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Aso Wenah: Unveiling Unsung philanthropist, force behind the Amaechi School of Politics and philosophy

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By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

  Preamble

Some heroes such as Hon. Asondu Wenah Temple are unsung, for the mere fact that they focus on doing what they are doing so as to achieve specific results for others while playing down on issues pertaining themselves. When it becomes imperative that I unveil to the entire world Hon. Aso Wenah, one of the most trusted aides and allies of Rt. Hon. Chibhike Rotimi Amaechi, the erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and incumbent Minister of Transportation, two great quotes from two great minds came to my mind: Maya Angelou with Hon. Wenah in mind stated and I quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”. This great Amaechi disciple whose principle of life is stewed in living his life for others is in tandem with the belief of Maya Angelou.

Orison Swett Marden on the other hand while emulating Maya Angelou described this great but unsung son of Rivers State thus, “There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment”. Asondu is a fellow who believes that you can only be helped when you help others out of their problems.”

One of the unique principles of Amaechi as a seasoned administrator is his belief in building the youths of Nigeria and assigning to them responsibility to prove themselves as the future leaders of this country. He exhibited it through his educational policy where he not only approved scholarship but sponsored most of them to study professional courses outside Nigeria. Amaechi also craves for younger ones to enjoy what was not possible for him; unlike many leaders who find it difficult to see younger ones enjoy what eluded them.

The fact remains that Amaechi, no matter the thinking of anybody, is an Institution as far as Nigerian politics is concerned; a man who out of nothing but by divine grace and influence has become a rallying point for the unity, greatness, and brighter future for Nigeria and Nigerians.

In order for us to understand and appreciate the impact, import and role that Hon. Asobdu Wenah has played and is playing in making this Institution (Amaechi) one of the most remarkable and outstanding Political Institutions in Nigeria one needs to explain how Amaechi is an Institution.

The Main Aim of this Treatise

An Institution is assumed to mean a place or schools through which leaders are trained to enable them occupy sensitive leadership positions in their place or places of work or country. In Nigeria particularly in Rivers State there exist such an Institution that have trained and turn out great and creditable leaders that it will be out of place for us not to expose such a school and the force and forces behind its greatness. That is the main aim of this treatise.

 

First, How Is Amaechi An Institution?

Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, a humanist, administrator par excellence, visionary, egalitarian mentor, radical giant, a respected pragmatist and exemplary leader, was twice the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly (1999-2007); Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria (1999 – 2000), Governor of Rivers State (2007 – 2015), and two-time Chairman of the Governors’ Forum in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015. A winner of several awards including the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), he successfully led the Presidential Campaign Organization of President Muhammadu Buhari to victory both in 2015 and in 2019, a feat never before achieved in any party of Africa for an individual to lead a Presidential Campaign Organization to two victories back to back.

In his capacity as the Minister for Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has redefined the transportation system in Nigeria with gigantic and unique feats uncommon in the rail system in the country. His plot to link up most key State capitals in Nigeria through rail system is a feat that has changed the thinking of many Nigerians towards the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of which he played a pivotal role to influence his victory both in 2015 and the 2019 general elections.

Testifying about Amaechi through his Media Aide, Mallam Shehu Garba, the Nigeria President, General Muhammadu, stated and I quote: “As the Minister of Transportation turns 55, President Buhari believes that Amaechi’s investments in the development of Rivers State, and current efforts in building infrastructure across the country, will always be remembered by posterity. The President urged him to stay focused on the larger picture of working to improve lives. The President also extols Amaechi for his willingness to make sacrifices and support the governing party, APC, recalling with appreciation, the major role he played in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections, and his continuous contributions to promote peace and unity of purpose. President Buhari prays that the almighty God will position the Director General of his Presidential Campaigns for greater glory, and grant him more opportunities to serve the country and humanity.”

Other worthy minds also spoke; one of them is Prof. Nelson Brambaifa who said: “To a steadfast and energetic achiever, a serial record breaker, a higher goal setter; may your days be long and full of unprecedented achievements.”

Today in the politics of Nigeria no matter the stands of some pessimists, Amaechi with the above staggering feats is an Iroko and Institution.  Affirming this belief two great Nigerians: Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Prof.Wole Soyinka stated thus, “Rt.Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the Commander and General of the Common sense revolution army that defeated a sitting President, he is a wonder boy!” – Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu while the otherhand the Laurent. Prof Wole Soyinka stated and I quote, “Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the most courageous Nigerian I have ever seen, he is tactful, fearless, reliable, workaholic, honest and blunt.

While those of us that knew his capability and commitment towards raising great and astounding leaders describe him as the Lion of Niger Delta region a region comprising of about nine States and to many other Nigerians he is the Bridge Builder unites and connect the entire tribes and Sections of this country into a virile and vibrant force. Now that the Institutionalism of Amaechi is established, let me therefore use this opportunity to expose and highlight the very few Lecturers and Students that have passed through this Institution before presenting the amiable, indefatigable, unsung and gentle Registrar of this Institution, Hon. Asondu Wenah Temple.

 

Some of the Lecturers and Graduands of Amaechi School of Politics:

Though, it is difficult for one to claim to have graduated from this school that has produced many timbers and shakers of our politics both within and outside Nigeria as there is always a new dimension or area of study to most of the committed and honest students of the school. The fact remains not minding any contradictory opinion the following great minds can boast that they have made a reasonable impact on his political philosophy as they have either lectured or graduated in flying colours from the school.

 

The most remarkable figures were:

Chief Nyesom Wike, Senator Magnus Abe, Igo Aguma, Chief Austin Opara, Engr. Tele Ikuru, Chief Uche Secondus, Hon. Marcus Nle Eji, Hon. Chidi Wihioka, Hon. Allwell Onyeso, Barr Worgu Boms, Chief Tony Okocha. Though some of these great politicians who either lectured or graduated successfully have gone ahead to other political schools or established their own brand of political school totally away from the principles that were handed to or bestowed on them during their stay in AMAECHI School of Politics.

 

Others who have continued to lecture and study in the school are:

Senator Andrew Uchendu, Dr Dakuku Peterside, Ambassador Oji Nyiemenuate Ngofa, Chief Sam Sam Jaja, Prof Henry Ugboma, Dr George Tolofari, Pastor Tonye Patrick Cole, Dr Chidi Julius Lloyd, Dr. Davies H. Sokonte, Prince Tonye Princewill, Ibim Sementari, Prof Onwunari Abraham Georgewill, Prof Steve Okodudu, Hon Ike Chinwo, Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, Chief Victor Giadom, Chief Asita O Asita, Dr Ibiamu Davies Ikanya. Ambassador Dr Maureen Tamuno, Aso Wenah (Registrar), Chief Kingsley Wali, Dr Oyirinda Chris Amadi (PhD), Akpobari Celestine, Chizi Nyeomasila K, Rt Hon Leyii Kwanee, Dawari George, Emma Chindah, Fubara Imangimama, James George Fuayefika, Okey Amadi,  Emeka Nwogu,  Henry Ogiri, Charles Anyanwu, Ishmael Singarr, Lawrence Chukwu (PhD), Ojukaye flag Amachree, Azubuike Byke Wanjoku, Chikode Dike, David Okumagba, Sunny Ogbowo, Achi William-Wobodo, Chris Finebone, Lucky Omenka, Zuby Dike, Reginald Okuoma, Ambros Nwize, and Kennedy Ebeku.Hon. George Ukwuomanwogba, Dr Dabota Jumbo, Chief Dr Mike Nwlieghai, Lady Christie Obiaruko Ndukwe, Barr. Forgiven Amachree, Barr Chizy Enyi, Chief Alex Wele,Hon. Ordnance Odinakachi, Prof Andrew Efemini, Barr. Achi Godwin William-Wobodo, Hon. Omenka,  Barr Enyi Chizy, Hon. Ordinance Odinkachi, Chief Fortune Oguru.

The list is long but also includes Chief Chibuike Ikenga, Dr. Victoria Nyeche, Bright Jacob, Irene Inimgba, Kieran Wobodo, Ezemonye Ezekiel Amadi, Hon. Marshall Isreal, Apostle Eugene Ogu, Nyema Wele, Wele, Theodore Georgewill, Emeka Beke, Tekena Flag Amachree, Mike Igonima, Francis Elechi, Uche Okwukwu, Nancy Ijaopo Stevens, Joe Poroma, Fubara Imangs, Henry Halliday, Chukwudi Dimkpa, Sunday Amangi, Allison Anderson, Martins Manna, Lucky Worluh, Godstime Orlukwu, Lucky Odili, Henry Odili, Gift Okere, Prof Imegi, , Bekks Dagogo-Jack, Ode ThanksGod, Batam Ndegwe, , Chris Oboh, Eric Apiah, Felix Nwabochi, Bisi Nwankwo, and Ogbonna Nwuke, Barr Isaac Ogbogbula.

The list is endless but I will not fail to mention the following great graduates of the school: Chief Ambrose Nwuzi, Collyns Owhondah, Opubo West, Awara Biokpomabo, Kingsley Owhondah, Chikaodi Dike, Caroline Nagbo, Austin Ahiamadu, Bestman Amadi,  Captain Akarolo, Felicia Tanen, Mike Awalanta Ejire, Ngozi Yagbs Abu, Mohammed Bello Koko, Fortune Oguru, Collins Ordu,  Sydney Nyeche, Chimenem N. Wali, Barr Chizi Woko, Chief Nelson Wali, Hon Francis Eleto, Hon Emeka Woko, Ihunda Mbata, Control Asobi, Kerian Nwobodo, Bestman Amadi, Akul Georgewil, Edwin Oludi,  Dr Ugo Ugorji, Lax Damabara, Erima Peterside, Amachree, Arisky Alabere, Achi W. Freddy  Ichego, Chris Nworgwu, Peter Emejuru (PhD), Sunny Dike, Eberechi Wagbara, Chris Obasiolu, Edwin Oludi, Emeka Worgu, Eli Sogbeye, Omenazu Jackson (PhD), Dagogo Emma, Chief Eze C. Eze and  Abiye Festus.

As I said the list is endless and if I have failed to include your name here, please forgive me as the list that the Registrar gave to me is not what can be contained in a treatise like this but will surely be included in the book that will soon be released on who is who in Amaechi School of politics and Philosophy.

With these characters, Nigeria and Nigerians should wait to witness a change of fortune by the time they take their relevant positions in the scheme of things in Nigeria.

A Look at Aso and His Role as the Registrar of the Amaechi School of Politics:

Ronald Reagan one of the most outstanding Presidents of USA with Aso in mind stated and I quote, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” while John C. Maxwell in his input stated, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

We all know that the functions of a Registrar in any given Institution apart from running the administrative organ of the Institution is to formally admit, screen students for admission and prepare policies and strategies on how to make the school meets up with the ideals and principles of the founding fathers.

I will attempt in this study highlight areas in which Chief Wenah have tried to showcase his talent as one of the most outstanding Registrars of any political school in Nigeria.

Before, I go any further in this study, let me reiterate that one of the trademarks associated with this enigma and outstanding Administrator is his ability to keep the record of the birthdays of all former and present students of his school and to wish and send birthday messages to them as the occasion demands. Example of this is this message he sent to one of the Head Of Department, Dr Dawari George on his 50th birthday, “A rare breed…Calm and stubbornly upright…An HOD in ‘THAT’ Amaechi’s School…Happy birthday my dear friend Dawasco…I welcome you to the 5th floor..”

This example of an ideal Aide was put into practice during the first APC Primary to elect her Presidential Flag-Bearer for the 2015 general elections. This man who doesn’t know what sleep means whenever he embarks upon any project for the number of days that the Primary was organised was everywhere organising the Delegates to ensure that they were comfortable and to vote right.

I was privileged to watch this gentle man from a distance at Lagos and I told myself that this Amaechi knows how to raise true and capable leaders.

I will pick up other areas of this man’s endeaavours as we go further with this study and ascertain if he has succeeded in this regard or not.

 

My first contact with Dr Aso Wenah:

Though, it was fate that occasioned my admission into this great school after successfully passing in flying colours from one of the most outstanding political schools in Nigeria the Atiku Political School. My admission was directly processed by the Founder of the School, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi when he was on exile occasioned by the K-leg episode of his gubernatorial ambition under the platform of PDP in 2007. During this period, Sir Celestine Omehia was holding sway as the Governor of Rivers State but reading most of my Press Statements hitting so hard on the administration of Omahia through Dr Doris Fisher and Dr Sampson Parker, Amaechi reasoned with Dr Sampson Parker one of his foot soldiers then that “if this Eze and his Principal, Prince Tonye Princewill can be in Rivers State and issuing this type of Press Statements in the then volatile Rivers State under a PDP Government then they are the type of people that we need to work with”. By the time, God made it possible through the Supreme Court for Amaechi to reclaim his mandate as the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has already been enrolled into this great school.

Not minding my position with Amaechi the need of formal registration need to be followed accordingly. Based on this it becomes imperative that I need to contact Hon. Asondu Temple whom I have not met or known. My contact with him was dramatic as I was expecting to see one grey head and heavy bearded man but when I met him, I told him that I need to see Chief Aso for formal registration if he is in office, I was shocked when he told me that he is the Aso that I want to see. I wonder how such a young man could be in position to manage such a great and influential school. This unassuming young man simply showcase humility in all its ramification.

 

Aso as Rivers State Liaison Officer In Charge of Lagos State Office

It is on record that since the inception of Rivers State in 1967 Hon Aso Wenah’s feats and innovative ideals and policies as the Rivers State Liaison Officer in Lagos dwarfed both the past and present officers appointed to handle that sensitive organ of government administration.

His feats earned him the title of Ambassador Extraordinary of Rivers State as he used his office to attract foreign and local investments to Rivers State. He ensured that Lagos and Rivers states maintain wonderful and cordial relationship throughout his period of stewardship.

The leading role he played to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari got the ticket of APC during the party’s primaries held in Lagos is still evergreen in the minds of most of the delegates.

 

Aso as a Member of RMAFC

Sequel to his confirmation by the Senate, President Muhammadu Buhari on June 27, 2019 swore in Hon. Wenah Asondu Temple as a commissioner of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) representing Rivers State together with Elias Mbam from Ebonyi State as the chairman of the Commission alongside these other Commissioners: Chris Akomas (Abia), Ayang Sunday Okon (Akwa Ibom), Chima Philip Okafor (Anambra), Prof. Isa Mohammed (Bauchi), Samuel Adaa Maagbe (Benue), Ntufam Eyo Nsa Whiley (Cross River), Andrew Ogheneovo Agbaga (Delta), and Victor Eboigbe (Edo).

Others confirmed were: Amujo Philip Ajayi (Ekiti), Maria Aniobi (Enugu), Musa Abari (FCT), Mohammed Usman (Gombe), Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud Gumel (Jigawa), Alh. Kabir Muhammad Mashi (Katsina), Barr Umar Farouk Abdullahi (Kano), Rilwan Hussein Abarshi (Kebbi), Hon Suleiman Kokori Abdul (Kogi), and Abdullahi Shuaibu Yaman (Kwara).

Wright Olusegun Adekunle (Lagos), Aliyu A. Abdulkadir (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Bako Bagudu Shettima (Niger), Mr.Fari Adebayo (Ogun), Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin (Ondo), Kolade Daniel Abimbola (Oyo), Mr. Alexander Shaiyen (Plateau), Alhaji Modu Aji Juluri (Yobe) and Abubakar Sadiq A. Gusau (Zamfara) were also among the nominees confirmed for the Commission.

President Buhari, during the event which held at the Presidential Villa stated, “The mandate of the Commission is very wide and has an important for our country’s economy. The Commission must be fair and just to the three tiers and arms of government without compromising its core mandate. The officials were chosen based on their integrity and proven track records thus, much is expected from them. I appeal to the commission to work hard towards meeting government’s target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty”.

“In my speech on June 12 Democracy Day, “I set a target for our country to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This commitment is to further challenge the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to rise to its constitutional responsibilities and mandate.

“I will charge the chairman and honourable commissioners to concentrate more on expanding the sources of revenue to the federation account and other non-oil sources including solid minerals, use all legal ways and means to strengthen its monitoring mechanism and block leakages of revenue from the federation account, all relevant laws and regulations on revenue collection and remittances should be fully complied with and appropriate sanctions visited on defaulters,” he said.

RMAFC was established by Decree No.49 of 1989 (now an Act of National Assembly) to handle revenue allocation and fiscal matters on a continuous basis.

The body is also responsible for fixing the remuneration of political office holders as well as monitoring the revenues accruing to the federation account from revenue-generating agencies.

 

Aso as a Grassroot Politician:

The demonstration and practicality of Asondu Temple as a grassroots politician was exhibited during the 2015 rerun elections when he begun massive mobilisation of the grassroots for the coming re-run elections in Rivers State as he took advantage of the public holiday then to reach out directly to voters in their respective houses and kitchens.

From Ogbodo to Adanta, from Alimini to Mgbu-ohara, he visited and discussed with people of various shades of opinions and political leanings in the ancient Kingdom of Isiokpo, signaling a new vigor of rural politicking. As he stepped from one house to the order, he preached the message of hope, assuring the people that very soon, they would have the opportunity of freely casting their ballots in a safe and secured environment.

He enjoined the people to remain committed and faithful, stating that between then and Feb 2016, Dr Dakuku Peterside and all APC candidates would retrieve their stolen mandates. He reminded them to keep their PVCs safe and secured.

THE TESTIMONIES OF BENEFICIARIES OF ASO PHILANTHROPIC EXPLOITS:

Aso Wenah is a wonderful, kind, quintessential character and galvanizer of the people and Servant Leadership Model. He is a generous and an unassuming personality who though very powerful but never acted as if he was powerful or famous. Some testimonies by others can help to unveil the real who does not talk about himself;-

1. Hon. Aso Built a House for Me – Mr. Chisa Ogbudu

Testifying of God’s blessing through Hon. Aso, Mr Chisa Ogbudu of Ogbodo, popularly called Go-Slow expressed gratitude to Hon. Aso for building a house for him. He told everyone who cared to listen that he was living in a thatch house before Hon. Aso ordered the demolition of the decrepit apartment and replaced it with a brand new building. He pledged his family’s commitment to the APC.

 

2 Hon. Aso Made Me a Crane Operator – Mr.Temple Wobike

Another beneficiary of Hon. Aso’s magnanimity, Mr.Temple Wobike, officially presented his Certificate of Crane Operation to Hon. Aso, who he said paid the entire bills for him to learn the skill. He said “Oga, I no know how I go use thank you; all I can say is, thank you, God bless you sir”

 

3 Even the blind can see his works:

 Hon Aso Has Been Good to Me – Mr. King Okparanta (a blind man):

Mr. King Okparanta, a sight-impaired man was almost moved to tears as Hon. Aso stepped into his parlor. He told all that he had never been abandoned as expected of Nigerian politicians, testifying that most of his responsibilities as a father such as school fees payment for his children, monthly upkeep allowance for his family, repair of his leaking roof, etc, had been borne by three hnourable men, Aso Wenah, Achi Wobodo and Chris Oyirinda.

 

4. We will support you, Aso tells Smart Esemonu’s family:

Hon. Aso has assured a family which lost its breadwinner that he will support them in their burial arrangements. He also promised to assist the bereaved wife and children in finding means of sustainable survival.

5. Am Very Proud Of You – ADA-OROSI:

An old woman, popularly called Ada-Orosi, has commended Hon. Aso for his magnanimity towards her. She said Hon. Aso bought her drugs regularly and gave her money for upkeep. She called him “Ezi Nwo” meaning, good child in Ikwerre language.

Addressing the people, Hon. Aso told them to keep praying for Ex-Gov Amaechi, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and other leaders of the APC.

He charged the people to also pray for Hon. Achi Wobodo and Hon. Chris Oyirinda with whom he has partnered to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the kingdom, assuring further that very soon; the three of them shall organize this year’s edition of their annual Christmas support program.

Conclusion

A man must look like his mentor. Amaechi’s legacy and contribution to Nigeria and Rivers State may go beyond what he did as a person but the kind of philosophy and leaders he would leave behind.

I must thus confess that with a character like Asondu Wenah Temple and few of the graduates of Amaechi School of Politics the future of Rivers State and Nigeria is not only very bright but will be prosperous.g

 I pray Aso not for any reason forgoes his style of leadership and his humanitarian approach to leadership as God will always guide and prepare him for higher assignments.

The fact remains that Aso is a good man with a selfless attitude and candor.

Finally, with the powers bestowed on me as the Chief Historian and records Keeper of the history of Amaechi and his politics, I hereby unveil to you and the entire world Chief Asondu Wenah Temple the workaholic and brian behind whatever it is that the Amaechi School of Politics is all about. It is now left to you to judge accordingly.

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached thru: 08022049770,ezemediaconcept2020@gmail.com

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RingTrue with Yemi Adebowale:The ‘Greek’ Proposal to Goodluck Jonathan

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yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; 08054699539 (text only)
The scheming by some supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari to have former President Goodluck Jonathan run on the platform of the All Progressives Congress for President in 2023 is progressing.
One can safely say that it is now full blown, fuelled by power intrigues and permutations. Some of the APC governors behind the scheme turned out for Jonathan’s 63th birthday nine days ago. Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni; Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru are top on the list.
For these schemers, Jonathan’s candidacy will satisfy the increasing clamour for power shift to the South-east. They want to mask him as an Igbo man. After all, he has “Ebele and Azikiwe” as part of his name. Jonathan is expected to be harmless to the interest of this group and that of the North, and as such, the right person to take over from Buhari. Again, Jonathan is a good product for these plotters because he would be entitled to just one term. So, power can shift to the North quickly. For these conspirators, Jonathan is a safe bet, very amiable gentleman, who will not rock the boat. He represents the shortest route for the north to regain power. They also say Buhari can trust him and that there is a growing friendship between them. Buhari is still struggling to recover from how Jonathan accepted defeat and handed over power to him in 2015. They say he would be so happy to hand back power to Jonathan.
Well, Jonathan has not responded to all these 2023 pressure. If I were him, I will reject this Greek gift and continue to enjoy my retirement in peace. This proposal is an attempt to ruin all that he has achieved. Jonathan is not an Igbo man and cannot be an Igbo man. He cannot take over the slot of the South-east. Honestly, Presidential power should rotate to the South-east for fair play and political inclusiveness.
This country has been unfair to this region for so long and it should end in 2023. Jonathan should not allow himself to be used as a tool to scuttle the dreams of the South-east. Those offering him this Greek gift are just out to protect their selfish interest. The GEJ I know will most likely resist this temptation.
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RingTrue with Yemi Adebowale: Ransom to Kidnappers now Certified in Nigeria

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 yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; 08054699539 (text only)
The accounts of how families of the abducted students of Ahmadu Bello University negotiated with kidnappers, visited them in the forest and made payments to secure the release of their children are worrisome. In sound societies, the leadership of the security agencies along that axis would have been sacked. The nine students were abducted with scores of others on the notorious Kaduna-Abuja highway on November 15 and were kept in the forest for five days. Parents of the ABU 9 had to lead the drive to free their children because of the lackadaisical attitude of the security agents. When the traumatised families eventually struck a deal with the kidnappers, they were asked to congregate in a forest in Chikun Local Government Area and given directions into the specific location of the kidnappers. The kidnappers were so bold. Our security agents were the least of their worries. They went about the deal unperturbed about our so-called policemen and other security agents.
Imagine families going to pay kidnappers for the release of their loved ones and security agents on duty near the kidnappers’ den wishing them well. Yes, that was what happened to the families of the ABU 9. Security operatives along the corridor saw them heading into the forest and wished them luck. One of the parents remarked: “We met with security agents who were patrolling the area while on our way and they asked us where we were going to because it was late at night. We told them we were on our way to pay for the release of our relatives and the security agents wished us good luck.”
Security agents around the kidnappers den in Chikun Local Government were just having fun. I doubt if tracking and apprehending the kidnappers were part of their briefing. They simply looked the other way while parents of the ABU 9 continued their journey into the den of the kidnappers on November 20. It was so depressing. Clearly, this country is in a big security mess. That the venue for the ransom to the kidnappers is near the Kaduna State NYSC camp is even more upsetting. Another parent of the ABU 9 explains: “If you are travelling to Abuja from Kaduna, immediately after the NYSC camp, there is a solar light at a small village called Dutse. By the side, there is a tarred road that goes into Gwagwada but before we got to Gwagwada, there is a road that will lead you to Maro village. It was on our way to Maro that we were diverted into the forest. We are in serious trouble in this country because this thing happened just close to the NYSC camp.” This is happening in my beloved Nigeria.
It is so sad that the kidnappers were communicating with families of the victims via GSM phones for days and yet, security agents did not bother to track them. The abductors demanded a cumulative ransom of N270 million, asking each parent to provide N30 million. They eventually paid between N500,000 and N1,000,000. This is the level Nigeria has degenerated.
It seems there is an official endorsement of ransom to kidnappers. Security agents stand by and even advise families of victims to negotiate well. What else should Nigerians expect when families of security agents also pay to free officers abducted? Back in September, a 33-year-old officer of the Department of State Services, Sadiq Bindawa, who was on a visit to his native Katsina, was traced to his house and abducted. His colleagues at the DSS offices in Katsina and in Abuja could not save him. He was killed even after his family and friends paid N5 million to his abductors. Bindawa worked at the DSS HQ in Abuja. Last September, an army officer, Colonel S.B Onifade was abducted on the Kaduna-Abuja highway and his family/friends paid N10 million to the kidnappers. But Onifade was still killed.
The truth that must be told is that abductions and killings will persist if this government continues to keep the leadership of all security agencies in this country. Leadership has failed our security agents. Besides, our police, DSS, military and the rest are poorly equipped and poorly motivated. As a result, evil people will continue to abduct, rape, collect ransom and will hardly be apprehended. I am shocked that guilt is not gnawing the souls of those charged with the responsibility of protecting hapless Nigerians. Those being paid to protect us are not ashamed of their unending failings. The leadership of the security agencies persistently come out bald-headed, claiming to be on top of the situation, whereas, they are far away from it. I often grimace at their words. Our security agents show frightening ineptitude. We often see captors communicate with families of victims for weeks; yet, security agents are unable to track and smoke them out. Even President Buhari does not know the way out of this security mess.
The latest in Nigeria’s orgy of killings is the murder of a first class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi last Thursday by unknown gunmen. Last Sunday, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State, Philip Tatari Shekwo was kidnapped in his house and murdered. His body was dumped few meters from his residence at Anguwar Bukan -Sidi in Lafia metropolis last Sunday. In Rivers State, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Ebenezer Kalabo Amah, was abducted in his house and murdered.
In Kaduna State, an activist, Rabiu Awwal was killed by bandits during an attack in his community on November 20. In Katsina State, bandits attacked PDP’s Chairman in Sabuwa Local Government, Lawal Dako, and shot him severally. He later died from the injuries. The granddaughter of the slain party council chairman was also shot and killed by the bandits during the attack. Last Monday, kidnappers entered Ahmadu Bello University, unhindered and abducted an official of the school at his residence at Main Campus, Samaru. As in previous cases, almost all these killers and kidnappers will never be apprehended. What a country!
While the kidnappings and killings in my beloved Nigeria pour, the level of clumsiness of our security agencies is sickening. A total overhaul is necessary if we want result. To do this, the present leadership of the security agencies must make way for a result- oriented one that will address the issues of leadership, equipment and quality manpower. As for our President, he should be ashamed of this security mess. The buck stops on his table. He should shape in or ship out.
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Lekki Shootings: Resign now, you are an embarrassment to Nigeria, Jumu’ah tells AGF Malami

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A Social Commentator and Human Rights Journalist, Jumu’ah Abiodun, has advised the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federal, Mr Abubakar Malami, to resign his position for misleading the world after Lekki toll plaza shootings at #EndSARS protesters by military officers.
Jumu’ah via his Instagram handle today berated Malami after Nigerian Army represented by the Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, last week admitted military officers took live and blank bullets to the Lekki toll gate in Lagos the venue where #EndSARS protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against police brutality.
“AGF Malami is a disgrace to this country and his office, he misinformed the world on the Lekki shootings by military officers at peaceful #EndSARS protesters, its outrageous. In saner climes, he ought to have resigned by now”
“I, therefore, enjoin Mallam Malami to honourably resign his position as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation because he misled the world over Lekki shootings for lying hoodlums were possibly involved in the shootings.”
AGF Malami had during an interaction with journalists on Monday, November 3 in Abuja stated that hoodlums were possibly involved in the shootings. “You cannot rule out the possibility of perhaps hoodlums that set in to create a scene…could equally partake in the process,” Malami quoted.
The activist also asked the UK, US, Canada and EU to place Malami and his family on a visa restriction ban. “As a further penalty for his blatant lies, I urge the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and European Union governments to take a drastic step and place a visa restriction ban on Mr Abubakar Malami and his family.”
Commenting on Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigerian Army statements since October 20, 2020, Black Tuesday event, the activist said: “From the very first day after Lekki shootings, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigerian Army are not consistent with their statements.”
“Their first statements read: We were not at the Lekki toll gate – Nigerian Army.
Forces beyond our direct control shot at protesters at the Lekki toll gate – Mr Sanwo-Olu.”
“Later they said: The CCTV cameras were not shut down, the recordings will be available – Mr Sanwo-Olu.
The CCTV did not capture Lekki Shooting – LCC.”
“Later, the Nigerian Army told us: We were there, but we didn’t shoot at protesters.
Addressing Nigerians, Mr Sanwo-Olu said: #EndSARS protesters were shot at but only got injured, no casualties.”
“I don’t have the power to order soldiers, Sanwo-Olu said during a live TV interview.
The Governor invited us to the Lekki toll gate – Nigerian Army in an official statement.”
Jumu’ah showered encomium on American based Cable News Network (CNN) for doing a great job in revealing more details on the Lekki toll gate event. “CNN remains one of the best and credible news platforms in the world. I always participate in the CITIZEN by CNN where we analyze issues with facts, not hypotheses as claimed by the Nigerian government,” he cited.
He concluded: “CNN has done a fantastic job with the documentaries, they revealed details of bullets used at the Lekki shootings, the person that died. Nigerian government should prove CNN wrong if they have any other information aside from that, not threatening CNN.”
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