Col. Tony Nyiam (retd.), one of the protagonists of the failed coup of April 21, 1990 recently fielded questions from Segun James and Shola Oyeyipo on topical issues relating to governance style of President Muhammadu Buhari
What do you think about all these crises between the executive and other arms of government; like the judiciary and the legislature?
These recurring ‘orders from above,’ can be seen as dictated coup d’etat attempts under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.
The good thing is that becuase Buhari is not throwing money about, he has forced the National Assembly to be much more effective than it has ever been.
I will focus on what I call the Police, SSS or EFCC coup attempts. The coup attempt against any branch of government as it happened in Benue state, is as treasonable as a coup by the military against an elected president.
The buck stops at the president’s table. So, the repeated coup d’etats by the police and the DSS, without anyone being brought to book, is an area of concern. I’ve got circumstantial evidences of Buhari’s complicity in the acts.
Can you direct your comment on the recent attempt to take over the National Assembly and the subsequent sacking of the Director-General of DSS?
Nigerians have endured enough insult from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). The IGP’s rushed interim report is a partial and lacking in transparency. The Nigerian Police itself is guilty of similar incidents. Does the IGP even know that his spokesman is becoming a laughing stock?
The Acting President and other credible members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should not allow themselves to be smeared because of the exigencies of partisan politics and the implications of the fake directive that the former DG of the DSS did not act in compliance with order from above.
The action was planned. One does not need to be fooled. The coup attempts were so incompetently carried out and they failed woefully.
Why do you call it coup attempts?
Any affront by any security agency against any arm of government is a coup. The first attempt was the night raid on the houses of some judges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Indirectly, it was trying to tackle one arm of government.
The second one was the snatching of the mace in the Senate and up till today, none of the security operatives who were supposed to protect the National Assembly has been disciplined openly. The president has done nothing. That is why I call it a coup.
The third one is the siege on the homes of the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President the same day. That was after the Senate President had been dragged to the party offices and he refused.
Of course, there was a coup in Benue state where the DSS and police took over the state House of Assembly, barricaded it and allowed eight out 30 members to enter the house to impeach the governor.
You alleged complicity of the President. Why?
First, there was a rush to blame Lawal Daura, who I call the fall guy. Buhari cannot be exonerated from the excesses of the Nigeria Police and the EFCC. It is most shallow for anyone to blame only the former DG of the DSS for the two versions of reports on Magu, because the bulk of those security reports stops at The Presidency where all national security agencies report.
If nothing was done to anybody, then who takes responsibility? It is either that the President is incompetent or he has conflict of interest.
The continued detention of Sambo Dasuki and Shiite leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky are being blamed on Daura. How ridiculous. As if Daura is working on his own. Who is his principal? President Buhari must be the one he is working with. I have no doubt that Buhari’s Gestapo like approach to governance has gone on for too long. If Buhari can fault these accusations from these circumstantial evidences, let him fault them. I also pray that he swears by the Quran that he doesn’t know anything.
But you earlier pointed out that the President’s non-interference is actually his predicament.
Let us put it in context. The non-interference is in the APC management. I am talking about is the existential threat to Nigerian laws. The same DG of the DSS, in a conference I attended, representing South-south alongside Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere, and the Tor Tiv was there, Prof. Ango Abdulahi was there and the service chiefs were there; (it was organised between February 12 and 18 by the Senate), disclosed that the military and police arms found with the Fulani herdsmen come from military and police armories.
If you know the protocol of security, the first person that he goes to is the President. If he was briefing the Senate, he must have briefed the President. Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief E.K Clark have raised the matter of this disclosure by the DG of the DSS in public. Up till date, there has been no military or police board of enquiry let alone a court marshal of those involved in arming the Fulani herdsmen to kill people in Taraba, Benue and other parts of Nigeria. That is a direct indictment.
What are your suspicions? Some people are saying the killings are a sort of ethnic cleansing.
President Buhari is the Patron of the Myetti Allah. He has not denied that. While the Sultan of Sokoto does not agree with him and that is why a lot of the elites in the North don’t agree with him. In fact, Dr. Junaid Mohammed told us that Buhari is exploiting the distrust we have in the South. He said that Buhari comes from a dialect of a minority Fulani from Niger and that those people are very vicious. He is the first Nigerian President who is a Bororo Fulani. Nobody has been brought to book for the killings.
The same president who must have been briefed by his DG of the DSS is saying these people are from Libya. Another day he would say something else. Doesn’t that show you complicity because he is in a position to know? He has done nothing about it and the killings are still going on.
Why do you think these things are happening?
President Buhari and I were trained by the military to attain our strategic objective. President Buhari is ready to meet the immediate needs of the South-west, South-south, South-east and North-central politicians in order that the long term objectives of Fulani cattle herders are achieved. This is similar to a dog being lured into a trap with a bone thrown its way. Many of the politicians waving the bad omen logo of the APC in support of Buhari’s second term ambition will end in the ‘gulag’ when he scores the goal.
Former President Obasanjo and other leaders, including General T.Y. Danjuma have been very critical of President Buhari, what does the future hold for Nigeria?
Gen. T.Y. Danjuma doesn’t talk much. For him to come out and warn Nigerians that some military personnel are part of the killings is telling.
From what I gathered, he even has his own facts. One of the facts he has is that some of these Fulani militia that were caught by his people, had the phone numbers of people in the army
You seem to be suggesting that a second term for President Buhari will spell doom for Nigeria?
I am afraid that if Buhari gets a second term, there will be more killings. If these killings can happen when Buhari knows he needs a second term, what will happen when he gets a second term?
The logo of APC which is a broom facing up is the same symbol in the coven of witches and wizards. I know a politician who is trying to say the broom was mentioned in the Bible and Quran but that is the broom facing downward to do what it is supposed to do, not the broom standing up. It is very indicative of broom alleged in mythology that witches use to fly at night.
Can Nigerians vote out this President in 2019?
I doubt if there will be free and fair elections in 2019. Most of us are very gullible and superficial. Nigerians must realise that the software designer who programmed the technology for the elections can switch it to favour a particular party. Are we ready to test the software before they are used?
Former Ogun state governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba was very optimistic about the proposed amendments to the electoral act particularly as regards suggestions on electronic voting system, but your view contradicts his optimism.
In programming, it is garbage in, garbage out. The programmer can switch. Some of us prefer outsiders to conduct our elections, but people will say it is interference.
What is the way forward?
Nigerians should not allow Buhari rig the 2019 elections. From all indications, he would not win a free and fair election. People in the North-west are divided. Are you telling me the Igbo man will vote for Buhari? Are you telling me Yorubas will vote for Buhari? Are you also telling me that the man in the Middle Belt, the man is Southern Borno, that is, Chibok area; the man in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and all that will vote for a President whose victory could mean more killings of their people?