My life as a herdsman, by Buhari
“…the nomad life exposes you to nature. You will never learn enough about plants, trees, insects and animals’
Apparently recalling his early life as a herdsman, President Muhammadu Buhari has said his rearing of cattle contributed immensely to shaping him into what he is today as a former military Head of State and the incumbent president of Nigeria, attributing these landmark achievements to the Fulani training of perseverance which he imbibed along the line.
President Buhari won the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after he attempted it four times before defeating former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Speaking in an interview initially published by The Sun Newspaper in 2012 but reproduced by Saturday Telegraph, President Buhari acknowledged that his life as a herdsman was made possible due to the Fulani training of perseverance which toughened and made him a realist. President Buhari in the interview also talked about his relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Military President Ibrahim Babangida respectively, whom he said, he had some unpalatable experi-ences with in his emergence as head of state.
In the case of Obasanjo, Buhari said he still remembers with nostalgic intuition what the former president did to him by mobilising the electorate against him while Babangida’s case was masterminding the coup that ousted his military regime in 1983.
Sounding modest in his assessment of his growing up days as a herdsman, Buhari said: “Clearly, I could recall I reared cattle. We had cattle; we had sheep and then, there was good neighbourhood. Not many children had the opportunity to go to school, but I went to school.
“Those who are brought up in the city have limited space. If you are in a confined school, you learn from the school and what you see immediately. But the nomad life exposes you to nature. You will never learn enough about plants, trees, insects and animals.
Every day, you are learning something. You have seen them and every day you are learning. You will never know all of them. So, it is so vast that it takes a lot of whatever you can think of.
And then again, the difference in the environment. In the Savannah, in the Sahel, after harvest, you can always see as high as your eyes can go. And then, at night when there is moon, it is fantastic. So, I enjoyed those days and they made a lasting impression on me.
“I left home at the age of 10 or 11 and went to school, like I said. And I was in the boarding school for nine years. In primary school and secondary school, I was in the boarding house and from there, I went straight into the Army.” Recalling what could have spurred him further as a respected herdsman in his country home in Daura, Katsina State, the President said: “Because when you have reared cattle, for those who have been doing it, they said it toughens you…”
On what could have led to his perceived rift with Obasanjo, Buhari tacitly said: “Obasanjo mobilised Nigerian voters against me,” apparently referring to the various times he contested the Presidential elections and lost before he eventually won the 2015 election. Pressed further if he actually had forgiven the former president, he said: “No, I haven’t forgiven him (laughter).” For Babangida, Buhari said his feud with the former military president was hinged on the fact that he staged a coup that ousted his regime in 1983, which according to him, got him infuriated.
He said: “Of course, I was angry because I can’t recall what I had done for him to mobilise the military to overthrow me and detain me for more than three years. Yeah, it is natural for me to be upset.”
Though he later acknowledged that he had forgiven Babangida publicly, he, however, said: “I think the worst thing anybody can do to oneself is to have either hatred or grudge on a daily basis. One thing will happen and you better forget.
I did. Publicly, I did.” He added: “I have and some of your papers published it. I said as a Muslim, I have forgiven him. I have forgiven him. I said it and it was printed by some of your colleagues. But I didn’t say it will be forgotten. It cannot be forgotten. If I say I forget about it, I will be lying. But I have forgiven him, just as I expect Shagari to forgive me as the one who succeeded him.”
Asked if joining the military was the best thing that ever happened to him, he said: “I think so, because from primary to secondary school and in the military, it continued, both the academic and the physical one. I think it was so tough, but then, once it was inbuilt, it had to be sustained because you don’t contemplate failure.”
On why he choose the infantry and not the other arms, President Buhari said: “I found the infantry much more challenging and when we were doing the training, the Federal Government decided that we were going to have the Air Force.
So, I was invited. A team came from the Ministry of Defence to interview cadets that wanted to be fighter pilots in the Air Force. “I was the first to be called in our group. I appeared before them and they told me that those who could pass the interview would be recommended to go to the Air Force training in the UK.Some also went to Ethiopia or United States or Germany. So, they asked me whether I wanted to be a fighter pilot and I said no.
They asked why, and I said I wasn’t interested. “We were given three choices. Number one, maybe you went to infantry; number two, you went to reconnaissance before they became armour and later, maybe artillery. So, all my three choices, I could recall vividly, I put infantry, infantry.
So, they said why? I said because I liked infantry. And they asked if I wouldn’t like to be a fighter pilot. I said no, I didn’t want to join them. They said why. I said I hadn’t done Physics. “Normally, I did some mathematics but to be a fighter pilot, you must do some physics.
They said no, that it was no problem, that I could have an additional one academic year. So, since I had some mathematics background, it was just one year purely to do physics and I would reach the grade required to be a pilot. I said no, I didn’t want it. They again asked why.
I told them I chose infantry. The reason is: when I am fighting and I was shot at, if I was not hit, I can go down, turn back and take off by foot. They laughed and sent me out. So, I remained infantry officer.”
Yobe schoolgirls’ case receiving attention –Buhari
●I never believed any govt could be careless with girls again, says Ezekwesili
●United States condemns latest kidnap case
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the case of students abducted from the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State is receiving the deserved and that no effort would be spared to bring succour to them. This is coming as an avalanche of mixed reactions yesterday trailed last Monday’s attack and abduction of 94 girls of the Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram sects.
Hours after it released a statement that some of the girls had been freed, the Yobe State Government recanted on Thursday and said none has been rescued. The actual number of missing girls is also yet to be ascertained. While the police said 30 were missing as at Wednesday evening, the state government said over 50 were missing.
On Thursday, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the government was yet to ascertain the actual number of missing girls. But yesterday’s reaction saw a Co-Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, saying it was unthinkable for such a thing to happen, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the claim by the Federal Government that the Boko Haram insurgents have been defeated was responsible for Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction.
On its part, the United States strongly condemned the abduction, stating that: “The choice of targets including schools, markets and places of worship reflect the brutality of terror organisations.” Dapchi, a town 101km from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, is one of the oldest communities in Yobe State.
Dapchi girls’ kidnap devastating, says Buhari
A statement issued yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Mallam Garba Sheu, said the President described the news of the attack as, “devastating.”
The statement reads: “When I received the devastating news of the attack on the school and the fact that the local authorities could not account for all the students, I immediately dispatched a high-level delegation on a fact-finding visit to the town. I also instructed the security agencies to deploy in full and not spare any effort to ensure that all the girls are returned safely, and the attackers arrested and made to face justice.
“The entire country stands as one with the girls’ fami-lies, the government and the people of Yobe State. This is a national disaster. We are sorry that this could have happened and share your pain. We pray that our gallant armed forces will locate and safely return your missing family members. “Our government is sending more troops and surveillance aircraft to keep an eye on all movements in the entire territory on a 24-hour basis, in the hope that all the missing girls will be found.”
Ezekwesili: This is sheer absurdity
Reacting to the abduction, Ezekwesili, who was a former Minister of Education, said she never believed that there could be a repeat of the 2014 Chibok girls abduction in the country until last Monday’s incident. Speaking yesterday at this year’s Pastors’ and Leaders’ Conference organised by the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos, she said she was broken at the news of the abduction of the girls, stating that she nearly gave up on Nigeria.
She said: “When I stood for Chibok girls in 2014, it was to make a statement that never in our nation should any child be ignored when they are in danger. We cannot have a society that ignored its poor.
“From the April 15, 2014, I have not stopped screaming at the governments that they must rescue these girls because I could imagine what could happen to a girl-child in the nest of killers. “We promised and made a commitment on the 30th of April 2014 and said we will not stop our sit-out until all the girls return.
How could I have known that it will take this long? I thought that if we stood demanding the return of the girls and the nations of the world joined with our government, the girls will be back in record time. It didn’t happen, it will be four years in April but I have to keep my promise. In keeping that promise, I don’t want to tell you what it has meant in my life.”
The co-founder of Transparency International, who was almost in tears said, “But I was broken on Wednesday (sobs)…when exactly the same thing has happened again. Girls were taken from their school in Yobe, the military comes out like they came out in 2014 and said they have all being rescued and I celebrated just as I celebrated when they said they have rescued all the Chibok girls. Only for it to be false because parents of Yobe school girls started screaming that they haven’t seen any child that military said they rescued.
“I was broken and I decided that I have little hope left concerning Nigeria. If we what we gave our lives to for four years could repeat in exactly the same pattern. I thought all the people who said I was wasting my time for all those girls were right after all. “I never thought another set of girls in this same country would go through what Chiboks girls are going through. I never thought any government would be careless again with the children of Nigeria with the way it has happened again. I never thought that parents would wake up and be told one thing only for it to be another thing, But the Lord spoke to me not to give up,” she said.
PDP blames FG
PDP said in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, that Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency has put Nigerians at risk by issuing false performance indices suggesting that insurgents have been completely routed, a situation which made many unsuspecting citizens to dropped their guards in the face of real threats and danger.
The party noted that despite the claim of total victory over the insurgent, the group has been perpetrating several atrocities against citizens, particularly in the northern part of the country. The PDP said: “Without doubt, if the incompetent All Progressives Congress (APC)- led government had not dished out lies to the people in a bid to score cheap political points for its ill-lucked 2019 re-election bid, more precautionary measures would have been adopted by the affected communities to ensure adequate protection.”
US flays kidnap of schoolgirls’
The Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Ms Heather Nauert, while speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, said even though the U.S. was yet to get all the details about the abduction, the act remained barbaric.
Nauert said: “We are still trying to get all the details about that but we wanted to mention that we condemn in the strongest possible terms the terror attack on a school earlier this week in northeastern Nigeria.
The victims in the attacks were girls who were simply seeking an education.” She said the U.S. extended its condolences to the students and to their families affected by the terror attacks. The U.S. also expressed its concerns that some of the students are still not accounted for.
“We continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to counter the terror group. We also support Nigeria’s efforts to enable more than two million displaced in the Lake Chad region to return home safely.
“United States continues to provide humanitarian assistance to those who were affected by the violence,” she said. Ortom identifies with Yobe govt Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday identifies with the government and people of Yobe State over the missing schoolgirls of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi.
The governor expressed optimism that the remaining schoolgirls will soon be found and reunited with their families. Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, yesterday described the incident as traumatic especially for parents and relations of the schoolgirls, urging security agencies to ensure that the rest of the girls are rescued from the hands of their abductors.
How Boko Haram attack, kidnap of Dapchi schoolgirls occurred –Residents, School staff Residents of Dapchi, the Yobe community attacked on Monday, said the Boko Haram gunmen that invaded their community had no other mission than to abduct the female students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi.
The grieving parents, relatives and residents of Dapchi, a dusty agrarian community, informed an online news portal, PREMIUM TIMES that the gunmen that invaded their community were strangers who had to force some of the residents to show them way around the town.
“They were total strangers to the town. They did not even know where the school GGSS is located even though it is just by the road on the way to Gashua. And when they eventually located the school they moved in, captured many of our daughters and left without any one confronting them,” said Muhammed in tears.
The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, was already in the town ahead of the visiting Federal Government delegation. It was also his first visit to Dapchi since that attack occurred. Then, he was away from the state on an official function in Abuja, according to his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego.
The presence of the governor in the attacked town gave residents hope that they would soon be reunited with the rescued schoolgirls whom the state government had the previous night announced had been rescued by soldiers PREMIUM TIMES spoke with many of the residents who confirmed that they saw the Boko Haram gunmen taking the missing girls away in their trucks. Abdullahi Jimuna, a young man who identified himself as a trader, said many of them are yet to overcome the shock of witnessing such invasion, which was the first ever in the community.
“On Monday at about 6.30 p.m., we were about to perform the evening prayer, then we saw about eight Hilux vans and a Tata truck coming into the town the other direction”, said Mr. Jimuna, a lanky fair-skinned man. “When they arrived the town the vehicles separated in two groups, taking different directions.
Then suddenly they began to shoot sporadically. After a while, as everyone was fleeing, then we began to hear the schoolgirls were screaming, we saw some of them scaling the fence and taking to the bush. Then we saw some of them being conveyed in a truck and being taken away.”
Clear mission to abduct schoolgirls
Usman Na-Katarko, a farmer, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was very sure that the schoolgirls were the primary target of the Boko Haram gunmen whom he said were total strangers to the town. “It was about prayer time, and we were in the mosque when we began to hear sounds of vehicles moving at unusual speed around the streets,” he said. “Then we saw some of them driving towards where the security people are stationed.
Then we began to hear shootings. From my experience as an internally displaced person from Katarko, I knew that such kind of shooting was not a friendly one. So I told people that this is not good we have to take to safety.
“I told them that these people in military uniform are not soldiers, because on their Hilux vans are inscriptions in Arabic. “So I had to flee out of the mosque. As I was running towards my house to see if my family had also ran out, I saw a large number of Boko Haram gunmen (marching on) a village head of a nearby community called Dana, asking him to take them to a school; I had to dock and I heard them cursing him and shouting at him that “show us where the school is, show us where the girls school is.”
Doctor by day, robber at night
- The Jimade we know, by friends, neighbours
- His victims are helping us –Police
- Not our duty to confirm membership –NMA
Almost a week after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command declared Dr. Jimade Ola-Solomon wanted as the leader of a robbery gang, his medical facility, Vital Care Hospital, remains deserted. A visit by one of our correspondents to the hospital, located at Phase 3, Kubwa District of Abuja, showed no activity of any sort was going on there.
It would be recalled that the FCT Police Command last week declared Ola-Solomon also known as Jay, wanted over alleged involvement in armed robbery, carsnatching and other criminal tendencies. Speaking while parading members of the gang allegedly led by the medical doctor, FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello, said four pistols with eight rounds of live ammunition and a face mask which carefully hidden in a bag in the office of the doctor were recovered during a search conducted at the suspect’s hospital.
Bello further announced that the medical doctor, whose whereabouts remain unknown, is believed to be an indigene of the Ife Olukotun Community in the Yagba East section of Kogi State while also making it known that health and medical services had had gone on for about two years at the hospital.
Neighbours speak to Saturday Telegraph
Neighbours around the hospital based in the Kubwa area of Abuja, were uniform in expressing disappointment over the alleged nefarious activities of the man who may have become a fugitive to the law. However, residents around the medical facility described Ola-Solomon as humble, quiet man. Some of them said he is a handsome, young and nice doctor who paid attention only to his business and hardly responded to greetings or engage in conversations with any one apart from those relating to his profession.
While pleading anonymity, they told our correspondent that he is too kind and quiet for anyone to have suspected he was allegedly involved in such activities. One of them noted that he paid the rent for three years when he took over the premises about two years ago.
“He was too good, you can hardly find him talking to anyone. He had spent almost two years here but he was doing very well. There used to be lots of patients coming to seek medical attention.
“The doctor is a very nice person but nobody knew he was into this kind of crimes. It is unfortunate to learn that he was into these sorts of activities and that some guns were even discovered from the theatre,” he said. According to the young neighbour, Ola-Solomon can be regarded as a suc-cessful medical practitioner who knew his onions since many patients were always visiting his clinic. As at the time of Saturday Telegraph’s visit, it was observed that the beds and major equipment had all been removed.
Even the window nets were not spared. It was gathered that members of staff at the hospital deserted the premises immediately they got wind of the reports concerning their boss’ alleged criminal activities, even before the raid on the premises by the police.
Saturday Telegraph observed that the hospital has two wings; one housing the administrative section including a pharmacy, observation room and laboratory while the second wing accommodated the theatre and two wards, among others.
Those who spoke to Saturday Telegraph on the raid, said security operatives chased away the patients on admission and carted away beds, medical equipment and others upon recovering the guns allegedly hidden on the hospital premises. “SARS came and they emptied the place, it is just an empty house now. They asked all the people who were lying on the beds and receiving treatment to leave.
The equipment they took from here are not mere equipment, they are state-ofthe- art equipment used for carrying out surgeries,” one of the neighbours told our correspondent. Another noted that he was shocked to learn that a man as quiet as that could be allegedly deadly and ruthless.
When asked if he had proof, he retorted: “With those guns, are they for sight-seeing?” On social media where he maintained an active presence until now, it was observed that his Facebook page has been deleted but his Linkedin account remains active though looking bare.
His wife, (name withheld), seems familiar with a former Nigerian journalist (name withheld) now based in Germany, who now runs a popular blog. Back in 2014, a blog post titled: “Happy Birthday Darling Husband” was posted on the portal. The message from the woman who was celebrating her husband as part of their one-year anniversary, read: ”Dear …, “It took all of my courage to compose this message, and I am usually not this courageous except it is very important.
“Today Monday July the 21st will be my husband’s first birthday as a husband and a daddy; and because he goes out of his way to do so much for everyone else, and nothing for himself, I’d like to make this a memorable one for him and with your help of course! It will mean a lot to him and to me if you took the time to put him up on his birthday. “His name is Dr Jimade Ola-Solomon, and attached are a few photos of us. We are committed to your blog as though it were a lifeline… Please keep up the good work.
Thanks and God bless your beautiful soul. With Love, Mrs. Ola-Solomon.”On his own, the doctor has written at least four articles for popular youthbased online portal, YNaija! These are 15 Things You Need To Know About Vaginal Health published on March 11, 2013, 13 Tips On Getting Rid Of That Body Odour published on March 17, 2013, 35 Facts About HIV/AIDS We Often Forget published on April 14, 2013, 10 Tips To Having A Fresher Breath published on April 14, 2013 and by far the most popular online, Searching For A New You: Are You A Candidate For Cosmetic surgery? Facts You Should Know published on April 14, 2013.
“Writing in an article tiled The Dr. Jimade Ola-Solomon I know is not a criminal, a friend of the doctor, Emeka Ajuko, said he was shocked to learn of alleged crimes of his friend waking up one morning last week. While declaring foul play as what came to his mind, he wrote: “Foul play came straight to my mind.
This story barely adds up. “I went on social media read comments on the alleged accusation. I was disappointed to see a lot of people, people whom I believe to be literates casting aspersion on a young man they know nothing about.”
Expressing surprise that Nigerians still don’t read between the lines on stories presented by the police despite “the level of incompetence, charade, deception and ineptitude in the Nigeria Police Force, together with other agencies like Special Fraud Units and SARS,” he said: “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”
Going further, he wrote: “I have known Dr. Jimade Ola Solomon for 15 years now. We met each other at the University of Ilorin, I remember that sunny afternoon while I was sitting in the hostel and a vibrant young man came into the room with his daddy’s driver carrying some of his bags. We were bunk mates for a year and I never saw a trace of nefarious activities or criminal tendencies in that young man. I only saw an intelligent young man, full of ideas and a dream to become a good medical doctor.
“Dr. Jimade Ola Solomon was a good student, never repeated a class all through his pursuit in becoming a medical doctor. He was always fond of talking about his daddy and how he wanted his daddy to be proud of him as he was the only son of four children. He was a socialite (the founder of Defclan) and made a lot of friends who should be able to say to anyone who cares to listen “This is obviously a setup”. “Some say he was a notorious gang leader in the university.
Get your facts right peeps is Defclan a cult? Answer is No. Defclan members were only ambitious and intelligent student in medical college in his era as the Chief of the club. All the members of Defclan are doing extremely well in their different medical fields both here in Nigeria and abroad. He was a mentor and left the university with clean records. It stands to reason that this is defamation of character.”
Wondering what the real motive is and why, Ajuko wondered: “How would a young promising doctor, who worked in the State Clinic Abuja, Established his own hospital, married to a beautiful woman who has a fine career job and impeccable character stoop so low to staying on the highway to rob cars or mix with the hooligans we saw on the newspapers? To risk his beautiful career c’mon for Christ sake we watch the news all over the world and see the tricks of the Government/ Police/Public officials all over the world, some of these political stunts are also shown in true life movies, where top officials get involved in dubious criminal activities and nail it on innocent souls.” In a line directed at the doctor while drawing up his conclusion, he wrote that “Dr. Ola Solomon Jimade, I don’t know if you still alive or dead, but I hope you are alive.
I want you to stay strong and believe in God to prove your innocence. Light will shine over darkness and truth over lie. They could not kill your dreams so they decided to assassinate your personality.”
Across different platforms online, Nigerians are having their say, with many of them also saying the story doesn’t add up. A Facebook user, Wilson Ometan, wrote in the comment section of a link of the story thus: “Is he tried in court and convicted yet. Suppose somebody planted evidence in his office. OK but cultists are not all armed robbers or are they? Even these their cultists traditions in schools are just groups to belong or to have safety. OK suppose he was framed and kidnapped too.”
Kemmy Abodunrin, another commenting online, wrote: “Bee He is still on the run! I find the story hard to believe. How do people know this? Let’s give him the benefit of doubt until he’s proven guilty. This can be a set up. May God help us.” His page on Facebook, which seems to have been deleted days after the story went viral, says he joined the social network in 2010 and also listing him as being from Lagos but residing in Abuja. Another Facebook user, Elizabeth Otobrise, said the story looks like fiction.
“This cannot be true, I strongly believe he is being setup to destroy his career.God will fight for him and (he) will be vindicated at last.” Austa Soeze-McAngus, whose profile is listed as M. D at Symx Hospital Ltd, added:
“I smell a rat! This one they searched and found incriminating objects in his hospital! Nigeria police can implicate to prove a point” Miss Ese @mzesbellz, a young woman who got through with her NYSC in late 2016 on Instagram, also finds it hard to believe that the doctor she once worked for could be an armed robber. “So my former employer is an armed robber? I’m still in shock, I can’t believe this…Dude is so proper,” she simply wrote.
NMA maintains only confirmation will trigger action
Speaking to one of our correspondents, the National President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Mike Ogirima, said once confirmation had been established that Dr Ola-Solomon was indeed culpable, he would have his licence revoked while assuring security agencies of their support at all times in identifying bad eggs among them.
“We are not in the position to confirm if he is one of us, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) who holds the register of all the doctors in the country has the final say on this issue. That is why I said if it is confirmed.
“The MDCN is the equivalent of a high court. He would be tried by the Council and also tried in the other court which will make it a multiple trial. “Penalty is straight forward, if he is confirmed we will dismiss him and we will hand him over to the law enforcement agency. Of course the law enforcement agency is already on the matter and we are willing to do more than handing him over, we will strengthen the prosecution,” he said.
We are still on his trail –Police
Meanwhile, the police command yesterday said detectives were still on the trail of the suspect as the command further noted that some “victims” have narrated their ordeals in the hands of the gang to detectives. “We are still on his trail. We are still on it; we are intensifying efforts.
The other suspects are still in custody; they are helping us with our investigation. Some of their victims have also come to testify; they have been coming up, to explain their experience.”
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