By Mohammed Adamu
Nigeria is in the throes of corruption. It is the singular evil that has amplified every other thing that ails the nation. Almost all crimes in the land can be attributed to the impact of corruption on the individual and collective psyche – when apprehended, the modern-day Nigerian bandit, terrorist, armed robber, ritualist and even petty criminals now wear this defiance on their faces as if to remind us, the hapless spectator of them being paraded by law enforcement, that their crimes pale in significance compared to some people that are in the position of leadership.
This resort to extreme measures as a result of the perceived irredeemable corruption of the ruling class has worsened over time as Nigerians began to realise that those in public offices are beginning to make it their family affairs, whereby a public office holder corners the commonwealth to perpetrate his offspring and wards in public offices. It is a dubious way of creating modern monarchies and fiefdoms in a country that prides itself as a republic.
But if we fret over greedy politicians, it perhaps means we have not met the poster couple for the disaster that is unfolding in the land. Corruption has married sleaze and their destination is the Presidential Villa, where the abominable product of this coitus is desirous of one day presiding over the affairs of Nigeria.
Their plan is already unfolding.
Sadiya Umar Farouq is the Minister, of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD). For clarity, that ministry superintends seven (7) agencies, viz the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North East Development Commission, (NEDC), National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced People (NCFRMI), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the recently created, National Commission for People with Disability (NCPWD).
These are agencies with billions of naira allocated to them annually in the national budget. Before Farouq took the helms of affairs as ministers, many of these agencies were pacesetters in that Nigerians in those days could relate to what they do and how they are relevant in the daily lives of citizens, especially when the unpleasant need arose to rely on the interventions offered by these entities. But since the ministry was created and Farouq was drafted to oversee it and by implication, these agencies, they have all tumbled in reckoning and are now shadows of themselves.
The surprise is that these agencies are even now receiving larger allocations than before they came under Farouq’s purview. The huge funds allocated to them now miraculously fall into the black hole that is Farouq’s pockets. Nigerians might have become quiet about it because nothing was done to Farouq despite the outrage they expressed in 2020 when this woman performed the miracle of feeding school children in two states and the Federal Capital Territory with N500 million at a time that schools were closed because of the COVID-19 lockdown. Much as Nigerians were outraged by this brazen theft of scarce national resources, the abracadabra school feeding was pale in significance against accounts of how contracts for buying COVID-19 relief materials were inflated, and awarded to cronies who allegedly made financial returns to the minister, it was also alleged that relief materials were hoarded, re-sold or diverted for political patronage.
Maybe the land would have been able to abide this corrupt evil had the perpetrator not unsurprisingly loved up with a former Chief of Air Staff, retired Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. Before their marriage and after their marriage, when the husband was still the Air Chief, the duo were well known for depriving the Nigerian Air Force of operational aircraft simply to ferry his then fiancé and later wife. For context, this is not a Divisional Police Officer relinquishing a patrol van to his girlfriend to go shopping, it the then Air Chief depriving troops of fighting capabilities against terrorists while diverting a logistic aircraft to fly Farouq around in style.
Diverting one aircraft for conjugal jaunting is a small matter for a man who allegedly pocketed as much of the funds meant for running the Air Force as possible. Little wonder air support for our gallant troops was virtually absent during his stay at the helm of affairs in that crucial institution. One of the few instances he made of show of providing air support ended in the Rann massacre, in which scores of Nigerians were killed by friendly fire from the Sadique Abubakar-led Air Force at that time. So, he cannot keep his hands out the tills and he cannot carry out his assigned duties diligently yet he aspires to the highest offices in the land.
That these two, one serving and one former public office holders, are now married is their kettle of fish. What is of concern is that the duo has now set sight on the governorship seat of Bauchi state as a prelude to Sadique Abubakar running for the office of President, Federal Republic of Nigeria when the zoning of that position next swings north. This forbodes evil for Nigeria because this couple will not only appropriate the country to themselves but they would also be murderously dictatorial from the much we have seen of them.
It is instructive that the funds looted from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development are now surfacing in Bauchi state, where Sadiya Farouq, reportedly doles out bales of naira and foreign currencies to those from whom she is seeking political favours.
A beneficiary recounted an incidence, just before the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship, how each person that passed through the couple’s home on this particular day went away with at least one million naira.
The money that should have been spent on air assets for combatting terrorism similarly showed up during the APC governorship primary in Bauchi, which Sadique Abubakar bought and is now the APC candidate.
The manner he spent money to buy the ticket has distorted the political landscape of the state just as it is altering the security landscape of the state for the worse. The portion of the funds that went to terrorist cells that Sadique Abubakar allegedly used to suppress opposition to his emergence is now flooding the state with small and light weapons that analysts have predicted would help Boko Haram/Islamic State West African Province to resurge.
A development that is not surprising since other analysts, with the benefit of hindsight, are now saying Sadique Abubakar must have anticipated hence a possible deliberate compromising of the counter-terrorism war on his part – did he withhold air support from the war on terrorists so that they are available for him to use as foot soldiers for achieving his governorship ambition? He is the only one that can answer that.
One thing is certain, the Sadique Abubakar and Sadiya Farouq combo is a toxic component that has no place in the Nigerian political space given their antecedents.
They steal whatever is kept in their care without remorse and they have not shown any inkling of planning to quit the dirty habit. Even if they lied that the perfidy under their watch in their various official positions was the work of their subordinates or staff, that would have proven that they are incapable of being efficient supervisors and are in no capacity to manage the affairs of Bauchi state as governor and first lady talk less of being the president of Nigeria.
There are therefore urgent tasks for stakeholders in Bauchi state. The APC chapter in the state must retrace its steps to correct the error of allocating or selling the governorship ticket to the former Chief of Air Staff. It is a decision they would rue should he go ahead to win at the General Elections – all their state’s resources would be personalized by this hardened character who would then proceed to deploy them for pursuing his presidential ambition, a position he hopes to occupy with his partner in crime by his side as the first lady.
Where the APC fails to correct its errors, the matter would then be in the hands of the Bauchi electorates, who must see a vote against Sadique Abubakar as a vote cast for saving their dear state from the claws of a carrion eater, a vulture. In undertaking this assignment, the voters in Bauchi state must see themselves as saving Nigeria from a calamitous disaster in the future. The country cannot afford to have a tag team that is this dubious to be further rewarded with higher offices.
This means that this problem is no longer a Bauchi state affair alone. They must realize that they owe the rest of us a responsibility to not export this disaster to the national level and the way to do that is to stop him now at the state level.
And to this Nigeria’s version of “Bonnie and Clyde” a word of advice. They should take time off from pillaging the public treasury at any level of government. They should go on a permanent honeymoon to perpetually celebrate their marriage of convenience as a criminal duo with the much they have taken from the country. That is until such a time that Nigerians will demand a refund and restitution from them. For now, Nigeria does not need the vultures that they are in the national space.
—Adamu wrote this piece from ATBU Bauchi.
Atiku/Okowa Campaign Is Focused On The Rescue Nigeria Project
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
Sponsored by: H&H
Our attention has been drawn to a press statement by Chief Chinemerem Madu, a NEC member of our dear party of an alleged plan by some persons both within and outside the party to conduct press conference or issue a press release, calling for the removal or resignation of the National Chairman of our great party.
Whatever the plans are, they are intended, in the statement of Chief Chinemerem, to create a distraction from the collective efforts by the party and its members to execute a rescue Nigeria project.
Our campaign council members were inaugurated today during the launching of books about our flag bearer, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar. For all intent and purposes, we are set to commence our campaigns from today (Wednesday), hence the alleged plan to destabilize the efforts.
The kickoff drew large support and participation of our members as well as willing Nigerians with renewed resolve to work towards delivering on our mandate. Make no mistake, as a party we have moved on to what is ahead of us and refused to be distracted by any unnecessary distraction or drama.
We call on our members to be aware of what lies ahead of us, the energy and enthusiasm it requires to execute with passion and precision the project that lies ahead. The promise of our ticket to the Nigerian people is quite clear and is designed to lead this country out of the doldrums.
Our members at all levels are called upon to embark on community mobilisation and engage various groups as we look to win the undecided voters.
The stakes are high; there is no sitting on the fence. As Nigerians go to the polls they would decide on their choices along the lines of superior promise on security, education, infrastructure, unity, economy etc.
Pundits, experts are of the opinion that our candidate presents the best alternative for Nigeria. Our economic blueprint is adjudged as the best by experts and professionals. We are committed to this onerous task.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria and grant us a successful campaign
2023 Presidential Campaign: Atiku Appoints Saraki, Anyim, Shekarau, Others as Special Advisers
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
Sponsored by: H&H
The appointees are former Senate Presidents, Dr. Bukola Saraki as Special Envoy to the presidential candidate and Senator Pius Anyim, as Special Adviser.
Also appointed as Special Advisers to the candidate are former governor of Kano State, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Senator Ehigie Uzamere.
Former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus was also appointed as Technical Adviser to the presidential candidate.
The appointments are to take immediate effect.
Atiku Abubakar charged the appointees to use their vast political experiences in ensuring that the PDP presidential campaign records resounding success in the 2023 election.
APC should focus on its frailties
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
Sponsored by: H&H
The release is disingenuous because it lacks any merit of a reasonable, intellectual riposte. Rather, it exposes the APC and its presidential candidate as a bunch of busy bodies who, rather than focus on the burden of credibility that continues to dog their campaign, are poking their nose into minor internal issues of the PDP.
Well, since the APC Presidential Campaign Organization seems to have woken up from their state of hibernation, it is good to remind them that there are pending questions about the social and educational history of their candidate that Nigerians want answers to.
We shall be kind enough to remind the APC that when, in the next few days, campaigns begin in earnest, Nigerians will require answers to some weighty character questions about their candidate and, rather than expend precious time on what is never their business, should use the remaining few days judiciously.
Secondly, whatever is happening in the PDP is a conversation among leaders of the party and that, in itself, is a reflection of the PDP, as a living and engaging political party. The conversation in the PDP is all about consensus building, which in itself is a major ingredient for peace and unity.
The PDP, as a truly democratic party, understands that democracy is a lively concept because it allows for people to express their opinions and, it is within that understanding that everyone becomes part of the process.
The same, of course, cannot be said of the APC where what exists is at best graveyard peace. It is on record that in the seven years and more that the APC has been in power and with the attendant hardship that the party has foisted on the ordinary people of Nigeria, the candidate of the APC, former governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu had not for one single time stood on the side of the people.
And, that is so for the obvious reason that the presidential candidate of the APC considers his poorly conceived presidential ambition more important than the adversity that his party has unleashed on a vast majority of Nigerians. We wish to remind the APC that its presidential candidate has to own the failures of the party in the last seven plus years. He should also know that Nigerians will not reward their failure with nothing less than a resounding loss in the election.
Tinubu and the APC ma lu’le!
It is important to let Tinubu and his paid agents know that what obtains in the PDP is not the mundane stoicism that the APC is known for.
Indeed, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar has established credibility before the masses of this country that he is one patriot who can be counted on to stand by the side of the people – even when the times are hard.
Atiku is a democrat to the core and that is evident in the way that he continues to carry on with the responsibility of ensuring that the PDP rescues Nigeria from the stranglehold of the APC in the next year’s general election.
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