Let’s hear it from Ihejirika, Sherriff and Oritsejafor

We are all living witnesses, at least some of us are, to the day Bill Clinton appeared before an American grand jury and sweated it out over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. There he was, the president of the world's only superpower and the leader of the so-called free world going through that grueling inquisition because he had dared to abuse the moral stature of his exalted office.
While he sat before that stern assembly, trying hard to define his understanding of what constitutes sexual relations (he had earlier denied having 'sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky'), He was just another citizen of the United States fighting to save himself from legal retribution for his offense. In the course of the investigations into that affair, we learnt of the number of times 'it' happened in the Oval office, at the corridor and at a bathroom within the White House. There was also Lewinsky's stained blue dress to provide DNA proof of the president's scandalous infidelity, should the need arise.
In the end William Jefferson Clinton, popularly known as Bill, was impeached as the 42nd president of the United States. Of course he never really left office because the senate of the US failed to ratify his impeachment. The wise greybeards at the senate voted almost 50-50 against the impeachment, thereby failing to raise the two-thirds majority needed to send Clinton home. I took us down memory lane over the Great American Sex Scandal to show us that in a true democracy no one is above investigation in a matter that is important enough to the nation.
And you will agree with me that as important as it was to the Americans to find out whether their president was an incurable womanizer, it is nowhere near how important it is for us to find out who is behind the bloodbath and carnage that has been our lot in Nigeria, in the last few years. While we fumbled in the dark, blaming some phantom Islamist terror group that we've failed to catch, a huge clue came to us from an unlikely source. Unlikely, because Stephen Davis just isn't a citizen of any of the countries that have rushed to offer help in rescuing the Chibok girls or in ending the insurgency.
True, he had his connections to Nigeria, but that should be a plus and not a minus in getting us to at least consider the merit of his assertions. If a foreigner who had nothing to do with our country just rose up to claim that he knew the sponsors of this bloody insurgency, we can dismiss his claim on the basis that he knew nothing about Nigeria. But if someone who has been here several times, like Dr Davis, does so will it harm to listen and at least investigate his claim?
Yet to our great amazement our department of state security DSS was the first to exonerate General Ihejirika, without so much as a single invitation to their office to ask a few questions.  Former Governor Ali Sherriff, who wasn't so favoured was to be invited for questioning, but before we could spell SAS, he was on a trip to neighbouring Chad Republic with the country's CEO. Never mind the denial that they didn't go together, one picture they say, is worth a thousand words and we have seen several photos of the former Borno governor with President Jonathan and his Chadian counterpart.
What we deduce from the above scenario is that both Ihejirika and Sherriff are sacred cows which the Jonathan administration does not wish to subject to the indignity of an investigation or a public hearing. But the matter at hand concerns the security of the nation.
We are talking about digging into the source of a phenomenon that has killed hundreds of thousands and caused monumental destruction in many parts of the country and is still raging.
Just two days ago, there was the attack at the FCE in Kano where almost twenty people, including students, a lecturer and a child were killed. In the same day in Kaduna tens of others were killed in Southern Kaduna villages. In the light of this on-going carnage can we really afford to say some people are above board so we can't even approach them for questioning in matters of grave national importance?
Why should Marilyn Ogar's exoneration of Lt-Gen Ihejirika be enough to absolve him of any complicity in the matter of Boko Haram sponsorship?
 Wasn't it curious that under his stewardship Boko Haram attackers always attacked in military uniforms, moved in convoys of several Hilux vans and operated for hours without being apprehended by national troops? Wasn't it curious that despite the huge and unprecedented security budget, under him Nigerian soldiers regularly ran for cover from the superior firepower of 'Boko-Haram'? Where were the arms and ammunitions they needed to combat the insurgents and effectively enforce a state of emergency in the affected states?
If we were a serious nation, even without Stephen Davis' claims, we have enough reason to probe the former army chief. Again can we afford to ignore any clue, any hint at all that might lead us to the masterminds of this national terror? Why should Dr Davis' assertion that the SSS has refused to go after a certain CBN official, whose three nephews are in detention, be overlooked because again Marilyn Orgar has refuted the allegation?  What is the use of our National Assembly if they cannot independently initiate probes into issues of such importance to our national security?
And just when our government has dismissed Davis' claims and was about to continue with business as usual- having swept the Ihejirika-Sheriff issue under the carpet-the news of the jets laden with dollars for arms-deal broke out. Unfortunately for us another 'untouchable' was implicated. This time, the fiery and war-mongering president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
Predictably, all arms are on deck to also exonerate him from any wrongdoing in the secret arms deal that was uncovered by South African officials, at the Lanseria Airport because Oritsejafor happens to be a close ally of President Jonathan.
The two Nigerians and an Israeli caught with the money are being held in South Africa, but our government is yet to make any pronouncement on the issue apart from saying that the 9.3 million dollars found on the men will be forfeited to the federal government because that is the provision of the money-laundering Act. If we were in a true democracy, everyone connected in any way with this money or the jets involved, will be invited for questioning over this. None of the excuses given by Oritsejafor would have saved him from being probed, especially at a time of such grave security situation in the nation.
We all recall how the SSS reacted when some ancient, some say hunting guns, were found in the residence of a Lebanese man in Kano. Even his landlords in Abuja were not spared the wrath of the government when he was apprehended. The landlords, who happened to be owners of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland leisure spot were all arrested and interrogated by (wonder of wonders) Israeli officials and then prosecuted for terrorism. Their business premises were shut down for close to a year, leading to loss of millions , all because their tenant was found with some old guns in his basement.
We are yet to see the same level of zeal or enthusiasm on the part of the SSS, in dealing with the issue of this illegal arms deal attempt.
And we may never see it. So this is a challenge to our National Assembly, especially our House of Representatives, to show their independence and invite these three people for an open hearing on the issues related to them. Ihejirika and Ali Sherriff must appear before a House committee to respond to Stephen Davis' claims. The House must facilitate the appearance of Dr Davis himself, since he had offered to bring some proof of his assertions. In the same way Pastor Oritsejafor and all those named in connection with the attempt at this illegal arms deal and money laundering, should grace an open public hearing on the matter in the lower chamber of our national assembly.
Failure to initiate these public hearings, so we can get to hear from Ihejirika, Ali Sherriff and Oritsejafor, will make us conclude, as some of our compartriots already have, that the government is behind Boko Haram and that is why it isn't ready to pursue any links that could help us solve the murderous mystery. We must remember that in the US, the president himself was forced before a grand jury, in the eyes of the world, to answer for his actions. In Nigeria, we must not let the President's cronies escape investigation.

Written by Aisha Umar Yusuf anotherdimension2011@yahoo.com 08092739640 (SMS only)
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About Abayomi Oke

Asiwaju is the CEO of Novent Concept, he is a Professional MC and also a Movie Director "Biographical Info" Novent TV is a subsidary of Novent Concept.


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