Operation Python Dance: Lessons For IPOB, Agitators And The FG By Cassidy Madueke

In Igboland, there is a saying that “what you do not know is bigger than you, just as it will continue to be beyond you until you experience it practically’’. This adage perfectly describes the combative strategy of IPOB and the Operation Python Dance set up by the Nigerian military to contain the activities and excesses of the agitating group which has been classified as a terrorist organization by the Federal Government and proscribed by South East Governors.

Investigation into the membership of IPOB shows that most of the young people, including its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who parade themselves as agitators spoiling for war were not born before or during the Nigerian civil war which lasted from 1967 to 1970.

They have never experienced any war. The implication of this is that war or violence, to them, is like a fairy tale or what is seen in American movies. They still believe that stones, dane guns and wooden clubs are the best arms and armament to prosecute a war. Even if they know about military equipment, do they have the funds or sponsors to help them procure them?

The situation is made worse because the teaching of history has been expunged from the curriculum of Nigerian schools and most of the characters involved in IPOB have not bothered to read about Nigeria’s civil war, why and how it started, how it was won and lost and its impact on both Biafra, the Federal troops and Nigeria as a country.

Suffice it to say that this was the same experience that led to the death of promising undergraduates of Igbo extraction in 1967 when Nigeria’s civil war commenced. They came out in their numbers in same manner and fashion as undergraduates from University of Nigeria, Nsukka to face federal troops with machetes, stones and wooden clubs not knowing what bullets in a single gun could do to tens of them. The result was the massive mowing down of the young men with the talents inherent in them. Fifty years after the war, its scars are still visible in homes, families and villages in the South East.

Analyzing its support base, it has been observed that rational Igbos, including those from same village with IPOB leader, who experienced the civil war are not in favor of the push by the group which believes that war or secession is the solution for the marginalization of the Igbos. The do not believe in dialogue which was the counsel of the Great Nnamdi Azikiwe of Africa to the then young Col. Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu as a better way to handle agitations before the break out of the civil war.

When the jungle of the civil war matured and Ojukwu realized that it had turned out to be a suicide mission, he had to seek the intervention of the Great Zik to find a soft landing for Biafra. After several negotiations that did not produce desired results, the old man had to leave for London for his safety. It was a matter of time before Ojukwu fled. At that time the push had come to shove. But then, those who did not have anywhere to run to, and those who had places to run to, but did not have the means to do so, resigned to fate to either survive the war or pay the supreme prize.

The war left in its wake colossal damage to property, just as thousands of lives were lost. It will be recalled that before his demise, Ojukwu described the war as a mistake and that such incident should not happen again. According to him, if Nigeria finds itself in another civil war, it means the people who died between 1967 and 1970 died in vain. NTA still plays the recording up till today.

By and large, history has a way of repeating itself in the sense that it took a show of force by the Nigerian army driving and brandishing military vehicles and armoured tanks in Nnamdi Kanu’s village in Umuahia, Abia State, for him to be silenced. This is an indication that the man was not prepared for the action he has been propagating and the threats he had been making. If he was really ready to die for the course as he claims why did he go into hiding since the military show of force happened.

It should also not be forgotten that a chunk of his followers have paid the supreme prize during confrontations with security agencies at different times. This is unlike Ojukwu who stayed and fought till almost the end of the civil war before fleeing. The situation on hand now is that Kanu is no-where to be found even when the real deal as he speculated has not started. The general impression is that the captain has abandoned his ship and that the leadership of IPOB is now in question.

The lesson for the Federal Government on the experience of Python Dance is that security agencies should do everything possible to stop whoever and whatever that would lead to further bloodshed in any part of the country since military show of force has had maximum impact. Further interventions should also be done more professionally, since it has become obvious that agitators have not acquired weapons.

Since the military in the South East zone now aims at reducing criminal activities which include kidnappings, Operation Python Dance should ensure that the rights, privileges, value , due respect and protection of lives and properties of citizens/residents of the zone are not undermined in any way.

It has become obvious that God Almighty in his infinite mercy brought many tribes and races together to form one nation. It therefore behooves that the virtues of mutual respect and not mutual suspicion should be the order of the day.

Dialogue and not violence should be embraced as a means of seeking solution to national challenges. After all, it still takes round table discussions to end a war even though the difference is that so much destruction would have taken before such meetings are convened.

From the foregoing, it has become imperative to reintroduce History as a subject in Nigerian schools so that young people will be thought about the Nigerian civil war and why such incidents should be avoided.

It is the prayer of all Nigerians of goodwill that God averts any incident that will lead to further bloodshed in Nigeria.

Chief Cassidy madueke writes from Abuja-Nigeria

Who Is marginalized? By Okoi Obono-Obla

I don’t agree absolutely with the argument that the Igbos are marginalized in this country.

How can anybody contend that a formidable (in every sense of the word) group that is everywhere in the country are marginalized.

The Igbo have through dint of industry and hard work, enterprise become of the most formidable groups in Black Africa.

Do you know that the Igbo people owe almost 70 percent of the buildings in Abuja?

A group that produced the first president of this country, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (1963-1966) ; produced the first Military Head of State of Nigeria, Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (1966);  they produced first Vice- President of this country (1979-1983), Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme; they had produced a military vice-president of this country, Vice Admiral Ebitu Ukiwe (27 August 1985-October, 1986) ; a group that had produced three Speakers of the House of Representatives of this country namely (Jaja Anucha Ndubisi Wachukwu (He was first Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives (1959-1960); Edwin Ume Ezeoke (1979-1983)! Igbo became Speaker of the Houser of Reprsentatives briefly in 1992 during the transition programme of General Ibrahim Babangida!

A group that had produced many Senate Presidents of this country including Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (1960);Dennis Osadebey (1960-1963); Dr Nwafor Orizu (1963-1966); Evan Enwerem (199); Dr Chuba Okadigbo (1999-2000); Anyim Pius Anyim (2000-2003); Adolphus Wabara (2003-2005) and Ken Nnamani (2005-2007).

A group had produced Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Hon. Justice Rose Ukeje); a group that had produced the first President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Onuorah Ibekwe (1976-1978); a people that had produced numerous Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria including Hon. Justice Lious Nwanchukwu Mbanefo; Hon. Justice Charles Dadi Onyeama; Hon. Justice Dan Ibekwe;Hon. Justice Anthony Nnaemezie Aniagolu CON; Hon. Justice Augustine Nnamani CON; Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa CON to mention but a few claimed that they are marginalized.

A people that had produced many Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria including Paul Agbai Ogwuma (1st October 1993- 29 May 1999); Charles Chukwuma Soludo (29th May 2004-29th May 2009) and Godwin Emefiele(3 June 2014 till date).

In this present dispensation, the Igbos have Six Ministers, numerous permanent Secretaries; Directors; Director Generals, Ambassadors, Top officials  in the Federal Civil Service, Abia State alone has the largest number of civil servants in the Federal Civil Service more than three Northern States put together; The Igbos have produced Army Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (general Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army from 1965-1966); Lt Gen Onyabor Azubuike Ihejirika (September, 2010-January 2014); Lt-Gen Kenneth Minimah (January 2014-July 2015);Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral JD Ezeoba (2012-2013); Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Paul Dike ( 20 May 2006-20 August 2008); Air Marshall Paul Dike, Chief of Defense Staff ((20 August 2008-September, 2010); Mike Mbama Okiro (2007-2009)  Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo, Inspector General of Police (2009-2010)! Numerous Ministers for the past 60 years! Produced four Comptroller Generals of Nigeria Immigration Service including JE Onubogu (1966-1967); Chukwurah Joseph Udeh (2005-2010); UC. Nwizu (2000-2004) and Rose Chinyere Uzoma (2010-2013) claim they are marginalized!

A group that just recently produced the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (2011-2015); says they are marginalized!

Do you know that there are numerous ethnic nationalities in this country that have never produced a judge of the High Court or Court of Appeal or a Justice of the Supreme Court, member of the Senate, Member of the House of Assembly, director; a commissioner, Local government Chairman; a Senior Army Officer, a Senior Police Officer etc! Talk less of President, Vice President; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senate President, Minister etc.

So who is marginalized in Nigeria! Let us discuss this nationality question once and for all!

Those who are horribly and truly marginalized are the more than 500 small ethnic nationalities scattered in the South/South; North Central; North West, North Eastern Regions of the country!

These are the people who should be crying for justice, fair play, affirmative action, not the three major groups including the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa ethnic nationalities!

Okoi Obono-Obla

Punch Newspaper: When A Pen Becomes A Piper, By Temisan Jackson

The saying goes that the pen is mightier than the sword; but those must be pens that scribble in alignment with the ethos of pen-pushing and the principles of truth and justice. Some pens have lost their soul, having traded their lead for pecuniary ends. Those are the pens that distort the facts, write out of context, or turn the truth upside down. They are no longer pen, they have become a piper.

When a pen becomes a piper, it starts to play to the premeditated tune of its sponsors instead of writing for the enlightenment of the readers. A pen that has transmuted into a piper shifts its focus from serving a wide, heterogeneous audience and stops writing about the various socio-political issues that keep coming up in our ever-evolving society, but instead caters to the preferred tune of a few whose interests are not as diverse as that of the bigger society. This is the story of the once respected Punch Newspaper. It is fast becoming a mouthpiece of a few rather than the voice of the populace.

Over the years, the Punch newspaper has adopted a sustained anti-Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala approach in its reportage. A search on the medium’s own search bar will reveal an alarming number of negative coverage. But because of the volume of its features per day, it is not so obvious to the average eye the covert media onslaught that Punch keeps launching against the persona of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

It is worthy of note, though, that Punch is not the only medium embarking on this ‘writ of shame’ campaign. For several years, Sowore and his infamous Sahara Reporters were willing allies for individuals with vested interests to use in their attempt to destabilise the woman all through her two stints as finance minister.

Isn’t it interesting that years after she left office, having done a generally acknowledged sterling job in managing the nation’s economy, some powerbrokers and their media cronies cannot get over their fixation on Okonjo Wahala, as they dubbed her then? Even though there are different people running the government now, it is pathetic to see how often the name of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala keeps popping up on news pages.

The ludicrous side to this whole media trial is that while the likes of Punch keep inserting her name in one negative slant or the another, the woman only keeps rising higher than their mercantile hands could reach to drag down, while they and their sponsors inadvertently serve to make her more popular by the day.

Well, it’s true that some of the media who have made Okonjo-Iweala a daily feature in their medium do so to generate traffic to their site or sell their medium. It is also true that others do it as part of a hatchet man’s job, bankrolled by individuals and party leaders who are still smarting from the way she blocked those intent on “chopping” as it is our political custom while she held sway as finance minister.

The ironic twist to it all is that the media attacks only seem to be making her more renowned and celebrated locally and internationally. Or, how does one explain that despite the smear campaigns, top institutions all over the world are either bequeathing this same Okonjo-Iweala with different awards or seeking her involvement in their causes? It can only be because this woman, whose name is Ngozi (meaning Blessing) is truly blessed.

Temisan Jackson writes from Warri, Delta State.

Winning The Boko War: Peace And A Path Of Fresh Handshake Across The Niger, By Jimi Bickersteth

On a trip on this wet day from Lagos enroute Abaji,a locale of the IPOB,thoughts about the Boko Haram,another of the nation’s distress rocket and a  rollicking good family film,produced by insurgents and idle politicians,directed by op Lafiya dole in the savannah and sambisa forest,the all conquering op Python Dance II in the South East and the placating by palliatives in the Niger Delta region all of which bore seemingly but striking contrast, even though direct offshoot of intractable national questions which the struggles so to speak set out to correct, leadership problems,economic independence or resource control if you like and religious independence, forget that they almost ruined the nation by their neo fundamental stances.

The agitations in the Northeast axis, Niger Delta, MEND,IPOB,MASSOB, and the rest of such distraction were the best the six geopolitical booby-trap presented the nation, which also like an algae, has engendered,and thus, creating more local agitation for independence and secession.

But beyond that, this struggles had structures that could not muscle or isolate the truth and the reality about the Nigerian Dreams,as the questions of all the different nationalities in the federation, of full representation,has been answered by the nation’s return to civil rule in a participatory democracy,and that is the only panacea that could fast track development and unity in a multi national Nigeria.

The conquests and winning the battle of Sambisa, Oraifite after so long a time and loss of lives, property, history and in some cases even identity, couldn’t have come at a better time, as it infused new life into the debates and running commentaries, about credible and or failure of leadership, basically, because of the nation’s leaders poor response and below par attempts at tackling the challenges of ethnic domination,religious bigotry and intolerance.

If the nation care to do a case study, the Boko Haram war, the ND insurgencies,and the Biafra agitations, and what have you, could have been nipped in the bud, if we had applied:
i.the correct test under the rule and
ii.measures congruent with the seriousness of the situation,using dialogue as a major weapon at the table of democracy.

National development,democracy and insurgencies are mutually exclusive and of the trio,  democracy is believed to be a rehash of constitutional imperatives. But where is the rallying point and where are the leaders to:
a.) facilitate the handshake across the Niger:
b.) determine who governs the people through fair and free elections;
c.) work on a collective attempt to drastically reduce all corrupting influences in the society through legislation;
d.) give workers right to full and gainful employment and right to decent living by legislation.

All of the above  are salutary reminder of the positive correlation between the quality of life of the people,good governance and democracy. All of which are antithecal to the ploy inherent in the six geopolitical expression – a mere ploy by the strong nations to bully the weaker ones.

It is amazing how far the pompous bureaucracy and leaders Nigeria is laden with will go to make systemic change,rather than making an exception that would easily fix the problem. And the similarity is like the difference between puffy spring rain clouds and the clouds that precede a tornado, one is temporary and normal, the other is chronic and accumulate aggression.

The reported defeats on the Sambisa,and the south east strongholds of the insurgents is winning the war, on one hand, and a call for government on the other,on why it must also win the peace; and for that to be successfully done, the government has to be truthful and honest to itself.

Once  government is committed to being honest, daemons, fear in and around them that encourages insurgents and or rebellion will scamper for safety and disappear.The issue should no longer be about what went wrong, not anymore. It should be about what we are putting right.It is easy and possible.

However, the nation’s leaders and Representatives must desist from the Bonaparte style,who, at his coronation as France king, said, “Dieu me la donne,qure á qui la touche”-God has given it to me,let him beware who shall touch it . Ati tòjé bolóòsaà lówó,óku baba eni tí ó boo.Because it can make them more vulnerable.

Once the leaders,have learnt to focus on understanding the people and in the process, be open,authentic, so that the people can understand them, the leaders folly and the nation’s failure is on the way of been conquered, secrecy spawns isolation, not success.

In spite of daunting and overwhelming security issues, power and energy crisis, dwindling oil revenue, there is a flicker of hope that we shall soon leave our dry seasons behind,but that is if we can confront our national problems with keen intelligence and less cocksureness.

One thing is relevant and germane here though, and that is,while Nigerians do not expect the leaders to rub our feet while feeding us grapes, we are heavy hearted and exhausted with their greed and lack of care.
But life has taught us that because we are late we should not turn back. We should still believe in our country. We can show the leaders how we want to be led and if they choose to remain stubborn and self-absorbed, we have a way of taking the bull out of the China shop, and as a clever maitre d’hotel serves up as a specially choice delicacy a piece of meat that no one who had seen it in the kitchen would have cared to eat.

The insurgents,and seccession and other agitations,thought the nation a great lesson, and the lesson is that the insurgents thrive in a remoteness afforded by a vast grassland and natural creeks which had hitherto made for uneven control of resources. Added to this was the character of life itself in a land of seemingly unending reach.

In such a situation natural conditions promoted a tough individualism, as people became used to making their own decisions far away from the FCT in Abuja, and allow conditions of anarchy often prevail. It is incumbent upon the leaders to provide answers to the myriads of national question. As I tried to figure it out, I saw a situation where all instincts and good conscience tell our leaders to move forward,but to get moving,they must have to shift the weight back.

To gloss over it, or paper the cracks,or plunge into decisive action. As I contemplate the possibilities of each,my sense of control transforms into a feeling of falling helplessly down a giant hourglass, I feel Nigeria expect the deep cadence of PMB’s speech and leadership skills to steer our senses and our hearts. But right now, he is not saying much and he is not inviting much to be said either. Can there be recession in words and deeds.

Meanwhile, PMB should exert such soft political power his office guaranteed him to douse some of the tension in the land, as he wittingly, should propose a constitutional amendments, where all the states in the federation, are considered as commonwealth of states, having a loose association with Abuja;in one way or the other,the present state of,exclusive rule as if we are running a unitary system, would wither away and proper fiscal federalism and an even more complete self government would take the front burner.

Another alternative is to propose what is  called the, ” Mayflower Compact”, where we can combine states together into a civil body politics for a better ordering and preservation,enact and frame just and equal laws as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the people. Otherwise,the nation risks the fear of insurgencies succeeding and becoming self-governing, simply by asserting that they were beyond any governmental authority and then setting up their own political systems outside of the current inefficient political party structure and system that lacked cohesion, and who left the people largely to their own devices. #
Jimi Bickersteth

Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and a writer.
He can be reached on Twitter@alabaemanuel
Email jimi.bickersteth@yahoo.co.uk

The Deluge Of A Nation And A Complacent Cat, By Jimi Bickersteth

It is amazing how the nation has made its 360 degree turn from a humbling majesty to a dwarfing grandeur and with a head hidden in the clouds and the faint light of the never-quite-dark twilight which has given  the once colourful and ebullient nation its present dark glow.

The problem is not Nigeria, it is you, you, you and you.

The state of the nation,today,leaves most Nigerians, most of who did not grow up among the best of influence,griping in horror, and has raised serious doubts as to whether, there indeed would be any future- a sorry epitaph for a nation.

An epitaph that is in fact true,as the nation has been turned to a sturdy fairly tree limb that had been recently stripped of branches and bark. A nation whose magnificence seemed almost superfluous,and an embarrassment of riches that was grossly unfair to its men,women and children,because the political leaders have stripped the nation’s soul and left the people naked to the world.

Now the future arose slowly and Nigerians have different reactions to the happenings in and around the country. Some indifferent, they try to put such prospects out of their minds,but that does not remove the danger.

A rapidly grwing number of others, relieved, have formed survivalist societies, in the hope that those who

will survive, particularly, the political leaders, have built “Burj Khalifs” and other places of refuge in isolated areas around our shores,and stocked these with food for selves and families, and with a misplaced look of enjoyment and satisfaction on their faces.They think life is all about them and their ‘beautiful’ spouses and children.

While a large percentage grew disappointed with violent crimes, kidnapping for ransoms, kidnapping for rituals, widespread unemployment and inflation, that has generally made people prisoners in their own homes.

The outlook truly bleak, and thoughts of what to do next chokes their minds with a startling panic that always drove them to concentrate on something, anything, else.

Wither the hope of the hopeless and unselfish willingness, scurrying around so immersed in their own lives and cleverness that they never search for anything greater than themselves.

The happenings in the land today is a mirror that reflected us in x-ray form to reveal emotions and motives that we ourselves scarcely know. But, who is going to stand up for Nigerians, who are frothed with indignation, but couldn’t express it.

Blanket of pessimism about our future seems to cover everywhere; and saddled with leaders that couldn’t breeze through the obligations and commitments that go with status. Flying away from the problems, running away with trillion of our oil money,monies meant to raise our nation from squalor and doldrums of poverty, privation and frustration, so much so that the fraud agencies are not building intensity,but instead saddled with layer after layer of complexity and intrigues.

The APC government has increasingly exposed the nation to a therapy; therapies that calmed our limbs but not our pulses,pulses which seem to grow in loudness as it grew in speed. Therapy that cannot help,but might hurt the people leaving our cheeks burn from embarrassment and anger.

It’s been a constant tale of blatant breach of trust,a rape of honours, dignity and decency from the leaders,in the process, the nation has confused the container with the contents and unable to recognise the contents in its substantive form.

It is sad that the nation and the people cannot totally protect themselves.

Why. Because,Politicians always have an agenda and ever will and all they want, is our money,which they’ll use to feather their own nest. They often forget that to be self-centered is a grand step toward poverty ,even as they keep bleeding the nation dry.

They have deliberately reduced the quality of life in and around the nation,and we have all been pauperized and the general feeling is pathetic and so poor. A nation,whose politicians are yet to come to terms with the simple fact that the purpose of a “made in

Nigeria” budget,a phrase I wish to deploy guidedly,is to help assist to have necessities, in so far,as attainable, to enable the nation realise its most cherished desires by defending them against casual wishes.

The people’s representatives arrest every fibre of our patience, consider the people as miniature adults and are constantly asking them to tighten their belts and straighten deck chairs on a sinking ship crippled by a storm.

This democracy appears to be blurring our leaders vision. Power blocks their vision and causes them to often vacillate, and as a result, sap the peoples energies, as they are asked to work for the benefit of a few people in government.

Which has constantly been a barrier to creativity, and has consistently render the people less powerful and politicians more powerful,the resultant effect is that it stalls the nation’s group and collective attainment.

In our blighted climes, rather than making democracy a coefficient of abundance, equity and liberty, it is fast becoming a meaningless metaphor, meaningless in the heart, mind and life of the individual. It is making a terrible mess of a people submitting to the state.

As the peoples representatives miss the fact that there are no science, formulae or theorem in the art of governance, because it is psychosomatic, and a matter of the hearts. The nation is becoming heated and worrisome as it appears politicians are that very obstacle to the nation’s path to get the often elusive winning formula to the will-o-the-wisp called success.

The NASS, is presently preoccupied and crippled by distractions, disabled by insincerity and handicapped by halfheartedness,and by its own body language,presenting the acting president to the world,as the one attempting to break its spirit by his reported reactions and position on the EFCC chairman issues/retaining

Magu, Fashola’s dissent to the misappropriation/padding in the 2017 Budget ;and who wily nily by his consents and or silence

in each instance emphasising what they did wrong rather than what they think they’d done right.

One can substantially and sincerely doubt the stance and claim that the executive arm and its

uncompromising as justice reactions to the NASS overbearing postures and as vain as a peacock infallible postulation were to point out their faults than deal with its own! Or that by dwelling on their shortcomings, the executive feel better about itself, thereby trying to increase their stature in the eyes of

people,to have that at the back of their mind would be

a political miscalculation.

But one can hazard a guess here, that those criticisms,if at all they are one,valid as they are,were merely meant to strengthen the democratic institutions and relationships on one hand, and on the other hand, to encourage them to enter the fullness of their avocation.

The criticisms are to remind them, NASS, that the nation is carrying within it

unhealed wounds and unresolved issues of the past maladministration, injustice and corruption. Therefore, the NASS, particularly, the red chamber, trolling the acting president and attempting to make the nation ungovernable is a misplaced priority.

That it has even gone ahead to give a 3-point demand to the acting president, owing to, perhaps, their:

i.)self-importance,which like all  Nigerans,when we have achieved a certain level of success, we think that “we know best”. But sometimes what we are ready to teach are things people have treaded the paths in time

past. This been the case, the only choice the Senate has is-back off;or try to ram it down the acting president’s throats. In that event we’d do well to

remember the old adage:” A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

ii.)gifting by virtue of their position, status and influence they expect everyone else to come up to their level, and  put them down when they don’t,-back off! They must. They

must change, their thinking, attitudes, carriage and begin to line up what can move the nation forward.

The relevance and real tests of trust and truth in a relationship and that could strengthen any relationship is to be able to share our

secrets and struggles, our inner fears and failures-intimacy based on honesty. It takes courage to be honest,perhaps you’ve been so hurt in the past by a Magu or anyone in the executive, then the legislators will be living in a tower. Where they are safe from life’s threatening grasp, but will be so detached from life, from reality, that they’ll lose consciousness of people, places, dates and events;and end up continue rehearsing  what no one,including the legislators, can change-the past.

While the executive continue to assert its rights even as it refused to be cowed or forced to kowtow in the absence of the Lion,the NASS must note that achieving peace and a buoyant economy are destinations that are achievable, but the nation can only reach such Eldorado,only if the politicians know where it is.

The NASS has to tangentially and in conjunction with the executive to jointly and conscientiously midwife a new nation through a national discourse that will

exposé the thin glaze of uncertainty and arrogance covering a lava core of fear in the minds of the people.

The discourse must signposts an end to the nation sleeping in the tropical sun on a golden bed of basmatic rice. The nation cannot afford further mass suffering, hence,must commence the process of negotiating a political settlement which should be the norm rather than the exemption,in the extremely unpleasant, unacceptable and monumental metaphor that Nigeria is, today.

The discourse must further put a lie to the regime of politicians and government functionaries who speak and defend nonperformance as a finished work. The truth of our situation must be unearthed, the truth, that, when we finish growing we are finished. This will stretch us. It will challenge us to rethink assumptions we’ve always believed to be right. It in deed, will cost us,but when a nation is committed to growth, it cannot settle for less.#

Jimi Bickersteth

Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and a writer.

He can be reached on Twitter




Email jimi.bickersteth@yahoo.co.uk


Crystalizing Nigeria’s Foreign Policy In PMB’s UNGA Address, By Chukwudi Enekwechi

Though the core area of Nigeria’s foreign policy since its admission as a member of the United Nations in 1960 has been that of non-alignment, it appears the current realities in the world have thrown up other challenges requiring visionary leadership.
Nigeria as a regional power in Africa under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has also taken up the responsibility to lead Africa in asserting its influence among the comity of nations. This leadership was well encapsulated in the address to world leaders by President Buhari at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.
Having identified the yawning gap existing in the way and manner Africa has been represented at the United Nations over the years, President Buhari utilised the opportunity offered at the 72nd United General Assembly to provide leadership by charting a way forward on various topical issues.
While his address dwelt mainly on the theme ‘’Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’’, President Buhari offered pragmatic solutions to the thorny issue of North Korea and indeed other pressing global issues.
It has also been acknowledged that his proposal for a strong United Nation’s delegation to engage the recalcitrant regime in Pyongyang may after all be the panacea for the protracted crisis bedevilling the Korean Peninsula.
It is worthy of note that President Buhari’s proposal is realistic, and has the potential to resolve the impasse. Unfortunately North Korea’s belligerence in the fiasco has further exacerbated the crisis, and if not nipped in the bud can result in unimaginable conflict and catastrophe, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but across the globe.
Therefore, it is indeed heart-warming that Nigeria has finally got its acts together, and has today emerged as a force to be reckoned with at the United Nation’s global forum.
Apart from lending his voice to issues affecting some distant regions of the world like Yemen, Myanmar, and nearer home, The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire, President Buhari used the opportunity to reiterate ‘’Nigeria’s abiding commitment to the foundational principles and goals of the United Nations.’’
This reaffirmation is instructive as Nigeria remains a responsible member of the international system where rule of law, democracy, and good governance are given priority.
President Buhari did not fail to inform the distinguished audience of the laudable achievements his administration has recorded in the war against corruption, as he acknowledged the strengthening of government institutions for the promotion of accountability and assets recovery.
He also introduced the basic principle of reciprocity which is a norm in international relations by soliciting the international community’s support in eradicating corruption in Nigeria, while simultaneously pledging Nigeria’s cooperation in tackling ‘’growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime.’’
On an appreciative note, President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the solidarity of the international community with Nigeria, The Sahel and Lake Chad regions in containing the threats posed by Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram terrorists.
It is on record that the Security Council has been in the forefront in providing humanitarian aid to the restive North East of Nigeria, and President Buhari thanked them profusely for their effort at rebuilding the war-ravaged North East. He also informed the World Leaders that his administration is providing relief and humanitarian assistance to millions of internally displaced people, and ‘’those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods, and other natural disasters.’’
One lesson to learn from Nigeria’s outing at the 72ndUNGA is that once again the country is back to reckoning in global affairs and with Buhari in the saddle, Nigeria’s voice will remain resonant. It is also laudable that Nigeria has relaunched itself to global reckoning, as President Buhari’s address dwelt on critical issues affecting humanity at large.
While our non-aligned policy on international affairs still subsist, President Buhari’s foray into some epicentres of global conflict demonstrated that even in a unipolar world as we presently have it, that visionary and proactive leadership is key to resolving conflicts and bringing lasting peace to some restive regions of the world.
In totality what manifested from his speech at the 72nd UN General Assembly meeting is the resolve to lead from the front and taking a back seat in international affairs is no longer fashionable, and the thunderous applause by the distinguished audience is a proof that his message resonated well with them.
Since the world is a now a global village and the consequences of any action by one country can have far-reaching effects on other countries it is imperative that influential countries like Nigeria play a significant role in building a world where peace will reign supreme.
President Buhari’s clarion call on the international community to continuously lend their support in the fight against terrorism by stopping ISIS from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and Lake Chad regions is also a proof of proactive leadership on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Of course the dangers and implications of failing to monitor and counter the nefarious activities of the terrorists along our borders can be very horrendous and devastating, hence the need to draw the world attention to them.
Lastly, President Buhari’s address did not only offer workable solutions to some of the knotty issues in the world but apprised and applauded the efforts of the international community, especially the United Nations for providing shelter for thousands of refugees in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
By Chukwudi Enekwechi
An Abuja Based Journalist and Politician

The End Of Men, Rise Of Women? By Isa Mubarak

Stumbled on a book written by Hanna Rosin, “THE END OF MEN; and the rise of women” and the whole “men are not necessary” debate.

She and her likes were trying to prove that end of men is near, that men will go extinct in the nearest future, become obsolete, no function whatsoever to human race and women will dominate and take over. She said women are emerging as the more successful sex of the species.
They claim that with the expanding reproductive choices, they expect to see more women choose to reproduce without men entirely. Fortunately, the data for children raised by only females is encouraging. Hence, only women are necessary and sufficient for reproduction.
Rosin cited that women now dominate rising college graduation rates, steady employment, and an increased presence in male-dominated fields such as politics and business. That they’re gradually shifting gender roles, perhaps, that one day men will not longer be needed.
Rosin however admits:
“For one thing, we haven’t figured out how to harvest their sperm without, you know, keeping them alive”. They then concluded that If all the men on earth died tonight, the species could continue on frozen sperm.
With human cloning technology just around the corner and there is enough frozen sperm in the world to already populate many generations. As for sexual pleasures, lesbianism is on the rise, so they won’t need men anymore.
Meanwhile women live longer, are healthier and are far less likely to commit a violent offence. And women already have the population advantage.
Can this ever become a reality??
By: Isa Eneye Mubarak

How Buhari Became Toast Of World Leaders At 72nd UNGA Meeting, By Akeem Akintayo

President Muhammadu Buhari’s participation at the 2019 edition of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which held in New York was a unique outing in terms of contribution he made on behalf of  Nigeria and Africa.

Apart from the non-flamboyant nature of the logistics for his participation which included the absence of a long convoy of vehicles that usually heralds the arrival of a typical Nigerian Head of State, the highly reduced number of delegates who accompanied him on the trip, his determination and courage to ensure that modesty prevailed in the affairs of state made, President Buhari’s impact on the international community was quite outstanding.

The climax of the participation was recorded when he recommended solutions to the threat of nuclear war. The recommendation which was contained in his speech almost had an instant effect in quenching the war thirsty leaders who had rolled up their sleeves for a show down with North Korea courtesy of that country’s threat and appetite for a nuclear war.

He said:  “All necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear to accept peaceful solution of the crises. As the Hiroshima and Nagasaki painfully remind us, if we fail, the catastrophic and devastating human loss and environmental degradation cannot be imagined’’.

He proposed the setting up of a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean leader. President Buhari also suggested that the proposed delegation be led by the UN Security Council and that members from other regions of the world should make up the team. His recommendations also included practical solutions that other world leaders could tap into and utilise towards achieving peaceful solutions to disasters and potential dangers in their respective domain.  From his position on the North Korea threat, it was obvious that he knows the consequences of a nuclear war.

No wonder the international media said that President Buhari spoke as if he is the President of Africa. He was calm, bold, firm, insistent and resolute in his presentations unlike a lot of other African heads of state who were so combative in their submissions as if diplomatic manoeuvring belong to the domain of the physical  as against the domains of negotiations and lobbies.

President Buahri’s presentation served as a relief from the tense atmosphere caused by the North Korean threat at the meeting. It will be recalled that insults, abuses, name-calling and threats to human existence concerning North Korea, Iran, Myanmar and Syria were the order of the day before and during the 2019 UNGA.

However, back in Nigeria, critics wondered why President Buhari should focus more on solving international problems rather than telling the world about the Nigerian lingering problems of corruption, ethno-religious and regional tension, herdsmen/farmers clashes and clamours for re-structuring.

They seem to have forgotten that the world is a global village and that no country is an Island, just as what touches one touches all. They also forgot that issues about nuclear war fare poses potential dangers to human existence and that a peaceful world would allow other social, political and economic development issues to thrive

It is worrisome that some Nigerians do not properly analyse issues before taking positions or even ventilating their thoughts or venting their anger.

Recently critics of President Muhammadu Buhari called for his head when he voiced out his frustration at an international event hosted by former British Prime Minister David Cameroon. At the forum Buhari spoke on the stigma that corruption has attached to the nation and his resolve to fight it to a stand-still both at home and abroad.

The same critics castigated the President for always going abroad to preach about the problems of Nigeria, thereby “demarketing” the country at the international forum.

In order to prove to his critics that he knows what he is doing, the President has gone to UNGA to tell the international community how Nigeria is solving its local problems and how the same formula can be applied in seeking solutions to global challenges. The posture of these critics confirms that adage that a prophet is not honoured at his home but abroad.

If world leaders like Donald Trump of the US, former Secretary General of the UN Mr. Ban Ki Moon, media organizations like CNN and others can commend President Buhari for his simplicity, charismatic and solution-driven leadership in a tense world, then he must have a point

Based on his conduct and performance at the UNGA Nigerians have every reason to celebrate their President. It will be recalled that deliberations at the general assembly were dominated by heated debates on nuclear threats and confrontations between the world powers and North Korea.  It got to points where speakers resorted to insults on each other while at the world stage.

This situation gives an incline that the world is being led by leaders who seem to have jettisoned decorum and decency and have towed the line of passionate personal attacks that threaten corporate existence and survival.

It is worthy of note that most of the leaders who presented their prepared speeches, aimed at heating up the already tense debate in tackling what was perceived as the excesses of Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Iran.

It took the President of Nigeria to calm down frayed nerves. Rather than throw tantrums, he came with a pragmatic solution to threats of a nuclear war which was admired by most citizens of the world whose survival and existence lie in the hands of combative leaders who have shown less decorum and respect for each other in resolving a stand-off that potentially threatens human existence.

If President Buhari is the toast of other world leaders, then Nigerians who have not noticed such quality in their leader should think twice. It is only hoped that Nigeria will not be victim of the adage which says that you will not know the value of what you have until you lose it.

*Akintayo is a Foreign Affairs analyst based in Abuja

E-mail: greatakintayo@gmail.com

Okorocha And The N650m Pension Thieves, By Kenneth Uwadi

The bar clock ticked. Jane stubbed out her cigarette, lit another and dropped the pack on the table. I stared at her. She had a perpetual smile which never reached her glassy, expressionless eyes. On my left was Sunny. I still have not worked out why he is so attached to her though he has told me she could cook. She smokes like mad. Here she is, scattering cigarette ash on the floor in spite of the ring of ash trays around us. She was on her third bottle of beer, Heineken of course. Unlike her, Sunny is a non smoker and a non drinker but he loves fruit juice. Although he is in his fifties, he kept himself in a nice trim. He is tall and lean. We were having a good time in Owerri. Bills were not on me. Wink!

Looking up, I saw “Hamper’’. That is his Nickname.  He was seated four tables away from ours. Hamper is a  young man in his forties . He was putting on short sleeves, a hat and a nice trouser and was busy with his phones. His fat face was expressionless and on his table was a can of beer. He looked harmless though he has grown pot belle. I was told  that the Governor of Imo State mentioned him in a N650M pension scam and claimed to have him and his accomplices  arrested. He has been in the Pension Board in Imo for the past 10 years.

You see, I have always told you how big men and women are stealing millions upon millions of  Imo state  monies. Like Fela Kuti I have exposed some evils in government dealings in Imo. I have called some persons ‘ITT -International Thief, Thief’’, “VIP -Vagabonds in Power’’.  I  cry out  because In the midst of oil money, Imo  working masses live in abject poverty. The majority of Imolites are kept in unstable and difficult conditions while a tiny fraction have exclusive access to things and comforts of life.

Sven Johnson once wrote “before you speak, your intentions must pass through portals three, one of each kind in letters bold to see: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? “This saying has been attributed to Buddha.  Though claimed as been one of the sayings of Buddha, there is no documentary evidence to support this.  Some say it was first formulated by Rumi, the 13th century Persian mystic. Still there is lack of documentary evidence.

Some say it came from Abraham Lincoln. But in all, it was Mary Ann Pietzker who made the saying popular in 1872 in her book “Miscellaneous Poems’’ But I have my  own ideas about this. For me, things I say must be true and necessary. I don’t care if they are unkind. I have put myself in jeopardy several times due to things I say. There are times, though, when a person must be willing to put himself in jeopardy with others in other to give of himself, whether it is to another person or to an animal. And because he is willing to take this on in order to give a service of love, he receives God’s protection.

Recently, a few highly placed civil servants and some government officials between themselves and their accomplices tried to steal over N650m of pension funds in Imo. Unfortunately for this set of looters, their case was made public by the governor of Imo. Like late Fela Kuti’s song in one of his radical albums, Imolites continue to remain “original suffer head” while the cabals  continue to steal our money.

We were told how they discovered six hundred and fifty million naira, pension cheque fraud and that  some persons had been arrested in connection with the fraud. We all know that this talk of arresting persons over pension fund fraud by the Okorocha’s administration  is just a ruse. The governor  does not only permit corruption, he  encourages and even glorifies it. Hamper who was mentioned in the scam is already in Ibari Ogwa Village, Owerri  having a good time. So also are others.

In  2013, I exposed pension scam in Imo. I pointed out that the primary reason for the embarrassing state of absurdity as per pensioners  in our State was a  “profit first” capitalist aide of the  Governor .He had a gang of pension thieves at the Pension Board. I spoke of how they  looted 1billion naira pension funds in the State when he was the Board Chairman. That year, I condemned in strong terms the insensitivity to the plights of pensioners in the state. I mentioned his name and sent copies of my discoveries to the Governor.Fortunately for this man, his matter was not investigated and he was rewarded with the number three position in the state.

It was because of same man that Commercial banks operating in Imo State shut their doors against their customers for some days. I exposed how when he was the Special Adviser to the Governor on Internal Revenue Generation (IGR), he  collected millions of naira from commercial banks in the state as tax but diverted the monies into his own  pocket. The State government later demanded the same tax that he had  collected from the banks  and the banks had to go on strike for excessive taxation.

When I made these revelations, Okorocha’s  praise singers and professional spin doctors called me all sort of names . Now in September 2017, the Imo State Governor claimed  he  handed over some Pension Board staff to the Personnel of Directorate of Security Services (DSS) over monumental fraud dictated in pension cheques amounting to N650 million naira. Who is fooling who? He should start his investigation and  arrest with the man I exposed in 2013. Former  Senate President, David Mark, once  placed a curse on some pension thieves.

Early in 2014, at the commencement of a probe into pension funds administration by the Senate, Mr. Mark declared that “pension fund administrators pilfering funds meant to pay pensioners are accumulating “blood money.” He lamented that many people had gotten rich on “blood money while pensioners were left suffering and dying. He declared, “for any living human being to have stolen the money of those who have laboured for this country, I think it is only God who can decide their fate.” “But, as human beings, we have just made our recommendations and hope that the Almighty God will see them to hell,” Mr. Mark concluded.  Like David Mark I share the anguish and anger of the ordinary Imolites against this kind of capitalist looting. To me even the stoning of persons that stole money belonging to pensioners would not be sufficient to compensate the affected pensioners, if on retirement they could not receive their pensions. Many pensioners have died in Imo after years of waiting for their pensions. When they were  paid little percentage recently, the amount was too small.

The greatest mistake, the brunt of which the people of Imo  had to bear was , no doubt, the voting of the present corrupt and duplicitous government of Okorocha. I say so because of the administration’s clumsiness in handling our affairs .We will never forget the governor’s tenure of nothingness, the years of embezzlement, the reign of misplacement of priorities, the rule of ineptitude, the term of enthronement of cronyism, the period of crass nepotism, the era of corruption. A government  that destroyed  the houses and businesses of the citizens without compensation. A government that could not conduct council election.

A government  of thieves and without plans or focus. Do you want to tell me that a Governor with focus will take 14 days  just to celebrate his 55th birthday? He even gave N5.5M of Imo money to a Facebook blogger  from Afikpo  just to play “betnaija’’ with Ndi Imo.  I still don’t understand the fanfare currently going in the name of  55th  birthday celebration  and stagnant performance in office. Sidney Barima once   cried ‘ Our money, wonna money eh , Africa money eh, Oga dey chop am fuga fuga. E dey steal am nyaga nyaga’ .

-Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State and can be reached via 08037982714


A Nation Caressing Petal’s Of Rose And Tickling Vanity, By Jimi Bickersteth



All of a sudden,doing nothing begins to pall after having to spent time listening to the late night newscap. I elect to have a cold shower before going to bed. I hobbled slowly to the bathroom, had a bath,but it didn’t help the feeling of acute depression that settled over me,but it cleared my head and lying on the narrow, comfortable bunk, I thought about a nation playing with petals of rose while its youth back home are tickling vanity.

I painfully ease my athritic knees over the edge of the bed. Then I sit and wait. Slowly the ache in my legs subsides.I brace myself and got up. I groan in pain. Hands on hips,just as grasshopper drags itself along. I tucked the end of my towel in at my waist and padded across the room to where my handset laid on the table. I mechanically dialled a number and and sat listening to the crackling drone on the line. After a while the operator told me there was no reply.

I looked at the clock on the mantlepiece. It was stationed at five past two in the morning and with early traces of dawn as I rather savagely threw the phone on the sofa. I saw and began to imagine things that I hadn’t seen before. The nation’s disunited unity,its independence, about the six-geopolitical contraption,unified disunity (only football and religion sew us together),the now proscribed IPOB,MASSOB,OPC,NDA,MEND and so on. I wonder vaguely what is going to happen to our dreams and to our dear country in time to come.

There and then, the inscription on the Isaiah Wall set  as a backdrop of the UN Peace Statue ,IPOB agitators-a monkey with its paw in a bottle, and “Operation Python Dance” came to my mind. The poisonous sting in the dance steps has got some of our compatriots killed through it already. It wouldn’t surprise one if several more went the same way before this business I called playing with the petals of rose and tickling vanity is over.

Just before I went back to bed, I hope we’ll draw strength from the sentiments expressed on the Isaiah Wall. Sincerely, I won’t be one of those that will die,not that I fear death, but just that not the hole of a rifle. I reached for the light and switched it out.I went to sleep after a while and dreamt that Nnamdi Kanu and FFK were kneeling at the foot of PMB’s bed.He,KANU, seemed quite happy, smiling in a catholic, oily way, but when I looked closer, NK had a big wound in his throat. My dreams have a knack of coming to past. The dream, however, did not disturb me. In fact, I slept all the better for it.

I woke up startled, my face puckered into a heavy frown. The first light of dawn came over through the fan-light over the front door and I could make out the flower beds and the flowers moving daintily in the wind. The flashback to the dream led to a reverie, and there was no association of ideas,real or imagined, to account for the reason why this rabble-rouser called Kanu is contriving and throwing up discomfort and trying to destroy the bond between the north and south.

His sentiments forcefully expressesd showed a character suffering from depression, bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorder, whose obscure literal allusions to Nigeria as a zoo,a zoo where his mother and father lives,reminds me of the popular classic of whimsical humour “Three Men in a Boat” and “The Wind in the Willows” Kenneth Grahame, in a sane way.

His image and name slipped into my mind and I immediately tried everything to discard it and the thought and everything ugly it conjures with its few unpromising leftovers. It is expected that with the only crackdown, call it onslaught, if you like, the fat of his body and the motley crowd of jobless, hapless and helpless youths has gone cold, turned into a cornered ferret,and encased in a trembling, chilling mass of clay in a pile of straw;and should be wondering out of the thinning darkness and in a vague frightened way, in a courage of desperation, how much of the immediate present is left to him.

The damp and damning atmosphere making their eyes and hearts heavy should henceforth make them reasonable rather than vulnerable, even now that they are riding the pain and shivering with repression, rage and hatred for the fatherland. Their are some educated and enlightened ones among the army of youths, let them use their brains.

Nigerians have to get out of this ugly mess. We’ve got to get out. If they can’t use their heads,are there no more adults! Adults looking on with eyes like holes in a white and green sheet. Adults who have seen it all,who are supposed to with wizened voice,cut out all extraneous information, materials and details, but show the whole of the big picture, with balanced and unhurried equipoise,and whose intervention should be predicated upon the toga of truth, authenticity, candour, superior native intelligence and genuine pacifying logic of a Nigerian elder.

Time is up for the elders north and south of the Niger to keep showing wisdom, maturity and compassion. Elders,who, like a hiding place from the wind and a place of concealment from the rainstorm, like streams of water in a waterless country, like the shadow of a heavy crag in an exhausted land had jept quiet as if  they’d acquiesced on the issue and were looking for a battering ram or a scapegoat!

Even at that, the lack of proper advises or ill advise of this twelve-minute egg and for their failure to call him to order,the elders,and here,it include even the sitting state governors, are themselves left tensed and pathetically alone,as they are left with no option but to throw the red-tinged  water down the sink,put away the green and red towel spangled with a rising star and the lint’s and bandages, and then inspect the outcome of indifference.

Yes! The nation is hiccuping in the abyss of failure, want, lack and poverty; and in some dire straits, jerking all of its inhabitants up and down as if riding a switch-back. But it’s in a for better for best marriage, and marriage is an extraordinary thing-and I doubt if anyone, even a great-grandchild of the marriage has the right to judge. Please hold it!for anyone portraying the nation, as it were, in somewhat unsuccessful conflict with circumstances beyond its control is a casual daydream.

To also say and insist that the republic is poor and generally bad, hence, should be balkanized is not only begging the questions, but an unnecessary display of pedantry; let’s allow the nation to evolved the way it would and must naturally do. Not rip-roaring, nor morals and ideals,but based on the actual circumstances and needs of our people.

Let’s leave the Rip vanWinkle,it is said,”to behead is no cure for a headache.” What actually is the grouses that is leading us to the edge of the precipice in a nation that is in a democracy with all that has pixed all of us together, it’s greed,avarice and our ‘self-before-other’ orientation. For crying out loud, you’ll ask again, what is eating Kanu up,that has emboldened him on a mission of delusion- to champion the ‘Igbo liberation’ cause,ergo,fame. He’s so badly eaten him up that this punk is so excited that the bite deaths would neither deter nor make him flinch, and has in the process pressed the self-destruct button.

To kanu, I have this words,The dead don’t sweat. Òkú kìí làágun ó maá ns’omi ni. Life is a dream! If you are looking for power and or fame,somebody has acquired it and use it and now is powerless. The deadpan, implied or indirect humour in the nation’s breakup, separation and or restructuring, largely depends on what the people think is being said rather than anything else. This and numerous other reasons and questions, national questions have come out in the wash and would always come into play when rationalising arguments for and against the treasonable act and tickling vanity and would be dealt with on its merit by the judiciary.

However, it is safe to say that, sponsoring breakdown of law and order, threatening our nascent and fragile civil rule are obnoxious notations on the nation’s paths to greatness and prosperity; are acts that are dead on arrival,since they are diametrically opposed to the nation’s restructuring, and one come away with the impression that we,the editorial “we” cannot excuse any ambition or means that will ultimately truncate and or abuse the constitution of our republic, which is our own “MAYFLOWER COMPACT”,and we must submit ublima fidei to its authority,rightly worded or otherwise, until it is reviewed and or amended,we are duty-bound to comply with itsletters and spirit, its part of the labours of our heroes past,which must not be in vain;not to so do is to court anarchy, and then, you can only weep like a woman for what you can’t defend as a man.

Having said that, you wonder what was different under GEJ that the Kanus of this world found okay and satisfying that PMB has violated or put in abeyance. GEJ’s administration of endless tragedies, crudity and clueless mess that beheld the nation in the ocean of misery,and corruption huge waves like mountains rising sky high,

In all fairness,I came to a humble conclusion, that,much as the PMB’s administration is fashionable, quite timely and welcoming,it’s pretty difficult to assess its impact on the youths twenty eight some months after; and in this era of privatisation, liberalisation, asset-stripping,recession,vandalisation,rationing, load-shedding,belts-tightening,restructuring, and wholesale change, I’d assess the chances of the government’s efforts getting to the targeted audience as extremely low in a nation that is contradictory in terms. But wrong is wrong, no matter how well you couch it.

None the less, the happenings in and around the country affords all, Mr president inclusive,(whose chief asset is his reputation for honesty) the chance to assess and reassess what, where and who we really are.
Let’s be realistic: any one who has any imagination at all is going to be concerned about happenings in our country. Everyone is worried stiff about the state of the nation generally,with the bleak image of future problems lurking just around the corner at the next bend,but galvanise the nation must the unsuspecting youths,even as the present circumstances keep them further restive,idle and spineless.

The  present administration,must not forget to inform the nation’s youths about how and why:
i)their country entered upon a history of social and political development,that could not be modified by the varying influence of ecology.
ii) like their parent’s and guardians,they are been conditioned and consigned eternally to go through numbing pains that hurt so deeply, so badly, that words cannot describe, but shows on the weariness etched in their deeply circled dark eyes devoid of laughter, all looking older than their ages.
iii) they are forced to go through such a roller coaster of worry, till despair became their soulmate, with insecurity, hunger, grief in tow, and struggling ever to shake the tree of life itself for some subsistence.
iv) they have to keep surviving on mere instincts, not knowing for sure where the next meal would come from. All of these,due to no fault of theirs,just that they happened to be borne and bred in Nigeria.v)That the youths are where they are not because of lack of will,physical and natural resources and endowments, but because of leaders lacking in panache, confidence and convictions.vi) That a kind of serenity comes only over a people and leaders who have convictions, and in the centre of the serenity is the sunlit oasis call success,and vii) How the government is or has planned to effectively and efficiently  meet all challenges confronting the nation,particularly its youths on the nose.

The government must sold to the youths the notion, of, nothing in life is fixed and permanent. This notion,is why to some extent the nation is able to speak of a Nigeria, today, with a civilisation, where things are always changing; but increasingly an arduous task,developing out of our genius or by symbiosis with creation, with much originality and splendour.

One may ask,wither the ingenuity, creativity, ambition and desire (which Nigerians know they have), that can change the nation from a wobbling drifter and dreamer; and emerge from the prison we have been living in.
Its becoming clear as the day,that the primordial instincts,creativity,high capacity and ingenuity inherent in our peoples DNA went with the wind,at the nexus where leadership and followership connects. Here crisis ensues,and the nation got stuck and stranded.

Globally and every where the world over,sociopolitical ideas change,the economy often and constantly develop and metamorphosed, and new ways of life from one that is always faint and often arbitrary, generally are different from those of few years ago, and the influence of the changes becomes greater.

But the nation in her own case, got stuck in one place.With this being the case,it’s pathetic and unfortunate,that,the nation keeps going forth with sharpened sticks to hunt wooly mammoths. Leaders with strong opinions about the state of the nation should carefully distinguished between the things they knew to be true and those they thought to be true, as they tried to liberate our democracy without being dogmatic and frigid.

It is patently irresponsible and dangerous for government to keep using the same old conventional wisdom about solving poverty-more and more money doesn’t work. What is so threatening about teaching young poor Nigerians that the way out is by investing in themselves. What is the risk, one wonder. The way you help the poor improve their lot in life is to empower them to do it themselves.

The government’s positive contribution is the key to develop the citizens pride and breed self-reliance,respect and motivation; but in this climes, our own are apparently, not doing enough to help the people access the opportunities this country has to offer. The massive failure of the nation’s leaders and consequently, the endemic systemic and organic failure it engendered has held us all hostage.

Methought, the world is too advanced into the age of reason-time and moment,when thinking men and leaders,should begin to learn to free Nigerians from the fanaticism that has enslaved us. Poor leadership cannot be allowed to mess up our sense of perceptions, paralysed our dreams, fullness and maximisation of our potentials. PMB must wisely choose who have his ears. There must be no elephants in the room, but content of character, power of thought, wisdom and motivation.

With economic insecurity comes fear,fear of an unknown tomorrow and its dire consequences; averting calamity would require significant changes in policies and practices that are not currently underway,if we continue as usual, a disastrous future beckons. Imagine that you are driving on a long, straight highway for many kilometers, you have had to make only minor adjustment to your steering. Then suddenly, the road takes a sharp turn. To keep your car on the road,you have no choice but to adjust your steering.

The IPOB/Python Dancerssaga has shown that in all these brouhaha PMB can react one way or the other, but the nation’s reactions must not be a one -off thing, hence,the solutions the nation is willing to proffer to the lingering National questions, in spite of the national Assembly uncomfortable silence must be sound and consistent with the aspirations of a good people wishing to live in liberty, freedom and prosperity.

Our pressy therefore should be aware that he’s been caught up in an endeavor that time somehow seems to be altered. He must be deeply aware, without being self-conscious, stretched or challenged, but without a sense of stress or worry,as he strives to invest his abilities to create value for Nigerians; to plant and build and invent ways that will cause our people to flourish.

The nation must be seen to be constructing a new vital social ethics and tradition which can give us the moral foundation and character on which to revive a nation that is capable of achieving its potentials. Putting our skills against the elements of nature bring home a scalp. Some of our preferences and practices may not be very important, but our principles regarding personal liberty, integrity, morality-these are not up for sale or compromise.

I see new jobs,new grace and glory for the nation, can you! You can only if you care to see through rose-tinted spectacles.

Everything is coming up roses in spite of the slightly uncomfortable sensation.#

Jimi Bickersteth

Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and writer.

He can be reached on Twitter





jimi.bickersteth@yahoo. co.UK

jimi.bickersteth@gmail. com

Still Worrying About Myanmar Government And Rohingya Muslims, By Imam Gusau

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

* Geography

Burma is one of the Indochina countries located in Southeast Asia and Malaysia. It is bordered to the North by China, from the South by the Bay of Bengal, to the East by China and Thailand, and from the West by the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh.

* Demographics

The majority of Muslims in Burma live in the Southwest Rakhine State (formerly known as the Arakan province) which is separated from the rest of Burma by a mountain border. This is the Arakan Yoma mountain range which stretches from the Himalayas. The Arakan province where most of the Muslims live is twenty thousand square miles. Burma has a population which exceeds 55 million, more than 20% of whom are Muslims. The remaining population is from the Buddhists Magh people and other religions as well. The number of Muslims in Burma is more than ten million, of which five and a half million live in the Arakan province, thus representing more than 70% of the province’s population. The Muslims are among the poorest communities in Burma, and the least educated and their knowledge of Islam is modest and limited.

* The History of Islam in Burma

Islam entered Arakan during the Abbasid caliph of Harun Rashid in the seventh century according to the Gregorian calendar, by way of Arab explorers. Islam continued to spread there until it became an independent state ruled by 48 Muslim kings in succession for more than three and half centuries between the years 834 to 1198 based upon the Islamic calendar which coincides with the years 1430 to 1784 according to the Gregorian calendar. Islam spread throughout the whole of Burma leaving behind great influences of Islam such as ancient Masjids, Islamic schools, and hospices.

* The Conquest of Arakan

The Buddhist conquered Arakan in 1784 and it was annexed by the Buddhist king Budabaia and joined with the rest of Burma. Fearing the spread of Islam in the region he began destroying the Muslim’s property, he abused them, filled the prisons with the Muslims, and killed their Islamic scholars and all those who called to Islam. The Buddhists continued to persecute the Muslims and steal their property for the duration of their occupation in the Muslim land. This lasted for 40 years. It ended when the British colonized Burma in 1824. Britain annexed Burma and placed it under the British colonial government of India.

* British Occupation

In 1937 Britain united Burma and Arakan – a predominantly Muslim land – and made it a colony of its own independent of the colonial government of India. During that time it became known as the British Government of Burma.

* The Massacre of 1942

In the year 1942 the Muslims were brutally massacred at the hands of the Buddhists Magh people after the Muslims were disarmed while the Magh people were supplied with weapons by the Burmese Buddhists, British colonists and others. More than 100,000 Muslims were murdered in this massacre; most of the casualties were women, elderly and children. This vicious brutal attack caused hundreds of thousands of Muslims to evacuate their homeland.

* The Panglong Conference of 1947

In 1947, before the independence of Burma, a conference was held in the city of Panglong to prepare for independence. All ethnic groups were invited except the Muslims. This was in order to keep them far away from the course of events to take place and so their fate could be decided by others. Britain granted Burma independence in 1947 under the condition that all ethnic groups would have the right to independence after ten years if they desired. This was called “The right to self-determination.”  But the Burmese broke their covenant and continued to occupy Arakan against the will of its inhabitants.

* 1962 Burmese Coup d’etat

The Buddhists Magh people committed horrendous atrocities against the Muslims. This cruelty, oppression, banishment and ethnic cleansing continued until the Fascist coup of 1962; and then matters got worse. After the military coup d’etat – supported by the Chinese Russian communists – the Muslim were subjected to many types of oppression such as murder, exile, economic sanctions and land confiscation. They even lost their citizenship for allegedly resembling the Bengali people with regards to religion, language and appearance.

* The genocide of 2012

New tragedies began for the Muslims in Burma on Friday, in the seventh month of the Islamic calendar in the year 1433 which coincides with June of 2012 according to the Gregorian calendar. One this day ten Muslim callers to Islam were murdered with an unimaginable brutally.  About 466 Magh Buddhists gathered these ten men who were teaching the people Islam and tied their hands and feet. Then they commenced to beat them with sticks until nothing could be seen except blindfolds, shattered skulls, scattered brains, broken limbs, and their tongues which were pulled from their mouths. When the Muslims resisted, the Magh Buddhists responded by attacking the Muslim villages and homes with hatchets, swords and knives. They launched an organized genocide against the Muslims. They burned the villages and homes. They massacred Muslim men and Muslim women. The number of victims exceeded thousands while thousands were displaced and many were left to die and drown. The Muslim wells were poisoned in a despicable plan for ethnic cleansing. The goal was to implement a total annihilation of the Muslim population. All of this occurred as the world watched and listened in an age where the entire world is like one town (Global Village). They watched, witnessed and listened to the screams of the tortured. It was as though they were the people of the ditch (Ashabul Ukhdud in Surah al-Buruj), as they were burned alive. The world sees and hears this but the situation of the West and the East is as the saying goes: “Killing a dog in the jungle is an unforgivable sin while killing a secure village is a matter which needs to be investigated.”

* The tragedy of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma

Where are the United Nations, The United Nations Security Council (UNSC), human rights organizations and other Zionist Masonic organizations that claim to advocate justice and brag about promoting equality?! Are those people who are appalled when a cat is tortured not moved when a human being is burned alive! Yet they are hurt at the sight of injured dogs and they enact laws to protect animals. Is anyone in the world moved with pity at the sight of the pictures of Muslim children being murdered and cut into pieces with knives? Are they not moved by the pictures of those burned alive? Those who didn’t die from the burns suffocated mercilessly. How are wild beasts of prey more important than them? Do people think what they are witnessing from entire villages being burnt to the ground, eyes poked out, bones broken, brains splattered, victims burned alive, limbs severed and blood shed is a Hollywood movie?! Or do they know it’s true but it’s not deserving of relief efforts or it’s not seen as injustice because they are Muslims. So because of their Islam they must be eradicated from the earth, they must be eliminated collectively, but if I harm animals, laws will be enacted. Why the intelligent people of the world became hypocrites?

* A pattern of misbehaving

This suspicious silence towards the ethnic cleansing and eradicating the Muslims from this land is similar to what previously occurred to the Muslims in the Balkans. Just as the thieves of old who were expelled from their land and sent on ships to a new land and upon arrival they rushed to exterminate the America Indians. And they turned to the African coast and sent out gangs to abduct noble free men, women and children from Africa to be their slaves in the house of Satan. And America is the house of Satan. So where are they now; as they witness what is taking place?

* Tawhid and unity brings about the help of Allah

But if we continue to blame our enemies for what is happening to us or to some of us, this is not from wisdom. Why don’t we blame ourselves? Why don’t we blame the Ummah itself and move to improve the condition of the Ummah? And there will be no improvement without the rectification of its creed and belief system. Tawhid will unite them, and with Tawhid our Lord will help them and they will have might and strength in this world and status and loftiness in the hereafter.

* The beliefs of the Buddhists

The belief of the Buddhists is built around atheism. Buddha – their object of worship – continued his downward spiral until he proclaimed there was no Creator and no god.  Buddhists is built around atheism while they believe Buddha is the son of God. They deny the resurrection and they believe the reward is given by way of reincarnation. They believe when the physical body of a person dies his spirit returns to a new body based upon his previous actions. He could return as a mouse, a dog, a rat, a donkey, or whatever. They pray to Buddha and they are idol worshippers, disbelievers. These are the people holding the necks of the Muslims in Burma. These are the people practicing ethnic cleansing as the world watches and listens while no one responds or helps. And Allah is sufficient to respond and Allah is sufficient as a Helper.

But Alhamdulillah, Saudi Ambassador to Turkey Walid Al-Khereiji said that “the Kingdom has been standing by the side of the Rohingya Muslims for 70 years at the international level, and by providing assistance and donations. The Kingdom has also made a donation of $50 million for the Muslim minority, through health rehabilitation and educational programs, and started receiving in 1948. Today, there are 300,000 Rohingya people in the Kingdom.” (ARAB NEWS)

* Recent happenings

Today tens of thousands of refugees are trapped on the border into Bangladesh without basic food and medicine amid operations by the Myanmar military, which have already killed hundreds.

Satellite photos released by Human Rights Watch Saturday showed what they are desperate to escape — entire villages torched to the ground in clashes between Myanmar’s armed forces and local militants.

More than 73, 000 Rohingyas have now fled across the border since August 25, the United Nations said Sunday.

But in northern Rakhine State there are reports of at least another 30, 000 Rohingyas trapped in hilly terrain without basic supplies of food, water or medicine, according to activists.

The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, are considered some of the most persecuted people in the world. Myanmar, also known as Burma, considers them Bangladeshi and Bangladesh says they’re Burmese.

It is the second time in less than a year that a military crackdown has led to a mass exodus.

* Stranded

Unable to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh and fearful to return to what’s left of their homes, Rohingya activists say the refugees are stranded between Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships.

Videos provided to CNN by activists show dozens of men, women and children stranded on a mountain, surrounded by dense jungle, living in makeshift shelters made of sticks and sheets.

“The human lives that are most vulnerable must be rescued immediately without delay,” executive director of Burma Human Rights Network, Kyaw Win, said in a statement.

The trapped refugees are just some of at least 100,000 Rohingyas who have been forced to flee their homes since August 25, after armed forces began “clearance operations” across Rakhine State.

The government blames “terrorists” for starting the violence. Rohingya militants killed 12 security officers in border post attacks some weeks ago, according to state media, intensifying the latest crackdown.

A top military official said the government was “taking great care in solving the (Rakhine State) problem.”

Due to Myanmar’s policy of shutting off all access to Rakhine state for the media, CNN is not able to verify any figures independently or any stories told by refugees.

* Village burnt down

Human Rights Watch renewed its calls for the Myanmar government to allow independent observers into Rakhine State, after releasing troubling satellite photos from inside the region.

“This new satellite imagery shows the total destruction of a Muslim village, and prompts serious concerns that the level of destruction in northern Rakhine state may be far worse than originally thought,” Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement.

The images were taken on August 31 of Chein Khar Li village in northern Rakhine State. According to Human Rights Watch, they show about 700 buildings have been burned down, making up about 99% of the village.

“This is only one of 17 sites that we’ve located where burnings have taken place,” Robertson said.

Reports of villages being burnt down, allegedly by Myanmar’s military, previously emerged in a United Nations report investigating the 2016 crackdown on Rohingyas.

Myanmar’s government has blamed the most recent violence and property destruction on “Rohingya extremists.”

* ‘Hacking our people to death’

The Rohingya have long been persecuted by the Myanmar government. Despite living in the country for generations, they’ve been denied citizenship and are regularly harassed.

A separate outbreak of violence in 2016 saw 85, 000 Rohingya fleeing across the border, bringing with them horrifying stories of rape, torture and murder inside Rakhine State.

Some refugees who poured across the border into Bangladesh told CNN what they had witnessed since the latest crackdown began some weeks ago.

“They are beating us, shooting at us and hacking our people to death,” Hamidah Begum, a refugee who has left everything behind, told CNN.

“Many people were killed. Many women were raped and killed. We are very poor.”

* Top general: Military ‘solving the problem’

On Saturday, a top Myanmar general issued an defiant statement on the violence in Rakhine State.

Posted to his Facebook page, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said the only action been taken against “Bengalis” was “to ensure everything is within the framework of the law.”

“The Bengali problem was a long-standing one which has become an unfinished job despite the efforts of the previous governments to solve it,” he said.

“The government in office is taking great care in solving the problem.”

In his post, Gen. Hlaing didn’t address protests made by Bangladesh alleging Myanmar’s military had violated their airspace on multiple occasions in the past week.

In a note sent to Myanmar’s embassy in Dhaka on Friday, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs “strongly protested” the incursions and warned it could lead “to an unwarranted situation.”

“Bangladesh demanded Myanmar take immediate measures to prevent recurrence of such incursion in the future,” a statement posted to the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry’s website said.

* International condemnation grows

On Sunday night, Indonesia’s minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi flew to Myanmar to request the government cease all violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo announced the move in a statement, condemning the attacks and demanding real action to help the Rohingyas. Indonesia is the largest Muslim majority country in the world.

Nobel laureate Malala has called out Myanmar’s state councilor and defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the violence, saying in a statement she was still waiting for her fellow Nobel Winner to join her in condemning the treatment of Rohingyas.

“Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,” she wrote.

Qatar foreign minister Al-Thani said his country “strongly condemn(ed) attacks on Rohingya Muslims during Eid,” calling on the country to follow international laws.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Nigerian Governments etc. also strongly condemned the merciless attacks on Rohingya Muslims, calling on the international communities to intervene.

Wassalamu Alaikum

Compiled by your Brother:

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.

The Cure For Nepotism, By Adamu Adamu

A true leader must encompass the 3R’s  Respect for self,  Respect for others,  Responsibility for all action – Anonymous.
In Nigeria the false idea that the major reason for any form of greviance in the country is Marginalization which is been done through the act of Nepotism and Favouritism. Nepotism can be seen as a way in which people in power favour a certain set of people like friends, relations in times of jobs opportunity, Favouritism is giving preferential treatment to a set of group at the expense  of other groups.
Looking at the Nigeria political Structure since 1966  when Maj. Gen Aguiyi IronsI decided to unify Nigeria by squashing the federalsitic structure base on regionalism we were practicing then and over the years it has remained so.
Over the years all these government have all been accused of Favouritism and Nepotism but if you look at the  structure of the Nepotic tendency of leaders of Nigeria you would come to realise that the People of the leaders have never actually benefited anything positive from the so called nepotism and favouritsm.
If you take a closer look at the states of which most of Nigerian Presidents comes from you would hardly pick anything worth saying they did for their people which is economical sustainable that have given them unfair advantage over others. Take a look at Niger state can anyone point out anything of economic benefit the state has gotten from the two Presidents the state can boast of now? someone might say roads, to me roads is not a form of favouritism because you can’t restrict roads to only a particular set of people or region etc.
President Obama was Head of this country for 8years but the road to his own farm is bad his people never got anything out of him been their person but we bragged about how he made people millionaire one of them is Dangote who is from the North West.
When Dr Goodluck was President all kinds of lies where brandished that he was doing things to favour his people now same lies are been brandished under General Buhari too. But the reality Nepotism and Favouritsm exist but it’s limited and consciously targeted at a set of people and group. This is the part where I wake up the spirit of Karl Marx from his grave.
Inequality is between the rich and the poor that’s the facet other forms of inequality exist if you juxtapose his line of thought to favouritism and nepotism in Nigeria you would come to realise that it is the people of the political elite class that have and would always  enjoy any form of nepotism  and favouritsm but people of the president state or region suffer the insult while in reality they are also the victim of such acts.
Now take a look at the process of recruitment in the so called juicy employment names of people been brandished are names of children of the rich and it’s the same thing, even the not so juicy jobs are now hard to get because it’s strictly base on connections and it’s getting  worse under General Buhari if you don’t know someone you can’t get anything base of competence and all that.
Nepotism and Favouritsm is just a political elite thing not a state or region thing as people want us to believe the common man is always and would always be the victim, the common man from any zone of the country that’s the crux of the matter.
Whenever  the government don’t want you too know the truth about anything they tell you it’s a matter of National Security. But when politicians in government come out to explain certain issues they always forget National security and spring up politics in line of argument,  example the Minister of Information said looters of our national treasury are sponsoring Ipob again he has said they are sponsored from France and UK,  if you ask him to name names he would tell you national security. He said that UK sees radio BIAFRA  issues as freedom of Expression  but has the NIA attachee in UK gathered evidence of hate speech against radio BIAFRA in UK and send it to the UK and theyrefuse to act?  Mr Lai Mohammed think UK is Nigeria where we act base on Emotions? If UK have disband such Radio that say the is against people of South Africa  and Kenya in the Past why would Nigeria case be any different?
we can restrict agitations to political issues alone but we can never deny the fact that there are real issues bedeviling people of a particular  region, I am not against agitation and I would never be against it so long as it follow the due process. Others can keep quiet due to political hypocrisy or consciousness  but don’t expect others to do same.
Example when Niger Delta Militants were bombing pipelines we were told by people in the Government that is aggrieved politicians sponsoring them to bring down the government  (same excuse Me Goodluck gave for BokoHaram) but when the government took concrete step to quell the issues now bombing of pipelines are no longer happening and are they now telling us the sponsorer’s have stopped sponsoring them?  rather the govt did some things which are :
1. They came up with the clean up of ogboni Land Issue even though it’s just a show off thing but at least it shows they were doing something.
2.VP  Osibanjo went to visit the Region and that was a political move that made the people feel among.
3. Modular Refineries where going to be incorporated in the region to curtail illegal refineries
4. They towed the line of reasoning by agreeing to establish Maritime University rather than follow the political ill advised line of Rotimi Ameachi that was saying they should catch Tompolo and when he returns the money he got from government  for the land before the university can take off with that same fund.
This are steps government take to quell agitations not just hang issues on the fact that it is politically motivated, I am not saying agitations are not politically motivated but generalizing issues to only one line of thought. Beside have the government  ask  themselves  how come Nigerians especially  the youths are easily manipulated into taking up arms or agitating for issues by people with low IQ? this shows that there is an educational deficit in the country and what are the steps the Government is taking to reduce such deficit of critical thinking because education is more than just carrying certificate around claiming you are a graduate.
Look at the way people are going after Shehu Garba because he said Herdsmen are criminals not Terrorist due to such critical thinking deficit, Nigerians don’t know the difference of terrorism and criminality? every act is criminal in nature but not all act are terror in nature, the herdsmen causes economical damages like the Niger delta militants  but they don’t have a leader of a group, they don’t have a leader insulting people left right and center like Kanu they didn’t create a Flag and insignia to tell people they have seceded etc so for once let’s face facts Shehu Garba is right on this one even he too like scoring own goals.
We can choose to life together or we can choose to depart peacefully but all the Hate won’t take us anywhere  after all we negotiated to be a federation under regionalism  that for me was not a mistake.
Have a lovely week fellow Nigerians.
Written by Adamu Auta  Adamu
He could be reached though: @adamu318 – Twitter

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