By FEMI FANI-KAYODE
Last friday the United States Government released a damning human rights report on Nigeria, saying “grave violations of human rights” continued to increase in 2017 while officials who perpetrated them were never prosecuted by the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It also said, inter alia, that Nigeria is suffering from “ethnic, religious and regional violence”.
This is the bitter truth and the report is a welcome development.
Ethnic cleansing, genocide, mass murder, state-sponsored terror, unprecedented corruption, monumental incompetence, the persecution of opposition figures and their families, the violation of court orders, the intimidation of the National Assembly, the Judiciary and the Fourth Estate of the realm which is the media, the targetting and cold-blooded murder of Christians, Igbo (IPOB) youths and Shiite Muslims, the gradual and incremental Islamisation of the nation, the humiliation of the Church and Christian clerics, the covert support for and encouragement of murderous Islamist and jihadist terror groups like the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram and so on and so forth are now the cornerstone and hallmark of President Buhari’s govermmemt.
Worse of all he did not have the National Assembly’s approval to withdraw $496 million from the Federal Governments Excess Crude Account which he used to pay for the 12 Super Tucano jets that he purchased from the United States and that are to be supplied to the Nigerian Airforce by 2020.
This makes it an illegal expense which, under our laws, is an impeachable offence. It also makes the whole transaction unlawful.
Even more troubling is the fact that, as long as Buhari is in power, those jets are as likely to be used against innocent and defenceless Nigerian civilians, including women and children, as they are against terrorists.
I sincerely hope that these issues will form part of the deliberations and discussions that will take place in the meeting betwen President Donald Trump and President Buhari in Washington on 30th April.
They should also discuss the shameful way in which the President Barack Obama’s administration interfered in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election and assisted Buhari to come to power and the $500 million that the Buhari administration contributed, through various fronts and companies like the Chagoury brothers, to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
And now to the meat of this essay.
In terms of high level military, intelligence and security operations and what are known in western intelligence agencies as “black ops” few events in our history come close to the one that took place in Dapchi a few months ago.
I am not referring to major or cataclysmic events which also had the imprint and involved the input of numerous foreign and domestic intelligence and security agencies like the murder of General Aguiyi-Ironsi in 1966 and the coming to power of Lt. Col. (as he then was) Jack Yakubu Gowon or the murder of General Murtala Mohammed in 1976 and the coming to power of General Olusegun Obasanjo or again the murder of General Sani Abacha and Chief MKO Abiola in 1998 which led to the release from prison and the second coming to power of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Those are the obvious ones.
I am referring to the more subtle ones which had less obvious but equally identifiable motives. I will not go into detail and I will not expose the motives. I will just mention the events and the facts surrounding them.
First was the cold-blooded murder of Gloria Okon, an international drug courier, that was working for powerful government officials and men and women in high places and that was about to spill the beans when General Muhammadu Buhari was in power in 1985.
Second was the elimination of Dele Giwa, a prominent and highly respected journalist, by agents of President Ibrahim Babangida’s government in 1986.
Third was the C130 military plane crash in Ejigbo, Lagos in 1992 in which 158 junior and middle rank army officers were tragically killed. The plane was brought down and those gallant officers were left to die slow and painful deaths in the swamp because the rescue operation was purposely delayed. It was more of an execution than a plane crash.
Fourth was the slaughter of Kudirat Abiola, Chief MKO Abiola’s wife, Chief Alfred Rewane, Rear Admiral Omotenhiwa and hundreds of other pro-June 12th and NADECO leaders and operatives by General Sani Abacha’s military junta between 1995 and 1998.
Fifth was the mysterious “plane crash” in Kano in 1996 in which Ibrahim Abacha, the first son of General Sani Abacha, together with his close friends Bello Dangote, Omieba Princewill and a number of others lost their lives. The fact is that most of those that died were killed after the plane had crashed at the crash site by unknown elements and there appears to have been a struggle on the private jet before it came down.
Needless to say the whole thing was covered up by military intelligence and the truth was buried. Not even General Abacha, who was Head of State at the time, knew what actually happened and who was involved until much later.
Sixth was the murder of numerous high profile leaders and political figures during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo between 2000 and 2007 including Chief Bola Ige, Chief Marshall Harry, Chief Dikibo and many others.
Seventh was the bombing of Odi town in Rivers state by the military during the course of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government in 1999 in which hundreds of civilians were murdred.
Eighth was the masscre of dozens of people in Zaki Biam in Benue state by the military during the course of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government in 2001.
Ninth was the blowing up of the Bellview Airlines plane over Lisa, Lagos state in 2005 in which over 100 people perished and which was passed off as a fatal accident and plane crash.
I have said it before and I will say it again: I became Minister of Aviation one year after that crash and I had access to all the relevant security reports and American NTSB documents. According to that NTSB report the plane did not crash but was brought down by what was described as “a low-level incendiary device” which had been planted on the plane before it took off by unknown elements.
Tenth was the murder of Mohammed Yusuf, the founder and erstwhile leader of Boko Haram, whilst in the custody of the Nigerian Police in 2009 during the tenure of President Shehu Musa Yar’adua.
Eleventh was the blowing up of a building in Prophet TB Joshua’s SCOAN Church in Lagos by remote control detonation from a drone as a consequnce of which over 200 people, including many foreigners, were killed in 2013.
Even though the whole event was recorded on CCTV, including the drone and the detonation, this was largely ignored by the authorities and no meaningful criminal investigation into what was clearly an act of terror took place.
The whole thing was passed off by the Government of the day as an accident due to a faulty foundation even though the intelligence agencies knew better.
Despite the Lagos State Attorney General’s simplistic and foolhardy assertion that the State Government would “pursue the case against TB Joshua and his Church to a logical end”, the truth is that what the government is dealing with is a premeditated and well-orchestrated act of terror carried out by highly proficient, skilled and experienced operatives and not one of involuntary manslaughter which came about as a consequence of negligence on the part of the Church authorities or a faulty foundation.
The Lagos State Attorney General, as naive as ever, has no idea that he is being used, that he is on a wild goose chase, that he is helping to shield and protect the real perpertrators of the crime and that he seeks to destroy the legacy and name of an innocent man and Church.
The truth is that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has much work to do if he really wants to know what happened because the “faulty foundation” theory is a brilliant ruse.
I challenge him to ask for all the relevant security reports on this matter. They tell a very different story indeed.
Twelfth was the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014 which was planned, funded, executed and orchestrated by rogue elements in our intelligence agencies in collusion with some disgruntled northern politicians and key members of the then opposition including three sitting governors.
Thirteenth is the secret and cold-blooded mass murder and illegal incarceration of thousands of IPOB youths and members by security forces over the last three years.
Fourteenth is the state-sponsored mass murder of Shiite Muslims at any given opportunity and the ruthless persecution of their members, including women and children over the last three years.
Fifteenth is the overt support that the Federal Government has consistently provided for the Fulani herdsmen who have slaughtered thousands of innocent and defenceless Nigerians, including women and children, over the last three years.
Sixteenth is the covert support that Buhari himself and key players in his political party and administration have given Boko Haram over the last 6 years by funding their operations, openly identifying with some of their core values and ideals and seeking to protect them from the proscription.
They have also protested publicly when the military hits them hard, insisted that the Army uses kid gloves when fighting them, released their top commanders, refused to target and kill their key leaders and paid them vast sums of protection money and ransoms which the terrorists have then used to purchase more arms.
In terms of special ops and secrecy Dapchi falls into this category of events. And the fact that Leah Sharibu, the only Christian amongst the over 100 “abducted” girls, was the only one that was not released speaks volumes. The message is simple and clear.
These complex covert operations are commonly referred to in intelligence circles as “black ops”, “extreme measures” and “wet work” and they are always done in the utmost secrecy and with the full knowledge and sometimes assitance and logistical support of either one or two other friendly and trusted foreign intelligence agencies.
The motives for the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth will be made manifest next year during the presidential election in the event of anyone daring to give Buhari stiff resistance or a hard fight.
This time around it will not only be the dog and the baboon that they intend to soak in blood if a strong challenge is presented to Buhari but the whole of Nigeria and the west African sub-region.
That is why $2 billion has been released from the Excess Crude Account in the last four months to supposedly “fight terrorism”.
That money will not be used to fight terrorism but to arm the terrorists in preparation for the conflict that lies ahead.
Now that President Buhari has formally declared his intention to run in the 2019 election and seeks a fresh mandate I fear that what is coming our way is not just an election but a series of cataclysmic events that will change our lives and our country forever.
Nigeria, with its incredibly incompetent and carefully hand-picked and selected leaders, has been targetted by the powers that be and the chaos and anarchy that we are witnessing in our country today is contrived.
Sadly the Nigerian people have been hoodwinked and appear to be incapable of putting the jigsaw together, asking the relevant questions and demanding the appropiate answers.
They cannot see and neither can they fathom or comprehend the evil machinations of the hidden hand or the dark and sinister world of covert operations and black ops.
They are more than content and happy to watch Big Brother Nigeria and to see, read and believe the rubbish that the government feeds them through the local media.
Saddled with a largely uninquiring press, the truth is that we are more often than not misled and misinformed with a labyrinth and forest of official lies, government cover-ups and disinformation.
I have often wondered why such a well-educated and dynamic people are so trusting when it comes to their Governments and I have often asked why some of us are so naive.
If we wish to know the truth and get to the bottom of such matters we need to sit up and do far better. I trust God that perhaps one day we will do so: that is if the coming chaos does not consume us all first.
Fani-Kayode who was Minister of Aviation, is a social commentator and a human rights activist.
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