By Jane Odoh
Former Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Idada Ikponmwen, retd, one of the frontline South-South leaders, who vehemently opposed compatriots that accused President Buhari of having an Islamisation agenda in the last three to four years, has made a U-turn in his opinion.
Ikponmwen, also a legal luminary, said that the situation on ground now shows that he had all these while been the wrong person while those on the other side were not wrong after all.
He said that the statement made by former president Obasanjo that Boko Haram has become a tool for Islamisation and Fulanisation cannot be refuted anymore.
“I am unable to refute in any solid manner the assertion credited to former President Obasanjo that Boko Haram Movement, the rampaging herdsmen are turning into ready tools for Islamisation of this country.
“When available signs, signals and indicators point strongly to what is alleged, nobody needs to seek further proofs.
“As a strong and front line backer of President Muhammadu Buhari, I strongly opposed my friends and associates who canvassed the idea that Buhari had an Islamic agenda.
“Three to four years after, my erstwhile antagonists appear to be winning; How, for example do we justify the central govt’s insistence on open- grazing and creation of cattle colony from extreme North to the southern coasts, even when such idea has become not only obsolete, but inconsistent with our laws?
“How does the discerning Nigerian interpret the virtual failure of government to bring to trial or otherwise strongly address even one of the uncountable killings inflicted by cattle herdsmen all over the Middle Belt and other areas of southern states?
“How, indeed, can anyone justify the outright refusal of the then Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue when the killings of Benue indigenes were at intolerable peak?
“Today, there is growing tension and fear in Edo State and other neighbouring states over rapid and growing infiltration of large numbers of people of Fulani extraction into rural areas suspected to be assisted in numerous ways, including arms and ammunition, by powerful persons and institutions to which there has been no effective refutal.
“Furthermore, has there been any satisfactory explanation as to why virtually those in the security sector in Nigeria since PMB administration have been a monopoly of the Muslim Hausa / Fulani sect?
Speaking further, Ikponmwen said, “Has the recent widespread news making the rounds that the Miyetti Allah group (IMN) has been pacified with N100 billion grant, even as the unarmed IPOB remains proscribed as a terrorist group, been satisfactorily counteracted?
“Were all Nigerians not witnesses to how the federal government of Nigeria deployed the fullest of resources, including diplomacy and funds to ensure the release of our Muslim girl, Aisha, compared to the case of our Christian, Leah Shuibu, who has remained in captivity till date?
“The sudden and unconstitutional removal of a Christian Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN W. Onnoghen and his replacement by a Sharia Jurist picked from below the ladder in the hierarchy of Supreme Court Judges cannot, but spark religious sentiments in a country that has become so visibly divided along religious lines?
“Can any non- Muslim Nigerian be blamed for faulting the manner of appointment of IGPs in recent times when government went down the ladder in the seniority roll of senior police officers to pick the next IGP?
‘’What about the news making the round that Saudi people were being strategically positioned to play dominant role in the Nigerian oil/ gas industry?
“In the same vein, how do we remove religious sentiments when our own President would proceed to Medina failing to hand over affairs of state to his Christian Vice President?
“Does anyone expect that those seeking to islamise Nigeria would openly admit it?
‘’I think it is increasingly becoming clear that the authorities are charting the way to islamise Nigeria. It is on this note that I posit that those who see Boko Haram and ravaging herdsmen as tools for Islamic agenda are hardly at fault.”
The Edo born Military General went on to add “This is more so when Boko Haram has all along declared that anything touching on western education is evil.
“One can justifiably interpret the failure of the PMB administration to effectively deal with this sect as tacit approval by a government that vowed to eliminate all forms of killings wherever they occur in this country.
“This government must be reminded that our state from the beginning was based on secularism and so it must remain for the good of all.’’
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH