Following the recent leakage of some secret memos at the Presidency, the Arewa Think Tank said it has been proved right because it had earlier called on President Bola Tinubu in mid-November 2023 to ensure that fifth columnists did not embarrass his government at any of his international visits and within the corridors of power in the country.
The Presidency has since requested an investigation into the civil service framework in order to eliminate individuals it refers to as “moles” who are loyal to the main opposition, People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
However, the Chief Convener of Arewa Think Tank, Muhammad Alhaji Yakubu, in a statement, recalled their advice to President Tinubu in November last year when some critics came down heavily on the President, stating that his trip to Saudi Arabia at that time was a jamboree, short of any economic benefit for Nigeria.
Yakubu recalled his statement in November in an interview he granted newsmen, saying, “We suspected fifth columnists were sabotaging Mr. President because this is the second time he was embarrassed with such criticism. Since President Tinubu came on board as the president of Nigeria, all his international visits were very successful, but towards the end of the trips, this kind of embarrassment usually comes up.
“We advised the president to investigate deeper that there might be some fifth columnists around him, sabotaging his efforts to ensure that he does not succeed. Look at the success he recorded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He has been marketing Nigeria successfully. After a successful trip or towards the end of each trip, something embarrassing will come up. There are some people around him trying to sabotage his efforts. So, I think he should probe deeper to unravel them.
“These fifth columnists are within Nigeria; they are not in Saudi Arabia because if you see the kind of warm reception Saudi Arabia gave President Tinubu, you wouldn’t say the fifth columnists are in Saudi Arabia. In some quarters, they said President Tinubu did not have a one-on-one discussion with Crown Prince Salman. But they told a different story. The picture showed that President Tinubu had a meeting with Prince Salman. So, Tinubu should probe deeper to ensure that the fifth columnists do not embarrass his government at any of his international visits again.”
Penultimate Thursday, an internal memo was revealed, indicating that President Tinubu allegedly approved the disbursement of N500m from a total of N1bn to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume. The allocated funds were intended for the inauguration of a 37-member Tripartite Committee responsible for discussing the New National Minimum Wage.
Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, has emphasized the need for the Federal Government to take action in identifying and removing individuals who are leaking classified documents and are believed to have allegiance to the opposition.
Onanuga said, “What is worrisome is how come a memo written by the SGF to the President and bearing the President’s signature leaked out? It means that there are some fifth columnists within the government.
“It’s not the first time a memo will leak. There was a memo leak when the President went to UNGA, about a request for money to pay for his hotel bills and you wonder where it is leaking from.
“There are so many moles around who are probably doing the bid of the opposition. They are not respecting the civil service rule for handling official secrets. And it shows that the government should look inwards to probe how memos between officials are getting into the public space. Memos that are supposed to be secret are not supposed to be flying all over the place.”