Tears for Birnin Yauri Schoolgirls

Phone    08054699539
Email: yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com

Phone    08054699539 Email: yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com

RingTrue By Yemi Adebowale

Phone 08054699539

Email: yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com

Heart-wrenching! This aptly describes the story of the 13 schoolgirls still with notorious terror leader, Dogo Gide, who roams confidently in the forests of Kebbi, Niger, Zamfara and Sokoto states. These hapless girls were among the 90 pupils abducted by Dogo and his boys at Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State on June 17, 2021. So sad to note that it is precisely 15 months and seven days today. How can this be happening in a country with a government? No fewer than 70 of the abductees and their teachers were freed by Dogo over a period of 12 months, after collecting huge ransoms, but deliberately kept these 13 girls for his pleasure and that of his gang. I’m talking about other people’s children, young girls, in the dungeon of terrorists for over 15 months, without being rescued. Nigeria is indeed broken.

The news coming out of Dogo’s enclave is that he has given out 11 of the girls to his gang members as wives. I was shattered when one of the affected parents released the sad news last Tuesday. It was one of the most traumatic days of my life. I was about to retire to bed when I heard the news. As I sat down on the edge of my bed to reflect on it, I suddenly started shedding tears; tears for a country that can no longer protect citizens; a country where deceit has been elevated to a way of life. It is a shame that these girls are being violated and those in the government are looking the other way. So depressing. Government has collapsed at all levels in beloved Nigeria. I eventually dozed off at about midnight and woke up with my pillow drenched with tears.

The notorious Fulani militia leader, Gide, regularly calls parents of the Birnin Yauri girls to mock them; yet, our security agencies can’t nab him. Gide does this with so much effrontery. He even called to tell the parents when he illegally gave out their daughters to members of his gang.

The account of Sani Kaoje, the father of Farida, one of the pupils with Gide is unsettling. Farida is now 16 years old. She was 15, in JSS 3, when she was abducted. Kaoje lamented: “He is the one (Gide) who said it to me directly that he married Farida himself, though he was not very direct about it. But he used some techniques to tell me that he has also married 10 other girls to his gang members. I can’t count the number of times I spoke with Gide since the abduction. He calls other parents too.

“Gide pretends that he is sympathetic to us but he kept our children, innocent girls, with him. If he has such sympathy, as he keeps saying, he should release our children to us. I’m in pain. Everyone in my house is in pain because Farida is like a light in the house. I know several parents who have fallen ill because of this issue. We’re talking of children, all teenage girls. Innocent children for that matter.

“Farida’s mother has been sick. There was a day she fell and had to be taken to the hospital. Some parents have lost their lives. Others are now battling high blood pressure and other related illnesses. We speak to Farida a lot. It breaks my heart to even remember her voice. And I cry every day he (Gide) called to let us speak to her. In one of such calls, she said ‘Baba, there is a problem because some of my friends have been married off’. After that, Dogo Gide himself confirmed to us that they had been married off since the government refused to pay him.”

That was the traumatic message from Farida. Who will save the 13 schoolgirls with Gide? The situation looks hopeless. This criminal is roaming freely amid curious stories of bombardments of terrorists’ enclaves by the Military. Whenever the military pushes out stories of bombardments, I get depressed, because it does not tally with the situation on ground. The truth is that terrorists are still moving around and committing atrocities. When will they bomb Gide and his boys?

As at yesterday, those in Zamfara State also reported that terror kingpin, Muhammad ‘Turji’ Bello was still moving freely around Fakai community in the state. He is the leader of the group that incinerated 23 innocent people in Sokoto State, last year. Turji is active in Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states. This outlaw, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of others in the North-west, has not been killed in all the stories of bombardments by the military. Security agents know his whereabouts. They can take this killer out but have failed to do so.

Is Turji enjoying official protection? Nigerians urgently need an answer. I still remember Turji (last year) giving conditions to be met by the government before he would end his attacks. The blood sucker wrote an open letter to President Buhari; Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle and the Emir of Shinkafi, listing the five conditions. It can only happen in Nigeria.

In the same Zamfara State, early this September, notwithstanding the bombardments, terrorists invaded a mosque in Zugu, Gummi Local Government and abducted dozens of worshippers during Jumaat.

Despite the stories of bombardments, the terrorists are still active in Niger State. Last Sunday, the terrorists killed four persons, injured eight, while 15 others were abducted, in Fapo, a village in Lapai Local Government of Niger State.

In Kaduna State, it is still business as usual for the terrorists. Nine days back, they attacked Kurgin Gabas in Birnin-Gwari Local Government and also abducted scores of travellers along the Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road. Kurgin Gabas borders Kamuku Forest Reserve, a known hideout of the terrorists. They come out from this hideout to carry out attacks in Birnin-Gwari and in the neighbouring Rafi LGA of Niger State. Bombardment (in the real sense of it) is required at Kamuku forest, to flush out the terrorists.

Likewise, last week, terrorists strolled into Bayan Kasuwa Quarters, in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State and abducted no fewer than 40 people. This is the same Kaduna State the military claims it has been “bombarding” the enclaves of terrorists for weeks.

According to the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), those abducted in Bayan Kasuwa are largely members of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church Movement. The terrorists have already reached out to affected families and are demanding N200 million ransom. There is still no respite for communities in Southern Kaduna despite the so-called bombardments of terrorists by the military.

I have listed these killings and abductions to show that there is no correlation between the stories of military bombardments of the terrorists’ territories and the reality on ground in the North-west. The extremists are still killing and abducting innocent Nigerians unhindered.

Makinde As Wike’s Errand Boy

The Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) rightfully submitted that Governor Seyi Makinde had been following his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, about like his personal aide and thereby “desecrating the status of Oyo as a pacesetter state.” Honestly, describing Makinde as Wike’s aide is even an understatement.

The right word to describe the Oyo governor is “Wike’s errand boy.” That is the role the imprudent Makinde has been playing for Wike ever since the Rivers State governor lost the Presidential ticket of the PDP to Atiku Abubakar. The Oyo state governor has been running ludicrous errands for Wike for months, instead of spending quality time at home, tackling the challenges of his people. How can a governor of a state reduce himself to this level? Makinde is an embarrassment to the good people of Oyo State. He has not shown finesse and tact in this war against Atiku.

My take away from the bullet fired at Makinde last week by the APC is: “The song on the lips of conscious and discerning indigenes and residents of Oyo State is that Makinde should endeavour to stop further desecration of the pacesetter status of the state. Even if he cannot pick any good thing from Wike, who is obviously his godfather, he should desist from acting like an aide to his Rivers State colleague henceforth. We also like to put it on record that Makinde’s quest to be relevant at the level of national politics is ill-advised and a clear indication that he does not have any serious thing to do with governance again in the state.”

This is food for thought for the Oyo State governor. He must end his silly behaviour immediately, else, it would cost him a second term.

The Shame of Abubakar Malami

The consultants aiming to grab US$418 million from states and local governments, supposedly for facilitating refunds of the over-deductions on their accounts by the federal government in obligations to Paris Club, suffered a big setback last Tuesday when a court declared the so-called consent judgement they were backing their demands with as a nullity. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had also relied on the dubious consent judgment to recommend that the claims be paid to the company.

The 36 governors, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, instructed their lawyers to challenge the consent judgement and Justice John Tsoho of an Abuja High Court held this week that the said judgment was entered without jurisdiction.

The court also agreed that the reliefs claimed by the firms against NGF were premised on a simple contract, which by Section 251 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), strips the court ab initio of the required jurisdiction to entertain such matters.

This judgement voids all approvals by the AGF, the President, Minister of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, and Debt Management Office arising from, related to or concerning the claims of the six consultants. It also voids all promissory notes, cheques or any financial instrument issued by the federal government in favour of the firms.

So, where will Malami hide his ugly head now? This minister was helping the consultants to execute their unlawful scheme aimed at feasting on public funds. Malami suddenly became the Attorney General of the consultants and was backing them with all his might for selfish reasons. This minister’s consultants are simply rent seekers. They are trying to gain wealth without any reciprocal contribution of productivity. The services they claim to have offered are contained in a FAAC Reconciliation Committee Report constituted in 2005 and submitted in 2007, with recommendations on how states and LGAs should be refunded the excess deductions from the Paris Club repayments.

I’m earnestly waiting for Malami’s response to this latest judgement on the dubious US$418 million claims.     

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