Why We Should Pray for Buhari - Idada






In this chat, former Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army, General Don Idada Ikponmwen, talks about the crisis in the APC, the insurgency war, the Pan Niger Delta Forum among other sundry issues.  Excerpts:

On PANDEF
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) is a good idea. Its formation is necessitated by the conflict in the Niger Delta region (South South) which has led to the loss of many lives apart from the downturn in the economy of the country. The founding fathers of the group were motivated to do it so that a common voice should be heard articulating issues relating to the growth of the region. However, it must be said that it is coming at a time when most observers would describe as a late hour. At the initial stage, we had a cacophony of voices speaking on issues relating to the low level of development in the region vis-a-vis many other setbacks. The way it was been done then was that if issues crop up that need to be attended to with urgency, a few people are gathered by the leaders on adhoc basis to go and represent the people.

People normally picked outside a few can be described as friends and associates of the powers that be. What such invitees are expected to do is to parrot the opinion of those that brought them on board. For the very first time in the history of the group, efforts were made to ensure that stakeholders in the struggle  are allowed to contribute their quota on how to move the fortunes of the region forward. Membership cut across all the states of the region. 
Now, you would have discovered that all issues confronting the region were tabled before President Muhammadu Buhari for his consideration. We must get it right. If other regions like the North (through the Arewa Consultative Forum), the South West (through the Afenifere) and the East ( through the Ohaneze Ndigbo) can do it right then the South South will even go further with time.

On the clamour for regionalism
It is a good idea for it will bring the best out of the different regions and also bring about rapid development of the country generally. The resources each region is producing will be well placed as a bargaining chip for the development of its area. But if the different nationalities through armed insurgence by militias and other armed gangs springing up daily in the country ask for secession then we have not learnt anything from the civil war which we fought for three and half years over four decades ago. 
We will achieve much more as a united entity than been in separate groups that may end up not been effective. What we should do now is to go to the roundtable for dialogue on the way forward.

Why North East insurgency persists
When Buhari came to power there were a horde of areas in the grip of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North especially in the North East and North West. In fact, they were so daring to the extent that they attacked his convoy on a trip within the Kaduna - Bauchi Road axis. 
He survived by the special grace of God as the majority of vehicles in his convoy were destroyed. Thus, when he came in, been a military man he took the initiative to reinvigorate the entire approach to the war against insurgency. It’s this positive change we are benefitting from now. Sophisticated arms, re-energised military etc.
Again, there is a big difference between how a conventional war is fought and how a guerrilla warfare is fought. In conventional war, you know the tactics of your opponent; the strength of the opponent in terms of its size etc., but in guerrilla war, you are left to make do with the little information at your disposal to fashion out a plan. Where the information is sparse you can only operate in a kind of blind alley. The insurgents operate via guerrilla tactics and fighting them requires much more.

We Should Pray For Buhari
It is not right for some people to be rejoicing because of President Muhammadu Buhari's. Buhari means well for this country. If not for him we would not be talking about war against corruption. His coming has made us to be aware of the corrupt practices that prevailed in the country in the past. No nation can move forward in such situation where monumental corruption is entrenched everywhere. 
We should be praising him for his doggedness in taking the initiative and also for sustaining it thus far. We should all be praying for him to regain his health and come back home to complete the assignment.

Crisis in All Progressives Congress (APC)
What is perceived as a crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is just a minor disagreement between the key players. The party position and the position of the individual key officials should not be seen to clash or else there is imminent crisis. For instance, the APC been the majority and ruling party lost the senate deputy president seat to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because the APC national executive was made to call for a meeting of key members of the party which held at the same time that the national assembly was electing its key officers. Party supremacy must be adhered to by all.

We Should Not Glorify Illegality
It is a big shame what is going on currently where people give a show of support to those who have been convicted of one crime or the other. 
I watched with surprise on national television how a convicted jailbird was been accorded state honour by the same people he defrauded while in office as a governor. It was a rude shock seeing the large crowd that welcomed him back to the country.

Is diarchy good for Nigeria?
Diarchy, depending on how you want to define it, is a good system. If for instance, like it is becoming popular in the country whereby politicians and ex-military men are getting elected into office side by side then it is a welcome development for our democracy. 
The politicians bring in their intense politicking into governance while the military, which is the most disciplined and best trained segment of the society, will bring in its patriotic zeal. The military is better placed to act as a buffer to the excesses that may be exhibited by the political class in the course of administering the country. 
The other picture of diarchy which some mischievous elements bandy about whereby the military with the barrel of the gun is continually on the lookout for any mistake by the politicians which it would use as an excuse to seize power should not be encouraged. Its gone forever. All over the world democracy is been practiced and all and sundry should abide by the rules that govern it.


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