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“When i was a Boko Haram Member”

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“When I was a Boko Haram member”

In modern day Nigeria, Borno is referred to as Home of Peace. Its history is synonymous with statecraft, Islam and scholarship. When Kanem Borno was relating with the outside world in trade and international relations, most nationalities in Nigeria were unaware of the outside world. It is home of Islamic education/civilization. So whoever wants to hurt Islam choosing Borno is appropriate to create Maitasine and Boko Haram cells. After all, the docility and welcoming culture of its peoples did not help matters.

I am a Muslim, but I choose not to belong to any sect, not to talk of a violent cultist body like Boko Haram. But on 15thApril 2013 a team of policemen led by Inspector Ibrahim Agu of the Task Force On Anti Terrorism & Heinous Crimes travelled all the way from Abuja to Maiduguri to unlawfully arrest me accusing me of belonging to Boko Haram. This was how easy a government security agent could conspire with whomever to make me a BH member. Nigerians have accused Security agents for framing them for pecuniary reasons. Mr. Agu, along with Inspector Sani Daura, arrested me in my office at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

They searched my official car and my house at Dalori Housing Estate. The journey to my house was meant to embarrass me and attract onlookers with siren blowing and fully armed police stationed in strategic positions. However, nothing incriminating was found in both searches.

I was taken to the notorious SARS office in Maiduguri and shown what they claimed was a petition written against me by one Bashir Goni that I belonged to the dreaded BH. The petitioner claimed that I was his childhood friend and classmate in primary school. That I recruited over 600 people into BH and supplied them with 200 AK 47 guns.

When I requested the police to present the petitioner, Mr. Ibrahim Agu said they searched for him in his address, Shehuri North but couldn’t locate him. He lied because at that time no security personnel dare go there because it was infested with BH member patrolling the streets with guns. When I insisted the petitioner be around to defend his allegations, his boys threatened to deal with me and lock me up, apparently to soften me.

What amazed me was could I be such a senior person in BH structure and be unnoticed by the DSS/Police or the army in Maiduguri in 2013? In any case, between 2007 and 2013 I was not in Maiduguri as I worked in various places: Abuja, Minna and Kaduna.

Please let’s look at the content of the petition, its frivolities and how the men in black turned reasoning up side down. If I could recruit 600 people into BH, I must be a very learned ideologue and in the top leadership of the organization. Could I be a government worker and be a member when they consider government work/school “haram”? Were the security agencies in Maiduguri dummies to miss such a “high value BH” leader”?

At the time of arrest I was a Deputy General Manager in Federal Mortgage Bank. Could I have afforded the money to buy 200 AK 47 guns for BH? Assuming each gun cost 400, 000 naira and multiply that by 200, it will be a colossal eighty million naira (N80, 000, 000).

Well, I was brought to Abuja. I wasn’t even allowed to carry my essential drugs and seeing my family in tears added to my dilemma. But Agu never cared seeing my wife and seven-year-old son in tears. I was lucky he didn’t kill me a long the way. Because many innocent lives were killed by both BH and security agents in Borno. But I think that wasn’t part of the brief by his sponsors. I was detained for four days by SARS in their dungeon. If it was a dream, I have since woken up coming face to face with suspected armed robbers, Boko Haram members and other high valued suspected criminals. I swear by He who created me, my first time of seeing a BH member that close was when Agu detained me among them.

The SARS detention centre was a terrible mess, unfit for human habitation. Detainees lay on the floor. No running water in the toilets and with the exception of BH suspects all other detainees buy their food. I bought food for many of my colleagues in detention. Detainees were also responsible for their medicals. We contributed money to have a young armed robbery suspect taken to the hospital. What I did earned me the respect of the leadership in the facility whose overall leader was called IG (Inspector General named after our tormentor).

I was so impressed because even the world of the “criminals” is organized as they take turns to clean the toilets and empty urine vessels in their cells. An armed robbery suspect shot in the foot told me it was done deliberately to stop any possibility of escape.

The other amazing thing I saw in detention was the understanding between Muslim (mostly BH members) and Christian suspects. During Muslim prayers the Christians will shift to one side of the cell to allow them enough space to pray and the same gesture is done to Christians. The wives/relations of the police solely sold the food, water and other things in the facility. A visitor to the facility must buy something from them or wouldn’t be allowed to see the suspect.

Inspector Agu kept me in the facility for the stated number of days agreed with the sponsors of my arrest. A senator of the Federal Republic came with two lawyers to bail me but the request was turned down. On the third day I had an asthma attack, possibly aggravated by sleeping on the floor, and they rushed me to a private clinic to see my doctor. I spent a night in the hospital and for the first time in my life, my BP rose. While on admission, two policemen were assigned to guard me. A high valued “terrorist” like me should have been hospitalized in either police or military hospital for maximum security, but Inspector Agu, for reasons best known to him, chose otherwise.

My life, fate and well- being were in the hands of Inspector Agu and ACP Umar Garba (head of the facility), the guys with guns and unlimited power. They could have locked me up and throw away the key for God knows how long.

Since then, I have never ceased thinking over why the police arrested and detained me in the first place. I get emotional whenever I thought of the ordeal the police subjected me to knowing I was innocent, yet helpless. My earlier move to seek legal redress was frustrated by relations and friends. The petitions I wrote dated 25 July 2016 and which were acknowledged received seeking for fair investigation and Justice to the Inspector General of Police, Chairman, Police Service Commission and the Human Rights Commission were all frustrated. The investigation and Justice I wanted from the police authorities was to compel Inspector Agu and his boss to produce the petitioner. I also wrote about the bribery issue.

I tried to know who could be behind my ordeal. A policeman who tried to show sympathy to my ordeal said “Oga, the petition may have originated from your work place.” I also recall one of them told my wife that “your husband is not BH… We know one when we see them…We are ordered to take him to Abuja”. With this background, I started reflecting on what ensued between Gimba Ya’u Kumo, then MD/CE of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, and me.

Sometime in January 2013, Gimba Ya’u called me at around 8 pm and harshly accused me of writing a petition against him in collaboration with his enemies in Gombe. I protested complicity but he bitterly threatened to deal with me and hanged his phone. I have worked with Gimba; he was a boastful character. When I was arrested, I suspected his threat to deal with me had finally come true. By nature I am an introvert, not troublesome, had quarreled with no one, therefore my only thought went to no other person than the one who threatened to deal with me three months earlier.

Two days after my arrest, Gimba paid an official visit to the Governor of Borno state. My staff welcomed him at the airport, drove him to the Government House but he never cared to ask after me even when I was the Zonal Coordinator and would have been the arrow head of the entourage. May be because he knew I was securely locked up in a police cell. Gimba has never sympathised or even mentioned anything to me about my arrest and detention until he left the Bank.

The police had written Gimba, being the MD/CE informing the Bank of my arrest and detention but according to the police the Bank refused to reply and acknowledge I was a staff of the Bank.

The Bank also refused to send an in-house lawyer to bail me or advice management on the next line of action where bail was not possible which is a tradition in the Bank.

When Gimba arbitrarily relocated the Zonal office from Maiduguri to his hometown, Gombe, he met stiff resistance and was compelled to reverse it. He accused me of complicity and transferred me to Maiduguri from Kaduna and told a staff “let them go and die in their Maiduguri”. He transferred me three times in less than six months. The MD/CEO cared less how these movements would impact on my family.

From my sources, I learnt his grudges against me included the petition written against him regarding the buying of the bank’s industrial kitchen utensils for his hotel in Gombe, multi-billion naira corruption pertaining the Legacy Housing Estate and billions of naira contract by Starting Point for IT. I have no hand in the petitions. I had little or no knowledge of all these scandals since I was not even in the Head Office.

I hold Inspector Agu and ACP Garba responsible for my unlawful arrest/detention; they should have exercised caution. They told the world I was a BH member, rushed me into detention and failed to prove my membership. “Go, you are free, you are not a Boko Haram”, Inspector Agu told me arrogantly. No apology, no official letter to clear me of the charges. When I requested for official clearance a few months ago, Agu told me only the Inspector General of Police could do that.

Let the truth be told, seven years down the lane I still harbor anger and bitterness. Hopely these write up will dissipate the anger of my unlawful detention and framed up charges by the police that I was a Boko Haram

Member – a four-day-membership. Somebody was behind this wicked act, but the police knew those responsible but because of their complicity, Justice will elude me. I pray to Allah to bless me with the heart to forgive my tormentors, amen.

I want to once again most sincerely appreciate all those that stood behind me during my travails.

M. B. Sabo

Former staff of FMBN,

[email protected]

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Opinion

Buni: A tireless and resolute champion

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Buni : A tireless and resolute champion 

By Haruna Yusuf 

His excellency, Mai Mala Buni, the executive Governor of Yobe state and the chairman of the ruling all progressive congress (APC) caretaker/Extraordinary national convention.Buni is always known to be a game changer and it is believed he has whatever it takes to turn around the fortunes of his state to the best and also bring back sanity in APC.
Buni’s antecedents stem from the beginning of his political career as a ward councillor at a tender age and rose rather rapidly through the political atmosphere of Yobe to the National/Secretary, now caretaker chairman of the ruling all progressive congress. 

There are times when we make history and there times when history makes us, Buni’s main characteristics are resilience, consistency, knowledge, people -skill, motivational approach and leading by example..What really made him great is, his foresight, vision, strategic planning and ability to serve, a leader par excellence. 

Loyalty is something one should take very seriously, because loyalty is everything, whether it’s a  friendship, relationship or a boss as an example. Putting your trust in someone and being loyal to them is something that is rare this days and hard to come by, people are brought up in different ways based on culture and believes, but what made Buni genuine is loyalty, consistency and honesty at all times, he is brave in his thinking and daring in action, that’s why he accomplishes everything he stands for and this assignment of reconciliation and bringing back sanity in APC is not and would not be an exception.

Today everyone can see Buni’s report card, he has scored extremely well, he has shown prudence especially in the use of merger resources of his state and the assignment of bringing sanity back in the ruling all progressive (congress APC) as the caretaker chairman. He is quite, very peaceful, not a noise maker but delivering on the job he signed for. Even as a National secretary of the ruling party he towered above his contemporaries in being an astute manager of people, a discipline leader and someone to be trusted with the state’s lean treasury to perform miracle, that lends credence to why we should appreciate the courage and sincerity of purpose of this personality in rising to the sacred state and national duty. 

Gov. Buni has so far, proved to be the best in governance and service delivery mandate, a level headed leader who is beyond reproach, he comes as consensus builder and one individual who will never improve himself at the expense of the people of the state, he is known and certified to be an astute manager of people and All-inclusive leader at all times.

Buni before now, has maintained a constraint office of the ruling all progressive congress (APC) National secretary, a role that comes with high visibility, but average  authority, still when judged by how well he was able to operate within the ambit, his records are strong, exemplary, transparent and committed in resolving internal crisis, this offers good example of Buni’s leadership style before emerging the Yobe state Governor. 

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Opinion

Gov. Buni Restoring Sanity in APC

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Gov. Buni Restoring Sanity in APC 

By Haruna Yusuf Abuja 

The chairman of the ruling All progressive congress (APC) caretaker/Extraordinary National convention committee and the Yobe state Governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni is an astute manager of people and an all inclusive leader who carries everyone along irrespective of tribe, religion or political inclination. On assumption of office as the caretaker chairman of the ruling all progressive congress, the first and bold step he took was to pay homage/consult to the party leaders, he first visited Bisi Akande who is also relevant in the party politics before meeting with the cofounder Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to seek for support and advice on how to sanitize and bring back all the aggrieved members who left or stopped participating in the party affairs for one reason or the other.  

The APC caretaker chairman, in his inaugural address after members of the committee were inaugurated assured party members that his led committee would work tirelessly on both short and long term strategies to reposition and bring the lost sanity back to the party, but all he will need is the support and cooperation of the members in other to achieve the reconciliation exercise, all hands must be on deck. 

This is therefore another opportunity for Buni to bring complete sanity 
back in APC, with his courage of conviction and sense of purpose as the national secretary of the party for 5 years, it is time to show the world what he has achieved in the task to chart the critical path to total political and economic emancipation of the people from the grip of PDP in the 2015 general elections. 

With all modesty, one political truth about Buni, is that he is a man gifted with a high degree of intelligence, experience, charismatic leadership and steadfastness needed to fix and restore sanity in APC, with his political insight in the game. Hon. Mai Mala Buni is among those who ushered in the current political dispensation and was the pioneer Yobe state chairman of the Action congress (AC) and later the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) who are both legacy of APC. 

No one can go back in time to change what has happened, so, let’s work on the present to make our party one united family and stronger, Buni said. politicians will always have one of their own because the National chairman of the ruling  All progressive congress (APC) Hon. Mai Mala Buni was Born and bred by politics, he became a councillor when the NRC and SDP were birthed. Records of Buni’s Journey through the maze of Nigeria politics indicates that though he may have been or still is the most charismatic and industrious servant, his sweetest dreams somehow always seem to evade him at the moment he needs them the most. 

Gov. Buni is one man you’ll always want in your corner during political battle s, his frankness on issues is second to none and always maintained his word. In his few days as the National Chairman of the ruling all progressive congress (APC) he demonstrated to party members and Nigeria as a whole that ” he who calls for equity must come with clean hands” making it clear that the party can contain all and sundry, also ready and willing to resolve all issues with every aggrieved member. That the door is always opened for negotiation and welcoming new members to the progressives. 

Mai Mala Buni is known as Mr “Fixer” on his assumption of office he has received Dogara Yakubu and Senator Isah Misau the two powerful political gladiators from Bauchi, Returnees from across the states and he reconciled Edo/Ondo and put in place machineries ahead of the elections.
He reconciled all the APC state chairmen and pleaded with all the aggrieved party members who left to come back and partake in the affairs of the party, that’s the beginning of the return of sanity in APC. 

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Opinion

How Gov. Buni’s Giant Strides will Turn The Fortunes Of Yobeans Around

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How Gov. Buni’s Giant Strides Will Turn The Fortunes Of Yobeans Around 

By Haruna Yusuf

Yobe state, a society with a rich history, with sons and daughters who have excelled and continue to excel in all fields of endeavour within the country and in many parts of the world; An agrarian state with huge economic potential has came to limelight in this led administration of Hon. Mai Mala Buni, the government is working aggressively to get Yobe back to reckoning by creating wealth and new jobs within different sectors, like training, infrastructure financing and access to skills and acquisition among others.

Yobe is becoming a shinning example of what governance should be about at all levels. Buni’s administration is a government that is dedicated to service and partnership with the people are engendered by trust, the government is open, transparent, honest and unpretentious all the time.

Since his assumption of office as the democratically elected Governor on 29may 2019, governance in Yobe has been tagged “promise made & kept”  because it has not been a pleasure ride as usual, it became serious business. Serious business doesn’t keep your shoes clean and the captain also doesn’t suffer his with such unnecessary pleasures he matches on, leading the change and never panting despite of the movements energized pace, no one cares to dare a tall man, you’d be left behind. 

The first achievement was on education, as education is the first priority of a child, been the fountain of knowledge that we are branded as, and education can become a means to an end, and can be deployed for economic growth and ensure it makes significant impacts in the life of the society.

The infrastructural sector in Buni’s government is one of a kind, in the course of giving dividend of democracy to the people. His administration keyed into projects that will impact directly in the life of the people, projects that enhance economic development and social stability in the state. The construction of Trailer Transit park and mechanic village in potiskum. The 3,600 housing units that cut across  the state, the Sunday market that is almost about completion to a modern standard, it will bring about revenue generation, empowerment of traders and also promote environmental sanitation. 

 Gov. Mai Mala Buni noted that the more reflects the policy of his administration to provide quality and affordable housing to the people of his state. inline with the united nations sustainable development Goals( SDGs) we believe that affordable housing is a key marker of social progress when people have comfortable accommodations, they are more likely to have right frame of mind to engage in meaningful socioeconomic activities. 

Buni triggered revolution on agriculture as Yobe is an agrarian state, thus, agriculture becomes a veritable engine growth, he distributed 108 tractors to the 17 local government areas and provide fertilizers at a subsidized price to ease farmers suffering. He also signed a pack with the kingdom of morocco to bring about modern mechanized system of farming and the production of high quality and value added products and also publicize the abundant hidden natural resources to the limelight of the world.

As part of Buni’s determination to institute a functional primary healthcare system, 178 healthcare facilities is ongoing in the 17 local government areas of the state and assigned the personnel required to manage them effectively. An MOU was also signed between Yobe Government, Bill & Melinda gates & Dangote foundations to carter for the state on primary healthcare services. Free Dialysis for kidney patients and free medical services for pregnant women till they give birth, medical service for accident victims irrespective of state, if you’re in Yobe or it occurred around the state.

Gov. Buni’s government empowers youths, women and less privileged through state emergency management (SEMA) and sustainable development Goals (SDGs) training and empowering them with necessary equipment and cash to takeoff. 

Buni’s frankness on issues is second to none, he says it as it is, to whoever it is, at whatever time matters come to a head, that’s why he is known to be a man with few words. Today everyone can see his record card, he has scored extremely well and shown prudence especially in the use of resources of the state. That lends credence to why we should appreciate the courage and sincerity of purpose of this personality in rising to the sacred state and national duties.

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