By Alhassan Bello
As Nigerians suffer on the crises caused by the fuel scarcity and naira swap, it has been revealed that the Aso Rock cabal led by Mallam Mamman Daura is behind the problem that is making Nigerians to suffer.
Credible sources disclosed in Abuja, Katsina, Adamawa and Sokoto states that those who lost the primaries of APC tried to convince Mamman Daura to get President Muhammadu Buhari to change his mind on his support for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. No particular person among the losers was mentioned in the plot, but reports suggest that the plotters sold a dummy that Tinubu will not respect Buhari after getting power.
According to the sources, Daura first snubbed the promoters of the idea. It was learnt that Daura later agreed to join the plot when Atiku Abubakar, who is very close to him, convinced him that Buhari would be making a terrible mistake to allow power move to the South where northern interests may be jeopardised. Atiku told Daura several fabricated stories by a team of blackmailers he set up in PDP to argue his point.
It was learnt that to achieve the plot, Atiku and some PDP leaders set up a blackmail group led by Nduka Obaigbena to paint a frightening picture of Fulani suffering under a southern President. According to the sources, in this group are Dino Melaye, Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Sule Lamido and Raymond Dokpesi.
The sources explained that Melaye and members of his group are playing on Daura’s mindset in his pro-Fulani sentiment to always place Fulani interest above any other interest in Nigerian politics.
They convinced Daura that his kinsman, Atiku Abubakar, will protect Fulani interest in the coming administration while they had discovered an alleged grand plan by Tinubu and some Eastern leaders to work against Fulani interest after taking power down South.
Convinced by the presentation of Obaigbena, Atiku was again invited by Daura, who promised Atiku that situations would be created that would make him enjoy support across the country. By this time, Atiku himself was in the dark about what the plan would be. He was asked to come back again.
Before he came back, Daura had perfected his plan. He lied to Buhari, relying on the stories by Obaigbena-led blackmail group. To implement the plot, Daura asked Atiku to raise N85 billion to start organising his campaign. Atiku said he could not raise the money because he was broke and was yet to recover from the last presidential primaries and election expenses after losing to Buhari.
Daura therefore hatched a plan to convince Buhari to reimburse PDP states that implemented Federal projects so that he could be seen as a national leader who does not discriminate. Buhari agreed. Daura, who is widely known for his rabid pro-Fulani disposition, thereafter tutored Atiku to warm himself to the hearts of PDP governors that will benefit from the windfall. Buhari was convinced by his nephew and paid the money to the states. Some of these governors include Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. But the plan failed to work as Wike began a political war with Atiku and so could not release Rivers money to Atiku. Obaseki also refused to surrender his state money, but Okowa released huge sums of money to Atiku for their joint campaign.
When details of how Okowa surrendered Delta money to Atiku leaked, civil servants and pensioners protested on the streets and asked Okowa to explain how he spent their money. The South East governors that benefited from Buhari’s windfall also refused to surrender their money.
With Atiku facing imminent failure, Daura called in Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and NNPC Managing Director, Alhaji Kyari, a Fulani, to join in the plot to blackmail APC into failure and set Nigerians against the party. Emefiele was not difficult to convince to join the plot because he and Okowa are cousins from Agbor, Delta State. Daura worked on Emefiele to convince Buhari about the international honour he will get if he organises credible election devoid of votes buying. Emefiele therefore bypassed Finance Minister, his supervisory authority, to convince Buhari to change Nigeria currency to purportedly prevent votes buying.
The ignorant Buhari who always wants to be seen as upright, bought into the idea. Even the Federal Ministry of Finance fumed over the plan because without its input, Daura convinced Buhari that naira change was the best option for Buhari to organise a clean election. While Daura had hoped that PDP governors would surrender the reimbursements by Buhari to finance Atiku’s election, reality dawned on him when these governors, except Okowa, refused to surrender their money.
Kyari also quickly joined the plot that has potential to keep him in office after Atiku’s victory, hence the crisis in fuel distribution system that has crippled the nation’s economy, resulting in sufferings all over Nigeria in which APC government is held responsible, not knowing that PDP is at work in collaboration with Buhari’s nephew.
In the last few days, Dino Melaye has been visiting Emefiele’s house during dark hours along with some CBN senior officials of Fulani stock, according to another credible source in Abuja.
And so with failure imminent in Atiku’s camp, the option of blackmailing APC as a bad party is better, by setting Nigerians against the party by twin plots of petrol scarcity and printing of small quantities of naira notes while setting a short timeline to effect a change of naira to create scarcity, a method that can’t work even in a country of 30 million people. By these plots, Nigerians will naturally campaign against APC as a bad party amid widespread suffering that will create opportunity for Atiku to win.
But all the plots collapsed as northern governors led by Nasir El-Rufai and Atiku Bagudu got wind of the plot. They spoke with Buhari about the problem, reminding him about the sacrifices the Southern politicians made to give victory to Buhari. Surprisingly, Bauchi Governor was reported to buy into El-Rufai’s group argument. Therefore, within a short period, the cabal held several meetings while El-Rufai group also held their meetings.
In one of the meetings, Buhari was reminded about his place in history and that he should remember that he could not spend his youth to keep Nigeria one during the civil war but now spend his adult life to divide Nigeria. He was told clearly that the West will naturally join the East to end the union called Nigeria if Buhari sticks to the Daura plot to retain power in the North.
According to sources, Buhari had to bend from his hard line stance when young elements of his Fulani stock told him the truth about the impending danger if Northern politicians break the agreement with their Southern counterparts, more so that the last Constutional Conference recommended power rotation between North and South, which political parties in Nigeria, including PDP and APC, adopted in their zoning arrangement in their constitutions.
The fallout of the initiatives of the young elements in Northern establishment led to the meeting with Buhari on Friday where Buhari was told about the dangers of failing to follow the agreement on power rotation.
For now, PDP’s plot with Daura, who wants a Fulani man to succeed Buhari at all costs, may fail as Buhari may not be able to control the anger and rebellion that will follow the failure to take power back to the South.
(I am Dr Alhassan Bello, a patriotic Nigerian writing from Abuja FCT)