Integrity is an omnibus term covering multiple virtues, chief among which is honesty. Although many people instinctivelyequate honesty with the absence of stealing, honesty is also as equally,perhaps even more so, characterized by truthfulness. Indeed, the foundation block on which both honesty and integrity, are built is truthfulness.
Once you take out truthfulness, honesty collapses, as does integrity. If you are truthful to yourself, you will not steal, because you recognize that what you covet does not belong to you. The importance of truthfulness as a core virtue is underlined by our Lord Jesus Christ who isat once the Son of God and God himself.
Although he is described by the Prophets and the Apostles as the ‘Word of God,’ Jesus Christ himself declared: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Notice that he did not say, I am a way, a truth, and a life but he used the definitive word ‘the’. Indeed,it is our firm belief that the Word of God (Jesus Christ) is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
But this is not a pastoral class. I claim no spiritual qualifications whatsoever.Either by prophetic anointment, by ecclesiastical training, by natural ability or by personal virtue. This is just to underscore the importance of truthfulness as the motherlode of all virtues.
When Jesus Christ declared, “the truth shall set you free,” he was being truthful about himself. For only he, the Truth can set us free from the misery of our lies and sins and from being held as bound captives of Satan, the father of lies.
Lies are thick webs of deceit which entangle and imprison their source. Lies confer short term relief, but guarantee long-term misery. Indeed, lies sprint, but the truth gallops and leaps. Lies, beget more lies, forming a chain link traceable ultimately to their ancestral father, Satan the devil.
Most politicians like greedy business men have bad reputations. Everyone knows that when most politicians open their mouth, the first casualty is either the truth, or the whole truth or nothing but the truth.
A weighty revelation which is not necessarily the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,was made recently by Nigeria’s embattled President Muhammadu Buhari first in London and repeated subsequently in Washington D.C.
In London he said the herdsmen-terrorists who have put numerous Nigerian peasants to the sword, turned tens of thousands of citizens into internally displaced refugees and occupied their ancestral lands were trained and armed by the late Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He repeated this same observation in Washington while meeting with the United States President Donald Trump.
What President Buhari did not say is whether these beneficiaries of Gaddafi’s training are Libyans, or other Africans, or Nigerian citizens. Surely if he has intelligence about their training, he must equally have intelligence about their national identity. It is self-evident that even if President Buhari was telling the truth, he was not telling the whole truth. Unfortunately, Gaddafi is not alive to defend himself of charges of training and sponsoring terrorists to destabilize a fellow African country.
To this day President Buhari refuses to call these so called ‘Gaddafi-trained’ mercenariesof ‘unknown nationality’, who have slaughtered many peaceful, law-abiding, bona fide Nigerian citizens, as terrorists, which is truthfully what they are. And yet President Buhari parades himself as a ‘man of integrity’ and intends to campaign for a second Presidential term as such.
Note however that President Buhari was very quick to accuse, label and proscribe members of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) organization, who have never been known to commit a single murder, as terrorists. To proscribe the IPOB organization for seeking independence from Nigeria, is one thing, even if that is contestable in a court of law. To falsely accuse them of being terrorists against all available evidence to the contrary, is a different thing altogether. And yet President Buhari is a ‘man of integrity’.
While in Washington,President Buhari, squirming under severe moral pressure and against multiple contemporary evidence to the contrary, went further, to say that Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria only carry sticks (ostensibly to control their cattle and possibly defend themselves from snakes and other dangerous animals).
Thisunsolicited admission begetsa question.If that is truly the case and there is no link between the two groups, why does he find it monumentally difficult to admit that the rampaging ‘Gaddafi-trained’, arms bearing, mercenaries of undisclosed nationality, slaughtering peasants in Nigeria, as distinct from the stick-carrying Fulani herdsmen are terrorists? Yet President Buhari is reputed to be a ‘man of integrity’.
A few months ago, Nigeria’s Department of State Security (DSS) the nation’s counter-intelligence outfit under the leadership of the Director-General Lawal Musa Daura, President Buhari’s kinsman, made a stunning revelation to the Senate Committee investigating the killings by Fulani herdsmen-terrorists in Nigeria.Daura’s DSS revealed that most of the sophisticatedweapons being used by herdsmen in Nigeria were from the armories of security agencies in the country. This privileged assertion flies in the face of President Buhari’s claim that the weapons were supplied by the late Gaddafi.
Indeed, critical observers lend more credence to the DSS’s observation than to the claim of the President. Note that by his own admission and antecedents, President Buhari is not a well-informed man, even of goings-on within his own Administration.
For instance, not too long ago, President Buhari admitted to a stunned nation that he was not aware that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) flouted his order that he (the IGP) relocate immediately to Benue State, the scene of multiple Fulani herdsmen-terrorist massacres, several weeks after he had publicly directed him to do so. Note that to this date the IGP has refused to obey this Presidential directive, without any consequences.
If a President can be unaware of the exact whereabouts of a key element of his security architecture, in the person of the nation’s top cop, how can he be aware of where the sophisticated weaponry used by the herdsmen terrorists are coming from?
In any case Muammar Gaddafi died in October 2011 almost seven years ago. If indeed he truly trained and armed the herdsmen terrorists, currently on rampage in Nigeria, he must have done so at least seven to ten years ago. Except the weapons and ammunition, he handed over to the herdsmen-terrorists are self-replicating, or except he built an inexhaustible armory for them in Nigeria or elsewhere, they should be running low on supplies by now after seven years of incessant terrorist activity.
But to the contrary, Fulani herdsmen-terrorists’ ethnic bleaching activities have been on the increase, year after year, reaching their crescendo under this present Buhari Administration. Something is not right here. Somebody is being economical with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Yet President Buhari is a ‘man of integrity.’
Not even the Nigerian military were spared the embarrassment precipitated by President Buhari’s unexpected linking of the herdsmen-terrorists to MuammarGaddafi. There are credible indications that they were wrong-footed, reeling and scrambling to accommodate this new piece of intelligence into their overarching military narrative.
Listen to the acting director,Defense Information, Brigadier-General John Agim:
“We have handed over the suspects to the police. The rest is for the police to find out. If I start telling you whatever, I am doing the police’s job. Before the herdsmen are taken to court, the police would profile them appropriately and know where they get their training from. You must understand that the President of the country has a helicopter view of the country. He has a lot of information at his disposal. So, wherever they (the herdsmen) come from, they are causing havoc to our country and that is very important to us. And that is what all of us must fight to prevent. The President has disclosed this information based on the intelligence at his disposal and you cannot doubt that.”
(source: Daily Post, April 22, 2018; http://dailypost.ng/2018/04/22/defence-headquarters-reacts-buhari-linking-herdsmen-libya/ )
Incredible. The military with their own dedicated military intelligence does not know. The counter-intelligence and security outfit, the DSS knows differently. From where then did President Buhari get the incredulous intelligence linking the herdsmen-terrorists to the late Muammar Gaddafi?
Was it from the National Intelligence Agency, whose new boss an indigene of Katsina State, President Buhari’s home state, was appointed a few months ago under a hazy cloud of alleged incompetence? Or was it from the Inspector-General of Police? Did the IGP flout the President’s relocation order simply because he was busy investigating the Gaddafiangle? Incredible stuff. And yet President Buhari is a ‘man of integrity.’
Few people in Nigeria harbor any doubts that the unparalleled ethnic bleaching currently afoot in the country are being instigated and sponsored by Fulani hegemonic cum territorial expansionists ensconced in very high places in Abuja acting in concert with their useful idiots who are non-Fulani.
The bloodied and terrorized indigenous Nigerian populations dealt the expansionists deadly blows when they serially rejected first the grazing reserves concept, then the cattle colonies concept and most recently the government-funded ranches concept. These are all barely concealed attempts aimed atperpetually dispossessing indigenous peoples of their lands while embedding the so-called Gaddafi-trained herdsmen-terrorists in their midst.
Mindful of the fact that the world’s patience is running thin with the ethnic bleaching going on in Nigeria, a point which was forcefully made clear to President Buhari by United States President Donald Trump recently in Washington; Having run out of administrative schemes and tricks aimed at perpetually dispossessing indigenous peoples of their ancestral lands; Unable to further terrorize indigenous people into accepting these harebrained administrative schemes without incurring global opprobrium; The hegemonic expansionists have reached a cul-de-sac and tied themselves with their own hands into a Gordian Knot.
This explains why the Chief of Army Staff recently forlornly advised the Benue and Taraba State Governments to reconsider their ban on open grazing. A useless piece of advice which was rightly rejected immediately out of hand by the tribal leaders in Benue State at least.
As Nigerians prepare for the 2019 Presidential Elections, there are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari is going to run this time on the mantra of ‘Integrity/Anti-corruption’ and not on‘Change’with which his party blindfolded Nigerians in 2015. Meanwhile the President and his handlers are trying by every means possible to pivot Nigerians’ attention away from their parlous security track record and their disastrously failed change agenda.
We wish them good-luck in their futile and rather quixotic quest, confident that Nigerians will never again entrust their destiny into the hands of confirmed ethnic bleachers and hegemonic expansionists.
The dead by definition, already know corruption. Of what use then is sham anti-corruption and fake integrity to the dead and the dying? Indeed, internally displaced refugee status, death of their loved ones and a permanent loss of their ancestral heritage is the grim fate which awaits all who make the mistake of keying-ina second time into the monumentally deceptive and devilish promises of hegemonic expansionists. By the Grace of God Almighty on high, it will not happen.
Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)