Category: Politics

IN RETROSPECT

In retrospect now that the dust over the abduction of Dapchi school girls and the fury generated by the clashes between the fulani herdsmen and the settler communities is settling down, will it also bring the end of “esprit de corps” ?

The hegemonic cordiality that hither to existed among the military junta before their incursion in to politics and governance.

Is the bubble heading for a burst?
Is Nigeria going to be better for it?

Will it break the dominant control of the Nigerian polity by the military Generals who have over years controlled, dominated, and cornered our common wealth and stunted our development as a nation?

The battle line is now drawn between the Generals, with each of them commanding stupendous wealth and awesome power. Some of them feel they are even lager than the State.

Since the beginning of this year we have notice the cracks developing in the wall.

General Obasanjo, started by advising the ruling retired military General Buhari, not to contest the 2019 election for according to him he has failed the nation.

This was followed by a similar call from General Babangida calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to step down in 2019 to allow for a generational leadership shift.

Then came the advice from General Gowon, who said that successive governments also fought corruption, but it did stop them from developing the national infrastructure. The recent out burst by General TY Danjuma to the Fulani Herdsmen – Farmer conflict threating to consume the entire country was attacked with vigour by the government apologist and their friends.

The call by the General for the citizens to rise and defend themselves is worrying, especially when it is coming from some one well respected in the society and is also not given frivolity.

More so for a general who was once the Minister of defence to indicate that he has lost confidence in the army and security agencies is not only worrying, regrettable but alarming. No right thinking person would not find his statements disturbing.

In the political space also the Senate President was reported to have said if the Cabals in the State House do not stop pressuring him, he would make life very difficult for the administration.

The uncompromising attitude of the Buhari support base, and their ability to fight with ferocity any opinion expressed on the way we are governed that does not go down well with them, is astonishing, as if we are not in democracy.

Bill Gates one of our major development partner also advised the government that its economic policies is not working because the federal government’s investments in young people, especially in areas of health and education were not good enough.

He warned that “While it may be easier to be polite it’s more important to face facts so that you can make progress,”.

The worrying aspect about all these are, this is a country where nothing seems to be working.

The lingering in security as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.

The fulani herdsmen-farmer clashes.

The rising, spate of kidnappings that has refused to abate.

The widening gap between the rich and poor that keeps expanding.

The near total collapse of the country’s infrastructure is so scaring, when you contemplate how the situation can be salvaged.

The total break down in our health infrastructure, has reached a point that citizens have lost confidence in our medical institutions. Today no country in the civilised western world accepts any medical reports generated from government hospitals in Nigeria.
The educational sector also suffer similar pitiful situation with collapsing infrastructures and archaic teaching tools and materials.

It is no wonder therefore you can not find any Nigerian University among the 100 ranked top universities of the world.

The rationing of power supply in Abuja and in most part of the country gives little hope in growing the small and medium scale industries that are vital in and moving the economy forward.

The strangulating prices charged by the electricity companies in most cases for power not supplied adds to the Nigerians despondency.

Are we witnessing the “failed state paradigm” that we have refused to accept?
Thank God the Dapchi girls are back with their parents, with the N5000 stipend given to them by the government.

Now that the political talks are over those claiming credit for the return of the girls have gone back to their offices mission accomplished.

This pitiful situation is left for Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam the governor of Yobe State to contend with.
Remember similar attacks happened at Buni Yadi and Government Science Secondary Potiskum where so many lives of innocent students were lost.

One of the head aches the Governor of Yobe State had to deal with, is how to convince the parents of the nearly 1000 students of the school that remained closed to return them to school.

I also sympathise with the Governor of Borno State for the pains he and the parents of Chibok school girls are going through as some significant number of the Chibok girls remain captives with the Boko Haram insurgents.

My prayers for their safe return to their parents is unending, at least until they are back home and reunited with their families safely.

Do we as parents need to form vigilante groups to safe guard the schools we send our children and ward to study in the light of failure of the government to avert such kidnappings?

Is the call by General TY Danjuma germane even though his prepositions were not accepted in good faith by many because of the manner and time he made the statements.

My take on all these are, have we lost our sense modesty, compassion and patience. The level of our in tolerance to counter views is gradually dragging to woods.

No opinion no matter how honest they are, were not manipulated to express our divide.

When shall we start holding our leaders accountable for their actions and in actions?

When shall we as people stop looking at issues from the prism of religious bigotry, sectionalism and primordial tendencies such tribalism.

We have wasted so much time and resources on these settled issues.

The location where one come from in the Nigerian contraption, tribe and religion we belong to are facts we cannot changed. We need to use our diversity to move the country forward not bring it down.

An ordinary advice by our elder state men and our major development partners should not be politicised. One of the hallmark of democracy is its ability to contain divergent views and opinions.

The difference between dictatorship and representative democracy is the freedom to hold opinion, associate and speak out.

Any society that does not accept concrete criticism on the way it is doing things that society will not progress.

Can we step back and ask our selves, is it any wonder that every conversation we have in the country is reduced to religion, tribe and from what part of the country you come from.

Our judgements and expressions on issues are always determined by these idiosyncrasies.

Who is teaching us these hates?

While we wallow in our stupidity and hold on to these divisive tendencies politicians will always cash on our disunity and continue exploiting us for their benefits.

To turn the fortunes of this country we must be prepared to accept Nigeria first before any other considerations

We must also strive make our leaders accountable, they are our servants we elected them to the positions they found themselves because we thought they have something to offer for the good of all.
Mega and Phantom list of corrupt Nigerians dished out to the mass media, unsettled by courts of law will do us no good.

Threats to deal with any dissenting voice by cajoling them to keep quite or withhold the renewal of operating licenses to companies that their owners commented on government policies can not be a solution to developmental problems.

Any government that cannot solve our problems of in security, shelter. food, education, health and transportation is not worthy of our franchise.

We must act with dignity and tolerance in order to move this country forward.

ON THE BENUE – FULANI HERDSMEN

The following is an excerpt from the Daily Trust.interview with Gen. John Shagaya, a former Minister of Internal Affairs. Hr shares deep insight into the issues dispassionately. I thought to share perchance you might gain.some needed understanding of the real issues.
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“We must understand the dimension of the kind of crisis we are facing through the movement of herdsmen either migration, if I will call it that. This is because anybody of my age will know that in the part of northern Nigeria where we come from there is an annual migration of what Ghanaians later modified as trans-human migrant Fulanis. In Langtang for example, you know the dedicated routes of the particular movement every year running from Wase through Garkawa through Yelwa through Shendam all the way to the south. We know when they move down south and up north. And if for any reason the migrant Fulani have to be in any place for a week or more, they will send a delegation maybe because they have some weak ones among them or women who may likely deliver. No quarrel. So we were brought up with that understanding. In the 50’s when we were in primary school, there was this big radio which we used to carry when our parents went out. We will go to the Fulani routes and sit under the tree and when the Fulani women are passing with cow milk, we will say ‘look, these people are tasty’ we will switch off the radio and say the people inside the radio are tasty and the Fulani women will be happy to give us milk so that they people can keep talking. So that was the kind of peaceful things that we knew that is why I am advising that we have to be very careful.
“In this current dimension in migration, there are three things involved. The first is that there is desert encroachment. With this and with the drying of Lake Chad which used to accommodate quite a lot of them, the Cameroonian authorities had blocked the source. So, it means more numbers would have to trample in an attempt to find within the Benue and Niger trough for feeding. It requires a very serious planning. With the experiences that things were changing, Mrs Mary Lar and Prof. Jibril Aminu came up with the programme of Nomadic Fulani Education and Mary made her PhD with it. In that study, if we do understand it, we could create some kind of a habitable stopping area for the migrant Fulanis on their migration routes. Today, it is nice for somebody to call it colony. But they were stopping in places when they were moving, it was never given a big English name, now that you are magnifying the name, you are magnifying the problem.
“The second dimension is what happened in 1984 after the ‘Ghana Must Go’ exercise. Between 1984/85, what we are witnessing today took place in Sierra Leon, Ghana, Benin Republic and Togo. They decided that all the migrating Fulanis must leave and that was where the word trans-human came from. They gave a marching order to all the Fulanis and their cows saying they were Nigerian Fulanis. So, today in Ghana, you find ranching existing only, you don’t find migrant Fulanis. They came to Nigeria and I had left the Military Secretary’s office and taken over the command of 9 Brigade. I was sent to establish tents, receive them, document them and know where they were going, whether truly they would settle in Nigeria or go to Mali or wherever they came from. They were treated nice by the administration at the time. There is a tripartite point between Togo- Nigeria and Benin Republic, very close to Kamba. That area of Kamba running all the way down to Kainji through Babana through Kayama, Digidiru pearl, very rich, beautiful area along the River Niger. So we received them and they were spread there for months. While government was deciding on what to do, they all left in their groupings. Some went back through their normal route of migration. The next thing government said is that there should be a leadership within the Fulanis, hence the encouragement of the registration of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association. I signed the certificate.
“The intention of government then was to say; if we were faced with any minor problem, there should be a leadership that government can hold. But today, they themselves have broken into various factions and the migrant Fulanis have refused to have anything to do with local Fulani and that is part of the problem. We have to study these things well before we start condemning ourselves, they have to be taken into confidence in the discussions and that was the comment I made to the Governor of Benue State, that there must be a constructive engagement with all the stakeholders, you must know the reason.
The third dimension is arms and banditry and what have you. With the fall of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, we must remember that a lot of soldiers of fortunes who came from Chad, Niger and Nigeria who found themselves making good money in Libya. Some of them are still being deported today. Some went as soldiers of fortune to work to defend Libya and when that government was dismantled, some of these very serious weapons fell in the hands of some fellows that moved down to Niger and Chad and mingled with the militants. You find there were already some trained soldiers of fortunes, they had these weapons and I believe it could be part of the build-up that today we face in the North-East. You will notice that within the first few months of this administration, the President had to make some tours of these friendly neighbours in order to know which direction the problem was coming from and not limiting and pretending it was only within Nigeria. That is what has helped us and many people don’t understand that.
“The other dimension could be the politicisation of the issue by whichever ethnic group and I think a lot of propaganda has to be carried out by government. Nigerians have to start seeing certain national problems as a problem of the country and not a problem of one religion or a problem of Buhari because he is a Fulani man and a Fulani man entered a farm. We have to outgrow that, after all, down in the South-East, South-South where kidnapping became an industry, it wasn’t done along religious line and yet there are governors there who come from some of these communities. So why don’t we go round there and say it is this community that is perpetrating it because they come from this governor or that governor’s area is shielding these people. It is not a problem. But if it happens in the North then it is a Hausa Muslim or Christian issue, I think those are issues that we must outgrow. ”
This has shared more light to earlier my write up the General was a participant in an earlier efforts to solve the problem.

THE NORTH NO LONGER MONOLITHIC

The North as a geographical expression is  no longer monolithic as it was the case before the creation of the six geo political zones, namely North East,  North Central, North West, South South, South East and South West, each comprising of clusters of States with commonality  of history, people and cultures. 

The North in spite of its numerical advantage is loosing in the power game for lack strategic approach to deal with emerging geo political issues now threatening the survival of the nation. 

All indices of social, cultural, political and  economic,  growth shows that the Northern geo political zones lag behind compared to the other three Southern geo political zones.

Recently leaders of the Middle Belt Forum in a conference held on the 12th of December,2017 at Ajuji Hotel, Abuja, during the inauguration of the  new executive council of the forum in a communique echoed our vulnerability to forge ahead as one indivisible entity. 

Their frustrations were not based on our homogeneity but rather on the apparent religious persuasions that kept dividing us apart. 

At the end of the conference they came out with some far reaching resolutions detailing their concerns, and why they still feel not part of the Northern hegemony.   But that  is not the concern of this discourse. 

I am however interested in only two of the resolutions adopted at the end of the conference.

Firstly, they resolved that “in considering the issue of restructuring, it should not be subsumed under the historical trend of NORTH vs. SOUTH games of outwitting each other” what is needed they said, “is an organic Nation, not a market place for deal-making bargains by elite participants close to governments of the day and devoid of popular inputs. 

In this regard the conference mandated the leadership of the MBF to continue to remind the nation that the Northern and Southern protectorates, as far back as 1914, were married into one country regardless of the feelings, let alone participation of the autochthonous peoples of the Middle Belt. 

 Secondly, they resolved the next President from the former Northern Region must be of Middle Belt extraction and that the Middle Belt Forum will continue to be non-partisan but will remain passionately political with focus on the defence of the interests of the Peoples of the Region.

I have no quarrel with the position of the middle belt forum and their demands. However what is of worry is the indication that the Middle Belt does not belong to the North Central. 

If the demand of the middle belt forum is for them have a President of their extraction meaning a Christian minority than it is understandable.

 But if their demand for the next President to come from the middle belt was as a result of  their in ability to produce one from North Central  then one would wonder whether they have forgotten the period when Gowon, Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar were Heads of Government of the Federation. 

The North Central today has three living heads of government who have ruled this country for combined period of sixteen years.

The North West also from Shagari,  Murtala, Yar Adua, Abatcha, to Buhari would have ruled the country for a combined period of 19 years if the current President completes his term in 2019.

The North East of the three geo political regions in the North has not produced any President of this country. We in the North East are therefore calling on the other regions of the North to allow the next President of the country to come from the North East.

We are saying so because there is no region in the North that is over qualified to produce  the next president of this country than the North East. 

We therefore call on our brothers from the North West and Central to give the North East the chance for the following  reasons;

According to the United Nations Human Development Report For Nigeria 2016, 

1. The North East is the most backward of all the three geo polical regions of the North.

2.The north-east region has been the most affected by the more than six-year-long Military insurgency and Boko Haram, which has further improvised the population. 

3. It also remains among the least developed parts of the country.

4.  The region also did       not fare well in all the human development index. This is in spite of the a robust economic growth of about 7% between 2010 and 2014, a large proportion of Nigerians still live in poverty and are exposed to various vulnerabilities. An estimated 61.3% of Nigerians are classified as poor with 48.8% of them classified as multi-dimensionally poor. 

5. The north east is also ranked second in the under 5 mortality rate with  160 death per 1,000 birth. 

 6. High illiteracy level, mass poverty, deficit or absence of infrastructures, and in security are some of the reasons why we in the North East feel the next President should come from the zone

We also feel the North West and the North Central have had their opportunities to lead of this country, now is the time for the North East. we hope the other Zones would be  supportive as we have been in order to ensure that the hegemony does not disintegrate. As we shall no longer continue to be on lookers on matters that we have a say. 

Democracy is a game of numbers, interest, alliances, give and take and consensus. While we do not intended to rock the hegemonic traditions, we shall not however contemplate to shift bases by building alliances where our interest could best be protected. 

For almost half a century we followed and supported the hegemony and it has brought nothing to our region but mass poverty, hunger, insecurity and under development. 

To move forward it can no longer be business as usual. We must seat down as a region to re strategize build alliances and consensus come up with workable formula on how to exist as a region. Nothing can henceforth be imagined as given because we share certain affinities. We have been short change for long. 

Our status and the way we live must be redefined in order for us to be a formidable group.

If we do not act now, splinter groups like the Middle Belt Forum will keep surfacing and there is nothing the Arewa Consultative Forum would do to reverse the trend and hold the hegemony together.

A STITCH IN TIME …

I was  61 years old by His grace on the 12th December 2017. It also means I have spent one year in retirement. My hope for a peaceful rest after spending 35 years of meritorious service seem to turning into despair and resentments about the system, I thought would be there for me. 

While pondering on why in spite of the pension reform, one year  after my retirement I could not access my benefits. 
As I continued pondering on what may be the reason, I recall one of the major assignment I did early in my career was on the issues  relating to the pensions of the defunct Ex Nigeria Airways staff.  
The term reference given to the committee of which I was Secretary was to verify and ascertain the number of staff that were entitled to be paid their pension, pension arrears and gratuity; 
The committee was also mandated to examine and recommend to government if the  payoff option would be acceptable to the staff in order to put matter to rest; 
This was in the light of the fact that the issue was becoming embarrassing to government. 

The  defunct Ex staff of airline were threatening to shut the Nigeria space if their pension and pension arears were not paid.
The problem we faced at the time was the air line has been liquidated, all its properties at home and abroad had been sold by the liquidators without taking into consideration the plight of the personnel benefits. 

We flew to Lagos with the chair person of the committees Mrs Jaji Olabisi Bolanle to start the job we were confronted with problem of lack of  management on ground to assist in  the job the company has  liquidated some years ago. The only help that was available came  from the pensioners themselves. 

 We were shown  thousands of files and records heaped in some few offices dating from the time  when the company was then called the British Overseas Air lines to sift through. I was so astonished with the way the records were kept and didn’t know from where to begin. 

My initial reaction was to abandon the exercise  and advice government on what should be done in the circumstance, but for the  gloomy reality of suffering on the faces of the pensioners, my sense  of pity for the staff over shadowed my initial temptation  to walk away. 
Thirteen years down the line  in spite of the pension reforms that took place to sanitise the pension operation in Nigeria the process still leaves much to be desired.

The founding fathers of the Reform envisaged that when the reform act comes into force, it will eliminate some of the troubling issues that were part the administration of pension in Nigeria. 

Some of the intended benefits of the reforms are;

1. To establish uniform rules and regulations for the management and payment of retirement benefits to beneficiaries as and at when due; 

2. To stem the growth of outstanding pension liabilities and reduce fiscal cost to government, stimulate domestic savings, 

3. To generate a pool of long term funds for investment in social and economic development;

4. To ensure contributors receive their benefits as and when due and 

5. To assist improvident individuals to save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age;
These are some of the lofty ideals of the pension reform act.

For the thirteen years or so that the new arrangement is in force it has brought some level of sanity in the system.

We have not been hearing people dying on cues waiting to collect their stipends, the level of corruption that characterised pension administration is either not there or have been reduced to the barest minimum.
Unfortunately, however recently some hick ups have started pulling this noble objectives down.

The Reform instead of benefiting the pensioners may end up benefitting the Pension Fund Administrators and the government. 

It is a fact that pension funds base now ran in to trillions so why should pensioners wait a period of over one year before they access their benefits?
This is a  fact I retired from public service on the 12th of December 2016 and today is 13th December 2017 and each time I reach out to my pension fund administrator, I am always being told they treating payments batch by batch. This means I am not the only one.
What my pension administrator seem to have not realised the Accountant General of the Federation has knocked out my salary from the system on the 12th of December 2016. Worst still the bureaucracy only paid me the twelve days I worked for in December of that year no mercy. Here I am no salary no pension for solid one and the future is uncertain.

Might be pencom also need to look up to some states who have not join the system but are in the process to join and borrow some the innovations they have. 
I can at least advice Pencom to follow the examples of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State my home state. 

Today he is the only Governor who does not owe any worker a salary for even one month and ensures that as you retire you begin to receive your pension the following month you leave service, the transition from a salary earner and pensioner is seamless. 
Infact he has little or no backlog of salary or pension arrears as is the case in most states of the Federation.

Let me also say this before critics start shouting and crucifying me that  he pays the least salary. 
Yes even if this true at least he is paying them as when it due after all issues relating to wages and  salary by law is contract between the employee and employer.

If one knows Yobe, we are among the most poorest state in the Federation our internally generated revenue (IGR) is nothing to write home about. If Gaidam fails to pay the meagre salary he has been paying regularly the economy and living standard of the people would nose dive and in the light of the problems caused by Boko Haram, The number of the  refugees in the state would be phenomenal. 
I am therefore appealing to Pencom to do what is necessary to stop the ugly trend rearing its heads in the system by avoiding the  filling of pension payment so that the credibility in the system is not eroded. 

Human beings, when confront with a source of threat, if not corrected on time will begin to innovate and this has the capacity to bring in un wanted practices. 

So “A stitch in time they say…

MY ADVICE TO WAZIRI

Its amazing how the big and small are talking about Atiku’s return to the PDP after all he was a founding member of the party. They created, nurtured and took it to a level of greatness before some concerns forced him to shift ground.  The man has given reason why he had to leave APC and return home. I personally think people should allow him to exercise his rights as a citizen, since neither the national or party constitution prohibits that.  

We had instances where politicians who had used a flat form of the party to achieve their ambitions came out demonising the same party. 

Some became President of this country ruled for eight years courtesy of the PDP, yet when the going became tough, when their protégées were not forthcoming on their demands. He went on a public television tore the party membership card there by denigrating the platform that made him who he is in eyes of the world and no love was lost.

The real reason behind the hews and  cries  about  Atiku’s return to PDP by some members of the party, simply put  they are afraid Atiku has capacity, he has what it takes to give every party member who shares similar ambition of picking  the party’s presidential ticket a ran for their money. 

For those who are still crying foul that Atikus wanted to kill them and have taken it on themselves to  do everything to truncate his ambition. They still believe if he gets there, it would be very un safe for them.

Fear, greed and selfishness are  the reasons they are labelling Atiku as somebody who hob nobs from one party to another. 

Life is about choices and that is why  democracy flourishes, where there are multiplicity of parties to accommodate all shades of opinions and interests.

 It is therefore not un common to shift base to where your interest can best be served. 

To find answers to this dictum one does not need to go far. A cursory look at our political space will provide you with answers. The Senate President is an example of base shifting. The President was a CPC man when he wanted to fulfil his ambition he  entered into marriage of convenience with other  parties and today he is the President of the Nigeria because of  the amalgamation that took place.

In the end it is the electorates through the instrumentation of the will of  God,  they decides who becomes the President of Nigeria.

My advice to Atiku is, he should  not worry about what the distractors are saying. 

As Muslim he knows that power comes from God. No one and I emphasize no one among all those trying to play God can stop him from the achieving his ambition, If Allah swt ordains it. However it is not wrong for him to visit, consult and talk to people whom he believes are statesmen, elders in the party and even beyond. 

But you must remain focussed on what you want to achieve. The bottom line is, it is Allah swt who gives power to whom wants. Seek for  assistance, blessings and ask for power from  Him and forget about those who think they can anoint you, they are mare mortals none among them knows tomorrow but HE. 

Never give up WAZIRI

MY APPEAL TO BUHARI

Mr. President may I crave your indulgence to use this medium to reach you because I have no other means. Many tried to get things across but it never got through, consequently, they had to leak things to the press. I don’t have the resources no do I have access to the traditional media. This is the only medium that  provides the platform and a vehicle for me to reach out. It is my prayer if you do not see this appeal personally someone close to you would and pass the information.(No disrespect intended).

Nigerians have shown compassion, love and respect  to you when you were trying to hold on to life. We prayed in mosques and churches. We all went down on  our knees seeking for Allah swt intervention in what ever was the ailment that was affecting your health. 

Allah swt has shown His compassion and mercies to you by answering our collective prayers as a nation. You are well again and we are grateful to Allah swt who our lives are in His hands for healing you.

Mr. President we have known you to be a pious and religious person and I am sure you know what forgiveness in Islam is all about. I don’t intend lecture you on that, even though I may have to come  back to it in the light of the demands of this appeal.

Your Excellency, recently, I  read a lot about the flight of the former National Security Adviser, Mr. Dasuki,  the rumour mill is full with gossips and insinuations that  the executive is behind the continued denial of bail granted Dasuki by courts of competent jurisdiction. 

Mr. President don’t get me wrong I am not in anyway condoning what the former NSA did. And I am not saying he should not be tried for the mistakes and abuse of office he is being alleged to have committed. 

I am speaking from the point view of law and compasion. The judicial system we operate in this country works on the praxis that “one is not guilty unless proven by a competent court of law as guilty”

Mr. President I have never met the former NSA in my life apart from seeing his pictures on the pages of Newspapers or news clips on Television.

I was only moved by a write up of one Yushau Shuaibu on the plight of the former NSA. He was lamenting that “It’s exactly two years ago, in the morning of December 1, 2015, when the security operatives invaded the residence of the former NSA at Asokoro and whisked him away”. And since that day, he remained in detention even after being granted bails by at least four separate High Court Judges. 

They are, Justice Adetokunbo Ademola and Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, as well as Justice Hussein Baba- Yusuf and Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Courts, they all considered the merit of his applications and granted him the bail”. 

The ECOWAS Court of Justice also ordered for his  immediate release with compensation of N15 million for the unlawful detention” 

I became curious why should a government that has rule of law as one of its governance principle be involved in such draconian abuse of due process of rule of law.  I didn’t believe what I read so I decided verify the claim.

During the  research I conducted before I wrote this appeal, I came across  Newspaper reports, Court documents and listened to personal accounts from people of goodwill and the rumour mills that corroborated the claims made by Yuahau.

In fact at some point I was almost discourage by my colleques who believed  I will be embarking on a futile exercise as the state is behind the incarceration of Dasuki for some personal reasons.

Un perturbed by their  insinuations I decided to dig deep to know the real reasons why the government is behaving in this manner.

I quickly recalled Yashau in his write up, made this comment which I initially over looked; He said, “While I won’t like to talk about your past relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, especially on 1983 Coup and others which I published in previous articles and my recent book “An Encounter with the Spymaster,” the toxic speculation and misleading information that you arrested Buhari in 1985 remain unabated. Even while you have denied the allegation, with principal actors including, retired Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu publicly admitting their involvement, the rumour is sustained for ulterior motives.”

In my continuing search for the truth I stumbled on a press statement credited to Hon. Minister of information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lai Mohammed; giving official position of the government on why Dasuki should continue to be in detention.

The  Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism disclosed this in an interview with journalists, after a Ramadan lecture in his home town, Oro, in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, that “Dasuki had bluntly refused to disclose the whereabouts of $1.2 billion traceable to him.”

 According to him, unless Dasuki does that, he will not be released by the Federal Government. He said further “Dasuki was in custody of a sensitive document which could not be divulged for national security reasons, stressing that at any point in time, government was bound to take a hard decision between personal liberty and national security.”

In contrasting the two positions the one by the Hon. Minister would be more believable and one would ordinarily want to associate with the   government position.

 Conversely, however  if one  considers the decisions of the four (4) High Court Judges who had ruled on the same case,  with each and everyone of them returning a verdict that Dasuki should be granted bail, this too appeal reason 

Why should government interfere in the judicial process by denying Dasuki his rights to bail?  For this reason one would lean towards Yushau’s position that the matter goes beyond officialdom. 

Mr President if the government is still refusing Dasuki to exercise his fundamental human right to bail for reasons adduced by the Hon. Minister of Information Culture and Tourism then one would like to pose the following questions

1. Why was Nemdi Kanu the proscribed leader of IPOB allowed bail by the court of the same jurisdiction that granted Dasuki bail but federal government did not object to the bail in spite of the fact that Kanu’s offence borders on treasonable felony?

2. If the offence committed by Kanu is bail able, Dasuki who committed a lower offence should be allowed to enforce his fundamental human right to bail;

3. Why are  the government agencies handling the Dasuki prosecution frustrating the efforts of the courts by refusing to produce him in court to defend himself through the due process of the law? 

4. We know the Minister of Information said government is keeping Dasuki for security reasons and that he has in his possession certain security document or information’s that are too sensitive for the public to know. Government should in the light of the above classify those informations and I am sure Dasuki knows the consequences of divulging classified information;

5. Is the  government afraid  Dasuki would spill the beans which may have some consequences on hegemony just like in the Halliburton oil saga?

6. Another reason given for keeping Dasuki by the Hon. Minister is that Dasuki has refused to disclosed where he kept the $1.2b traced to him does the Minister realy want us to believe this?. 

7. Records released by EFCC has shown the beneficiaries of some of the monies collected from the former NSA  and culprits are still enjoying their freedom could this be a plausible reason to refuse him bail and at same time frustrate his prosecution?

Mr. President your government is being accused of double standard and this is undermining your crusade for due process? Rule of law and the image you have built over years as a just person and fearless 

Mr. President in the opening paragraph of this write up I  appealed to your sensitivity by showing the love and the solidarity the people of this country showed to you and how we stood by you in your times need. 

I also said we see you to be an upright human being, who is very pious and religious. A person who understand what forgiveness means in Islam.

Islam recommends forgiveness, because Allah values forgiveness. There are numerous verses in Quran and the Hadith recommending forgiveness. Forgiveness is mentioned 35 times in Quran. However, Islam also allows revenge to the extent harm done, but forgiveness is encouraged, with a promise of reward from Allah.[23][24]

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.

— Quran 42:40

In the light of the Quran verses above,  if the reasons for frustrating the judicial process and  keeping  Dasuki away from his family is for personal reasons as is being rumoured.  Mr. President we urge you show compassion and magnanimity to direct the agencies holding Dasuki to allow due process of the law to take its course.

Mr. President, I know as you equally do. There will be a day when you as the leader of all Nigerian Allah swt will hold you in chains and ask every single Nigerians whether you have been just him. Think of that day,  if Dasuki is guilty of the crime he is being alleged to have committed and deserve to be kept in the gulag, How about his family  who are being agonised daily by the system for failing to give  their bread winner a fair trial? They would certainty want the  legal process concluded so that they pick the pieces of their lives and move on.

Mr. President I am saying these because according to Yushau,  Dasuki has said, “ I have forgotten and had “no ill-feelings against all ‘good friends’ who are currently on the other side and other ‘people’ who cannot do anything in the case”.  He added with this “In every Challenge, every temptation and every situation one finds himself, there are lessons to be learnt and to be thankful to Almighty Allah.” 

Your Excellency this shows remorse and  this is what inspired me to write this solo appeal. 

Secondly Mr. President,  You and Me  come from the North, we have seen the type of solidarity and the clamour the South Eastern Nigerian people did to rescue one of their own in spite of the gravity of the offence that was committed.

We in the North are orphans, our leaders because they want play the game by the book, hardly come to our rescue when  the chips are down.

My appeal to you Mr President is not to stop the prosecution of Dasuki but show compassion and reconsider government  position in the matter. 

By continuing to keep and frustrating the prosecution of Dasuki justice will not be served. Two years has passed since they took him away from his family. Everyone would be happy if the rule of law is allowed to take precedence. 

Mr. President I appeal to your sense of modesty, decency, compassion and justice  to do the needful by directing those holding and frustrating the legal process to allow the rule of law to take its course.

I wish Mr President increased good health and long live the Federal Republic Nigeria.

ONE LEAK TO MANY

For sometimes now the traditional and the social Media have devoted a significant percentage of their news space with leaked materials. Some of the leaked material were government sponsored while others are politically motivated to serve personal interests and political agenda.

In fact the leaks have now become a vogue and the best way to speak to this government. 

The executive and all the other tiers of government now have their pages on Facebook and Twitter, some are managed by their Media Staff, others by faceless individuals and groups masquerading behind banners that depict state symbols , but in the actual sense they are fake. 

Ministries, Ministers, Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments have also joined the band wagon. 

Ordinarily one would welcome the pluralism in sources of information, but to what extent the pluralism assist in governance is what is of concern us. 

The danger of these leakages are that  you don’t know which  to believe or trust. I am sure the Honourable Minister of Information is having a sleepless night  how to deal with the situation. 

To put this discourse into perspective it necessary to understand what is a leak and why do we have leak information ?

 Leak is defined as “a way (usually an opening) for fluid to escape a container or fluid-containing system, such as a tank or a ship’s hull, through which the contents of the container can escape or outside matter can enter the container. Leaks are usually unintended and therefore undesired. The word leak usually refers to a gradual loss; a sudden loss is usually called a spill.”

“A news leak is the unsanctioned release of confidential information to news media. It can also be the premature publication of information by a news outlet, of information that it has agreed not to release before a specified time, in violation of a news embargo “.

Coming back to our question, why do we leak information?  We leak information for some of the following reasons :

1. Politicians and Policy makers may leak information because they wish to judge the reaction of the public to their plans before committing a social programme (a trial balloon). Leaked information may be plausibly denied without blame for proposed unpopular measures affecting their perpetrators.

2. People with access to confidential information may find it to their advantage to make it public, without themselves appearing to be responsible for publishing the information. For example, information which will embarrass political opponents, or cause damage to national security, may be leaked.

3.  People privy to secret information about matters which they consider to be morally wrong  or against the public interest — often referred to as “whistle blowers” — may leak the information to correct certain distasteful events or check the excess of the rulers .

4. People may be enticed to expose secret information for other self-serving motives, such as financial gain. 

 5. Government also uses leaks to manage the press in order to maintains its own popularity. 

6. Leaks can also be used as signal to foreign terrorists or governments that you know what they are up to, this is done to deter contemplated actions .

7. Sometimes governments trade leaked information to reporters, to curry favour. 

8. In some cases leaks are used to hurt rivals within the public sphere, 

9. Leak can serve as a “trial balloon” to test the popularity of an idea or policy . 

10. Leaks also may help  President’s cabinet members build up their own internal empires, which can boost the president’s agenda.

Leak as un instrument of propaganda if used wisely by the Government can assist in governance but where it is used unwisely it can have a damaging consequences on the leaker, be it individual, group or state. Simply put leaks can be positive and negative. 

The worrying aspect of the leaks  that are going the round in our political space is that they are centred around individuals seeking for favours . 

Consider the following leaks that had been in the headlines, you would notice they have similar kind of  trends. 

You can recall the Maina saga, I mean the fugitive Ex Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, if you peruse all the leaked materials that are in the public domain on the Maina saga, you can see the hands of the executive or apparatus of the state in the leaks. 

The leak by the Minister of State of Petroleum Ibe kachukwu against the Group Managing Director NNPC Mai kanti Baru, was deliberately released to the media to achieve some personal gains . 

 El Rufai’s leak of his personal letter to Mr President, was perhaps due the frustration the letter did not get to Mr President. 

The Leak by the NHIS boss on frosty relationship between him and the Minister Health, was possibly done to buy in sympathy from the public . 

The  most recent Leak was the one by the Head of Service of the Federation denying she reinstated the Ex Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina. She did this to protect herself from the blame game when it became apparent to her some people are trying to rope her. 

In all these instances the reasons for the leaks are self serving. 

The most disturbing aspects about the leaks are, they all came from officials who are highly placed in the corridors of power and they must have known the leaks had the potentials to embarrass Mr President and Government that appointed them to serve. 

Given the calibre and hierarchy of people  involved in the leakages something must be fundamentally wrong with the government. Why should we be having these discordant views from members appointed by the same administration fighting themselves on pages of news papers and social media? 

Curiously all the leaks seem to have the same objectives lack of “access”. Does this confirm the insinuations going round that Mr. President has been shielded by some cabals as they are popular being referred to?

The many embarrassing leaks from the big and mighty in the cabinet makes nonsense of the oath of secrecy  public officers, have sworn to protect in the act of governance. 

The manner and the way government businesses are being conducted is laughable and it begs to question,  if the authority is  really in control.  The ridicule and crass abuse of practice and procedures are so phenomenal that it makes us  look stupid and uncultured as a people and a nation. 

What is going on can only happen in a dictatorship where citizens have to buy favours to have un fettered access to the king. 

My second worry about the developing scenarios is how are we sure Mr. President is getting the information about what is going on in our political space?

The silence and the slow response by the President to issues  of national significance also gives us some sense of worry especially in the light of the hardship prevalent in the society, the break down of our infrastructure, the decay in our educational and health facilities and the hydra headed corruption that permeates the fabric of our society. The failure of the  agencies created to provide social services. 

These are issues that require the urgent attention of the President. But in the light of the unfolding events that even  the high and low hardly  have access to their leader in a democracy, then we must engage in a National prayer just like we all did when Mr. President was sick. We must seek for the intervention of Allah swt to open the eyes of Mr President  to separate the bad and the good in his administration so that we can “enjoy  the dividends of democracy”. 

As we continue praying for increased good health of  Mr President. We must not also forget to pray he reciprocate our goodwill with good governance by eliminating or reducing our  underdevelopment issues that are begging for attention. 

We also call on Mr President to direct the public officers to end the unnecessary leaks that are injurious to the administration and damaging to our collective image as a people and Nation.