Currently, Nigerians have been matching an alleged statement of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu about the origin of bandits that went viral in 2020 to the present banditry challenges facing Nigeria.
Although, Ribadu later refutes the statement that such a claim like that can never be uttered by him. But Nigerians are saying in every rumour there will be an element of truth.
They said the way banditry attack is becoming incessant in Nigeria and the government flexibility towards tackling banditry is making them lose trust in the government and they are becoming suspicious.
Here is the alleged statement of Ribadu below:
Bandits were created by Gen. Mohammadu Buhari Rtd to oust Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Bandits are not Boko Haram nor Herdsmen.
It all started in April 2014 when Mohammadu Buhari assembled his ardent supporters, promoters and strategists to determine how to remove President Jonathan Goodluck. Prominent amongst them were El-Rufai, Gen. Abdulraman Danbazzauo(Rtd)…
A decision was reached to consult Miyatti Allah cattle breeders association for assistance to boot Jonathan Goodluck out of office. Consequently, the National Chairman of Miyatti Allah was engaged to bring in foreign mercenaries.
Within a month, 2,000 Fulani fighters were brought in from Mali, Senegal, Niger Republic, Chad, Libya to name but a few. Further 4,000 fighters were stationed in Niger and Chad on standby.
On arrival, they were assembled in Kaduna under the sponsorship of El Rufai and were addressed by various Northern Leaders including the Sultan of Sokoto, Gen. Buhari (Rtd) etc.
Specifically, Gen. Buhari in his address told the fighters that “the British handed Nigeria over to us the Fulanis at independence. The land (Nigeria) belongs to us. We must reclaim what belongs to us.” He added that at the event that Jonathan Goodluck worn the election, the Fulani machinery must fight until they regain control of the country. He assured them that the Nigerian Army was behind them.
The mercenaries received initial training from the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy and were sent to 6 camps in Ekiti State, Benue State, Katsina State, Kaduna State, Zamfara State and Borno State.
In the camps, brand new pick-up trucks, generators etc were provided them. Nigerian Airforce helicopters were used to provide them essential supplies like food, water, drinks and even arms and ammunitions.
Evidently, Jonathan Goodluck lost the election in 2015 through a well orchestrated election organised by INEC under a Fulani Chairman, Professor Jega. Gen Buhari (Rtd) was sworn in as the president. This saw the emergence of a Fulani president through a dodgy election hence the planned violent war was averted.
Contrary to expectation, the mercenaries in the various camps were abandoned, no more food and essential supplies. The relationship between Miyetti Allah, El Rufai (now a State Governor) and Dambazzauo broke down.
El Rufai arrogantly declared that they were not needed anymore and they should go back. Consequently, the killings in Kaduna commenced as a warning to El Rufai but it did not bother him.
He declared that he had paid the people carrying out the killings and they did not want to stop. The Nigerian police did not bother to call Gov El Rufai to give further clarification on this.
The Mercenary at the various camps decided to go about to find food for themselves by robbing people, going into farm lands and kidnapping. Miyatti Allah made several efforts to contact El Rufai and Dambazzauo to appeal to them to provide money to return these fighters to where they came from. All efforts proved abortive. The mercenaries at this point vacated their organised camps and took to crime.
The criminal gangs which emanated from these mercenaries were at this point described as “Bandits” in order to differentiate them from other notorious terrorist groups like Fulani Herdsmen, Boko Haram, etc.
Following the untold destruction and killings which the Bandits carried out especially in Katsina and Zamfara, the Northern leaders in conjunction with officials of Nigerian Government requested Miyetti Allah to intervene and remove the Bandits from Nigeria.
Miyetti Allah returned demanding 150 Billion Naira to settle the Bandits and evacuate them. The Government turned the offer down and restricted itself to the payment of 100 Billion Naira.
Shamefully Godwin Emefiele raised 100 Billion Naira for the settlement as a condition for his re-appointment as the Central bank Governor.
Miyetti Allah collected the money and purportedly distributed it but nothing changed.
In a bid to control the damage, President Buhari directed that RUGA initiative be setup to create colonies for these fighters in every state in Nigeria.
My questions are:
1. Should Nigerian communities accommodate these criminal elements?
2. Why has El Rufai not been called to clean up the mess he created?
3. Does this explain President Buhari’s silence?
4.Is this conspiracy of the North gone wrong?
Nigerians think for yourselves.
But later in 2020. February 6 to be precise, the statement was debunked and made known to the public through the media that Ribadu has dissociated himself from the claims.
I Never Accused Buhari, El-Rufai as Sponsors of Northern Bandits – Ribadu
A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has denied claims he said Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, and Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, are the chief sponsors of bandits in the North.
Mr Ribadu on Thursday described the statement being circulated on social media as “devilish insinuations.”
The alleged statement quoted Mr Ribadu to have said: “Bandits were created by Gen Mohammadu Buhari Rtd to oust Jonathan.”
He allegedly said Mr Buhari “assembled his ardent supporters, promoters and strategists in April 2014 to determine how to remove President Goodluck. Prominent amongst them were El-Rufai, Gen Danbazo (Rtd).”
“Specifically, Gen Buhari, in his address, told the fighters that “the British handed Nigeria over to us, the Fulanis, at independence. The land (Nigeria) belongs to us. We must reclaim what belongs to us.”
Mr Ribadu, in a statement on Thursday, disowned the viral message and appealed to security agencies to investigate the genesis of the ‘fake message’ and fish out the perpetrators.
“The statement shared around social media platforms attributed to me (giving) devilish insinuations on alleged origin of banditry in parts of Nigeria.”
The former EFCC boss said he initially “ignored what was clear inanity and cheap blackmail, as I thought no right-thinking person will fall for such mischief.”
He said, “I have never, at any time, wrote or said those words being attributed to me.”
“I have no knowledge contained in the disjointed propaganda message in circulation and I urge the public to disregard it,” he added.
He said purveyors of fake news, more so, one that is clearly a threat to national security, should not be allowed to thrive.
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