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Nigeria is on Fire, Says Danjuma

02 May 2012

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Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.),




By  Chuks Okocha and Paul Obi 
Former Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.), has said Nigeria is on fire and called for a halt to what he described as “somalianisation” of the country.

He also said Borno, Kano and Jigawa States have failed within the Northern part of the country.
Besides, former vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has faulted the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Nigeria by Lord Fredrick Lugard and described the exercise as a “great and tragic mistake”.

Both men spoke at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja yesterday, where the publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, celebrated his 50th birthday.


Speaking as chairman of the event, Danjuma said the violence in some states in the Northern part of the country was a sign of bad times.

According to him, “Nigeria is on fire; this house is on fire; the North is on fire. Nigeria is becoming like Somalia. The ‘somalianisation’ of Nigeria is taking place right now

“I am an optimist as far as Nigeria is concerned. Each time we appear to be struggling as a nation, I tell myself that we shall muddle through. In the last two months, I began to wonder, our house is on fire. Nigeria is becoming a Somalia; s’omalianisation’ of Nigeria is taking place right now.

“We have to sit down and face the truth, get to the root of our problem and find a solution to this problem. Those of us who call ourselves Northerners, our house is on fire. Let us not deceive ourselves, let’s look at ourselves, face ourselves and tell ourselves the truth and find solution to our problem.”

On the governors, he said: “The chief security officer of every state in Nigeria is the governor, where are our Northerner governors? Where are they/ Right now, Borno is a failed state, Jigawa is almost a failed state. Kano is threatening to be a failed state. Kano of all places, Kano, where are we going? Where on earth are we going?

“You hear talks of multi-million naira fences around government houses. What about the citizens? We have to search our minds and find solution to this problem.”
Nigeria’s former Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule, in his comment, preached peace and love for one another.

According to him, “All the religions of God teach us the same thing, the moral values told by all the religions of God are the same thing; peace with your God, peace of the mind, peace of the fellow man is the teaching of Christianity, the word Islam means peace. Love your neighbour as thyself is another teaching. Be your brother’s keeper is common to both religions.”

In his paper titled: “Nigeria 1914 to date – A Chequered Journey So far”, Abduallahi faulted the amalgamation of Nigeria by Lugard, describing it as the greatest mistake that had befallen Nigeria.


He urged leaders to take a quick resolution to correct the mistakes created by the amalgamation, as "delay would be late and dangerous".

He cited the case of India where the British committed a similar mistake, but the country's example, according to him, had been resolved through the creation of the states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


In similar cases, he urged Nigeria to take a clue from what is happening in the United Kingdom, where Northern Ireland and Scotland are fighting separation as sovereign nations, while drawing example from the recent development in Sudan, where the country had divided into the Sudan and Southern Sudan.


Abdullahi said the three examples are all British colonies and that the earlier a decision was taken on the continued status of Nigeria, the better.

According to the former vice-chancellor, “things are more likely to become complex in the future. Until the correct things are done, we cannot ignore these facts or we continue to pretend as our leaders that this is a passing phase. The question of a likely disintegration is not a too distant future.”

He also faulted the growth rate in the country, stating that "though Nigeria is growing at the rate of seven per cent per year, but it does not reflect the actuality on ground as over 100 million Nigerians still live below $1 per day, with a life expectancy going down at less than 48 years."

In his speech, former Senate President Ken Nnamani called for the prosecution of Nigerians behind the third term agenda, saying, “If we don’t prosecute those behind the shameful act of the third term, some people will not have the guts to be denying their role.”

He said some people should be languishing in jail for mismanaging the sovereign wealth of Nigerians.
According to him, “some of our leaders tell lies without any pinch of shame”.
He also commended the House of Representatives for the steps taken in the probe of the oil subsidy, saying those found culpable should not be allowed to go unpunished.

In his comment, the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lt-Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd.), blamed the growing insecurity in the North on the Northern governors, asking, “What are they doing with the money they are collecting. How can we say that we don’t know who the members of the Boko Haram are? They are attacking churches and mosques and killing people.”

Former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is behind the problems of the country.

He cited the case of the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, without the approval of the Senate. This, he said, had put fear into other justices of the Court of Appeal.
According to him, “the suspension of Justice Salami has put fear into other judges as they may not have the strength of justice to denounce the PDP or give remarkable judgment because of the fear of what happened to Salami.”

The occasion was also attended by former Head of State, Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.); former governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Mauzu; Ahmed Joda; former Minister of Communica-tion, Zango Sani Daura; Adamu Fika and Isiyaku Ibrahim.

Tags: Nigeria, Featured, Politics, ICC, ABU

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  • Are these Northern Political Leaders telling us Odumeagwu Ojukwu was right in declaring the Republic of Biafra. If that is the case, people like Danjuma, Gowon and others that participate in the war should be tried in the court of law. Also Biafrans should be compensated by Nigeria forb unleashing unjust war against Biafra. Danjuma and his Northern cohorts have raped and looted Nigerian economy turning her into coamatose hence Boko Haram and present insecurity. Now they agree that declaration of Biafra is right. Hypocrite Northerners. gaskytruth@gmail.com

    From: Gasky Truth

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • if the northern leader could be sincere with what they say, i think we might find a solution to the problem we are facing as a nation. we as a nation are not fit for amalgamation. is the fact

    From: Gbenga Odus

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Professor Ango has spoken well,l support him the country should be separated and at least that will create peace,enough of the wastage of innocent souls.

    From: bolajijohnson

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • you are one of the greatest beneficiary of the current system; you worked hard to entrench corruption. Now you are old and probably dying; you are now a saint? Just shut up and enjoy your loot.Nigeria will clean up itself when the time comes.

    From: Kpomkpocious

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Everyone has been looking for a place to talk, that's why a 'common' 50th birthday of a newspaper publisher has brought these people together and they were all talking.
    However, "an age-long pristine golden truth" has been spoken there. I hereby pronounce an eternal generational blessing and peace to Prof. Ango Abdullahi and his family for speaking that truth. And Amen!!!, to that.

    From: nwatah.com

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Yes we all agree Nigeria is on fire. What next? What we may not agree on is the reason or real genesis of the fire and those and who have stoked the fire over the days since the misadventures of January 1966.. Some confessions will be useful as we own up to our small and big parts in the mess we are in. Can we with all honesty face the painful surgery that must be done before we can receive the waiting forgiveness of those they have messed up their lives. If we do this, divine intervention will sanitise and make Nigeria a sane and prospering nation where equity and justice for all is a hallmark of sincerity of purpose and genuine intention to be one people and one destiny. The major actors who are still alive have a limited time to come clean and confess their mistakes and receive the waiting forgiveness of those they have messed up their lives. The Divine intervention in the affairs of men will pluck us out this fire that threatens to evaporate all including the golden goose, the eggs, and even wipe out the nest ileaving only the blood of the rich and poor, the northerner and the southerner, the Christian and his Moslem brother. The menace of bombers, terrorists, arm robbers, street beggars, street traders, okada madness, roaming un employed and under employed, will expire instantly as soon as corruption and mismanagement is sacked from our nation as a culture of impunity.

    From: echi

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I am shocked Theophilus Danjuma could say this!! Building of fences around government houses worth mlti-millions of naira and oil wells are they the same? If only you have built fences around your houses, Nigeria and Nigerians would have been better off by now! but you did not stop at fence building but rather went into looting the economy even very deeply. As a bloody General in the Nigerian Army how much was your Salary and total earnings that have fetch you so much wealth and oil wells? Danjuma, our memories are not that short oooo. Only time will tell. Remove the beam in your eyes and live those government fences alone because you are their mentor. You are crying that Nigeria is now on fire! did the fire just start today? You are only crying over the insecurity and uncertainty stearing at your ill-gotten wealth not that you love Nigerians that much. Not even your so call phillantropical and altruistic way of life. Anyway, I blame those that invited you to that occassion.

    From: Yoms

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Thanks to all the participants, Danjuma's words represent the entire nothernas. May God save us from dis so-called nothern Governors !

    From: Abba Moh'd Hassan k/durbi, Katsina

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • It is not just enough, to say that Nigeria is becoming like somalia or rather fault the british on south north amalgamation, the broblems are from you so called elite from the north, who never taught of human capital development in that region of Nigeria, rather encourage hate preaching among your youth, states in the south are holding economic summit, what is happening in north, stealing and uncalled for political permutation, that is the only language they understand, the youth in the north should rise against this failed political leaders

    From: Obas

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • All the people mentioned here have one way or the other contributed to ruin Nigeria so let them shut their gobs. TY has Oil blocs, jagaba has hotels,lands and almost the whole of Lagos, Jerry boy has stuff too,even oga Ken. Let them all start by returning what they personally stole before they see what others did

    From: Victor

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • For once, I am proud to be a Nigerian. These viewpoints are very patroitic!

    From: Gregory(UK)

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Everyone is seeing ' Nigeria's Problem' through their own little prism. For TInubu its PDP, and Justice Salamigate. To Nnamani its non prosecution of 3rd Term Advocates, To Ango Abdulahi, the answer suddenly is the 51 year old amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates, To Jerry Useni, and Gen Danhuma, its the bad governance by Northern leaders, and to Maitama Sule its lack of love. No one is saying anything about the inequitable, unconscionable, running of all of Nigeria, as a unitarist, rather than a Federalist State, as stipulated by the ' Nigerian Constitution'. No one is seeing the BIG PICTURE.

    From: nike

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Making sound speaches about Nigerian problems is one thing, but executing it becomes another hurdle. If the mistake about nigeria was the amalgamation of 1914, then how do we start to correct it. The late Gaddafi of Libya said it two years before his death that Nigeria need to disintergrate in other to resolve their problems, but the senate president attacked Gaddafi's comment. With all respect, Lt. General Danjuma, you can start this movement of resolving the amalgamation issues by calling upon other Regions to support the movement. Nigeria can seperate peacefully and still do business to one another.

    From: Eje

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I WONDER WHY OUR SO-CALLED POLITICAL LEADERS SHOULD BE SPEAKING FROM BOTH ENDS OF MOUTH. WHY WILL KEN NNAMANI BE TALKING ABOUT PROSECUTING THE THIRD AGENDA AT THIS TIME? WHY WILL PROF. ANGO BE TALKING ABOUT SEPARATION WHEN HIM AND HIS KIND ARE AGAINST SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE. SHAME TO YOU FOCUSLESS LEARDER YOU HAVE RAPED NIGERIA. YOU WILL PAY DEARLY FOR IT.

    From: I CRY FOR MY BELOW COUNTRY

    Posted: 2 years ago

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