Therefore, at the point terrorists seized swathes of territories in Nigeria’s northeast, the insurgents declared them their “Caliphate,” and administered them with some strange Islamic doctrines opposed to anything sane to Islam. Insurgents deposed or killed the incumbent religious leaders and replaced them with those appointed by them.
It is certainly not the first time that the allure of the revenue accruable from crude oil exploitation has been at the root of acts of terror. In Nigeria's Niger-Delta, violent activities were once hidden behind agitation for better attitude towards the environment before it later degenerated into kidnapping to make demands and later full-blown acts of terror perpetrated by diverse militant groups in the region. Eventually the militants betrayed the impetus for their acts of terror: it was never about the environment but about them bunkering the crude oil – a process that did more damage to the environment than the legal commercial exploration while none of the accruing revenue trickled down to the impoverished population contrary to the funding claims. Even more perplexing is the trend of these militants bunkering oil with and for other nations.
2. Let me start by acknowledging the widespread internal security challenges that have permeated almost all the geo-political zones of the Nigerian nation. Need I recall the fact that we had barely overcome issues of militancy in the Niger Delta and threat to our critical national infrastructure before the Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency reared its ugly head in 2009. As if these were not enough drain on our national and economic resources, the agitation for secession by the MASSOB/IPOB in the South East also became a challenge to the Nation’s security. Other security challenges that the country has to contend with in recent times included kidnapping, armed robbery as well as cyber related crimes, which directly affected investment and economic development in Nigeria.
GOCOP has grown in leaps, and so has been its influence. At our inaugural meeting on October 9, 2013, we had only nine members in attendance. Last night when we had our congress and elected new leaders, the room overflowed with members. We now have at least 55 members, with many more members queuing up to join, indicating a dramatic ballooning of the nation’s online media space.
Yet, I cannot proceed with my short commentary without due and specific commendation of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) who had considered me worthy of being accorded a space, as Guest Speaker, on the occasion of its first Annual Conference which also coincide with the occasion for the election of new executives’ to speak on critical national issues, especially as they relate to online publishing and the social media.
The Minister asked me to tender his unreserved apology for his inability to grace this occasion. As I speak now, he is with the Acting President, other ministers and CEOs of government agencies on a retreat to review the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020) officially launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in April.
The authentic leadership of the party under Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, must be commended for its patience perseverance and magnanimity. It will be recalled that after the post judgment meetings of the National Caucus, Board of Trustees and National Executive Committee, Makarfi declared forgiveness and amnesty for everyone and anyone considered to have engaged in acts that hurt the party before the judgment. But he also insisted that anyone found engaging in such acts after the judgment must face disciplinary action for the offence, if proven. That was why he set up both the reconciliation committee and the disciplinary committee simultaneously. These are significant bold steps aimed at reestablishing the party on solid ground.
But can we stop for a moment and listen sincerely to what this individual is saying? Can we take a look at our own system and analyze how well we have done, how much we have progressed? We all have this consensus that the Nation has not met her potentials. I saw on Omojuwa’s Twitter handle the other day, where he stated: “When you read up on Nigerian’s history, it just feels like this country got frozen in time. The same problems over half a century. Kilode?”
But every day and across the globe, relations with Nigeria, comments about Nigeria and the engagement of her people by other nationals render these theorists of doom prostrate. Nigeria is unstoppably regenerating under President Muhammedu Buhari. Its war on terrorism is a resounding success and the administration’s no nonsense posture on fighting the monster of corruption in all spheres of public life attracts world-wide acclaim.
Nigerians want to know how the deductions were initially made. They want to know at what time the Paris Club realised that there were excess deductions. They want to know when their government realised that the deductions were in excess. They would like to know who supervised the deductions. They want to know how much exactly was over-drawn and how much, in all, including interest is due to Nigeria. Information in this regard is not handy; and there is suspicion that this is deliberate to keep prying eyes of the Nigerian away from the details.
When Muhammadu Buhari took over as President in 2015, he inherited an economy that would have made a faint hearted abandon a duty post. At that time, Nigeria was plagued with myriad of challenges which included disruptions in the oil sector as occasioned by fall in global price of oil and disrupted supply. The developments caused an acute drop in supply of foreign exchange which plunged the nation’s economy into a recession.
And so, due largely to its promise to fight corruption to a standstill and the credibility of the personality behind the pledge, APC was able to seize the mantle from the old guards of corruption and form a new government. Therefore, to refer to Buhari’s government as one of anti-corruption – one hoping to hinge its success in governance on how well it performs in this specific assignment – would not be out of place.