The Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode recently called on Nigerians and members of the international community to interrogate the relationship between the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Boko Haram and the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Fani-Kayode, “Buhari’s comments on insurgency in Nigeria were worrisome and his endorsement by MEND should give Nigerians and the international community great concern.” He equally said “it would not come as a surprise if Boko Haram equally endorsed Buhari and the APC.”
He equally made all sorts of insinuations, misguided comments, slander, and told several lies in various commentaries that exposed him as envious of the towering profile of the APC presidential candidate and his widespread acceptability by Nigerians who are heavily desirous of change from an inept government that has failed in all fronts. Nigerians, both as individuals and corporate citizens are daily endorsing the candidacy of General Muhammadu Buhari, as he represents hope for the hopeless, succor for the down trodden, and solution to the myriads of problems buffeting the Nigerian state which were created by the spineless, rudderless and heavily corrupt PDP government.
It is much of a surprise that while Femi Fani-Kayode and his ailing PDP were busy pointing accusing fingers at Buhari because MEND openly endorsed his presidential candidature (without any consultation with him), and in a mad rush to go to press with his lethal perspiration, forgot to also tell the media men that the Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo has long endorsed the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan. He pretended as though, he and the PDP were not in Nigeria when Mujahid Asari Dokubo killed several Nigerians in the Niger Delta Creeks, kidnapped several oil workers and innocent citizens in the Niger Delta even more than MEND ever did. The Niger Delta Volunteer Force practically crippled the nation’s economy as they were blowing up oil wells, oil installations and drove away investors from the Niger Delta. Asari Dokubo has also been threatening other Nigerians that they cannot rise to be president until Jonathan, his principal exhausted his presidential appetite.
What about Dokubo’s recent arms deal in neighbouring Benin Republic where he was arrested and detained? Was it not President Goodluck Jonathan that intervened and sent a presidential jet to Cotonou to get him released and fly him back to Nigeria? What were the stockpile of arms by Asari Dokubo meant to achieve? Why is President Goodluck Jonathan who by his position as the Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces not depending on the Nigeria Military for his protection and that of citizens instead of depending on Asari Dokubo and his militia men? The $10million found in the aircraft of the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) , Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor for arms purchase which scandalised the Nigerian government in the eyes of the international community is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians.
Also, factional Leader of a South-West based militia group, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fashehun who leads a suspicious Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) recently announced the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan. Why did PDP and Femi Fani-Kayode not condemn this ignoble endorsement? Why did he not call the attention of the international community to interrogate President Goodluck Jonathan over his romance with the Leadership of the dreaded Niger Delta Volunteer Force led by Asari Dokubo and OPC leader Dr. Fashehun? Does Femi Fani-Kayode think that the international community are stupid people like those of them in the PDP who would act without reasoning?
When Fani-Koyode insinuated that he will not be surprised if Boko Haram also endorses Buhari, it shows how naive he and his sinking party could be. His suspicion is just a ploy to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Where was the PDP when General Muhammadu Buhari was almost killed by Boko Haram when his convoy was bombed by the group? Perhaps, Femi Fani- Koyede was the author of the spurious claim that it was an arranged bombing and that Muhammadu Buhari bombed himself and his convoy! We are all living witnesses to all of these lies happenings in the country. If Buhari was killed by Boko Haram in that attack, they would have been singing a different swan song that a presidential aspirant killed him to take his position. The Nigeria Police Force would have come up with the best lie to cover up such an attack and go ahead to be arresting leaders of the APC and keeping them in detention as suspects as they are well known to do in various cases of politically motivated killings in the country.
The upcoming general elections provides Nigerians the opportunity to throw out the non-performing PDP that has misused the resources of the nation worth hundreds of billions of dollars and bred insecurity in many respects as it relates to the several militia groups that emerged during the period of 1999-2007. Fani-Kayode and the PDP do not have to re-write our history because all through Obasanjo was President, the Niger Delta was buffetted by all sorts of militia organisations deadlier than the Boko Haram, they unleashed mayhem on the Niger Delta and its environment and made all kinds of demands for the region which were hearkened to by the Obasanjo administration. Some of which led to the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Ministry of Niger Delta. This was crowned by the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration who declared amnesty for the region’s militia men. The PDP Governors were even the chief patrons of the militancy in the Niger Delta including the PDP Presidential candidate while he was Governor of Bayelsa. That is why people who should by now be cooling their feet in prison for their ignoble roles in the affairs of this country are now the ones running around helping the Presidency and the PDP to acquire arms and win at all cost in February general elections.
So, if Buhari says the Federal Government should look for clearer ways of engaging the Boko Haram insurgency to enable government defeat Boko Haram, he should actually be commended and not reprimanded by Jonathan’s spine doctors.
All Nigerians knew how Boko Haram commenced in Nigeria from the days of Maitasine in Borno during the NPN / UPN era of second republic and how it metamorphosed into Boko Haram. Nigerians also know how it escalated in the North East given the murder of their leader in prison custody by agents of the state (Not Buhari or APC administration, but a PDP government). But more importantly, the weakness of President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the insurgency before it now developed tap root. So, it is not for PDP to whip up any religious or ethnic sentiments against Buhari’s candidature.
Nigeria is rising above ethnic and religious sentiments, the people are poised to speak with their votes this time around to build a better Nigeria where government is not run on the basis of gossips, innuendos, back biting, obvious lies and half truths.
Fani-Kayode and his ilk must know that Nigerians are wiser today and cannot be fooled by the PDP with same old tricks of divide and rule with religious and ethnic sentiments. Nigerians want to see a prosperous nation where corruption is fought to a standstill irrespective of who the perpetrators are. They want to see a nation with a leadership that ensures economic prosperity. Nigerians want a government that is transparent and accountable to the people not a government run by the Peoples Democratic Party that has wasted over $500bn oil revenue and windfall.
Nigerians want a government that would genuinely develop its decayed infrastructures-electricity, roads, hospitals, schools and not one that will say it wants to do everything and does nothing on the long run. What was not promised the South East of Nigeria by the PDP? for instance-New Niger Delta bridge, new roads, where have these been done in the whole of South East since the Jonathan presidency? These are issues. Even in the South-South, where is the East West Road for six years? Sure-P billions of naira are said to have been sank into all of these projects, where are can we find them? Billions of dollars have been sank into electricity, now privatized where is electricity? Many questions begging for answers.
These are the reasons why Fani-Kayode’s and PDP outbursts are misplaced, diversionary and misleading but Nigerians need to shine their eyes with the afore stated points and vote them out in February.
• Mr. Dan Owegie is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State.