Former Governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (retd) has revealed how the Federal Government saved former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari from being killed in a bomb explosion involving the chieftain of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) last week in Kaduna.In a statement issued yesterday, Colonel Umar said the bomber would have killed Buhari if not for the security that the Federal Government had beefed up around the former Head of State some days before the bomb attacks because of his (Buhari) comment on how to solve insurgency crisis.The former governor of Kaduna State said it was worrisome and unkind for Buhari’s supporters to begin to accuse the Federal Government of wanting to kill him through bomb blast, stressing that such allegations could have negative effect on peace and unity of the country, “which is currently under severe stress”.
Colonel Umar said: “When about four months ago, General Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement condemning the activities of Boko Haram, the Presidency praised him for what it saw as an act of courage and statesmanship.
“Some of us agreed and welcomed this reaction particularly because it would have the positive effect of building the much-needed consensus in the war against insurgency. We were also delighted by General Buhari’s action because it provided another evidence, if any was needed, that he was not a religious bigot, and like most northerners, did not share or support any terrorist religious ideology.
“However, fearing the usual Boko Haram’s reprisal, we advised the Federal Government to beef up security around the General. The FG agreed and reached out to General Buhari with this proposal. By mutual consent, his security was upgraded. I have no doubt that this must have contributed to his survival of the attack.
“The point then is, how can a government that is intent on assassinating the General provide him with added security? It would have been most strange indeed for a government planning to assassinate this very popular northern icon to retain as its National Security Adviser, Colonel M.S.Dasuki, son of the Sultan of Sokoto and his brother-in –law, General Aliyu Gusau as its Minister of Defence, or even its Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar from Zamfara State.
“Not entirely satisfied with what was published from my earlier press release, I decided to discuss this issue with my friend and brother, Basorun Akin Osuntokun. He offered to carry some of the details in his Thisday Friday column-which he did.
“I have since learned that the bullet proof vehicle in which General Buhari was riding at the time of the attack, was provided to him by an APC chieftain, possibly an APC governor. My reaction to this is that it does not detract from the fact that the Federal Government indeed reinforced the General’s security about four months ago. Bullet proof vehicle is only a component of the security infrastructure. General Buhari himself was reported to have told Sahara TV “I am not bothered by them (Boko Haram) targeting me. The government has given me adequate protection.
“When on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 some yet to be identified persons attacked the convoy of General Muhammadu Buhari with a car bomb, some of his supporters or his representatives as one of them claimed on BBC radio Hausa service accused the Federal Government of complicity. This was even before investigations commenced.
“I was concerned and worried by possible dangerous repercussions of such allegations on the peace and unity of the country, which is currently under severe stress. I therefore, decided not only to condemn their actions, but also to adduce evidence to counter their wrong and preposterous allegations. Unfortunately my press statement, which was published, did not entirely include most of the points I raised in my rebuttal. To avoid misrepresentation and misunderstanding, I find it necessary to issue this clarification.
“Once again, I appeal to our political elite to desist from politics of brinkmanship all aimed at achieving their narrow political interests. They need not be reminded that a violent disintegration of Nigeria would be an ill wind that will blow nobody any good, as my brother Akin would say,” Col. Umar said.