Don’t get me wrong, I am very pleased that we are beginning to win the war, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Some of us are compiling materials for his prosecution before the International Criminal Court of Justice.  President Jonathan must be made to explain his role and motive in the genocide that he allowed to take place in the north East, if not now certainly later.

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Jonathan Speaks to Financial Times, Defends His Record of Achievements

President Goodluck Jonathan has insisted that rescheduled polls will go ahead on time and that should he be defeated, he would like to be remembered for insisting they were free and fair.

In a rare interview at the State House in Lagos, the former colonial seat of government, Jonathan conceded that opinion polls show him running “neck and neck” with his main rival, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, in elections postponed by six weeks to March 28 on security grounds.

The campaign comes against a backdrop of regional and ethnic tension, brutal atrocities carried out by Boko Haram extremists and with Africa’s largest economy battered by the falling price of oil.

Accoding to the Financial Times, Nigeria has been on a knife edge since Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  announced the postponement, under pressure from security chiefs, with opposition activists portraying this as the desperate act of a ruling party on the skids.

In one particularly stinging rebuke, President Olusegun Obasanjo accused Jonathan of seeking to remain in his seat by “hook or crook” in the style of Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, whose refusal to concede in elections sparked a civil war.

It is hard to reconcile Jonathan’s good-natured air with the malevolent intent his detractors now assign him. Until the price of oil crashed last year, he presided over a period of great optimism about Nigeria’s economic potential. But his presidency has also been dogged by crises, and a tendency to gaffes has reinforced elite prejudices about his humble origins in the Niger Delta creeks.

He declines to respond directly to accusations by  Obasanjo, his one time mentor whom he calls a “father”. But the reference to Ivory Coast rankles, given the continental lead he took in 2011 in standing up to Gbagbo.

“I have a reputation within Africa as one person who stands for credible elections and who believes leaders must respect their constitutional provisions on term limits. That’s what I want to leave behind,”Jonathan  said, adding that he will happily retreat to his village should he lose.

He is less sure his opponents will do the same. Mohammadu Buhari’s campaign to restore morale to Nigeria’s army and crush corruption, has gathered momentum. Anything but opposition victory would be the result of foul play, his supporters claim.

“Why must you feel that if you lose somebody rigged you out, but if you win there is no rigging,” Jonathan said.

He also believes that Boko Haram extremists had planned a string of attacks on cities across Nigeria’s North to disrupt polling on February 14, the original date of the elections. The delay would allow the army time to pin down the terrorist group and retake a swath of territory in the remote Northeast where they have attempted to carve out a strict Islamic state.

“We have to degrade them to a level where they will not cause problems on that day,” Jonathan said, adding:  “I am very hopeful that all the territories under Boko Haram will be taken before the election, but even if we don’t take over all the territories, Boko Haram will not have that capacity to come and cause crisis.”

Jonathan is the son of a fisherman from the oil-producing Niger delta. He originally rose up the ladder of Nigerian politics with circumstance, and later Obasanjo, assisting at every turn. Perceived as a loyal understudy as  vice-president, he found himself at the top when his predecessor, Umaru Yar’Adua died in office in 2010.

Opinion in Nigeria was kinder to him then and he won the 2011 poll convincingly. Recently, he has been defined more by what is missing than what his government has put in place — the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram last year and billions of dollars in oil revenues that the former central bank governor alleged were unaccounted for.

President Jonathan cites a long list of government achievements: rebuilding the railways, restoring the road network, investing in education and presiding over a boom in agricultural production.

“Probably my means of communicating what the government has done to the public is weak,” he said adding “that that is one area I will look at properly,” should he win a second term.

Partisan politics had stalled landmark legislation, he added, in particular reforms aimed at opening up and commercialising the state oil company. This, he implied, had answered many of the questions about how Nigeria manages revenues from oil.

“The National Assembly became so polarised, the divisions between the parties became so sharp, that the national interest was thrown overboard.”

Is he afraid of Buhari, who in his previous incarnation as military ruler in the 1980s threw businessmen and politicians suspected of fraud into jail, would come after some members of his government should he win?

“No,” Jonathan said: “I am not worried?.?.?.?A military regime can set up kangaroo courts and tell them what to do. In a civilian dispensation there are limits.”


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AIG Mbu Insists His Men Will Kill Civilians, Says It’s no Big Deal

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Lagos, Mr. Joseph Mbu, has insisted that his men will kill civilians for the lives of any policeman lost in his command.

Mbu, who spoke with some journalists in Olorunsogo, Ogun State, during the inauguration of the Olorunsogo II Power Station by President Goodluck Jonathan, said that there is no big deal in the number of people policemen under his command can kill in self-defence.

He said since policemen were also human beings, they should be ready to take revenge on any violent group(s) that might attack them or other innocent citizens.

The AIG who was approached by journalists to clarify the controversial statement credited to him that 20 civilians would be hacked down for every policeman killed.

“If one of my men is killed, I shall kill 20 of them, but don’t shoot first. If they shoot you, shoot back in self-defence. Anybody who fires you, fire him back in self-defence,” Mbu had been quoted in the media to have told his men at the Ogun State Police Command Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, during a recent visit.

Mbu on Friday said the media account was mischievous and contrary to what he said in Abeokuta.

He also said that he contemplated arresting the journalists who wrote the reports to show proof that he indeed said what was reported.

Curiously, however, Mbu restated the media account he had tried to debunk.

He said, “I still stand by what I said. And what I said is very clear: that if any violent group attacks my policemen, my policemen should attack them violently.

“If any violent group attacks a law-abiding citizen in a bid to cause injury or cause harm, the police should repel and save that law-abiding citizen because we have the powers to do so.

“If hoodlums or touts decide to be lawless; carrying knives, carrying illegal firearms and shooting at my policemen, if they shoot at my policemen and they are a hundred or 200, my policemen will not be looking at them. They will reply back in self-defence.

“The number I kill is immaterial because a policeman is also a human being.”

When asked if his strategy of fire-for-fire is the best way to handle the situation, Mbu answered, “Which other way do you think you can handle it? You will shoot at the police. Is it not when the person is alive that he is coming to give evidence? How will somebody who is violently attacking others be stopped; how are you going to stop him? Are you going to use your hands? You must repel him using a stronger force.”


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