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Obasanjo Writes Again, Lists 4 Avoidable Calamities Buhari Must Act On

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Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President of Nigeria has again written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari about the current state of the nation.

Obasanjo urged Buhari’s government to come to terms with the level of insecurity, herdsmen crisis in the county and take decisive decision before it’s too late.

The former President cited four calamities waiting to happen if Buhari’s government failed to act immediately.

These include letting Nigeria fall into the hands of suspected criminals, reprisal attacks on Fulanis, attacks on other ethnic groups, as well as series of uprisings in sections of the country.

He lamented that Boko Haram has continued to plague the country for over a decade, six years of which Buhari has been in power, adding that it was wrong to assume the war against insurgency was being won.

The former President noted that if urgent decision is not taken, what happened during the Rwandan genocide may play out in Nigeria.

Obasanjo disclosed that the main issue in Nigeria is which if not handled properly will lead to rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity.

 

Full letter to President Buhari

Dear President and General Buhari,

I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria. Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem. The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land.

One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news. A number of articles, in recent days, have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and view-points. As you know very well, I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth. But the issue I am addressing here is very serious; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria. This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community. I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay. Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned. When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.

For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship, Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government’s claim of victory over Boko Haram, the potency and the activities of Boko Haram, where they are active, remain undiminished, putting lie to government’s claim. The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non-victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself. Say what you will, Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimised, killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage. And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks. How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50% literacy in North-East with over 70% unemployment?

Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.

The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our greatest and most important assets. As a result, very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country. The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order. The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation. We must understand and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.

No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stitch in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying. With the death of Funke, Chief Fasoranti’s daughter, some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “enough is enough”. Prof. Anya, a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation”. Niger-Delta leaders, South-Eastern leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet. Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation. All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity, if not its continued existence.

To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:

1. abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type.

2. spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.

3. similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom.

4. violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.

It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago. If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen. We must pray and take effective actions at the same time. The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but he cannot do it alone. In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.

A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture, I had said, among other things, that:

“In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity, stability, security, cooperation, development, growth and progress, there is no consensus. Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society. It will be a national programme. We need unity of purpose and a nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with the whims and caprices of any government. It must be owned by the citizens, people’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter it’s color and leaning.

Some of the groups that I will suggest being contacted are traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of paramilitary organizations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of the opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”

The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help. If there is a failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological, and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together. Blame game among own forces must be avoided. It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary. We cannot dither anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic, inclusive, and purposeful.

For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians, I pray that God may grant you, as our President, the wisdom, the understanding, the political will, and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favor. May God save, secure, protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst from happening. As we say in my village, “May God forbid bad thing”.

Signed:
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO

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Court Restrains DSS, AGF From Arresting Sunday Igboho, Blocking His Bank Accounts

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An Oyo State High Court has granted an ex-parte motion stopping the Department of State Security and Attorney General of the Federation from arresting Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

The court also restrained DSS and AGF from blocking bank accounts of the Yoruba rights activist.

Justice Akintola gave the order following an ex-parte motion moved by his lawyer, Yomi Aliu (SAN), at the court on Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists after the court proceedings, Mr Aliu said, “The court has ordered that he must not be arrested, intimidated, harassed, detained, or killed. The court also said that his account should not be blocked,” Yomi Aliu said.

“The court has proved itself as the defender of the masses. The court has granted permission for him to exercise his fundamental human right of free movement.

“He can now walk freely as a Nigerian and his house must not be attacked. AGF is also a party in this case. I m sure he will obey this judgment. He is a senior advocate. I urge the government to be law-abiding,” he added.

Igboho had through his counsel, Chief Yomi Aliyyu ( SAN), filed an application before the court asking for N5bn damages for the destruction of his cars and residence in Ibadan during July 1 raid on his residence by the Department of State Services.

He also asked the court to stop the Attorney General of the Federation, DSS and other security agencies from arresting him or infringing on his fundamental human rights.

Igboho had prayed for, “An order of injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, privies and associates in other security forces and/or anybody acting on their behalf and/or instructions from arresting, detaining, molesting, harassing and/or in any way interfering with his to personal liberty, freedom of movement of Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, enjoyment of his property without fear of invasion of his home by the respondents and their agents,” among others.

The court order comes the same day when the DSS produced all 12 detained aides of Mr Igboho before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The apprehended aides have been accused of stockpiling arms to cause chaos in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr. Igboho is now being tried by the Benin court on fresh charges bordering on illegal migration, dubious connivance with immigration officers, and an attempt to cause civil unrest.

The court on July 28 granted him access to medical care and ordered that he be transferred to another detention facility.

Igboho and his wife were arrested in Cotonou on July 19, while they tried to catch a flight to Germany.

The court, on Thursday, ordered his wife’s release and returned him to police custody.

The court adjourned the suit until August 18.

 

 

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Hushpuppi: Governor Zulum Speaks On Alleged Visit To Abba Kyari’s Residence

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has issued clarification regarding a viral video being used to claim he and his predecessor, Shettima, visited Abba Kyari at his residence.

Gov. Zulum said he does not know the residence of the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and has never visited him.

The governor said the video was recorded at Senator Shettima’s residence during an empathy visit.

Kyari was recently suspended by the Nigeria Police over his alleged involvement in Hushpuppi’s fraud saga.

However, a video emerged on Monday on social media, alleging that Governor Zulum and his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima had visited DCP Kyari at his residence over the incident.

But Malam Isa Gusau, spokesman of the Borno governor on Wednesday, said it was an old video being recirculated by some mischief makers to rubbish the governor and his predecessor, Senator Shettima.

According to Gusau, the video in circulation was rather an event, which occurred on June 30, 2021, long before the indictment of the embattled DCP Abba Kyari by FBI in the case of Hushpuppi.

Explaining further, Gusau said, that video was when Shettima returned to the country after being rumoured to have died in the United Kingdom where he went to spend holidays with his families.

He said, “The same video falls into the hands of mischief makers who decided to use it for their selfish gains. I decided to make this clarification because Abba Kyari, who promised to issue the clarification himself, did not do so, more than four hours after making the promise.

“A video in circulation was recorded by some associates of Abba Kyari at the residence of Senator Kashim Shettima in Abuja on June 30, 2021, when Abba Kyari paid an empathy visit to Shettima following the mischievous circulation of rumours that the Senator had died in the UK.

“Kyari himself had shared the same video on his verified Facebook wall on June 30, shortly after he visited Shettima.

” Kyari who hails from Borno State and in Shettima’s constituency visited the former Governor to wish him well like many others had visited the Senator during the time,” he said.

Gusau released a video of some sympathizers who had also visited the Senator the same period, which showed the senator receiving them in his house, the same place being described as Abba Kyari’s house.

Gusau also pointed observers to take note of the TV behind Zulum and Abba Kyari with a CNN breaking news on the release of American Comedian actor, Bill Cosby, which, as can be verified by anyone online, happened on June 30, 2021.

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DSS Releases 5 Buhari-Must-Go Protesters Arrested At Dunamis Church

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#FreeDunamis5: The courageous young people (#Dunamis5) illegally detained by Buhari’s tyrannical regime were just released from detention by the lawless Nigerian secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) after 30 days in detention because they wore #BuhariMustGo Tshirts to Dunamis Church service in Abuja on July 4 2021.

We want to appreciate everyone who stood firmly by these young men and the #Revolutionnow movement during their unjust incarceration-torture and dehumanisation in the hands of Dr. Paul Enenche’s church security before they were handed over to the DSS.

The lawsuit in pursuit of justice for the five revolutionaries will continue at the Federal High Court and administrative sanctions will be pursued against the Magistrate that ignored a superior court order ordering their release as well as the three DSS lawyers who flagrantly ignored the higher court orders to arraign them before the Magistrate.

Their lawyers will also pursue a contempt of court proceeding against the DG of DSS, Yusuf Bichi Mogaji in coming days. Special thanks to the lead lawyer in the case, Barrister Tope Tomekun and his team for a marvellous job challenging the authoritarian regime relentlessly!

 

 

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