WHO wants Muhammadu Buhari, a retired general and national leader of the All Progressives Congress dead? That has been the debate in the media since the former head of state’s survived bomb attack on his convoy in Kaduna, on Thursday, July 23.
While Buhari was narrating his ordeal on Thursday, to Governor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State, who paid him a visit in his Kaduna residence, said it was obvious that members of Boko Haram insurgents were after his life for daring to criticise and condemn them. Buhari said: “When this question of Boko Haram started, and I am sure it is on record, in the first statement I made about 18 months ago, I said no religion advocates what is happening in the North East. So the case of this kind of killings is not religion; it is also not ethnic. When they kill children in schools in the North East, they kill teachers, they burn churches, they burn mosques, they burn motor parks, they burn markets — where is religion there? Where is ethnicity there? This is terrorism and I hope the government will come to grips with it. Nigeria is capable of dealing with this. Some of us died in the civil war for this country. For 30 months we fought and we kept Nigeria one and, God willing, we are going to keep Nigeria one.” The former presidential candidate of the defunct CPC however, commiserated with the families of those who were killed in the attacks. He said: “I commiserate with the families of those that died, because this thing was ignited at exactly when my car was almost side by side with that of the bomber. I came out of the car after the bomb went off. There was blood on my dress. I did not know how it came about because I did not have a scratch myself, but there were dead bodies all over the place. The security tried to move me to the other side and we just got one of the vehicles passing and they brought me home. I hope the law enforcement agencies and the chief executives of the states will succeed in securing the country. May God help us.”
Apparently irked by the bomb attacks, General Ibrahim Babangida, former head of state, in a statement on Thursday, July 24, said the attacks had, again, thrown up new dimensions in the political life of the country. Babangida said: “This, and several other attacks have tended to portray our dear country as a terrorist nation that is grappling with insecurity. To state the least, this bloodletting must stop. This bloodletting has to stop.
“I have sat back in my quiet retirement home in Minna to ponder what could be the motivation for these several attacks, but I am yet to find any explanation why Nigerians would be killing fellow Nigerians… These wanton killings and needless bloodletting have continued to retard our growth and democratic journey, forcing the system to improvise all manners of mechanisms to arrest this descent to anarchy. It is callous and inhuman for anyone to goad this country on the path of perfidy, a path that is laid with landmines and bombs. This is totally unacceptable.
“Even as I sympathise with my colleague former President, General Muhammadu Buhari for escaping the bomber’s scalpel, I also wish to condole with the families of those who lost their lives in this attack. It is frightening and calls for condemnation by all well meaning people of Nigeria. We all must rise above partisanship in our condemnation of this state of insecurity, as we all must be united in our clear-cut resolve to find solutions to this hydra-headed situation we find ourselves. We must see this state of insecurity as a Nigerian problem and not one that is pigeon-holed in any particular region, religion or tribe. Nigerians, by virtue of their nationality, should be free to live anywhere in the country without molestation, harassment and intimidation.”
Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, in his reaction to the attack called on the federal government to urgently take steps to halt the escalating security challenges in the country, which he said had reached an embarrassing proportion.
He said a situation where a former head of state and key opposition figure could be targeted by terrorists or hatchet killers was a dangerous development, which should not be taken lightly by any responsible Nigerian. “The targeting of Buhari, whatever might be the motive or whoever could be behind it, has added a dangerous dimension to a bad security situation in the country,” Abubakar said, adding that it had also deepened the anxiety of ordinary citizens that nobody is safe if a former head of state could be so targeted and almost killed but for providence”.
On his part, Nasir el-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, sees the attack on Buhari as the handiwork of his political enemies in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. El-Rufai said the attack could be traced to “trained snipers” whom he argued were sent by the authorities to take the life of the former military leader. He particularly noted on his Twitter page that the attack on Buhari was a “targeted assassination attempt.” The former minister also left a message on his Facebook page on Thursday, July 24, also stating that: “It does not take a genius to know. May Allah expose all the purveyors of evil and division, destroy their agenda and defeat them in their war against our citizens. Amen.”
El-Rufai had, in January, identified himself, Buhari and two other leaders of the APC as being on the purported watch list of the Presidency. His allegations had followed a letter by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, dated December 2, 2013, in which Obasanjo accused Jonathan of training snipers and putting 1,000 people on a watch list.
Both the PDP and APC have also condemned the attacks and called the government to bring attackers to book. More than 80 people were killed in the twin bomb blasts on Kaduna city on Wednesday, July 23.
Sanusi Pays Homage to Jonathan
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and Lamido Sanusi, a former Central Bank Governor, on Wednesday, July 23, met for the first time since he (Sanusi) became the Emir of Kano. The former CBN boss was one of the northern traditional rulers led by Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto to the Presidential Villa, Abuja for the breaking of Ramadan fast with the president.
Sanusi led others in a special prayer for peace during the short event held inside the president’s residence. Jonathan later took turn to shake hands with all the traditional rulers in attendance, including Sanusi to the admiration of his aides.
Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, condemned the twin blasts recorded in Kaduna earlier in the day as well as other acts of violence across the country. While describing the perpetrators as enemies of humanity, he insisted that they and their sponsors had no Islamic agenda.
He requested that the president should grant the traditional rulers an audience in the nearest future in order to discuss issues of national importance. The President granted the request immediately.
In his short remarks, Jonathan urged the traditional rulers to join hands with his administration to end insurgency. “It could have been worse than this if not for prayers. We will surely get over it. We are doing our best to ensure we end this situation and with the support of Nigerians, we shall surely overcome,” he said.
Impeachment of Enugu Deputy Governor Starts
LAWMAKERS in Enugu State started the impeachment process against Sunday Onyebuchi, deputy governor of Enugu State, on Thursday, July 22, when the House passed motion asking Christopher Chukwurah, clerk of the House, to serve the impeachment notice on him through substituted means.
Following the order, the clerk was said to have proceeded to the official residence of the deputy governor at the Government House as well as his private residence within the city to hand over the six-page document.
The Enugu House of Assembly had decided on the new method of serving notice of impeachment when the clerk reported that he could not find Onyebuchi to serve the notice on him personally because he was out of town. It was later discovered that the deputy governor had gone to Abuja, capital of Nigeria, to lobby notable stakeholders from the state and beyond to help save his job. He was said to have also visited top leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the capital city to exonerate himself of any wrongdoing.
Onyebuchi’s visit to Abuja was, however, seen by his opponents as subtle way of evading service of the impeachment notice as required by the constitution. But now that the notice has been served through other means, Eugene Odoh, speaker of the House, said the lawmakers were ready to see the process to a logical conclusion.
According to the impeachment notice, the lawmakers said by a resolution they passed on February 12, 2013, the House “prohibited the maintenance and operation of a commercial livestock and poultry farms within residential neighbourhoods in Enugu Metropolis in promotion of public health standards.” But that Onyebuchi declined to obey the directives of government’s officials who came to his official premises to monitor the resolution. The impeachment charges said in part: “The Deputy Governor further defied the directive herein and in a most discourteous manner and in utter disregard of the office of the governor, responded via a letter dated 8/1/2014, insisting that he would not relocate his commercial poultry farm from the premises of his official residential quarters.
“When the government through the appropriate Ministries and departments relocated the birds and cleared the premises of the noxious stench emanating therefrom, the Deputy Governor wrongfully deployed the resources and powers of his office as deputy governor to invite the press and openly castigated the government and her officials, thereby impugning and denigrating the authority and office of the governor and embarrassing the government.”
The lawmakers also alleged that Onyebuchi disobeyed Governor Sullivan Chime on several occasions thereby violating Section 193 (1) of the Constitution. They specifically noted in particular that in March, this year, the deputy governor refused to represent Chime at the flag-off ceremony of the Second River Niger Bridge, which was performed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
— Aug. 4, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT