Mr President, Let’s Call In The Chadians!
By Hassan Gimba
March this year was a sad one for Chad. There was an attack on its Bohoma army base by Boko Haram terrorists. They killed more than Chadian 92 soldiers in what army officials called the insurgents’ deadliest ever attack on the nation’s forces.
A faction of Boko Haram fighters with allegiance to Abubakar Shekau, under its commander, Bakura, carried out the attack. This killing did not go down well with President Idris Deby Itno. He condemned the act, and then led his troops on a short-lived onslaught code-named “Operation Wrath of Bohoma” on both Boko Haram and ISWAP elements. The insurgents started running down to Nigeria when they sensed the Chadians were coming at them. We should have formed a wall then to mop them up. We didn’t. Sure, he gave them a bloody nose, killing over a thousand in the eight-day blitzkrieg. Even though President Deby challenged them to try again if they can, they have refused to take up the gauntlet. Since then, Chad has known peace.
Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, our Chief of Army Staff, believed he could do better than Deby. He had earlier told us that Boko Haram’s onslaughts were the last kicks of a dying horse; after all, it has long since been defeated technically. In apparent exasperation and anger, focused on decimating the horse still kicking its last, he went to face Boko Haram in their enclave. He assured us that we were not going to see him in Abuja, the nation’s capital, except with the horse’s carcass. In a picture that went viral, with a pose Rambo’s Sylvester Stallone would envy, kitted better than an American Marine, our General parachuted into (supposedly) Sambisa, the insurgent’s hole. It captured him surveying their vast enclave with the eyes of the eagle, full of fury and resolve, intent on bringing to an end the scourge. Many clapped, some heaved a sigh of relief. But I know a lot who were more amused with what they saw as theatrics.
We had pictures of Deby cooking food for his soldiers and sitting in a war council deep in the bushes. The Chadian army also released videos and photographs of captured and killed insurgents. We saw the large swath of land scorched by the heat of their fire. Well, Buratai’s soldiers too released his pictures serving meals to soldiers. The difference between our army and the Chadians was as clear as the difference between Buratai and Deby. You may think our soldiers were having an outdoor buffet in some countryside five-star hotel.
Well, it would have been OK had that mission been accomplished. A few weeks later, Buratai announced that he was going to Zamfara, again saying he would not be back until he saw the tails of the bandits there. Honestly, I did not know when he left Sokoto. Still, I am aware of many events he has attended in Abuja since then. What I know is that Boko Haram is still kicking and the bandits are still out there.
But why should Buratai’s going to Borno even be an issue? In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the military chiefs to relocate to the Northeast, the main theatre in the war on Boko Haram. According to the military, they were moving headquarters to Maiduguri, the epicentre of the insurgency, “to add impetus and renewed vigour to the fight against terrorism.” They were supposed to report there with military immediacy and stay there until victory. I am yet to come across the president’s order rescinding that order.
The Hausa man has a proverb: Ranan wanka ba a boye cibi, literally “one can’t hide one’s navel when bathing”. It means there should not be anything to hide when you want to tell yourselves the truth. Two years ago on this page, I wrote about Goodluck Jonathan and his fight against Boko Haram. You see, no one will say Ihejirika’s war but Jonathan’s, who could be said to be comfortably ensconced in the Villa.
Part of the write-up entitled Boko Haram’s Resurgence and Jonathan’s Magic Wand was: “Prior to the 2015 elections, Boko Haram had seized at least 14 local government areas from Borno and two from Yobe, all together a landmass larger than Belgium, which boasts of an area of 30,528 square kilometres.
“In page 63 of the book (Goodluck Jonathan’s Book, My Transition Hours, in which I was a member of the launching committee), former president Jonathan has written that “A short while before the election was rescheduled, Boko Haram militants had taken hold of a large cache of military grade weaponry, including Armoured Personnel Carriers from retreating Nigerian troops.
“…The group had almost five thousand fighters behind its growing effort to carve out an Islamic caliphate in the North Eastern geopolitical zone of Nigeria, around Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic borders. Tension was thus further inflamed.”
“The then president who reasoned, and rightly so, that ‘it was my duty to keep the country intact after my service and (I) was not going to let the country go into crises that could even lead to disintegration’, had to postpone the elections by six weeks, even though the opposition, Nigerians in diaspora and even the international community ‘had a different and unrealistic view of the situation’ because ‘they were focused on just the elections’.
“The former president continued on page 67: “Anyhow, the six weeks served us well. We received the military equipment we were expecting within that period and our Armed forces commendably dealt a deserving blow on the terrorists and repossessed all territorial areas of Nigeria previously occupied by the terrorists. Boko Haram was deflated up to the point I handed over to my successor on May 29, 2015.”
But the Jonathan administration was successful then because it hired a private military contractor (PMC), subtler word for mercenaries, to do the fight for it. In the same article, I quoted Eeben Barlow’s, the man who saved the situation then, assessment of the Nigerian Army. He said: “The Nigerian Army is a clone of its once-colonial master, the United Kingdom. Organized and trained to fight according to a European doctrine unsuited to a harsh and unforgiving African environment, and the terrorist threat facing Nigeria, the army was unable to withstand attacks by a mobile and manoeuvrable Boko Haram… Boko Haram’s actions instilled fear not only in the local population but also in the army units facing them. “This resulted in numerous army units being overrun and withdrawing from the engagement areas, leaving valuable equipment in their wake—equipment Boko Haram would later use in its terror campaign. Poorly trained and lacking actionable and credible battlefield intelligence, the Nigeria units facing Boko Haram were also poorly equipped, lacking in morale, and lacking both air reconnaissance and air support. This resulted in the Nigerian forces applying predictive tactics unsuitable to both the terrain and the threat…Boko Haram was able to strike at will, forcing the Nigerian Army to fight defensively with little to no battlefield initiative.
“Although…initially contracted to train a hostage-release team to rescue the Chibok girls, the mission was changed as Boko Haram’s offensive continued to gain momentum. The new mission called for the establishment of a unit that would be able to take the fight to Boko Haram—and win. This unit would become known as 72 Mobile Strike Force (MSF) and would become the spearhead for the 7 Infantry Division based at Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria.
“After a brief selection phase, the selected Nigerian troops were hurriedly and rigorously retrained in numerous military arts such as musketry, field-craft, combat medical aid, communications, mounted and dismounted manoeuvre, and pursuit along with the application of direct and indirect fire. Numerous doctrinal adjustments and changes were made to allow the unit to operate as an unconventional manoeuvre force that could rapidly deploy across the harsh terrain it would conduct operations in. Due to a dire situation facing the country and the looming presidential elections, STTEP was only given a two-month period in which to train and prepare the unit and with the minimum of equipment.”
And we know they delivered and elections held successfully in every part of Borno and Yobe states.
Truth be told, when this administration came on board, for reasons best known to it, it refused to retain the mercenaries. However, the momentum of their efforts continued, and we emotionally hailed the new regime as dealing with Boko Haram, forgetting who were doing the fighting.
Instead of fighting the terrorists and bandits, we now rely on excuses and cover-ups. Being the emotional people we are, we insist against the reality that all is well because we think we see in our heroes traces of the gods. From accusing some administrations of being our problems to blaming some countries, but we never look inwards and try to change things to improve. You will hear people shouting “it is France” or “Boko Haram had a pact with Chad, Chad killed them when they breached the pact”. OK, since you know of the pact signing, who should “deal” more with the insurgents? A country with a pact or that with no pact? If Nigeria had no treaty with them and they are killing our soldiers in droves, why can’t we roast them more than the Chadians? Do you think Chad would allow Auno or Zabarmari to go just like that? Some will say, in shielding incapacity, that “Chad gives them a base”. Is it not self-indicting to insinuate that Boko Haram can saunter into Nigeria from Chad unchallenged? And without a single sling-shot from the Nigerian Army, attack parts of Yobe, burn people alive in Auno, slaughter people in Bazarmari and return to Chad?
We can even be so heartless and unmindful of God that even the dead are not spared in our desperation to believe our gods are infallible. Now, the slain of Zabarbami, from not getting clearance, have become collaborators who deservedly got their right desserts. Haba!
Pride, lies, sentiments, emotions, burying our head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich aren’t going to take us anywhere. If we continue this way, we may end up with nowhere to hide. Boko Haram remains a menace, bandits and kidnappers now prowl our streets, and armed robbers rob at will. Already, travelling by road is at significant risk.
Our mentality is such that we would not talk of “sovereignty” were America or Israel to come to our aid. But we should come down from our high horse if we do not want our “sovereignty” taken by brigands. We should contract Chad to come in and help while we form a wall to stop them (Boko Haram) from escaping into the country. Or else we call in the mercenaries.
So who is delaying APC National convention?
So who is delaying APC National Convention?
By Yusuf Ali
Recently, I read hilarious articles by fifth columnists within the APC rank warning Governor Mai Mala Buni the APC Chairman Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) not to contemplate extension of the party’s National Convention. Its quite unfortunate, this clandestine fifth columnists are now involve in acts of sabotage, disinformation and espionage executed within defense lines by a secret symphatizers working with external forces.
In their delusionary grandeaur, its not surprising, therefore, that these saboteurs have chose to deliverately deny the enormous task before the National Caretaker Committee and all the good things its doing so far to reposition the party for greatness as they went about pre-empting that the Committee is extending tenure when its not.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? It’s clear that some people wants us to go for National Convention without proper planning, irregularity and divided house so they can have their way to further destabilize the party as they have proved to us that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing masquerading as progressives, and there are indications that there are many wolves flooding into APC with sheep’s clothing and who may swallow the Shepherd’s that are determined to protect the national flock. Tufiakwa.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? Its funny that some say and write stupid things like “Gov Buni wants to perpetuate himself in power enjoying the national office”. This is utterly foolish, absurd, senseless and a preposterous tale. Those people should be reminded that Gov Buni is a sitting Executive Governor of Yobe State with all the powers and privileges in office.
For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Buni does not live on the money of the party neither does he earn salary, its only sitting allowances and most of this money are given out to party supporters anyway. It is also important to note that the National Secretary and other members of the committee are also gainfully employed and busy. So, no one is jobless.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? Its not the Caretaker Committee that extended its ongoing membership registration/revalidation and update exercise for three weeks to keep the job. According to the APC National Secretary John Akpanudoedehe, Its the audit of the reports received from the National Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee; the States’ Registration Committees; and that of the party situation room indicated that most states, for varied reasons, started late and require additional time to conclude the exercise.
The party’s decision was also sequel to the avalanche of applications from critical stakeholders including all states Caretaker Chairmen for an extension of time to capture Nigerians who are still desirous of joining the fold of the progressives.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee under the able leadership of Hon. Mai Mala Buni had done everything possible to keep to the earlier timeline, however, it has become imperative to extend the duration of this very important party activity to produce authentic membership register for the party.
The Forum Chairman of APC States Chairmen, Hon Ali Bukar Dalori has said that the ongoing exercise has tremendously increased the membership base of the party since the exercise began and has continued to increase as the exercise progresses. Dalori stated: “After the conduct and conclusion of membership registration/revalidation exercise we urgently call for the immediate conduct of congresses and convening of the national convention; and to allow for the completion of all other tasks assigned to the committee by NEC within the time frame.”
He noted that the ruling party has seen tremendous turnout of Nigerians and the mass increase in the party strength in the last few months.
The forum stressed that it was only proper that the party allows the exercise to progress to the best of conclusion.
It said immediately after the commencement of the exercise, members saw the need for an extension to accommodate the second stage of the exercise in view of the mass turnout of Nigerians to associate with the party that was not duly prepared for.
The forum added that having reviewed the development and making arrangements for requisite materials to accommodate all into the fold of the party, hence, the need for further extension has logically arisen.
Dalori noted: “Due to logistics bottleneck and the complexity of the distribution process of registration materials, a number of State only received the materials to commence the second phase of the registration exercise not too long ago, and we therefore not be able to meet up with the reviewed schedule timetable of the exercise without denying so many willing citizens the opportunity to join with the party.”
The forum pointed out that the exercise so far has provided a prelude to what is to be expected in all future elections in Nigeria. It stressed that with the turnout of Nigerians to identify with the party, it was certain that the trust of Nigerians in the party remain unwavered and just like projected, it will continue into the next decades to provide the needed leadership to the country as the party in power, not only at the center but in almost all the states of the federation.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? The serious and hard working Governor Buni-led Caretaker Committee is only waiting for the conclusion of the revalidation/registration of members exercise by the state chapters of the party before planning for the national convention. The party is not in a hurry to hold its convention, as rushing into its congresses could lead to mistakes and fuel litigations and factionalization.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? When the Caretaker Commitee is doing everything humanly possible to meet the deadline. They stand by the mandate given to it by the NEC. The Committee members are all gentlemen. They cannot liar to Nigerians. There is nothing like dilly-dally. If there is a need to do anything including the tenure extension, they will go to the National Executive Committee (NEC) the party’s highest decision making body to approve their request. There is nothing
unconstitutional. Everything is now done with decorum, fairness, justice and according to the mandate of the Committee.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? There are so many things that needs to properly put in place before the convention. We are talking of over 30 million registered members that needs to be properly check to ensure that the data and materials provided by members were verified by the party after the exercise has been concluded. This is a herculean task and it must be done.
So who is delaying APC National Convention? The fifth columnists and co saboteurs. May Allah protect Gov Buni and his Committee members from the enemy within to deliver on their mandate.
APC Headquarters Abuja
Buni’s Administration Impacting Positively On The Life Of The People
Buni’s Administration Impacting Positively On The Life Of The People
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 potentials, was a shadow of herself, until Buni came-in as the democratically elected governor of the state, then, agriculture took a right turn when he triggered revolution on the sector. Yobe and Borno are among the states respected in the country and beyond because of her contributions to national development.
The choice of Buni by Yobeans is the best thing that ever happened since the creation of Yobe state, the people now know what democracy is all about, the dividends has cut across the state and Buni’s actions has changed the face of democracy completely in Yobe state. Most people, young and old now wake up daily to have work to do and earn their daily living.
Yobe happens to be an agrarian state that made the governor to trigger a revolution in the agricultural sector and beyond, he worked aggressively by even partnering with the kingdom of Morocco to get Yobe back to reckoning by creating wealth and new jobs within the sector, by assisting farmers to overcome the challenges of assets, training, infrastructure, financing and access to markets through the following: a) Large-scale mechanized commercial farming, the wider application of modern technology and the production of high quality and value-added products.b) The complete value (cultivation, harvest, processing, packaging and marketing) among others.
Governance in Yobe state, under the determined leadership of Gov. Buni, now known as “promise made and kept” it is no more a pleasure ride, it is serious business minds, look at yobe, besides the facts.
Buni is busy tapping opportunities from FG and canvassing for foreign investors to partner with the state to bring development and job opportunities to all and sundry.
Right from his first day at work, he has kept his eyes on the ball and kept it rolling, not once has he lost sight of his government call and task despite his national assignment. He has so far, tapped opportunities with various investors home and foreign and brought investment and development to the state in all ramifications.
It is not always easy to work with a “workaholic” governor, whose main requirement is competence plus, ‘doing the extra miles in achieving the set goals and objectives” like, always a broken record, the governor could be heard saying, that, education is the greatest social equalizer” as he believes in providing access to educational opportunities especially to the children of the poor and low income families, he institutionalize the scholarship programme.
If you can vividly remember, on his assumption of office, the first and bold step he took was to declare state of emergency on education sector, he know the dilapidated state of schools across the state and the epileptic learning and environment.
Buni’s led administration has proven itself to be an all-inclusive government by carrying everyone along irrespective of tribe, religion or political inclination. His government has tremendously achieved in delivering so much in education, health, Agriculture, infrastructure, security and above all, job creation, he meant total transformation and also, inline with his campaign slogan of continuity and consolidation and more. Yobe state cannot but remain memorable with how Buni’s transformational agenda is piercing through all the nooks and cranny of the state.
Even with the two magnitude projects of Sunday market in Damaturu and the Trailer Transit Park in potiskum will turn the fortune of yobeans around and topple with the Cargo Airport, it will automatically make the state envious. The beginning of the end of unemployment and wealth creation has just emerged and yobe will indeed become a shinning example of what governance should be at all levels.
Gov. Buni also noted that, the move 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 believed that affordable housing is key marker of social progress when the people have comfortable accommodations, they are more likely to have the right frame of mind to engage in meaningful socioeconomic activities, he built 3600 housing unit that cut across the state.
There are facts on people’s opinion about Buni’s transformational agenda, some are rating him the best governor that Yobe has ever got. Buni always say, this state belongs to all of us, together we shall take yobe to a greater glory, irrespective of tribe, religion status or political affiliation, we always seek the prayers, support and cooperation for easy steering of the state ship to the promised land of abundant opportunities and greatness.
Grand Coalition For zulum Borno State, Rejoices With Prof Over The Deserving Award Of Alumnus Of The Year
The emergence of the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor (Engr.) Baba Gana Umara Zulum, MNI, as the University of Ibadan Alumnus of the year in their semi-centennial occasion did not come as a surprise to us, particularly in Borno State.
Prof. Zulum has dedicated his life in providing succor to the people of Borno State even before he became a Governor in the 2019 General Elections. His sterling leadership qualities, distinguished service to the State and the country at large as well as personal his accomplishment in the academia and service to humanity earned him this well-deserved award from the prestigious University of Ibadan.
In view of the above, I am calling on well meaning Nigerians, particularly the youths to emulate his dedication to duty and leadership qualities in taking Nigeria to the Promised Land. Thus, I hereby rejoice with His Excellency the Executive Governor of Borno State and the good people of the state on this well deserved award.
Dr. Ali Bakari
Coordinator, Grand coalition for Gov. Zulum
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