Image

Exclusive: Obasanjo Again Writes Buhari Open Letter Hinting On Insecurity|The Republican News

L to R:Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammadu Buhari
Breaking: Obasanjo Writes Buhari

12/06/2021

Dear President and General Buhari,

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT, GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI

I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria. Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem. The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land.

One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news. A number of articles, in recent days, have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and view-points. As you know very well, I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth. But the issue I am addressing here is very serious; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria. This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community. I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay. Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned. When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.

For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship, Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government’s claim of victory over Boko Haram, the potency and the activities of Boko Haram, where they are active, remain undiminished, putting lie to government’s claim. The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non-victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself. Say what you will, Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimised, killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage. And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks. How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50% literacy in North-East with over 70% unemployment?

Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.

The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our greatest and most important assets. As a result, very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country. The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order. The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation. We must understand and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.

No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stitch in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying. With the death of Funke, Chief Fasoranti’s daughter, some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “enough is enough”. Prof. Anya, a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation”. Niger-Delta leaders, South-Eastern leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet. Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation. All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity, if not its continued existence.

To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:

1. abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type.

2. spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.

3. similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom.

4. violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.

It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago. If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen. We must pray and take effective actions at the same time. The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but he cannot do it alone. In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.

A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture, I had said, among other things, that:
“In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity, stability, security, cooperation, development, growth and progress, there is no consensus. Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society. It will be a national programme. We need unity of purpose and nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with whims and caprices of any government. It must be owned by the citizens, people’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning.

Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”

The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help. If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together. Blame game among own forces must be avoided. It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary. We cannot dither anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic, inclusive and purposeful.

For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians, I pray that God may grant you, as our President, the wisdom, the understanding, the political will and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favour. May God save, secure, protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst happening. As we say in my village, “May God forbid bad thing”.

signed
OLUSEGUN OBASANJOOlusegun

Dear President and General Buhari,

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT, GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI

I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria. Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem. The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land.

One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news. A number of articles, in recent days, have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and view-points. As you know very well, I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth. But the issue I am addressing here is very serious; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria. This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community. I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay. Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned. When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.

For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship, Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government’s claim of victory over Boko Haram, the potency and the activities of Boko Haram, where they are active, remain undiminished, putting lie to government’s claim. The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non-victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself. Say what you will, Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimised, killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage. And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks. How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50% literacy in North-East with over 70% unemployment?

Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.

The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our greatest and most important assets. As a result, very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country. The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order. The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation. We must understand and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.

No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stitch in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying. With the death of Funke, Chief Fasoranti’s daughter, some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “enough is enough”. Prof. Anya, a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation”. Niger-Delta leaders, South-Eastern leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet. Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation. All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity, if not its continued existence.

To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:

  1. abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type.
  2. spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.
  3. similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom.
  4. violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.

It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago. If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen. We must pray and take effective actions at the same time. The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but he cannot do it alone. In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.

A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture, I had said, among other things, that:
“In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity, stability, security, cooperation, development, growth and progress, there is no consensus. Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society. It will be a national programme. We need unity of purpose and nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with whims and caprices of any government. It must be owned by the citizens, people’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning.

Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”

The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help. If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together. Blame game among own forces must be avoided. It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary. We cannot dither anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic, inclusive and purposeful.

For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians, I pray that God may grant you, as our President, the wisdom, the understanding, the political will and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favour. May God save, secure, protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst happening. As we say in my village, “May God forbid bad thing”.

signed
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO

Continue reading
Image

Buhari’s Democracy Day Speech Was A Study In Dishonesty, Riddled With Lies —Reno Omokri |The Republican News

Major.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

The former aide to Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri has described Buhari’s democracy day speech as a study in dishonesty. He exposes all the lies enmeshed in Muhammadu Buhari’s democracy day speech with facts.

Below is what Omokri had to say.

General Buhari’s Democracy Day speech was a study in dishonesty. Buhari claimed success in pulling 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. A wicked lie from a man who made Nigeria the world headquarters for EXTREME poverty.

Buhari said his regime does “sensible and transparent borrowing”. A hideous lie. Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is 90%. We owed ₦12 trillion in 2015. We owe ₦36 trillion today. Buhari has reduced us to a beggar nation.

General Buhari boasted of building infrastructure “wholly focused on Nigeria”. What an unnecessary lie from a government that awarded a $1.9 billion contract in Niger because “I have first cousins in Niger”.

Buhari boasted of the Second Niger Bridge. He failed to tell you the contract was awarded to Julius Berger in 2014 as a PERSONAL INITIATIVE of @GEJonathan, who paid ₦21.2 billion BEFORE leaving office.

Buhari lied that “we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty”. Under Buhari, extreme poverty almost doubled in Nigeria. We have 90 million extremely poor people. Before Buhari we had less than 55 million. Buhari lied!

Buhari described his regime’s #COVID19 plan as “successful”. An evil lie. Buhari refused to shut our airspace early in 2020, despite warnings, because his daughter and chief of staff were abroad. He endangered us.

Still on his woeful #COVID19 response, which he called “successful”, his administration never gave Nigerians palliatives. They were given to APC stalwarts. Ghana paid water and electric bills for its citizens.

Buhari says he’s in “pursuit of a fair society”. How can our society be fair when the heads of the Three Arms of Government are Northern Muslim Males? It has NEVER happened in our history until nepotistic Buhari!

General Buhari claims he has “acknowledged notions of marginalisation”. He just insulted Igbos as “a dot in a circle”. He forgets that Israel is also a dot in a circle of hostile nations and defeated them all!

Buhari said “the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly”. He is fooling you. He has put his lackeys as Senate President and Speaker to ensure restructuring fails!

Buhari said “I remain ever committed to defending Nigeria’s Corporate existence.” Then why is he spending tax payer funds to rehabilitate Boko Haram, to romance killer herdsmen, and only really fights the South East?

Buhari boasted that “the Security of the people remain the primary purpose of government”, yet, according to the Global Terror Index, Nigeria is more insecure today than in 2015. Syria and Yemen are more secure.

Buhari said “I have provided the security agencies with all they require.” A lie. While our soldiers needed weapons and welfare, Buhari budgeted $500 million to digitalise NTA and ₦37 billion to renovate NASS.

Buhari claims to have a “strong belief in the Nigerian spirit”. But that belief disappears when he needs healthcare. At such times, he develops a ‘strong belief in the London doctor spirit’. Lori iro. Isokuso!

In conclusion, Buhari’s Democracy Day speech exposed him, yet again, as a lying nepotistic tribalist. He does not even have the skills to lie convincingly. This is a man who should not even be running a KFC!

BuharisDemocracyDayLies #KeepitOn #TableShaker #BuhariTormentor #June12thProtest

Continue reading
Image

Divide And Conquer Of 1968 Won’t Work In 2021, Niger Deltans Tells Buhari, Say The Igbo Are Our Blood Relations |RN


The Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM) has berated President Muhammadu Buhari over his comment during Arise TV interview on Thursday.

President Buhari had said that Igbos are a DOT in a circle, hence won’t have any access if they were to secede from Nigeria.

The president made the comment to ridicule the agitations of the proponents of a Sovereign State of Biafra who are demanding to split from the Lord Lugard 1914 amalgamation.

Buhari said: “IPOB are just like a dot in a circle. If they want to exist they won’t have access to anywhere.

“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses, having properties, I think IPOB doesn’t know what they are talking about.”

Reacting, the Niger Delta Self Determination Movement, in a statement titled “The knife of 1968 will not cut in 2021” and signed by the convener, Ms. Annkio Briggs, told Buhari off.

Ms. Briggs told the president to exclude Ijaws from any untoward plans he has for the Igbos, noting that Niger Deltans share blood relationship with the Igbos.

She categorically stressed that the Niger Delta people are also agitating for their own survival, hence do not intend to oppose Ndigbo to their own survival if they choose to leave Nigeria.

The statement reads in part:

“As an Ijaw and from one of the community that is at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean, of Niger Delta and of Southern Nigeria, whoever from the South that have assured or agrees with Buhari that Igbos are a DOT is on their own and the Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM) while agitating for our own survival do not intend to oppose Ndigbo to their own survival, even if they want to leave Nigeria.

“The majority of the Ethnic Nationalities of Niger Delta have not only a geographical relationship with Ndigbo but have a blood relationship with Igbo people, that we do not share with Buhari and his people.

”No matter the politics, blood remains thicker than water,” it concluded. (ElombahNews)

Continue reading
Image

Again, Buhari Takes No Responsibility For Economic Woes, Failures Under His Administration |The Republican News

•Buhari wondered why Nigerians are not questioning the past administrations and demanding for accountability, despite the fact that his government had spent six years in the saddle.

President Muhammadu Buhari again on Tuesday blamed the past administrations for the country’s economic woes, stating that they had huge revenue from oil between 1999 and 2014, but failed to put infrastructure in place.

Buhari wondered why Nigerians are not questioning the past administrations and demanding for accountability, despite the fact that his government had spent six years in the saddle.

IPOB Is Like A Dot, If They Exit They’ve No Access To Anywhere, I’m Impressed With S’South Leaders, Youths -Buhari |RN

President Muhammadu Buhari
He stated this on Thursday in an interview on Arise News Television in Abuja, adding that “there has been no infrastructure despite the high numbers of earnings.”


Buhari added that Nigerians should be concerned about the waste and lack of accountability under the past administrations. (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

IPOB Is Like A Dot, If They Exit They’ve No Access To Anywhere, I’m Impressed With S’South Leaders, Youths -Buhari |RN

Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari made the rare appearance talking to the press for years since he took power in 2015. Several incidents have taken place and he never found it worth to talk to the press. There has been many calls from every strata of the Nigerian society calling him to speak on insecurity, mass killings and kidnappings and many more and he has not spoken but give prerecorded speeches.

The taciturn and almost reclusive president finally granted an interview to Arise Television and online television owned by ThisDay newspaper.

Below are excerpts from his time with the Arise journalists.

“Dividing Nigeria to piecemeal is not any solution. It’s a wrong signal to all investors. So each Republic will become a paradise? How do we share what United us? What we have done together within such a record time? I’m surprised Nigerian elites watch these uniformed lots to make criminal statements everyday. We are all better off as Nigerians”
GMB

Your Government borrow more?

“The previous earn more with nothing on ground. Did you ask them where they kept our money? If I knew where, may be I would not borrow. They sold oil at $100, we sell at $25 sometimes. They wasted money on power, no light, no road, no rail. We are the ones constructing bridges, building roads and rails. Today, I’m commissioning Lagos Ibadan Railway, I will commission Lagos Ibadan Expressway later, I will commission more across the country. No country can survive without infrastructures…..”

“Two South West governors came to me to say cattle rearers are destroying farms in their states, I asked them what happened to the grassroot security panels from Traditional Rulers to Local Governments who meet regularly to identify the root of their problems and identify crooks within their environment and apprehend the criminals, Who destroyed this system? Go back and fix it, give your people sense of belongings. I don’t like it when people campaign to become governors and people trusted them with their votes and after winning, they can’t perform, they’re trying to push responsibilities to others. ……..we have three tiers of Government, Federal, State and Local. We have killed the Local Government totally. We will send N300m as allocation to a Local Government, one Governor will ask the LG Chairman to sign that he collected N300m but he will give him N100m and the Chairman will keep quiet…..is that how we will continue?”

“I am particularly impressed with the South-South leaders regarding their stand about Nigeria. Both their elders and youths. None told me what they said, I listened to them myself and their message was clear. God bless them all…”

“My statement about speaking language is very simple. It is meant for all criminals in Nigeria. What it means for the IPOB is that I will go after them through the military and police and rid them of their criminal tendencies. I have no regret whatsoever…..”

“That IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere.
“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and property, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about.
“In any case, we say we’ll talk to them in the language that they understand. We’ll organise the police and the military to pursue them.”

“Take the North West for example, people with same language and culture are killing themselves, stealing each other’s properties. Imagine the madness. Well, I have now told the military and the Police to be brutal. From now, we will speak the language they understand and in the coming weeks, you’ll get exactly what I am saying………”

But there are some senior officers that will leave because of new Service Chiefs?

‘Yes, in the military, only those who are always with the troops lead the troops”

“……..You’re saying someone who had gone through military and police training all his life should not be appointed to lead the military or police department he works with just because we must balance appointments? What are you saying? The system didn’t restrict anyone from joining the military or the police, and if you decided not to join, we will not force you but you too will not force us to bring someone who is not qualified in training and experience when it comes to leadership of these institutions just because we want to balance some appointments……..”

“APC have no other strategy to win elections apart from mobilising people from bottom to top as seen in our party membership registration and we will continue to bring more people in. The party leadership has requested for 30 more days in which a date for convention will be set. Politics is about the people. By end of this month, we will have all our programmes from now till I will leave in 2023…..”

“APC will continue to run Nigeria after my tenure. So, Abati, tell anyone who wants to be Nigeria’s President in 2023 to join APC….”

When are you going to unban Twitter….?

“We are not there yet. I keep that to my chest…”- Muhammadu Buhari

What will be your legacy?

“I will accept whatever verdict Nigerians pass on me. I hope they will be fair…”- Muhammadu Buhari on Interview with The Arise TV panel

Continue reading
Image

REVEALED: Presidency Meets With China’s Cyber Regulator To Build Nigerian Internet Firewall |The Republican News

By Socrates Mbamalu


On Saturday morning between 11 am and 12 pm, as Nigerians woke up to the reality of a Twitter ban, and downloading Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access Twitter, the Nigerian government, through the office of the Presidency, reached out to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) to discuss plans to build an internet firewall, FIJ has learnt.

The government officials present at the meeting include Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President, and Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.

The internet firewall is a way of having a separate network for the Nigerian Internet that will give the government control over social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. This is similar to the internet filtering system China operates, called the Great Firewall.

According to CFR, “the Great Firewall, is the centre of the government’s online censorship and surveillance effort. Its methods include bandwidth throttling, keyword filtering, and blocking access to certain websites.”

The Reporters Without Borders states that the firewall makes large-scale use of Deep Packet Inspection technology, an advanced method of examining and managing network traffic. The Nigerian government seeks to establish the Nigerian Internet, which it will also control likewise.

A digital security expert told FIJ that China is the only country that deploys total Deep Packet Inspection over its cyberspace. The technology involves making use of lots of manpower.

The internet firewall will also give the Nigerian government power to block VPN, which many Nigerians are using to access Twitter. The CAC is the central internet regulator, censor, oversight and control agency for China and answers to the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, headed by Xi Jinping, China’s President. Since its existence, the CAC, which also gives approval to data by Chinese companies outside of China, regulates usernames on the Chinese Internet, licences news information services, and bans comments that “harm national security” or “harm the nations honour interest”.

Wall Street Journal reported that People.cn, the online arm of the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, offers content moderation as a service. The chairman of People.cn predicted that censorship in China will grow to a $70 billion industry.

The Nigerian government has in the past few years sought a way to control freedom of expression online. Towards the end of 2015, the Frivolous Petition Bill targeting online and print media as well as regulating social media posts was introduced into the Senate just 10 months after Buhari’s ascent to power. In 2019, lawmakers introduced two bills: the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech bill and the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and other Related Offences bill, prompting public outcry that meant they were not passed into law.

This was however not the only effort the Nigerian government made in controlling online speech and spying on its citizens. In November 2017, 21 pro-Biafra websites were taken down on the orders of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). FIJ learnt that the government had explored using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) between 2018 and 2019 to track down Biafra agitators and supporters, as well as government critics on social media. Intelligence agencies make use of OSINT to track people or events. The Nigerian government had reached out to Bellingcat investigators, a British investigative journalism website that specialises in OSINT, but they declined to work with the Nigerian government.

FIJ learnt that Bellingcat was approached to give OSINT training to the Nigerian intelligence community to develop local capacity for Open Source Investigation.  The Nigerian government had sold the angle of national security and fighting terrorism to Bellingcat, but that wasn’t at the top of the government’s priority. Bellingcat later discovered that the purpose of the training was to hunt down civilians and those who spoke negatively against the government, and not Boko Haram terrorists as claimed by the Nigerian government. The terrorists, in this case, were pro-Biafra supporters. Bellingcat has been reported to say what the US intelligence can’t, which includes exposing Russian activities.

FIJ’s source said the EndSARS protests in 2020 made the government more desperate to control the cyberspace. The conversation about a Nigerian firewall started during the EndSARS protests.

“The government needed a legal framework through which it could carry out its actions,” he said. “That legal framework would serve as a justification for their actions. Mostly, the rhetoric of the government uses, including Friday’s suspension of Twitter, was around Nigeria’s unity and national security.”

A 2020 report titled Running in Circles Uncovering the Clients of Cyberespionage Firm Circles by The Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto showed that Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency had recruited the services of Circles in  2015 and 2017 to spy on its citizens and track down government critics.

Nigeria’s surveillance capabilities rank high on the continent. In 2018, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) was allocated $12.8 million for Stranvisky Project 2. Other budget allocations intended to increase the surveillance capabilities of both the ONSA and the Department of State Security (DSS) included a ‘Social Media Mining Suite’, ‘Wolverme Next Generation SDRIMSI’, ‘Surveillance Drone’ and ‘Mobile Surveillance Facilities’.

Freedom House, a US-based advocacy group, revealed that the surveillance projects such as Stranvisky Project 2 still received allocation in the 2019 and 2020 budget proposals.

The Citizen Lab, meanwhile, reported that Circles, a surveillance firm, exploits weaknesses in the global mobile phone system to snoop on calls, texts, and the location of phones around the globe. Circles relies on inside sources and open sources intelligence and customers can purchase a system that they connect to local telecommunications companies. Circles merged with NSO Group in 2014, an Israeli surveillance company that sells surveillance equipment.

A 2016 investigation showed that in 2010, Rotimi Amaechi, the former Governor of Rivers State, was the first government official to make contact with Circles to deliver internet surveillance equipment. Though the deal fell through, it highlighted the direction Nigeria was going.

Internet shutdown has become a tool that African leaders are more inclined to exercise during protests and elections. In 2017 in Cameroon, for example, the Anglophone regions had internet shutdown for over three months, and it was only restored on the orders of their sit-tight President, Paul Biya.

Source: FIJ

Continue reading
Image

BREAKING: Twitter Deletes Nnamdi Kanu Tweet Threatening Soldiers Sent To Biafraland With Death |The Republican News

Nnamdi Kanu

The bird app platform, Twitter, has deleted a tweet by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB for allegedly violating their rules.

Nnamdi Kanu had in the tweet, vowed that any soldier sent to the Southeast by the Nigerian Government will be sent to their maker.

Kanu, made the post in reaction to the comment by President Muhammadu Buhari saying he would clamp down on those destroying government facilities in the South-East.

Buhari had while receiving briefing from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu over destruction of the commission’s offices by unknown gunmen in the region, said he would soon shock those behind the attacks.

And Kanu warned that no Nigerian Army deployed to the region would return alive.

Kanu made the assertion on Wednesday via a tweet on his official Twitter handle.

The tweet reads, “It’s not for the living to respond to the dead but given the lack of reasoning prevalent in the #Zoo Nigeria, I wish to assure @GarShehu, the Jihadi midget @elrufai & that Fulani lapdog Femi Adesina that any army they send to #Biafraland will die there. None will return alive”.

And nearly 24 hours after the Nigerian government announced a ban on Twitter, the platform has deleted the tweet from Kanu.

Twitter deleted the comment on Saturday, saying it violates its rules.

Twitter had two days earlier deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s controversial tweet about the civil war which some Nigerians found offensive and tagged a “genocidal threat”. (Daily Trust)

Continue reading
Image

To Shock And Awe: Wole Soyinka Responds To Muhammadu Buhari’s Threat Of War On S’East |The Republican News

By Prof. Wole Soyinka

We heard it last during the heydays of Donald Rumsfeld under George Bush – and judge in what condition it has left that part of the world, and beyond. Rumsfeld’s namesake – a sobering coincidence – also spat the same gung-ho rhetoric. That Donald once ordered his uniformed forces to “go out there” and “dominate the environment”, following civilian protests at extra-judicial killings of blacks by state police. Soon enough, leaving nothing to chance, that Donald II seized on the first opportunity to personally mobilize a mob to “dominate” Capitol Hill, his own seat of government that was clearly slipping from his control.

Optimists are free to underplay that threat to the much-acclaimed democratic beacon. Study that scenario carefully however, and you find It is not a question of: it could never have succeeded. Such surmises are wrong, It COULD HAVE SUCCEEDED, albeit with unpredictable consequences for America and the world. And so, when the elected head of a democratic state like Nigeria, not perched precariously on the knife edge of power but with a couple more years in the kitty, threatens to “shock” dissidents, we should indeed be shocked out of any complacency. Even if History has been deliberately eliminated from the school’s curriculum, Memory suffices to jerk us into a watchful, precautionary alert.

I hold no brief for those who resort to burning down police stations, slaughter their occupants simply for the crime of earning a measly monthly pittance, torch electoral offices, assassinate politicians in calculated effort to set sections of the country against others in the promotion of their own political goals. These are largely nihilists, psychopaths and/or criminal lords, soul mates of Boko Haram, ISWAP, Da’esh and company, not to be confused with genuine liberators. All over the world, throughout history, elections are denounced, boycotted, and generally delegitimized without recourse to wanton butchery.

When, however, a Head of State threatens to “shock” civilian dissidents, to “deal with them in the language they understand”, and in a context that conveniently brackets opposition to governance with any bloodthirsting enemies of state, we have to call attention to the precedent language of such a national leader under even more provocative, nation disintegrative circumstances. What a pity, and what a tragic setting, to discover that this language was accessible all the time to President Buhari, where and when it truly mattered, when it would have been not only appropriate, but deserved and mandatory!
When Benue was first massively brought under siege, with the massacre of innocent citizens, the destruction of farms, mass displacement followed by alien occupation, Buhari’s language – both as utterance and as what is known as “body language” – was of a totally different temper. It was diffident, conciliatory, even apologetic. After much internal pressure, he eventually visited the scene of slaughter. His language? Learn to live peacefully with your neighbours. The expected language, rationally and legitimately applied to the aggressors, was exactly what we now hear – “I shall shock you. I shall deal with you in the language you understand”. That language was missing at the moment that mattered most. It remained “missing in action” for years until a belated “Shoot at sight” outburst. Too late, and of course, inappropriately phrased. The precedent had been set, the genie let out of the bottle, consolidating a culture of impunity that predictably spread its bloody stain all over the nation.

Buhari’s recent deployment of this language is thus wrongly targeted, and tragically untimely. Even while he was threatening dissidents, an agenda of both secessionism and alien occupation was taking place not too distant from Aso Rock. ISWAP was taking over the already excised territories of Shekau’s Boko Haram, appointing new warlords of the occupational forces, sectioning Nigeria into vassal states and unfurling their replacement flags of domination. Soon, logically, ISWAP’s letters of diplomatic accreditation will be presented in Aso Rock?

We must however backtrack a little – that is the function of memory. It would be false to suggest that these eggs of impunity are newly laid. They have been incubating in loathsome hatcheries of power and domination for years, even decades, and now the raptors have been hatched and taken wings. The political culture of the devil’s bargain, of denial, evasion, avoidance of constitutional mandates, the culture of “appeasement of the unappeasable” – to quote myself – in order to gratify the vested interests of a narrow, power obsessed elite has blossomed. Finally, the chickens have come home to roost.

The evocation of the Civil War, where millions of civilians perished, is an unworthy emotive ploy that has run its course. In any case – and this has been voiced all too often, and loudly – the nation is already at war, and of a far more potentially devastating dimension than it has ever known. Every single occupant of this nation space called Nigeria has been declared potential casualty, children being pushed to the very battlefront, without a semblance of protective cover. We have betrayed the future. We need no breast beating about past wars. The world has moved on, so have nations. Some, however, prefer to move backwards. The continent is full of these atavists. In Nigeria, powerful cliques of this persuasion still roam the corridors of power We are indeed at war. It does not take the formal declaration of hostilities, with or without lethal bombardments, for a nation to find itself shell-shocked. The populace of this nation is already in that shell-shocked condition. So, what is there left to shock?
It is time to think “outside the box”. That many, in so doing, find no landing place except dissolution, is not a crime. It is not peculiar to any peoples, and is embedded in the ongoing history of many, and not only on this continent. It is their natural right as free citizens, not slaves of habit and indoctrination. Where disillusion rides high, sentiment tumbles earthwards, and the only question becomes: what can be salvaged? It thus remains the responsibility of leadership to persuade them, through both discourse and remedial action, that there are other options. Attempted bullying is not a language of discourse, nor the facile ploy of tarring all birds with the same feather.

I shall end on a personal note. It was not intended but, in view of breast thumping rhetoric by one president after the other over military sacrifice – undeniable, certainly – such recalls should be considered salutary.

Continue reading
Image

Buhari Will Carry Out His War Threat On S’East And Nothing Will Happen —Festus Keyamo |The Republican News

Muhammadu Buhari and Festus Keyamo

Festus Keyamo, Minister Of State For Labour and Employment, says elites who were silent when their region was “on fire” are not fit to teach President Muahmmadu Buhari how to do his job.

There has been unrest in the southern region of the country, where public facilities and security operatives have come under attack in recent weeks.

The president had, on Monday, said persons behind the attacks on public facilities will “soon have the shock of their lives”.

He had also said those “misbehaving in certain parts of the country” are oblivious of the destruction and tragedy that came in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, adding that “those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

The president’s statement had been trailed by varied reactions, but Keyamo in a series of tweets, defended Buhari, saying those against the stance of the federal government were happy about the destruction of public structures.

“I hope some elites who couldn’t find their voices to rein in their wards when their region burnt, will not suddenly find their voices against Mr. President! Those who screamed that it’s Mr. The President’s duty to maintain law & order should NOT try to teach him how to do his job now,” Keyamo tweeted, attaching the president’s statement.

“The anger some are displaying against the President’s resolve to be decisive in dealing with these scoundrels is an indication of their support for the destruction of public infrastructure because they want to cripple Govt. A pure case of cutting your nose to spite your face!

“A very unfortunate reasoning you read is that because insurgency is still prevalent in some other parts of the country, the President should just allow some villains destroy another region. It’s like a competition to bring the insecurity in one region at par with other regions!

“The President has vowed to deal with the scoundrels destroying public infrastructure & killing people to instigate insurrection & some dimwits really interpret this to mean he is threatening INNOCENT citizens! This reasoning is so ABSURD that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. One thing is sure, Mr President has said it and the order must be carried out and there’s nothing anyone can do about it” he said.

Continue reading
Image

Nigeria Suspends Twitter After Social Media Platform Freezes Buhari’s Account, Deletes War Threat Comment |RN

Muhammadu Buhari and Twitter logo

By Danielle Paquette

Nigeria has indefinitely suspended Twitter two days after the social media platform temporarily froze the account of the nation’s president, sparking a torrent of Internet outrage in Africa’s most populous country.

The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, made the surprise announcement Friday in the capital, Abuja, citing safety concerns.

Mohammed condemned “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence,” according to a statement from Segun Adeyemi, special assistant to the president.

Officials did not provide further details.

On Wednesday, Twitter removed a post by Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, that threatened punishment for separatists in the nation’s southeast that authorities have blamed for attacks on federal property.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War,” wrote Buhari, a retired general, referring to the 1967-70 conflict. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

The social media platform said Buhari’s tweet violated its “abusive behavior” policy, removed the post and suspended his account for 12 hours.

Twitter is massively popular in Nigeria. Activists have harnessed the platform to fuel major protest movements in recent years, and government criticism is rampant.

Shortly after the announcement, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, which spread the news, saw its own Twitter account flooded with replies. Many users blasted the irony.

“Using @twitter to announced the suspension of its operation in Nigeria on its platform. Are you alright???” wrote one user.

Authorities did not clarify how and when the ban would start.

One senior official, speaking anonymously to discuss sensitive matters, said he was shocked by the suspension and wasn’t sure how it would work.

People across Nigeria, meanwhile, continued to tweet — including JJ Omojuwa, a podcast host in Lagos with a million followers.

“It’s a disaster,” he said. “It’s a tragedy that the government would even think to do something like this rather than focus on real problems.”

In recent months, attackers in Nigeria’s southeast have ambushed police stations and government buildings, killing several officers and civil servants.

Authorities have pinned the escalating violence on the Eastern Security Network, an armed group that emerged from a secessionist movement called the Indigenous People of Biafra.

For two and a half years in the late 1960s, separatists in the region fought to split from the government and form a new state, Biafra.

Between 500,000 and 3 million people died on the Biafran side, researchers estimate — many from hunger. The Nigerian military faced accusations of war crimes after blocking food supplies for civilians.

Source: Washington Post

Continue reading