It’s time to impeach Buhari and impeach him, by Chidi Anselm Odinkalu

President Muhammadu Buhari

The only option left in democratic politics is for the National Assembly to remove him through the impeachment process. It is their democratic duty under the constitution. The cost of keeping Buhari in power is the destruction of all that is left of Nigeria. No one, surely not Buhari, is worth the price of the country. Now is the time for the National Assembly to fulfill this duty and remove Muhammadu Buhari as President of Nigeria.

Last week, education came to a halt in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria. It started with the order of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on July 25, to close the six Federal Government Colleges (better known as Unity Schools) in the FCT as students were in the middle of their year-end exams. The reason for the order, according to the minister, was “a security breach in the villages of Sheda and Lambata, suburbs of Kwali Regional Council which also threatened FGC Kwali”. He did not provide any details on the nature or extent of the “security breach”.

In a separate ad Issued the same day, the FCT Education Secretariat summarily informed “parents and guardians that the 2021/2022 school calendar for FCT schools will end on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.” They hardly tried to justify this measure. The assumption that the reason for the closure of all FCT schools was the same reason given by the Minister of Education when he closed the unit schools does not necessarily explain the two days of grace. additional grants granted by the administration of the FCT to all the other schools of the FCT.

During the same week, the terrorists also forced Veritas University, a higher education institution established by the Catholic Church in the FCT, to close indefinitely.

By the way, on the same day the minister closed the FCT unit schools, it emerged that the terrorists had killed an officer and two men from the elite Nigerian Army Guards Brigade, who “allegedly ambushed after visiting the Nigeria Law School in Bwari following a distress call (sic) from the school authorities. According to Daily Trust“the school administration reportedly warned that terrorists had dropped a letter indicating an imminent attack on the school.”

They are not the only soldiers killed in the FCT during the week. The day after the closure of all schools in the federal capital by the administration of the FCT, on July 28, armed terrorists allegedly attacked another military unit near Zuma Rock on the FCT-Niger State border, killing at least two soldiers in an attack that “lasted nearly an hour”, during which no member of the security structure command was unable to mobilize aid or reinforcements for the beleaguered soldiers.

This latest cascade of insecurity in Nigeria’s federal capital began with the tackle Kuje medium security prison in the capital on July 5, where the Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) province killed at least one security personnel and freed over 900 of the terrorists the most dangerous detained or convicted by Nigeria in an operation that reportedly lasted more than three hours.

After the escape from Kuje prison, General Buhari decided to attend a meeting of his National Security Council on Friday, July 8. Predictably, the meeting was worse than inconclusive. The president, a devout Muslim, was due to observe his Jummat prayers that day and subsequently had to catch a flight to his village for the Eid holiday. None of these could wait. Serious deliberations, it seems, have been postponed until after the president has wrapped up his Eid vacation.

Despite being in possession of notice of the attack, General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took no action to prevent or repel the attack. Instead, it looks like they worked hard to cheer him on. This is the only way to explain the report that the soldiers who are usually on guard around the perimeter of the prison, have been inexplicably redeployed of this post less than 24 hours before the attack, which could only have made the attack much easier for the perpetrators. No one has explained satisfactorily or at all how the most hardened convicts and terrorism suspects managed to end up in a medium security prison, which is Kuje prison.

Hours after the July 6 escape from Kuje Prison in Dutsinma, Katsina State, northwestern Nigeria, another band of terrorists attacked General Buhari’s forward team heading to his village to prepare for his arrival for Eid. The same day, state police confirmed that “an assistant police commissioner Aminu Umar and another policeman were killed in a terrorist ambush in Dutsinma on the same day”.

Kuje’s prison escape was the 14the under the supervision of President Buhari, without consequences. His first interior minister served a full term. The current one remains in office as well as the president. These escapes correlated positively with metastases of insecurity in the states where they occurred. Monitoring group figures, Nigeria mournsclearly demonstrate that the escalation of insecurity in Imo State and south-eastern Nigeria, for example, is attributable to the prison break in Owerri, the capital of Imo State , on April 5, 2021, of which 1,844 prisoners and dangerous detainees escaped.

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President Buhari’s response to this deterioration was to accumulate Air Miles on a massive scale. The Kuje prison attack happened exactly two days after President Buhari returned from a visit to Portugal on July 3. It was his 11e foreign trip in the previous five months since late January, some of them have been undertaken on less than a whim. During the same period, the security situation in the FCT collapsed.

After the escape from Kuje prison, General Buhari decided to attend an encounter of its National Security Council on Friday 8 July. Predictably, the meeting was worse than inconclusive. The president, a devout Muslim, was due to observe his Jummat prayers that day and subsequently had to catch a flight to his village for the Eid holiday. None of these could wait. Serious deliberations, it seems, have been postponed until after the president has wrapped up his Eid vacation. It shouldn’t be until July 21, by which time the terrorists recently released from Kuje prison had time to deploy in and around the FCT. At the time of this meeting, it seems, the terrorists were unfolding a renewed campaign of terror in the territory.

Without any sense of shame or irony, two days after terrorists killed three members of his guard brigade; the day after his Minister of Education closed the main public schools in the FCT due to insecurity, and the day before his administration of the FCT closed all schools in the same FCT, on July 26, General Buhari flew away to “Monrovia, Liberia to, among other things, deliver a speech on West African security”.

The primary job of a president and commander-in-chief is not just to protect his country; it is, even more, to protect its capital. It’s all about caring about your people. It is now clear that as President, Muhammadu Buhari is unable and unwilling to do any of this and is indeed unable to do so. Under the circumstances, there is no reason for him to remain president. Nigerians should grant him his desire to retire.

When Boko Haram abducted 276 students from the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) in Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014, it was new and unprecedented. The incident triggered a high level presidential panel headed by a former head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), a Safe Schools Initiative, and an international campaign for #BringBackOurGirls. The All Progressives Congress (APC), created the same year and led by Muhammadu Buhari, entered the political arena by calling on the National Assembly to “remove President Goodluck Jonathan now”. Buhari’s entire presidential campaign narrative was then configured around the promise that as a retired general he knew how to keep the country safe.

On the eighth anniversary of the Chibok Girls’ abduction in April, a total of 11,536 schools were closed due to insecurity and more than 1,500 schoolchildren were in captivity, victims of mass kidnappings. Seven years after his second misadventure in power, Muhammadu Buhari has made mass kidnappings of schoolchildren routine, democratized insecurity and is now unable to secure the federal capital. The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in South Africa now risks Nigeria under Buhari being “out of security options” and another article published by AlJazeera last week, said “Nigeria’s security forces are no longer able to protect themselves, let alone the public.”

Earlier this year, General Buhari informed the Nigerians that he tiredness and was eager to return to his village. Six months later, in June, he announcement President’s job is “hard” saying “I can’t wait to go”.

The primary job of a president and commander-in-chief is not just to protect his country; it is, even more, to protect its capital. It’s all about caring about your people. It is now clear that as President, Muhammadu Buhari is unable and unwilling to do any of this and is indeed unable to do so. Under the circumstances, there is no reason for him to remain president. Nigerians should grant him his desire to retire.

The only option left in democratic politics is for the National Assembly to remove him through the impeachment process. It is their democratic duty under the constitution. The cost of keeping Buhari in power is the destruction of all that is left of Nigeria. No one, surely not Buhari, is worth the price of the country. Now is the time for the National Assembly to fulfill this duty and remove Muhammadu Buhari as President of Nigeria.

Chidi Anselme Odinkalulawyer and teacher, can be reached at chidi.odinkalu@tufts.edu.


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