July 11, 2016
The Islamic Republic of Iran is suspected to be involved in moves aimed at support the sack of the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai.
Sources within the ministry of foreign affairs said the some of the individuals who benefit from insurgency in the country have garnered the backing of Iran to push for the sack of Buratai.
The sources said these individuals also backed the attack on the convoy of the army chief’s convoy by the Islamic Movement of Nigerian group – Shiite.
It was also gathered that the former ambassador of Iran to Nigeria, Saheed Kozechi who was earlier recalled and later allowed to participate in his final farewell ceremony at the Presidential Villa in Aso rock is currently “exploiting” the allegations against Buratai Dubai owned property.
Kozechi is said secretly support the sack of the chief of army sack adds a pay back to his own sack as Iran’s ambassador to Nigeria. Before Kozechi’s sack, Iran publicly called on the Nigerian government to respect religious figure and the Shiite group.
The spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry, Hossein Jaber-Anseri said Iran hoped that rash and unconstructive measure are avoided in Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.
Jaber-Anseri’s statement had at the time heat up the polity. While Iran has not made any comment on religious issues in Nigeria since the sack of Kozechi, the source said there are secret attempts to influence Buratai’s sack.
The source said: “You know what is at stake for Iran is more than what you Nigerians take as your petty politics and in-fighting. The Islamic Republic is eager to see this man go so that its assets in Nigeria can start operating freely again.
That clamp down by the Nigerian authorities had slowed down the anticipated rise of Shiism in the country.” The source also said that Iran has earmarked $100 million for this purpose but there are still issues on how the money can be moved due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption and money laundering fight.
You know the money is being released in tranches but they are able to create the impression that he is being paid for his services but he knows how to reach out to others with interest in General Buratai,” the source said.
Another source confirming the fund said a campaign against the chief of army staff was in plan, he however noted that the campaign team is not aware of the source of the fund. He said: “One of the points unanimously agreed at the last strategy session is that even if the allegations are being twisted out of proportion people will start believing them once we keep repeating them. That is what is driving the demand for him to be sacked.” “We have also made slight changes in strategies. Instead of prevailing on the General to go we are now creating the impression that his continuing on office is a question mark on Mr President’s anti-corruption stance.
Fortunately, several traditional newspapers bought this argument and you can see it already reflecting on their editorial,” he added. Since the news broke about two Dubai property owned by the chief of army staff, there have been several calls for his sack or resignation. Some prominent Nigerians including a senior lawyer and renowned human rights activist, Femi Falana said the Nigerian army defence that Buratai bought the Dubai houses through savings from his salary is “cock and bull”.