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Insecurity: Centre calls for more synergy, political consultations to double military’s successes recorded between 2015- 2020

Insecurity: Centre calls for more synergy, political consultations to double military’s successes recorded between 2015- 2020

By Dansu Peter 

The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has called for enhanced synergy, consultation and less conspiracy among political leaders and relevant stakeholders to double the Armed Forces' successes recorded in the last five years. 

According to SHAC, the strategies being deployed by the military hierarchy has been effective despite sabotage by International Non- Governmental Organizations and the political actors within the theatre.

The centre made this known in its abridged strategic report on the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria from 2010 till date and the effectiveness of the Nigerian Military strategies towards addressing the threats posed by the Insurgency. 

In the report signed by its Executive Secretary, Abubakar Ibrahim, on Wednesday, the SHAC analysed the genesis of the Boko Haram crisis, the approach of previous governments and what the current administration is doing differently. 
Among others, the centre recalled that the military headquarters was moved from Abuja to Maiduguri, funding for operations drastically increased and new military leadership were appointed. 

This, according to the report, has resulted in a significant turnaround in the prosecution of the Boko Haram war in favour of the Nigerian troops who are edging closer to the end of its clearance operations. 

In order to sustain the momentum, the centre, however, urged stakeholders to join hands with the federal government.

While calling on religious and community leaders to support the troops, SHAC advised political leaders to desist from undermining their efforts. 

Read the abridged report below:

Introduction:

The Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people. It has been estimated that the cost of the damages in North-East Nigeria is in the region of $9billion since 2009 when the group began its violent campaign in Nigeria.

Since 2009, the Boko Haram insurgency and the government’s military response have killed tens of thousands of civilians and displaced millions across the Lake Chad region, which straddles Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

Boko Haram re-emerged in 2010 under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, carrying out sporadic attacks across the northeast. Its clandestine tactics gradually grew more sophisticated, but the Nigerian government was slow to recognize the extent of the crisis. Then-President Goodluck Jonathan instead framed Boko Haram as a terrorist organization with ties to international jihadist networks, thereby laying the ground for a narrow counterterrorism response.

In 2013, the Nigerian Military intensified its campaign against Boko Haram. Yet its indiscriminate tactics failed to degrade the group's capacity and deeply alienated the region's civilian population. A state of emergency imposed on Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States only deepened the cycle of violence.

In April 2014, Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 276 female students from the town of Chibok made worldwide headlines, drawing greater policy attention to the crisis. Several Western governments—including the United States—offered technical assistance and intelligence-sharing to help find the girls.

In 2015, a renewed military offensive began making headway against the group. The Nigerian MilitaryMilitary seized back most of the territory previously held by Boko Haram. Although major military campaigns in 2015–2016 succeeded in degrading the group's territorial control, Boko Haram has proven remarkably adaptable in its tactics: Since early 2017, military gains and improved security in parts of north-eastern Nigeria have spurred a greater focus on conflict stabilization measures.

The Issues: 2010-2015

From 2010 onward, Boko Haram started launching a series of attacks on security structures and military installations in the North-Eastern part of the country. For example, on September 7 2010, Boko Haram attacked and overrun a prison in Bauchi, freeing over 700 inmates in the process. Between 2010 and 2015, Boko Haram attacks became more daring and brazen. Never in the history of political violence in Nigeria had any group deliberately targeted not just military structures but military formations and barracks. The attacks launched on Giwa Barrack and Baga military base in Borno State in 2014 and 2015 are cases in point. In the two encounters, over 500 lives were lost. What became noticeable in the course of the confrontation was that the adversaries simultaneously employed asymmetric and conventional tactics and strategies in waging war.

The fact lends credence to the lackadaisical approach by previous administrations towards addressing the threats posed by the Boko Haram group. It was stated in several fora that the Goodluck Jonathan administration saw the emergence of the Boko Haram group as a ploy by the North against his administration following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010. Consequently, the government paid little attention to the activities of the group now led by a radical Abubakar Shekau. The group, therefore, grew in strength and sophistication and continued to wreak havoc in North-East Nigeria.

Another factor that was of significant concern was that lack of professionalism in the Armed Forces occasioned by mass corruption that saw monies meant for the purchase of arms and ammunitions ending up in private pockets. This fact consequently led to casualties of immeasurable proportion on the side of the Nigerian troops, and also the Boko Haram group capturing territories on Nigerian soil.

The government in Nigeria between 2010 to 2015 exhibited a lack of political will to end the Boko Haram crisis. This nonchalance put the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary under strain and lacking in the right motivation and equipment to confront the Boko Haram terrorist group headlong. This also led to near incapacitation of the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary that came under heavy bombardment from the Boko Haram insurgent group with no meaningful response from the Nigerian Military.

The 2015 Baga Massacre is an example of how incapacitated the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary were in dealing with the threats posed by the Boko Haram group. Boko Haram overran a military base that was the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force containing troops from Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. The terror group then forced thousands of locals from the region and committed mass killings.

Aside from this, the country was generally unsafe with countless Boko Haram attacks on crucial government infrastructures such as the headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force and the Headquarters of the United Nations in Nigeria. Public places such as motor parks, places of worships were not spared either as Boko Haram imposed a regime of absolute fear in the country. The government seemed clueless on ways to address the threats posed by the Boko Haram group, so much, so it blamed members of the opposition, while the country continued to bleed.

2015-2020

The change of government in May 2015, has brought about a significant difference in the prosecution of the Boko Haram war. Upon assumption of office, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to take the issue of security.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made some modest reforms to improve the Military's effectiveness against Boko Haram. He moved the Military's headquarters from Abuja to Maiduguri, increased funding for operations in the area, and appointed new military leadership.

Among his earliest acts in office was to replace the heads of the army, navy, and air force. The new army chief by many accounts has taken a more proactive approach than his predecessors toward countering the group. For example, they moved the army's operational headquarters from Abuja to Maiduguri and have deployed more long-range patrols in the region. Experts suggest that the Military is now conducting more strategically-focused operations, such as those that target Boko Haram's logistics routes.

According to reports, morale within the army has improved under the new leadership. The government has arrested several former senior officials on corruption charges, including former President Jonathan's National Security Advisor, who has been charged with fraud over a $2 billion arms deal for equipment that was reportedly never delivered. Jonathan's former chief of defence has been accused of stealing $20 million from the air force, and, as of late March 2016, some 300 individuals, including army officers, and companies were under investigation for the embezzlement between 2011 and 2015 of an estimated $240 million in fraudulent or overpaid defence contracts.

Under the present administration, Nigeria has sought military support from its neighbours, who increasingly suffered attacks during Boko Haram's upsurge. Since 2015, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger have deployed thousands of troops as part of a multinational force authorized by the African Union. The coalition has been credited with helping the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary retake much of the territory claimed by Boko Haram and reduce violence linked to the group to levels seen before 2014.

The Nigerian Army has introduced various counter-insurgency strategies that have recoded multiple gains.

Aside from the reclaiming of territories once under the control of the Boko Haram group, the Nigerian Army also displaced the group from their operational headquarters in Sambisa forest.

The period from 2015 to date has also witnessed a transformation of the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary from a force in disarray to a professional fighting force fighting within the rules of engagement and respect for human rights.

Conclusion:

This report concludes that the period between 2010 to 2015 could be regarded as one of the lowest points in the history of the Nigerian Military because of the inability to deal with the threats posed by the Boko Haram group. The period was also occasioned by the dearth of arms and ammunitions in the Nigerian Military as well as a high rate of lethargy amongst the officers and soldiers in the prosecution of the war against Insurgency.

It is indeed a statement of fact that with the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2015 the fortunes of the Nigerian Military changed as evident in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in Nigeria. A cursory look at the available indices indicates that there have been substantial gains in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group.

This period has seen their ranks broken, and they have resulted in aiming at soft targets in women and children, going on rampages in villages and causing destructions to paint a picture of a potent fighting force. However, in truth, they are in disarray. The troops have displayed the right mental balance in the prosecution of the war, and this has led to the tangible gains recorded so far. All of these gains are attributable to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the various threats posed by the Boko Haram group.

Recommendations:

After extensive study of the Boko Haram crisis from 2010 to date, the following recommendations are made:

All stakeholders must join hands with the federal government in the war against terrorism in Nigeria.

The political leadership in the country must desist from attempting to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian Military by engaging in acts that are counter-progressive in the war against terrorism.

The religious and community leaders in the North-East must continue to support the Nigerian Military in its operations in a bid to bringing to an end the Boko Haram crisis.
By Dansu Peter 

The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has called for enhanced synergy, consultation and less conspiracy among political leaders and relevant stakeholders to double the Armed Forces' successes recorded in the last five years. 

According to SHAC, the strategies being deployed by the military hierarchy has been effective despite sabotage by International Non- Governmental Organizations and the political actors within the theatre.

The centre made this known in its abridged strategic report on the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria from 2010 till date and the effectiveness of the Nigerian Military strategies towards addressing the threats posed by the Insurgency. 

In the report signed by its Executive Secretary, Abubakar Ibrahim, on Wednesday, the SHAC analysed the genesis of the Boko Haram crisis, the approach of previous governments and what the current administration is doing differently. 
Among others, the centre recalled that the military headquarters was moved from Abuja to Maiduguri, funding for operations drastically increased and new military leadership were appointed. 

This, according to the report, has resulted in a significant turnaround in the prosecution of the Boko Haram war in favour of the Nigerian troops who are edging closer to the end of its clearance operations. 

In order to sustain the momentum, the centre, however, urged stakeholders to join hands with the federal government.

While calling on religious and community leaders to support the troops, SHAC advised political leaders to desist from undermining their efforts. 

Read the abridged report below:

Introduction:

The Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people. It has been estimated that the cost of the damages in North-East Nigeria is in the region of $9billion since 2009 when the group began its violent campaign in Nigeria.

Since 2009, the Boko Haram insurgency and the government’s military response have killed tens of thousands of civilians and displaced millions across the Lake Chad region, which straddles Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

Boko Haram re-emerged in 2010 under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, carrying out sporadic attacks across the northeast. Its clandestine tactics gradually grew more sophisticated, but the Nigerian government was slow to recognize the extent of the crisis. Then-President Goodluck Jonathan instead framed Boko Haram as a terrorist organization with ties to international jihadist networks, thereby laying the ground for a narrow counterterrorism response.

In 2013, the Nigerian Military intensified its campaign against Boko Haram. Yet its indiscriminate tactics failed to degrade the group's capacity and deeply alienated the region's civilian population. A state of emergency imposed on Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States only deepened the cycle of violence.

In April 2014, Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 276 female students from the town of Chibok made worldwide headlines, drawing greater policy attention to the crisis. Several Western governments—including the United States—offered technical assistance and intelligence-sharing to help find the girls.

In 2015, a renewed military offensive began making headway against the group. The Nigerian MilitaryMilitary seized back most of the territory previously held by Boko Haram. Although major military campaigns in 2015–2016 succeeded in degrading the group's territorial control, Boko Haram has proven remarkably adaptable in its tactics: Since early 2017, military gains and improved security in parts of north-eastern Nigeria have spurred a greater focus on conflict stabilization measures.

The Issues: 2010-2015

From 2010 onward, Boko Haram started launching a series of attacks on security structures and military installations in the North-Eastern part of the country. For example, on September 7 2010, Boko Haram attacked and overrun a prison in Bauchi, freeing over 700 inmates in the process. Between 2010 and 2015, Boko Haram attacks became more daring and brazen. Never in the history of political violence in Nigeria had any group deliberately targeted not just military structures but military formations and barracks. The attacks launched on Giwa Barrack and Baga military base in Borno State in 2014 and 2015 are cases in point. In the two encounters, over 500 lives were lost. What became noticeable in the course of the confrontation was that the adversaries simultaneously employed asymmetric and conventional tactics and strategies in waging war.

The fact lends credence to the lackadaisical approach by previous administrations towards addressing the threats posed by the Boko Haram group. It was stated in several fora that the Goodluck Jonathan administration saw the emergence of the Boko Haram group as a ploy by the North against his administration following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010. Consequently, the government paid little attention to the activities of the group now led by a radical Abubakar Shekau. The group, therefore, grew in strength and sophistication and continued to wreak havoc in North-East Nigeria.

Another factor that was of significant concern was that lack of professionalism in the Armed Forces occasioned by mass corruption that saw monies meant for the purchase of arms and ammunitions ending up in private pockets. This fact consequently led to casualties of immeasurable proportion on the side of the Nigerian troops, and also the Boko Haram group capturing territories on Nigerian soil.

The government in Nigeria between 2010 to 2015 exhibited a lack of political will to end the Boko Haram crisis. This nonchalance put the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary under strain and lacking in the right motivation and equipment to confront the Boko Haram terrorist group headlong. This also led to near incapacitation of the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary that came under heavy bombardment from the Boko Haram insurgent group with no meaningful response from the Nigerian Military.

The 2015 Baga Massacre is an example of how incapacitated the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary were in dealing with the threats posed by the Boko Haram group. Boko Haram overran a military base that was the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force containing troops from Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. The terror group then forced thousands of locals from the region and committed mass killings.

Aside from this, the country was generally unsafe with countless Boko Haram attacks on crucial government infrastructures such as the headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force and the Headquarters of the United Nations in Nigeria. Public places such as motor parks, places of worships were not spared either as Boko Haram imposed a regime of absolute fear in the country. The government seemed clueless on ways to address the threats posed by the Boko Haram group, so much, so it blamed members of the opposition, while the country continued to bleed.

2015-2020

The change of government in May 2015, has brought about a significant difference in the prosecution of the Boko Haram war. Upon assumption of office, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to take the issue of security.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made some modest reforms to improve the Military's effectiveness against Boko Haram. He moved the Military's headquarters from Abuja to Maiduguri, increased funding for operations in the area, and appointed new military leadership.

Among his earliest acts in office was to replace the heads of the army, navy, and air force. The new army chief by many accounts has taken a more proactive approach than his predecessors toward countering the group. For example, they moved the army's operational headquarters from Abuja to Maiduguri and have deployed more long-range patrols in the region. Experts suggest that the Military is now conducting more strategically-focused operations, such as those that target Boko Haram's logistics routes.

According to reports, morale within the army has improved under the new leadership. The government has arrested several former senior officials on corruption charges, including former President Jonathan's National Security Advisor, who has been charged with fraud over a $2 billion arms deal for equipment that was reportedly never delivered. Jonathan's former chief of defence has been accused of stealing $20 million from the air force, and, as of late March 2016, some 300 individuals, including army officers, and companies were under investigation for the embezzlement between 2011 and 2015 of an estimated $240 million in fraudulent or overpaid defence contracts.

Under the present administration, Nigeria has sought military support from its neighbours, who increasingly suffered attacks during Boko Haram's upsurge. Since 2015, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger have deployed thousands of troops as part of a multinational force authorized by the African Union. The coalition has been credited with helping the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary retake much of the territory claimed by Boko Haram and reduce violence linked to the group to levels seen before 2014.

The Nigerian Army has introduced various counter-insurgency strategies that have recoded multiple gains.

Aside from the reclaiming of territories once under the control of the Boko Haram group, the Nigerian Army also displaced the group from their operational headquarters in Sambisa forest.

The period from 2015 to date has also witnessed a transformation of the Nigerian MilitaryMilitary from a force in disarray to a professional fighting force fighting within the rules of engagement and respect for human rights.

Conclusion:

This report concludes that the period between 2010 to 2015 could be regarded as one of the lowest points in the history of the Nigerian Military because of the inability to deal with the threats posed by the Boko Haram group. The period was also occasioned by the dearth of arms and ammunitions in the Nigerian Military as well as a high rate of lethargy amongst the officers and soldiers in the prosecution of the war against Insurgency.

It is indeed a statement of fact that with the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2015 the fortunes of the Nigerian Military changed as evident in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in Nigeria. A cursory look at the available indices indicates that there have been substantial gains in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group.

This period has seen their ranks broken, and they have resulted in aiming at soft targets in women and children, going on rampages in villages and causing destructions to paint a picture of a potent fighting force. However, in truth, they are in disarray. The troops have displayed the right mental balance in the prosecution of the war, and this has led to the tangible gains recorded so far. All of these gains are attributable to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the various threats posed by the Boko Haram group.

Recommendations:

After extensive study of the Boko Haram crisis from 2010 to date, the following recommendations are made:

All stakeholders must join hands with the federal government in the war against terrorism in Nigeria.

The political leadership in the country must desist from attempting to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian Military by engaging in acts that are counter-progressive in the war against terrorism.

The religious and community leaders in the North-East must continue to support the Nigerian Military in its operations in a bid to bringing to an end the Boko Haram crisis.

2023: Mamman Daura eminently qualified to speak on Nigeria’s future as a statesman - Coalition for Nigeria

2023: Mamman Daura eminently qualified to speak on Nigeria’s future as a statesman - Coalition for Nigeria

By Dansu Peter 

The Coalition for Nigeria (CN) says it is in order for President Muhammadu Buhari's nephew, Mamman Daura, as an elder statesman, to speak on the future of Nigeria.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Patriot Sabo Ode, President of the Coalition expressed total support for the veteran journalist's vision for a new Nigeria. 

Daura had in a recent interview aired by BBC Hausa Service dismissed the issue of zoning and rotation of the nation’s presidency.

He had argued that competence, not geography, should determine the next president of Nigeria in 2023, stressing that: “This turn-by-turn was done once, twice, and three times. It is better for this country to be one it should be for the most competent person and not for someone who comes from somewhere". 

And according to CN, the outrage that trailed Daura's assertion is "unnecessary due to the noble and patriotic goal it is capable of achieving for the country".

The group added that Daura's preference for competence over parochial considerations should be applauded, especially as he did not in any way favour any region or zone. 

The Coalition, however, advised the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and others that is high time the country moves away from parochial sentiments and submit to the dynamics of modern time. 

The group further said it is 100 per cent behind Daura in his quest to ensure that qualitative and best form of leaders for the country emerge in 2023 and beyond. 

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, we are delighted to address you on a matter that has recently stirred unnecessary controversy on the basis of the misinterpretation given to it.

We are of the view that the controversy evoked by the statement from one our most respected elder statesman in the country, Malam Mamman Daura, is not only misplaced but unnecessary due to the noble and patriotic goal it is capable of achieving for the country.

Besides, it is our considered opinion that if the context of the statement made by Malam Daura can be viewed objectively and without sentiments, the nation would be spared all the uproar and set on the right path to true and quality leadership. 

The Issue

Malam Mamman Daura, who is known to be one of the closest persons to President  Muhammadu Buhari, had on Tuesday, stated in the course of an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, that competence, not geography should determine the next president of Nigeria in 2023 and beyond.

He was quoted to have said that, "This turn-by-turn (presidency), it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done thrice… It is better for this country to be one. It should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere."

This statement if viewed objectively implies that since Nigerians have tried the rotational presidency three times already, it would be better to go for the most qualified candidate in 2023 irrespective of whether he comes from the North or the South.

But this trite and wise statement has however been given various interpretations by sections of the country, who view it as an attempt by the North to deny other regions in the country the opportunity to have a shot at the presidency as the eight-year tenure of the current administration ends in 2023.

Reactions

The apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for instance, condemned the call by Malam Daura, saying it is the turn of the South, particularly the Southeast, to produce the president in 2023.

Ohaneze in its reaction said Mr Daura’s statement was self-serving and views it as part of a plot to deny the Sout, and in particular the Southeast, the Presidency.

Said Ohanaeze, "They ganged up to push President Jonathan aside because they believed it was the turn of the North to produce the President”.

“Having benefited enormously from his nephew being the President, he now wants it jettisoned because it is the turn of the South”.

The organization then warned that equity should not be sacrificed on the altar of parochialism since it was the rotation sentiment that produced the present incumbent.

It said, "Talking about competence or most qualified, was President Buhari the most qualified Nigerian when he ascended the presidency? Has he proved to be the most competent? Are the service chiefs the most competent among their colleagues to warrant they're being retained beyond their tenure?”

“Now that it is the turn of the South, precisely South East, he is mouthing most qualified and competent. Equity is a constant flagship for peace and good governance. Without it, there will be continued agitation and crisis."

The Afenifere on its part said the Daura’s interview had exposed the deceit of the North and its selfish agenda.

The group said, “It is amusing to see those, who were singing zoning or tearing down of Nigeria before 2015, now becoming the apostles of competence after taking eight years. This is the most selfish orchestra.

The Niger Delta socio-cultural group, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) also condemned Daura’s position and described Daura’s statement as not only insensitive but 'most unfortunate and unarguably capable of creating unnecessary tension in the country.'

Other groups and individuals also spoke in a similar vein with most latching high on emotions while leaving the substance of the issue addressed by Malam Daura.

The crux of the matter

It is at this juncture that we wish to put in proper perspective, the issue raised by Malam Daura and to situate the statement in its proper context.

First and foremost, Malam Daura did not say any region should be favoured for the presidency in 2023.

His comment did not in any way show favour to any region or zone, neither did he exclude any region or zone as not being competent to provide credible leadership for the country in 2023 and beyond.

He only sought to emphasise the merit of competence over parochial considerations.

What his statement implies is that if the best candidate happens to be from any zone in the country, whether the person is from the South-south, Northeast, Southeast, Northcentral, Southwest or Northwest, that person should automatically qualify to be president of Nigeria. 

This means that if competence is lacking in any of the candidates from any zone including the North where Daura hails from, then that persons should not be given the chance to rule Nigeria.

How that implies that he is favouring the North beats one's imagination as nowhere was that implied in the statement.

Another thing is that Malam Daura's statement seeks to place merit above all other considerations for the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria which is what all well-meaning Nigerians have been hankering on as opposed to a situation where sentiments are allowed to be the overall guiding principle. 

Addressing some of the concerns 

Having said that, it is pertinent to address some of the issues raised by these groups and individuals.

To say that Malam Daura is raising the issue now because the North would be expected to leave power in 2023 is akin to trying to railroad other Nigerians into believing there was an agreement entered into for some zones not to contest in 2023.

In 2015 as well as 2019, political parties fielded candidates from different zones in the country without exclusion. This presupposes that all qualified Nigerians were eligible to contest irrespective of the zones they hail from hence what would be the basis to assume that a particular should be excluded in subsequent elections?

Again, to say that President Muhammadu Buhari is a product of zoning is one of the cheapest lies anyone can weave in contemporary history.

Recall that when Buhari declared his intention to run as Nigeria's President in 2001, it was on the platform of the ANPP and the party at that time had not provisioned for zoning in its Constitution.

The APP which later became ANPP,  if you will recall, had given its ticket to Olu Falae in the 1999 election and Falae was expected to pick the form in the subsequent election but did not show up.

Rather, it was people like Rochas Okorocha, Harry Kande etc that contested in the primary of the party with Buhari.

The fact that the other aspirants were from other zones in the country showed that the party never gave zoning any primacy but allowed each individual to run on merit.

This had been the principal Buhari stood for as he consistently ran for elections irrespective of the perception in the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of where the presidency was zoned to.

This shows that President Buhari has been strong believer incompetence and merit from the beginning and had always used himself as an example to encourage others.

The slant that going on merit is meant to deny the Southeast a chance at the presidency is an insult on the enterprising spirit of the average southeasterner who prefers to work hard for what he desires rather than beg to be given.

It is therefore surprising that Ohanaeze Ndi'Igbo, which should be at the forefront for enthroning hard work and enterprise should be the one positioning the region as waiting for hand out.

The truth is that, at no time did other Nigerian decide that the presidency should go to a particular zone.

In 2015, then President Jonathan contested with Buhari for the presidency on different platforms of political parties.

Then, we did not hear the Ohanaeze saying Jonathan should pull out of the race since the perception is that the North should have it.

If Jonathan had won in 2015, we wonder whose turn it would have been in 2019 as there are at least three other zones in the North and two others in the South that might be interested.

It is surprising that in the 21st century that any right-thinking person should prefer sectional privileges to merit when we should all be striving for the best.

Bringing the issue of the service chiefs or others who are appointees of the President is neither here nor there as these people were chosen at the discretion of the President and we believe that Ohanaeze which is a socio-cultural organisation, lacks the necessary credential to judge whether they're the best for their fields or not.

Way Out

It is high time the country moves away from parochial sentiments and submit to the dynamics of modern time which trumps competence over sectional considerations.

What is required to achieve that is for the parties to come up with high standards for the selection of their candidates so as to appeal to the electorate. 

This we believe is the way forward if the country is to get it right in its quest for good leadership.

We, therefore, support Mamman Daura 100 per cent in his quest to ensure the qualitative and best form of leaders for the country in 2023 and beyond.

This genuine and patriotic desire for the country should be commended by all well-meaning Nigerians. 
By Dansu Peter 

The Coalition for Nigeria (CN) says it is in order for President Muhammadu Buhari's nephew, Mamman Daura, as an elder statesman, to speak on the future of Nigeria.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Patriot Sabo Ode, President of the Coalition expressed total support for the veteran journalist's vision for a new Nigeria. 

Daura had in a recent interview aired by BBC Hausa Service dismissed the issue of zoning and rotation of the nation’s presidency.

He had argued that competence, not geography, should determine the next president of Nigeria in 2023, stressing that: “This turn-by-turn was done once, twice, and three times. It is better for this country to be one it should be for the most competent person and not for someone who comes from somewhere". 

And according to CN, the outrage that trailed Daura's assertion is "unnecessary due to the noble and patriotic goal it is capable of achieving for the country".

The group added that Daura's preference for competence over parochial considerations should be applauded, especially as he did not in any way favour any region or zone. 

The Coalition, however, advised the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and others that is high time the country moves away from parochial sentiments and submit to the dynamics of modern time. 

The group further said it is 100 per cent behind Daura in his quest to ensure that qualitative and best form of leaders for the country emerge in 2023 and beyond. 

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, we are delighted to address you on a matter that has recently stirred unnecessary controversy on the basis of the misinterpretation given to it.

We are of the view that the controversy evoked by the statement from one our most respected elder statesman in the country, Malam Mamman Daura, is not only misplaced but unnecessary due to the noble and patriotic goal it is capable of achieving for the country.

Besides, it is our considered opinion that if the context of the statement made by Malam Daura can be viewed objectively and without sentiments, the nation would be spared all the uproar and set on the right path to true and quality leadership. 

The Issue

Malam Mamman Daura, who is known to be one of the closest persons to President  Muhammadu Buhari, had on Tuesday, stated in the course of an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, that competence, not geography should determine the next president of Nigeria in 2023 and beyond.

He was quoted to have said that, "This turn-by-turn (presidency), it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done thrice… It is better for this country to be one. It should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere."

This statement if viewed objectively implies that since Nigerians have tried the rotational presidency three times already, it would be better to go for the most qualified candidate in 2023 irrespective of whether he comes from the North or the South.

But this trite and wise statement has however been given various interpretations by sections of the country, who view it as an attempt by the North to deny other regions in the country the opportunity to have a shot at the presidency as the eight-year tenure of the current administration ends in 2023.

Reactions

The apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for instance, condemned the call by Malam Daura, saying it is the turn of the South, particularly the Southeast, to produce the president in 2023.

Ohaneze in its reaction said Mr Daura’s statement was self-serving and views it as part of a plot to deny the Sout, and in particular the Southeast, the Presidency.

Said Ohanaeze, "They ganged up to push President Jonathan aside because they believed it was the turn of the North to produce the President”.

“Having benefited enormously from his nephew being the President, he now wants it jettisoned because it is the turn of the South”.

The organization then warned that equity should not be sacrificed on the altar of parochialism since it was the rotation sentiment that produced the present incumbent.

It said, "Talking about competence or most qualified, was President Buhari the most qualified Nigerian when he ascended the presidency? Has he proved to be the most competent? Are the service chiefs the most competent among their colleagues to warrant they're being retained beyond their tenure?”

“Now that it is the turn of the South, precisely South East, he is mouthing most qualified and competent. Equity is a constant flagship for peace and good governance. Without it, there will be continued agitation and crisis."

The Afenifere on its part said the Daura’s interview had exposed the deceit of the North and its selfish agenda.

The group said, “It is amusing to see those, who were singing zoning or tearing down of Nigeria before 2015, now becoming the apostles of competence after taking eight years. This is the most selfish orchestra.

The Niger Delta socio-cultural group, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) also condemned Daura’s position and described Daura’s statement as not only insensitive but 'most unfortunate and unarguably capable of creating unnecessary tension in the country.'

Other groups and individuals also spoke in a similar vein with most latching high on emotions while leaving the substance of the issue addressed by Malam Daura.

The crux of the matter

It is at this juncture that we wish to put in proper perspective, the issue raised by Malam Daura and to situate the statement in its proper context.

First and foremost, Malam Daura did not say any region should be favoured for the presidency in 2023.

His comment did not in any way show favour to any region or zone, neither did he exclude any region or zone as not being competent to provide credible leadership for the country in 2023 and beyond.

He only sought to emphasise the merit of competence over parochial considerations.

What his statement implies is that if the best candidate happens to be from any zone in the country, whether the person is from the South-south, Northeast, Southeast, Northcentral, Southwest or Northwest, that person should automatically qualify to be president of Nigeria. 

This means that if competence is lacking in any of the candidates from any zone including the North where Daura hails from, then that persons should not be given the chance to rule Nigeria.

How that implies that he is favouring the North beats one's imagination as nowhere was that implied in the statement.

Another thing is that Malam Daura's statement seeks to place merit above all other considerations for the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria which is what all well-meaning Nigerians have been hankering on as opposed to a situation where sentiments are allowed to be the overall guiding principle. 

Addressing some of the concerns 

Having said that, it is pertinent to address some of the issues raised by these groups and individuals.

To say that Malam Daura is raising the issue now because the North would be expected to leave power in 2023 is akin to trying to railroad other Nigerians into believing there was an agreement entered into for some zones not to contest in 2023.

In 2015 as well as 2019, political parties fielded candidates from different zones in the country without exclusion. This presupposes that all qualified Nigerians were eligible to contest irrespective of the zones they hail from hence what would be the basis to assume that a particular should be excluded in subsequent elections?

Again, to say that President Muhammadu Buhari is a product of zoning is one of the cheapest lies anyone can weave in contemporary history.

Recall that when Buhari declared his intention to run as Nigeria's President in 2001, it was on the platform of the ANPP and the party at that time had not provisioned for zoning in its Constitution.

The APP which later became ANPP,  if you will recall, had given its ticket to Olu Falae in the 1999 election and Falae was expected to pick the form in the subsequent election but did not show up.

Rather, it was people like Rochas Okorocha, Harry Kande etc that contested in the primary of the party with Buhari.

The fact that the other aspirants were from other zones in the country showed that the party never gave zoning any primacy but allowed each individual to run on merit.

This had been the principal Buhari stood for as he consistently ran for elections irrespective of the perception in the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of where the presidency was zoned to.

This shows that President Buhari has been strong believer incompetence and merit from the beginning and had always used himself as an example to encourage others.

The slant that going on merit is meant to deny the Southeast a chance at the presidency is an insult on the enterprising spirit of the average southeasterner who prefers to work hard for what he desires rather than beg to be given.

It is therefore surprising that Ohanaeze Ndi'Igbo, which should be at the forefront for enthroning hard work and enterprise should be the one positioning the region as waiting for hand out.

The truth is that, at no time did other Nigerian decide that the presidency should go to a particular zone.

In 2015, then President Jonathan contested with Buhari for the presidency on different platforms of political parties.

Then, we did not hear the Ohanaeze saying Jonathan should pull out of the race since the perception is that the North should have it.

If Jonathan had won in 2015, we wonder whose turn it would have been in 2019 as there are at least three other zones in the North and two others in the South that might be interested.

It is surprising that in the 21st century that any right-thinking person should prefer sectional privileges to merit when we should all be striving for the best.

Bringing the issue of the service chiefs or others who are appointees of the President is neither here nor there as these people were chosen at the discretion of the President and we believe that Ohanaeze which is a socio-cultural organisation, lacks the necessary credential to judge whether they're the best for their fields or not.

Way Out

It is high time the country moves away from parochial sentiments and submit to the dynamics of modern time which trumps competence over sectional considerations.

What is required to achieve that is for the parties to come up with high standards for the selection of their candidates so as to appeal to the electorate. 

This we believe is the way forward if the country is to get it right in its quest for good leadership.

We, therefore, support Mamman Daura 100 per cent in his quest to ensure the qualitative and best form of leaders for the country in 2023 and beyond.

This genuine and patriotic desire for the country should be commended by all well-meaning Nigerians. 

Lagos council boss, Ajidagba builds world class Healthcare Centre

Lagos council boss, Ajidagba builds world class Healthcare Centre

By Ifeanyi JP




THE MAKING OF THE CUTTING-EDGE PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CENTER [PHC], ALABA-ORO, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN NIGERIA BY THE COUNCIL BOSS OF IFELODUN LCDA, HON. SHUAIB FATAI AJIDAGBA  [Part 4]

THE GROUND FLOOR 

The ground floor of the superlative Primary Healthcare Center [PHC] consist of the followings:

•Four Exterior Doors:
Censored glass door [Main entrance] and
Three Glazed Aluminum doors

•Reception/Record Desk

•Medical Record Office and Record Store

•Consulting Room 01/02

•Clean Utility

•Emergency Room

•Cashier's Office

•Triage/Nurses Station

•TB Treatment Room

•DOT

•Injection/Treatment Room

•Emergency Room

•Stretcher Point

•Pharmacy and Pharmacy Store

•Two Consulting Rooms

•Child Welfare Complex with Immunization Hall

•Cold Chain Office

•Dry Store

•Nutrition Room

•Food Demonstration kitchen

•Sleuce

•Laundry and Clean Room

14 Conveniences:
Males [4], Females [4] while others are located in different offices.

•Equipment store

•Ramp 

•Isolation Area and others.

It takes a young, vibrant and visionary leader like Hon. Fatai Shuaib Ajidagba [Ajifat] to open doors of sustainable projects in a young council area like Ifelodun. 

The man Ajifat is an idea whose time has come. 

Let the works do the talking!

Ifeanyi JP
SSA, Media & Publicity
To the Executive Chairman
By Ifeanyi JP




THE MAKING OF THE CUTTING-EDGE PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CENTER [PHC], ALABA-ORO, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN NIGERIA BY THE COUNCIL BOSS OF IFELODUN LCDA, HON. SHUAIB FATAI AJIDAGBA  [Part 4]

THE GROUND FLOOR 

The ground floor of the superlative Primary Healthcare Center [PHC] consist of the followings:

•Four Exterior Doors:
Censored glass door [Main entrance] and
Three Glazed Aluminum doors

•Reception/Record Desk

•Medical Record Office and Record Store

•Consulting Room 01/02

•Clean Utility

•Emergency Room

•Cashier's Office

•Triage/Nurses Station

•TB Treatment Room

•DOT

•Injection/Treatment Room

•Emergency Room

•Stretcher Point

•Pharmacy and Pharmacy Store

•Two Consulting Rooms

•Child Welfare Complex with Immunization Hall

•Cold Chain Office

•Dry Store

•Nutrition Room

•Food Demonstration kitchen

•Sleuce

•Laundry and Clean Room

14 Conveniences:
Males [4], Females [4] while others are located in different offices.

•Equipment store

•Ramp 

•Isolation Area and others.

It takes a young, vibrant and visionary leader like Hon. Fatai Shuaib Ajidagba [Ajifat] to open doors of sustainable projects in a young council area like Ifelodun. 

The man Ajifat is an idea whose time has come. 

Let the works do the talking!

Ifeanyi JP
SSA, Media & Publicity
To the Executive Chairman

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