Former chief of army staff and later defence minister Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) Thursday remarked that Nigerians won’t sleep if he revealed what was happening in the country.
The media has been abuzz following the remark Danjuma made during the launch of a book, 70 Years of Progressive Journalism: The Story of the Nigerian Tribune, and the presentation of Tribune’s Platinum awards in Ibadan.
Many have wondered what secret he has that could make Nigerians lose sleep if he revealed it. There were insinuations the former soldier who played important roles in the earliest military coups in Nigeria could be referring to the identity of the nation’s leader as first claimed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, in 2017. Others guessed he was referring to the state of the nation’s economy, which, many Nigerians have said, is set to crumble. Yet others said Danjuma was referring to the corruption going on under the Buhari administration while it pretends to be fighting it.
Danjuma had, while lamenting that leaders from the south-west were afraid of speaking out against the federal government, said that Nigeria was “in a big hole”.
He said: “In Yorubaland, everybody seems to have lost their voice, scared. And people appear not to care about what is happening. If I tell you what I know is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep. If you want details, I will give it to you privately.
“We are in a big hole as a nation. And people who put us in this hole have continued today. So, we have to wake up. Only we can save ourselves.
“The fifth columnists’ activities going on among your people are not helping matters. May Almighty God continue to bless this country, but only we can save ourselves from ourselves.”
Commentators have pilloried Danjuma himself as one of the country’s problems. Today he is one of the richest Nigerians with business interests in banking, oil, shipping, agriculture, education and more. “How did he make the money after retiring from the army in 1979?” Ogala Efeni queried. “We know his salary as a general for maybe 10years.”
Then Major Danjuma was aide-de-camp to Nigeria’s first military head of state Major Gen. JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi at the time he was assassinated on July 29, 1966. That counter-coup led to a civil war on secessionist Biafra from July 6, 1967, to January 12, 1970, which claimed 3million lives on both sides.