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[Opinion] Could Boko Haram possibly be right ? – By Segun Ayobolu

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Make no mistake about it. I totally disagree with their methods. I abhor their violence. I loathe the taking of innocent lives. I detest their bestial, savage, barbaric killing of innocent school children. But then, could there possibly be something right about Boko Haram’s claim that western education is sin? The majority of Nigeria’s western educated elite so much vindicate Boko Haram’s position that the sect certainly does not need the current shedding of blood and wasting of lives to make its point. In any case, what is sin? In my view it is a violation of God’s laws such as lying, stealing, murder, adultery etc. It is a breaching of moral codes. It is a negation of ethical standards.

Most of Nigeria’s western educated elite particularly in public office exhibit these vices on an industrial scale. They steal. They lie. They cheat. Their wanton corruption has stunted a remarkably endowed country’s development resulting in the continuing avoidable deaths of millions of valuable lives. Yes, western education nurtures the intellect. It liberates the mind. It has led to the astonishing accomplishments of humanity in diverse spheres of endeavour. But it does not necessarily endow the individual with the moral values imperative for maintaining a decent, sane, humane and healthy society.
Most of Nigeria’s western educated elite simply utilise their acquired knowledge and skills to commit the most heinous sins against their country and fellow country men and women. A good example are those bankers whose venality and moral depravity resulted in the collapse of several banks with severe, damaging implications for millions of depositors and shareholders and with consequences that continue to haunt the fragile Nigerian economy. But let us move to another set of Nigeria’s western educated elite whose actions amply validate Boko Haram’s position that western education is sin.
The country has 36 governors. These eminent citizens represent the cream of the country’s western educated elite. Among them are medical doctors, lawyers, soldiers, engineers, architects, academics and so on. These respected citizens came together and voluntarily formed an association, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). 35 of these highly enlightened citizens gathered in a room to elect their chairman. No one was coerced there. We assume that they knew the meaning of elections and the implications of democracy before participating in the election. They voted. The votes were counted. The process was electronically recorded. A winner emerged. He had 19 votes. His opponent had 16 votes. Yet, the minority claims to be the majority. To these eminent western educated Nigerians, 16 is greater than 19. The loser not only parades himself as Chairman of the NGF, his faction has opened a secretariat in Abuja! This is is lying. This is cheating. This is deceit. This is a form of robbery. This is brazen fraud. This is original sin. Boko Haram members must be having a good laugh. They are surely vindicated. Western education, at least in this case, is grievous sin.
But let us go to a more tragic scenario. In 2011, we trooped to the polls and elected as President a man called Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. As a child he had no shoes. We identified with him. He went to the redemption camp and publicly knelt down before the revered Pastor Enoch Adeboye. We admired his humility. Many also voted for him because he is the first Nigerian President to have a university degree, a Ph. D for that matter. The Ph. D is the highest attainment in western education. The holder is a Doctor of Philosophy. He is assumed to be sound not only in knowledge but in character. He should be a beacon of integrity. But what are we seeing? This Ph.D holder is proving to be even more coarse, brutish and utterly disdainful of the rule of law, constitutionalism and the values of democracy than his rustic predecessor and benefactor who has now been publicly and irreparably deconstructed by General Alabi Isama as a blundering, cowardly and utterly incompetent General. But that is a matter for another day.
This Ph.D holder, despite denials by his aides, is clearly the one behind the crisis in the NGF. He openly expressed his opposition to Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s re-election as NGF Chairman. The presidency actively sought to coerce and intimidate governors against re-electing Amaechi. The election held. Amaechi won. The Ph.D holder lost face. As an academic and supposed intellectual, would he accept the verdict? Not on your life. He publicly recognised the loser as the winner. He lent the weight of his prestigious office to falsehood. He encouraged deceit. He embraced lies. I hope the respected Pastor Adeboye is reading this in case somebody wants to play the kneeling game at the redemption camp sometime in future! Somebody has suggested that elementary arithmetic may not necessarily be a precondition for obtaining a most distinguished Ph. D. I disagree. For, it is not impossible that in the animal kingdom of Zoology, 16 is greater than 19. All hail! But then the tragedy got even messier.
This admirable product of western education has done everything to undermine the legitimate government of Rotimi Amaechi in Rivers State. He has divided the PDP in the state. He has caused mayhem in the state House of Assembly. He sanctioned, again according to the mysterious arithmetic of Zoology, the attempted impeachment of the Speaker by 5 members of a 32-member House. He has looked on indifferently as the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu John Mbu, continues to jeopardise the security of the state and compromise the personal safety of the Governor. To make matters worse, this Ph. D holder has allowed another Ph. D holder, Dr. Reuben Abati, to brazenly lie that the presidency has no hand in the Abuja instigated descent to anarchy in Rivers State. Luckily, the most amiable and adorable First Lady and co-President of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, has exposed the highly cerebral Dr.Abati’s lies.
She told a group of 16 Bishops from the South-South who visited her on Wednesday of her grouse with Governor Rotimi Amaechi. We now know why there is such a desperate attempt by Abuja to pull down Amaechi at all costs even if it means destabilizing the country and endangering our democracy. I once described the Jonathan Presidency as a distracted one obsessed with his ambition for a second term in 2015. Many of my readers from the Niger Delta were unhappy with me. But the unfolding scenario in Rivers State proves this beyond doubt. For, Amaechi’s only crime is that he is suspected to have higher political aspirations in 2015 that may jeopardise Jonathan’s political interests.
Let us, therefore, apologise to Boko Haram. They have a point. In many ways western education is a grievous sin if a Ph.D holder can perpetrate, directly and indirectly, the kind of atrocities being witnessed in Rivers state. Is the Boko Haram leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, reading this? Or can anybody reach him? Please drop your guns. Your point has been effectively made.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ekere

    July 21, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Nonsense if u are there u ‘ll do d worst. Go n sleep

  2. Abas Emily Osa

    July 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Western education has always been a source of problem in this country. This is because we do not understand the concept it tries to impact to a heterogenous people. Our curriculms are borrowed and have nothing to offer the youths and the nation. We have been failed by our leaders but most of all we have failed ourselves by despising our morals and values and embracing things that are alien to our nature. Take a look at Japan China and other emerging industraling nations. Despite all they still retain their morality values and a determination not to be swallowed up by evil.

  3. moses

    July 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    You have failed to see the reaction of boko haram and their approach to ensuring holiness and fighting sin. It is surprising that you will attribute wrong action as informed by western education. You can only be justified if the reaction of boko haram is characterized by holiness and civility that value human lives and promote development. It is also surprising that you will attribute all the bad things or sin to western influence as if it is the only source of influence in human life. If there are other influences, what exonerates them from being behind the actions of both the sinners you identified and the saints who are seeking to sanitize the society by disrespect to human life, instituted authority, violence and destruction? Is it only Nigeria that has western education? What do you have to say about the violent spots in the world that are troubled today? Can you imagine what this country will be without western education?
    Note: what is key is the fear of God. Whoever fears God will neither do what your identified sinners as a result of western education nor the holy boko haram are doing. And, one day the ultimate judge will settle the matter here or yonder! I hope everyone will be bold to justify themselves before that throne.

  4. steve

    July 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

    U are mad

  5. Aliu

    September 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Ba’doo

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Opinion

Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?

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Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Opinion

Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye

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We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Opinion

Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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