Archive for December, 2012

ImageBy Prince Charles Dickson

Fire-fire in our country-country, we need plenty water to quench the fire–Daddy Showkey

 

Criminal Minds is an American police procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) based in Quantico, Virginia. The BAU is part of the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. The show focuses on profiling the criminal, rather than the crime itself. They analyze the nation’s most dangerous criminal minds in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again.

It is a privilege, a rare one to be alive in a nation that recorded all forms of avoidable violent deaths almost every week of the year…Optimistic commentators and citizens may argue that it could have been worse and at least it was not as bad as painted, some continually have argued that all is well.

But while we cannot run away from realities, we have gone through a year largely of the criminals…and if 2013 is to be any different, we have to make a very conscious, determined effort on profiling the criminal, rather than the crime itself, analyzing the nation’s most dangerous criminal minds in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again or else 2013 would be terrible.
 

In this last admonition and farewell to the year 2012, I will just ask us to reflect on what I call the reality of criminal minds everywhere.

Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu ex-rays the effect of the criminal minds on the Nigerian masses “The situation our country is in today is both sad and unacceptable. We are as a people without a leader, a country with no trustworthy men at the helm of affairs, and a nation now lost at sea. Our leaders must commit to a better country, not tomorrow, but beginning now – today, because time is not on our side and the continued patience of the people may no longer be guaranteed.”

 

Last week Professor Mbibu Hyacinth, a surgeon and head of Surgery in ABU, Zaria was victim of common criminal minds, not assassins or BH, sources confirm he was killed while returning from his clinic around a black spot that, a security guard of the university was killed same week.

 
Imagine how much it took to raise the fine gentleman and doctor and what has been lost, he was one of the best in his field.
 

General Olusegun Obasanjo, a man who knows how criminal minds work recently said. “I am afraid–and you know I am an army General. When a General says he is afraid, that means the danger ahead is real and potent. The danger posed by an army of unemployed youth in Nigeria can only be imagined.

There is absence of serious, concrete, realistic, short and long term solution to youth unemployment. Nigerian youths have been patient enough. This patience will soon reach its elastic limit. Nigeria will witness a revolution soon unless government takes urgent steps to check growing youth unemployment and poverty”.
 

Same week at Aku, Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State, US returnee, Ogbo Edoga was killed by gunmen. “The economist was trailed to the house of one of his kinsmen, from where the two assailants, accosted him and shot him at point blank. Family sources said the deceased returned to Nigeria to attend a meeting of Nsukka professionals based in United States, geared towards raising funds for the construction of an ultra-modern medical diagnosis centre to be built at Ede Oballa community in the area”.

 

Online commentator Cornelius is apt when he says “Nigeria is worse today than it was during the civil war. At least then, you knew who your enemies were, where, possibly when and why they are going to strike, you make adequate arrangements to respond. Today, you have no clue who is going to strike, why they are going to strike you and the lethality of their anger. Worse still, everyone and everything seems to be at the game for different reasons. The gateman, the clerk, the police officer, the army, the airforce, your brothers and sisters, the elected leaders, the tribalists, etc. The nation and its people are boiling over and over and no one seems to be leading. It is at war with itself.”

 

In another breath several scores were feared killed and inmates set free when unknown gunmen, struck in Maiha, Adamawa state. The Divisional Police station, the prison, the Customs area office, the presidential lodge, all located at the local government headquarters were completely razed, with heavy artillery they came in ‘motorcycles’ and foot’.

According to a paper report The Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Godfrey Okeke confirming the incident said, “Nobody should disturb me now, already I am in Maiha, and you people should allow me to rest.”
 

The Department of State warned U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria …because of the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks…Canada did same, even little Taiwan was not left out.
 

In the East of the Niger, kidnap became a-per-second-billing business, with no exact figures as to how much was made by the criminal minds from un-receipted payments on returns on investment. While many kidnap deals were with-figures undisclosed, actress and aide to Gov. Rochas of Imo state, Nkiru Sylvanus parted with N8M. In the South West, you are not just kidnapped but literally stolen…and accidents on the Sagamu, Ibadan-Lagos express road account for over half a thousand deaths.

 

The problem of criminal minds that ruled the terrain in 2012 is not just Boko Haram, there were several harams, poor people were left battling Sanusi on N5000 Note haram, we also witnessed the January occupy Haram, the nation was held ransom by subsidy cabal haram.

We almost forgot Farouk and Femi haram, all the blasts and bombs harams, Oteh haram of SEC, the Alu and Mubi Harams, the Cynthia facebook killing haram…

Again, prominent persons died, some good men, and plenty crooks, politicians, academics, artistes and a long lists of ordinary Nigerians unaccounted for.

 
No criminal mind was convicted/punished for violent crime, we just moved in circles, and with failed promises. Will be 2013 be the year where we get water to quench these fires…time will tell.

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My Mumu Don Do. Your Mumu Don Do?

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

brain_drain
By Sonala Olumhense

In this column, I have endorsed candidates for the presidency in the last two national elections from the list of candidates published by the electoral commission.

In 2007, I supported the brilliant lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, whom I had never met, and whom I did not meet until he died in 2009.

In my citation, I said that Mr. Fawehinmi had an unmatchable imprint of credibility and respectability, and was the correct choice for Nigerians who genuinely wanted change.

“Mr. Fawehinmi stands out for his integrity and his depth of principle, the absence of which have kept us shackled to yesterday,” I wrote, pointing out that for over 20 years, he had saved the country’s judiciary from being eaten alive by a greedy executive.

“A Fawehinmi Presidency would scare some people.  That is because we all know he would speak a different language: he cannot be bought, he will not be looking for personal gain, and he will hold people and institutions to account.  He would be applying the letter of the law, and applying it across the board.  He would be looking for performance and productivity.”

As we all know, it was Umaru Yar’Adua who “won” the presidency in that election, and from his inauguration in May 2007, Nigeria began a predictable descent into hell.

Four years later, in 2011, from the slate of candidates published by the electoral commission, I endorsed General Muhammadu Buhari.  As in 2007, I had never met the candidate.  I have still never met General Buhari.

But I wrote of Nigeria: “Buhari can stretch out one of his long hands and arrest the drift.  At this time in our history, his candidature is the wisest, the most promising, and the most logical.  He has honour, discipline and strength of character: attributes every great leader must have but which are not a currency of the PDP.

“Furthermore, Buhari knows what is wrong with this country, and knows what to do about it…”
I did not choose the candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change in March 2001 without great deliberation.  I asked: “Is Buhari an angel?  No.  Indeed, I have criticized him in the past.  I have expressed my disappointment that people of his generation and background act as if they are all that Nigeria has got.

“That argument is still valid.  At the April elections, however, he will be the best that Nigeria has got.  Everyone knows that next month’s election will be the most critical in Nigeria’s history.  It will show whether we have learned anything from our own history or not, and therefore whether we are determined to move forward or not.”
I examined Buhari’s most prominent opponent, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.  I argued that voting for Jonathan would amount to using a hammer to smash your thumb a second time and not expect it to hurt as much as it did the first.
I said: “Demographically, two kinds of people will offer their support to Goodluck Jonathan in April.  The first comprises of beneficiaries of the incompetent, corrupt and unpatriotic system that has grounded Nigeria since 1999, and which Jonathan unapologetically represents…”

“[The] second category comprises of masochists who will vote against the best interest of their own children and their country… By doing so, they will be authorizing Jonathan to pick up that hammer the second time as they stick out their thumbs, telling him, “Hurt me, sir! Hurt me again!  Hurt me, I am a fool!”

I said that Jonathan lacked a record of character, patriotism or commitment.  “He is long on promises but extremely short on performance,” I concluded.
Still, Mr. Jonathan “won” the election.

And since then, Nigeria has descended from the gutter to the sewage; from the disappointing to the disgraceful, from the rottening to the rotten.  The worst case scenario has become our reality: Nigeria shared between Jonathan’s Abuja, Boko Haram militants; “unknown gunmen” of the Middle Belt and the sahel; kidnappers; and the vultures of the PDP.

Demonstrating a singular lack of of both capacity and character, Jonathan has distanced himself from his electoral promises, and driven a wedge between himself and the Nigerian citizen who voted for him.

Even those who voted for Jonathan knew the argument was a tough sell.  After the election, they invariably denounced the PDP in favour of Jonathan, as if you can separate the foetus from the pregnancy.

“I voted for Jonathan, not the PDP,” they said, as if you could separate the cause from the consequence.

It is less than two years since that election, but it has now been proved that the child is the pregnancy, and Jonathan the PDP at its most abominable.

This explains why excuses are now been served to the Nigerian people.  Jonathan is buying more jets, since he no longer needs shoes, but he is not fulfilling the promises he made to the Nigerian people or even mentioning them by name.  There are explanations for why the hoax called “transformation” will never happen.  There are explanations as to why unemployment has doubled and why there is no electricity or freedom from hunger and crime and bad roads.

The truth is that there is no explanation for bad governance or corruption, because you do not need to explain the crippling greed the people can see, finally, with their own eyes.

Eyes: the capacity of an individual to understand a phenomenon that had previously been hidden, is the most potent political weapon a people can possess.  The ability to see is therefore the most important lesson of 2012, beginning in January when Nigerians woke up to find the price of fuel manipulated and tripled.  It is also the lesson as the 2012 comes to an end with Nigerians finally able to see just how uncomplicated the tyranny that binds them is: the greed of an elite that steals in broad daylight and lies through every orifice.

But it is perhaps destiny: that things would rot so badly it assails and assaults every sense of the human body and spirit and there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.  If that is the definition of armaggedon, Nigeria today is its principal and scariest example.

The most amazing thing is that Mr. Jonathan recognizes it.  He has called on Nigerians not to give up on his government, promising that 2013 will be different.

That is another ruse, and anyone who believes it has forgotten you cannot reap where you did not sow.  Where is the evidence of what the Jonathan government actually sowed in 2012 from which he intends to reap in 2013?

If anything, 2012 was the year he consolidated corruption by refusing to implement critical anti-corruption reports, fire corrupt Ministers or lead by personal example.  2012 was the year he said he did not give a damn.  2012 was the year he did not announce his own Transformation Plan and did not implement the reports of his own Presidential committees.  2012 was the year he watched the anti-corruption agencies throw up their hands.  2102 was the year he appointed Mr. Fix-It Tony Anenih to chair the Board of the Nigeria Ports Authority.

In effect, 2012 was the year Mr. Jonathan made it clear he cannot do it, even while making it clear he wants a second term in office.
That leaves it up to the Nigerian people and to those running against him in 2015, a race that will begin in 2013.

I look forward, once again, to endorsing a credible candidate of character and honour; someone who sees public office as public service rather than a private storehouse.

To that end, the slogan for that race is easy to write: “My Mumu Don Do.  Your Mumu Don Do?”

Happy New Year, Nigeria.

By Muhammad Muntasir Adamu

An old Yoruba adage says “the death that will take you doesn’tImage call by your name”

For the past three years,Northern Nigeria has been undersiege both internal and external. The North’s economy has gone from manage to damage, her people are killed every day like flies that the number is too much that we have lost count. Cities like Maiduguri, Damaturu, Potiskum, Kano, and many others have been turned into a battlefield by Nigerian troops and the insurgents.

I spoke to some friends of mine Sani Usman Hardo in Damaturu and Aaron Amos in Maiduguri who both lamented on the long curfews and fears that ordinary citizens are faced with everyday. Businesses shut down, People leaving in fear and taking refuge only in their houses. Aaron who is a student of University of Maiduguri said “Every day
when I leave home for school and return back safe and sound, I give all the glory to God” and Sani said “As we speak, a bomb blasted some meters away from my house three hours ago, it is so sad. Allah ya kyauta”. The both conversations are examples of an almost everyday living in such places.

 

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State recently said the security threat by the Boko Haram in the northern part of the country had stalled development in the region.

“I am not satisfied with the slow pace of development in the northern region…In terms of progress, I am not satisfied with the situation in the North now, because of insecurity slowing down economic activities to the extent that when you invite investors, they are afraid to invest their money for fear of losing their investments,” he said.

Aliyu, however, said the slow economic activities was not peculiar to the region alone but the country at large as the activities of the group had given the country a negative image abroad.

So many times I have shed tears, been depressed,thrown insults to our leaders and to us also the followers for our actions and inactions since when this drama began regardless of colours(differences).

The problem of the North, South, East or West should be the problem for all unlike how today when many are saying the North should solve their problems themselves. I dare say where is the Nigerian blood that flows in all of us? Where is the brotherliness? Where is love? I guess we have all lost it. My first allegiance lies with the Nigeria state before my region.

I therefore call on our brothers from other regions of the country to join hands with us in fighting these insurgency that we are facing now.

Like I said earlier the death that will take you, does not call you by your name as such, we such should all wake up to cleanse our nation of all this negative vices from Official Boko Haram, Boko harams, kidnapping, robbery and all the others before it consumes us all. Hate is no alternative to one love.

BH
By Abubakar Garba Muri

The first precautionary principle that could justify military intervention is ‘right intention’ which requires that the primary purpose of any intervention must be to halt or avert human suffering. This is regardless of all other motives an intervening state may have. The second principle is the ‘last resort’, which demands that all non-military options for the prevention or peaceful resolution of crisis be exhausted before military intervention. Crisis response could thus be defined as any course of action designed to manage (by controlling and regulating) a crisis and provide solutions favourable to the actors in order to avoid its disruptive effects. As a result of the unpredictable and violent nature of crises, time is of the essence in any action taken to manage a crisis. However whether the response involves diplomatic or military effort, the sooner the action is taken, the more effective it is likely to be.

 

For a country that had been ranked as the 14th most failing nation in the world, these are serious signals that should be taken seriously because they suggest that all is not well with Nigeria because the priority attention of any government should be the security of lives and properties of it people. The series of bombings that have taken place in Nigeria portend great danger for this country. Yes there is a wave of terrorism all over the world, but serious countries have shown serious efforts to combat the trend. But in our own case, in our own country, there is yet to be any serious attempt by the government and the security agencies to contain or to go after those who are perpetrating this evil. We cannot just fold our arms and think that these things will just go away. But we have not seen that in process, just like we are not seeing any serious direction in governance. We are not seeing any serious effort to address the security challenges afflicting this country. The state of insecurity being experienced now in the region is a consequence of injustice, corruption, poor standard of living, unemployment, deceptive preaching by half-baked scholars, the quest for leadership and illiteracy. And now, people cannot sleep with their two eyes closed, people cannot walk on -the streets and feel safe; People live in fear and trepidation.

 

Mohandas Gandhi said in one of his article I quote ’’I object violence because, when it appears to do good is temporary the evil it does is Permanent’’ Unquote. The group behind the recent violence in northern Nigeria is known by several names, including Jama, atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal jihad also known as Boko Haram, the group was founded in 2002 in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, allegedly by Mohammed Yusuf, a religious teacher. In 2004, it moved to Kanamma in Yobe state, close to Nigerian-Niger border, where it set up a base dubbed “Afghanistan” self-style Taliban. The group, which consist of members who come from neighbouring Chad, is said not only to oppose Western education, but Western culture as well.
How did all these started? How did Nigeria as a country found itself in this imbroglio? It is a well known fact that there exist a wide gap between the southern and northern Nigeria educationally, due to the fact that European missionary’s first set foot on the southern shores and remained there for almost a century before coming to northern Nigeria. Immediately after independence, northern Nigeria as a region became a front banner on national discuss because of its population and literacy level. Against all odds the indigenes of northern Nigeria began to close the gap, where our population and diversity played a very vital role. The region started making giant stride in terms of educational development and these fast developments did not go down well with her southern neighbours who felt threatened, since then those who felt threatened tried in every way possible to sabotage the north, first by eliminating it first generation leaders, who’s gave education first priority in their development policy.
For example John N Paden in his book values and leadership published 1986 by hudahuda publishing Company Zaria Nigeria, said I Quote ’’educational development was the backbone of Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto and the premier of northern Nigeria, throughout the 50’s and 60’s. The implementation of the policy provided massive educational support in the north which has far reaching consequences. The policy of educating the north infuriated the southerners, and that is why even today the southerners are not favourable to Sardauna. The northernernization policy adopted by Sardauna for sole purpose of educating the north was the major point of differences between the northerners and southerners. Prior to the adoption of the policy, southerners dominated the Nigerian civil services and all other discipline (economically and political). Sardauna had a very strong feeling about emancipating the northerners from the clutches of southern domination.
Yet Sardauna was a nationalist, his main preoccupation was to catch up with the south in every discipline and to keep Nigeria as one, his northern educational policy was intended to unite Nigeria not to divide it. To uplift the north it was the only guarantee for unity, but no southerner saw it at that time’’ unquote. Our southern neighbours felt that they were in better position to rule Nigeria due to their perceived’ educational superiority and specialization to control Nigeria and reshape it as they see fit. For this reason Sardauna was murdered. And now they brought Boko Haram to completely destroy the remaining legacy of Sardauna using politically motivated religious violence to accomplish what they could not realise with the 15 January 1966 massacre.
Mark Twain wrote in one of his article I quote ’’of all the animal Man is the only animal that is cruel, not only that he inflicts pains; he is the only animal that inflicts pains for the pleasure for doing it’’. Divide and rule is one of the oldest means of mass control–standard practice since at least the Roman Empire. The tools and systems of social control are vast and evasive; they penetrate the very psychology and biology of the individual, the covert guiding of various social movements has proven to be one of the most effective means of programming factions and stirring them against one another. Fundamentalist religious movements have been particularly useful. The collective energy and dedication of “true believers” makes them a potent political weapon that movement leaders can readily aim where needed, this readily bring in mind the question of Boko haram Until recently, this group was never known as “Boko Haram (Western education is a sin),” but it is known to be against Western education and forbids one working in any government establishment. The name Boko Haram, may have been given to it by members of the public, because of the group’s opposition to Western education.
The question you and I have to ask is how did we get this man Mohammed Yusuf. Where did he came from? Was he along or played some people’s scribe? If yes then who was he working for? What is the mission? The northern Nigeria have more mundane issue to be tackled than Boko Haram (western education is a sin) in this 21 first century. Why bringing this doctrine at this particular time, when the whole world knew the northerners are lacking behind educationally. A lot of leaders from the region are calling for more enrolment in to schools and standardization of the educational sector. Any true believer with sound Islamic knowledge, who preaches with the good intention of educating the Muslims north for sole purpose of advancing Islamic knowledge, knew very well what the north need now than ever is massive literacy campaign and reorientation to embrace western education.

 

Although In the past, there were certain Islamic scholars, who obviously out of ignorance, believe that any Muslim who attends the conventional schools, other than Islamic schools would not enter Paradise. This is completely out of the Islamic teachings Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said Muslims should go as far as China to seek for knowledge. Most of our youth nowadays are not serious. They have been indoctrinated into the cult of corruption, lack of foresight, hopelessness, indiscipline, and religious bigotry not interested in acquiring good education, often looking for short corners to success, and have become largely uneducated. The majority of people in the northern part of the country are poor, uneducated and have inherent hatred for the government due to broken down of structural condition and it failures, from this group formed the bulk number of the sect. The orchestrators of this scheme knew quite well, that Mohammed Yusuf will do pretty well on this assignment considering what they knew of his antecedents. The late Yusuf’s father began the ideology in the 60’s; Mohammed Yusuf actually inherited the idea of condemning western education from his father who started it while he was living in Gashuwa before migrating to Ngazaragamo which is an emirate in Gaidam local government area. The late farther of Mohammed Yusuf continued preaching his extremist ideology unhindered before he died. Mohammed Yusuf who also grew up harbouring serious hatred for western education, and any Muslim who sought the knowledge. The self-style leader of Boko haram was recruited for a specific clandestine job, while on the mission, he manage to established himself as the sect leader, he rose to prominence through misguided teaching of Islamic doctrine, in order to cause disharmony between Muslims due to the fact that he does not have the required prerequisite. However Investigations had reviled that he is a hypocrite, among Muslims. The man who was trained, very well position to carry out a well planed scheme.
If a southerner or none Muslim for example, come out to say Boko is haram, (Western education is a sin) people will immediately know the sinister motive behind it, but where the person was of northern stuck who claimed to profess to Islam, who spoke the same language, who lived among them wore the same clothes, an Islamic teacher who could read and interpret the Holy Quran and hadith, It easy to mislead uneducated Muslims who have little or no genuine knowledge of Islam, by using subversive ways to achieve his extremist vision, which have no connection with Islam, but mainly political. Such a person will not be easily identified, his intention will remain hidden and he will continue with his activities unabated, Propagating extremism through religion as a cover up for the purpose of destabilising the north. The process of destabilisation started with the aim of destroying the geopolitical zones which are the fabric that hold the north together. These key states are Plateau HQ of north central, Borno HQ of northeast, Kano HQ of North West, if they succeed by destroying these key states the whole of north will grind to halt. They had succeeded partially in Plateau and Borno, only Kano proved to be difficult due to the fact that the orchestrators of the scheme did not have the cooperation of the indigenes and the support required to carry out their plan. The few attacks, succeeded in Kano were done by foreigners or none indigenes of the state which the indigenes rally around to fetch them out each time they attack.
Mohammed Yusuf as a leader of Boko Haram was always a guest of the security operatives in Abuja, and as at the last count, before his brutal murder, allegedly by the police, it is a well known fact that his release was facilitated by a frontline Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) chieftain and a former presidential aspirant from one of North Central states in Nigeria, why and what is the connection if one may ask? Your guess will be as good as mine, for destabilising the north through politically motivated religious violence. After having achieved the most desires goals, which was getting enough adherent for Mohammed Yusuf to use as foot soldiers for their plan. The PDP led government decided to murder the leader of the group to create chaos and that was the beginning of the upheaval. List we forget, the immediate trigger that set Boko Haram on the path of condemnable violence and retaliation was their perceived persecution which culminated in the extra-judicial murders, some few years ago, of its leaders and members in general, crimes that have not been punished up till today because of government complicity. From their position of power, as the financiers of PDP led governments, the PDP elite have over time perfected their methods of control. Staying always behind the scenes, they pull the strings controlling the media, the political parties, the armed forces, the intelligent agencies, and the offices of government.
A Public commentator Mr. Tondu Aonduna in one of his article lamented on this issue of Boko Haram, where he said, I quote’’Consciously or unconsciously, Jonathan and the cast of fellow irredentists and provincialists around him do view Nigerian politics in Manichean terms of “good versus evil” whereby much of the Muslim North is perceived as enemy territory fundamentally opposed to Mr. President and his “hard-earned “authority for this reason they must pay. Here is a man who is paranoid, as hypocritical and as vindictive as his mentor and godfather, to the extent that since he came to office after the last presidential elections, he is still fixated on imaginary enemies who must be lurking in every nook and cranny in the North, taken to associating every violent crime in Nigeria with a plot by his political enemies, meaning northerners, to discredit his regime by making Nigeria ungovernable! It is bewildering that despite the bombs that MEND has so far exploded ( from the Niger-Delta to Lagos and Abuja ) and the carnage left in the wake of their signature acts of anarchist defiance, Jonathan persists in vainly trying to absolve the self-styled militant group. With Boko Haram, he is at his primordial and revanchist best. The president has effectively refused serious dialogue as an option to handle the Boko Haram imbroglio. It is now apparent that many vested interests, both local and foreign, are benefitting tremendously (financially, through huge so-called security votes and extortion by the corrupt security agencies; for America and other foreign entities, by way of supplying military hardware’s, mercenary and spying presence here.) from the tenuous security situation in the North to a point where they are not likely to want any meaningful dialogue any time soon. Jonathan and his regime have invariably declared their intention to place, first, the North, and secondly, the rest of Nigeria, under the stranglehold of a reactionary PDP-led mafia’’ unquote. These kleptocratic bureaucrat and unconscionably thieving politicians, who treats their headache in European hospitals, educate their children in American schools, their drinking water is bottled; their power supply from generators provided and maintained and fuelled at public expense; and their traffic jam is cleared for them by the blare of sirens. They are in every way and in every sense totally divorced from the harsh realities of life and the many excruciating problems in present-day Nigeria.
Michel Chossudovsky, in his book The Globalization of Poverty – Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, published by Third world network Penang London in 1997 commented that, I quote’’ In the 1800s, genocide was employed to clear North America and Australia of their native populations, creating room for growth. Today, a similar program of genocide has apparently been unleashed against sub-Saharan Africa. The IMF destroys the economies; the CIA trains terrorist as militias and stirs up tribal, religious, and all kind of conflicts and the West sells weapons to all sides. Famine and genocidal civil wars are the predictable and inevitable result’’. Unquote the people most adversely affected by the murderous Boko Haram insurgency seem united in their pursuit of peaceful means as a preferred way to help get out of the security impasse whose genesis is traceable, The utter disregard by Jonathan and his regime for the superior interests of the nation is typical of an unrepresentative tyranny whose legitimacy is questionable, with awesome powers of blackmail and coercion through security agencies. Several lawyers and Public commentators, have kicked against the terrorism prevention act signed into law by the president on the 3rd of June 2011. Moreover, there is consensus in much of the North against the army presence in Borno and neighbouring states precisely because of the gross human rights abuses being committed against innocent citizens by soldiers deployed there. These abuses include, amongst others, extra-judicial killings, rapes, stealing, looting, arson torture and wilful and unwarranted vandalising of people’s property. Their complacent friends in the media are always ready to tell Nigerians all these atrocities are always regarded as collateral damage, and still Jonathan believe that Nigerians in the affected areas will roll out the red carpet and embrace the military. It is the fact of life that soldiers are drawn from the civil-society and shall on discharge or retirement go back to the civil society, the Nigerian military, which has manpower of about 250,000 (Source the military balance London) is about 1% of Nigerian’s population what message does this convey in the realm of governance for example, an infinitesimal number cannot hold the vast majority (99%) to ransom, because if there is war between the military sector and civil society the military cannot win even with the weapons they monopolise. Crucially, Boko Haram-inspired terror must never be used as a convenient excuse for America’s imperialist designs here. Neither should it be employed as a facile but pernicious pretext for the woeful failures of Jonathan and his bungling and scandal-plagued regime.
Mohammed Yusuf the self-style leader of Boko Haram was just a puppet in a grand master plan using Boko Haram as well orchestrated stepping stone. However what was little known from outside the violence bloodshed and the destabilisation of the north, was engineered, finance, control, and manipulated by elite group. A group which created an illusion that, Boko Haram want an Islamic state in northern Nigeria first and later to islamise the whole of Nigeria, to eradicate western education and it cultures. However in reality it was mainly a cover-up, it remain a phony to many. The orchestrators of this well planed scheme are no means strangers to upsetting event to curse destabilisation in this country in fact they have done so since our amalgamation. Due to their vast wealth and infiltration of key position in government, they control about 80 percent of our media, both prints and electronics. For these reason, they managed to control everything you read, everything you hear and everything you see. They used it to their advantage when ever a matter of national discuss, come to the table, always sway public opinion to their side. They have managed to indoctrinate entire populous to their way of thinking and they have infiltrated key position in place of authority and they do all these from the shadows. Their ultimate goal is total destabilisation of northern Nigeria and disintegration of Nigeria, and they will stop at nothing to reach their goal. Now that the boko haram is unmasked what is next? As my brother princes Charles, said only time will tell. The northern progressive leaders must rise to the occasion to called Jonathan and his PDP led government to order, and this is the time.

Abubakar Garba Muri, wrote from HQ United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) bubasajo3@yahoo.com

 

By Chukwuma Smart Amaefula

The federal budget is usually suffused with requests by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government for the purchase, maintenance and fuelling of plants and generators. This has become the proverbial tortoise that cannot elude a folk tale. The fact is that Nigeria lacks steady power supply and the MDAs therefore try to take undue advantage of this to make spurious provisions for this line item. In the 2013 budget, certain requests for generators, fuelling and maintenance need a thorough review so as not to waste public resources.

The wastages found on this item are categorised in three stages: Purchase of plants/generators; fuelling; and maintenance. On many occasions, separate huge amounts of public funds are allocated to these segments.

Take for an example the Presidency, the 2013 budget provides that, to fuel generators in the State House alone, the Presidency will spend N72,510,832. Also, the Presidency in its entirety is to spend the sum of N654.02m on generators. The money it is proposed covers the cost of maintenance of plants and generators as well as fuelling them. The money also covers the amount set aside to replace some generators in the agencies under the Presidency. Also, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources plans to spend N22,525,507 for fuelling of generators and N25,036,676 to maintain the generators.

The Federal Capital Territory is divided into low, middle and high income zones and the State House and the NNPC Towers are in the high socio-economic zone of Abuja. This zone enjoys regular supply of electricity from the national grid. This raises the rationale for allocating such a huge amount of public funds to these MDAs in spite of the regular supply of power to them. There is also another huge sum allocated to defray the cost of power supply from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, such as the sum of N148,105,373 to be expended by the State House alone to pay for electricity charges in 2013.

In examining the 2013 budget of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one will discover that there is a provision of N27,335,017 for maintenance and fuelling of generators in foreign missions. For the foreign missions, it is understandable that most African countries have problematic power supply. It is justifiable when you make budgetary allocations to foreign missions in some countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and other countries where war destroyed their economic infrastructure including power supply. But how can you justify budgetary allocations of purchasing, fuelling and maintenance of plants/generators in foreign missions in such countries as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, etc, which enjoy constant power supply? For example, Nigeria’s foreign missions in two highly developed cities of Berlin and Berne got N1,092,428 for generator maintenance and another N2,834,505 for fuelling and N473,570 for maintenance and another N1,228,608 for fuelling respectively.

As if the above is not enough, some MDAs will include purchase of generators at very exorbitant prices and this appears year after year. Back home, it’s infuriating to learn that an agency such as the National Primary Health Care Development Agency has a budgetary allocation of N23,515,181 for this purpose. The lifespan of every generator, even the one called “I pass my neighbour” exceeds a period of at least two years. So why is there the necessity for this request for the purchase of generators in the budget of some MDAs every year? These are just a few examples; all the MDAs are all involved in this mad rush, read fraud, of “fuelling” themselves to unfettered riches.

The foregoing makes a strong case for the intensification of the reforms in the power sector so that there will be sustainable improvements in power generation, transmission and distribution. If the Federal Government is sincere to itself and to the general public, concerted efforts should be made in adopting and implementing integrated development plans where the good management of one sector will support the management of other sectors.

Chukwuma Smart Amaefula, Centre for Social Justice, Abuja

Can Nigeria Die For You?

Posted: December 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

The person we were supposed to sell and buy a lantern, asked, “if you sell me to buy the lantern, of what use, when you have disposed the beauty for which the lantern was meant to help you see”.

Last week I asked a cross section of Nigerians in my weekly admonition if they would readily die for Nigeria? With their varied answers, we noticed the recurring decimal of what the Nigerian malaise is…from the points we knew, to some new perspectives.

However a standout theme, which a couple of respondents and particularly a friend raised is my take this week…Would Nigeria die for you?

Let’s rephrase in as many ways, would Nigeria die for you, for me, for us, is Nigeria dying for them? To properly situate the resident contradictions that the question could bring, reflect on the functionality of Nigeria: Who is Nigeria, what does Nigeria represent, is there a Nigeria…?

Would the Nigeria you have defined die for you, maybe in the future, but looking at a grueling 2012 draw to an end, does the current contraption capture you.

The ‘you’ here is the ordinary Nigerian…the you that queues an average 7 hours a week in fuel station, spends another 7 hours in traffic for reasons beyond you.

Would Nigeria die for that you? The many million ‘you’ in that 150 million that honestly try to ‘earn a survival’ by dint of hardwork but continually pegged back by Nigeria. The you that has to ‘miracle’ out a living from 18k with 4 kids, and several dependents on informal self social security system.

There is the you, me, millions of us, that do not possess a national identity card, or passport. We are scattered from the urban to the rural areas, no access to electricity at urban level and no rural electrification but plenty paper talk. Do these group have hope that Nigeria would die or is dying for them?

Think not what the nation would do for you…yes, in the strict term we believe this applies when the system is functional and there is allegiance to her. When Nigeria allows her own to die via avoidable infant and maternal health issues. Would Nigeria that constantly abuse its own die for you?

The Nigeria in which a few fly naval choppers bought by the peoples’ wealth while the people are guests of death holes and traps on roads now looking more of pathways. The Nigeria where some treat their migraines in UK hospitals, from funds stolen from the masses and meant for the local Mbaise primary healthcare center. Would that selfish Nigeria die for me and you to have a kidney transplant or cancer treatment?

Tell me that this Nigeria that provides security for a subsidy thief, or the Nigeria that permits 4-5 military personnel to guard a retired general’s empty residence while you and me are hosts to robbers, assassins. The Nigeria that with telegraph dispatch handles the Finance Minister’s mother’s kidnap and yet has no details about the robbery of the ordinary man, would that Nigeria die for you?

A Nigeria that watches her citizens ripped by telecom operators, killed extra-judicially and fleeced by leaders both elected and selected, would that Nigeria die for you?

I would end with this experience on the field, years back I was guest to an army general who had been around the corridors of power. I asked him, what he thought about the hardship Nigerians…He cut me short and asked “who are the Nigerians, who told you they were complaining…?

As I made to answer, he cut in again, “the real Nigerians are few, we know ourselves…”. Indeed the ‘real’ Nigerians, the ones that call the shots, determine the bakery that benefits from the flour, bake the bread and those who eat it. They are Nigeria and would they die for you?

In 2012 alone, 11 persons were killed by government official convoys driving at ‘kill us’ speed, an average of one per month, this Nigeria won’t die for you, the Nigeria that has ghost teachers, ghost schools, fake and ghost workers, the Nigeria were newly mint money just disappears or the strange Nigeria were a civil servant has over a billion quid in his bedroom–surely that Nigeria is not ready to die and even if, it is not going to die for us.

Gov. Patrick Yakowa’s death, comments by Gov. Suswan of Benue speaks volume, celebrations by touts in Kaduna tells you the divide, the sacking of Imo workers by Abia state, and the ‘hatred’ between Plateau and Nassarawa state. How sacking of army chiefs become a muslim/christian or Ibo/Yoruba thing tells you to think hard if Nigeria would die for you?

When the old man without teeth, insists that strong beef is his favourite, he’s passing a message, and it is only a matter of time, reality sets, the dawn is better imagined than experienced. Because it is the same Nigeria that a young man can bare afford a marriage that others share plasma tv sets and we wave it off like rumour.

Despite all, I see, and know, walk past and work with people who love Nigeria, they are willing to die for Nigeria, but does Nigeria care, they apply in their 800, 000 of thousands for barely a thousand five hundred jobs, the go through hell with painful bus-stops. There are Nigerians, but let’s not forget that “if you sell me to buy the lantern, of what use, when you have disposed the beauty for which the lantern was meant to help you see”. At this rate, we may be toying with a Nigeria without Nigerians, time will tell.

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Sects And Politics

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Hakeem Baba-Ahmed 

“The lizard finds a resting place only when the wall cracks” – Hausa Proverb 

Guests at the recent wedding of Vice President Namadi Sambo’s two daughters witnessed more than two unions. Many of them were taken aback by the manner Sheikh (Dr) Ahmad Gummi reacted to the inclusion of the prayer, Salatil Fatih, by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi when he prayed. Dr Gummi, the symbolic pillar of the Jamaatu Izalatul Bidia Wa Ikamatus Sunnah, a group which regards the Sultan Bello Mosque Kaduna as its exclusive forte, complained over the inclusion of the Salatul Fatih in Shiekh Dahiru Bauchi’s prayers. He may well have protested only as a matter of duty, because he must have known that Shiekh Dahiru Bauchi, the undisputed leader of the rival Darika sect, cannot offer any prayer without concluding with Salatil Fatih. In the lion’s den, so to speak, nothing could have stopped the aged Sheikh from reciting that prayer.
 

If the two Sheikhs whose routine skirmishes are now prominent features in the character of the northern Muslim community were deliberately put together and in a manner and order guaranteed to provoke each other, the plan worked. Even making allowances for the fact that the event involved the Vice President, the presence of the two leaders and a protocol which provides for both to pray was bound to generate some sort of stress in an event which had already drawn some local public displeasure owing to restrictions around the famous mosque. A reversal of the order of the prayers, such that Sheikh Gummi prayed first, may have avoided Dr Gummi’s reaction, but that would have offended political sentiments as well as the perceptions that Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi is senior to Gummi, and should have prayed first.

In all, the brief incident left many Muslims saddened that Muslim inter-sect rivalry and hostility is still a major issue; and for non-Muslims who heard or witnessed it, it may serve as evidence of serious disunity among Muslims they may have been largely unaware of. More significantly, the incident confirmed the flurry of denials and repudiations of stories that the two clerics and a few others had struck a genuine pact to improve Muslim unity during the last Hajj.

In a context where frantic search for unity in the North is being made by politicians, political groups and elders, the persistent schisms between major sects in the Muslim north is a major challenge. Partisan politics during the 2011 elections showed an unprecedented capacity to tap into these divides, and as the build-up towards 2015 gathers momentum, politicians will exploit this strategic fault-line among northern Muslims to the hilt. Politicians who place premium on capturing national leadership to stop the national slide into anarchy and failure of the state will need to note the state of Muslim disunity. There are significant steps that need to be undertaken in the process of healing the major weaknesses of the north in particular.

First, leaders of sects need to look deeply and assess whether the interests of Nigerian Muslims is best served by retaining the fences they have erected around followers, or by building bridges that limit hostility, ignorance and weaknesses among the community. If they can move towards each other in a manner that improves inter-sect unity without offending important values and traditions, they can substantially reduce the tendency for partisan politics to exploit Muslim differences. On the other hand, if egos and weaknesses in character of leaders stand in the way of making sacrifices for enhanced unity, the future for northern Muslims in the context of Nigerian politics will be even bleaker.

Then the leaders themselves must take steps to reduce the levels of personal hostility towards each other, and send signals to followers to avoid irritants and offensive postures which fuel sectarian hostilities. The gulf which separates the major groups is not as wide as leaders make followers to believe; and in many instances, they are exploited merely to provide power bases for leaders and clerics. Third, the Izala and Darika sects need to recognize that the ground is fast shifting away from under them. There are emerging sects, or splinters of existing sects which are becoming more popular by the day, largely because many, particularly young Muslims, are frustrated by the ineffectiveness of the older sects or tendencies to address what they see as the basic problems of the Muslim community. Leaders of the more traditional sects need to close ranks and reach out to disillusioned Muslims who are drifting further away from their influences towards more radical tendencies, and creating additional problems for Muslims.

A major re-thinking of the state of northern Muslim unity is vital at this stage. The contest for elective offices in 2015 will largely use the North as a battleground, and majority of the casualties will be vital northern interests. A deliberate and purposeful unity among northern Muslims will enable them reach out to Muslims involved in the Jamaatu Ahlil Sunnah Lid’dawati Wal Jihad (a.k.a. Boko Haram) and engage them towards resolving their grievances.

There are millions of other Muslims all over the nation who are disillusioned by the failure to close the damaging gaps which sects and tendencies create among Muslims. Many Muslims from the lower parts of the north find it easier to relate with Muslims from the West because the manner dominant sects operate alienates them. Muslims from the western part of the country agonize over their inability to work with fellow Muslims in the north to reduce the powerlessness of the Nigerian Muslim community and deal with its challenges, including those of the JASLIWAJ insurgency. In the meantime, all Muslims suffer the stigma of being closet sympathizers or active collaborators of the insurgency in the eyes of security agencies and many Christians. They are unable to tackle perennial challenges such as the existence of millions of almajirai (child beggars) or crushing poverty among the population. Politics impoverishes, rather than empowers the majority of the Muslim population; and our political processes and systems are daily drifting away from core Islamic values.

The burden of leadership is to find solutions to complex social problems. The challenge for Muslim leaders at this stage is to reduce the damaging disunity which exists between Muslims because of deeply-entrenched sectarian divisions. They need to do this now, to limit further damage to the Muslim ummah, and because on the Day of Judgment, they will have to account for the manner they led and counselled followers.