By Maiwada Dammallam
According to Hakeem Baba-Ahmed (on Sunrise Daily), when President Buhari came into power Boko Haram is the only security threat Nigeria has but today there are multiple security threats.
Let’s agree, back then, Boko Haram was “the only threat” but, we should also agree that the same “ONLY BOKO HARAM” was well about to conquer Nigeria with heavy presence in almost every major city in the North including Abuja.
This is beside effectively locking down former President Jonathan inside Aso Rock villa where he spent the rest of his days rarely venturing out to attend even significant traditional events like Independence Day celebrations.
And who says Boko Haram was the only threat back then? IPOB, led by a street urchin, grew into the monster it is today under the watch of the administration in which Baba-Ahmed was a key player. Listening to Baba-Ahmed talking about mass kidnappings, one could think Chibok is a monster-baby of this administration instead of the mess of the PDP administration he served at a very high level.
And if the Sunrise Daily debate was a debate of comparison instead of finding solution for a mutated problem, shouldn’t we give it to this administration that at least, mass kidnappings are today quickly resolved than in the days of the PDP? Chibok is still yet to be resolved if we care to recall. So far, all recent cases of mass kidnappings were resolved with little casualty with the exception of very few like the Kaduna Forestry School mass kidnapping.
I was not surprised when Garba Shehu reminded Baba-Ahmed about how bad the situation was under successive PDP administrations; when citizens were being executed allegedly by the government (as was the case with a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Late Chief Bola Ige) and he (Baba-Ahmed) simply wriggled out of the embarrassing reminder by saying “I don’t know what he (Garba Shehu) is talking about.
Of course, how could he remember distant PDP events like Chief Bola Ige when he couldn’t remember how major cities in the North were reduced to less than battlefields; hardly moving from point A to B without passing through a military check point. How could he notice Nigeria is healing today when he cannot recall how faithful were bombed in mosques on Fridays and Churches on Sundays with dangerous regularity by the Boko Haram he described as an ONLY threat?
Baba-Ahmed could have done better arguing the difference between 6 and half a dozen than arguing Nigeria is not getting better today despite the clear irritations that should be expected from as bastardized nation as the one handed over to President Buhari.
Despite his seeming amnesia, Baba-Ahmed couldn’t have forgotten how over 130 innocent villagers were slaughtered by bandits on a single night in Katsina South Senatorial zone by bandits while his principal, former President Jonathan, was in Katsina Government House partying the night away with leaders of the state after which he left in the morning without visiting the area.
Let’s be sincere with ourselves. Nobody is saying Nigeria is what it should be but, we should be careful in trying to determine why it’s what it is and how we get there. And this is a debate every member of the PDP that could answer his name should be exempted from. If they lacked the capacity or commitment to resolve the conflict when they were in power, they first need to explain their newly found source of capacity and commitment fueling their ambition to do so today from the outside.
President Buhari inherited a thoroughly destroyed country which cannot be reinvented with the speed expected by its destroyers. If it took PDP 16 years to bring down Nigeria to its knees, common sense should expect a longer period to get Nigeria back on its feet to start teaching it how to walk again!
In case one is wondering where Baba-Ahmed is coming from and where he is going, it’s easy to gauge his sincerity and motive by knowing who he is in Nigeria’s political community. He served as a Federal Permanent Secretary for almost all of PDP’s unfortunate existence. He is a notable member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), a forum most Nigerians, including yours truly, considers a forum of former President Obasanjo’s foot soldiers except for few voiceless accidental members.
He also served as the Chief of Staff of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki. If anything, the anger and amnesia he displayed today on Sunrise Daily is only the combined aggression of NEF and the Saraki’s camps towards President Buhari. It has nothing to do with Nigeria or if it’s better or worse off now than what it was under PDP.
This should tell you why Baba-Ahmed will complain about the economy yet, without talking about the Covid-19 pandemic that pushed even the strongest economies into recession or celebrating Buhari for his swift response that pulled Nigeria out of its recession. It should also tell you why he refused to talk about the billions of dollars stolen by the PDP; billions meant to equip Nigeria and help avert inconveniences like Boko Haram and banditry.