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Tukur Yusufu Buratai: Still in the Service of Fatherland

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Tukur Yusufu Buratai: Still in the Service of Fatherland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Though not seen on the front pages of any Nigerian newspaper yet, there is a photograph of president-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress standing with erstwhile Chief of Army Staff General Yusufu Tukur Buratai somewhere in the Federal Capital Territory. Both men are in traditional outfits, the sunniness of Tinubu’s recent electoral victory apparent from his white brocade. A head taller, Buratai is wearing an ash-coloured kaftan. Both of them are smiling, the sort of smile you glimpse on the faces of those who have gone to battle and come out victorious.

 

 

 

 

Tukur Yusufu Buratai: Still in the Service of Fatherland

 

 

 

Both men have every reason to smile. For close to six years he was COAS, Buratai had to contend with the menace of Boko Haram insurgents who had most of the north east by the jugular. It was as if nothing could dislodge them, not even the formidable Nigeria Military. But then, with the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari who appointed Buratai as COAS in January 2015, along with other service chiefs, the frightening spectre of Boka Haram became history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Nigeria’s COAS from 2015 – 2021 can chest-thump anywhere about his achievements in decimating the ranks and file of the religious sect. It was during his time as COAS that the mouthy and cocky former head of Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau was annihilated, counting many of the senior commanders of the insurgents.

 

 

 

 

 

Though under intense pressure to relieve his service chiefs for underwhelming performance in the face of the worsening security situation in Nigeria at some crucial point, PMB refused to bow under. He knew for certain they were right on track in containing the scourge of Boko Haram however much the general public may think differently. And true to his belief and trust in them, the service chiefs had done some appreciable job in wiping out whatever was remaining of the terrorist organisation in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, for a job well done, PMB rewarded Buratai with an ambassadorial posting to the Republic of Benin, a position he occupies to this day. It is a record in the history of Nigeria for a retired service chief to be thus rewarded by the Commander-in-Chief. Some of those who came before him were either disgraced out of office or simply went into oblivion. Nothing much was heard of them post-military career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not hard to see why. They either performed below par or didn’t meet the expectations required of them while in office. For Buratai, it was the exact opposite. Making him the public face of Nigeria’s image in a neighbouring West African country says much for the trust and confidence reposed in him by PMB. So far, Buratai has not disappointed in his mission – another reason, perhaps, for the straight-from-the-gut smile with the president-elect in a photo-op taken about three weeks ago just on the cusp of Tinubu’s electoral victory in the February 25 presidential polls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for Tinubu himself, his smiling visage in the picture was just so apt considering the numerous obstacles he has had to overcome on his road to the presidency. Prior to the election last February, Tinubu was fair game for all manner of jibes and put-downs more than any of his political opponents. Critics, especially from the opposition parties, took him to the cleaners serially, asterisking everything from his provenance to his educational qualification and health. Some called him a drug dealer who, at one time, had a case to answer with the American Drug Enforcement Agency. Others carped that he’s had the state he once ruled as governor smack in his pocket for years, starting from 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tinubu’s traducers grew as the election got closer and they found more ammunition to lob at him following his now famous Emi ‘lokan declaration in Abeokuta last June. What insouciance! What arrogance! And how dare he?
For some time in both the mainstream and social media, Emi ‘lokan became the subject of discussion everywhere in the country. Having made the emergence of PMB possible in 2015, Tinubu had let on that it was his turn to rule Nigeria, and then explained it was his lifelong ambition to become that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To most critics, nothing smacks of hubris more than that statement, something close to saying Nigeria belongs to a certain class of people of which Tinubu himself is one and now it was his turn to become president. From then on, it seemed all was lost for the man who would be the number one citizen in the country. Though he won his party’s primaries handily, the bigger battle was expected in the presidential election.
With the rising profile and popularity of a previously unknown Peter Obi of the Labour Party, a battle-scarred political gladiator in the person of Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party, it was sure to be a keenly contested election with no chances of success for a candidate from the ruling party with a rap sheet hanging on its neck. Nearly everyone – including members of the party – blamed APC for everything from a spiraling economy to unemployment, insecurity and much else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Never again,” they swore, often thumbing their noses at the party leadership. “It was this same man who got us into this mess with that unholy alliance in 2015,” others charged, vowing to take their pound of flesh in the forthcoming election. It never got to be.
Instead, the Jagaban of Borgu also known by several aliases won, defeating his opponents by nearly two million votes. Why wouldn’t that victory, against all possible odds, elicit the sweet smile of success you see on his face with the former COAS?
But beyond the smile is Buratai’s unflinching support for the new president-elect, which explains the photo-op. Those in the know say the former COAS had always given a nod to a Tinubu presidency. For instance, when some prominent Nigerians, among them former president Olusegun Obasanjo, faulted the credibility of the polls that brought Tinubu to power, Buratai quickly stepped forward to defend democracy. He didn’t stop there; he was one of the first Nigerians to congratulate the president-elect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Let me begin by congratulating Nigerian voters who turned out on the 25th of February 2023 to exercise their civic duty and voted en-masse Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the APC as our President-Elect,” Buratai said, insisting “It is a clear reflection of the will of the people.”
Continuing, the former COAS declared: “At this juncture, I say with all sense of responsibility that our collective future is assured under the renewed hope vision and mission of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. I believe the President-elect is a man of capacity, empathy, vision, and all that it takes to lead Nigeria to the Promised Land.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Tinubu’s emergence, the general went on, “continuity has been achieved at the Federal level with the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President-Elect from the APC.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be sure, it is a good thing the former COAS is still lending his voice to matters of national concern. On retirement, some generals in the Nigeria Army, especially those from the northern part of the country, turn their attention to what they’ve always done side by side their military career: farming. Some others are content with being traditional rulers of their natal communities, an emirate council, say, or some such important positions bestowed on them in appreciation of services rendered to the communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True, Buratai has his farm to look after post-COAS even while he’s engaged as an ambassador of the Federal Republic. But if you looked at his itinerary in last couple of weeks, the man has been up about, stopping over at communities just on a whim to feel the pulse of the villagers and how they are doing generally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the peak of his power in the Abbasid Dynasty in 8th century Baghdad, fifth caliph Haroun Al Rachid used to surprise his subjects with unannounced nocturnal visits thus getting to know them closely. Buratai is not a traditional ruler anywhere in the north. Still, acquainting himself with the wellbeing or otherwise of those in some communities is something that has driven him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In one such community in Gombe state last week, the former COAS is seen in a one-on-one with the senior citizens of that settlement. With one voice and later speaking for the rest, the oldest among them thanked Buratai for his accomplishment in curtailing and even stopping the Boko Haram insurgents dead on their tracks in the north east then made some comparisons to late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello for their developmental efforts in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the guest humbly asked if they meant what they said, they acquiesced by nodding their heads in the affirmative. Smack in the centre of the community with the traditional ruler himself speaking, anyone can be forgiven for mistaking the parley between them and Buratai for a politician on the stump. He wasn’t and neither was the community hamming it the way they welcome those seeking for office prior to elections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that he is a private citizen, farmer, statesman and APC stakeholder, the retired general visited some previously war-ravaged settlements in the north east. He has also visited his own natal Biu where he recently received locals during a visit to his farm. It is typical of a gentleman and an officer who has never lacked the common touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One distinctive quality of outstanding leaders everywhere is that, regardless of whether they hold an official position, people just accept their authority and submit to them as a result of their charisma and influence. Even though Buratai has already retired from the army since 2021, Nigerians still regard him as the epitome of the army and turn to him for leadership. Buratai is viewed by Nigerians as someone who can take huge risks to protect them, and I believe that over time, people have come to agree that he represents security and protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only a few years ago as COAS, Nigerians frequently saw Buratai in army fatigues exercising with soldiers under him – effortless push-ups, sit-ups, road work and suchlike workouts to keep body and mind in shape. Now out of service, it is impossible to imagine the erstwhile COAS forgetting his routine morning drills – whether in a private or public gym.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has also been part of his regular schedule is his active involvement in politics. A high-ranking member of the APC, his early congratulatory message to and support for the president-elect is not for nothing, say political analysts. Will the retired general make a stab at political office in the future?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not an unlikely prospect. Today, Air Vice Marshal Siddique Abubakar Chief of Air Staff appointed at the same time with Buratai in 2015 is angling to be governor of Bauchi state under the APC. Given the active participation and involvement of former military brass in Nigeria’s political space, nothing suggests Buratai will not take his turn when that plum opportunity presents itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After putting an end to the scourge of Boko Haram, and then served meritoriously as Nigeria’s ambassador to the republic of Benin, pursuing a political career will be a continuation of Buratai’s service to fatherland.

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Kebbi Re-Run: State Government Begins Intimidation Of Opponents

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Kebbi Re-Run: State Government Begins Intimidation Of Opponents

Kebbi Re-Run: State Government Begins Intimidation Of Opponents

 

 

 

 

Following the preparations for the re-run of Kebbi State governorship election, in which the Independent National Electoral Commission , INEC has announced Saturday, April 15 as the new election, fresh information emerged that the Abubakar Atiku Bagudu-led State government has allegedly commenced intimidation of opponents, especially PDP members.

Kebbi Re-Run: State Government Begins Intimidation Of Opponents

INEC had declared the Kebbi gubernatorial election inconclusive on the grounds that the poll was marred by irregularities, intimidation as well as “massive vote cancellation and over-voting” in 20 of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.

Yusuf Sa’idu, INEC collation, and returning officer, said  “We aggregated the total number of collected PVCs in those polling units ( where votes were cancelled) and it came to a total of 91,829. And when we checked the results, the two leading political parties in this contest, APC and PDP polled 388,258 and 342,980 votes respectively. When we looked at the difference, it stands at 45,278,” he said.

Quoting the Electoral Act 2022, Yusuf  Sa’idu said: “Where the number of votes cast in an election in any polling unit exceeds the number of accredited voters in that polling unit, the presiding officer shall cancel the result of the election in that polling unit. Subsection three of section 51 also states that where the result of an election is cancelled in accordance with sub-section two, there shall be no return for the election until another poll has taken place in the affected polling unit.

“By virtue of these provisions and the powers vested in me as the collation and returning officer of the 2023 gubernatorial election in Kebbi State, I, Professor  Yusuf Sa’idu of the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, hereby declare the gubernatorial election in Kebbi State inconclusive.”

Piqued by such a decision, the Chairman of APC Kebbi State Publicity Committee for the governorship campaign, Kabiru Sani-Giant, on Sunday, March 26, 2023 called on INEC to remove Professor Yusuf Sa’idu for what he described as “Bias in discharging  official responsibility.”

 

However and in reaction, an independent election observer who has been monitoring the election in Kebbi describes APC’s action as “Childish.”

Continuing, the observer who preferred to be anonymous because he is yet to officially submit his reports said “There have been lots of intimidations of PDP members in Yauri local government area and other parts of Kebbi State by APC because of their desire to win the election at all cost. Governor Atiku Bagudu’s eight years in the saddle have been a failure. That accounts for the reason APC cannot win the State and they know this. People are getting enlightened and they know what is good for them. When our report is out, the world will know everything that happened,” he disclosed.

 

Further, the election observer noted that the Commissioner of Police deployed on the State, CP Abubakar Lawal has allegedly almost become a tool in the hands of the State government saying that in the  11 Wards in Yauri local government area,  the rate at which the State government has been using Police unprofessionally is alarming.

However, clarification requests sent to the known telephone numbers of Commissioner Lawal Abubakar and Nafiu Abubakar, the Command spokesman, were not responded to as of the time of filing this report.

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43-Year-Old Father Impregnates 19-Year-Old Daughter

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Ogun Police Officer shot Soldier to death, Colleagues Set Station Armour Tank Ablaze

43-Year-Old Father Impregnates 19-Year-Old Daughter

 

 

 

 

 

One Abiodun Oladapo has been arrested for reportedly impregnating his biological daughter.

 

The 43-year-old man was arrested on Friday following a complaint lodged at the Mowe police division by one Oluwatoyin Idowu.

43-Year-Old Father Impregnates 19-Year-Old Daughter

Idowu said her son Michael Idowu, had been wrongly accused as the one who impregnated the said 19-year-old girl.

The woman said she questioned her son and discovered the victim was not telling the truth.

 

The Ogun State police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the police had, upon the report, invited the five-month pregnant, adding that she confided in the police that “though Michael Idowu slept with her in December, 2022, it was her father, Abiodun Oladapo, who is responsible for her pregnancy.”

 

According to Oyeyemi, the teenage girl stated that “her father had been sleeping with her since February 2022 with threat to kill her if she informed anybody about it.”

She admitted that it was her father who told her to lie against Michael Idowu as the one responsible for the unborn baby.

 

The DPO of Mowe division, SP Folake Afeniforo, had detailed his detectives to arrest the “randy father”.

“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime but blamed it on the devil,” Oyeyemi said.

 

Oyeyemi added that the suspect, who had long separated from the victim’s mother, took custody of the girl when her mother remarried, and they have been living together since then.

 

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Frank Mba, had directed that the suspect be transferred to the State police headquarters for further investigation at the CIID.

 

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FIRSTBANK ANNOUNCES CALL FOR APPLICATION IN THE THIRD EDITION OF ITS FIRSTBANK MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE PROGRAMME (FMAP)

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FIRSTBANK ANNOUNCES CALL FOR APPLICATION IN THE THIRD EDITION OF ITS FIRSTBANK MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE PROGRAMME (FMAP)

 

 

 

 

FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced the call for participation in the third season of its FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP).

 

 

FIRSTBANK ANNOUNCES CALL FOR APPLICATION IN THE THIRD EDITION OF ITS FIRSTBANK MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE PROGRAMME (FMAP)

 

 

Interested participants are required to submit their application via  https://hdbc.fa.em2.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX.

 

The application is extended to the general public as it closes by 24 March 2023.

 

The FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP) is a 24-month fast-track comprehensive programme targeted at young, dynamic and highly driven individuals that are passionate about making a difference in the financial services industry. The programme is designed to build the next generation of leaders to drive the Bank’s vision of being Africa’s Bank of First choice.

 

FMAP equips participants with an extensive wealth of experience comprised of both classroom and real-life work that affords an insightful and balanced insight into the world of work. The programme is targeted at hi-potential young professionals who possess acute thinking skills, financial and methodical skills, and a distinctive ability to communicate effectively and synthesize ideas, information, and data to aid decision-making.

 

Speaking on the FMAP Season III, Olumuyiwa Olulaja, Group Head, Human Capital Management and Development, said “since its inauguration in half a decade, we are delighted with the giant strides and impact the initiative has had in promoting the career development of emerging talents in the financial services industry as they are instilled with the tenets and ethics of the banking industry in line with global best practice.

 

The FMAP initiative is amongst the many ways we reinvest in our human capital as we build the next generation of leaders through their exposure to various opportunities essential to preparing their readiness for the future.

 

Since its launch in 2018, FirstBank has successfully trained and onboarded up to fifty talented individuals in 2 editions (2020 and 2022), who have all been deployed into strategic roles in the Bank and making a difference in the organization, while we continue to support their leadership growth and development.

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