By Bright Ewulu
General Theophilus Danjuma towards his retirement from the Nigerian Army in 1979 delivered a speech which was contained in his biography ”Danjuma: The making of a General,’’by Lindsay Barrett that Nigeria will not survive another civil war .
In that speech, contained in the book, he expressed fears that although the Biafra war had put paid to the future use of ethnic division to divide Nigeria (as he saw it) the threat of religious fanaticism was real. Thus(at that time) he saw religious fanaticism as a threat to Nigeria going forward.
Thus going by what is happening in Nigeria today, it’s obvious that the general saw tomorrow as it were. And it should also be played up that Danjuma was the first to speak up that some elements in the Nigerian Army were aiding and abetting Boko Haram fundamentalists, Fulani herdsmen (and the bandits -terrorists) operating in the county. He had urged Nigerians to defend themselves and not hope on the armed forces to protect them.
It should also be recalled that in the current Muhammadu Buhari regime Danjuma was the first to rush to the U.S.A to hint the world that the Buhari government was seemly involved in the activities of the terrorists. When the government reacted by sending Vice President Yemi Osibajo, Cardinal John OlorunfemiOnaiyekan, and Gen. Mathew Agwai to the U.S.A variously to counter his efforts. Danjuma also went on to accuse the government of being soft on the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsman attacks on innocent farmers and others across the country. He was the first to alert the nation about the” sameness”of Boko Haram bandits and Fulani herdsmen.
In fact, Danjuma had come out to raise alarm even before former President Olusegun Obasanjo raised his voice against what he termed fulanization. And before Gen Ibrahim Babangida joined- in to condemn the current regime.
Its now in the annals of Nigerian history that the trio of Osibajo,Gen. Mathew Agwai and Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan stopped their forays abroad after the initial South West Security Summit in Ekiti state organized by Governor Kayode Fayemi. The very night of which Fulani herdsman killed a hunter and the vice president was telling Americans that the story was political heresy by the opposition. Of course, Fayemi, a member of the ruling party denounced him. And so did Newspapers like the Punch. Attacks on Kaduna -South where he comes from ensured that Gen. Agwai has kept himself far from the media ever since.
And of course, the deaths of many reverend fathers and the destruction of many Catholic churches have made men of God and Catholic reverends like Cardinal Onaiyekan and Mbaka who supported the Buhari regime start telling a different story.Perhaps,they could see clearly what Gen. Danjuma saw many years ago.
When he had warned about the collusion between the terrorists and the Nigerian army, then Army Chief of staff, Tukur Brutai denied it. But the killing of three policemen involved in a special assignment by the former inspector General of police by a Fulani army captain and his boys in order to release an arrested bandit( Wadume)brought the army to ridicule. In fact, the world would not have known this if not that a policeman had escaped and exposed what happened.
And this enabled the police to re-arrest Wadume, who confirmed the story to the media. Yet Brutai as Army Chief refused to release the Fulani captain to face the courts. The kidnapper (Wadume) was later sentenced to 7 years imprisonment while the 10 soldiers involved were never released to face the law-their leader was in fact promoted confirming Danjuma’s allegation.
According to a Punch report, last August”More facts have emerged on the refusal of the military authorities to court-martial 10 soldiers, including their commander, Capt. Tijjani Balarabe, indicted by the police for involvement in the escape of a kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, popularly known as Wadume.
Wadume was assisted to escape from the custody of the Intelligence Response Team by the soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, who also attacked the police team conveying the kingpin to the Taraba State police headquarters on August 6, 2019.
“Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident while five other police officers were injured. He was subsequently re-arrested at his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State”.
The Wadunne case confirmed that Gen Danjuma was saying the truth, of course, other development had confirmed his position as true. It’s now public that the president was provided the list of sponsors of Boko Haram, since 2016, as was confirmed by Former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi (Rtd) who on Wednesday,25,August 2021 hinted that the Nigerian government knows those behind the decade-long Boko Haram ,but up till today non has been arrested or tried. The Americans have also provided some names of sponsors and there have not been any publicized arrests or trials.
Even the alleged 400 Bureau D’change owners allegedly found to be sponsoring terrorists. Thus the president’s body language, according to experts, tend to be supportive of the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram members. The government has over time found it easier to arrest those who oppose the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen- for example Nnamdi Kalu and Sunday Igboho, than the bandits or herdsmen who perpetrate all manner of evils against the nation.Its in the public that a lot of Boko Haram members have been restored to society, even as they are still killing our security forces and civilians alike.
Besides, since Governor Hope Uzodinma came to power, we find that the president frequently accedes to his demand for more soldiers in Imo state while the killing fields of the North- Zamfara, Kaduna State, Plateau, and Benue, etc are experiencing massacres on a daily basis. Thus security experts wonder why the southeast should have so many security personnel whereas the North West, North Central, and North East are so bereft of security that 200 students are being kidnapped at a go and hundreds are killed on daily basis.
Gen.Danjuma back in 2019 visited Britain to meet the authorities over the Nigerian crisis as a Christian elder. He declared very loudly in his publicized position that the counter-coup of July 1966 was a jihad .It would be recalled that Patrick Chukwuma “Kaduna” Nzeogwu and his counterparts had said that their coup of Jan.15 1966 was prompted by a planned Jihad for 17 Jan .1966 organized by Northern leaders at the time and that their aims was to bring Chief Obafemi Awolowo to take over as they felt he would be more aggressive against the move by the “Fulani to deep Koran into the sea”. One is therefore shocked that a writer like Reno Omokiri is still saying that the 1966 putsch was an Igbo coup.
How can a coup quelled by two Igbo senior Officers -Aguyi Ironsi and Emeka Ojukwu be said to be an Igbo Coup? While Ironsi quelled it in the south, Ojukwu quelled it in the North. That was why the Fulanis gave Ojukwu clemency to return back to Nigeria in the 80s.Omokiri’s talk that Ironsi allowed the coup- makers to be paid salaries, the question to ask is whether he had even powers to try them since the democratic government was still in place. Ironsi was merely given power to restore normalcy to the federation by parliament. And the allegation that he changed federalism was not true because fiscal federalism was still in play until Gowon who took over after his death changed it.If it was Igbo coup why did Major Banjo advise Ironsi to do a coup before the Northerners overthrew him; for which Banjo was arrested and imprisoned in the East.That was why he ended up in Biafra.
The thinking is that it was some of the executors of the Nzogwu coup and others involved in the planned Jihad in western Nigeria who were afraid of Ironsi’s drag -net that profiled the Igbos in order to get Ironsi out of the way and save their necks. For instance, our current president back in 2019 disclosed openly that he was involved in the first coup and counter-coup but it was obvious that he had not been arrested before Ironsi was overthrown.
On profiling, why don’t we call the counter-coup of 1966, the Ahmadu Bello Boys coup, why don’t we call the Orkar coup-old Bendel coup, why don’t we call, the Dimkar Coup-Pankshi coup or Plateau coup; Why don’t we call Buhari coup of early 80s-Fulani coup.Just because the core 6 plotters where from that area.
The fact that no Igbo leader was killed in that coup was just a happen chance that could happen and did happen.Ironsi escaped death during that by pure luck. Besides that coup resulted from the bid by the Fulanis to take over the west. Perhaps that was why western Igbos were heavily involved in the planning but the executors were nationwide. Don’t forget “operation wetie” was on in the west and people were being killed daily as Akintola and Northern Peoples Congress(NPC) battled Action Group Forces(AG). As for Britain, they are involved in the Nigeria political game head to toe,Omokiri should stop deceiving the youths about our history. For a start will he tell us that the U.S. had no hand in the removal of his man Friday-Jonathan Goodluck?
The question I want Omokiri to answer is between Bello and Nzogwu who is the patriot, who is the Nigerian patriot? Did Bello plan a Jihad for 17 Jan.1966.If he did or didn’t why have the south-south and all their media houses namely -Guardian, Thisday, Arise TV, Silverbird TV, Rythem FM, Vanguard, AIT, Raypower, etc kept silent over the years.And have not spoken up for the dead despite his late mum’s complaints. All some of them do is pant after Fulani rulership. They needn’t bother so much, the Fulanis are almost there, the Fulanis control the sugar they drink for breakfast in their teas and bread or biscuit, the meat in their lunch cum minerals or beers, and also cement for their houses, the flour they eat at dinner, etc. They shouldn’t bother because an oil refinery will soon be provided so that they can have Fulani refined fuel etc for their vehicles and factories. Fulanis already own most of the oil blocks in their hometowns and villages.
Finally, Reno Omokiri should not fail to answer my question, because Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu are being tried today for stopping the Fulani “move to take over”our farms and HOME-lands. In other words for the same reasons, Nzogwu and co. said they organized the putsch in 1966.
The Eastern Security Network(Nnamdi Kalu)and Amatekun(Sunday Igboho/OPC) entered southern farms to dislodge the Fulani bandits between Nov. 2020 and Feb.2021 by April inflation fell for the first time since 2017 and continued
falling monthly until well into 2022.Cause, they made it possible for farmers to return to the farms. Inflation began to move up again, few months ago When the Russian-Ukraine war began to impact on inflationary levels in Nigeria. The lives Kalu ,Igboho and Amatekun etc saved are massive. They deserve national awards. They and the Fulanis who are the Nigerian Patriots? Nzogwu was even better he never asked for Odua or Biafra or ‘Ariwa’ or mid-west.Why has he not been buried in the south-south as is the wish of his family?Or is he the only coup plotter ? Reno over to you.
Bright Ewulu is the Author of “Zik of Africa:Zik’s Words of Wisdom and The Gooodluck Transformation:How Nigeria Brokethrough”