Buhari Declares War on Biafra, Maintains Ban on Twitter, Unleashes Blame on Everyone but Himself for Nigeria’s Woes

Nigerian President, Muhammdu Buhari has refused to retract a statement in which he was accused of threatening to unleash a civil war against a population he leads.

Many of those misbehaving, today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” the President tweeted on the microblogging platform Twitter. 

The statement which the microblogging platform deleted prompted the government to ban Twitter in Nigeria. Following the ban of Twitter, which has attracted global condemnation, Mr. Buhari, who has not been media friendly since he assumed power in 2015 suddenly appeared on a Nigerian cable television, ARISE TV on Thursday morning to declare that he wasn’t remorseful.

He vowed instead to unleash the full military and state power against what he called bandits and other criminal elements in the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Map showing Biafra and Nigeria, with Biafra in green (C) Pinterest

“My statement is very simple. It is meant for all criminals in Nigeria. What it means for the IPOB is that I will go after them through the military and police and rid them of their criminal tendencies. I have no regret whatsoever,” the President declared.

The President’s utterances are viewed as an attempt to reenact the civil war that raged between 1967 and 1970, during which the Nigerian government is accused killing at least one million civilians in Biafra in 30 months.

In his speech to the nation, Mr. Buhari added that the cessation for Biafra wasn’t feasible, given the region’s location.

Biafra- IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and others have been bracing up for this moment (C) Daily Post Nigeria

“IPOB is just a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere. And the way they are spreading all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about,” the President said. 

Mr. Buhari added that the military and police would pursue other Nigerians involved in violence.

“Take the North-West, for example, people with the same language and culture are killing themselves, stealing each other's properties. Imagine the madness. Well, I have now told the military and the police to be brutal. From now, we will speak the language they understand and in the coming weeks, you'll get exactly what I am saying,” he said.

Mr. Buhari would, however, not comment on the Twitter ban when the interviewers asked him.  

“We are not there yet. I keep that to my chest,” he said in a reference to the ban on Twitter which is now five days old as of Thursday, June 10.

Nigeria’s Twitter ban has since generated a lot of reaction from both citizens and the global community which wants Mr. Buhari to rescind his decision.

The President also argued that the unity of Nigeria was important for the country’s prosperity. He added that even if the country was divided the small units wouldn’t prosper. 

“Dividing Nigeria into pieces is not a solution. It's a wrong signal to all investors. So, each Republic will become a paradise? How do we share what United us? What have we done together within such a record time? I'm surprised Nigerian elites watch these uninformed lots that make criminal statements every day. We are all better off as Nigerians,” he said. 

The President also blamed some state governors of incompetence especially when they had promised an ability to rule during the elections.

“Two southwest governors came to me to say cattle keepers are destroying farms in their states. I asked them what happened to the grassroots’ security panels from traditional rulers to local governments,” he said.

According to the President, the local government and traditional leaders are supposed to meet regularly to identify the root causes of their problems and identify crooks within their communities.

“Who destroyed this system?” Wondered the President, adding that he had told the governors to go back and fix the local government system which would give the population a sense of belonging.

“I don't like it when people campaign to become governors and people trust them with their votes and after winning, they can't perform, they're trying to push responsibilities to others,” said the President.

President Buhari also accused the governors of killing the local governments.  

“We will send N300m as allocation to a local government, one governor will ask the Chairman of the local government to sign that he collected N300m ($726,903) but he will give him N100m ($242,301) and the Chairman will keep quiet, is that how we will continue?” he asked.

Biafra Youths have lately expressed determination to die for what they believe in (C) The Africa Report.com

President Buhari also blamed previous governments before his tenure for the country’s hardships. Despite campaigning on a platform that promised to correct the failures of previous governments, President Buhari now in charge for more than six years said the leaders who came before him were the reason Nigerians are poor and insecure.

He accused the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan of failing Nigeria when they ruled the country between 1999 to 2015.

An audit report in December 2018 by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) revealed that Nigeria earned $677.9 billion, between 1999 and 2016, a period from the sale of crude oil produced from the Niger Delta region.

“The previous governments earned more with nothing on ground. Did you ask them where they kept our money? If I knew where, maybe I would not borrow. They sold oil at $100, we sell at $25 sometimes. They wasted money on power, no light, no road, no rail. We are the ones constructing bridges, building roads and rails. Today (Thursday), I'm commissioning Lagos/Ibadan Railway, I will commission Lagos/Ibadan Expressway later, I will commission more across the country. No country can survive without infrastructures,” he said.