The critics of Boko Haram/82 schoolgirls swap: AN EDITORIAL

BBOG-members-celebrate.jpg

Some BBOG group members celebrate release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls.

More condemnable is that the same Ayodele Fayose that is now condemning President Muhammadu Buhari for swapping Boko Haram members for the safe release of the Chibok schoolgirls, knowing well how nonchalance of the PDP government he was part of caused their abduction, remains in the jaws of laws of the land for benefiting up to $35 million (N5.8 billion equivalent at N165 to $1) from the $2.1 billion meant to fight Boko Haram just for him to spend to buy for himself the Government House of Ekiti State as governor.  Also the same Femi Fani-Kayode was recently, with Buhari anti-corruption war activated, accused and exposed by the EFCC to have gotten N850 million from the same $2.1 billion meant to fight Boko Haram, which he claimed he got by his position as Director of Information of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation; although no particular effort was made to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls while these people among them lawyers were doing the sharing of what has been described as blood money.

In the last few days President Muhammadu Buhari made quite some decisions moving forward.  They include particularly the hard decision of having to swap some Boko Haram members, a report put them at five, for 82 of the remaining 195 Boko Haram captives taken from the Government Secondary School, Chibok,  Borno State, in November 2014.  Unfortunately Mr. Ayodele Fayose, Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum/Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation and chieftain of PDP and the faction of the PDP led by Ahmed Makarfi have kicked against the method of the release.  Fayose particularly called it a scam on the part of the Buhari administration to deceive Nigerians.

Funny part, all of the people and political group that have issued press statements condemning the Federal Government’s manner of securing the girls’ freedom and even creating doubts in the hearts of the public about the authenticity of the girls freed were and are still active leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in government when the girls were kidnapped.  Due to their insensitivity and indecent attitude, some people, instead of appreciating the ingenuity of the President and his team doing the job, chose to ask questions that are in clarity out of commonsense: If the girls are not products of orchestration from foreign land, why are they looking well fed? Why are people not being told where they have been and how the negotiations were being done?

For Fayose, Fani-Kayode, the other PDP faction members condemning and even the BBOG’s member telling Buhari what his government is already doing about the welfare of the girls just to comfort herself that she too has spoken, questions like these give them up as knowing next to nothing as commonsense should tell anybody that in matter where the lives of people as precious as of the schoolgirls are involved, where our military and other security agencies have lost officers and men fighting against the terrorists, information is not meant for general consumption.  Even if government knows where the are kept, the rule of engagement does not permit them to strike or else they lose all and the terrorists have nothing to lose.  Fayose, particularly, who wears military camouflage at will, should know this simple fact. He perpetually demystifies the office of a governor to so behave out of ignorance against the Chibok schoolgirls’ release.

Records have it that for quite 20 days, the government led by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan refused to heed the call for help by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, who ran to alert at that time as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces immediately after the incident occurred.  To worsen the situation, while the government should have raced to action on search and rescue mission at the instance of the victims and possibly arresting the abductors, it was busy selling the tales of a scam called abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

What became more worrisome was that, a job of fact-finding that was the business of government with full involvement of the President and his senior security officials was apparently taken over by his wife and First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.  Sitting before television cameras whereas the real investigation should have been going on at the scene of crime (North Eastern state of Borno), Patience, the Jonathan’s wife, not only claimed to be investigating the kidnap in Abuja while the kidnappers had good time transporting their preys but also, more worrisomely, she vulgarly ridiculed the Statehood of Nigeria as she, a non-elected officer of the Federal Republic, was seen commanding top government officials on grounds that, in the end, showed no result.  But the more injurious was statement publicly made by Patience that anybody who saw Chibok girls being kidnapped should come forward and testify.  It was the unserious posture of Patience Jonathan-infested Federal Government over the plight of the Chibok girls that led to how their captors were able to take them far and, later in videos released by Abubakar Shekau, they were seen and heard to have been scattered all over places mostly in Sambisa Forest in Borno and Republic of Chad.

Up till today, many loyalists and supporters of the Jonathan/PDP government still hold the belief that issue of kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls was mere propaganda by which the then main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) bent to ouster the then President Goodluck Jonathan from power.  Patience Jonathan, who became more vocal than her husband who was Nigeria’s elected President, strongly believed that there was no kidnap of any girls in Chibok but that the story about same was just a mere figment of the imagination of the APC, which she and other PDP leaders more often tagged propagandist.  Note that the kidnap of the 276 (57 later escaped) Chibok schoolgirls was not the only havoc that had been wrecked in that part of the country at that time.  There was the slaughter of some 47 boys in another Government Secondary School in the same North East, which the Jonathan government showed no concern about up till May 29, 2015 that he vacated.

But in truth, originally, 276 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped, sparking one of the biggest global social media campaigns, with tweeters using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.  Some (57) managed to escape shortly after they were seized, while about 106 have been freed in three, 21 and 82 at each of the three times releases were made leaving 113 still in captive with the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, making it a priority that his war against Boko Haram would not be adjudged to have been finally ended until release of the Chibok schoolgirls is secured and they are safely rehabilitated and reunited with their respective families.  One of the options available to the Buhari government, which came over one year after the kidnap happened under the Jonathan government, was to negotiate with the Boko Haram insurgents.  The President (Buhari)’s meticulousness to avoid falling into the hands of fake or ineffective negotiators earned him heated criticisms coming from all corners notably the Bring Back Our Girls group led by Oby Ezekwesili, who accused him of being slow and indecisive over available options.  The Boko Haram leaders insisted that only on the condition that Buhari would release their members in custody that they would release the girls.

Three years after the incidence, a major release was secured by the government in the 82 schoolgirls of last Saturday May 6, 2017.  The government declared that the release was achieved through patient negotiations with the Boko Haram insurgents, with Switzerland, Red Cross and Nigerian security agencies playing major roles.  While the media were not part of the role players remain something that only the media would explain.  The media is supposed at all times to be part of moving society forward from all fronts.

With the release of 82 girls last Saturday, the Muhammadu Buhari administration comfortably occupies a vantage position in the hearts of many Nigerians who have described the President as a leader worth his sort.  Some say more feathers have been added the cap of the Daura, Katsina State-born former Military Head of State now back in the Presidential Palace in the toga of an agbada wearing President.  Since the release on Saturday of those 82 girls also, there has been jubilation as many people all over the country are excited and marveled from the North East to the South West, South East to the North West, North Central to the South South geo-political zones of the Republic.  Parents of the girls are in happy mood while government has assured the parents whose daughters are not yet released to keep hope alive.

It is while the mood was blooming that the PDP politicians including the Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode, the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction – all – of the former ruling party came with their spoiler.  They issued press statements with impunity condemning President Muhammadu Buhari for the hard decision that he took in ensuring that not only the girls were released but alive. Nobody is entitled perpetrating evils under democracy.  To so treat the issue of the Chibok schoolgirls on the part of the PDP leaders and even some of the BBOG group members who share in the attitude of Bukky Sonibare is, without mincing words, tantamount to perpetration of evils against Nigeria and humanity.  If you so much love that the girls be released, why have you being stating BBOG protests all along?  Now that you see 82 at a go, what bothers you more is you inability to access information about how they were kept that they look much fed, better than the 21 earlier released and to know how classified information has not been shared with you.  If you have the information you are complaining not having, what would you then do as contribution? That questions goes to the BBOG lady that spoke on Channels Television on Monday.

The DEFENDER at this juncture is constrained to ask: Since the PDP politicians including the Ekiti State governor Fayose and Femi Fani-Kayode, who are speaking on top of their voices now against the new achievement of the Change Regime of Buhari, knew that there was a better option other than negotiating with the Boko Haram terrorists to the extent that some of their members in custody had to be swapped for the safe release of the 82 girls, what stopped them from exploiting it while they held sway as the Almighty men and women of timber and caliber in the Federal Government of Nigeria?  Another question is, do Fayose, Fani-Kayode and other PDP leaders condemning Buhari for this release still remember not only that the same Boko Haram insurgents had accused their government under Goodluck Jonathan of having things in common which aided their activities and which became obvious when, instead of using the $2.1 billion meant to buy weapons for the Nigerian military to fight the terrorists, they squandered the whole money into their respective leaders’ pockets in the guise of using it to prosecute PDP presidential election to get Jonathan re-elected?

Now, if you were supposed to equip and kit your soldiers to fight insurgents in precisely a non-conventional war situation and the terrorists more heavily equipped and kitted than your soldiers now started killing and wasting your soldiers, those who ran away from the battle for the singular reason, why did you sentence them to death only for them to be saved and set free by Muhammadu Buhari upon his assumption of office as President?  There were many allegations of members of Boko Haram terrorists in the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP government, so much that the late National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi so confirmed, why did you not take action by investigating those allegations?  Instead, anybody that made such allegation was either schemed against or deposed from whatever vantage position he was occupying.  Recall it was because of a revelation by then Governor of Adamawa State Admiral Murtala Nyako that led to his concocted impeachment for saying that he saw a Nigerian military helicopter supplying food to Boko Haram camp.  Recall also that the case he has in court today at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) emanated from that revelation he made against the Goodluck Jonathan administration of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).  We at The DEFENDER are unsupportive of corrupt people.  But would Nyako have landed in EFCC net if he did not make that revelation against of the connection between Jonathan government and Boko Haram?  What then is the pride of these PDP people who are now being unnecessarily vocal to the chagrin of patriots of Nigeria?

More condemnable is that the same Ayodele Fayose that is now condemning President Muhammadu Buhari for swapping Boko Haram members for the safe release of the Chibok schoolgirls, knowing well how nonchalance of the PDP government he was part of caused their abduction, remains in the jaws of laws of the land for benefiting up to $35 million (N5.8 billion equivalent at N165 to $1) from the $2.1 billion meant to fight Boko Haram just for him to spend to buy for himself the Government House of Ekiti State as governor.  Also the same Femi Fani-Kayode was recently, with Buhari anti-corruption war activated, accused and exposed by the EFCC to have gotten N850 million from the same $2.1 billion meant to fight Boko Haram, which he claimed he got by his position as Director of Information of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation; although no particular effort was made to rescue the abducted Chibok schoolgirls while these people among them lawyers were doing the sharing of what has been described as blood money.  It would also be recalled how $9.7 million was intercepted in South Africa in a plane allegedly belonging to the then President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsajafor, purportedly meant to buy weapons for the Nigerian military without the knowledge of any of the service chiefs.  Up till today, names of two Nigerians and one Israeli announced to have been arrested by South African authorities with the money remain shielded.  There were many instances and revelations by EFCC of how such money were shared in billions and millions of Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euro and Naira among PDP leaders some of which were for spiritual rituals, some for media and publicity and some were even denied by those they claimed their own of the looted arms money was shared to.

With all these open shameful revelations about a people whose party ran Nigeria for 16 years only to transit not only an socio-economically dilapidated but also more ethno-religiously unstable country to the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to what their last six years did to Nigeria as an economic, multi-ethnic and multi-religious entity, it is only insensitive, inhuman and indecent for any of those elements of the era to now come forward to think that by being vocal dominating the traditional and social media space they will be relevant in the eyes of the Nigerian public.  For this reason, we would like to queue behind the Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, that people of this stuff in the Nigerian community be arrested forthwith and prosecuted for treason under the law of the land.

There is love in sharing!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 
Top