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Emmanuel Onwubiko : The Niger as our axis of terror, error

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 Emmanuel Onwubiko The Niger as our axis of terror error
Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Coordinator of HURIWA.

 

Can you for a second imagine that the 46th president of the world’s largest economy and the biggest democracy on earth Mr. Joe Biden will wake up today and decide to donate vehicles to Dublin, Northern Island off the coffers of the USA without budgetary approvals?

Can you just for the sake of hypothesis imagine the reactions of the members of the Congress of the United States of America or the millions of vociferous and active citizens of God’s own state?

These questions are being asked against the backdrop that The administration of Muhammadu Buhari has continued to divert the resources of Nigeria to build up the economy of the Niger Republic without Appropriation. Joe Biden has Irish roots just the same way that Muhammadu Buhari says he has Nigerien roots but the democratic institutions if checks and balances won’t let the President of the USA behaved the way President Muhammadu Buhari has done towards his ancestral home of Niger. The following publication tells us how so proud Joe Biden is about his ancestral roots.

This is President Joe Biden on how important his Irish heritage is to him and how he carries it with him always.

Joe Biden is hugely proud of his Irish roots. The 46th President of the United States frequently quotes Seamus Heaney in his speeches and proudly celebrated his ancestral links to Ireland in a St. Patrick’s Day address on Twitter,

Biden made a point during the first presidential debate of bringing up his roots and religion.

He said, “They look down their nose on people like Irish Catholics and like me and people who don’t have money.”

Biden, who is proud of his strong Irish roots visited Ireland in 2016 during his tenure as vice president during the Obama administration.

Ancestry documented the former vice president and proud Irish American’s emotional visit to his ancestral home. During his stay, he praised the true Irish welcome he had received and reflected on the lessons his Irish roots had afforded him.

Biden’s great-grandfather, James Finnegan, emigrated from County Louth as a child, in 1850. All eight of his great-great-grandparents on his mother’s side were born in Ireland during, the first half of the 19th century. On his father’s side, two great-grandparents were also born in Ireland. Essentially that makes him five-eighths Irish.

What’s clear is that his visit to Ireland, his ancestral home clearly touched the former vice president of the United States

In the letter below, the former vice president wrote in advance of his 2016 visit why returning to Ireland was so personally meaningful:

I’m leaving for a very special trip tomorrow.

I’m going back to Ireland – the country from which my ancestors hailed, and a country whose independence the Easter Rising set in motion, 100 years ago this year. It is my first dedicated trip to this nation as Vice President – during which I’ll meet with the country’s leaders, discuss issues of trade, economic recovery, migration and refugee policy, and other national security challenges, and celebrate our shared heritage. Our shared values of tolerance. Diversity. Inclusiveness.

And it’s a trip I’m so deeply grateful to be taking alongside my children and grandchildren…

Joe Biden speaks further…Over the course of my life, I’ve been a lot of places. I’ve traveled all around the world – more than a million miles on Air Force Two alone. I’ve been honored to have held a lot of titles. But I have always been and will always be the son of Kitty Finnegan. The grandson of Geraldine Finnegan from St. Paul’s Parish in Scranton; a proud descendant of the Finnegans of Ireland’s County Louth. The great-grandson of a man named Edward Francis Blewitt, whose roots stem from Ballina, a small town in Ireland’s County Mayo – sister city to my hometown in Scranton, Pennsylvania. An engineer with a poet’s heart. Months after my mother passed away, I found an old box of his poems in my attic.

In his poetry, my great-grandfather spoke of both continents, and how his heart and his soul drew from the old and the new. And most of all, he was proud. He was proud of his ancestors. He was proud of his blood. He was proud of his city. He was proud of his state, his country. But most of all – he was proud of his family.

And that is America: This notion that home is where your character is etched. As Americans, we all hail from many homes. Somewhere along the line, someone in our lineage arrived on our shores, filled with hope. We are blessed to experience that simultaneous pride in where we’ve found ourselves, while never forgetting our roots.

James Joyce wrote, “When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.”

Well, Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul. And as we join the world in celebrating everything that Ireland has become, and indeed everything that she has always been, I could not be more honored to be returning.

You can see what I see right here and across social media, Biden concludes.

Back to Nigeria under Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and i will ask if you know why it is practically impossible for president Joe Biden to divert the resources belonging to the United states of America to set up public utilities or infrastructures in his ancestral home nation? Simply because the institutions that safeguards accountability and transparency are vibrant and the risks attendant to violating extant laws forbidding diversion of public funds by the head of state and government are severe in such a way that the president of the United States of America will inevitably face removal from office and may end up in jail for theft.

But this forbidden public misconduct is exactly what has signposted the nearly 7 years and half administration of the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military General who has failed to check the activities of Islamic terrorists but has consistently diverted Nigeria’s resources to setup infrastructure in Niger Republic.

Niger Republic or the Niger, officially the Republic of the Niger, according to Wikipedia is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is a military state bordered by Libiya to the North East, Chad to the West Nigeria to the South Benin and Burkina Faso to the south west, Mali to the west and Algeria to the North West.

Niger is a country of approximately 24.21 million people.

This small nation bordering so much of the North Western states of Nigeria has become a major area of focus going by the sinister roles that it has played and also going by the scandalous history of the persistent diversion of humongous amount of public fund from Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari to Niger Republic.

The Niger Republic is also a notorious axis of terror because it is from Niger Republic that terrorists bring in all kinds of weapons of mass destruction with which they use to now threaten the existence of Nigerians and the sovereign territory of Nigeria. So that small nation is not only the axis of terror for Nigeria but has become an axis of error because of the fatalistic collective error of electing Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president even when he has and nurtures strong affinity and attachment to another nation and diverting Nigeria’s resources to funnel into developing another Country only because of self centred reason which we will get to know in the next lines from a publication of a well written magazine.

That magazine – the Africa report posed the question: What is it about President Muhammadu Buhari’s passion for his northern neighbour, the Republic of Niger? Is it economic and commercial logic, altruism or just family and ethnic ties?

The publication that states that Nigeria is committed to at least $4bn of projects in Niger. In July 2018, Nigeria and Niger Republic signed a $2bn deal to build an oil pipeline and a refinery. Now Buhari’s government wants to build a $1.9bn railway line from Kano in the northwest to Maradi in south-central Niger.

Buhari’s government says the projects will boost sub-regional integration and economic growth. A former minister, close to the President, told The Africa Report that the initiatives are part of Buhari’s idea of ‘concentric circles’ of foreign policy: that Abuja must first concentrate on its immediate neighbours, followed by those in region, the continent and finally the global scene, in that order.

Like much of Buhari’s reasoning, this idea dates back to his time in the military (1960s to the early 1980s). In 1983, he led the Nigerian force to retake territory in Borno state and several islands in Lake Chad that had been seized by Chadian troops under the command of their chief of staff Idris Déby Itno, who later become President.

Against the orders of Nigeria’s civilian President Shehu Shagari, Buhari expelled the Chadian troops and pursued them across the border, 50 kilometres into their national territory. Later that year, Buhari and a cabal of senior officers overthrew Shagari. Today, many of those border zones are lawless territory where insurgents and jihadists roam free.

Africa report said Buhari may look back with nostalgia to that era, but he also sees the importance in ties of kinship in the region, according to an interview he gave to local broadcaster Arise TV. “Niger has discovered oil, as you know. We hope they will be fine when we take the rail to Maradi and take all their exports through Maradi rather than through the Benin Republic,” he said in response to why he was investing so heavily in ties with Niger.

“I spoke to one Frenchman and I said to him, ‘you people in 1885 sat down with a ruler and pencil, and drew the line (in reference to the Nigeria-Niger border)’. I have first cousins in Niger. There are Kanuris, Hausas, Fulanis in Niger Republic, the same way there are Yorubas in Benin,” said Buhari, who holds Niger Republic’s highest national award.

This is yet another shocking revelation of the nefarious activities of the insensitive regime of Buhari which has subjected Nigerians to unnecessary hardship.

SaharaReporters said it obtained a document detailing how President Muhammadu Buhari’s government procured 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for officials of Niger Republic with public funds. The government later confirmed this story.

From documents seen by SaharaReporters, the Nigerian government, through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, approved N1,145,000,000 for the purchase of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles, for government officials in the Republic of Niger.

The contract was awarded to one Messrs Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited and approved by President Buhari on February 25, 2022.

According to the document sighted by SaharaReporters, the Nigerian government, in order to cover up its fraud, had obtained Due Process Certificate of No Objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to Direct Procurement Method.

The contract was said to be funded from the Ministry of Finance’s 2022 Appropriation sum of N282 billion.

The document is titled, ”Approval For The Award Of Contract For The Procurement Of Vehicles For The Republic Of Niger For Logistic Support”.

It reads, “The purpose of this memorandum is to seek Council’s ratification of the President’s approval for the award of Contract for the Supply and delivery of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles, for the Republic of Niger, as logistic support, in favour of Messrs Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited, in the sum of N1,145,000,000.00 inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with a delivery period of one week as indicated in the table below:

“2021 Model, V8 Toyota Land Cruiser: Specification: V8 Engine, Automatic Transmission, Alloy Rims, Power Steering, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Keyless Entry, Air-Conditioner, Push Start, Airbags, High Mount Stop Light, Radio/MP3.

“Three (3) years or 100,000km Warranty. Delivery to Niger Republic, Flight, Logistic, Insurance & Foreign Customs Duties.

“Unit Price (N) N80,600,000.00 Total Amount (AD) (for 10 units) N806,000,000.00

Delivery to Niger Republic, Flight, Logistics, Insurance and Foreign Customs Duties – Unit Price N33,900,000.00 —(10 units) N339,000,000.00

Grand Total-N1,145,000,000.00.

“The Presidency of the Republic of Niger requested for logistic support from the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vide letter with Ref. 000104/PRN/DIRCAB, dated 20 January, 2022. A copy of the letter is attached to memorandum as Annex I.

“It is noteworthy that Nigeria and Niger have enjoyed close and long-standing diplomatic relations as captured in several Bilateral Trade and Economic Agreements, as well as various memoranda of understandings (MOUS) ranging from migration and human trafficking, to drug trafficking, and infrastructural development in line with integration policies of ECOWAS. President Mohammadu Buhari belatedly tried to justify this illegality just like many others. It argues brazenly that ”The rise of insurgency in the shared borders has also led to deeper ties between both countries Presidents’ significant and strong role in the promotion of peace in Africa warrant this gesture.

”The request supports bilateral relations between the two countries. The vehicles will be used to assist the country in the transportation and movement of VIPs, high-ranking officials, top government functionaries and visitors scheduled for official visit to Niger at this time of its nascent democracy, with all its attendant consequences on their collective and individual security and safety of lives and property.

”The President on February 25, 2022 gave approval for Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning FMFBNP to urgently procure to Toyota Land Cruise V8 SUVs to support the Republic of Niger by way of logistics. A copy of the President’s approval is attached to this memorandum as Annex II.

“Considering the urgency of the request, the Ministry adopted Dire Procurement method in line with section 10 a&b of the Public Procurement act PPA 2007

“In furtherance of the process, the Ministry contacted Messrs Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited, a reputable and accredited Toyota car dealer with good track record and requisite experience capabilities and capacity to execute the contract within the shortest time frame was requested to submit its profile and quotations.

“The sum of N1,145,000,000.00 only, which includes the cost of vehicles, delivery, 7.5% VAT was submitted by the company. Copy of the Ministry’s request Messrs Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited quotation is attached as to memorandum as Annex III.

”Consequently, the Ministry sought and obtained Due Process Comp Certificate of No Objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to Direct Procurement Method for the procurement of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for the Republic of Niger as Logistic Support in favour of Messrs Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited, in the sum of N1,145.000.000.00 inclusive of 7.5%, with a delivery period of one week.

”Copies of BPP Certificate of “No Objection” and Process Review Report are attached to this memorandum as Annex IV.

“The procurement will be funded from the Ministry’s 2022 Appropriation, the sum of N282, 548, 005, 655.00 under the code 0220001001-Ministry of Budget and National Planning as a source of fund for the project. Copies of the Ministry’s 2022 Appropriation are attached to this memorandum as Annex V.”

As pay back, Niger Republic honoured some Nigerians on Wednesday as part of activities to mark the country’s Independence Day.

However, there is no Southerner on the list of prominent citizens recognized.

The awardees include two aides of President Muhammadu Buhari, two businessmen, and two governors.

They are Sarki Abba, Senior Special Assistant (Household and Domestic Affairs) to the President, and the State Chief of Protocol, Amb. Lawal Kazaure.

The businessmen are Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group; and Abdulsamad Rabi’u, President, BUA Group.

The state governors honoured are Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa and Mohammed Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.

All were awarded the “Order of Merit of Niger” and “Great Master of National Awards”.

President Mohammed Bazoum noted that his country cherished Nigeria as one of its closest neighbours and friends.

Bazoum said the “Brother Nigerians” made great strides in increasing understanding between the two nations and are agents of social and economic development.

Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Chairman and Kebbi Governor Abubakar Bagudu attended the event.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said the awards were in recognition of the recipients’ roles in the promotion of better relations between the countries. Pathetically, Niger has bevome Nigeria’s axis of terror just as the Popular Nigerian broadcaster and multiple awards winning journalist, Babajide Otitoju recently lamented against the backdrop of terrorists that came to Nigeria to wreck havoc on innocent citizens.

Babajide Otitoju who was speaking during today’s edition of journalists hangout on TVC, said he was informed by a fellow that the ransom money being collected from Nigerians by the terrorists are being used to develop some parts of Niger Republic.

The presenter stated that a good number of the terrorists came from Niger Republic.

“Somebody told me something but I have not found out if it true. He said ransom money paid by Nigerians is now being used to develop some parts of Niger Republic. That some buildings that were not there before are materializing. Ransom Money are being funneled there because a good number of those guys operating here are not Nigerians. Some of the money they make here they take it back home to develop their country.” Babajide Otitoju stated.

He also said there is need for Nigerian government to protect the borders in order to stop the influx of terrorists from other neighboring countries.

“We have to protect our borders and prevent these illegal aliens coming to Nigeria to killo ur people”.

But how can we protect our borders with a President who has deep affection for another Country in flagrant violations of his constitutional oaths of office? This executive rascality can only happen in a dictatorship like what we have currently.

*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA AND ERSTWHILE NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.

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