Nigeria: Azazi, Yakowa’s Death: How Safe is President Goodluck Jonathan
General Andrew Azazi, Nigeria’s former NSA and Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State died in a plane crash a week ago raising concerns over the safety of President Goodluck Jonathan. Those who removed Gen Azazi from the way can remove any other person including the sitting president. Therefore, it is time for the feasters and revellers in Aso Rock to jettison all corrupt tendencies and face squarely the business of providing good governance, backed by equity and justice so that when the enemies of democracy tries the Azazi experiment on them, the hand of God will provide the missing safety link. This article earlier published in February this year under the title ‘Boko Haram: How Safe is President Goodluck’ is still relevant today in the face of the suspicious elimination of Azazi .
The embattled and fleeing former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva,once described Nigeria’s President Goodluck as a lameduck and even threathened to snuff life out of his Ijaw kinsman. Many Nigerians though not particularly fans of Sylva’s governorship style, will not fault his remarks. The Boko Haram creating problems in Nigeria is the same group which late president Yar’adua hunted, killed and fragmented when they reared their head in Borno State. Though weak and infirm, late Yar’adua couldn’t tolerate this now all powerful monster. The Boko Haram foot soldiers dared not ply their trades in other states of the federation while he was alive. They restricted their murmurings to Borno axis. Now Boko Haram is even making attempts to strike at Nsukka and environs.
How did we come to this stage? Presidential lameduckism or appropriately put, presidential timidity is the major problem. The PDP branch of Boko Haram which I prefer to call the PDP Boko Haram are growing restless each day especially with the arrest of most of their contacts and leaders. Their fear is that the more the foot soldiers are arrested the more likely their secret will be exposed. Their second problem is that the lame duck president can react if pushed to the wall. The Sylva experiment is a serious case study. Their third headache is that the president once desperate for dialogue is now slowly approaching the matter. Their calculation is that they will use the option of negotiating with Boko Haram members on the behalf of the north to equally clear their tracks. The cautious approach to the dialogue issue by the presidency is causing psychological irritations to some members of the PDP Boko Haram.
President Goodluck should be careful of his personal safety. This growing irritation and desperation could result in extremist attacks on the life of the nation’s number one citizen. These desperate ones finished off MKO Abiola with the most perfect alibi, in front of international visitors. They equally finished off Tunde Idiagbon, Nigeria’s former Chief of General Staff. They equally planned to arrange accidents for Obasanjo if he attempts tenure elongation. If they could finish these people without effort then they could do anything. These PDP Boko Haram members can buy up anybody they want to buy including President Goodluck’s cook, advisers, and inner confidants. They bought Henry Okah , President Goodluck’s brother to throw Bomb at the Eagle Square during Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. If they could buy Henry Okah , the chief spokesman of the Niger Delta struggle, then they can buy up any other militant or military officer who has ambiguous tendencies. They have stolen enough billions of dollars to buy up anybody. They can buy and are still buying security information from and around the State House.
General Aguiyi Ironsi did not know when his security system was jeopardized until he was dragged and murdered by forces led by Danjuma in 1966. Surrounding himself with competent persons is very necessary as well as proper counter intelligence. President Goodluck needs to bring in anybody from any part of the country whose loyalty and professionalism is proven. In the dying days or Yar’adua regime, General Aliyu Gusau was brought back to help the presidency regain control of the security apparatus when it was obvious that Major General Sarki Muktar then National Security Adviser was playing sentiments with the nation’s security and has contempt for Goodluck, then the Acting President. The presence of General Gusau helped to open up the security space and equally in concert with other checks and balances averted what would have been a coup de tat the day Yar’adua was flown in from Saudi.
Nigerians are frustrated that the president seems to be carrying on the art of governance with the same business as usual indifference of past regime while their living conditions continue to deteriorate. The profligacy of government functionaries is equally disheartening. This does not however suggest that Nigerians want the PDP branch of Boko Haram to serve President Gooddluck the same dish they served Aguiyi Ironsi.