"There is not a truth existing which I fear or wish unknown to the whole world." - Thomas Jefferson
“When it comes to the truth, the real bias is thinking any one side has a monopoly on it.” – A Barton Hinkle.
Three events or incidences prompted me to write this article.
First one was the wide dissemination of an article purportedly written by our esteemed professor and Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka in tribute to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, heaping praises on him and giving reasons why he, Tinubu, is such a great political strategist, even though not a saint, and great Yorubaman who rescued Nigeria from the clutches of the evil PDP. When I read the article, I immediately suspected it could not have been the handiwork of Kongi; I responded to my friends, most of who are in the same political persuasion as I am. I was immediately chastised by most of them, their rationalization being that it does not matter who the author is; it was the content that we should accept. I was aghast! So if Prof Wole Soyinka decided to sue the people wrongly ascribing the article to him, what would they then say? Or if the real author decided to sue Prof Soyinka for plagiarism, what would my friends say or do in his defence? We have since learnt that the said article was indeed written by someone else.
Second was the case of Col (rtd.) Sambo Dasuki, the besieged erstwhile National Security Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan who is now embroiled in a fight for his freedom after being accused of mismanaging billions of Naira and Dollars meant to purchase arms for the Nigerian military to fight Boko Haram. I remember when this man was appointed, there was so much encomium heaped on him. He was this, he was that; the next best thing to sliced bread; expert in internal and external security, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, best soldier in the Nigeria Army, highly regarded world-wide, blah, blah blah!! His CV was as long as my two arms extended; attended hundreds of courses, degrees, certificates, trips abroad, conferences, workshops, seminars, etc. I said to myself then, "This is the end of Boko Haram in Nigeria". Alas, it turned out he was just there for his pocket and/or to enrich some interested individuals or groups.
It goes the same way with 99.9% of our government officials - elected or appointed. They all have the best education and achievements comparable to any and even superior to many in the whole world, but unfortunately with no sense of responsibility and commitment to service to their country and people; ONLY to their own pockets and family. Their education, achievements, accolades and success are then exposed as only a means to get to power and loot the treasury or defraud and oppress their own people; a dearth of leadership, responsibility and sincerity of purpose in this potentially great country that is only too obvious anywhere and everywhere you look.
And third, the case of the “29,000 Nigerians awaiting deportation from the United Kingdom, and 500 of them deported in one day, in one chartered plane to Nigeria just a day ago”. Again, I wrote that this is not possible! 500 Nigerians who are unwilling to go home packed in one plane, with how many guards? At what cost to the British Government? I was again buttonholed by some people who think they are more patriotic than I am (the same trait that our rulers have always had, yet loot the country and deprive their people the dividends of democracy and a developed nation). As it turned out, only 48 Nigerians were deported that day, with probably more to come in batches. Where did our journalists and reporters get the 500 figure from? Nowhere, but they just have to enhance or embellish the news so that they can sell papers, and the gullible people swallowed the lies, as they know they would.
The more I read our newspapers and the social media, listen to our politicians and civil servants, and notice often knee-jerk, misinformed reactions of my people, I have come to believe that my people just do not want to hear the truth. They really just want to be lied to, beautiful lies that make them feel good, make then forget their sorrows and the sins committed by them and against them, that make them seem to be part of their often corrupt and totally immoral governments and fit with what they really want to believe.
Trying to tell the truth to our people is absolutely futile. Trying to tell people the truth after they have been lied to their entire lives, as Nigerians have been lied to almost since their Independence, isn't really worthwhile at all, it just gets you called a reactionary. In fact, they turn you into the Liar, and make you start questioning your own insanity and integrity. Many people only hear what they want to hear. Anybody that provides them lies is telling the "truth". It is a psychological trait.
I will admit that in philosophy, Truth is very relative. There is no absolute Truth, but in saner societies, some kind of Truth-based ideology and tenet has been the defining and engaging foundation to their development as better societies for their (and other) people to live in. I have never before encountered a people and country where Truth is so much in short supply as to be completely non-existent as Nigeria. There is a deliberate dearth of Truth and fact, not the least aided by devilish politicians, unconcerned civil servants, selfish businessmen/women, and, wait for it, the society (people) itself.
I have always written that there is no Truth in Nigeria; nobody tells the Truth; nobody wants to hear and accept the Truth; the Truth is often hard to find or discern from the loads of information, or misinformation that is often spewed out on a daily basis by all sectors of the Nigerian society. We all want to hear what we want to hear, and this is what our rulers use to keep us ignorant and in bondage. Most of our leaders are intelligent (intelligent only enough to know how to pull the wool over the eyes of the rest of us and how to loot the treasury and still appear like heroes); but why are they like that? We were clamouring for a graduate President a while ago; then we had one with late Yar ‘Adua (B Sc Chemistry) and then, presto! Another one with a PhD in Zoology, Dr Jonathan; and Nigeria suddenly became an educated elite country; then what happened? Education is not a prerequisite to good governance, I have come to appreciate. It helps, but ONLY if the person has a good heart towards his people. That's leadership.
Nigerians like sensational news and the ruling class knows this, so they spin us load of lies and we buy it hook line and sinker. They ALL TELL LIES. The newspapers that are supposed to feed us with correct information are even worse, bunch of lazy journalists who are easily compromised to write stories that suit the ruling elite, but manipulative of the gullible masses. All they know how to do is cut and paste. Imagine publishing that 500 illegal immigrants deported when in actual fact it was only 48. They cannot even verify the news before going to print.
We as a people don't like taking responsibility for our own actions; someone else has to be blamed for their inadequacies. Hence Dasuki now was trying to implicate his boss and others. Examples abound in Nigeria. Have we ever heard of any ruler, ex-ruler (president, governor, LG chairman, minister, etc.) come out and admit culpability for their actions or inactions? No, they are all hiding under some cover or the other, shifting blames to one another and obfuscating and perverting the course of justice. Some even go as far as seeking court injunctions from corrupt judges to prevent investigation and arrest. Some cases against these so-called leaders have been in courts for over 10 years with no end in sight as to logical judgement or even a decision. Is that the Truth? But our leaders and even followers will cling on to the “Rule of Law”. Why does the rule of law apply when it comes to prosecution but does not apply when the crimes are being perpetrated?
The truth forces one to question the foundational beliefs one holds. If enough erroneous foundational beliefs can be manufactured in one's belief system, the harder it will be for them to accept the truth when it stands right in front of them. People adhere to religion because they don't want to have to change their foundational beliefs. I think everyone is guilty of feeling susceptible by some facet of the world around us, something out there could indeed force us to look at the world differently and we are all uncomfortable with that idea. Fear of the unknown is a powerful stimulus to continue in the same direction even if doing so is a bad idea. In present times, continuing down our shared road to ruin just to feel contented with ourselves is a really bad idea.
The truth should set you free; that is the familiar tenet. So why do our people actually choose to keep themselves imprisoned? Why do we consider the truth to be a menace? Most importantly, who made us think this way and why? What are being kept secret from us and why?
Why do we desire CHANGE, but are not ready to CHANGE? Your guess is as good as mine. I shouldn’t care anymore, but I cannot help myself. It is my country and my people, anyway I look.
Tell the Truth always!!!!
Akintokunbo A Adejumo
This might prove to be the foundation for a new, effective and efficient policing system in Nigeria. We will get there one day. It is certainly an improvement, forward-looking action and assures the public that it is doing its best to move with the fast-changing world of both environmental and technological changes. Whoever are the new breed of police officers in today’s Nigeria Police Force who are driving this change and movement into 21st Century policing need to be commended, but should also be reminded that the Nigerian police still remains in the Dark Ages (due to many factors, of course) and they have a lot of work and improvement to undertake to truly catapult this primordial police force into engaging with the international police community and regain the trust, loyalty, cooperation and assurances of the people they are employed and entrusted to police, in terms of service, security and safety of lives and property.
This is the current Nigeria Police official WhatsApp number: 0805 700 0003 for reporting and addressing infractions, complaints, concerns and queries regarding activities of officers and men/women of the NPF
They say it is fast and effective to deal with distress calls or when your rights are legitimately wronged by law enforcement officers. It is discrete and safe.
I have tried the Nigeria Police Force WhatsApp No for reporting and addressing infractions, complaints, concerns and queries regarding activities of officers and men/women of the NPF, and BRAVO, it is TRUE and it WORKS. I got instant response within a minute, chatted with an unseen officer, who seems to know his/her onions and is very respectful and polite, and I congratulated them on this initiative and idea.
To cap this good initiative, the officer I chatted with gave me TWO other numbers for the purpose of reporting Crime:
They are: 0805 700 0001 and 0805 700 0002 (these numbers are not for WhatsApp, but voice calls) which he/she explained are dedicated for expressly reporting criminal behaviours, crimes, felonies, etc. It is also discreet and safe.
Yet another good foundation, even if only three numbers for 160 million people, for now, so bear with them.
Just like a friend wrote to me, since they came up with the 999 in the UK or 911 in the US, those services had evolved through feedback, experiences, monitoring and re-appraisal into a formidable service. So peace-loving Nigerians should welcome the service even if it is not working up to scratch at the moment. We can all help the Nigeria Police to work for the improvement of that service if they are serious about it.
First we want a memorable and more user friendly phone number like 222 or 777. The service needs to be manned 24/7. There is technology in place to route calls to hundreds or thousands of call operators who are monitored. The members of the public must be able to register their displeasure or satisfaction with the service through customer satisfaction surveys and complaints. In addition to the service phone number, there is a need for a dedicated internet website where members of the public could register their encounter with corrupt, brutal and unruly police officers.
Even video evidence could be posted on such a website. I urge all contributors to use this opportunity to offer their advice on how the police live up to modern expectation. The Nigeria Police, Customs, Immigration and the civil services are currently a disgrace. We need the input of everyone to make those services be those the public could rely upon.
I am a Happy and Proud Nigerian.
BUT we should plead with the Nigerian public not to abuse this service, and to the Nigeria Police Force (why don’t we change the “Force” to “Service”) to sustain and improve on the service and strive to make it more effective , efficient, user-friendly and not to relent on their efforts to make our society better.
Please share and broadcast.
Akintokunbo A Adejumo
Few people illustrate the transient nature of positional power like the erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke. The hitherto untouchable “super woman” has suddenly become like a frightened toddler seeking sympathy from the same people she despised while in power. We all remember how she reportedly contrived her flight booking to coincide with President Muhammadu Buhari’s and ran with abandon after him to seek his attention at the airport, only to be politely ignored by the latter. The question is, why did she suddenly become so terrified as soon as it became clear that she was no longer in power?
After being arrested in the UK where she fled for cover, the new narrative is that she is battling cancer and asking Nigerians to pray for her. Have Nigerians suddenly become important to her now that she is in trouble? Why didn’t she respond to the cries of the populace when everyone was crying out about the opaque manner in which she ran the nation’s oil sector – our primary source of revenue? Now, she wants us to believe that she was working in our best interest all the while when in fact, she was only enriching herself at the expense of the nation. Too bad!
Madam Diezani’s futile attempts to rewrite history would not have warranted my attention if not for her ill-advised decision to soil the names of well-meaning Nigerians in her bid to garner public sympathy. Have you observed how she has started to mention the likes of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, and the former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala?
The erstwhile CBN Governor, now Emir of Kano, made rather damning revelations that shook the whole world when he disclosed that the NNPC under the watch of madam Alison-Madueke did not remit $20billion (later reconciled to $10.8billion) to the federation account and that marked the travails of Sanusi as he was immediately suspended from office and had his AfDB presidential nomination withdrawn by the Nigerian government on the recommendation of the super petroleum minister, Sanusi has been open in his challenge to Diezani to render account of her stewardship to Nigerians. But, all we hear from her so far are insults, counter-accusations and health news.
In her latest ranting, she “revealed” how she prevented the former President from approving a sum of $2billion which the former Minister of Finance requested to pay contractors. Now, of what consequence is that “revelation”? Is the government not supposed to pay contractors who have duly fulfilled their obligations? And is the finance minister not supposed to ensure that such contractors receive their payments? She went on to talk about kickbacks as if that would absolve her of culpability.
Can Madam Diezani Alison-Madueke honestly say that she did not receive kickbacks from anyone all through her tenure in office? Well, the answer is very clear. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be running from her own shadow. The Goodluck Jonathan administration had outstanding bills and it is only right and responsible to clear such bills rather than hand them over to the incoming government.
Why would anyone be proud of blocking statutory payments all in a bid to curry favour and perhaps make a name for herself? Diezani would have been better off if she had kept quiet. Her attempts to vindicate herself have only gone to reveal the morally reprehensible attitude with which she handled our resources. It is generally believed that Nigerians have short memory; but it is not so short as to easily forget the havoc wreaked by the once powerful, now jittery Diezani.
Her advisers and sympathisers should tell her the truth. Nigerians have no sympathy for her. No amount of PR and blackmail can rewrite the evil that she has done. She should rather face the allegations that are being levelled against her. If she is indeed innocent as she claims, why is she hiding and using all tricks in the book to seek public sympathy? Nigerians are too discerning to attach any importance to her words now.
Authoritative sources have it that the recent visits of former President Goodluck Jonathan to President Buhari were because of madam Diezani, so that she could be granted a soft landing in the anti-corruption drive of the present administration. But all the overtures of the former president have been met with stiff resistance by Buhari who was as shocked as everyone else by the monumental damage the petroleum minister had done to our national coffers. It is even reported that the recent visit of Mr Dele Momodu followed by the sickly pictures of Diezani that have gone viral are the latest PR spins from her advisers to whip up public sentiment. We wait to see how effective that will be.
Diezani had hitherto acted as though Nigerians mean nothing to her. Now, does she expect her words to mean anything to Nigerians? If they mean anything at all, they are simply the woeful wailings of a drowning woman. She should face her issues head on and accept responsibility for her actions. That is the only way she can avoid making herself a national nuisance.
Olusola Daniel is a political observer and advocate for community development. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
Do we need international strike force nimble enough to strike ISIS or Boko Haram everywhere? Boko kill more people in Nigeria than ISIS killed in all countries in 2014. The President of United States has the best military tacticians on where to strike. But it is difficult to destroy all guerrilla terrorists using crude improvised weapons hiding within civilians with conventional Army. The only unity among Arabs is the presence of foreign troops that ISIS uses to recruit sympathizers.
Local silence and fear encourage ISIS and their likes. Boko Haram began on Christians but folks were not Christians. They graduated to their own in Borno where fathers started reporting their own children as Boko Haram members. Hunters and vigilantes organized with crude weapons against Boko Haram. They might not have been effective as desired but their courage were notable and must be so recognized. Indeed, the General leading the Army against Boko Haram right now has moved from the capital to the battleground in Borno, where he originated.
The fight against terror begins at home. American lives are just as precious as Arabs. Only Arabs Muslims can solve and destroy their terrorists with the assistance of foreigners. It is not enough to say Islam is a religion of peace. People are sick and tired of hearing that, they must confront the radicals with the ideology and mentality these devils in sheep clothing use to attract their followers. Obama made that point which most news media and the politicians still ignore.
The bombing of Kenya and Tanzania Embassies by terrorists, continuous Boko Haram in Nigeria, two despicable tragedies in France and the downing of plane full of Russians in Egypt were acts of war that should have metamorphosed into world war the cowards want. But for smart military tacticians that advocate more than conventional means to confront guerrilla warfare, many countries would be ashes. African countries even have fewer resources to fight ISCIS.
There is no doubt the world is frustrated with ISIS and we are looking at the greatest power to bring them down. United States can level the whole of Syria and Iraq in less than ten days but ISIS would use it for recruits elsewhere. Politicians are just dancing to the frustration of all of us. If it was left to John McCain, he would have leveled the North East of Nigeria to get rid of Boko Haram. The question is how many places can United States’ young men and women be at once?
Some of us remember how critics jeered that Obama was not doing enough in Libya. He should have led and brought Gadhafi down after getting all the concessions, surrender of his nuclear pursuit, disclosure of source and compensation to families of those lost in Pan Am Flight 103. Obama got Gadhafi without losing one American soldier. It was not enough, Republicans turned Libya tragedy into spectacles longer and more expensive than Watergate probe and Iran/Contra
Power, no matter how great must be used judiciously. United States and Russia can destroy the world and each other; for that reason they avoid any confrontation. But those dancing to the gallery ignore that rule and want US to confront Russia in Syria wishing Russia would back off. Confront them in Ukraine (was part of USSR), in the Middle East, confront them anywhere and risk it all. Senator Moynihan had warned, you do not test a 10-ton guerrilla. 243 Russians were killed in Plane crash perpetrated by ISIS but Republicans do not want any Russian role in Syria!
Even then injustice and ignorance made those with less than high schools recruiting ground for conservatives, hoping to capture their “good old days” rendered helpless by technology and cheaper labor. They become bitter and dangerous not only to themselves but take the anger out on those they blame and perceive as enemies that denied them of their place. They hold on to religion to bring back lost way of life, kill themselves with unhealthy and risky behaviors.
Terrorists exploit poverty, marginalization and discrimination everywhere perpetrated by the same conservatives in the Middle East, Western and Eastern worlds. Conservatives everywhere think army and police can solve revolts among people that cannot take it anymore. They cut people limbs for stealing food, build the biggest prisons in the world for their untouchables or rejects and give the working class starving wages to keep them poor as unlimited profits rise.
They see and perceive the connection but preach otherwise and even blame poverty on the poor and their advocates. They pay the army and the police a little more and praise them to high heavens so that they can send them to do the impossible, that is suppress revolts and justify collateral damages when civilians are brutalized or killed. Some of these conservatives think it is a form of population control. Others see it as macho or African Safari sports.
We must be careful when we blame an army or police force used to perpetrate injustice and uncivilized acts. A United States Report blames Fergusson Riot on police culture while excusing an individual. Some people do not understand the gravity of the report. Some even claimed that the police himself was exonerated. It is not the messenger that took advantage of his job that must only be faulted; it is the culture that rewarded such action that must change.
Most generals that have been in wars hate war. They saw the consequences: those killed and maimed. Many lose their families and end up as beggars on the streets. In many countries where healthcare is rationed, they got little. In the richest Country in the world, they still beg for care with each successive government paying lip service. The only rich country that failed and fight to implement universal healthcare, cannot selectively provide for only veterans.
Nevertheless, watch those that have evaded military service, got exception or transferred to internal safe service demonize decorated service men like US presidential candidates like John Kerrey as soft on military or as cowards by swift-boating. Politicians would do anything to win, turn facts into fantasy and fantasy into fact. Just watch Donald Trump and Ben Carson act as if they have answers by outplaying conservatives at their own game with bellicose ISCIS rhetoric.
Ouvrez vos yeux. Conservatives are very religious so that no one but God can question their rational. You have to have faith. It is written and dictated by God. The same God that receive the poor in heaven and forgive the sins perpetrated against them on earth. It is the same God that is used to bless the slaves, the serves and the peasants. The God that promised terrorist 72 virgins to a guy, but just one hard dick that never dies for a lady terrorist, only after their death!
I am constrained to write and respond to the above-titled article by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode published in the Vanguard Newspapers of Sunday, November 8th, 2015. Ordinarily I don’t join issues with people, but to allow concocted and sensational lies and falsehood, mischievously and deliberately aimed at and capableofrisingone section of the country against another,hipped on the nation in the name of truth is to be complacent in the destruction ofsociety; more so given the level of the author’s intellect, educational attainment and the high position held in the country as a minister. They say when evil is doneby the wicked silence of the righteous is complacency and God shall not find the latter guiltless. Not to speak is to speak; and not to act is to act. To this end, a simple deed of drawing attention to the facts of the past so as to lay bare the lies contained in the write-up can very well catalyze removal of the evil therein. This in itself, I believe, is a huge service tothe country.
One good thing about truth is that it always surfaces no matter who tries to hide it.At all times, truth is complete; always full. There is no such thing as half-truth. Therefore, in any intellectual discourse where one tries to argue the pros of a point he must have to also face the cons of it, because the two complete the truth. They always go hand-in-hand. But in arguing an issue, if one side is taken and the other side left out the inevitable result is that it brings out the lie of the argument. This is an academic truism; and this is what befell Chief Fani-Kayode’s argument as hetries unsuccessfully to put up the pros and hide the cons. Given that the central thrust of his article is to illustrate that ‘the ocean of blood shed in the name of a united Nigeria’ wascarried out by Northerners, particularly the so-called Core-North or the Hausa-Fulanis, he lists what he claims as undeniable truthof massacres perpetrated by these Northerners as follows:-
“The truth of the Jos massacre in 1945 where hundreds were slaughtered cannot be denied. The truth of the Kano riots in 1953 where thousands were butchered cannot be denied. The truth of the pogroms in the North in 1966 where hundreds of thousands were killed cannot be denied. The truth of the slaughter of millions of innocent civilians, women and children between 1967 and 1969 during the Nigerian civil war cannot be denied.
The truth of the Asaba massacre in 1969 where 1,000 little boys and old men were rounded up in the town square and shot in the head cannot be denied.
The truth of the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Christians and ethnic minorities all over the North and particularly in the Middle Belt throughout the 80s and 90s cannot be denied.
The bitter truth of Boko Haram and the relentless slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Nigerians by Islamic fundamentalists in northern Nigeria from 2009 up until today cannot be denied. The truth of the murder of dozens of young NYSC members and hundreds of other people in the far North in 2011 cannot be denied. The truth of the brutal slaughter of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen over the last 20 years and up until today cannot be denied”.
Now the truth is that all but one of these claims can definitely be denied; and I so deny them. Not only Fani-Kayode manufactures lies for truth, but also twists whatever truth therein upside down. Firstly, there was no any massacrein Jos in 1945 where “hundreds were slaughtered”. Against the nationwide labour strike of that year, the British authorities were able to divide the ranks of the workers on North/South basis. In Jos, northern workers were willing to go back to work but were prevented by their southern, mainly Igbo, co-workers. This created tension between the two groups which, on June 22 culminated into fracas over Jos market space in which 8 people, 5 southerners and 2 northerners, were injured. This is what Plotnicov terms as the first conflict in Jos between Hausa and Igbo.Yes, there was the 1953 massacre in Kano, but it’s a viciouslie that “thousands were killed”. Page 21 of the Official Report of the Kano Disturbances of May 1953 set up by the British Colonial Government gave out the number of persons killed at 36 in all; 15 northerners and 21 southerners. So where did Fani-Kayode get his figures of thousands from?
Similarly, the pogrom of 1966 did not get “hundreds of thousands dead”. While nothing can excuse the terrible deeds in the North, and the reprisals in the East, even Ojukwu, and later Biafra’s propaganda machine, did not play such a dreadful ‘number game’ as given out by Chief Fani-Kayode in his write-up. For example, in the foreword of the Eastern Region’s booklet, Pogrom, Ojukwu spoke of ‘more than 7,000 dead’. At the Aburi Conference in 1967, long after all the casualty returns were in, he said 10,000 had died. Also, using the death figures to justify secession, Biafran propaganda had claimed 30,000 killed. But as stated by the veteran European journalist, John de St. Jorre, who covered the civil war, “while the true figure will probably never be known but most reliable estimates put it at between 6,000 and 8,000”, thus tallying with Ojukwu’sAburi figure. On the face of these, therefore, one can categorically deny Fani-Kayode’s so-called truth of ‘hundreds of thousands killed’.The same St. Jorrein concluding his book The Nigerian Civil War,posited that “the pursuit of Nigerian unity killed between half a million and a million Nigerians. And based on consensus of informed opinion I personally feel that around 600,000 for total deaths may be nearest the mark” during the entire war. I take this figure of St. Jorre who was on ground, which in any case tallies with mostfigures of the civil war literature, to denyFani-Kayode’s blotted millions.
It is only on the Asaba massacre of 1969 that Fani-Kayode’s 1,000 figure is near the mark, as 800 men and boys were killedwhen the federal troops entered the town after fierce fighting. However, this coldblooded act was carried out not by Northerners but, to Fani-Kayode’s probable consternation, by “an Ibo-hating major” from the Midwest. Again, “the‘truth’ of the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Christians and ethnic minorities all over the North and particularly in the Middle Belt throughout the 80s and 90s” can be denied in terms of both figures and twisting of facts.The first major crisis of this nature was the Kafanchan uprising in 1987.According to the New Nigerian of 17 April 1987, the Kafanchan crisis claimed 19 lives.Then there was the ZagonKataf disturbances of May 1992.In sum, 471 persons were officially confirmed killed in the disturbances. This official figure may, however, represent an understatement of the scale of casualties and destructions. Indeed, the presentations of the Zangon Hausa community to the investigation panel included names of some 1,528 members of the community who reportedly died in the disturbances. There were several other uprisings in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Nassarawa, Bauchi, etc. which, according to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, claimed an estimated 8,211 lives. And, interestingly, over 5000 of the dead are said to beHausa-Fulani Muslims viewed as unwanted settlers in the lands of indigenous autochthons. So while Fani-Kayode’s figure of ‘hundred thousands’ is a refutable far cry, the majority of those killed were also not Christian minorities but Hausa-Fulani Muslims. Equally, the same Wikipedia put the total number of death by the terrorist Boko Haram insurgency at over 17,000. Given that the main theatre of their activities is in predominantly Muslim areas, it is elementary logic to guess that Muslim casualties will be by far higher in this conflict.
While I cannot deny the regrettable killing of innocent dozen NYSC members, along with many others, in the wake of the 2011 general elections, it can be asserted however that the issue of Fulani herdsmen is a very recent phenomenon. And even at that the herdsmen kill just as they are themselves been killed.
Please let me not be misunderstood; I am not defending, excusing or justifying these heinous crimes perpetrated by our people – they cannot be! Every life is sacrosanct and whosoever takes the life of another must both be condemned and brought to book. But where someone tries to create a false impression of putting the entire blame on one group against the other, then it is a duty on all of us to correct that impression. Why didn’t Fani-Kayode mention the Lagos booing, pelting and insults of Northerners in March 1953? Why didn’t he mention the brutal uprisings in the Western Region in the wake of the 1965 elections? Why didn’t he bring up the murderous coup of January 1966? Why didn’t he bring up the deadly Ondo uprising in the wake of the 1983 elections? Why didn’t he bring up the vicious OPC brigandage in the Southwest? And why didn’t he bring the killings by the Niger Delta militants and the MASSOB in which Northerners have been victims?
He didn’t do so simply because it would illustrate that some of what he mentionswere reactions tounmentioned previous actions. For example, there certainly wouldn’t have been the Kano May riots without the Lagos March episodes of 1953. Similarly, it was unlikely to havehad the 1966 pogrom,and probably the civil war all together, without the JanuaryCoupselective killings. And without the pogrom and the war, which widened the doors of murders and butchery, there might not have been these subsequent killings in the country as enumerated, albeit falsely, by the author.
I think I know Fani-Kayode’s problem – I honestly believe he is a victim ofwhat we call in History as 'the Kisra Effect' - i.e a conscious, deliberate and systematic distortion of historical facts in order to respond to a perceived or real present danger as a means of protecting and advancing certain unmerited acquired self-interest. This is usually driven by fear and/or inferiority complex. It sets in motion a process in the mind leading the heart to be diseased against the truth; programming it to see no good in certain people; and taking it upon itself to propagate jaundiced belief that certain people are naturally evil against others. But like all false propaganda, it feedsthe unsuspecting members of the public with only one side of the story - the side that will make them boil with hatred against the people it is programming them to hate!The other side that it hides makes upthe real truth, which the public needs to recognize and draw object lessons from to avoid ruin. The earlier the victim alsocleanses his heart of this vice the betterforhim and the society.While it is only truth that can set the heart free of such malady,it is also forthe victim to reconcile himself with the truth of his situation.
Late Pierre Trudeau was a popular Prime Minister of Canada until 1984. He outfoxed Joe Who (Mr. Clark) in 1980 election after 8 months stay in Opposition. The son, the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is 2015. The year is important in his response to a reporter’s question on why his cabinet is 15 women and 15 men. Out of 338 new Members of Parliament elected, 88 were women. But women make more than 50% of the population. About time for half-half!
When support for the New Democratic Party collapsed during the campaign, it dragged down the fortunes of its females, who accounted for an unprecedented 43 per cent of the party’s candidates. The Liberals by comparison had 31 per cent female candidates. Though replaced Prime Minister Harper cabinet was diversified, Conservatives fielded even less than 20 per cent.
Nevertheless, Conservative Prime Minister Steven Harper appointed the first African-Canadian Governor General of Canada: Governor Michaëlle Jean, 2005–2010. He had a diversified cabinet that included women, Aboriginals, South Asians, East Asians, Quebecers and one with disability. Though Pierre Trudeau had no elected African/Caribbean Canadian, controversial Anne Cools was chosen in 1984 for the Senate. Other Senators of African descent: Donald Oliver (appointed 1990), now retired, and Calvin Ruck, who died in 2004 (appointed in 1998).
Politically and ethnically, Canada had tried to diversify because of the English and French Bicultural promotion at the Federal level. In 1993, Kim Campbell, Port Alberni, British Columbia became the first and only lady Prime Minister. Now in the US House of Representatives women make up 15.7% of seats, they make up 26% of the Canadian House of Commons; compared to the British House of Commons, women are 191 out of 650 MPs, with 29.4% representation.
Canadian Aboriginals are breaking records each successive election, going from five to seven MPs in 2011 to a total of ten in 2015. Justin father, Pierre Trudeau included in his cabinet an Aboriginal Indian Leonard Marchand during his term as environment minister in the 1970s. Mr. Pierre Trudeau himself, a French Canadian from Montreal was recruited by Prime Minister Pearson during Quebec revolt threatening to break away from the rest of English Canada.
During Pierre’s time as Prime Minister in the seventies, Conservative Western Canada especially from Alberta also felt alienated from Liberal Party dominated by the East. Through the world oil crisis and after the Arab embargo, Canadians had oil but mostly from Alberta. It created some bad blood between Pierre Trudeau that taxed Alberta oil to subsidize all Canadians and (Sheik!) Lougheed, the Alberta Premier that could not sell their oil at world price to the rest of Canada.
Pierre Trudeau created political diversity between the Easterners that labeled Albertans “Blue Eye Sheiks” and Westerner Albertans that could care less if “the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark”. Pierre Trudeau diversified later by seeking Jack Horner a right wing Conservative from Alberta into his cabinet. Jack Horner crossed the floor and was appointed minister.
Apart from women, 4 members of Indian Sikhs were also celebrated in 2015. Justin Trudeau's cabinet now has more Sikh cabinet ministers; more than that of India, Country of origin. Better than speculation of one after the election of a Sikh as minister. The rest of the Indians cannot complain but other South East Asians from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka must be wondering. What is surprising is the absence of East Asians from China, Philippine, Vietnam, Japan, Korea e.tc. One Sikh, one Chinese and one African/Caribbean could have settled that.
According to Statistics Canada, one out of every five Canadians was a visible minority in 2011. The top citizen groups are of Asian, South Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “cabinet that looks like Canada" should have included members of visible minorities, that is, people other than the Aboriginals who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in color as defined by Canada Equity Act
According to Canadian population in 2011 of visible minorities, African/Caribbean made up of 15%, Middle East 12%, South Asians 25%, Asians 40%: but South Asians make up 80% of Justin Trudeau 2015 cabinet while Middle East make up the rest of the 20%. See:
The first African-Canadian woman in Cabinet: Zanana Akande, St-Andrew's-St. Patrick's, Ontario New Democratic Party MPP 1990–1994. First African-Canadian elected to House of Commons: Rt. Hon Lincoln Alexander - Hamilton West, Progressive Conservative MP 1968–1984.
Lincoln Alexander from Hamilton Ontario was the first African/Caribbean cabinet minister in Conservative Party of Brian Mulroney in 1979. Jean Chrétien appointed Indian Dhaliwal, as well as the first Chinese minister, Hong Kong-born Raymond Chan, to his cabinets. See Toronto Star
The new world Diversity must include African descendants in Europe and Americas. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 2015 did not include the children of African/Caribbean that were born around his time or that he went to school with. They can feel his love right now. However, African/Caribbean Canadians have not had a cabinet minister since Jean Augustine retired in 2004 in Liberal Party of Paul Martin and Hedy Fry 1996-2002 in Jean Chretien cabinet.
By Ms Zukiswa Wanner, South African journalist and novelist.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 9, 2015/ -- A fair share of both of South Africa and Kenya’s taxes come from artists. Beyond artists themselves, there are also many people who may not be artists but are employed because of art be they curators, printers, publishers, instrumentalists and even weavers. As part of my research for the presentation, I talked to artists from both countries.
As i sat on my reading table to put down this piece, i visualized how the Nigerian state has treated the Ogoni with so much disdain and how Shell, the oil giant that thrives on lies, dishonesty and irresponsibility continues to make efforts to return to Ogoniland drilling sites and resume oil operations not minding the atrocities committed against the people and their vocal commitment not to have the evil company return to Ogoni for drilling operations.
I quite remember vividly, the dark shadows cast on Port Harcourt on November 10, 1995 when at about 12noon, the BBC reported that Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogonis have been killed by the Abacha led federal government. It was great shock for me as i felt helpless, unable to confront the government and realizing that Saro-Wiwa was no more.
Tears flowed uncontrollably not just for Saro-Wiwa but for the other eight including Dr Kiobel, John Kpuinen and the other 6 whom i knew committed no crime other than supporting Saro-Wiwa's campaign to save the Ogoni from a strangulating political, economic and environmental clutch of two powerful institutions - the Nigerian Government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company, an affiliate of Shell.
The stain from Saro-Wiwa's blood still continues to haunt Nigeria where no real efforts are made to correct the past mistakes of social injustice. The Ogoni, whose contributions as a unique people within the Nigerian state is persistently downplayed, and her identity is not recognized by the government, makes more contributions to the economy than some 20 states put together.
Within Ogoni are two oil refineries, two sea ports, two electricity generating plants, a fertilizer and a petro-chemical complex, an oil and gas free zone accommodating over 500 companies. Yet the Ogoni do not have a state of their own within the so-called Nigerian federation. The revenues generated from the Ogoni territories are shared by the federal government to support the multiple states created for the dominant three ethnic groupings including the Ibos, Huasa-Fulanis and Yorubas.
Unfortunately, the Ogonis have chosen not to adopt the tactics that forces the Nigerian government to submission - violence. The fear of a possible extermination should a violent approach be followed have possibly kept the Ogoni on the path of a non-violent approach.
During the period preceding Saro-Wiwa's hanging and the immediate period after, one Major Paul Okuntimo had been deployed to Ogoni as head of a special military task force which unleashed terror on the people. The only safe place became the bush. The Ogoni knows that a violent approach will be appreciated by the government who will simply kill the entire population under the guise of ending an uprising.
Nigeria's choice not to reward non-violence by ensuring justice for small and oppressed groups like the Ogoni is costing her enormously in money and prestige. The Nigerian government government under President Goodluck Jonathan initiated payment for militants in the Niger Delta region who took arms against the state urging them to allow the continual flow of oil from the region. The government has also on several occasions made offers to the Boko Haram group to stop violence in the North-East. Government reward for violence in Nigeria and delays in addressing the Ogoni problem is undoubtedly a time-bomb as frustrations rise daily among an already dehumanized and poor population.
Twenty years after Saro-Wiwa, the Ogonis are constantly reminded by November 10 of a system that has been very brutish and unjust, a system that has killed an entire generation of leaders and still seek to suck the people of every resources to which they have been naturally endowed.
Rather than address the issues and improve the people's living conditions, government rather seeks to worsen the people's frustrations. In 2012, the Rivers State Government embarked on a massive land grab to takeover about 2000 hectares of land around Sogho and Ueken and Khana and Tai local government areas. Resistance against this move led to the killing of about 40 persons by the Nigerian security forces.
Shell still lobbies to return to Ogoniland while the Ogoni battles to overcome Nigeria's suppression and inhuman treatment. Shell has not only killed more Ogoni people but have sustained her dirty posture as a lying and evil company totally irresponsible and uncommitted to the good of the people from whose land the company has carted away billions of dollars from crude oil sales profits.
I call Shell a liar, a racist and a terrible evil. The company has got a terrible record which time and space will not allow me to dwell much on. But suffice it to say that testifying before the Human Rights Commission headed by late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, Brian Anderson, then managing director of Shell had told the commission that spillages in Ogoni were mere incidences that were not significant to cause any damage to the environment. Some 11 years later, a U.N report has exposed the company's lies by revealing that Shell's pollution in Ogoniland will take 30years to clean up. Shell still lies till date about the Ogoni situation.
Shell's racism and wickedness is clearly exemplified in her irresponsible business practices. As at 1990, over 30billion dollars worth of oil have been taken away from Ogoniland and Shell cared not to put back anything. After aiding the hanging of Saro-Wiwa and over 4,000 Ogonis killed in wasting operations under the supervision of Major Okuntimo's special military task force, Shell still has guts to contemplate a return to Ogoniland to drill oil. The company has lost every sense of responsibility and probably no longer guided by any human conscience. It will be shocking to learn that that despite Ogoni contributions in oil revenue, some communities, like Teenama, still do not have a primary school till date. All you can find in Teenama, as in all other Ogoni villages, are polluted waters and poverty.
November 10 is a call to stand up for justice. That though we have lost so much, the blood spilt must not be allowed to go in vain. November 10 is a call to set our differences aside and tell the Nigerian government that it is time she washes herself of the stain of Saro-Wiwa's blood by acknowledging the injustice of the hangings and taking additional steps to address the Ogoni problem and demands as contained in "The Ogoni Bill of Rights"
Author: Fegalo Nsuke, member of The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wrote from Port Harcourt
Wow! So Nigeria finally succumbed after all the millions, billions and trillions disfarahan? We have been asked for several years: how much money is in that Country when so much keeps on disappearing? We wish we know how much we lost, actually nobody knows for sure. What is surprising is that the Country is still standing. Right now there is a consensus between the ruling Party and the Opposition that we are on our way to the poor house. Lower prices! I doubt it.
Some of you might have been too young when General Gowon declared that our problem is not money but how to spend it. When this writer told people he was in Nigeria when Gowon was the Head of State, he was told everyone they know got rich then. Instead of keeping quiet, he also said he was in Nigeria when Shagari was the President. Anyone not rich during the time of Gowon or Shagari, must have got a curse on him!
Economic recession is usually a slowdown in economic activities over a period of time like two or three quarters in a business circle which our people have endured for even longer period of time. In the western countries, it will qualify for a depression that lasts for two or more years.
One would expect that in a deflation where there is a negative inflation rate, the general price level of goods and services would decrease below zero percent; not in Nigeria. All prices keep going up just as we pay more when African currencies are devalued on foreign experts’ advice. What do you expect when only less than one third of economic activities are between Africans?
Deflation by negative price index may be good if naira is not devalued. We have gone through recession. Indeed we had depression with the rest of the world. Note the difference between these terms though. Economists and other academics have technical definitions but the man on the street has another definition that is acceptable to most. A popular one is that if you know people that are out of jobs, that is a recession but if you are out of a job that is a depression O!
Awolowo whose achievement was fueled mainly by agriculture, warned Shagari’s Government Nigeria would go broke. Mismanaged economy and liberal imports killed textile. Not even Awo predicted this level of poverty in the land flowing with wara, honey where any crop grew if we only plant. He was ridiculed by R. Akinjide and called Prophet of Doom. Little intra-African trade, in Africa’s total trade over the past decade was only about 11%, compared to 70% with Europe.
Africans must kill an inferiority complex that we can only be rich when we trade with Americans and Europeans not with ourselves at home or with Africa. We must not forget that Groundnuts, Cocoa, Coal, Palm Oil, from North, East and West of Nigeria gave us more in terms of quality of life than our new found oil wealth crooks looted away. While West Africa achieved relatively growth of 6% in 2014 despite its battle with the Ebola virus; slowly and gradually, Nigeria’s growth of 6.3% came mainly from non-oil sectors showing that the economy is diversifying.
The irony of all these is that African markets in general and Nigerian business in particular never respond to the economic model taught in foreign schools. Applying old wine to new bottles will always fail. Yet, those that are looting the treasury are preaching austerity measures to tighten our belts for another roller coaster ride. Any further belt tightening, stomachs would burst PAU!
We have this mentality that the best managers of our treasury are foreign employed and trained staff of International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Paris Club etc. that can navigate the trick and complexity of African aspiration. After devastated us accordingly, the so called experts go back to their masters where they are recognized with foreign jobs and awards. Well done!
Another case in point: Money Nigerians pour into the so called “American” or “English” schools. If they can only spend half of it with parents’ participation in many neighborhood schools, these private schools will have good competition from locals but they will never survive with the little starving salaries they pay local teachers while their “expatriates” are handsomely paid. Apart from teaching children how to “speak like European and American” what else do they offer?
Poor people complain too much. Well, Saro say na poor I poor, no be craze I craze. What an excuse from a poor man, eh! One can now understand why they sent their children to Jakande School in FESTAC. No wonder, the mothers told some wives we have gone crazy by sacrificing the children for Jakande’s cause: “Our families do not send children to such primary schools”.
The only way to understand this is that some Jakande’s schools, especially the one in FESTAC and another by Eric Moore in Surulere were run like private schools mainly because of parents’ participation in those areas. FESTAC was the best town in Nigeria where the houses and streets were pretty and smooth even better than American cities. If you got out of FESTAC town, you could not wait to get back home, sweet home. Boy, that is now history!
What has this got to do with broke-ass Nigeria? Our mentality got us broke. Even after Jakande left Office, many people expressed fears they would never have had the opportunity to own a house but for Jakande. Federal Govt. was forced to compete with states in providing housing, schools spurring private trades and manufacturing jobs. So when we say poverty is relative, it means Nigeria has never had so many poor people with so little, while a few got filthy rich.
We are now in the age of impunity and callousness where the very few dare so many poor people and those that complained are labelled as the enemy of progress or political opponents. We cannot recognize which party is for the masses and the one for the very few rich because crooks are evenly spread across the parties. The masses are so confused; they do not know who is against them or who is using them to acquire more loot into individuals and cronies‘ pockets.
Wind: 6 mph