President Buhari is Overdue for Impeachment
RingTrue By Yemi Adebowale
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone No, 08054699539 (text only)
Alarge number of senators, across party lines, showed a bit of courage last Wednesday by pushing for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment in the face of the appalling security situation of beloved Nigeria. But the coldblooded President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan tactically stalled the motion to give the inept Buhari six weeks to improve the country’s security or face impeachment. It is appalling that Lawan did not allow the senators to discuss the raging insecurity in the country as agreed during an earlier Executive Session. He knocked it off the day’s Order Paper, preemptively, making it impossible to accommodate the debate on this vital issue at plenary. I was not shocked by Lawan’s action. This man has never been on the side of traumatised Nigerians. The senators eventually walked out of the red Chamber in protest, chanting “Buhari must Go,” “Lawan Must Go”.
Outside, Philip Aduda led his colleagues to the Senate Press Centre where they declared that Buhari would be shown the way out if he failed to tackle insecurity within the next six months: “We have come here in protest to let Nigerians know that we are with them, that we are worried. We staged a walkout from the chambers to register that the security in Nigeria is out of hand and urgent steps need to be taken so that the issues are addressed immediately.”
Nigeria, in all its years as an independent country, has never had it so bad with security. The Nigerian state has never been this weak; it can no longer protect its citizens. Leadership has collapsed. Buhari has simply messed up this country. He has been saddled with a job he has no capacity for. Our President repeatedly shows that he is incapable of functioning as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, resulting in the sorry state of Nigeria’s security agencies. The same man, while in opposition, led protests against insecurity during the Jonathan era. Then, he was elected President, and he simply handed over the entire country to insurgents. Terrorists are roaming freely, maiming and killing. Fulani militias, criminal herders and kidnappers continue to maul Nigerians. Boko Haram has also become emboldened, expanding territories with intense carnage. Nigeria is broken. Seven years of the Buhari Presidency have broken this country.
The heartbroken Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah once remarked: “With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy. Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, Mosques, and infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken. Our security system is broken. Only corruption is alive and well.”
Our President, who promised that he would lead the war against terrorists from the front, has spent the last seven years sleeping. Suddenly, he said he was tired of the job and eager to return to his farm in Daura. Buhari repeatedly shamelessly said this. So, why is Lawan against sending him off with an impeachment?
The weakest link in this dwindling war against terrorists is the Commander-in-Chief himself. Buhari is responsible for these unending security glitches, no thanks to his ineptitude and clannishness. Once the Commander-in Chief is prostrate, every other thing will fail. Our gallant soldiers are poorly equipped, poorly motivated, with no stark instruction to take out the terrorists. In fact, they have been fighting with their second hands hooked to the back. Our president has apparently compromised. I stand to be corrected. A compromised leadership makes it difficult for security agencies to deal with terrorists. This is why those behind most of the gory terror attacks across Nigeria are hardly arrested. This is also why Buhari is opposed to the use of foreign military contractors.
Virtually, all heads of Nigeria’s military and para-military bodies are headed by Buhari’s kinsmen. These heads of security agencies are not punished for failings. This is another factor responsible for alarming security glitches. For example, seven days after terrorists ambushed troops of the Guards Battalion along Kubwa-Bwari Road in Abuja, killing three of them, nothing visible happened in terms of dealing with the killers. Last Thursday, the defence headquarters released a statement full of deceits that 30 of the terrorists had been killed. Thirty terrorists arrested with just three weapons? They could not provide a single corpse. A forward-looking Commander-in Chief would have given the army chief a deadline to apprehend the terrorists or lose his job. This did not happen.
With Buhari as Commander-in-Chief, weeks after the embarrassing Kuje prison attack, no news yet on apprehending any of the culprits. I doubt if security agents even went after them. An estimated 300 well-armed ISWAP fighters strolled into Abuja unhindered and straight to Kuje to free 64 of their members; yet, heads have not rolled. The scale and the audacity of the attack are startling. How can this happen in a country with a government?
An advance presidential team to Daura, hometown of President Buhari, was attacked by terrorists in Dutsinma, Katsina State. Nobody is talking about arresting the assailants. These things are really depressing.
In this same Nigeria, with a Commander-in-Chief, terrorists attacked a Kaduna-bound train on March 28, killing eight passengers and abducting 68 others, yet, there were no consequences. The emboldened terrorists have been holding scores of abductees for over four months, while traumatising them. At a point, they openly flogged these hapless Nigerians. Those so far freed, paid about N100 million each.
The former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, was apt when he described President Buhari as an “uncaring” Commander-in-Chief.
He adds: “The tragedy of our current crisis is that President Buhari is neither present nor capable of providing leadership. Even worse, he does not care, in my respectful view. You cannot have, with all profound respect, personnel of the Presidential Guards Brigade being killed in Abuja and the President travelling to Liberia to deliver a lecture on security, are you serious? There is only one element in the job of the President that can never be delegated as long as the President is terrestrial, that is a Commander-in-Chief…when the Commander-in-Chief is as lazy and uncaring as the one that Nigeria has, the country is exactly where it deserves to be.”
I can also vividly recollect that former President Olusegun Obasanjo said expecting Buhari to do anything positive about unending killings is akin to beating a dead horse. So, Buhari must go immediately for this country to end insecurity. This President has nothing to offer Nigerians other than pain
Benin Artifacts and Gov Obaseki’s Mischiefs
Governor Godwin Obaseki is unrelenting in his silly war against the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, over where to house the stolen Benin artifacts returned from Europe. This is the same Obaseki that supported the palace’s idea of setting up Benin Royal Museum as home for the artifacts in 2018.
Suddenly, Obaseki, evidently for selfish reasons, is now proposing the Edo Museum of West African Arts (EMOWAA), as home for the artifacts. Haba! What nonsense. This governor has been struggling to convince Edo people that the managers of the proposed EMOWAA (Restoration Trust) is not owned by him.
I agree that there is nothing wrong with the Edo State Government setting up a museum, if indeed, EMOWAA is the state’s government project. However, it cannot be home to the Benin artifacts returned from Europe. These artifacts rightly belong to the Oba of Benin and the entire Benin Kingdom. Or, has Obaseki forgotten that the artifacts were made for the palace by various royal guilds of Benin, and were looted from Oba Ovonranmwen in 1897? The current Oba of Benin, as the custodian of Benin culture, customs, and traditions, remains the owner of these artifacts. So, they should be returned to the palace and kept in the proposed Benin Royal Museum.
It was heartwarming seeing the leaders and stakeholders of Coalition of Benin Socio-cultural Organisations, challenging Obaseki’s plot to corner the returned artifacts. This coalition also accused the Edo State governor of disrespecting and undermining the Oba of Benin.
The coalition led by Osazee Amas-Edobor threw a number of posers to Obaseki, which I am challenging the governor to swiftly respond to. It states: “If EMOWAA belongs to your Private Venture, Legacy Restoration Trust Ltd with its Office in Lagos, then why are you as our Governor treating it as a Government project using state resources?”
I am happy that the coalition has vowed to collectively fight Obaseki’s move to hijack Oba of Benin’s artifacts.
My dear Obaseki, the most honourable thing to do is to allow the Benin Royal Museum to take custody of these Benin artifacts. I urge you to follow this part of honour and stop your shenanigans over home for the returned artifacts. You must show utmost respect for the Oba and the Kingdom. This idea that you can bamboozle everybody because you are the governor is preposterous. Remember that you are only governor for a fixed period.
The good news is that all returned artifacts, including the legendary Okukor, from Jesus College, Cambridge are still with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). I urge the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Director-General, NCMM, Professor Abba Isa Tijani, to ensure that returned artifacts are handed over to the Benin Royal Museum, once completed.
FG Must Halt Further Sale of Power Assets
Patriots must move to stop the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) from going on with plans to sell five National Integrated Power Plants – Benin Generation Company Limited, Calabar Generation Company Limited, Geregu Generation Company Limited, Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited and Omotoso Generation Company Limited. I am glad that the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance has ordered the suspension of the process. But this is not enough. For me, the federal government must end any further sale of this country’s power assets and even map out strategies to recover all the ones already sold.
Nigeria has not profited from the sale of its numerous power assets over the years. The performances of the private guys who took over with 60 per cent ownership have been slipshod, with generation and distribution deteriorating. We find Discos rejecting load, while they go about terrorising consumers with estimated bills and collecting money for services not rendered. They care less about our nation being enveloped in darkness. The most painful aspect of the sale of Nigeria’s power assets is that most of the new owners bought them without any cash of their own. They used largely bank loans. As a result, while struggling with repayment of the loans, they are unable to inject funds for the development of the companies.
That was why Fidelity Bank recently took over management of the Kano, Benin and Kaduna electricity distribution companies. The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) had earlier taken over Ibadan distribution company, while the management and board of Port Harcourt Disco is being restructured by the BPE to forestall the imminent insolvency of the utility.
So, with this development, why is the BPE moving on with plans to sell the five NIPP plants? A big No to further sale of Nigeria’s power assets. Our country remains largely in darkness after previous privatisations. This is the massage we should all hammer into the heads of those running the show in Abuja.