President Jonathan Meets Parents Of Abducted Chibok Girls

TUESDAY, 22ND JULY, 2014:

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The Nigerian President meets with the parents and some of the abducted girls who escaped from the stranglehold of Boko Haram. The girls were kidnapped on the 14th of April, 2014 and are students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. The parents were conveyed to the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa by four buses of the Abuja Urban Mass Transit. Thirty of the girls who escaped (some other reports indicate 51), parents of those still abducted and community leaders were also present at the meeting. They arrived the venue at 10.30 am. Others present at the meeting were top government officials and all the service chiefs.

The meeting commenced at 11.20 am shortly after the arrival of President Jonathan and the Senate President, David Mark. Governors of Borno and Bauchi States, Kashim Shettima and Isa Yuguda were also reportedly in attendance. Journalists were ordered out of the venue and the meeting declared to be held behind closed doors.

The meeting was initially scheduled for the 15th of July, 2014 but was cancelled by the distraught parents of the abducted girls. It was then rescheduled for Tuesday, the 22nd of July, 2014.

See below for photos and statement from the Presidency.

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President Jonathan had promised Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousoufzai that he would meet the parents of the abducted kids. Malala was in Nigeria last week.

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PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN ; SENATE PRESIDENT , SENATOR DAVID MARK ; COORDINATOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC TEAM AND MINISTER OF FINANCE , DR. NGOZI OKONJO –IWEALA AND SECURITY ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT, COL (RTD) SAMBO DASUKI AT THE SPECIAL MEETING OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN WITH THE PARENTS OF THE KIDNAPPED STUDENTS AND THE ESCAPED STUDENT HELD AT THE BANQUET HALL OF THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA.

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN; SENATE PRESIDENT, SENATOR DAVID MARK ; COORDINATOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC TEAM AND MINISTER OF FINANCE , DR. NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA AND SECURITY ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT, COL SAMBO DASUKI (Rtd) AT THE SPECIAL MEETING OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN WITH THE PARENTS OF THE KIDNAPPED STUDENTS AND THE ESCAPED STUDENT HELD AT THE BANQUET HALL OF THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA.

A cross-section of community leaders and parents at the meeting.

A cross-section of community leaders and parents at the meeting.

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Some of the parents arriving at the venue of the meeting.

Some of the parents arriving at the venue of the meeting. The parents were conveyed to the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa by four buses of the Abuja Urban Mass Transit. Thirty of the girls who escaped, parents of those still abducted and community leaders were also present at the meeting. They arrived the venue at 10.30 am.

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With some of the fathers.

With some of the fathers.

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Some of the parents could not hide their emotions.

Some of the parents could not hide their emotions.

President Jonathan in a group pose with the girls and their parents.

President Jonathan in a group pose with the girls and their parents.

Another cross-section of the parents.

Another cross-section of the parents.

Some of the Chibok girls who managed to escape from Boko Haram.

Some of the Chibok girls who managed to escape from Boko Haram.

President Jonathan with relatives of the abducted girls.

President Jonathan with relatives of the abducted girls.

Mrs. Asaba Kwambura, Principal of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok at the Presidential Villa.

Mrs. Asaba Kwambura, Principal of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok at the Presidential Villa.

The principal checks out the number of the girls to see if they are complete.

The principal checks out the number of the girls to see if they are complete.

BROUGHT BY TRAGEDY: Some of the escaped girls  arriving at the Villa for a meeting with the President.

BROUGHT BY TRAGEDY: Some of the escaped girls arriving at the Villa for a meeting with the President.

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President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Tuesday in Abuja reassured the Chibok community that his Administration is doing everything humanly possible to rescue the over 200 girls abducted from a college there in April and return them safely to their parents.

Speaking at a meeting in the Presidential Villa with parents of the abducted girls, some of the girls who escaped from their abductors and leaders of the community, President Jonathan appealed for their patience, understanding and cooperation.

“Anyone who gives you the impression that we are aloof and that we are not doing what we are supposed to do to get the girls out is not being truthful.

“Our commitment is not just to get the girls out, it is also to rout Boko Haram completely from Nigeria. But we are very, very mindful of the safety of the girls. We want to return them all alive to their parents. If they are killed in any rescue effort, then we have achieved nothing,” President Jonathan told the parents and community leaders at the meeting which was also attended by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State  and the Senate President, Senator David Mark.

The President said that although he was yet to visit Chibok in the aftermath of the abductions, his heart was constantly with its traumatized parents and people, and his desire was to visit them when their daughters have been freed and they can receive him with smiling faces of joy, rather than with tears of anguish.

“Our duty now is to take all relevant steps to recover our girls alive and our primary interest is getting them out as safely as possible. I will not want to say much, but we are doing everything humanly possible to get the girls out.

“This not the time for talking much. This is the time for action. We will get to the time that we will tell stories. We will get to the time that we will celebrate and I assure you that, by God’s grace,  that time will come soon,” President Jonathan told them.

Responding to appeals from the community leaders for more help in overcoming some of the challenges imposed on Chibok and neighbouring communities by the Boko Haram insurgency, the President said that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Federal Medical Agencies will intensify their efforts to provide them with additional relief aid and assistance.

He also assured them that Chibok and other communities in the three North-Eastern States most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency will be the first beneficiaries of the Victims’ Support Fund, the Presidential Initiative for the North-East, the Safe Schools Initiative and other developmental programmes which the Federal Government is evolving to address the damage, losses, setbacks, economic and social dislocations occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“We solicit your maximum cooperation. Let us work together. Evil can never overcome good. We will surely overcome Boko Haram,”  he told them.

In his remarks at the meeting, Governor Shettima called for more sobriety, reflection and unity of purpose in the fight against terrorism in the country.

He pledged that his state will give President Jonathan the fullest possible support for his efforts to address the problems caused by terrorism and the Boko Haram insurgency.

Dr. Pogu Bitrus presented the Chibok community’s address to the President.

Other speakers at the meeting included a district head, Mr. Zannamadu Usman, a member of the Borno State House of Assembly, Hon. Aminu Foni Chibok, parents of the abducted girls and three  of the girls who escaped from their captors, Godia Simon, Dorcas Musa and Joy Bishara.

National Security Chiefs, Ministers and other senior government officials were also present at the meeting.

 Reuben Abati

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

PHOTO CREDITS: STATE HOUSE.

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Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima

Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima was the Governor of Zamfara State (1999-2007).

LAUNCHING OF SHARIA

Yerima in 1998.

Yerima in 1998.

On a Wednesday, the 4th of November, 1999, Governor Yerima defied the entire nation and launched the sharia or Islamic legal system in the state. His action made northwestern state of Zamfara the very first in the country to do so in modern times. The venue of the launch was the Ali Akilu Square in the state capital of Gusau. At the event, he urged other Muslim governors in the country to do the same. He said:

‘Without sharia, there is no Islam. We are Muslims, we must live and die as Muslims.’

In his audience were Islamic scholars and representatives from various parts of the country and also from other parts of the globe such as Sudan, Niger Republic, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Palestine. Other guests at the event were:

-Engineer Abdulkadir Kure (introduced sharia law in Niger State in May 2000).

-Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Maccido (represented by Junaid Usman, the Waziri of Sokoto).

-Deputy Governor, Niger State.

-Deputy Governor, Borno State

Most of the Muslim governors of Nigeria’s northern region did not attend the ceremony owing to the immense controversy that trailed the introduction of the legal system. Yerima launched the system few weeks after he made his intention known to the public.

The introduction of the sharia law was not without stiff opposition. As at the time Yerima did the launching, an injunction from a high court in Lagos was in place but the Zamfara State Government denied being served any official notice from the court. However, while he was speaking to the BBC the night before the adoption of the sharia law, he maintained a defiant tone saying:

I heard it two days ago. People were rumouring that there was a court case in Lagos. However, if they sent anything to us, that is not likely to deter us. 

The introduction caused panic in the state even as Yerima repeatedly assured the populace. Non-indigenes and non-Muslims fled the state in droves and not even the calls from Yerima could convince them to stay back. Out of panic, the Zamfara State Branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria fired a Save-Our-Soul memo to the Nigerian presidency stating that the unity of the nation was at risk if the ‘religious zealotry’ of the governor was allowed.

Sunday Mbang, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria said the move was capable of endangering the nascent democracy of the country. He queried:

Why must he come and rock the boat with this very foolish kind of idea? 

But the verbal artillery for Yerima was not from Christendom alone. There were more missiles for him from within the fold of Islam. One of the first to launch fire against Yerima’s pious adventurism was the proponent of the Islamic Republic of Nigeria and well-known Islamic activist, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. He argued that the adoption of sharia in total by any state under the current constitutional framework was not feasible.

Prior to the introduction of the system, sharia was already in practice in various parts of the region for over 100 years. However, the provisions made in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution for the system included only its civil aspects. These refer to cases relating to marriage, inheritance and guardianship. The provisions further stated that these sections were binding only on Muslims and even at that, not even Muslims could be forced to surrender to Islamic law. However, the introduction of the sharia legal system by Yerima meant that all Muslims in the state are compelled to live under the Islamic legal system which covers both the civil and criminal areas. Till date, this has been argued as going against the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

CREDITS:

1. Mikail Mumun & Osa Director, A Zealot’s Dream Come True, TELL, November 8th, 1999, page 31.

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Air Commodore Ibrahim Dada, Borno State Military Administrator, 1993-1996

On the 9th of December, 1993, Group Captain Ibrahim Dada was appointed the military administrator of Borno State by General Sani Abacha. He took over from Maina Maaji Lawan. Ibrahim Dada was on the seat till the 22nd of August 1996 when he handed over to Colonel Victor Afamefula Ozodinobi.

Air Commodore Ibrahim Dada, Borno State Military Administrator, 1993-1996

Air Commodore Ibrahim Dada, Borno State Military Administrator, 1993-1996

While the administrator, he was known famously for not embarking on any new projects until he finished all the abandoned projects all over the state. While military governor, he said in August 1995:

‘On my arrival in the state, I made it clear that I was not going to embark on new projects. After going round the local government areas, I discovered that there were so many abandoned projects. And since then, my priority has been to complete on-going and abandoned projects and also rehabilitate the infrastructure.’

EVENTS/PROJECTS DURING HIS TENURE

-Completion of the Maiduguri International Hotel which was started in 1981. The 300-room hotel cost the Dada government the sum of N191 million.

-Commissioning of the soda ash plant (dependent on locally-sourced raw materials). It was expected to produce about 3,000 tonnes of soda ash for the manufacture of glass, detergents and so on. It was the first of its kind in Nigeria and in the entire West African subregion and it was executed in collaboration wit the Raw Materials Research Institute. It gulped the sum of N19 million naira.

-Commissioning of an amusement park that cost N30 million naira.

-N80 million for the purchase of submersible pumps all over the state.

-Construction of laterite roads to ease the transport of agricultural products.

-N2.6 million naira on rice irrigation projects.

-Purchase of N10 million naira worth of books for secondary school students and increase of student feeding allowance from N3 naira per day to N10 per day.

On security matters, he said of the Operation Zaki:

‘The Maiduguri-Bin Road is not a short road. It is a very long road. What we have done is to provide permanent patrol on the road. There is a special army and police patrol, apart from Operation Zaki, of Bin Local Government. But as I have said, it is a very long distance and the patrol team cannot be everywhere at every given time. And when you go along the road after some time, you do not see villages, all you see is forest. These robbers use the forest as their hideout and come out to the road at a particular time the patrol team is not nearby, carry out their operations and run back into the forest. The army and the police have been doing a very good job. What we need now is the cooperation of the people of the people in that area. Whether the thieves live in the forest or villages, definitely some of the residents must have come across them. We need people to provide information to the security agents. Once we have that, we will be able to get the thieves in their hideout. And without such information, it will be difficult to get them by mere patrol along that road.’

When asked the legacy he would like to leave behind, he said:

‘I sincerely want to be remembered as the military administrator who came and completed all the abandoned projects in the state.’

In June 1999, he was retired alongside other MILADs (military administrators). He was appointed to the board of the Nigerian Institute of Palm Oil Research (NIPOR) in June 2009 by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

CREDITS AND REFERENCES

1. Osa Director, The ‘Complete’ Administrator, TELL, 28th August, 1995, page 23.

2. Ibrahim Dada. 

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Quotes of Colonel Abdul Mumuni Aminu (Retired)

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ON CORRUPTION:Look at the heads of parastatals. Some of them destroy this country so much. You say a military governor is a thief, but in NNPC for instance, they spend in one day the governor’s annual budget. Yet nobody picks on them. But as soon as a military man appears, he gets all the blame. I am not saying don’t blame the military, only that the blame should be spread round. If you say the major blame should go to the military, then we can discuss that. When I was Governor of Borno State, I was the only one wearing a uniform. Right from the mai guard to the DGs and commissioners were civilians. And given the fact that I don’t know how the service works and that they are the professionals, it was not easy. So you can’t just blame the military. 

ON LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT: ‘Well, since retirement life has not been easy, contrary to the views of the majority in Nigeria today. ..when you look at me today, all my accounts are in red. Use your contacts and check in the banks, all my accounts are in red. And I will swear with the Bible and the Quran, that I don’t have one pound  anywhere, one dollar anywhere in the world. But all sorts of mischievous insinuations were made against some of us, myself in particular. It is hard to take public office in Nigeria, because soon you are seen as a thief. 

ON THE PRESS: The press used to help me tremendously in the past, I don’t know why they are abandoning me now. 

ON BEING CALLED IBB BOYS: As far as I am concerned, any officer from the rank of major to general was an IBB boy. There is none you can single out, in every respect. …from major upwards, there were no officers that were not in contact with IBB. Then there were so many generals who would come to IBB and stay from morning till evening. 

-Colonel Abdul Mumuni Aminu (Retired), former military administrator of Borno State and former head of the defunct Nigerian National Guard under the Babangida regime in an interview with TELL in August 1995 in Kano.

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MUHAMMADU BUHARI, Nigeria’s Strictest Leader

MUHAMMADU BUHARI, Nigeria’s Strictest Leader

The Life Biography Family Photos General Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria Strictest Leader1

(Wait. Before you start, can I have your attention for a minute, please? This is a time when the Nigerian nation is deeply polarized between Buhari and GEJ camps and their fans are ready to insult or call anyone unprintable names. I am not for either, so do not get it twisted thinking this piece is pro- or anti- whoever. This piece is mainly a story of the life of General Buhari as one of Abiyamo.com’s series on Nigeria’s leaders. This clarification has to be made because there are some readers who may be harbouring some funny thoughts. I write it as it is. Don’t waste your time labelling me as pro-Lagbaja or anti-Lakasegbe, I don’t have time for that. I am not impressed by any of our so-called politicians. So please, read this with an open mind and your contributions will be warmly appreciated. Thank you. Abiyamo™ )

CLICK SECTIONS BELOW TO NAVIGATE

INTRODUCTION

BIRTH AND EARLY DAYS

GROWING UP AND EDUCATION

IN THE MILITARY

THE COUP AND BECOMING THE HEAD OF STATE

EVENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS AS HEAD OF STATE

LOVE, ROMANCE AND MARRIAGE

FAMILY AND CHILDREN

PERSONAL STYLE AND FUN THINGS ABOUT HIM

OVERTHROW AND JAIL

CRITICISM AND CONTROVERSIES

HIS WORDS AND WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT HIM

JOINING POLITICS

HONOURS & AWARDS, BUHARI TODAY & CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

He is bamboo-rod straight, his body frame is slenderized, he is of a meager weight, he is fair and in terms of height, he towers as one of the tallest of Nigerian leaders, if not the tallest. His milky voice evokes no fear but do not be deceived, his uncompromising stance on issues stands him out. Millions of Nigerians adore and practically worship him as the only Saviour of the Nation, while millions despise him and see him as nothing but a reincarnation of the Devil. This man is held in great esteem by a vast swathe of the Nigerian population while some others seethe with scary bitterness and violent hatred at the mere mention of his name. But hate him or love him, you will agree that Major-General MUHAMMADU ‘Leko’ BUHARI, Dogo Dan Daura, is the strictest Nigerian leader.

His regime was one of an unprecedented clampdown on indiscipline, corruption and corrupt people. Even his sworn foes agree he has an extremely inflexible stand and an incorrigible will against corruption – which ironically led to his overthrow. Today, Abiyamo’s lenses will zoom in on the life of this Daura-born Fulani general, a man many love with fanatical zeal, many hate with unspeakable fervour while many are not too sure whether to spew caustic hatred on him or shower him with benevolent adoration. Ladies and Gentlemen, General Muhammadu ‘Leko’ Buhari, GCFR.

PLEASE CLICK PAGE NUMBERS BELOW TO CONTINUE STORY

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