The media space in Nigeria last week, as usual, was littered with stories that generated diverse responses. Stories that kept Nigerians busy with reactions.
Among the stories, we selected five that have national implications. They include the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff and the claim by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, that Nigerians will praise Buhari over his achievements after the end of his tenure.
Read through to find out other significant stories we selected and their implications to the nation’s growth and why we should not forget them in haste.
On Thursday, May 27, President Muhammadu Buhari announced Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff to replace the late COAS, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash in Kaduna along with 10 other military officers on May 21.
His appointment was confirmed in a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu.
While it is the prerogative of President Buhari to appoint who replaces the late COAS, however, by selecting Yahayah, a northern-Muslim, Mr President once again gave people accusing him of nepotism more room to justify their claims.
It is obvious that most of the top security positions in the country are occupied by the northers, ceding the position of the COAS again to somebody from the region appears as mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity, especially at a period accusation of lopsided appointment by the current government remains a serious issue of concerns.
Though Yahaya CV shows he is qualified for the job, however appointing him as the new COAS at the expense of his seniors, like Major General Benjamin Ahanotu from Anambra State calls for questions. Considering that South-East region literarily has nobody in any top security position, appointing Ahanotu in that position as many had expected might have helped to appease the South-East, a region where feelings of alienation since Buhari’s emergence is renewing the ghost of Biafra secessionist agitation.
Adesina and Buhari’s achievements
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Friday, May 28 said that Nigerians would praise Buhari after the end of his tenure in 2023.
According to Adesina, Buhari has for the past six years in office recorded achievements that would make Nigerians proud of him when his tenure expires.
The president’s aide in a statement where he outlined Buhari’s government achievements in the last six years and titled ‘The Buhari Administration at 6: Counting the Blessings One by One’ said:
“From infrastructure, to finance, education, healthcare, sports, anti-corruption, human development, housing, oil and gas, foreign relations, and many others, the administration is recording giant strides, enough to make Nigerians proud.
“That is, those who are dispassionate and fair-minded, not beclouded by political partisanship and undue cynicism.
When the Administration breasts the tape in another two years, by the grace of God, the applause will be resounding, even from the worst of sceptics. Facts are undeniable and always remain so. They are stubborn things.”
One cannot blame Adesina. It is his responsibility to launder the image of his principal. It is the job he is hired to do and the reason he is still in Aso Rock receiving salaries.
Meanwhile, it is unfortunate that as hard as Adesina and his co-Buhari image-makers try to make Nigeria see the achievements of their principal, facts on the ground keep making a mockery of their claims.
With Nigeria’s current insecurity situation, economic reality as the world poverty capital, facts truly can never be covered with coated words. Buhari’s achievements are really glaring for all to see and Nigerians needed not to be told about Buhari’s achievements by Adesina. They know them.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday, May 26, cried out that Nigeria is currently at crossroads and threatened.
The National Assembly leaders spoke at a three-day National Security Summit organised by the House of Representatives Special ad-hoc Committee on National Security.
“I want to say here that Nigeria is at crossroads today. The very essence of the existence of this country is under serious threat. What started as the insurgency in 2009 or so in the Northwestern part of Yobe has now snowballed into a full-scale insurgency in the entire North-East.
“What was not known to us in the North West is now today the home of banditry and kidnapping. The North Central, as we all know is not safe. It suffers clashes between the herders and our farmers.
“And the recent introduction in the South-East is another serious threat to the existence of this country where government institutions are targeted, our police and security agencies are being killed on a daily basis. Our institutions and buildings are burnt,” Lawan cried”
On his part, Gbajabiamila said, “We are a nation under attack. Our victory in this present battle depends greatly on our ability to set aside our differences and mobilise in one accord against an impending catastrophe that threatens all of us regardless of language, religion, politics or status.”
Lawan and Gbajabiamila only stated the obvious. With the raging insecurity in the country, it is very clear that Nigeria is currently at a crossroad with an uncertainty of what tomorrow will be for the country.
Beyond starting what ordinary laymen already knew about the country, the NASS leaders should understand they have important roles to play in the quagmire, the country has found itself.
It is in their power to honestly provide a constitution that can work for the country or impressed it on Buhari to harken to the demands for a national dialogue that would allow Nigerians to decide how they can live in unity as one united nation.
Marwa’s drug scheme
The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retd.), on Tuesday, May 25 said it was imperative for politicians seeking public offices and students seeking admission into higher institutions to undergo drug integrity tests.
A statement by NDLEA Director of Publicity and Media, Femi Babafemi quoted Marwa to have said this in Abuja while delivering a paper on ‘Drug abuse and national security challenge: way forward’, as the guest speaker at the 5th anniversary lecture of Presidential Diary Magazine.
He said, “As elections come up in the states and across the country, there is the need for the people to entrust the management of their treasury and their wellbeing in the hands of politicians that have clear minds because no public office holder under the influence of drugs can think straight.
“The same thing applies to students who are seeking admission into higher institutions.”
Talk is cheap they say and Nigerian politicians and office holders are very good at making cheap claims they hardly pursue afterwards.
If the NDLEA Director is serious, he should walk his talk by making moves to get enabling laws that will make such possible.
Again, one can only hope that such measures if put in place to check drug abuse will be carried out impartially as laws in Nigeria often never applies to the rich, political office holders and their children despite the dictum that law is not a respecter of persons.
A former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Ahmed Gulak was on Sunday, May 30, murdered by suspected gunmen in Imo State.
He was reportedly ambushed while on his way to Sam Mbakwe International Cargo airport when his car was attacked at Obiagwa near the airport.
Hours after his assassination Nigerian police claimed it had killed those that assassinated Gulak and equally burnt the car they were in following a shootout with the supposed culprit.
According to the police, the culprits were members of Eastern Security Network, a security outfit of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra. The police claim had since been refuted by IPOB.
Gulak’s fate is another pointer to how dangerously the insecurity situation in the country has become. It shows that no one is safe any longer and nobody can tell who will be next.
Why police claim that it had killed the culprits ordinarily should attract commendation, there is, however, serious worries over the claim. That the Imo police did not only kill the supposed culprits but also burnt their car is suspicious.
The speculations in some quarters that the incident in Imo on Sunday might have been a political killing, needs to be investigated, especially as IPOB is denying that they had no hand in the death of Gulak.