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RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oga Ogugua Anunoby , so what if the APC under whatever leadershwins the next presidential election?

Comments (0) | Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I hear you SK.

The British Sovereign- Queen, does not rule. She reigns. The Prime Minister and parliament rule Britain. Every Nigerian familiar with the British constitution knows this. Azikiwe knew this. Every Nigerian constitutional lawyers in 1959/60 knew this. You must think very little of Azikiwe if you believe that he did not. You must think very little of Azikiwe’s lawyers, some of whom were Queen’s Counsels (Q.C.)- the best lawyers (Silk) in the British legal system too. Nigeria’s Senior Advocate of Nigeria (S.A.N.) are roughly modelled after Q.C.’s in Britain.

I do not know if you know that Ojukwu was a University of Oxford Master of Arts in Modern History and a former Administrative officer in Government Service. I am surprised that you so believe any source that tells you that Ojukwu read and understood any part of the Nigerian constitution literally and not technically, that you restate it. If what transpired in Aburi, Ghana is any guide, Ojukwu is better, much better than you make him out to be. Ojukwu had critics and detractors. They were seldom in doubt that he was a very articulate, intelligent and learned man. I suspect that you did not and still do not think highly of Ojukwu. That is okay. That however is no reason for you to impugn the integrity and dignity of Emir Ado Bayero. I do not know if you know that Bayero became Emir from his high position in Nigeria’s Foreign Service. I am shocked that you claim that Bayero, as Emir, would allow himself to be used as a pawn in Ojukwu’s political games” in the high tension months of 1966. Bayero and Ojukwu were life-long friends. Ojukwu’s first visit to Northern Nigeria after his return from Exile was his visit to Bayero in Kano. Bayero was at Ojukwu funeral. You would expect that Bayero would have figured out that Ojukwu messed with him in 1966 by the time Ojukwu passed. If you are to be believed, Bayero never did.

Chinua Achebe was Director of External (not Internal) Broadcasting at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (N.B.C.) in 1966. Ironsi controlled the Federal Ministry of Information and its agencies. Ironsi had better positioned people than Achebe for the role you assign to Achebe. Ironsi could neither have needed nor asked Achebe to inform Nigerians of anything as you claim. That role was well outside Achebe’s turf. You may know that Cyprain Ekwensi was Director of Information at the Federal Ministry of Information at the same time. Are you confusing Ekwensi with Achebe?

You write about “ an obvious trick to appease the Northerners for the brutal murder of their political leaders and high ranking military officers” What was the “obvious trick to appease” Westerners for the deaths of Akintola and Brigadier Ademulegun?

I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their version and view of history. I understand that everyone is entitled to their biases. I wish however that everyone is biased in favor of facts.

This conversation is in dangerously impending to become one with the deaf. I have no intention of being part of such a conversation. I wish you well.

 

oa

From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Salimonu Kadiri
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:20 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oga Ogugua Anunoby , so what if the APC under whatever leadershwins the next presidential election?
Importance: High

 

Hello OOA,

                 When Azikiwe chose to be Governor General instead of Prime Minister in his coalition agreement with the NPC in 1959 he and his Constitutional lawyers believed that the position of Governor General, which would be exercising the rights/powers of Queen of England in Nigeria was superior to that of the Prime Minister!! As long as the coalition agreement between the NCNC/NPC worked amicably there was no room to test who was superior to the other, between the GG and the PM. For instance, the declaration of emergency in the Western Region on May 29, 1962, would not have been possible if the Thirteen Emergency Acts were not signed into  law by Azikiwe, the Governor General. One of the core issue in the crisis of Western Region in 1962 was the removal of Akintola as the Premier of the Region by the Governor, Sir Adesoji Aderemi after receiving a paper that contained 66 signatures of members of the House of Assembly. Neither Azikiwe, nor his Constitutional experts in the NCNC/NPC federal controlled government knew what the word *IF* in the constitution of Western Region meant in practice. The case went to the Privy Council which was the Highest Court of Appeal in Nigeria at that time. The Privy Council decision justified Aderemi's removal of Akintola as Premier on the ground that the word *IF* was not restricted only to the decision on the floor of the House as contended by Azikiwe and the his Federal Coalition partner. In order to preempt the consequence of the Privy Council verdict, Nigeria rushed to become a Republic on October 1, 1963. Azikiwe became the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces just as when he was Governor General. I have not said that Azikiwe consulted with Ojukwu over constitutional imbriglio that followed the 1964 federal elections, rather, he was among those who read the constitution literally and not technically by inferring that the title Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces authorised Azikiwe to order the Armed Forces to take action on his command. Azikiwe did not only believe in his power according to his title but he acted on that belief which was why he gave order to Major General Welby- Everard and others to back him up to dissolve the government, annul the 1964 elections and to appoint an interim government to conduct new elections.

 

When at 12:30 afternoon on January 1966 Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu announced on Radio Kaduna the overthrow of the government and declared martial law throughout the North, Ojukwu from the 5th battalion in Kano countered him immediately by inviting the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero to broadcast to the people of the North for calm. And in Lagos, the Director of External Broadcast, Chinua Achebe, helped Ironsi to inform Nigerians that what happened was a mutiny by dissident elements within the Army and that the majority in the Army was loyal to the Federal Government. But when majority members of the national Assembly appointed Zanar Bukar Dipcharima to replace the missing Balewa, Ironsi and Ojukwu insisted on having him sign a paper of transfer of power to him. For his role in hijacking and stealing the Coup of the Majors, Ojukwu was made Governor of Eastern Region and the appointment of Ado Bayero as Chancellor of UNN was an obvious trick to appease the Northerners for the brutal murder of their political leaders and high ranking military officers. Even with the promotions in the army that you mentioned, it was only Hassan Katsina who was a Hausa man amongst the twelve gazetted for promotion to Lt. Colonels in May 1966.     


From: AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:30:37 -0500
Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oga Ogugua Anunoby , so what if the APC under whatever leadershwins the next presidential election?

Thank you SK,

 

I do not know what/who your sources are but it is preposterous to even think not to say believe, that Azikiwe would have or needed to  consulted Ojukwu on constitutional matters when Azikiwe had the benefit of some of the best constitutional lawyers in the first republic. I do not know if you know that Ojukwu was never a lawyer and never pretended to be one. You would expect Azikiwe to know that would you not? Ojukwu is well known not to have gotten along with Azikiwe. One of Ojukwu’s more prominent, some say scandalous  decisions, as military Governor of Eastern Nigeria was removing Azikiwe as the Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka- a university Azikiwe founded as Premier of Eastern Region, and replacing him with  a Hausa-Fulani Ado Bayero (Emir of Kano). That singular act by Ojukwu had no parallel act by any other Military Governors at the time. That act by Ojukwu was a first. It is tradition today and taken for granted. Ojukwu believed in Nigeria more profoundly than many others including his peers and critics whose Agbada, Baban Riga, and Jumpers were and continue to be cut from the cloth the Nigerian flag.

 

You claim that Ironsi appointing Ojukwu the Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria was compensation for Ojukwu’s counsel to him. I remind you that Hassan Usman Katsina was a Major promoted Lt. Colonel in January 1966, by Ironsi and appointed Military Governor of Northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria had Lt. Colonels and superior Majors at the time. What was Usman Katsina being compensated for I ask you? Ditto Fajuyi and Johnson in Western Nigeria and Lagos respectively. Many Northern Nigerian Officers held a grudge against Ironsi on account which grudge, might have led some of them to partake in the plot to assassinate Ironsi- their supreme commander.

Gowon was not the superior Lt. Colonel in the Nigeria Army. Ironsi appointed him Chief of Staff Army. Was that compensation for counsel too? Musa Usman (Army Major) was appointed number two at the Air Force over and above superior Majors. Was that compensation for counsel too? Muritala Mohammed was promoted Lt. Colonel by Ironsi (January 1966) and appointed number two at the Army Signal Corp over and above superior Majors. Was that compensation for counsel too? Obasanjo was not promoted Lt. Colonel by Ironsi in January 1966. Was that because he did not counsel Ironsi on some matter?.

You must be aware that there has been disingenuous and fraudulent misrepresentations and revisions of Nigeria’s history.  One does not always need a strainer to separate truth from falsehood in the hogwash that is presented as Nigeria’s history.

 

oa

From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Salimonu Kadiri
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 2:12 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oga Ogugua Anunoby , so what if the APC under whatever leadershwins the next presidential election?

 

Going back to the controversial  Federal Election of December 1964, the President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, refused to call on Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to form a new government. On the advice of Ojukwu, Azikiwe tried to use his authority as Commander in Chief to obtain military and police backing when he wanted to suspend the government, annul the elections and appoint an interim government to conduct new elections. Unfortunately for Azikiwe and Ojukwu, Major General Welby-Everard was still the General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army. The Armed Forces sought the advice of the Judiciary and they were told that they were under the operational orders of the Prime Minister and not the President whose power was ceremonial.

 

The coup d'├ętat of 15 January 1966 was designed to be bloody by the plotting Majors but again the plotters were infiltrated by ethnic supremacists who refused to shed the blood of their own tribesmen. The Majors' coup was eventually stolen by Ironsi through the advice of Ojukwu and others. Thus Ojukwu was compensated with appointment as Governor of Eastern Region by Ironsi ahead of his seniors in the army from Eastern Region in the persons of Lt. Colonels W. U. Bassey and Philip Effiong who were commissioned respectively in 1946 and 1956. 


From: AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 16:47:16 -0500
Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oga Ogugua Anunoby , so what if the APC under whatever leadershwins the next presidential election?

Thank you CH.

Ojukwu was not coup plotter. He did not overthrow any democratically elected government. He did not lead a military junta. He was a believer in constitutional government. He, in my opinion, is not relevant to our conversation.  

I get your intimation though. I suspect that it is based on your concern ( I will be disappointed that it is your conviction) that I view your man through the ethnicity prism. I assure you that I do not. I know that you know that the end rarely justifies the means especially when the means are unlawful/illegal and in your man’s case, criminal and treasonable. Wrong is not right because it is  informed by good intentions. Masses of innocent people have suffered because of the so-called good intentions of actors especially.

I am surprised by your sweeping generalization about the Igbo man and his conflation as you allege, of “Hausa man” and “Muslim”. I strongly disagree. Every community/society has both its ignorant/uneducated and educated/informed classes.  It is not possible that all Igbo men are not familiar with the population geography and history of Nigeria as you claim.

You state that your man has a better “moral backbone” than his peers and did not amply “line his pockets” in power. What/where is the evidence that verifiably  and veritably supports this proposition? An unending campaign for the office of president of Nigeria requires deep pockets. Who is paying for your man’s campaign I humbly ask?

A military coup, is not acceptable in a constitutional democracy, or a less treasonable crime because it was bloodless and/or is motivated by pompous indignation and arrogant self-righteousness. It is a crime because the constitution/law says it is. Has it not been said that “the flag is the last refuge of the scoundrel”? I add that the flag is also a refuge of political opportunists. In a democracy, citizens should choose their leaders. There is still no conclusive evidence that you man is at peace with this value. He has rejected the results of every elections that he has lost. He has challenged the results of every election he lost in court. He lost in court each time. Those are not the ways of a reformed autocrat. He seems to believe that every election he lost was rigged, and only elections he won were free and fair. He will only accept the result of an election if he is declared the winner. Those are the ways of a closet autocrat.

It is unwise and very risky to ignore an autocrat’s past as he seeks new high political office. His past is a known. His future is an unknown. You claim that “he is surely not the same person that he was then- has had time to reflect and as a good Muslim to repent”. That is the hope and expectation but what/where is the evidence that is the case? He may in fact be a worse person. We do not know. He is an angry man.

True repentance is preceded by acknowledgement of wrong doing and contrition. We do not know that this  has been the case with your man. As much as you admire your man, it is not for you or indeed anyone else to apologize for him. He can speak for himself but refuses to. His public posture and pronouncements strongly cause many Nigerians to believe that he wants to come back to “finish the job” he started. Your man’s several failures at the polls cause me to believe that a majority of Nigerians do not want that “job” finished. Then again what job if I may ask?

I remind you that your man criticizes President Jonathan and goes home to his family and loved ones. You ask those who criticized your man when he was Head of State what happened to them after they did.

This conversation for me, is not about the President Jonathan and his stewardship. It is roundly about the legitimate concerns, doubts, and suspicions there are about your man as a possible future president of Nigeria, given what is known about his past and present. If he sincerely confronts and erases them, I might even join you as one of the faithful. Why not? I want Nigeria to work better for all Nigerians.

Thank you again and good bye.

 oa

From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Cornelius Hamelberg
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2014 9:33 AM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oga Ogugua Anunoby , so what if the APC under whatever leadershwins the next presidential election?

 

 

Guilty: The long-windedness is mine.

Mine is probably a lone voice in the wilderness. Anyway for the record, in the name of difference or diversity and freedom of opinion, I hope that this one gets through.

I notice that in your review of military governments and their strongmen, General Ojukwu does not come under your purview.  Of course that could be a separate issue altogether, if by military governments you mean all military governments including insurrectionist ones.

Here’s a short list . I had feared that you were going to quote Wole Soyinka on Buhari. I’ll tell you this: Alagba Soyinka is not my infallible authority and he too is entitled to all his opinions and even prejudices, if he has any.  Having lived so long with Igbos, in Nigeria, I know that when the Igbo man says “Hausa man” he means Muslim. I now that in that regard, he makes no distinction between Hausa and Fulani, for him North is North and Muslim is Muslim, no matter the tribe.  Just as with one of my close Yoruba Brethren, as far as he is concerned, I am not Cornelius Adebayo, and that’s why he calls me “ Menahem “. Not Menahem Adebayo, just Menahem (in Bangladesh every male Muslim has Mohammed as their first name - usually abbreviated Md.)

My good Sir, according to the doctors of political science, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. You probably don’t know personally (smile) - lack the experience to know that it takes some discipline to resist the temptation of corruption, when you are in power ( I mean real power). To resist the temptation which leads some to believe that the national treasury is part of their campaign treasure chest and that they can do with it as they please...

 I hope that this did not escape your notice: Nigeria: Opting Out of an Insurgency

One thing that you cannot accuse Muhammadu Buhari of is that unlike some democratically elected politicians holding high office, he Muhammad Buhari did not “illegally and generously line his pockets.” Aren’t you happy that for a change, such a son of the soil has that kind of moral backbone?  You misplace words when you ascribe a brutal role to those who carried out a bloodless coup.  He was no El-Sisi. If only he could have been given the time necessary to arrange and supervise an election!

Comfortably sitting on your high horse, your polemical response is merely a long indictment of military coups. I sympathise with some of your general critique.  I too have witnessed and lived through a few, including the one that took place in Nigeria on 31.12.1983. Commissioner of Police Mr. Efebo politely declined the offer of being military governor of Rivers State after that coup. (I should have known that something was cooking when mastermind coordinator Sani Abacha turned up in Port Harcourt a few weeks before that, and a week before the coup all the international telephone lines were cut, apart from the only one I had access to at Scanastra – I had thought that it was because of the Christmas traffic.)  Yes, there are tomes of critiques of military coups in Africa and other parts of the world. Flight-Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings too has left a controversial legacy (just ask Kwabena Akurang-Parry) - but sometimes, in the life of a nation, a man has to do what a man has to do.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries”

Nearly all that you say about our Muhammadu Buhari is about his past, some thirty years ago. He is surely not the same person that he was then- has had time to reflect and as a good Muslim to repent, regularly.  It’s called “Tauba”.  You seem to be less obsessive, less judgemental about the present political dispensation and that too is understandable since “absence never lets the heart grow fonder “this is true of many of us and you too, as you live and breathe not in Nigeria but in far away North America. I suppose that you are one of Dr. Chika Onyeani’s good fellows who made the Goodluck Jonathan Appreciation Day such a resounding a success over there in the United States of America.  A similar manifestation in Nigeria would probably be a little less successful even if there would be more local sycophants who can see no evil, hear no evil or do no evil when it comes to praising their Goodluck Jonathan and his good government. So, if you are going to write about what’s happening in Nigeria today please don’t make my man the sole target of your wrath – even if what’s beginning to look like a  witch-hunt all the anti-Goodluck Jonathan governors are impeached for whatever real or trumped up charges.  

 Talking about WAI - six months of arrears in salaries were paid to Rivers States Civil servants a week after Buhari-Idiagbon took over the reins of government; the mountains of garbage from which mango trees had taken root and were reaching for the sky, those mountains were cleared away in no time at all so that we could all breathe some fresh air again in the environs of Mile One Market in Port Harcourt. The formerly unpaid civil servants started turning up for work on time – this too was achieved without the threat of “brutal force”, corporal punishment, imprisonment or threats of sending anyone to Jahannam.

 As yester day slips into becoming the past, I wonder whether or not you are as obsessive about forgiving of all that has occurred since Dr. Jonathan took office. My man, Muhammadu Buhari is criticising what he and many including me, see as some shortcomings and you say that he doesn’t have a right to say anything - because he too is not Jesus Christ, is not the Messiah perhaps, oh son of man, could it be that your attitude is induced by the scripture which says, “Let him that is without sin, throw the first stone”?

 The Nigerian constitution may be holy - it may even be made holier by those who would like to amend some parts of it , maybe create a few more states, and thereby bring a few more powerful governors into being - governors who preferably should support the powers that be and not bite the hand that feeds them (like that Shakespeare line

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is

To have a thankless child”

 You lament the Nigerian Military overthrowing the democratically elected Shagari government, “as bad as the Shagari government might have been”. Gaza’s Hamas government was democratically elected too – bad as they can be - and it looks to me that the IDF would like to overthrow that government, right there in Gaza, it what increasingly looks like a bloody coup...

So, ( back to Nigeria)  what is so holy about a government that is “democratically elected “– if it evolves into a government of looters and a government that rigs what you call ”democratic elections” – as indeed the NPN rigged the 1983 elections, called it “NPN Magic”. I was there.  They were already dancing outside the Rivers State minister of agriculture Levy Braide’s house, by 3 pm  on election day , by which time everybody had finished voting in Bakana – when it was time for counting the ballots they threw away the surplus votes that had been cast ( in excess of the registered voters) , into the river. You see, since the criminals could not be overthrown through the ballot box, the army came to the rescue. The same kind of criminals surely rigged future elections in Nigeria as a result of which my man fared less successfully than he would have if those elections had been completely free and fair - free, and without  blackouts or the disappearance of ballot boxes en route to the  counting houses or during the counting.   Goodluck Jonathan’s predecessor, Umaru Yaradua confessed to the extent of the rigging in the election which brought him to power.

Talking about treason, what do you think about this Palestinian MP in the Israel Knesset? We are talking about a real democracy aren’t we? Not a make belief one.

As Always,

Wishing the best for all Nigerians,

We Sweden

 

 

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Politics, National Security and the Buhari Attack

Comments (0) |


 
 
 
"I am personally involved in a clearly targeted bomb attack today at about 2:30pm on my way to Daura.
 
 
"The unfortunate event, clearly an assassination attempt came from a fast moving vehicle that made many attempts to overtake my security car, but was blocked by escort vehicle.
 
 
"We reached the market area of Kawo where he took advantage of our slowing down and attempted to ram my car and instantly detonated the bomb which destroyed all the three cars in our convoy.
 
 
"Unfortunately, when I came out of my vehicle, I saw many dead bodies littered around. They were innocent people going about their daily business who became victims of mass murder.
 
 
"Thank God for His mercy, I came out unhurt, but three of my security staff sustained minor injuries. They have since been treated in hospital and discharged." 
 
 
- General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret) (Statement released to the press, Wednesday, 23 July, 2014)
 
 
 
 
 
Now that General Muhammadu Buhari himself has released a statement indicating that he was the target of an assassination attempt in Kaduna, we need to stop and think as a nation going forward.
 
First, I note that many partisan supporters of his are gleefully pointing to this as a justification that General Muhammadu Buhari is not a sponsor of Boko Haram as certain elements within the ruling PDP have been implying. As that reasoning goes, if he were, the terrorists wouldn't be targeting him. But the fact that such thinking has taken root at all in the political space is an indictment of our politics, because the accusation itself is based on a lot of political hot air, rather than any shred of respectable evidence.
 
As I write, the two main political parties are yet to make any official statements, but if we follow their antecedents, you would expect that they would, as usual, politicize this and lose the sense of what we should be taking away from this incident and what we should be acting on as one as a nation. President Goodluck Jonathan is right to call the attack "an odious attempt to inflame passions and exacerbate disquiet, fear, insecurity and sectional divisions in the country", but whether his own media people, his party and the opposition are going to read the script that well going forward is another matter. Desperation seems to rule the Nigerian political roost on all fronts nowadays.
 
Though, at the moment, Boko Haram are yet to claim responsibility for the attack, there is enough uncontested information for us to make informed speculations, all of which would easily lead us to conclude that they are behind the attack. For instance, even from Buhari's account, we know that the attack on his convoy was carried out by a lone suicide bomber, after another suicide bomber on foot had lunged at a moderate Islamic leader, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi at the prayer ground at Murtala Muhammed Square in the commercial area of the city where thousands had gathered for prayers.
 
Even though the suicide bombers in the twin attacks did not succeed in killing their main targets, reports say over eighty people were killed in both attacks. Clearly, these attacks bear all the hallmarks of a Boko Haram attack. Nigeria is a funny place politically and we must thank God that the nature of the attack has removed any doubt about its perpetrators, because we wouldn't have put it past some to claim it's an Abuja-inspired attack, because Buhari is such a feared opposition leader that forces loyal to President Jonathan would want him out of the way before 2015 and blame it on Boko Haram. Of course, that claim would be silly and unsupportable, but with Nigeria, with the kind of politics being played now, anything to stain President Jonathan seems fair game. We can see it clearly from the fact that many opposition figures do not respect the office of the President or the man at all and that's a big shame. We should be grateful that the way this happened reduces the chance for these characters to ratchet up their mischief.
 
Beyond all that, what I would personally advise is that Nigerian political leaders must see the significance of this attack in the context of what we have suffered as a nation in national, communal and personal security for the past five years of Boko Haram and related terrorism. It is instructive that while this menace has been on, the political opposition, of which Buhari is a key figure, has treated it as though it is the problem of President Goodluck Jonathan and his party and some of their members have spoken and acted in all manners indicative of that belief. They have obviously framed a political strategy around presenting the President as clueless in matters of national security, even where they themselves have never provided workable suggestions or solutions on the matter.
 
More depressingly, Buhari has made himself the most high profile defender of the Boko Haram organization, even if indirectly. He has called for the government to stop arresting the Boko Haram suspects, to stop killing them and to get into negotiations with them as they did with the Niger-Delta militants. He has compared Boko Haram to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), implying that something like the Good Friday Agreement that paved the way for the political process that led to peace in Northern Ireland should be employed in Nigeria. Yet, he knew like all Nigerians that the government has provided all avenues for the Boko Haram to come to the table, but they won't. In fact, when Buhari himself was called upon to be part of the discussion to end the bloodshed, he pointedly refused and in a most unstatesmanlike manner said he was not going to join such an effort, because he was not part of those who created the problem.
 
For years, Buhari consistently blamed the Goodluck Jonathan administration for the Boko Haram insurgency, even though everyone knows it started during the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration before it became a full-blown insurgency under President Umaru Yar'Adua due to the extrajudicial killings undertaken by his administration with a view of quelling the then nascent insurgency. Buhari for years would not condole with victims of Boko Haram atrocities or publicly condemn the insurgency until very recently in May when political calculations made him do so after the Boko Haram kidnap of the Chibok girls.
 
Indeed, if we are honest, no matter the side of the political divide we are, we cannot doubt the fact that General Buhari has never been an enthusiastic opponent of the Boko Haram terrorists. I'm not saying he's a sponsor or supporter, but he has clearly attempted to reap political benefits from it, which makes the PDP media machine always attempt to imply that he is a supporter. Of course, discerning political observers know that whatever the origin of Boko Haram, as presently constituted, it is actually a Nigerian franchise of international terrorism and those with control over the organization are not part of our political class. If indeed the Boko Haram are behind this Buhari attack, as I suspect they are, then here is a clear and unequivocal message from them to us that nobody is immune from their murderous anger. Even though there are opposition politicians who speak as though Boko Haram is their Cerberus, we must now know that Boko Haram is not the military wing of the APC. It is a terrorist group that we all must try to deal with as one.
 
So that is the message of this Buhari attack. It is time for the government and PDP media machine to tone down their rhetoric, which claims or implies that Boko Haram is being sponsored or supported by the opposition, no matter what some individual opposition politicians say to disparage the effort of the Federal Government in this regard. Doing this is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. More importantly, supporting such notion of political sponsorship in the media only energizes the Boko Haram people, because it indicates infighting amongst the political class over national security, which is something they've proved adept at cashing in on.  Of course, this is by no means suggesting that the security services should not continue to do their job of monitoring all persons, no matter their political party affiliations and no matter how highly placed, once they have reasons to suspect them to be part of the threat to national security, including being collaborators with Boko Haram elements in any way.
 
Having said this, the leadership of the opposition must also now begin to appreciate what is at stake here for our nation. The desperation with which they've been going about this business of claiming power at the centre has made them lose sense of the fact that national security should be out of bounds to politics and politicking. I had thought that the All-Parties Summit convened by the President was going to be the beginning of proper collaboration between the parties and our national political leadership over Boko Haram, but from all indications thereafter it's proven not to be. So, here is an opportunity for the opposition to go to the drawing board and prepare a proposal to the government, a proposal that can get everyone working together to address the menace of the terrorists.
 
Of course, conduct matters. They must rein in their desperate attack dogs who would want to use national security to attack the President or PDP, assuming that this is their political underbelly. They must know that it's not the underbelly of the PDP or Jonathan, but the underbelly of the nation. We all have to do something about it now. The political parties can start by removing national security from the list of campaign issues while they work together with the government as suggested to provide solutions. Buhari can lead that effort. He has the training and the stature for such a job. Today's attack against him should tell him it's the only patriotic thing to do here.
 
 
Kennedy Emetulu
London
 
 
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USA Africa Dialogue Series - CFP: International Summit on Civil and Human Rights

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Colleagues,

Please see the attached CFP.  We look forward to receiving your proposals.  Please feel free to share with interested friends and colleagues.

Warm Regards.

Nurudeen B. Akinyemi, PhD.
Department of Political Science & International Affairs
Director, Center for African & African Diaspora Studies
Institute for Global Initiatives
Kennesaw State University
Town Point, Bldg. 3391, Suite 2800, MD 9119
1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, GA 30144
770-499-3346 or 678-797-2429; Fax: 770-499-3430


http://civilrightssummit.kennesaw.edu
Email: civil_rights@kennesaw.edu




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