Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, believes that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has all the information he needs to tackle rising insecurity in the country and would effectively fight the menace if he wanted to.
El-Rufai expressed this opinion in an interview with Television Continental (TVC) in 2013, two years before his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) ousted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power.
His comments at the time was a criticism of the Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government, during whose administration the Boko Haram insurgency became very pronounced and deadly.
El-Rufai criticised the Jonathan government for trying to deal with the insurgency by using military might only. He insisted that all over the people spearheading the insurgency are known to both the security agencies and President, but that he does not care about the welfare of the masses.
“We are just applying military force and we think we can resolve an insurgency, it’s not going to happen,” El-Rufai said at the time.
“I’ve been in government, I’ve run a territory and I know the amount of information, security reports that I get as Minister. The President gets 50 times that.
“And I put it to you and I challenge anyone, including the DG SSS, to this. The SSS know who these insurgents are, they are not gods, they know them. The President knows them and they know what to do. They are just unwilling to do it. They don’t care.”
Two years after granting that interview, the APC, riding on the slogan of change, defeated the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari became President of Nigeria and El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State.
However, after four years, insecurity has worsened in the country and Boko Haram, though not occupying territories as it did during Jonathan’s government, has continued to carry out attacks in the North East.
Besides the Boko Haram insurgency, other forms of violent crime have increased across several regions of the country including the herdsmen/farmers crises, kidnapping for ransom, and most recently banditry in several parts of the North West, including Kaduna State, where El-Rufai has just won a second term as governor.
On Saturday, citizens carried out a peaceful protest to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja to demand that President Buhari intensifies action to stop the kidnappings and killings in Zamfara State which has reportedly been taken over by bandits. But nobody from the presidency came out to address the protesters, bringing to mind El-Rufai’s comments that the government does not care.
Finally, Buhari Fires Service Chiefs, Names Replacements
After years of complaints by Nigerians about the worsening security situation amidst the overstay of Nigeria’s military chiefs in office, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday relieved the officials of their positions.
Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said in a statement, Tuesday, that Mr Buhari “accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.”
The four men – Gabriel Olonisakin, a general and Chief of Defence Staff; Tukur Buratai; a lieutenant general and chief of army staff; Abubakar Sadique, an air marshal and chief of air staff, and Ibok Ibas, a vice admiral and chief of naval staff – were supposed to have retired over two years ago based on their years of service.
But President Buhari kept them in office even as the security situation across the country worsened with bandits wreaking havoc in the North-west and North-central states, the Boko Haram carrying out attacks in the North-east and kidnapping becoming the norm in several states across Nigeria.
As the security situation got worse and more Nigerians called for the replacement of the service chiefs, Mr Buhari stuck to his guns, insisting they were doing their best and did not deserve to be replaced.
Even when he finally relieved them of their positions on Tuesday, the president praised the officials for their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”
President Buhari’s claim of “overwhelming achievements’ by the outgone military chiefs not only contradicts the perception of many Nigerians but also contradicts the position of the National Assembly dominated by members of the president’s party, APC.
At least on three different occasions, the National Assembly called for the sack of the service chiefs based on the worsening security situation. On each occasion, the president ignored the lawmakers and retained the Olonisakin-led service chiefs who were appointed on July 13, 2015, after President Buhari assumed office.
In his statement, Mr Adesina announced that the president appointed Leo Irabor, a major general, as the Chief of Defence Staff.
Mr Irabor formerly led Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram as the Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole.
Ibrahim Attahiru, also a major general, was named the new Chief of Army Staff. Like Mr Irabor, Mr Attahiru had also led the war against Boko Haram.
The president also appointed A.Z. Gambo, a rear admiral, as Chief of Naval Staff and Isiaka Amao, an air vice marshal, as Chief of Air Staff.
“The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities,” Mr Adesina said.
Just In: Chelsea Fire Manager Frank Lampard
Chelsea announced on Monday they had sacked manager Frank Lampard after a poor run in the Premier League.
“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” said owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea are struggling in ninth place in the Premier League table, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.
They have lost five of their past eight Premier League matches after a good start to the season.
Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel in line to take over, reports said.
Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa Set to Join West Brom
Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa is set to join Premier League club West Bromwich Albion on a short term deal.
The 28-year-old has been unattached since quitting Al Nassr in October 2020.
According to Daily Mail, the Baggies have requested a visa for the winger and have also scheduled him for a medical on Wednesday.
Capped 95 times by Nigeria, Musa’s career has stalled since he left CSKA Moscow in 2016. Having scored 55 goals in 167 appearances for the Russians, he joined Leicester City in the summer of that year.
Things did not work out at the King Power Stadium, as the African made just seven league starts in 21 outings.
He joined after the Foxes had claimed the Premier League title and hoped to be part of something special with the club.
But he was loaned back to CSKA for the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.
He was then sold to Al Nassr in January 2019 and played 62 times in all competitions before being released.