Letter To Nigeria’s Military High Command, By Adeolu Ademoyo
Dear Badeh, Minimah, Amosun, Dasuki, Gusau,
Air Chief Marshal Badeh, the Chief of Defense Staff, Major General Minimah, the Chief of Army Staff, Air Marshall Amosun, the Chief of Air Staff, Col Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser to President Jonathan, General Aliyu Gusau, the minister of defense.
I write to you all today because President Jonathan, the Commander in Chief has practically but wrongly made you-as members of the Nigerian Military High Command- a partisan and bias part of the Nigerian electoral process and the 2015 elections in particular on behalf of himself. This is contrary to your oath of office- (especially you the service chiefs).
Because this is an extremely dangerous step, it is important that we call your attention to this just in case you missed the implications of the cur under the watch of President Jonathan.
Sirs, you will permit me to speak with you with candour on certain issues of urgent national interest. Down the road it is the country first and not the interests of a Commander in Chief. Down the road, it is the country first and not the interests of a president. Down the road, it is the country first and not the interests of political parties.
This is where you come in. Down the road you are called to defend the people and only the people. You as military men and women of honor belonging to a patriotic life saving honorable call- do not serve the country because you serve a president.
Rather, you serve the country primarily and only because of the nature of your life defending call. A soldier pledges his/her life to the country. That is who you are. Hence, in civilized climes soldiers-because of this life saving pledge- are treated with a given, a priori and un-conditional honor, reverence, deference they earn and deserve honorably.
But in a situation where President Jonathan has decided to dissolve the people, your call and service are not to follow him on this path. Your call and your service as soldiers-land, air and sea- are to solidify, unite, integrate, consolidate the people. On your oath, you are called to defend the physical constitution of the people, their physical territory called a country, their sovereignty, and their laws and not the transient whims and caprices of your C in C who happens today to be a candidate in the 2015 elections.
Sadly, the signs are not positive nor are they strong that you are aware of this professional and, yes, social, pure life giving, life sustaining, moral call-which is always wrapped in professional terms. In fact the signs are too strong that you are failing in this regard. In this act of omission, you have willingly or unwillingly followed the president-President Goodluck Jonathan- and his party on the path of illegality, and the active dissolution of the people under the mortal fear that the people had forfeited the confidence of President Jonathan’s government.
So, permit me to present to you what you already know. You as members of the military high command are being asked to state your position on this matter to the Nigerian people you serve.
The first matter concerns Captain Sagir Koli 32, formerly of Artillery Brigade Intelligence Officer and his disclosure of how the military was used to rig the Ekiti elections in favor of Mr. Ayo Fayose, a PDP politician. Captain Sagir Koli’s audiotape on the Ekiti rigging is in the public domain. You have listened to this audiotape. So I will not go over the content.
However, I will be very sincere about what should concern you professionally and ethically as members of Nigeria’s Military High Command. Three members of Nigeria armed forces have been implicated in the Ekiti rigging as contained in the audiotape. They are Brigadier General A.A. Momoh Commander 32 Artillery Brigade, Major Ujung of 82 Base Ammunitions Depot from Nigerian Army 82 Division Enugu, and Captain Sagir Koli himself.
I will leave out Musiliu Obanikoro in this matter before you, because even though Obanikoro is a former minister of state for defense, he is just another regular politician looking for something. But you as military men are supposed to be different because you are presumably professional soldiers and officers of a patriotic and nationalistic institution-the military as we used to know it.
So Sirs, let me state some factual events surrounding this audio tape which if true have completely compromised our military under your watch and have controverted your statement through Nigerian Defense spokesperson Brigadier General Chris Olukolade that you will act professionally and ethically all the time to serve the Nigerian people during the 2015 elections.
I say factual events because the nature of fact philosophically is that they are open to verification and refutation. Facts are not interpretations of which can be said to be subjective. Facts are events and occurrences, which you can quantify, refute or confirm. So these are some facts and questions. Nigerian people who you serve on oath want you to confirm whether they are true or false and answer some of these questions.
- Are Brigadier General A.A. Mommoh, Major Ujung and Captain Sagir Koli members of the Nigerian armed forces under you? In other words, do you know Brigadier General A.A. Momoh, Major Ujung and Captain Sagir Koli as professional gentlemen and soldiers in the Nigerian military?
- If they are members of the Nigerian armed forces, have you called them to investigate the weighty allegations against the professional and ethical integrity of the Nigerian military in Captain Sagir Koli’s audiotape?
- If yes, what did you discover? Can you share your discovery with the Nigerian people you are on oath to serve?
- If these men are professional soldiers in the Nigerian military and you have not deemed it fit to investigate them, why?
- Captain Koli said after his escape, the Nigerian military arrested his 15-year-old brother Adamu Koli who lived with him in Akure Ondo state before his escape. Captain Koli said his brother Adamu Koli was tortured at a Nigerian military facility as a result of the allegations in his audiotape and his escape. Sirs, as members of Nigerian military high Command, is this true?
- Have you heard about the lawyers, J. Akin Ajayi and Associates who allegedly were hired to look into the case of teenager Adamu Koli? J. Akin Ajayi and Associates claim that Adamu Koli was detained at the Military Hospital within Adekunle Fajuyi cantonment in Ibadan. Is there an Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment in Ibadan, which houses a military hospital such that one Adamu Koli was once detained there? You need to speak to this. It is about your honor and the honor of our country’s military.
- Do you know Adamu Koli a younger brother of one of your soldiers? Did the Nigerian military under your watch torture Adamu Koli? Please sirs; you are ethically and professionally obliged to say something about this. Just say something. Anything you say will help.
- After Captain Sagir Koli allegedly escaped for his dare life, it is also being alleged that Brigadier General A.A. Mommoh, Captain Sagir Koli’s Brigade Commander set up a military Board of Inquiry.
- The information in the public domain waiting for verification or refutation is that Brigadier General A.A. Mommoh is the senior military in the rigging that allegedly took place in the Ekiti election. Silence fuels this allegation, so you must say something. Say something Generals, say something.
- The information in the public domain waiting for verification or refutation is that the military Board of Inquiry which Brigadier General A.A. Mommoh set up had six members and that one Col. D. Akama is the Chairperson of the Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstance of Captain Sagir Koli’s absence from duty since the Ekiti election.
- Now Sirs, if Captain Sagir Koli, is/was an officer in the Nigerian armed force, is Captain Sagir Koli still being paid? If yes, why if he is not on duty? If no, why?
- Did the military set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate Captain Koli’s absence since the 2014 Ekiti election? Is your Commander in Chief, President Jonathan aware of this? If yes, what does he know about this?
- Do you know Col. D. Akama? If yes, did he ever chair a Board of Inquiry to inquire into Captain Sagir Koli’s absence?
- Sirs this part I am going to bring to your attention is really depressing for many Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora. Look Sirs, this is it. Do you know one Mr. Chris Uba? This Chris Uba has been mentioned as part of the rigging cohort in the 2014 Ekiti election. The information in the public domain is that some commissioned Army officers followed Chris Uba into Ado Ekiti for the rigging. This means this fellow Chris Uba allegedly led Nigerian soldiers on a rigging mission to Ekiti state.
- Sirs, just in case you are not aware. Chris Uba is not a soldier. He is a civilian, a PDP politician but very close to the Commander In Chief-President Jonathan. So?
- As it is being alleged did you allow 16 commissioned Army Officers led by Major Ujung of 82 Base Ammunitions Depot from Nigeria Army 82 Division Enugu to follow Chris Uba, a civilian into Ekiti for the rigging? Allegedly their major task was to affect arrest and move secret materials and money. According to the audiotape, this money was allegedly brought from CBN Umuahia. Are you aware of this given the involvement of army officers over who you have professional over sight supervision?
- In other words, let us put aside the criminal act of rigging, the relevant thing for the professional integrity of our military is Sirs: Did you allow a civilian called Chris Uba to lead officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces to Ado Ekiti? Look Sirs; did commissioned officers of the Nigerian military TAKE ORDERS FROM A CIVILIAN DURING THE EKITI ELECTION? This is the real issue.
- This aspect whereby officers of the Nigerian armed Forces allegedly took orders from a civilian named Chris Uba during the 2014 Ekiti election is depressing to Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora. Therefore you need to say something. Say something sirs, say something.
- There are other aspects of Captain Sagir Koli’s audiotape, which affect the nation as a whole; I have only isolated the aspects, which if true have compromised the professional integrity of the Nigerian military and has completely sunk ethics in the military. Therefore, you have the obligation to respond to these.
Sirs, there are some people who claim that the Ekiti election has come and gone. Please forget about these people. We are dealing with an extremely dangerous trend here-not just an event. It is the consistent trend under your Commander in Chief-President Jonathan of the active involvement of the military in political party (not just mere partisan) politics and politicking on behalf of the incumbent and his party-President Jonathan and PDP.
President Jonathan-the Commander in Chief’s desperate act has one name. –baiting the military. Just as President Jonathan engages in religion and ethnic baiting, by this act President Jonathan is baiting the military, sirs, President Jonathan is baiting you. It means the PDP and President Jonathan are barefacedly making you the military part of the candidate in these elections. This is too dangerous for any democracy more so a fragile African democracy.
Now sirs, let us go to the second issue-The Postponement of the election. Inconsistency is a known threat to truth and common sense. Sadly, because the Commander in Chief, President Jonathan has made the military high command part of the 2015 elections, you have become inconsistent and therefore you may no longer be able to speak with one voice, say the truth and serve the people truthfully.
I will give you some dates to reflect on because here I am dealing with facts and dates as part of truth saying.
- On Thursday January 22, 2015 or thereabout Col. Sambo Dasuki, the NSA to President Jonathan spoke at Chattam House London. He called for a postponement of the election on the ground of insufficient distribution of voting cards.
- On February 7, 2015 INEC announced that Nigerian security agencies meaning you the military high command had written to him that Nigerian security agencies will not be available to help with security during the election if it commences on February 14. The NSA Col. Sambo Dasuki wrote that letter.
- There is a contradiction and an inconsistency between Sambo Dasuki’s reasons for postponement of election in London on January 22 and his reasons in his letter to INEC chair –Mr. Jega in February.
- Sirs, we will like to know if the NSA represented your views on this matter especially because it is not your professional duty to be part of elections. You have a duty and not a job. Your duty on oath is the defence of Nigerian people.
- On or about February 3, 2015 you service chiefs met with political parties to pledge support to provide security for the election. As soldiers and men of honor and men of a profession of honor, you know what pledges are. Each of you reportedly pledged as follows:
- Making a pledge of support, you, the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, an Air Chief Marshal, reportedly gave assurances of the Armed Forces’ preparedness for the elections thus: “even though we are busy in the North East, we also have capabilities across the nation.”
- You, the Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Minimah, a Major General, reportedly pledged to the people thus: “we are aware of the need for security, before, during and after the elections. We will deploy across the states of the federation in areas we discover that have capacity for violence. We are prepared to ensure we have peaceful elections.”
- And you, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Adesola Amosun reportedly pledged that they would support the peoples’ sovereignty as expressed in their votes thus: “we have commenced the air lift of the materials needed for the elections, starting from Abuja. We will continue with the elections.”
Sirs, what you the three service Chiefs who are on oath of your offices to serve the Nigerian people faithfully said in items 6,7,8 on or about February 3, 2015 in a meeting with the political representatives of the Nigerian people-the political parties contradict what Col. Sambo Dasuki an appointee of the President-Goodluck Jonathan- said both on January 22 and in his letter to Mr. Jega, the INEC chairman as disclosed February 7 in items 1 and 2 in this letter to you.
In other words, your pledge before the political representatives of the Nigerian people to provide security in defense of the sovereignty of Nigerian people came before Col. Sambo Dasuki’s subversion of your pledge in his letter to INEC.
Sirs, your pledge to defend Nigeria and Nigerians during the election in items 6,7,8 contradict Col. Sambo Dasuki ( a political appointee of President Jonathan) subversion of that pledge in items 1 and 2.
Yet Col Dasuki claimed to speak on your behalf in his letter to Mr. Jega item 2. Who did not speak the truth? Who lied?
Sirs, what happened such that we have fatal contradiction in items 1,2,6,7,8? Sirs, this is the military and its honor. What happened? You need to say something. Something is going on which we the people do not know.
Also, in this dangerous game whereby President Jonathan has made you part of the 2015 elections, we have not heard from the minister of defense, General Gusau. Why is he not saying something? Nigerian people needs the views of every one of you on paper. We are in a historical situation today in the country. There is no longer sitting on the fence. Each individual is obliged to state his/her position. So where is the minister of defense General Aliyu Gusau in all these?
Sirs, you are obliged –professionally and morally if you will save the name and honor of the military to fully inform Nigerian people who you are on oath to serve on what happened in the rigged 2014 Ekiti elections when the Nigerian military was made part of the cohort of election riggers. The military is too sacred to be compromised politically. A compromised military as we have presently will not command the respect and reverence of we the people of Nigeria.
Finally, Sirs, in view of the content of this letter to you, you are professionally and morally obliged to inform Nigerian people who you are on oath to serve on how you will prevent and resist being used by your Commander in Chief, President Jonathan on behalf of himself in the postponed elections.
Sirs, will you serve the Nigerian people who you are on oath to serve now and always or will you serve the transient political interests, whims and caprices of your Commander in Chief, President Jonathan in the postponed elections? That is the major question of the day. It takes the deep to call to the deep.
Yours in just love of and affection for our beleaguered country, Nigeria.
Adeolu Ademoyo firstname.lastname@example.org Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.