Buhari’s Nepotism: “The Newly-appointed DG NIA Ahmed Abubakar, is also from Katsina, not qualified, he failed his exams, hierarchically, even in Army, if you don’t pass the Captain to Major exams, they ask you to go. To make matters worse, Buhari picked him and made him boss over citizens who sat with him for the same exams and passed. The most Senior Director, Mr. Mohammed Dauda, who should have been appointed, is from Plateau State. He was the one that acted. Mr. M. Dauda is fit and qualified to take the seat as the substantive head of NIA”–Dr. Junaid Mohammed

Buhari’s Nepotism worse in Nation’s history: “The Newly-appointed DG NIA Ahmed Abubakar, is also from Katsina, not qualified, he failed his exams, hierarchically, even in Army, if you don’t pass the Captain to Major exams, they ask you to go. To make matters worse, Buhari picked him and made him boss over citizens who sat […]


Buhari’s Nepotism worse in Nation’s history: “The Newly-appointed DG NIA Ahmed Abubakar, is also from Katsina, not qualified, he failed his exams, hierarchically, even in Army, if you don’t pass the Captain to Major exams, they ask you to go. To make matters worse, Buhari picked him and made him boss over citizens who sat with him for the same exams and passed. The most Senior Director, Mr. Mohammed Dauda, who should have been appointed, is from Plateau State. He was the one that acted. Mr. M. Dauda is fit and qualified to take the seat as the substantive head of NIA”–Dr. Junaid Mohammed

New York[RR]Abuja–Buhari’s Nepotism: “The Newly-appointed DG NIA Ahmed Abubakar, is also from Katsina, not qualified, he failed his exams, hierarchically, even in Army, if you don’t pass the Captain to Major exams, they ask you to go. To make matters worse, Buhari picked him and made him boss over citizens who sat with him for the same exams and passed. The most Senior Director, Mr. Mohammed Dauda, who should have been appointed, is from Plateau State. He was the one that acted. Mr. M. Dauda is fit and qualified to take the seat as the substantive head of NIA”–Dr. Junaid Mohammed.

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Kano-based politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed in this interview with Guardian’s Adamu Abuh has exposed the ills in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has revealed that if Buhari returns in 2019, things will be disastrous for Nigeria.

What do you think of the clamour for a second term for President Buhari in 2019? 

Personally, I am not surprised that there is clamour for President Muhammadu Buhari to continue and contest in the 2019 poll. Anyone involved in this country’s politics knows that there is absolutely nothing new there.

Every president we’ve had in this country, every heads of government, as well as heads of state have been told they were special persons, that nobody else can govern the country, and as such they should continue, as such without them, the country couldn’t move on. I am not surprised it is happening to Buhari and I am not surprised he is putting his personal ambition over and above the country’s interest. It is so unfortunate that Buhari and the cabals have found themselves in the same shoes as their predecessors and it will end in tragedy.

I say so because those urging them to remain perpetually in power are not doing so because they like them. And even though Buhari has surrounded himself in a very nepotic way by ensuring that all the major appointments were given to his in-laws, nephews and cousins, but I can assure you that when the chips are down, he would be left to cry all by himself.

Ex-presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida have advised Buhari not to re-contest in 2019…

First and foremost, the question I ask myself when something of this nature emerges is: Is it the truth? And I have no doubt in my mind that what both Obasanjo and Babangida said was the truth. In addition, I also believe Nigerians should be more mature, because though you may not like somebody, but as long as what he/she said is the truth, then you should stand by the truth.

If others are imputing motives to Obasanjo and Babangida by saying it was a continuation of an old quarrel and that they never liked Buhari; that is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that Buhari has done nothing for Nigerians to like him. So, whatever was the motivation, what they said was the truth and I believe they did this country a great service. I am prepared to stand by them, even though I have my own issues with them.

I was sent to jail without any trial during Babangida’s regime and up till today nobody has told me what I did. They took me to Owo in Ondo State during the month of Ramadan, while I was fasting for nearly three months. I have also had problems with Obasanjo, even before I resigned from public service to join politics over his attempt to jail my colleague, Hamidu Ali, the man who had a gun in the House of Representatives, but that is neither here nor there. What they said was the truth. The nepotism they mentioned, I also talked about over two years ago.

What is your take on the alleged lopsided appointment of security chiefs and the controversy surrounding appointment of the NIA DG?

There is no law that says those who are heading security positions must not come from a particular zone. But what happened was that this gentleman, Mr. Ahmed Abubakar, who was not even an NIA employee, joined the service by accident, because there was supposed to be a meeting of what they called Nigeria /Niger commission and unfortunately the then DG of NIA did not make arrangement for interpreters from Lagos, when the summit held in Kaduna. So, they found somebody that could speak French, who was in Katsina State’s kitchen cabinet. And so, he was picked and then he became the interpreter for that occasion. After it was over, the then NIA DG, who was a Katsina man decided to induct and recruit him into the NIA. And that was how the man came into the service.

But because he came from a very low background, when he sat for exams from Assistant Director to Deputy Director, he failed twice or thrice. And the NIA system, just like that of most Civil Service, stipulates that if you fail an exam once or twice, you’ll be asked to go. So, this man was asked to go. And he left quietly, but they later discovered that the way he was recruited was improper. First, there was the question about where he was born. It was discovered that he was born in Chad Republic. Then they also found that he was married to a Moroccan.

Now in the service, they don’t allow you to marry a foreigner, though you can be a diplomat and marry a foreigner. But somehow, this was allowed to pass because the man has powerful backers. However, he had to go eventually because he could not pass his exams. But some of the people that sat with him and passed their exams are still in service. But they have now appointed him DG NIA over and above those who are with him, and who passed their exams while he failed his own. They sacked the other people who passed their own exams. This means the Buhari government is determined to reward failure, provided it is his kinsmen. You know the directors have taken the matter to court.

The issue at stake over the appointment of the DG NIA and DG SSS is not wrong because they are from the same state, but because they did not meet the laid down guideline and they were also deficient in terms of their qualifications and the cognate experience in their places of work.

There is also the issue of never appointing somebody to supersede people who are better, unless you want to destroy an organisation. You don’t allow it in any system. In the case of the DG SSS, who had already retired from service years ago, he was brought back and made the DG SSS. That was improper, unusual and is very devastating to morale. I like him. He used to be a director in Kano and is a personal friend because we used to get on well, and I still like him, but unfortunately, his problem is that he believes he is a politician and he is not. He is a security technocrat. So, if he behaves like he knows too much of politics, he will end up in disaster.

In the case of the newly-appointed DG NIA Ahmed Abubakar, who is also from Katsina, the man clearly did not measure up when he was in service. He failed his exams. There is nothing he can do about it. He had to go because they have a hierarchical system, just like in the Army. If you don’t pass the Captain to Major exams, they ask you to go. To make matters worse, they now picked him and made him boss over those that sat with him for the same exams and passed. The most senior director, who should have been appointed, is from Plateau State. He was the one that acted. He is Mr. Mohammed Dauda. He is fit and qualified to take the seat as the substantive head of NIA and you now brought a failure to take the seat.

This is gross injustice and a great disservice to the country. At any rate, if he wanted a northerner, what is wrong in picking the man who is the most senior and from Plateau State?

The most senior director after Ayodele Oke was asked to leave was from Plateau State. He was allowed to act and they had nothing against him, other than that there is some mago mago in the NIA concerning money found in a flat in the DGS office vault. It is only in Nigeria you have somebody keeping $43 million in some kind of flat in Lagos and then about $44 million in his office. He must be crazy or there must have been some high handed moves by the cabal to steal the money and then the man came out to say he was not confirmed, because he was not prepared to cooperate with the cabal to steal the money. And the other directors who had been shortchanged have now taken the matter to the High Court. It is not a matter of heads of security outfits coming from a particular zone.

As I’m speaking, there are 28 directors from the Southwest in the NIA. And this is just within the two terms of Oladimeji and Oke. How do you justify having 28 directors mainly from Oyo State, when there are states that don’t have a single director in NIA? They should know that some of us know so much about the agency.

What is your take on the existence of the so-called cabal in Buhari’s government?

When I started talking about the cabal over two years ago, many Nigerians, some of them with the best but naive intentions, thought there was no such thing as cabals. But there is a cabal. Because Buhari has been out of government for many years, he has not been able to update his knowledge in terms of development and events in and outside the country. And because of this and in my own estimation, we now have the least competent, the most isolated, most divisive and arrogant leader in the history of Nigeria. And in a country that is so complex and not so cohesive, this is clearly a disaster, which is where we are heading.

Right now, nobody doubts that there is a cabal. The de facto president of the country from May 29, 2015 has been one joker called Mamman Daura, who was a one-time Managing Director of the defunct New Nigerian newspapers. He is the head of the cabal and the de-facto president, because there have been instances when the president would give an instruction, he would undermine the instruction and nothing would happen. There have been times policy decisions or appointments would be made and his lackeys – Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff, the former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal, who was appointed against all odds, but who remained there because he was in the cabal’s good books, will tamper with it. We all knew how he diverted donor monies belonging to international donor agencies, until they told Buhari in no uncertain terms that he had to be punished. But the others like Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari are sitting tight and taking decisions for you and me, as well as all Nigerians.

None of them was elected and though Kyari has a letter of appointment as chief of staff, Mamman Daura does not have a single letter indicating that he is whatever he is, but how he came about exercising such enormous powers is what nobody knows.

There are ministers who have been appointed not because they have any qualifications but because they are related to Buhari. The Aviation minister, Hadi Seriki is his elder sister’s son. Amina Zakari, who works in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) representing the seven states of the northwest zone was appointed even before Buhari came into power through mago mago. It is left to the former president Goodluck Jonathan to tell us how she became national commissioner in INEC. Then there is the minister of Interior, Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.) who was born and bred in Zaria. Somehow, and in a typical arrogant and abuse of power, he was turned into a Kano man and given a ministerial appointment, which constitutionally should have been given to a person who grew up in Kano State. Yet, Kano is the only political base Buhari has.

There are several others. The State House chief of protocol is a son-in-law to Mamman Daura, who is President Buhari’s nephew. Ordinarily, the position should have been given to a senior ambassador. The president’s chief personal security officer is Mamman Daura’s younger brother. Another State personal security officer is another relation of theirs. The ADC to the president is a son-in-law to them. Do you know that the S.A to Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the S.A to the junior minister of petroleum resources are Mamman Daura and Buhari’s daughters respectively?

This is an update of what I started saying two years ago. They now have their sons, daughters, sons-in-laws and nephews as beneficiaries of the appointments made so far. Now, among the people in the cabal, but very powerful and not known is someone called Tunde, originally called Sabiu Yusuf. He is the son of Mamman Daura’s immediate younger sister. He is, today, P.A to the President, even though he has never worked for one day in his life. But a P.A job is normally the work of a full-blown director or a permanent secretary. That boy only got married last year and as I speak to you now, he is one of the billionaires in Nigeria today. Nobody of his age has the kind of money that boy has. So, can that be justified?

If they are going to treat this country as if it was conquered by them and or by their families, you can imagine what the picture would look like, if Buhari were to be given a second term and how they are going to use our resources and how they are going to abuse power.

Mamman Daura’s daughter, who is married to one of the Dantatas, is the S.A to the CBN governor. Then Buhari’s sister’s son is also an S.A to Kachikwu, the junior minister of petroleum resources. The chief personal security officer to the president, DCP Abdulkarim Dauda is Mamman Daura’s younger brother. The chief security officer (CSO) Col Bashir Abubakar is also married into the family. The State chief of protocol, Lawal Kazaure, who has not reached the rank of an ambassador, is also married to Mamman Daura’s eldest daughter. I mentioned earlier that the P.A to the President, Sabiu Yusuf Tunde, who is in his 20’s, is one of the wealthiest 20-year-olds in Nigeria. He is also the son of Mamman Daura’s immediate younger sister. She herself is a niece to Buhari. And that is how the country is being governed.

The national commissioner at INEC is Buhari’s niece. In addition, her husband, who used to be a manager in UBA, died. Now when an opportunity arose, they went and picked the late husband’s younger brother and made him Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He is Brig Gen Zakari from Kazaure in Jigawa State.

Credit: Dr. Junaid Mohammed, Punch, Guardian, others

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This Buhari And His Caricature Of The Anti-Corruption Fight By Churchill Okonkwo

As more high profile appointees of Buhari’s administration are embroiled in corruption allegations, Nigerians shrug. The Buhari administration came to power pledging to eradicate corruption, but most of his close aides are tied to corruption and corrupt acts. Now it is clear, that President Buhari is turning a blind eye. Nigerians should, therefore, call Mr. President out for what he is: an enabler of corruption, wittingly or unwittingly.

No more excuses. Nigerians are sick and tired of the conduct of a President that is unaware (as they want us to believe) of what is going on under his nose. We are watching the emergence of a powerful anti-anti-corruption gangsters at the heart of this presidency. Corrupt political opponents that have dared to voice suspicion at the predations of Buhari’s administration are attacked and crippled. Atiku Abubakar is the latest.  Bola Tinubu and Saraki will follow if they dare.

Nothing makes Nigerians more furious with their leaders than corruption. President Buhari’s critics accuse him of encouraging a cult of corrupt aides while he hides in a cocoon of not being in the know.  They point to the fact that this government has been targeting their opponents or their supporters. On the other hand, his supporters point at mostly belated and insignificant acts as an indication that his anti-corruption drive is restoring his tattered and tarnished credibility.

My take is that corruption has remained so familiar under Buhari’s presidency. The debacle at NNPC between Kachikwu and NNPC GM Baru; the subsequent belittling of the intelligence and sensibility of Nigerians that they have “reconciled”; the employment scandals at DSS, Central bank and Federal Inland Revenue; the “Grass Cutting” daylight robbery that was swept under the carpet and now, the grand conspiracy to recall a corrupt fugitive is exposing President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade to be an elaborate rigmarole.

In recalling Abdulrasheed Maina, a chronically corrupt fugitive civil servant, the Attorney General Abubakar Malami, Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, “Thief” of Staff to the President Abba Kyari, the Director DSS Lawal Daura are making a mockery of anti-corruption in Nigeria. With these men, it is clear that ant-anti-corruption is the new name of the present caricature of fighting corruption in Nigeria.

What is troubling with President Buhari’s anti-corruption charade is that preventing this new scourge will be very hard with the highly placed corrupt conspirators around him running the show. President Buhari should wake up and perform a “surgical” operation on ALL, I mean ALL this his aides starting with the Attorney General Abubakar Malami. Failure to do this will signal the beginning of the beginning in the anti-anti-corruption crusade of this administration.

It’s only a mug that would argue that there’s a dearth of corruption under Buhari’s watch. What is worrying about Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade is that in his nearly 3 years in power, not a single political “tiger,” to borrow Chinese President Mr. Xi’s term, and only a few “flies” have been brought down by corruption charges.

It is apparent that Buhari’s government is unwilling to undertake a serious cleanup, even at a moment when cutting the cost of corruption could compensate for depressed oil prices. President Buhari’s top priority, just like Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan, is not purging corrupt elites, but nationalizing them. For each of these administrations, the elites have the right to be corrupt, but only if they have proven their loyalty.

The presidential aides’ hunger for scandal and corrupt acts has fed a deep, slow-burning endemic corruption in the system, further infecting our political culture. Mr. President need not be reminded that basic corruption-fighting steps require firm leadership. That leadership is missing in this administration. EFCC and ICPC are like a headless hammer with blunt nails in the hands of lepers.

Now, the idea that something can actually be done about corruption in Nigeria is fast fading into oblivion. Nigerians are thus expecting nothing less than the sacking and prosecution of all involved in this and previous corruption scandals that have rocked this administration. Nothing less than this will serve as the much-needed reset in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

The sacking of these aides is long overdue, but it won’t solve the problem of endemic corruption. Corruption is so prevalent in Nigeria that it has become the normal way of doing business both in public and private service sectors. The middle class in Nigeria to a great extent is composed of these same bribe-taking officials that are involved in collusive corruption. The overdue dismissal and prosecution of these chronically corrupt aids in addition to embarking on serious radical reform will hopefully prevent further abuses of power.

On the larger challenge of changing a pervasive culture of corruption, Nigerians should be encouraged to monitor and report corrupt acts. Civil service reform is critical to battling corruption in Nigeria. Public service officials like police, customs officials with immediate, day-to-day powers over the public need a living wage to reduce the temptation to behave dishonestly. Bonuses and better assignment in public service should be tied to honest work as part of the cleanup campaign.

It has been acknowledged that corruption is still at the heart of many of the most pressing problems in Nigeria. What is depressing is that we are all beginning to accept corruption’s ubiquity. Buhari’s government caricature on the so-called anti-corruption advances the idea that corruption is our way of life and is thus a natural phenomenon. Such is the deplorable state of corruption in Nigeria that for the first time majority of Nigerians are in agreement that this current caricature of fighting corruption can best be characterized as anti-anti-corruption.

In conclusion, Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade like others before him has been judged and found wanting. As we watch them lie again and defend the indefensible, our hearts stutters, our faces turn red, swollen with anger. Yet, we appear helpless, weak and powerless.

The important question on my mind therefore is: is Nigeria unimaginable without pervasive corruption?

You can email Churchill at churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi.

Also read Punch:

Nepotism in Buhari’s govt, the worst in Nigeria’s history –Junaid Mohammed

In this interview with JOHN ALECHENU, former Joint House Leader of the defunct Peoples Redemption Party and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as a member of the Defence Committee in the Second Republic, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, speaks about the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption war, the arms probe and other national issues. Excerpts:

Critics of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration have latched on to the recent arrest of former Army Chief, Azubuike Ihejerika, to accuse it of partiality.  What is your take?

If Nigerians can remember, I said recently week; when one of the four service chiefs, who are being investigated, namely: General Azubuike Ihejirika was arrested by the DSS. I said while the arrest of Ihejirika was a very positive development, it was none the less, inadequate. It was partial and certainly sends a very wrong message. One, Ihejirika took over power from somebody called Lt. General (Abdulrahman) Dambazau. If Ihejirika was guilty; it stands to reason that Dambazau is equally guilty because Ihejirika took over from him. In any case, information coming out from the investigation panel set up to probe arms deals indicates clearly that Dambazau has a case to answer. In addition, Dambazau is today falsely being made to represent Kano in the government by Buhari, which is very unfair and unjust because this man was not born in Kano. He is today Minister of Interior and in addition to which, he is Minister in-Charge of Police Affairs. Under the British norms of Public Administration and Management, if you are under investigation, you are normally asked to step aside. Dambazzau has not be asked to step aside, which means he is being allowed to interfere with the investigations by the EFCC which is in fact, a police organisation. Another person who I also understand has been indicted and should be arrested like Ihejirika is Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah. Minimah was not given that job on merit, he was given that position on purely tribal consideration and in appointing him as Chief of Army Staff, several of his colleagues who are better tested and more refined and in fact, better recommended were not only shoved  aside, they were also prematurely retired. He should also be arrested like Ihejirika. After Minimah, we now have Buratai. Buratai is an interesting case not because he is not guilty but because Buratai and the circumstances surrounding his appointment and the scandal he is now enmeshed in; are typical of the disastrous sense of judgement of General Muhammadu Buhari and the way he stubbornly refuses to admit when he makes a mistake.

Since you’ve brought in the alleged scandal involving Buratai, what do you make of the whole thing?

It is now clear beyond any reasonable doubt -like we see in the media – that Buratai was the Director of Procurement at Defence Headquarters. There can never be any reason why other chiefs of Army Staff who are involved in malfeasance and grand crimes in procurement should be arrested and taken to court while Buratai is allowed to remain scot-free. Secondly, his position as Chief of Army Staff is something nobody can explain; only Buhari can explain. It has now been discovered that this man is filthy rich like his cohorts. Thirdly, that he has property in Dubai among other places and that while the Army tries to cover one of their own, their Chief of Army Staff; by saying that he acquired these through the savings of his family- I don’t know what his family was earning, what about what he acquired when he became Chief of Army Staff? How does Buhari explain that? Nigerians deserve an answer and the answer must come quick because Nigerians cannot be taken for a ride by either Buhari or any army officer. The days when Nigerian Army officers can tell lies and get away with it or pretend to be messiahs in Nigeria is now gone. Every soldier must prove himself to be clean before we take them to be clean. We do not take anybody from Buhari to be clean simply because he says he is clean or his public relations men who are paid to say so, say he is clean, that day is gone and gone forever.

There has been this talk about a cabal hijacking the Presidency, a charge the Presidency has denied. We will like your thoughts on this?

Let me say straight away that whether one calls it a cabal or a mafia or some kind of cult or whatever, there is a group of people who are wielding power within the Presidency under Buhari. Whatever you say it is; it is and a lot worse. First, the most influential person in the Presidency today is one Mamman Daura whom as you know, is a nephew of the President. His father was Buhari’s elder brother. In addition, Mamman Daura was the one who single handedly brought up Abba Kyari, the current Chief of Staff to the President. In fact, Abba Kyari knows Mamman Daura more than he knows his own father. Next, the Personal Assistant to Buhari himself is the son of Mamman Daura, next is what they call SCOP, State Chief of Protocol, and is also a son-in-law to Mamman Daura because he is married to Mamman Daura’s daughter. Next, the Minister they unilaterally chose, against the interest of the party and against the wishes of Sokoto people, happens to be the daughter of the younger sister of Mamman Daura’s wife. Both of them are daughters of Sultan Dasuki, who was sacked by General Abacha. We have the Aide De Camp to Buhari himself, Colonel Abubakar. He is married to the granddaughter of one of Buhari’s elder sisters. Next we have the woman who represents Kaduna in the Federal Executive Council, she is a cousin to Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai. It is well known that el-Rufai is one of the closest governors to Muhammadu Buhari. Next, we have the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory. The Minister of the FCT is the man called Musa Bello, who used to be the Managing Director of the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation, which used to be the biggest holding company that belonged to all the northern states. His only qualification to be FCT minister is the fact that his father has been Buhari’s friend over the years. Now, there is a young man called Sabiu Yusuf, nicknamed Tunde – probably because of late General Tunde Idiagbon. He is another PA to President Buhari. He is also a grandson of another sister of Buhari. This is enough to prove to you that this is shamelessly the worst form of nepotism in the history of government in Nigeria. In fact, in the history of Africa, let me make bold to assert that I have never seen any level of nepotism that has equalled or surpassed this in my entire life – I am now in my 67th year. Another thing I also want you to know is that, Amina Zakari, who was and still a national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission representing the entire seven states in the North-West. It is being claimed that Buhari knows nothing about her appointment (before he became President), it is a lie. When President Goodluck Jonathan was re-organising the INEC and he was bringing in Prof. Attahiru Jega, he reached out to Buhari and asked Buhari to nominate somebody from the North-West so that that person would be a national commissioner. Of all the people in the North-West, Buhari decided to nominate his own niece, the daughter of his elder sister- Amina Zakari. She has been there; when Jega left, Buhari was determined to make her chairman, it was because of the massive backlash that he dropped the idea like hot potatoes. As we are talking today, that woman is a national commissioner which means she is one of the principal election umpires. Throughout my reading of history, political science and social sciences generally, I have never heard of any dictator or any tyrant under any system of government whether totalitarian or fascist, appointing his own niece to conduct elections in which he was either a party or going to be a party to; Buhari has done that. The immediate younger brother to Amina Zakari is currently the Minister for Water Resources representing Jigawa State in the same Buhari government. In addition, even though they are from Kazaure, Kazaure is contiguous to Daura. The eldest sister of both of them is now the Commissioner for Education in the All Progressives Congress government in Jigawa State. If this is not nepotism, then I don’t know what is nepotism and anybody who has the guts, the brutal arrogance to appoint these relations not bothering about public opinion, about the sense of justice, about competence, then you can see that he has a very serious question to answer. There are two mysterious cases.

Which cases are you referring to?

The case of the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emeifele and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu. It was Buhari himself who said that he knew when the governor of the CBN picked a piece of paper and gave an instruction that N14bn should be withdrawn from the CBN and that money was withdrawn. That was nearly a year ago and up till today, Buhari is still retaining Emefiele as CBN governor. The Buhari I know is an economic illiterate and anybody who knows anything about currency movement and foreign exchange and fluctuations knows that the Naira has been effectively devalued. It was the same Buhari who boasted that the Naira would never be devalued under him for as long as he remains President and even threatened the governor of the CBN that he was going to sack him if he devalued the Naira. He (CBN governor) is still there. In the case of Kachikwu, he is the mystery man in the cabinet. No one can actually tell you who nominated and brought in Kachikwu. We knew that he was friends with Abba Kyari when they both worked in Mobil but none of them had the influence to bring him in and make him Minister of Petroleum Resources. Forget the nonsense about him being the junior minister because he is the senior and junior minister in addition to being the Managing Director of the NNPC (until recently when he was replaced. This again confirms the arrogance of President Buhari in putting two positions together; one purely civil service and technocratic position which is the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and the other one which is purely political- a minister.

What is wrong with the President merging these portfolios in the light of the administration’s desire to cut the cost of running government…?

Since this man became minister, there has been nothing good coming out of the oil industry rather than confusion, crisis and corruption. That again is an indication of the decadence we have in this government. People who are being accused and arrested for corruption as it should be, we are also aware that some of these cases that the DSS is getting involved in are shady because they have no experience whatsoever in prosecution. That is why from the famous case of Farouk Lawal, a former member of the House of Representatives who was involved in getting money and putting it under his cap and what have you which was captured on camera.  They arrested that man; it was a clear cut case long before Buhari became President. Till today, the DSS has not been able to prosecute Farouk Lawan. He is still sitting at home; his house is about 200 metres from my house. That shows you that when you hear that the DSS is arresting somebody for corruption, it is clearly political and maybe there is money or corruption involved. We also know that there are people from within the DSS from the very top who are even threatening that they will soon arrest the Chairman of the EFCC and the National Security Adviser.

These are serious allegations. Why would they want to do that?

The main reason is these people have refused to cooperate with them: Mamman Daura, Abba Kyari and the DG DSS, who is also part of the Daura cabal they want to take over the anti-corruption war so that it will be under their hand and they can cut deals and render the anti-corruption war useless. I know who they propose to take over, it didn’t work. I think Buhari resisted- which is miracle. They are now proposing somebody. The person who they proposed was a retired DIG, he, myself and Magu (current EFCC boss) had worked in Port Harcourt during my years in OMPADEC. Now they are thinking of a retired Commissioner of Police. The only qualification they are looking for is someone who can be controlled by them. This is the situation we find ourselves.

In the light of what you have said, what would you say has changed in government?

I will put it this way, we have exchanged one thoroughly corrupt government for one that pretends to be honest and is doing an honest job while in reality, it is business as usual.

…But for the first time, alleged malfeasance in the purchase of weapons is being investigated. Is this not progress?

Recently, an interim report was submitted to President Buhari. The report had to do with the on-going investigation of the Nigerian Army which is the primary consumer of the money  that was used to prosecute the war on Boko Haram and of course, the Niger  Delta insurgency. I have been reliably informed that the report even though partial, has already indicted the following: General Ihejirika and the current Chief of Army Staff, Buratai. What was strange about the report was the fact that it was silent about General Dambazzau who was Army Chief before all of these people. The report was silent about his own role which goes to confirm that the Mafia or the cabal in the Presidency consisting of the Chief of Staff, DG DSS and of course, their godfather, Mamman Daura, have an interest in making sure that by hook or by crook, General Dambazau is protected even though he was supposed to come first. For some reason, the Buhari administration which prides itself with its anti-corruption war has decided that the report is not going to be published because he has been persuaded by the three that publishing the report will embarrass the government. This is very strange and at best laughable because Buhari’s first administration in 1984 got into a lot of trouble with the media because of Decree 2 which makes it a crime to embarrass any public office holder. That made Buhari and his administration back then very unpopular. These characters in the Presidency, the cabal or the mafia or whatever you call them, are determined to make Buhari make the same mistake again. For Buhari to ask a report not to be published because some people in his government will be embarrassed is a very strange manifestation of the Buhari we knew and is likely to cause a lot of problems. In the case of Dambazau, it is clear that the years 2007-2010 are critical (to the arms probe) because these were the years when he was supposed to be in charge but again, he is being protected by the DG DSS and co. Nigerians demand that the interim report be made public and that there should be no sacred cows. In any case, anything they try to hide will be made public in due course because nothing remains permanently secret in Nigeria, Buhari himself knows that. Others who have been in that position also know that. In addition to what was contained in the report as it concerns uniformed persons, we are reliably informed that some permanent secretaries, civilians and civil servants have been implicated and it is important for the report to be made public for Nigerians to decide who can be trusted. When crimes are committed, it is not only soldiers that are implicated, without the collusion of Permanent Secretaries and others within the civilian administration. Nigerians are watching and watching carefully and demand that these things be made public.

Is the cabal, like you said, not working to protect the interest of the President?

No. According to very reliable sources, the cabal in fact has a problem with the National Security Adviser and the Chairman of the EFCC. The problem the cabal has with the NSA is not the same they have with the acting Chairman of the EFCC. The problem they have with the NSA has to do with what the office of the NSA and the security establishment generally determined was going to be a danger to the President himself. They found that the contractors supplying aviation fuel to the Presidential fleet were actually appointed -they are cronies to Jonathan Goodluck and his wife, Patience. And the security services felt that retaining them under the new dispensation would be dangerous, unhealthy and poses a direct danger to the President, members of his family and other members of the government. They made the determination and submitted a report to the President through the NSA recommending that a new supplier be sourced to supply fuel for the Presidential fleet. Buhari agreed with their recommendations and signed off on it. He agreed with the new contractors to supply after it was done in the process of implementation, Mamman Daura was claimed to have said the former supplier was his friend therefore nobody can take the contract away from them. All efforts to explain the implications to him failed. He raised issues first; with the NSA then with the President but he did not get his way. That was when he raised the issue with the DG DSS on what to do with the NSA. It is noteworthy that when Obasanjo was President, all the service chiefs including the Inspector General of Police and the DG DSS were reporting to Obasanjo through the NSA. That was how the system worked and no bloody civilian ever got involved with security matters. If Nigerians hear that there is a threat by a civilian to arrest the NSA, they should know the reason why. Nigerians should not underestimate the danger posed by the cabal because if Nigerians are not careful, the cabal will inadvertently bring down the government or destroy Buhari’s reputation.

Credit: PUNCH

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