- Bamaiyi’s Book: IBB Offered to Make me Interim Govt Head
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former All Peoples Party’s presidential candidate in the 1999 presidential election, Chief Olu Falae, has revealed that former military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), offered to hand over power to him as the head of the Interim National Government.
Babangida ruled Nigeria from August 27, 1985, when he overthrew then Major General Muhammadu Buhari in a coup, till August 27, 1993, when he stepped aside, having annulled the elections held on June 12 that year.
Falae was reacting to the comment made by a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd.), in his new book, “Vindication of a General,” launched last Thursday in Abuja, where he (Bamaiyi) blamed Babangida for the indiscipline in the armed forces. Bamaiyi, who was detained for years and tried for attempted murder, attributed his travails to his opposition to Obasanjo’s candidacy and his support for Falae.
Bamaiyi in his book said he had supported Falae when he discovered that those who annulled the June 12, 1993 election wanted to “arrange” a president for the South-West.
“I decided to take Chief Olu Falae to Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and only Abubakar and I discussed this issue. I do not regret that action because I was and I am convinced Falae would have done better as president of our great country. I am glad those behind Obasanjo knew (sic) better,” he said on page 120 of the book.
While reacting to revelations contained in Bamaiyi’s book, however, Falae revealed that Babangida offered to hand over power to him, a statement which confirmed the rife suspicion by many Nigerians then that Falae was being considered for the job.
“I was indeed offered, but I declined,” Falae said. “Because I was the one who physically took Abiola to the Social Democratic Party in General Adebayo’s house in Ikeja. I was a presidential aspirant in the SDP with Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and 10 others before Abiola came in. It was when we were disqualified that Abiola came in; he was not a member of the SDP, it was my own Olu Falae Campaign Organisation nationwide that I handed over to Abiola that he used to win the nomination.
“All my supporters like Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Yohanna Madaki, Adebayo, to mention a few, were all my supporters whom I handed over to Abiola to constitute his own campaign committee and at the Jos convention of the SDP, when the thing was deadlocked, I addressed my supporters to support Abiola and he won the nomination.
“So having done all that, how could I have come and take the offer of interim head in a government designed to deny him his mandate? I am not that kind of a person. Integrity requires that I did not even consider it and I did not.”
Asked about the role he played in the annulment of the June 12 election, the former SGF said, “Don’t forget that I had left government three years before the annulment. I left government in August 1990; annulment was in 1993, I was no longer in government, I was already participating in politics. I had aspired to run for the presidency before Abiola came into politics.
“At that time, I was no longer close to Babangida as you were supposing and I was no longer one of those consulted by the government before taking any decision. The annulment came to me as a surprise.”
Bamaiyi also said a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), was the first Nigerian leader to encounter the problem of indiscipline in the armed forces.
He said that Gowon, however, made efforts to restore discipline in the armed forces.
He said the indiscipline continued when Babangida stepped aside as President.
Bamaiyi added that IBB implemented one of the longest and “uncertain transition programmes in Nigeria’s history.”
He also shed light on the strategy allegedly deployed by former generals to ensure the emergence of a former military Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, as the country’s president in 1999.
Bamaiyi claimed that a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), who was in power at the time; Babangida; ex-Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.); and a former National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, developed and executed the plan that helped Obasanjo to return to power as a civilian president in 1999.
UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.
The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.
Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use”
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.
“It is very good news,” Hancock said.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
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