President Goodluck Jonathan (5th from left) and Vice President Namadi Sambo (6th left) during the inauguration of the Turaki Committee
In modern warfare as in modern marketing, it is always plausible to seize the moment, storm the enemy’s territory and conquer it with minimum destruction, because you will ultimately take over the conquered territory. This is the kind of injury that the Minister of Special Duties and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Restoration of Peace in the North-East, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, is nursing at the moment. A gentleman officer in the “temple of justice”, politician and a worthy representative of Kebbi State on the federal cabinet, Tanimu must, by now, be ruing his decision or wisdom to make his committee repose so much trust in the second-in-command of Boko Haram, Mohammadu Mawana, that saw them sitting on a negotiation table with him (Mawana) with a view to ending the hostilities in the North-east region of the country.
I have no doubt that he must have learnt one or two lessons from the nasty episode; especially this all-time mantra that I grabbed from former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, over lunch in his house at Keffi, shortly after he left office, that “power is not shared with anybody!” He also told me then that it was only a foolish leader that continues to harangue his successor by exhibiting certain tendencies that give him out as though he was more knowledgeable than the incumbent. A vicious person under that circumstance, he added, could move against such a predecessor and devour him, pronto! This, I must report, has been one of my guiding principles since after the meeting.
Tanimu and his committee should have understood that going for the ultimate in a mission such as the one on their hands, they should set their eyes at all times, only on the very object that could bring glad tidings to the principal; in this case, the President.
If the minister had allowed himself to be guided by events of recent past in this country when some highly placed Nigerians traded integrity for politics, he wouldn’t have cracked this joke: “When a minister speaks on behalf of the federal government, you wouldn’t say you must see the president or the vice president there. We’ve spoken with somebody who is second in command as far as Boko Haram is concerned, and he has informed the media that he has been discussing with us with full knowledge and authority of Imam Abubakar Shekau. So, we’ve no cause to doubt him. We’ve done checks on him just as they (the sect) have done checks on us also, and we’ve realised that yes, we’re dealing with the proper people and with the proper leadership of the organisation.”
It was a game of deceit and the so-called Boko Harm deputy leader had all the time to enjoy himself; I can imagine that he was boisterously dictating the tone as he might have realised he was negotiating with a group of decent, but people desperately looking for result, and then took advantage of the moment and demanded: “We are seeking forgiveness from the people over the number of people killed in the country. I appeal to those who lost their loved ones to our activities to forgive us and on our side we have forgiven all those who committed atrocities against us. I want to state clearly that we have no hands in the unfortunate attack on the secondary school (Government Secondary School, Mamudo, Yobe State).”
The bubble however burst few days after the now infamous Turaki announcement when the real power behind the throne and leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, denied the purported cease-fire and confirmed the attack and killing of a teacher and 29 secondary school students at Mamudo, Yobe State. He said: “Let me assure you that we will not enter into any truce with these infidels. We will not enter into any truce with the Nigerian government. We believe in the massacre inflicted on the secondary school in Mamudo and Damaturu and other schools. We earlier warned that we were going to burn all schools. They are schools purposely built to fight Islam.”
My sympathy goes to the committee, an otherwise heartwarming ad hoc body of incredibly untainted Nigerians that was put together by President Goodluck Jonathan on April 18, to seek ways of restoring peace and normalcy in parts of the North. Sadly as you read this, the committee must be in quandary over the uproar that greeted the release of the news that it had struck amnesty deal with Boko Haram. To Tanimu and his group, I say take heart; you’ve just been caught up by the growing web of deceit in the land.
One of the strategies in the art of war that Shekau had deployed to incapacitate Tanimu and his group is the principle of invincibility. Sun Tzu in his book: “The Art of War for Managers”, says: “Invincibility lies in defence; the possibility of victory in the attack. Defend yourself when the enemy’s strength is abundant, and attack the enemy when it is inadequate.” Those who are skilled in defence hide themselves under the most secret recesses of earth; that was what Shekau did.
Besides, I was disgusted to read in the papers, days after the announcement of the purported deal, the military saying they were not aware of the development.
The military spokesman, Brig-Gen. Chris Olukolade, was quoted to have said:
“We are not aware of any ceasefire yet. Is that how to sign a ceasefire. They are not serious. They are just fooling themselves and I am sure that the man is on his own. Surely, that is not how to sign a ceasefire. You cannot sign a ceasefire without carrying the troops along.
He cannot fool anybody. This is the time for the committee to beat a tactical withdrawal; mission unaccomplished. In the real sense of it, the body had been overtaken by events; emergency rule in three states, some Boko Haram members already convicted while several others are languishing at various detention camps or centres in the region. Meanwhile, the fighting rages!
• Ahoada and Omoku areas in Ahoada East
• Ahoada West and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni local government areas.
• Etche axis covering Etche and Omuma LGAs and Oyigbo LGA, especially the road linking Oyigbo and Eleme LGAs.
State security agencies
• Ekosodi community, near University of Benin
• Ugbor community, hosts to Benson Idahosa University
• Siluko Road
• Oba Market Road/Ring Road
• Upper Sakponba Road
• Okhuo, along Benin-Auchi Road
Source: The state police command
• Ilorin/Ogbomoso Road: Notorious for highway robbery
• Kwara Polytechnic: High rate cultists’ activities
• Railway line area: Home to Indian-hemp smokers
• Ilorin-Ajase-Ipo-Omu-Aran road: Dangerous because of highway robbery
• Unity area: Notorious for bank robberies
• Taiwo area: Car and motorbike thefts
• Car snatching
• Bank robbery and highway robbery
• Bank robbery
• Ojo Alaba: Haven for Obtaining-by-Trick (OBT) fraudsters
• Sango area: Notorious for armed robbery activities
• Agidingbi – Receiving of stolen cars and armed robbery
• Agege and Yaba: Home to fraudsters that receive stolen gold
• Ajegunle and Ketu: Notorious for armed robbery and receiving of stolen gold
• Mushin: Notorious for armed robbery
• Computer Village: Haven for stolen handsets
• Island, Ikoyi, Lekki and Ajah: Haven for Car snatchers
• Surulere: Threat to life
• Ikorodu: Notorious for land disputes
• Gwarimpa Estate, Kubwa, Maraba-Nyanya: Hot for armed robbery (especially in areas close to exit routes to Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and Kaduna States)
• Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent,
• Wuse 2,
• Value Gate Park-Gardens, opposite Orji Uzo-Kalu/Abia House, Wuse 2
Area 3, Garki (cluster of banks – notorious for car thefts, mainly from those who went to the banks to make withdrawals).
• Numerous Gardens, ICC: Cars are burgled, with wind shields broken mostly at nights
• Gwarimpa is a hot zone
*Maraba: Notorious for phone snatching
Source: Security agencies
RECOVERED VEHICLES IN LAGOS STATE – (17)
Vehicles Reg . No Location
Toyota Corolla S/c BY 622 AKD Igando Divo
Toyota Carina KJ 268 JJJ Igando Div
Volkswagen Toureg AT 300 KRD Festac Div
Mitsubishi Pajero. KTU 503 AA Bode Thomas
M/Benz SNYPA Festac Div
Honda Civic AQ 445 KSF Layeni Div
Honda Element FT 460 SMK Ejigbo Div
Lincoln Navigator BS 450 BWR Ago-Okota Div
Honda Civic CV 551 APP Iponri Div