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Re: Lt. Gen. Akinrinade (rtd): A stakeholder who missed the path, Simon Shango

Re: Lt. Gen. Akinrinade (rtd): A stakeholder who missed the path, Simon Shango

By Simon Shango 

The Nigerian media buzzed with news of the visit of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. TY Buratai on Monday 14th September 2020 to the home State of his senior and retired colleague, Gen. Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Osun. 

The former COAS had a privilege, courtesy of the invitation extended to him by the Osun State Governor, to speak at a banquet dinner in honour of his visiting predecessor to Osun State, which took place at the Osun State Govt House Banquet Hall.

My heart gladdened at this development in the sense that while overtly, the visit to the State was to commission projects executed by the Nigerian Army under its plank of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); underneath that chanced meeting, lied the window of the COAS interacting with his senior colleague to tap from his rich treasure of experience as the former COAS and later Chief of Defence Staff under the Shagari Presidency in the 1980s.  

However, media accounts of the speech of Gen. Akinirinade (rtd) reported verbatim left me with a sour taste in the mouth. It contained somewhat “abominable” utterances which undermined his status as an elder statesman, the office of the President of Nigeria, and even his guest, Gen. Buratai. I found his remarks and message to Mr. President extremely distasteful by the sheer misrepresentations and misplacements of existing facts.

Let me admit ab initio that as peers and people within the same age, who are now regarded as elders, I will be unfair to discuss such sensitive issues publicly. But when it becomes a public document like his speech, it is only wise that I respond to Gen. Akinrinade in the same manner and fashion he ventilated his opinions because he politicized the issues by my judgment.

It was my utmost conviction that Gen. Akinrinade (rtd) having climbed steadily through the ranks in the military to become a Lieutenant General, one expected him to have acted better while commenting on a sensitive matter as the security challenges facing the country. He, however, disappointed me and I believe many other Nigerians. First, the retired General should have sought to discuss these issues in private, rather than making it public.

As an elder, a former colleague of Mr. President in the Nigerian Army and stakeholder in the Nigerian project, there is no way President Buhari wouldn’t have granted Gen. Akinrinade a private audience. President Buhari is a listening President, who respects every elder in the country and even the ordinary Nigerian knows this. The outcome of a private visit would have gone a long way in complementing the enormous successes Buhari has recorded in the fight against insecurities in the country. His assertions on the security situation in the country are misleading and they do not portray him as someone very knowledgeable on the subject matter.

It is unfortunate that Gen. Akinrinade easily bought into the cheap propaganda that the President is a sectional leader who promotes the agenda for a takeover of Nigeria by his Fulani tribe as disseminated by the opposition and his detractors. As an elder statesman, Akinrinade should be at the forefront of championing for a Nigeria that is devoid of division. His age and experience should play a part to convince the younger generation that no President can put his immediate tribe above the collective good of the nation. It is rather unfortunate that he has enlisted into the league of those spreading hate against the President’s tribe.

The former Defence Chief has forgotten that the issue of herdsmen and farmers predates the Buhari administration. As the President and Commander-in-Chief, Buhari has accorded appropriate priority in this regard by putting measures in place to curtail the excesses of the herdsmen on farmers.

For instance, in 2018, the Defence Headquarters kicked off “Exercise Ayem A Akpatema” (cat race) phases I, II and now III; which is operating alongside “Operation Whirl Stroke” (OPWS) in the Middle Belt. It features a Joint Military Intervention Force (JMIF), comprising Regular and Special Forces personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy, and working in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

The main aim of these Military operations is to counter armed herdsmen and militia groups operating especially around Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Plateau States and environs.  These operations have been very successful in restoring calm to its areas of coverage. The Governors of these states have testified to its workability at different times. And with the successes recorded by these operations, it will be unfair for anyone to say the President does not interfere in curbing the brigandage of the Fulani herdsmen.

Again, Gen. Akinrinade said that the President has performed woefully in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency. But we all were aware when Boko Haram was infiltrating all the nook and crannies of this country prior to Buhari’s emergence as the President and even making ingress into Southern Nigeria.  Markets were not safe, neither were schools and churches. As the Centre of attraction, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, was not safe also for anyone. It is a statement of fact that bombs were exploding everywhere in this country prior to President Buhari’s emergence as Nigeria’s democratic leader.

The fight against Boko Haram and other forms of criminalities have received priority attention under the Buhari administration and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded similar threats across all geo-political zones. In fact, all the Local Governments and territories that were hitherto taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have long been recovered and are now occupied by displaced indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.

More than a million displaced persons have returned to their homes and communities across the Northeast, since 2016. Thousands of hostages have been freed from Boko Haram captivity, including the majority of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in April 2014, and 105 of the Dapchi Girls abducted in February 2018.

I think, with these efforts, history will always smile on President Buhari. And people like Gen. Akinrinade, who have chosen to be economical with the truth need to rather support the President to do more, since securing the nation is a collective effort and does not rest with one man.

Gen. Akinrinade also raised the issue of the President’s appointments not reflecting the heterogeneous composition of our country, Nigeria. What the General fails to comprehend is that President Buhari has never refused to honour the constitutional requirement to appoint people across the country in his government. But be that as it may, every President would prefer to appoint people that he/she would work closely with based on their competence, loyalty and trustworthiness, and not their ethnicity or religion. And the president has not hidden this fact. Moreover, all the actions and inactions of the administration will be solely placed on him after his tenure.

Gen. Akinrinade sounded sarcastic as if much is not done on the welfare of the security personnel. But credit must also be given to President Buhari for taking the interest of the military and other security agencies seriously. We are all aware of how the previous government diverted monies meant for the purchase of arms and the welfare of our security for personal use.
The Buhari administration has not only made sure that our security agencies have enough arms to fight terrorism and other forms of criminality, the government has approved and implemented new salary packages for the Military and Police. It has similarly, established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund as a public-private sector vehicle for alternative sources of funding security activities. This has gone a long way to motivate our security personnel to put in their best.

Above all, though, the request by Gen. Akinrinade to the COAS for more projects in Osun states is most baffling. May I kindly remind him that the Nigerian Army is not a projects development and execution agency. It is only Gen. Buratai’s leadership foresight and feeling for humanity that has introduced CSR projects from the Army’s meagre resources.

Again, agitations for succession as alleged by the retired General, have been with us in this country for a long time and this cannot be placed on the doorsteps of President Buhari. I am sure that Gen. Akninrinade knows this. As far as I am concerned, the President has done his best to keep the country as one.

Looking at the motley of problems he inherited, there are obvious signs that the country is heading towards the right direction. Statesmen like Gen. Akinrinade needs to seek the private attention of the President and offer genuine suggestions and advise; not by playing to the gallery or swimming in currents of politics like others.   

Again, with all the noise and allegations that the President does not support the restructuring of the country, people like Gen. Akinrinade have suddenly forgotten that President Buhari and his party, the APC included devolution of power, true federalism in their manifesto. The party constituted a restructuring committee in 2019, headed by the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai. That committee has submitted its report to the party caucus which the President is a member. The President too endorsed the outcome. 

But one thing people have failed to understand is that restructuring lies with the National Assembly. The President is not a military dictator; he cannot change anything by decree. Sovereignty in Nigeria now is vested in the National Assembly. Before restructuring can take place, there must be an act of the National Assembly to create that referendum. It is not the President that would do it by fiat or by Executive Order. It must go through the National Assembly. But already some Southerners like former President Olusegun Obasanjo are already kicking against the idea of the proposed constitutional amendment.

Let me again touch on the issue of herders/farmers clashes. The allegations that farmers have been forced to abandon their farms as a result of insecurity and as such famine is imminent is totally false because most of our displaced people have returned to their farms as a result of the stability in the security of the country.
More Nigerians have taken advantage of the opportunity in the agri-business sector initiative put in place by the government through the food security initiative, where the government is promoting “Grow What We Eat" and “Eat What We Grow." The CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme and other similar schemes have rather attracted more farmers. With these initiatives and bumper harvests that we have experienced from the previous years, Nigeria cannot be borrowing grains from neighbouring ECOWAS countries as the retired General alleged. Akinrinade should know better.

Chief Shango is a veteran journalist and wrote from Abuja.
By Simon Shango 

The Nigerian media buzzed with news of the visit of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. TY Buratai on Monday 14th September 2020 to the home State of his senior and retired colleague, Gen. Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Osun. 

The former COAS had a privilege, courtesy of the invitation extended to him by the Osun State Governor, to speak at a banquet dinner in honour of his visiting predecessor to Osun State, which took place at the Osun State Govt House Banquet Hall.

My heart gladdened at this development in the sense that while overtly, the visit to the State was to commission projects executed by the Nigerian Army under its plank of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); underneath that chanced meeting, lied the window of the COAS interacting with his senior colleague to tap from his rich treasure of experience as the former COAS and later Chief of Defence Staff under the Shagari Presidency in the 1980s.  

However, media accounts of the speech of Gen. Akinirinade (rtd) reported verbatim left me with a sour taste in the mouth. It contained somewhat “abominable” utterances which undermined his status as an elder statesman, the office of the President of Nigeria, and even his guest, Gen. Buratai. I found his remarks and message to Mr. President extremely distasteful by the sheer misrepresentations and misplacements of existing facts.

Let me admit ab initio that as peers and people within the same age, who are now regarded as elders, I will be unfair to discuss such sensitive issues publicly. But when it becomes a public document like his speech, it is only wise that I respond to Gen. Akinrinade in the same manner and fashion he ventilated his opinions because he politicized the issues by my judgment.

It was my utmost conviction that Gen. Akinrinade (rtd) having climbed steadily through the ranks in the military to become a Lieutenant General, one expected him to have acted better while commenting on a sensitive matter as the security challenges facing the country. He, however, disappointed me and I believe many other Nigerians. First, the retired General should have sought to discuss these issues in private, rather than making it public.

As an elder, a former colleague of Mr. President in the Nigerian Army and stakeholder in the Nigerian project, there is no way President Buhari wouldn’t have granted Gen. Akinrinade a private audience. President Buhari is a listening President, who respects every elder in the country and even the ordinary Nigerian knows this. The outcome of a private visit would have gone a long way in complementing the enormous successes Buhari has recorded in the fight against insecurities in the country. His assertions on the security situation in the country are misleading and they do not portray him as someone very knowledgeable on the subject matter.

It is unfortunate that Gen. Akinrinade easily bought into the cheap propaganda that the President is a sectional leader who promotes the agenda for a takeover of Nigeria by his Fulani tribe as disseminated by the opposition and his detractors. As an elder statesman, Akinrinade should be at the forefront of championing for a Nigeria that is devoid of division. His age and experience should play a part to convince the younger generation that no President can put his immediate tribe above the collective good of the nation. It is rather unfortunate that he has enlisted into the league of those spreading hate against the President’s tribe.

The former Defence Chief has forgotten that the issue of herdsmen and farmers predates the Buhari administration. As the President and Commander-in-Chief, Buhari has accorded appropriate priority in this regard by putting measures in place to curtail the excesses of the herdsmen on farmers.

For instance, in 2018, the Defence Headquarters kicked off “Exercise Ayem A Akpatema” (cat race) phases I, II and now III; which is operating alongside “Operation Whirl Stroke” (OPWS) in the Middle Belt. It features a Joint Military Intervention Force (JMIF), comprising Regular and Special Forces personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy, and working in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

The main aim of these Military operations is to counter armed herdsmen and militia groups operating especially around Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Plateau States and environs.  These operations have been very successful in restoring calm to its areas of coverage. The Governors of these states have testified to its workability at different times. And with the successes recorded by these operations, it will be unfair for anyone to say the President does not interfere in curbing the brigandage of the Fulani herdsmen.

Again, Gen. Akinrinade said that the President has performed woefully in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency. But we all were aware when Boko Haram was infiltrating all the nook and crannies of this country prior to Buhari’s emergence as the President and even making ingress into Southern Nigeria.  Markets were not safe, neither were schools and churches. As the Centre of attraction, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, was not safe also for anyone. It is a statement of fact that bombs were exploding everywhere in this country prior to President Buhari’s emergence as Nigeria’s democratic leader.

The fight against Boko Haram and other forms of criminalities have received priority attention under the Buhari administration and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded similar threats across all geo-political zones. In fact, all the Local Governments and territories that were hitherto taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have long been recovered and are now occupied by displaced indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.

More than a million displaced persons have returned to their homes and communities across the Northeast, since 2016. Thousands of hostages have been freed from Boko Haram captivity, including the majority of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in April 2014, and 105 of the Dapchi Girls abducted in February 2018.

I think, with these efforts, history will always smile on President Buhari. And people like Gen. Akinrinade, who have chosen to be economical with the truth need to rather support the President to do more, since securing the nation is a collective effort and does not rest with one man.

Gen. Akinrinade also raised the issue of the President’s appointments not reflecting the heterogeneous composition of our country, Nigeria. What the General fails to comprehend is that President Buhari has never refused to honour the constitutional requirement to appoint people across the country in his government. But be that as it may, every President would prefer to appoint people that he/she would work closely with based on their competence, loyalty and trustworthiness, and not their ethnicity or religion. And the president has not hidden this fact. Moreover, all the actions and inactions of the administration will be solely placed on him after his tenure.

Gen. Akinrinade sounded sarcastic as if much is not done on the welfare of the security personnel. But credit must also be given to President Buhari for taking the interest of the military and other security agencies seriously. We are all aware of how the previous government diverted monies meant for the purchase of arms and the welfare of our security for personal use.
The Buhari administration has not only made sure that our security agencies have enough arms to fight terrorism and other forms of criminality, the government has approved and implemented new salary packages for the Military and Police. It has similarly, established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund as a public-private sector vehicle for alternative sources of funding security activities. This has gone a long way to motivate our security personnel to put in their best.

Above all, though, the request by Gen. Akinrinade to the COAS for more projects in Osun states is most baffling. May I kindly remind him that the Nigerian Army is not a projects development and execution agency. It is only Gen. Buratai’s leadership foresight and feeling for humanity that has introduced CSR projects from the Army’s meagre resources.

Again, agitations for succession as alleged by the retired General, have been with us in this country for a long time and this cannot be placed on the doorsteps of President Buhari. I am sure that Gen. Akninrinade knows this. As far as I am concerned, the President has done his best to keep the country as one.

Looking at the motley of problems he inherited, there are obvious signs that the country is heading towards the right direction. Statesmen like Gen. Akinrinade needs to seek the private attention of the President and offer genuine suggestions and advise; not by playing to the gallery or swimming in currents of politics like others.   

Again, with all the noise and allegations that the President does not support the restructuring of the country, people like Gen. Akinrinade have suddenly forgotten that President Buhari and his party, the APC included devolution of power, true federalism in their manifesto. The party constituted a restructuring committee in 2019, headed by the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai. That committee has submitted its report to the party caucus which the President is a member. The President too endorsed the outcome. 

But one thing people have failed to understand is that restructuring lies with the National Assembly. The President is not a military dictator; he cannot change anything by decree. Sovereignty in Nigeria now is vested in the National Assembly. Before restructuring can take place, there must be an act of the National Assembly to create that referendum. It is not the President that would do it by fiat or by Executive Order. It must go through the National Assembly. But already some Southerners like former President Olusegun Obasanjo are already kicking against the idea of the proposed constitutional amendment.

Let me again touch on the issue of herders/farmers clashes. The allegations that farmers have been forced to abandon their farms as a result of insecurity and as such famine is imminent is totally false because most of our displaced people have returned to their farms as a result of the stability in the security of the country.
More Nigerians have taken advantage of the opportunity in the agri-business sector initiative put in place by the government through the food security initiative, where the government is promoting “Grow What We Eat" and “Eat What We Grow." The CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme and other similar schemes have rather attracted more farmers. With these initiatives and bumper harvests that we have experienced from the previous years, Nigeria cannot be borrowing grains from neighbouring ECOWAS countries as the retired General alleged. Akinrinade should know better.

Chief Shango is a veteran journalist and wrote from Abuja.

Fatal Arrogance: Why is the IMN afraid of its shadows?Abu Duniya

Fatal Arrogance: Why is the IMN afraid of its shadows?Abu Duniya

Abu Duniya 

In the last few weeks, Nigerians have been inundated with cries of condemnations from the members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) about the behind-the-scenes photos and a 12-minute-clip from the set of Nollywood movie titled, ‘Fatal Arrogance,’ still in the oven or production room. The movie which is produced by Anosike Kingsley Orji, was shot in Enugu, the Coal City and has a veteran Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie, playing the lead role.  

Predictably, the movie title is derived from the book written by a security analyst cum activist, Mr. Terrence Kuanum. What many are confused is why the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) would be jittery over a movie that is still under production and has not yet been released to the public?

Already, the group has started pointing accusing fingers at some highly respected security institutions and its leadership, claiming those they consider as their enemies are responsible for sponsorship of the movie production. An evil man is perpetually under the illusion that he is being haunted. So, the IMN have also accused the lead actor, Pete Edochie of lending credibility to the movie as well as depicting and portraying the terrorist group and its arrow-head of terror ,  Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, in a demeaning manner.

But this is a movie whose official trailer is yet to be released, and the name of the IMN leader is not mentioned. How come IMN is already agitated and making allegations? That’s the “Fatal Mistake” in the whole sordid drama by the outlaws in IMN, which best illustrates the efficacy of the axiom that evildoers perpetually dread their shadows, even when they are nowhere near anyone’s target. Are the outlawed IMN members afraid of their own shadows. That’s the power of retributive justice.   

The IMN has no right of attacking and condemning Pete Edochie for taking a role in any movie. He is a professional actor and provided his services to the hirer for a fee and it is legitimate. Why are IMN member bothered about the credibility of Edochie? Has their leader, El-Zakzaky any credible credibility, outside lies, incitement to breach of public peace, violence and bloodshed, killings and terrorism ?

Film acting  is a trade Edochie has been known for all his life. In the countless movies in which he has featured in the past, some of which he has played the role of a wicked King, from a setting depicting a particular people or culture, did those concerned took arms against him or hurled threats at him or why didn’t the IMN complain then?  The IMN has no veto powers to pass judgment on the person of Pete Edochie and his professional career.

The IMN and their violent activities are not new to anyone, hence the people and Government of Nigeria have always been critical of them. First, the movement fundamentally believes and proclaims that there is no government except the tin god they profess allegiance in some foreign country.  

The same leader and founder of the group, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, whom they are claiming has been portrayed in a demeaning manner in the movie, has since the early 1980s, called for an Islamic revolution to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, an end to Western influence in the country and the stringent adoption of Islamic legal codes, principles and systems violently. This same group is very critical of Northern Nigeria’s traditional, religious and political elite.

The IMN has a history of violence even though they claim they have a reputation for upholding peace even at the peak of unprovoked attacks. The group has a history of clashes with the Nigerian security forces and other Muslim groups.

In 1991, El-Zakzaky and his followers clashed with security forces in Katsina.
In 1996, his followers seized and decapitated a Christian on the allegation that his wife used pages torn from the Quran to clean their infant baby. What a shame to humanity! Precisely in June 2005, this same group clashed with the emirate authorities in Sokoto, over access to the city’s central mosque. In July 2007, the sect masterminded the murder of a Sunni cleric in Sokoto, Umar Dan Maishiya, who had been highly critical of the IMN and its activities . It sparked reprisal attacks that killed at least five persons  and destroyed many of their homes.


Members of the IMN and supporters of El-Zakzaky had in September 2009, clashed with police in Zaria, leading to injuries and deaths on both sides. The group had another major clash with the military, during a pro-Palestinian procession in Zaria on 25 July 2014, and three sons of El-Zakzaky, all undergraduates at the time lost their lives.

Are these imaginary images of the outlawed IMN? Why are they questioning the contents of “Fatal Mistake,” even if directed at them? Normal human beings protest what is falsehoods; but truth cannot be blurred and IMN should not place itself in a position to continue to intimidate and harass other Nigerians with their foolery.  

Indeed, the relationship between IMN and the Government has always been characterized by antagonisms and recurrent hostilities. The Government views IMN as an extremist group building up the critical mass it needs to eventually turn incontrollable like the Boko Haram sect, while they (IMN) claim the Government want to wipe it out.  No one quarrels with it; but the outlawed IMN must necessarily create its own country to operate by a different set of rules or laws, but not in Nigeria.

Their aberration are serial. In 2015, this same group blocked the road in Kaduna state, denying the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai and his convoy  passage, while on official duty, when he was en-route to a military ceremony in the city of Zaria. Hundreds of armed members of the group barricaded General Buratai’s way, brandishing clubs and chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great), on the flimsy excuse that their leader was to use the same public road at about that  time. What impunity! Even at this incident, the incensed IMN members cracked the trouble first.

They ignored warnings to disperse, then started pelting the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff with dangerous objects. The troops responsible for the Army Chief’s safety had to protect him by clearing the barricades forcefully, but did so in accordance with the Army’s rules of engagement and code of conduct. If a group who claims to be a peaceful religious can go to the extent of blocking and attacking the convoy of COAS of the country, then there is absolutely nobody that the group will be afraid of.

Again the death of a Deputy Police Commissioner, Usman Umar, who was fatally shot, and the many others that were injured in the violent protest by the IMN in Abuja in 2019 is still fresh in our minds. If not for the aggressive and intolerant nature of this group, Precious Owolabi, a youth Corps Member and Channels Television reporter would still be alive.  This intolerant group has left a hole in the hearts of the deceased parents and relatives and they will grieve for a lifetime. Nigerians have not forgotten it.

The IMN has no face saving because Nigerians know them as a violent group. What the group fails to understand is that, the movie which they are so much afraid of, has just a fraction of their atrocities  to tell Nigerians. The whole world knows about their activities and penchant for violence. Their condemnation and aspersions on the producers and entire cast of the yet-to-be released movie has rather helped to give it the needed publicity. In fact, we are now looking forward to the release date.  We are all waiting to watch this movie. 

Duniya is a public affairs commentator and wrote from Kaduna.
Abu Duniya 

In the last few weeks, Nigerians have been inundated with cries of condemnations from the members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) about the behind-the-scenes photos and a 12-minute-clip from the set of Nollywood movie titled, ‘Fatal Arrogance,’ still in the oven or production room. The movie which is produced by Anosike Kingsley Orji, was shot in Enugu, the Coal City and has a veteran Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie, playing the lead role.  

Predictably, the movie title is derived from the book written by a security analyst cum activist, Mr. Terrence Kuanum. What many are confused is why the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) would be jittery over a movie that is still under production and has not yet been released to the public?

Already, the group has started pointing accusing fingers at some highly respected security institutions and its leadership, claiming those they consider as their enemies are responsible for sponsorship of the movie production. An evil man is perpetually under the illusion that he is being haunted. So, the IMN have also accused the lead actor, Pete Edochie of lending credibility to the movie as well as depicting and portraying the terrorist group and its arrow-head of terror ,  Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, in a demeaning manner.

But this is a movie whose official trailer is yet to be released, and the name of the IMN leader is not mentioned. How come IMN is already agitated and making allegations? That’s the “Fatal Mistake” in the whole sordid drama by the outlaws in IMN, which best illustrates the efficacy of the axiom that evildoers perpetually dread their shadows, even when they are nowhere near anyone’s target. Are the outlawed IMN members afraid of their own shadows. That’s the power of retributive justice.   

The IMN has no right of attacking and condemning Pete Edochie for taking a role in any movie. He is a professional actor and provided his services to the hirer for a fee and it is legitimate. Why are IMN member bothered about the credibility of Edochie? Has their leader, El-Zakzaky any credible credibility, outside lies, incitement to breach of public peace, violence and bloodshed, killings and terrorism ?

Film acting  is a trade Edochie has been known for all his life. In the countless movies in which he has featured in the past, some of which he has played the role of a wicked King, from a setting depicting a particular people or culture, did those concerned took arms against him or hurled threats at him or why didn’t the IMN complain then?  The IMN has no veto powers to pass judgment on the person of Pete Edochie and his professional career.

The IMN and their violent activities are not new to anyone, hence the people and Government of Nigeria have always been critical of them. First, the movement fundamentally believes and proclaims that there is no government except the tin god they profess allegiance in some foreign country.  

The same leader and founder of the group, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, whom they are claiming has been portrayed in a demeaning manner in the movie, has since the early 1980s, called for an Islamic revolution to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, an end to Western influence in the country and the stringent adoption of Islamic legal codes, principles and systems violently. This same group is very critical of Northern Nigeria’s traditional, religious and political elite.

The IMN has a history of violence even though they claim they have a reputation for upholding peace even at the peak of unprovoked attacks. The group has a history of clashes with the Nigerian security forces and other Muslim groups.

In 1991, El-Zakzaky and his followers clashed with security forces in Katsina.
In 1996, his followers seized and decapitated a Christian on the allegation that his wife used pages torn from the Quran to clean their infant baby. What a shame to humanity! Precisely in June 2005, this same group clashed with the emirate authorities in Sokoto, over access to the city’s central mosque. In July 2007, the sect masterminded the murder of a Sunni cleric in Sokoto, Umar Dan Maishiya, who had been highly critical of the IMN and its activities . It sparked reprisal attacks that killed at least five persons  and destroyed many of their homes.


Members of the IMN and supporters of El-Zakzaky had in September 2009, clashed with police in Zaria, leading to injuries and deaths on both sides. The group had another major clash with the military, during a pro-Palestinian procession in Zaria on 25 July 2014, and three sons of El-Zakzaky, all undergraduates at the time lost their lives.

Are these imaginary images of the outlawed IMN? Why are they questioning the contents of “Fatal Mistake,” even if directed at them? Normal human beings protest what is falsehoods; but truth cannot be blurred and IMN should not place itself in a position to continue to intimidate and harass other Nigerians with their foolery.  

Indeed, the relationship between IMN and the Government has always been characterized by antagonisms and recurrent hostilities. The Government views IMN as an extremist group building up the critical mass it needs to eventually turn incontrollable like the Boko Haram sect, while they (IMN) claim the Government want to wipe it out.  No one quarrels with it; but the outlawed IMN must necessarily create its own country to operate by a different set of rules or laws, but not in Nigeria.

Their aberration are serial. In 2015, this same group blocked the road in Kaduna state, denying the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai and his convoy  passage, while on official duty, when he was en-route to a military ceremony in the city of Zaria. Hundreds of armed members of the group barricaded General Buratai’s way, brandishing clubs and chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great), on the flimsy excuse that their leader was to use the same public road at about that  time. What impunity! Even at this incident, the incensed IMN members cracked the trouble first.

They ignored warnings to disperse, then started pelting the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff with dangerous objects. The troops responsible for the Army Chief’s safety had to protect him by clearing the barricades forcefully, but did so in accordance with the Army’s rules of engagement and code of conduct. If a group who claims to be a peaceful religious can go to the extent of blocking and attacking the convoy of COAS of the country, then there is absolutely nobody that the group will be afraid of.

Again the death of a Deputy Police Commissioner, Usman Umar, who was fatally shot, and the many others that were injured in the violent protest by the IMN in Abuja in 2019 is still fresh in our minds. If not for the aggressive and intolerant nature of this group, Precious Owolabi, a youth Corps Member and Channels Television reporter would still be alive.  This intolerant group has left a hole in the hearts of the deceased parents and relatives and they will grieve for a lifetime. Nigerians have not forgotten it.

The IMN has no face saving because Nigerians know them as a violent group. What the group fails to understand is that, the movie which they are so much afraid of, has just a fraction of their atrocities  to tell Nigerians. The whole world knows about their activities and penchant for violence. Their condemnation and aspersions on the producers and entire cast of the yet-to-be released movie has rather helped to give it the needed publicity. In fact, we are now looking forward to the release date.  We are all waiting to watch this movie. 

Duniya is a public affairs commentator and wrote from Kaduna.

Just In: They think we're gods - Tinubu breaks silence on Edo election defeat

Just In: They think we're gods - Tinubu breaks silence on Edo election defeat

By News Proof

The following statement was credited to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC on the Saturday's governorship election in Edo State.

It was shared on Facebook by Adeboye Adebayo, a die-hard supporter of Tinubu.

The APC was defeated by the PDP.

"We should enjoy and take pleasure from our defeats as much as we take from our victories.

The extent and length they go to see us down shows how great we are.

Our defeats should be a lesson that we are not gods, that we are but men.

That we are mortals who suffer from set backs, betrayals... But if our fellow men see us as gods and celebrate our defeats like they've defeated gods, then surely we must be close to being gods.

They seek schadenfreude at our shrine but we only have to give, exactly what they hate us for.



By News Proof

The following statement was credited to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC on the Saturday's governorship election in Edo State.

It was shared on Facebook by Adeboye Adebayo, a die-hard supporter of Tinubu.

The APC was defeated by the PDP.

"We should enjoy and take pleasure from our defeats as much as we take from our victories.

The extent and length they go to see us down shows how great we are.

Our defeats should be a lesson that we are not gods, that we are but men.

That we are mortals who suffer from set backs, betrayals... But if our fellow men see us as gods and celebrate our defeats like they've defeated gods, then surely we must be close to being gods.

They seek schadenfreude at our shrine but we only have to give, exactly what they hate us for.



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