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Published On: Wed, Jul 9th, 2014

Nyako may be shocked, but is he awed?

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Gov NyakoBy Ali M. Ali

Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state is in the eye of a storm-literally. His state legislators are up in arms with him. They are flexing muscles.Their grouse is that the bearded Septuagenarian has played Father Christmas with the Public Till.

The allegations are weighty. Enough to sink NNS Aradu, one of the War Ships,Nyako commanded as a naval officer.Check them out.

The State Assembly said that the governor and his deputy, in tow, led the executive arm of government to fraudulently divert N10 billon of workers’ salaries for September and October 2011; N120 million of Adamawa state workers’ emolument for May, 2014; N1.7 billion for Special Assistants; and N8 billion for fictitious contract.

Conservatively, the governor can’t account for nearly N20 billion. In dollar denomination, that is a paltry $1.4 billion, just a ‘miserly’ 12 percent of $20 billion stolen or wasted by the Jonathan regime. Curiously, no lawmaker is man enough in the National Assembly to ponder impeaching Jonathan. That will amount to ‘heating the polity’.

Thumbs up for the lawmakers. I am for accountability. Abuse of office has been the greatest bane of our existence. Many an executive had turned state coffers into personal fiefdom. Presently a culture of impunity encouraged, patently, by a presidency with a mighty persecution complex, has assumed arrant visibility.

Look no further. Most of the men controlling the levers of power at the centre or on the periphery, have one thing in common-a history of kleptomania. It would seem that under the current order, such badge of dishonor is sine qua non for recognition and appointment.

So truly, I am in total support of accountability. I beseech federal lawmakers to emulate the Adamawa example. Let them immediately start impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan for short changing citizens. For sundry corruption. For failing to secure the nation. For not giving a damn.

Having said that, I want to be educated. How come that a crime Nyako committed three years ago is now the hammer that the lawmakers are using to nail his political coffin?

I have no sympathy for the governor. He appears to run his government as a personal estate. A disposition like that is recipe for unbridled nepotism.I am not surprised that he is home alone. Not a single legislator is on his side. It is a measure of his admirable lack of political skills that when he defected to the opposition APC, the 5 legislators of the party promptly defected to the PDP. There are 25 lawmakers in the Assembly. All 25 are against Nyako.

Before then, he has quarreled with virtually all those who helped him to power. Chief among them is Professor Jibril Aminu. With a resume like that, it is understandable why he is where he is now -politically.

Still I am concerned about the real intent of the Adamawa legislators. The story in town, as in the informed circles of the federation, is that they are mere puppets doing the bidding of the master puppeteer ensconced somewhere in a ‘Rock’.

The tin-footed gods are peeved that Nyako, a retired Admiral, had treaded where angels had dreaded. Around March,theAdmiral fired the first of two torpedoes. In a speech delivered in far away USA on security challenges facing Northern Nigeria, he cunningly accused the federal government of being the master puppeteer of the Boko Haram insurgency. Listen to him:

“The security situation we are … facing in Northern Nigeria today could be sponsored, financed and supported by evil minded and over-ambitious leaders of Government and the society for political gains. There is simply no person(s) in the Northeastern zone rich enough to foot the financial and logistic bills on Boko Haram activities. Somebody outside the zone must have bought these arms, ammunition and explosives somewhere which is easily traceable, paid the freight charges to Nigeria, cleared them at the Ports, conveyed them up-country through numerous check-points and put them in safe-houses in the States ready to be used by the appointed killers. “

Still in that speech, he stated further:

“… the arms, ammunition and explosives being used by so-called Boko Haram are not manufactured in Nigeria. Somebody must have brought them from abroad to the scenes of attacks. With military check-points mounted everywhere in far greater numbers than we had during our civil war and with only the President, the Vice President and their key staff and Governors of the States on one hand and the Nigerian Military on the other who pass these points unchecked, we could safely assume that it is one of the two groups who conveys these weapons up country from the Port(s) after Custom and Security clearance.”

He followed up with a “blistering’ memo to his colleagues in the north last April. In it he was very inelegant. Mildly expressed he was a combination of Lamido of Adamawa, presidential ‘attack lion’, Doyin Okupe, attention seeker, Asari Dokuboh and late Saro Wiwa rolled into one.

Were he a fighter pilot, that memorandum was, mildly stated, an ‘aerial bombardment’ of the Jonathan regime. But he is not. He is a retired Admiral. He is, therefore, not a stranger to “storms”. By training as sailor, he is used to all kinds of storms.But this political storm is likely to consume him. Forget all pretension and public posturing to the contrary. Disregard the ‘intervention’ by former President Obasanjo, to ’unshock’ Nyako, those yelling for his head may have it today or tomorrow. Then they will come for the heads of other ‘recalcitrant’ governors who kept mute and seemingly abandoned the sailor-turned-famer-turned-politician to his fate.

Nyako may be shocked by the antics of his colleagues but he is certainly not awed. His senses are not numbed. He has not succumbed to pressure to lick his vomit.History will remember this.


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