Polscope with Eddy Odivwri; firstname.lastname@example.org, 08053069356
Ihave always wondered why a pack of murderous rascals will forever hold a nation to ransom. Several years ago when we read of terrorists’ activities in far away countries, it hardly connected with us, as we saw it as far-fetched occurrences. Undoubtedly however, those same terrorists are now living with us today. Some of them are highly-placed persons. Some are even lawmakers. Some are even ex-governors. And as a nation, we seem woven around by this class of persons. No wonder President Goodluck Jonathan, last year announced that the members of the Boko Haram have become so ubiquitous that they are just everywhere in government, including his own office, the military, the National Assembly, the judiciary etc. But sadly more than one year after, these unnamed terrorists or supporters of terrorists are yet to be unmasked. Yet, the gang has continued to slaughter Nigerians with reckless abandon. No social affliction aside the Nigerian civil war, has posed as much challenge to the Nigerian state, as the Boko Haram menace.
But what seems baffling is why even those identified and caught are seemingly treated with kid’s gloves. Surely, the security agencies who have been waging efficiency war with the terrorists, have their ways. But the truth remains that we don’t not know what they are doing with those so caught.
For too long, the Borno State government led by the former governor, Ali Modu Sheriff and even the present, Kashim Shettima, have been fingered in having a thing or more to do with the Boko Haram scourge. But they just seem untouchable.
Last year, Gen Jerry Useni, former National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the party on which Sheriff was then elected as a governor, had told insightful stories of how Sheriff nurtured the Boko Haram sect, essentially for the furtherance of his political ambition. Useni’s information were vivid and graphic. Sheriff was then invited for quizzing by the Security Service. In no time, he was allowed to go, after denying Useni’s narration. But he could not reasonably fault the catchy details of Useni’s testimony.
It is recalled that the same Sheriff lost his brother to the Boko Haram squad and another ANPP gubernatorial candidate also killed. And when it seemed the Boko Haram was coming for Sheriff, the latter published detailed and unreserved apologia to the sect in National newspapers, whereupon he was spared, it seemed.
And sometime last year too, when the Boko Haram attacks intensified, some suspected members, including Abu Qaqa, an unnamed Airforce officer etc., were all arrested in the Borno Governor’s Lodge in Abuja. Aside the celebrated escape of the Abu Qaqa and eventual recapture at the time, we do not know what ever happened to the persons so arrested.
The Joint Task Force, surely has arrested many of the members of the sect. But where are they? Why are they not being prosecuted in their numbers? I hear that too often, when arrow members of the sect are arrested, top government officials, even in the presidency, would call the head of the agency that is in custody of the arrested persons to “relax”. And then the case gets on the pause mode. Were it not so, many of the arrested persons would have been serving their jail terms by now.
But even more intriguing is the blame game between Senator Sheriff and Senator Ahmad Zannah (representing Borno central senatorial district)—obviously a benchwarmer senator, as he is barely known or heard, more than one year after he got in the senate. The JTF had announced that it arrested a Boko Haram leader, Shuaibu Bama in Zannah’s house. Zannah in turn denied that Bama was not arrested in his house but in Sheriff’s, who is his nearby neighbour. He however admitted that Bama is his nephew. He further offered, unsolicited, to lead a delegation of Federal Government delegation to open talks with the deadly sect. Again, he was invited for questioning, and later released. He failed to keep his next appointment with the SSS.
So what did the SSS find out from Zannah? For him to have known, haboured and shielded such an enemy of state, methinks, implicates Senator Zannah. That he is so willful in leading a dialogue delegation bespeaks of a desperate move to divert attention from his complicity with the group. Pray, why did he not report Bama to the security agencies all along?
On the other hand, Sheriff did not exactly deny that Bama was arrested in his house. So if he did not deny, what did he say is his relationship with such a person so declared wanted by the security agencies? Why has the Police failed to arrest either Sheriff of Zannah? If Shettimah yet have immunity, has the immunity of Sheriff not long expired? What did the SSS glean from the sessions of interrogations they have had with Sheriff?
Yet another Senator Mohammed Ndume, from the same Borno State, was earlier in the year arrested and being prosecuted also in connection with a link with Boko Haram. But he denied ever having anything to do with the sect, which he said had been threatening him personally. But last Wednesday, a witness in the court accused Ndume of being the one who revealed the Attorney General’s phone number to a Boko Haram link.
All things put together, it appears all is ready to nail those so accused of this crime against humanity. But the prosecution agencies are dithering. What is withholding their action? Why is government merely romancing people suspected to be behind the threat to our survival?
Is it that they are sacred cows? Are they among the untouchables?
I can bet that if the law has been firm in its grip against the terrorists, the spate of attacks would have long dropped.
But it is not too late. Nigerians need to know and see the actions being meted out against the suspects. Those whose crimes have been confirmed should be made to face the wrath of the law without further delay, no matter how socially prized they are.
Echoes of the Ondo Election:
Last Saturday, the people of Ondo State spoke in a loud voice who should govern them in the next four years. Although many pundits predicted how the election will go, not many envisaged that the over-rated Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will be trounced with such intensity. That the ACN came a distant third speaks of the low fortunes of the party in the state. I should think the ACN must have recovered from the daze it got, to begin an indepth review of why the party performed so dismally . Perhaps, the character portrait of some of the leaders of the party repelled the people from endorsing the party at the polls. The body language, verbiage and nuances of the party were more boastful than being persuasive . The leaders must therefore be worried on why they were rejected by the people they so thought were behind them, especially as the election has largely been credited with free and fair conduct.
Beside, the Ondo verdict, in my opinion, should tell the ACN leaders that the era of blind party hysteria is over. I believe the people of Ondo State supported Labour Party (LP) because the governor performed to their satisfaction, and not because it is LP. That was what also saw Adams Oshiomhole through the election mine in Edo State: his performance, and not because he was the ACN candidate. And what that means for the other ACN governors eyeing second term, is that they must perform if they must get re-elected. The name of ACN or Tinubu is no more a password for electoral victory.
And as for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olusola Oke should save his little money left instead of wasting it on lawyers in a needless electoral tribunal contest. The overall verdict is that the elections were freely and fairly conducted. The national PDP has accepted the outcome of the polls. So Oke may just be reaffirming the aphorism that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Let the lessons from the election not be lost by us all.
Has Fuel Scarcity Come to Stay?
I hear that travelers during the Sallah break had a hell of time getting to their destinations.
Oh yes, because the roads are so terrible. Those who got home in one piece were over-stressed.
Beside the badness of the roads, was the additional trouble of fuelling the vehicles. In the last four days, petrol got even more scarce and that increased the agony of motorists and their passengers.
Don’t mind those marketers. They are hoarding the product so they can craftily sell at a higher price knowing that motorists will be desperate to buy at almost any price.
Why are you blaming marketers? If the product is everywhere, why will it be hoarded? Don’t you know many of the marketers have been denied their import licences and that left the product importation to the NNPC mainly and a few other marketers? Don’t you know that explains the short supply?
That is the lie and spin from the marketers. Marketers whose books are fraud-free are importing. Those who are crooks and exploiting the situation in the industry are being shut out. Don’t forget that the vandalisation and subsequent killing of three NNPC officials in Arepo, Ogun State disrupted the supply chain. And that is why there is a hitch.
You government people should stop lying to us. How long does it take to effect repair on a broken pipe? The Arepo incident is over eight weeks now. And is it the destroyed Arepo pipe that is also causing petrol scarcity from Uyo to Yobe?
Be charitable. Don’t you know that the NNPC has re-doubled its importation capacity to meet up with the demand? And that marketers have been blamed for diverting the products?
So if marketers are diverting the products, what should I, an ordinary man do? Is it not the responsibility of the government to ensure that those who load at the depots deliver the products to the right filling stations? Do you now admit it is the failure of government? And is it not a shame that an oil-producing country will continue to suffer this untold hardship for a product God blessed them with? Is it not bad enough that the refineries have been deliberately grounded so importation business can go on endlessly, yet it is even worse that even the simple trading sense of importing and selling has become a difficult task. And everywhere you go now, you see small-small boys all showing off their PJs (Private Jets), all at our expense.
You just sit down in your office and be running your mouth. Do you know how complex it is to distribute the product round the country? You think it is moi-moi? Look, you are better appreciate the efforts of the Petroleum ministry and its subsidiaries. That way, the problems will not last beyond March.
Chei! March! You mean we will bear this burden for another five months? Abassi Mbo! So petrol scarcity has come to stay, right?
Ehen, not exactly. Government is working day and night to clear the mess. I can assure you that the ordeal will not be as nasty during the Christmas season.
Ah, don’t deceive us. It will be worse. More people will travel then. The expectation of the people on this score are being dashed. Poor masses! Government people drive official cars fuelled from government fuel dumps, but the poor man either sleeps at filling stations or spends dozens of hours there or buys from the risky black market…… and you stand here speaking grammar, Oh, Cry beloved country!
It is such a toilsome effort trying to convince you.
It is even more toilsome trying to understand your silly propaganda.