RingTrue By Yemi Adebowale

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Heartbreaking! This well describes the story of the 13 schoolgirls still with the notorious terrorist leader, Dogo Gide, who confidently roam the forests of Kebbi, Niger, Zamfara and Sokoto states. These unfortunate girls were among 90 students abducted by Dogo and his boys from the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State on June 17, 2021. So sad to see that it has been precisely 15 months and seven days today. How can this happen in a country with a government? As many as 70 of the abductees and their teachers were freed by Dogo over a 12 month period, after collecting huge ransoms, but deliberately kept these 13 girls for his and his gang’s enjoyment. I am talking about other people’s children, young girls, in the terrorists’ dungeon for more than 15 months, without being rescued. Nigeria is indeed broken.

The news coming out of Dogo’s enclave is that he gave 11 of the girls to his gang members as wives. I was devastated when one of the concerned parents announced the sad news last Tuesday. It was one of the most traumatic days of my life. I was about to go to bed when I heard the news. As I sat on the edge of my bed to think about it, I suddenly started to shed tears; tears for a country that can no longer protect its citizens; a country where deception has been elevated to a way of life. It is a shame that these girls are being raped and that members of the government are looking the other way. So depressing. The government has collapsed at all levels in our beloved Nigeria. I finally dozed off around midnight and woke up with my pillow soaked in tears.

The notorious Fulani militia leader, Gide, regularly calls the parents of the Birnin Yauri girls to mock them; yet our security agencies cannot catch it. Gide does it with such effrontery. He even called to tell the parents that he had illegally given their daughters to members of his gang.

The story of Sani Kaoje, the father of Farida, one of Gide’s students is disturbing. Farida is now 16 years old. She was 15 years old, in JSS 3, when she was abducted. Kaoje laments: “It was he (Gide) who told me directly that he had married Farida himself, although he was not very direct about it. But he used some techniques to tell me that he also married 10 other girls to his gang members. I have lost count of the number of times I have spoken with Gide since the abduction. He also calls other parents.

“Gide claims he’s nice to us but he kept our children, innocent girls, with him. If he has such sympathy, as he keeps saying, he should release our children to us. I am suffering. Everyone in my house suffers because Farida is like a light in the house. I know several parents who have become ill from this problem. We are talking about children, all teenage girls. Innocent children by the way.

“Farida’s mother was sick. One day she fell and had to be taken to the hospital. Some parents lost their lives. Others are now battling high blood pressure and other related illnesses. We talk a lot to Farida. It breaks my heart to even remember his voice. And I cry every day that he (Gide) calls to be spoken to. In one of these calls she said, “Baba, there is a problem because some of my friends have been married.” After that, Dogo Gide himself confirmed to us that they had been married since the government refused to pay him.

This was Farida’s traumatic message. Who will save the 13 schoolgirls with Gide? The situation seems hopeless. This criminal roams free amid curious stories of military bombings of terrorist enclaves. Every time the army publishes stories of bombings, I get depressed, because it does not correspond to the situation on the ground. The truth is that terrorists are always on the move and committing atrocities. When are they going to bombard Gide and his friends?

As yesterday, residents of Zamfara state also reported that terror leader Muhammad “Turji” Bello is still moving freely in the Fakai community in the state. He is the leader of the group that cremated 23 innocent people in Sokoto state last year. Turji is active in Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states. This outlaw, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of others in the North West, was not killed in all stories of military bombings. The security guards know where he is. They can take out this killer but they haven’t.

Does Turji have official protection? Nigerians urgently need a response. I still remember Turji (last year) giving conditions to be met by the government before it stops its attacks. The bloodsucker wrote an open letter to President Buhari; Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle and Emir of Shinkafi, listing the five conditions. This can only happen in Nigeria.

In the same state of Zamfara, in early September, despite shelling, terrorists invaded a mosque in Zugu, Gummi local government and abducted dozens of worshipers during Jumaat.

Despite reports of bombings, terrorists are still active in Niger State. Last Sunday, terrorists killed four people, injured eight, while 15 others were abducted, in Fapo, a village in Lapai local government in Niger State.

In Kaduna State, business is business as usual for the terrorists. Nine days ago they attacked Kurgin Gabas in Birnin-Gwari local government and also abducted dozens of travelers along the Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road. Kurgin Gabas borders the Kamuku Forest Reserve, a known terrorist hideout. They emerge from this hiding place to carry out attacks in Birnin-Gwari and in neighboring LGA Rafi in Niger State. Bombardment (in the literal sense) is necessary in the forest of Kamuku, to flush out the terrorists.

Similarly, last week, terrorists wandered around the neighborhoods of Bayan Kasuwa, Kajuru Local Government Area, Kaduna State and kidnapped as many as 40 people. This is the same Kaduna state that the military says has been “bombing” terrorist enclaves for weeks.

According to the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), the abductees at Bayan Kasuwa are largely members of the Cherubim and Seraphim church movement. The terrorists have already reached out to the affected families and are demanding a ransom of 200 million naira. There is still no respite for communities in southern Kaduna despite alleged terrorist bombings by the army.

I have listed these killings and kidnappings to show that there is no correlation between the stories of military bombardment of terrorist territories and the reality on the ground in the North West. Extremists continue to kill and abduct innocent Nigerians without hindrance.

Makinde as Wike’s errand boy

The Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) rightly argued that Governor Seyi Makinde followed his Rivers State counterpart Nyesom Wike much as his personal assistant and so” desecrated Oyo’s status as a pioneer state”. Honestly, to even describe Makinde as Wike’s assistant is an understatement.

The right word to describe the governor of Oyo is “Wike’s errand boy”. This is the role that the reckless Makinde has been playing for Wike since the Governor of Rivers State lost the PDP presidential ticket to Atiku Abubakar. The Governor of Oyo State has been running ridiculous errands for Wike for months, instead of spending quality time at home challenging his people. How can a state governor reduce himself to this level? Makinde is an embarrassment to the good people of Oyo State. He showed no finesse and tact in this war against Atiku.

My takeaway from the bullet fired at Makinde last week by the APC is: “The song on the lips of the aware and knowledgeable natives and residents of Oyo State is that Makinde should strive to ‘stop further desecrating the pioneer status of the state. Even if he can’t get any good things out of Wike, who is obviously his godfather, he should now refrain from acting as an aide to his colleague from Rivers We also like to point out that Makinde’s quest to be relevant at the level of national politics is misguided and makes it clear that he has nothing to do with state governance anymore.

This is food for thought for the Governor of Oyo State. He needs to end his idiotic behavior immediately or it will cost him a second term.

The shame of Abubakar Malami

Consultants aiming to seize US$418 million from state and local governments, ostensibly to facilitate the repayment of excess deductions on their accounts by the federal government in obligations to the Paris Club, suffered a major setback last Tuesday when a court declared the so-called consent judgment they were pressing their claims as a nullity. Federation Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami had also relied on the questionable consent judgment to recommend that the debts be paid to the company.

The 36 governors, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, instructed their lawyers to challenge the judgment by consent and Judge John Tsoho of an Abuja High Court said this week that said judgment was rendered without jurisdiction.

The court also agreed that the remedies sought by the companies against NGF were based on a mere contract which under Section 251 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) deprives the court of ab initio of the competence required to hear such cases.

This judgment supersedes all approvals by the AGF, the President, the Minister of Finance, the Accountant General of the Federation and the Debt Management Office arising out of, relating to or relating to the claims of the six consultants. It also cancels all promissory notes, checks or any financial instrument issued by the federal government in favor of companies.

So where will Malami hide his ugly head now? This minister was helping the consultants carry out their illegal scheme to feast on public funds. Malami suddenly became the attorney general of the consultants and supported them with all his might for selfish reasons. The consultants of this minister are only rentiers. They try to enrich themselves without any reciprocal contribution of productivity. The services they claim to have offered are contained in a report by the FAAC Reconciliation Committee constituted in 2005 and submitted in 2007, with recommendations on how States and LGAs should be reimbursed for excess deductions from Club reimbursements from Paris.

I eagerly await Malami’s response to this latest judgment on the questionable $418 million claims.