By Yushau A. Shuaib
Is it true that General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, popularly known as TY from the North has dropped a bombshell that Nigerian military and police are complicit in killings across Nigeria, especially in the North and he therefore asked citizens to defend themselves or they would all die?
Was he not the person former Military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) declared as the embodiment of the virtues of the Sardauna of Sokoto when he said: “Over 50 years after the demise of Sir Ahmadu Bello; TY Danjuma has virtually picked up the (gauntlet?) from where the Sardauna had left it?”
Was he not the person described by his primary school teacher Dr Adamu Fika, that: “Even at tender age in school, Danjuma had demonstrated leadership qualities of seriousness, sense of responsibility, humility and his abiding respect for elders?”
Was he not Captain Yakubu Danjuma, a young officer in the Nigerian Army who took part in the Counter-Coup of 1966 by taking daring and decisive actions against the killers of Northern Political leaders including Sir Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa and other military officers (mostly Hausa/Fulani Muslims) after the aborted coup?
Was he not the lieutenant colonel during the civil war, who led his troop to capture Enugu and free Jaja Nwachukwu from Biafra detention? Was he not the gallant commander which President Buhari proudly admitted fighting under him (Danjuma) in the 1st and 3rd Divisions by hailing his courageous leadership qualities during the Civil War for a united Nigeria?
Could he be the same Brigadier TY Danjuma, the most influential member of the Murtala/Obasanjo regime who played prominent role in aborting Dimka coup, and lobbied the selection of a reluctant Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo to take over after the death of Murtala? Was he not the officer that single-handedly nominated the automatic promotion of Lt. Col Shehu Yar’Adua to the rank of Brigadier for appointment as the second in command to the Head of State?
Was it not Air Vice Marshal John Yisa Doko, the only lone voice against the Danjuma’s imposition of an unwilling candidate (Obasanjo) on the country? Didn’t President Buhari, in December 2017, testified that at the time when Danjuma could have been head of state following the assassination of General Murtala in 1976, he sacrificed for the country?
By arranging and engineering the promotion of Lt. Col. Shehu Musa Yar’adua to the rank of brigadier, above himself, what was Danjuma’s reason for the selflessness?
Was he not the same General Danjuma, after retirement, that President IBB, invited him to apply for an oil licence, only for General Sani Abacha to award him the lucrative oil blocks?
Was he the same Danjuma that is highly revered by Northern leaders who always graciously attend occasions in his honour? Why for instance did General IBB, Sultan Saad Abubakar of Sokoto, Vice President Namadi Sambo, House of Rep Speaker Tambuwal, Prof. Jerry Gana among other dignitaries attend a special award ceremony in his honour in Zaria in 2013?
By the way, was it not the same Danjuma who was bestowed with the top chieftaincy titles by Northern traditional rulers including his turbaning by Emir of Zaria Alhaji Shehu Idris as Jarmai Zazzau on June 22, 2013 and also his turbanning by the Gora of Donga, Dr Danjuma Stephen Banyunga, as the Gam Gbaro Donga on November 6, 2013 among other such great titles?
Was he not one of the very few retired military officers to be well recognised and honoured by universities in Northern Nigeria when he was awarded LLD honoris causa by Bayero University Kano on March 25, 2011 and D.Sc. honoris causa by Ahmadu Bello University on March 2, 2013 for his generosity and commitments to nation building?
I still wonder if he is not the same Danjuma, one of the very few largest individual donors to education and humanitarian causes in Northern Nigeria? Was he not the same donor of N2.3billion at ABU fund-raising for expansion projects and donor of a massive Faculty of Computer Engineering building in BUK before donating $10 million in July 21, 2014 for the rehabilitation of North-East states ravaged by Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, excluding his home-state Taraba?
Was it not because of his passion and philanthropy in addressing the plight of downtrodden and displaced people that President Buhari appointed Danjuma to head the government’s Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI)?
Was he not the founder of TY Danjuma Foundation, a body committed to enhancing the quality of life of Nigerians by supporting initiatives that improve access to health and educational opportunities?
By the way, when PRNigeria on March 1, 2018 leaked a report that TY held over three hours secret meeting with former President Babangida in Minna on general insecurity in the country, was Danjuma kind enough to brief the Commander-in-Chief (Buhari) on the security concerns since they share mutual respect and understanding?
Was he not Danjuma during his JarmaiZazzau Coronation few years ago warned Northern leaders thus: “This is the time for elders to be circumspect and temperate in their utterances; it is not in our character as northerners to talk too much. We need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, relate better, and talk less. Battles are better fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncements and political tantrums?”
Then if these are the same TY Danjuma that issued the recent controversial statement, especially on the crises in the North, I can say that the North as a region and Northerners as a people have lost their souls to dirty politics of religiosity and ethnicity when other regions have forged ahead.
It is only in the North that a Muslim will kill a Muslim unjustly and justifies the action on the Shia-Sunni divide; while a Christian will attack another Christian over dichotomy on mode of worship of different denominations. It is also a fact that some are referred to as Core Northerners while others are Minority Northerners as if some are slaves to serve the masters.
How can Danjuma who was described by President Buhari as soldiers’ soldier, who sacrificed for Nigeria through his fearlessness, philanthropic gesture and effort in promoting peace in the society, now join sectional leaders in what some commentators describe as ‘toxic hate speech?’
We must rethink on how to put, not only the troubled North, but Nigeria on the path of political progress and economic development. The dirty political bickering and unhealthy rivalries by those who lack knowledge of history can only lead us to political woes. We should therefore be tolerant and work towards national unity and cohesion.
Yushau A. Shuaib,
Publisher, PRNigeria and Author of “An Encounter with the Spymaster”