by Dr. Charles Awuzie (Johannesburg)
“The use of force to deprive peoples of their national identity constitutes a violation of their inalienable rights and of the principle of non-intervention…By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right to freely determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and every state has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.” ~Ref: Hurst Hannum; Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights, Page 38.
I have endured the urge to write about the on-going agitation for the release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and the subsequent declaration of the Sovereignty of Biafra for two reasons:
1) Because of my principle of not publicly speaking about any subject I have no clear understanding of.
2) Because of my doubts about the honesty of the motives of the incarcerated leader of the #IPOB – Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Its okay if you have a problem with my second reason, I also do. The proliferation of Secessionist Movements in recent times has made some of us to question the motives, aims and desires of the leaders of such groups before we lend our tiny voice(s) to their cause.
For the record, I believe in the principle of self-determination, whether it is Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s call for the secession of the Yoruba people from Nigeria or Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s struggle for Biafra’s secession from Nigeria; I believe in both ideologies but I always have problem trusting in the pioneers of such movements, perhaps because of my secret romance with conspiracy theories.
Back to the purpose of this macro-blog, I am afraid that Nnamdi Kanu might not make it out of ‘prison’ alive, not because Buhari will kill him but because the security agents might snuff the life out of him in the course of interrogating him. But before that happens, here is my two-edged-sword:
First to Biafrans: Protests, no matter how peaceful have never solved any socio-political problem instead it has created more confusion and chaos. You have a just cause. The actualisation of Biafra is a dream every Biafran hates to be awoken from. That you and I love Biafra doesn’t mean that we hate Nigeria. It just means that we would rather choose to relate with Nigeria as a mother and no longer as a sister. If Nigeria understands this, she would let Biafra go in peace having understood that at one stage in life, a mother will have to release her child to take care of himself.
Like everyone else, I believe in self-determination but I do not believe that IPOB and MASSOB are doing it the right way.
Biafrans should immediately withdraw from the streets and mobilise a team of high powered international lawyers who would engage the United Nations in the processes and procedures of self-determination. This would culminate in the summoning of the Nigerian Government to a world court and subsequently, the Nigerian Government would be given an ultimatum by the international community to either hold a referendum on the Biafra-Secession saga or risk sanctions. I strongly believe that if the international community forces Nigeria into holding a referendum on Biafra-Nigeria marriage, Biafra would surely win. This way, we would have secured victory without further bloodsheds and unnecessarily frustrating economic activities in South Eastern Nigeria.
To the Nigerian Government: I believe that you have the right to protect the unity and sovereignty of Nigeria. I also understand that you do not wish to kill Nnamdi Kanu in detention. But please understand that it is dangerous to fight an ideology whose time has come. The war against Boko Haram has not been won because it is a fight against an ideology. Biafra is an ideology and not an enemy. Only fools fight ideologies with bullets. I will advise that the Nigerian Government call for a referendum on the secession of Biafra. I bet you that there are millions of Biafrans who would vote against Biafra, not because they don’t believe in Biafra but because they don’t trust the after-effects of the declaration of the sovereignty of Biafra. They are afraid that if the igbos are still divided over grey-haired issues like the OSU-Nwadiala myth, the ODIBO/ORU-OGA mentality, The inter-State dichotomy where Abia would freely deport Anambra civil servants while Anambra would not promote an Enugu civil servant beyond a certain grade level because of their state of origin and all the crinkum crankum familiar with the politics of the Igbo people. With fears like these and perhaps a few state-sponsored propaganda, Nigeria might win the referendum.
#NO2Protests #YES2Referendum #ReleaseNnamdiKanuNOW #CharlesAwuzieSPEAKS
Dr. Charles Awuzie is a South African based Nigerian pastor, succeeding businessman and prolific blogger. He blogs on www.charlesawuzie.com and tweets @pastorcharlesc.
As Nigeria’s Boko Haram declares allegiance to ISIS, christians took to the social media platforms to state the difference between the message that christianity preaches and the message radical islam promotes.
Have your say: What is the difference between Christianity and Islam?
The Army authorities yesterday accused an online media, Sahara Reporters, of working for the Boko Haram terror group.
The attention of the Nigerian Army was drawn to a publication on the website of Sahara Reporters with the caption “Nigerian Army Presents Unverified “Lt Col” To Refute Petition Against Military Hierarchy”.
In a statement issued by its director of public relations, Brigadier Olaleye Lajide, the Army dismissed a story published on the website of the Nigeria defence where it alleged that a serving officer, Lt Col Wende, petitioned the Army hierarchy.
It is noteworthy but sad and unfortunate that Sahara Reporters has committed itself to support for terrorism and fighting Nigeria, its people, its military and particularly the Nigerian Army.
Before Sahara Reporters published their purported document described as petition from Lt Col Wende, a serving Commanding Officer, the Nigerian Army conducted a thorough investigation on the document involving other security and intelligence agencies. The process confirmed that the serving officer was not the author of the petition. Yesterday, the officer dissociated himself from the so-called petition in a press conference he personally attended. While reputable media organizations were on hand to engage the officer, Sahara Reporters being a faceless medium, preferred to remain faceless and was not represented. Sahara Reporters sadly, but predictably, and in fulfilment of its support for terrorism published in its website a fabrication in which it referred to the officer as “unverified”.
They further said “Since the officer (Lt Col Wende) has clearly dissociated himself from the document, it makes sense that the so-called petition is the handiwork of Sahara Reporters. With time, terrorism in Nigeria and Sahara Reporters will be defeated by the collective will of the good people of Nigeria.”
One of Nigeria’s political intellectuals, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode got his facebook followers re-considering the credibility of General Muhammadu Buhari who emerged as the APC flagbearer earlier today. On his facebook wall this afternoon, Femi Fani-Kayode, FFK wrote as reproduced below:
“Major General Mohammadu Buhari has emerged as the APC flagbearer and President Goodluck Jonathan has emerged for the PDP. Now the battle for the soul and future of our nation begins. The forces of light shall surely prevail over the forces of darkness and God’s counsel alone shall stand over Nigeria. I stand with Jonathan. Let’s get it on.
”Jihadi groups killed more than 5,000 people last month, with Iraq topping the league table of deaths, followed by Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria.
In 664 incidents recorded in November by the BBC World Service and researched jointly with King’s College London, the overall death toll was 5,042, or an average of 168 deaths per day and nearly twice the number of people who were killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks on America.
After Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria, Yemen was fifth in the deadly league table, tying with Somalia, with 37 incidents each”- DORO ADEBENTLEY 11 December, Facebook.
All this and some people still say they want Buhari as President? A man who said, only last year, that ”an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north”? A man who said, in 2001, that he wants to ”spread sharia throughout the federation”? A man who said, in 2001, that muslims should only vote for muslims”? A man who said, in 2001, that ”why should christians be concerned when muslims cut off their limbs under sharia”?. A man who said, in 2001, that ”after all the limbs that are being cut off are muslim ones and not christian so why should the christians bother about it”?
This is the man that some Nigerians are clamouring for to be their President? May God open their eyes and protect them from themselves. May He grant them wisdom and discernment.”
Also, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-rufai reportedly said that General Buhari was ‘unelectable’ as age was no longer on his side.
But just when life was about becoming sweet for Kufreh and his new home, he was drafted to the volatile Northern Nigeria to fight the dreaded #BokoHaram insurgents. And the evil bullets of Boko Haram claimed the life of this brave soldier.
He was somebody’s sweetheart, he was a little child’s daddy, he was an old woman’s son.
Please drop an RIP for this brave soldier and share this to celebrate the life of this great African who died defending other Africans.
A female suicide bomber arrested by a vigilante group in the North East, popularly known as the Civilian JTF, has revealed that 50 female suicide bombers have been unleashed on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, with the mandate of hitting no fewer than 100,000 people before the end of December 2014.
The female suicide bomber, who was handed over to security operatives, according to members of the Civilian JTF, was unable to detonate the bomb strapped to her before she was arrested.
Also, troops on Tuesday morning repelled what could have been a deadly attack by the Boko Haram insurgents in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the insurgents came into the town at about 5am, but met a strong Army, which battled them out.
It could be observed, however, that tension was very high in Maiduguri, to the effect that students of the University of Maiduguri had to undergo serious checks by security operatives before they were allowed into the campus.
A ban on students entering the campus with vehicles was also imposed, as only lecturers were allowed into the institution with their vehicles after rigorous checking and identification.
The Civilian JTF also were put on red alert, as rumour had it that female suicide bombers now prowl Maiduguri with the intention of detonating bombs at large gatherings.
It will be recalled that already, four female suicide bombers had claimed the lives of over 100 people in two incidents at the Maiduguri Monday Market recently.
Speaking to one of the security operatives at the Gate Two of the University of Maiduguri, he said a successful attack on Konduga meant the insurgents could easily take over Maiduguri as they attempted to do in Damaturu, Yobe State on Monday.
According to him, the soldiers were doing everything possible to ensure that the insurgents did not get the slightest opportunity of launching an attack on Maiduguri.
BOKO HARAM: A middle-aged man suspected to be a suicide bomber was on Tuesday afternoon mobbed to death while trying to detonate a bag loaded with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the popular Gombe line bus park in the heart of Gombe town.
Eye witness account said that the suspect tried to force his way through the main gate of the bus park with his bag when security personnel were screening passengers, and was immediately caught by angry youths and set on fire after the explosives were found to have been carefully arranged in the bag and ready for detonation.
The state Police Commissioner, Abdullahi Kudu Mna, who arrived the scene almost
immediately, told reporters that the explosion could have been devastating if it had gone off at the same location where about 10 persons died after a bomb exploded barely three weeks ago.
According to him, he was pleased with the response of the Police and other security outfits even though the suspect was mobbed to death by the angry youths.
He explained that the man tried to force himself into the park even when the security men at the gate insisted that his bag must be searched. This made onlookers suspicious prompted them to pounce on the suspect and then the mob action took place.
He said items found in the suspect’s bag included five components of rocket-propelled grenades and other forms of ammunition .The police had since cordoned off the area and dispersed onlookers from the place.
He also cautioned members of the public to be more alert and security conscious.
Less than three weeks ago, a bomb was detonated in the park killing no fewer that 10 persons in the morning when business at the park was at its peak.
Nigeria’s islamic extremist sect, Boko Haram have released a recent video to AFP. The video shows the leader of the sect teaching the residents of the city they had captured in the Northern part of Nigeria while another clip of the video shows the residents of the city being entertained by Boko Haram insurgents. The fact that Boko Haram members can move freely on the streets of Nigeria spells danger for the rest of Nigerians.
A witness said the explosion occurred at about 4pm.
Emaba Plaza is a busy shopping mall in the highbrow area of
Nigeria’s capital city, on Aminu kano crescent.
The explosion apparently occurred at the gate of the busy plaza.
many cars are still ablaze. Emergency workers are still arriving
The explosion occurred on a day Nigeria is playing Argentina in the FIFA world cup going on in Brazil.
More details later.
“…..To revive the rail system in the country 2- To complete Lagos to Jebba rail project 3-To intervene and revitalize the moribund Nigeria Machine Tools and other infrastructure owned by the federal government. 4-Government has budgeted N50b for job development and infrastructure *To modernize the ports *To complete the second River Niger bridge before the expiration of the tenure *To make the Minister of Works to immediately start repairs of the road leading to Murtala Mohammed International Airport 5-To transform all major routes in Damaturu to federal roads *To assist in resuscitating all the collapsed industries in Kano state”…. “To address the issues of unemployment through diversification of the nation’s economy to that of sustainable agricultural development across the 36 states of federation 21-To reduce production cost by inviting manufacturers of high demand commodities in the country to set up production factories in the country 22-To get industries in Lagos up and running, also bring industries to the Niger Delta…” and many more.
Jonathan is responsible for not fulfilling his promises. Nigerians are equally responsible. The real power of a state does not rest with the government, but with the people. If you voted for a legislator for money, you are responsible. If you are a legislator and you paid for vote, you are responsible. If you are a member of the press and you fail to inform the people or campaign for a more free press, you are responsible. If you do not vote, you are responsible. If you are a member of the executive and you are not transparent, you are corrupt. If you are a law enforcement agent and you receive corrupt payments, you are responsible. If you vote for people with no checkable employment history or known business, you are responsible.
I believe that responsibility for failure should be borne at the top. Accordingly, a nation is ever built or rebuilt from the bottom and therefore change can only come from the bottom and not from the top. Jonathan’s perception of the problem at hand was illusive and I believe he ought to have known that to achieve those objectives would require first, creating conditions that would enable the implementation of those policies. This can only be done through creating avenues of informing and empowering the people. This is where Nigerian press have failed.
The fight against corruption can only be won by the people, with the press as champions of accountability and with tough legislations billed from the house. This therefore, de-emphasises the power of the executive. Jonathan I am sure is a good man with the right ambitions. But, if we are to confront the challenges ever faced by Nigeria, we must begin from our communities, and unify against our community challenges; then encourage others and other communities to do the same. In this way, we would have begun to build a nation of our ideals; with the power to make changes and influence government decisions. But we need leadership from the bottom, at community levels. Unfortunately, our intentions at community levels are usually distracted and undermined through selfish power struggles that care less about the greater good and more about self interest in the short term. This is the very culture that sustains the degree of corruption in our country today. I contend that many Nigerian leaders’ understanding of corruption problems is misconceived. They understand it as just a crime. But it is not just a crime, it is a culture. It is only if and when corruption is recognized as a culture can we approach the problem with any reasonable prospect of success. From criminological perspective, crimes sustained by culture including terrorism require a situational approach of inducing public condemnation and shame along side severe punishment to those that commit such deadly crimes. Any approach must be accompanied by political and economic intervention aimed at job creation, dignity of labour (better conditions of work) and reasonable living wage to all public workers. If Nigeria were to begin these processes today, it can take up to 10years to realise. As far as I can see, Nigeria has yet to begin.
I have read reports of Nigerian government paying millions of dollars to foreign security consultants who promise the country that they would deal with Boko Haram in 12 months. As far as I can see there is yet to be a strategy for dealing with terrorism and other organized crimes, like kidnapping in Nigeria. The fight against these crimes cannot be fought in isolation with corruption. Terrorism and kidnapping are dangerously entangled with corruption in the Nigerian security context. I can confidently predict that Nigeria’s sugar coated approach to terrorism in isolation with the underlying corruption, economic and political problems could finally bankrupt the nation within 10 years.
To deal with our security problems, Nigerian police and policing must be restructured and reorganized to meet the security challenges of this century. I know many reorganizations of the police force have taken place in recent times; but moves lack strategic thinking.
Without a doubt, Nigeria has been thrown off balance by the new wave of crime and terrorism. Plural policing and expansion of the Nigerian private security industry has never been more urgent. To this end, Nigeria must relax company formation rules and encourage entrepreneurship in order to stimulate the growth of more indigenous corporations able to compete nationally and internationally with foreign counterparts. In this way it is possible to develop the Nigerian private sector and decrease over-dependence on foreign contractors or consultants who may not commit to any long-term strategic security plan. This will then ensure the stability of a strategic security plan to deal with the security challenges faced by Nigeria and Nigerians and facilitate intelligence gathering through job creation for young people.
Terrorists are faceless. Regardless of what their motivations could be, it is important to deal with the obvious problem – terrorism by dealing with the injustices of our time – poverty. Participatory democracy that recognizes the role of a free media, engaged with the business of informing the people and holding the government to account on behalf of the citizens. Nigeria will then become a nation with intellectually stimulated citizens. In reality, this will result in opposition of or support for the government; and both are necessary.
At present Nigeria has no structure. In this century and age of globalization and free market economy, country with poor political, economic, social and security structure will benefit less from all that globalization have to offer. In this present world, it is easier for the most powerful nations to filter the ills that come with globalization or displace them to unprepared nations to deal with. The ill of this new way of life in this century is corruption and countries that have no mechanism for dealing with or managing the problem will die. So far, in my opinion, Pakistan and Nigeria are in the same league and these two nations top corruption league as well, in the world today.
The world is neither more secure nor less secure today compared to the past years. The end of world war II was followed by cold war. The UK, America, Russia and some other G-8 Nations faced a different threat during the cold war – the threat of subversion and overthrow of government by other enemy states and state sponsorship of terrorism. This threat changed following 9/11 attack and the world united against a common enemy, the non-state terrorists we know today. This is what they mean when they say that the US and the UK are saferand the world is safer today. As these nations have better resources and are better prepared, terrorism has been displaced to countries that are considered easier targets as the terrorists continue to redefine and modify their interpretation of who their enemies are. Their original enemies were the US and the West. Now their new enemies are anybody or anything associated with the America and the West (justified through wrongful interpretation of the takfir doctrine in the Sharia as Haram) as it became increasingly unlikely that they would successfully carryout another atrocity in American or UK soil.
The reason for this brief narrative is to educate Nigerians on the sort of enemy Nigeria as a nation is up against and that there exists no quick-fix. It is therefore in the interest of all Nigerians to help solve this problem through democratic involvement. Goodluck Jonathan is just one man. But as a leader, he is responsible for uniting us all against these problems and creating the conditions that encourage participatory democracy through transparency and governance.
Finally, it is important to clarify that the level of corruption as used in this article is beyond that of a student bribing a teacher or police collecting ‘egunje’ or public servants collecting private fees to do what they are already paid by the state for. The corruption at the back of my mind is at the high level and includes international payments from foreign private organizations to Nigerian public officials to facilitate transactions or negotiations and the power or influence of non-state actors on the government or government agencies for personal political, economic or social gain; minority of law enforcement agents helping criminals or terrorists for personal gains. Foreign governments employing private organizations to negotiate deals with the Nigerian government. This problem is bigger than one man; especially one that enjoys life and cares less about the future of the country. But whenever solved, Nigeria could be in a position to compete with any other world power, given our population, diversity, landmass and natural resources. And Nigerians will become what they are created to be – free and independent.
God Bless Nigeria.
Chike Onyeari writes from London.