Don’t link govt to attempt on Buhari’s life, says Umar
Former military Governor of Kaduna State Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd) told Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s supporters yesterday to stop linking the Federal Government with the assassination attempt on the former Head of State.
He said the Federal Government would not have provided Gen. Buhari with additional security if it planned to assassinate him.
Col. Umar, in a statement in Kaduna, in reaction to an interview granted the Hausa service of the BBC by one of the General’s supporters, who blamed the Federal Government for the attack, said: “I was concerned and worried by possible dangerous repercussions of such allegations on the peace and unity of the country, which is currently under severe stress. I therefore decided not only to condemn their actions but also to adduce evidence to counter their wrong and preposterous allegations. Unfortunately, my statement, which was published, did not entirely include most of the points I raised in my rebuttal. To avoid misrepresentation and misunderstanding, I find it necessary to issue this clarification.
“When about four months ago Gen. Muhammadu Buhari issued a condemnation of the activities of Boko Haram (BH) sect, the Presidency praised him for what it saw as an act of courage and statesmanship. Some of us agreed and welcomed this reaction, particularly because it would have the positive effect of building the much-needed consensus in the war against the BH insurgency. We were also delighted by Gen. Buhari’s action because it provided another evidence, if any was needed, that he was not a religious bigot and, like most Northerners, did not share or support any terrorist religious ideology.
“However, fearing the usual BH reprisal, we advised the Federal Government to beef up security around the General. The Federal Government agreed and reached out to Gen. Buhari with this proposal. By mutual consent, his security was upgraded. I have no doubt that this must have contributed to his survival of the attack.
“The point then is, how can a government that is intent on assassinating the general provide him with added security? It would have been most strange indeed for a government planning to assassinate this very popular Northern icon to retain as its National Security Adviser, Colonel M.S. Dasuki, son of the (former) Sultan of Sokoto and his brother-in –law, General Aliyu Gusau, as its Minister of Defence, or even its Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar from Zamfara State.
“I have since learned that the bulletproof vehicle in which General Buhari was riding at the time of the attack was provided for him by an APC chieftain, possibly an APC governor. My reaction to this is that it does not detract from the fact that the Federal Government indeed reinforced the General’s security about four months ago. Bulletproof vehicle is only a component of the security infrastructure. General Buhari himself was reported to have told Sahara TV: ‘I am not bothered by them (BH) targeting me. The government has given me adequate protection’”
Col. Dangiwa Umar also appealed to the political elites to desist from politics of brinkmanship aimed at achieving their narrow political interests. “They need not be reminded that a violent disintegration of Nigeria would be an ill wind that will blow nobody any good.”
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