Enablers of terrorism in government

Nigerian had been held hostage by terrorists for about 12 years before insurgency took a new turn upon President Buhari’s ascension to power in 2015 with his government welcomed by renewed mindless killings, abduction of school girls as sex slaves and underage school children for ransom.

Concerned Nigerians, including leaders of three southern geo-political zones who appealed that “The president should deal decisively with the issue of Fulani herdsmen (because), if unchecked, has the capacity to snowball to another Boko Haram” were labeled enemies of the nation. Meanwhile, terrorists play the victim with the help of crime enablers in government who duplicitously justified herdsmen violence by erosion of pre-independence grazing routes, supported herdsmen illegal bearing of Ak-47 rifles and vociferously defended illegal occupation of reserved forests of federating states by criminal herdsmen. Their mischief was designed to persuade trusting Buhari that Fulani are under existential threat in the country.

While the carnage continued with neither apprehension or prosecution of criminal herdsmen, a National Grazing Reserves Bill, “described by Chief Fasoranti as “offensive, a violation of federal principle and against principle of natural justice”, seeking Grazing Routes and Reserves and a Commission that will implement the law was sponsored by Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Some others came up with weird idea of cattle colonies. Everything except ending carnage by criminal herdsmen was done by crime enablers in government who chose to betray the nation even when it was not as if there were no leads to confront the evil of insurgency.

It is for instance on record that that Miyyetti Allah’s November 2017’s threat to resist the state’s anti-grazing law was followed by the January 2018 massacre of 73 people in Benue. We have no evidence anyone was arrested.

In Zamfara, Ibrahim Dosara, the state’s Commissioner of Information told the federal authority that the “genesis of rural banditry in Zamfara started with a conflict between the Fulani and Hausa communities in the state”. With the above, a government with a political will has its job well cut out.

In Kaduna, the governor, Nasir El Rufai in 2016 admitted the criminal herdsmen he negotiated with and paid ransom were “actually from outside Nigeria, with some of them from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal”. That ECOWAS neighbors were not confronted as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano recently suggested was a clear indication that immigrant Fulani herdsmen enjoy better support among Buhari’s ‘loyal gatekeepers’ than besieged Nigerians.

Similarly, 39 students were abducted from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Mando on March 11, followed in April by another 23 students of Greenfield University by bandits who demanded N800m from parents after killing five of the students. Sheik Gumi, who after a visit to the bandits in their den disclosed that ‘bandits are disgruntled Fulani herdsmen seeking government recognition and amnesty’ contrary to the impression that the bandits were invisible.

In neigbouring Katsina, over 300 young boys of Kankara Boys School were abducted by Auwalu Daudawa on December 11 2020. His gang, after receiving huge ransom from Governor Masari on December 17, 2020 abducted another 80 girls of Islamiyya school in Dandume. The bandits who were granted amnesty after another huge ransom and swearing on the Quran not to return to banditry reneged and went on to make 32 of 34 Katsina LGAs ungovernable. How can Malami and his DSS with their string of sting operations extending outside the country claim Katsina bandits, well known government business partners are invisible?

The truth is that there is no hiding place in the world for terrorists. Perhaps in recognition of this, Garba Shehu back in March disclosed that 400 Bureau De Change operators had been apprehended for sponsoring insurgency by transferring money from United Arab Emirates. After five months of investigation and with the jailing of six Nigerians by UAE for sponsoring terrorism, the public through

newspaper editorials demanded those apprehended be charged to court. We were however told last Monday, the day scheduled for appearance, that Malami’s hand was tied because “lawyers to the accused had managed to file cases to enforce their fundamental rights that must be heard”.

Tuesday, the day after, it was a different music with Femi Adesina presidential special adviser on media quoted as saying “Buhari’s administration is not interested in naming and shaming Boko Haram sponsors and other financiers of terrorism but interested only in bringing those involved to justice.”

Justice unfortunately remains a forlorn hope for surviving victims of herdsmen bestiality including dehumanized young girls in IDP camps while Lai Mohammed was from far away USA mischievously equating the rights of captured soldiers under the Geneva Convention with savages who brutalise innocent girls.

FFK: Like father like son (The Nation August 14, 2014)

Awo celebrated the brilliance of young Remi Fani-Kayode who rose rapidly from youth wing leader of the Action Group to Assistant Secretary General of AG. He along with Awo, S. O. Ighodaro, E. O. Eyo, Adeyemi Lawson and S. G. Ikoku, represented the Action Group at the 1957 London Constitutional Conference. But the late Olabisi Onabanjo, alias Aiyekoto, who chronicled the events of the period, told us how Fani-Kayode took a gamble in 1959, when he joined NCNC as leader of opposition in the House. According to him, Fani-Kayode, “born in London, bred in Lagos, who went home only when ambition for political office was ripened”, lost the Ife Constituency 1 election in 1959 and lost the Ile Ife constituency in 1961. Thereafter bringing down the regional government became his mission. Following the prosecution of some members of his militant youth wing for criminal activities in 1960, he called on the prime minister and the federal government to take over the West because of what he described as ‘breakdown of law and order’. He repeated the call in 1961.

His appeal finally found expression in 1962 when following the throwing of chairs by some NCNC sympathizers of embattled Premier Akintola, the federal government declared an illegal state of emergency, clamped Awo and AG members into detention and imposed Akintola as Premier with Fani Kayode as deputy without election. In power, ‘Fani-Power’ called the bluff of Yoruba voters declaring his NNDP would win the 1965 regional election ‘whether the people voted for them or not’.

Akintola stole the election as “many of the NNDP candidates were returned unopposed while those of their opponents were invalidated fraudulently. But it was a pyrrhic victory as the Yoruba, swore that those who sowed the wind would reap the whirlwind. It was his misfortune to lead coup plotters to premier’s lodge where he witnessed the brutal murder of SLA Akintola on January 31, 1966. But after becoming an accessory to the destruction of the ladder with which he climbed up, the brilliant lawyer never again found the rhythm

Aiyekoto, writing about Chief Remi Fani-Kayode in Daily Express of August 8, 1961, said: “he has the courage of a mischief maker and knows how to exploit a situation. He first warmed himself to the hearts of the people through a series of powerful articles and later by fighting conservatism only to return to those he fought to get the limelight…”

It was as if Aiyekoto was writing about the Femi, the scion of an illustrious father. As the nemesis of PDP in the Southwest in the last two years, he even helped in building APC into a formidable opposition. But just as his illustrious father did in 1959, he moved back to the ruling PDP in 2014 and has once again shifted his allegiance to the reigning god at the centre by joining the ruling APC.

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