In 2012, while Nigerians were on the street protesting over fuel subsidy removal, a British based 42 year old man was been arraigned in UK over the shipping of 80,000 rifles and pistols and 32 million rounds of ammunition to Nigeria. The shipment included 40,000 AK47 assault rifles, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 9mm pistols.
According to a report by the BBC, the man whose name was given as Gary Hyde, shipped these huge arm cache without receiving permission from the relevant government department in the UK.
Gary Hyde was not alone in this deal. It was carried out with his business partner Karl Kleber, a German national based in Germany, the court was told.
The pair acted as middle men between two Polish companies acting for the Nigerian buyers and Chinese companies, the court heard, according to the BBC report. Both men received commission payments for the deals totaling around $1.3m (£840,000) or N351 million.The story apparently left several questions unanswered. Who were the Nigerian buyers? Were these guns really delivered to Nigeria eventually?
It is also interesting that since this story broke out in the British media, the Nigerian government has not come out with any specific statement on it. Were these weapons imported by the Nigerian government? If they were not imported by the Nigerian government, have they made any efforts to trace the importers of these large numbers of weapons into the country? Thirty two million rounds of ammunition are enough to kill thirty two million Nigerians, assuming each bullet will kill a Nigerian? This may be an exaggeration, but there is no doubt that if there is this amount of guns and ammunition out there outside the control of the government, then every Nigerian has a serious course to be worried at this time.
The reputation of Gary Hyde, the man at the centre of the storm shows that Nigerians have to be concerned that he has set his eyes on supplying arms to the country. A report in February 2011, in The Observer in UK shows that Hyde is also facing charges in the US for smuggling arms into the country. The Observer describes him as “Britain’s very own lord of war; an international arms dealer, whose chief currency is the AK-47 assault rifle”
The Observer reports that US officials arrested Hyde in connection with the alleged illegal import into the US of almost 6,000 Chinese-produced AK-47 magazines, each capable of holding up to 75 rounds of ammunition.
The Observer also quotes a Wikileaks release of confidential US embassy cables which shows that in 2008 York Guns, where Gary Hyde is a director, tried to ship 130,000 of the assault rifles to Libya. The WikiLeaks revelation shows that Gary Hyde through his company acted as an intermediary between an unidentified Ukrainian arms manufacturer and Libyan officials. “The size of the deal raised eyebrows in diplomatic circles, as Libya has only 70,000 ground-force troops and these would be unlikely to use a weapon as dated as the AK-47. The cable noted that the export licence was rejected because the “UK is concerned that the intention may be to re-export the weapons, particularly to armed rebel factions backed by Khartoum and/or Ndjamena in the Chad/Sudan conflict”.
What emerges from these reports is that the two men now being named in connection with supply of arms to Nigeria should raise serious concerns in Nigeria. Have they supplied some other arms into the country, that the authorities are not aware?
The concern becomes even more real considering the fact that at the same time Gary Hyde was beEN arraigned in UK, the Ghanaian authorities intercepted a truck loaded with arms and ammunitions heading to Nigeria. The ammunitions included pump action rifles and live rounds. These arrests are coming at time the Boko Haram insurgence is getting worse in Northern Nigeria as bombs explode on almost on daily basis and masked men go on killing spree with sophisticated weapons.
The activities of Boko Haram, the penetration of eastern Nigeria by Boko Haram insurgents is no doubt raising serious concerns and fears of retaliation from other ethnic groups. Could this inflow of arms be linked to ethnic groups arming themselves? Are they arming themselves to defend themselves or to go on the offensive?
Is this how the west planned to waste Nigeria and Africa by extension?
UPDATE ON FLIGHT MH370: Official police investigation ‘identifies captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah as prime suspect over plane’s disappearance’
Malaysian cops discovered that married dad of three Shah, 53, appeared to have made NO social or work commitments for the future, unlike other members of his crew, the Sunday Times reports.
Their probe also found that he had programmed a flight simulator with drills practising a flight far out into the southern Indian Ocean and landing on a island with a short runway, the paper claims.
The drills were said to have been deleted but later recovered by computer experts.
Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China.
There were 239 passengers and crew members on board.
To date, no trace of the Boeing 777 has been found.
Sserubiri Africa Uhuru – A proper definition of any people must relate them to their ancestral land, their culture and their history. The central factor in the formation of identity is the interaction of people with their environment, especially an interaction with their land, which produces culture. At the very basis of culture are commonly held values that historically arose from the interaction between people and their ancestral land.
A people’s history is their story, the record of what they did and how they did what they did. The combination of all of these factors produces identity, which is the primary marker of origin, belonging and distinctiveness and the major factor in the proper orientation of a people in the world. An Afrikan is therefore a person who shares with others a common geographical origin and ownership of, and spiritual attachment to their ancestral land known as the continent of Afrika, certain physical characteristics, a common history, a common set of cultural values and consequently a common worldview, a common heritage and common economic, political and social interests. These core characteristics which amount to a specific identity set Afrikans apart from other peoples.
The search for an African identity began with Pan Africanism, a movement, which spread out to take different forms. The young generation, and perhaps the rural population of Africa might conceptually know little about the upsurge of the movements for promoting Pan Africanism, African personality, African Humanism, Ujamaa, Negritude, Consciencism, etc. Different disciplines, such as African Theology, African philosophy, African History, African literature, African art, to mention only a few of them, are a historical product of the search for an “African identity”, and are related to Pan Africanism. Communal and personal developments in Africa are threatened. Greed for wealth and misuse of power, individualism and so forth, could become the death-knell of our African values and identity.
The content call by African leaders that Africans ought to strive after creating a society that respects its cultural values has been heard many a time. To be able to do this, Africans must first discover themselves so as to be able to venture into the future as a respected people. Africans find themselves in turmoil, and a painful one for that matter. Africans are searching for a future, based on their traditions, but one which at the same time is open to changes and to a new worldview. The African of today is a modern person and feels the full impact, if not the blast, of modern civilization. Many Africans are torn- apart; in some sense, they are “falling apart.” The sense of being double, a split personality, of being half, is felt by many Africans who are influenced by such dualities as; two cultures, two value- systems and two worldviews, African and the Western.
The Pan- African Movement sought to find African roots and to restore African dignity and identity, which had protractedly been shattered during the slave trade and the colonial period. The different movements for promoting African socialism, African Humanism, Negritude, Black Consciousness, Ujamaa, etc. definitely have some of their roots in Pan Africanism. They form part of the inevitable search for an African identity and orientation, that earlier had been emphasized by different African leaders.
The drums and the death toll of African traditions, and African identity can be heard at a distance; hence one another have courageously declared “the death of African tradition.” Any meaningful talk about inculturation, Africanization or indigenization must, and should consider the African identity and worldview seriously, for though history has passed we can learn from it. African traditions convey certain values and some of these values could be useful for modern Africa.
The search for Africa’s contribution to world civilization has had a strong impact upon the academic and religious fields. The different disciplines which have cropped up, such as; African History, African literature, African Art, African philosophy and African Theology, to mention just a few, clearly underline the point. Such attempts need to be understood within historical contexts; the pre-independence period in Africa made it necessary to have hopes and aspirations which were in a sense expressed in the movements for promoting African Socialism, Negritude, etc.
At stake here is the survival of African values and identity. Some Africans are running away from themselves and their traditional past. This has been caused by the rapid intervention of some aspects of western culture i.e. cultural imperialism. Many Africans today believe that the Western value system and world- view are of universal validity, which, as such, must be applicable also to Africa. Many believe that Africans can catch up, and be like people of the “developed” countries. Such mental enslavement is the worst side effect of colonialism and of the uninculturated missionary activity.
A conscious corrective endeavor is required because; whilst it is necessary for us to tell Westerners to develop a less self- centered view of the world, which inevitably places them in an undue position of superiority, we Africans must struggle to come out of our negative ethnocentrism. During the period of the slave trade, colonialism and missionary activity, as well as in the earlier post- independence era, terms like; ‘savage’, ‘pagan’, ‘native’, ‘primitive’, ’tribe’, ’uncivilized’, ’underdeveloped’ were introduced and used in references above all, to Africa and Africans. Such terms, even if they might have had neutral connotation or meaning, are today regarded as being emotionally loaded and as implying a value judgment.
Today, the African continent finds itself in a challenging and critical situation. Pan Africanism, the OAU, African socialism, sensitivity to African personality, African Humanism, Ujamaa, Negritude, Consciencism, and such like, have lost something of their initial pertinence and thrust. Some Africans tend to identify themselves with their ethnic roots, others with their nations, a few with the African continent, others with their political parties, and others with ‘religious belongingness’. Many Africans get confused, when it comes to the question of loyalty; should one be loyal to the state, to the ethnic group, to African traditions, to the family, to a partial form of religion, to ‘modernism’ or to oneself?
Who is an African?
As the cradle of life and the starting journey of humanity everyone can claim to be African. Even the racist Apartheid architects called themselves and their language Afrikaan while they oppressed the black South Africans. The Arab countries of North Africa are full members of the various African continental and regional organizations, while they create exclusive, only Arab Organizations like the UMA (Union of the Maghreb Arab establishment in 1990). What about the Asians of East Africa? To what extent do the Europeans of southern Africa, the Arabs of North Africa and the Asians of East Africa feel African like the black Africans of the continent and in Diaspora do? The answer to this question differs according to which perspective one wants to underline. Some would claim that an African is a person born in or originating from Africa. Others would trace the Africa’s history to the distant past, including the era of slavery and colonialism. Others would see their Africannes in their ethnic and cultural roots; as Igbo, Akan, Ashanti, Galla, Gikuyu, Gandi, and so on.
People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups: tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities, nations, and, at the broadest level, civilizations. … In coping with identity crisis, what counts for people are blood and belief, faith and family. People rally to those with similar ancestry, religion, language, values, and institutions and distance themselves from those with different ones.
As a first step out of that costly error, we must Afrocentrically limit the African identity to those from Africa who have, over the centuries, been singled out as targets for enslavement by the black color of our skins. Hence, whites, European as well as Arab–the very predators who decided to target blacks for racialised chattel enslavement– cannot be legitimately included with us, their prey, just because they‘ve forcibly made themselves our neighbors on the African landmass.
By the Africans, Pan Africanism can legitimately mean only the members of the indigenous populations of Africa who were, for the last 20 centuries, targeted for enslavement by Arabs and Europeans on account of their black skin color. That is the fundamental historical factor. Anybody who is not a biological descendant of these blacks cannot qualify as an African. Perhaps we could make our usage sufficiently distinctive by reserving the term Afrikaan for such indigenous populations and their descendants – until we adopt a name for ourselves from an Afrikan language. In which case, we are interested in Afrikans and after that in Afrika their homeland, and not first in Africa, the continent, and then in Africans those populations of any race whatever that are now located in the African continent, whether black or white, indigenous our exogenous, imperialist predators or their prey. Pan Africanism must therefore, with Black Consciousness rigor, limit its constituency to Afrikans, i.e. Black Africans and their global Diaspora and, provisionally, rename itself Pan Afrikanism. Black Consciousness historical considerations aside, it would be scientifically incorrect to define Afrikans without including the biological/racial factor of black color/phenotype.
Furthermore, just as it is the indigenous Chinese who define who are Chinese, and the indigenous Arabs who define who are Arabs, and the indigenous Europeans who define who are Europeans, so too do we indigenous Africans, a.k.a. Afrikans, have the right and duty to define who are Africans. And if it is in our interest to include a phenotype factor, black skin, in our definition, we must do so, regardless what anybody else thinks. In this regard, we need to note the Chinese example: To the Chinese government, people of Chinese descent, even if citizens of another country, are members of the Chinese community and hence in some measure subject to the authority of the Chinese government. Chinese identity comes to be defined in racial terms. Chinese are those of the same ―race, blood, and culture, as one PRC scholar put it. In the mid- 1990s, this theme was increasingly heard from governmental and private Chinese sources.
For Chinese and those of Chinese descent living in non-Chinese societies, the mirror test thus becomes the test of who they are: ―Go look in the mirror is the admonition of Beijing-oriented Chinese to those of Chinese descent trying to assimilate into foreign societies.
Yes indeed! Arabs and Europeans may be settled in Africa, but that doesn‘t make them Afrikans! Just because a snake has crawled into your bedroom and settled down to rear its young doesn‘t mean you should now count and embrace it as a member of your family. It would be extremely irrational and Afrocidal for Afrikans to accept a non-racial, continentalist concept of their identity.
Sserubiri Africa Uhuru is a columnist with Africa Thisday. He writes from Uganda. All correspondence to: email@example.com
BREAKING NEWS: Britain, China, France, Canada join U.S to offer assistance in communications, logistics, intelligence planning to #BringBackOurGirls:
DAYS of terror in Nigeria may be over soon as countries of the world have joined forces to end the terror of Boko Haram and also help rescue the abducted school girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
A Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Waren, according to Associated Press, said: “There are already about 70 military personnel in Nigeria, including 50 regularly assigned to the embassy, and 20 Marines have been there for training,” Warren said. “And US is sending no fewer than 10 military troops to Nigeria, as part of the US effort to help find over 230 girls kidnapped by the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram”, Warren stated.
The British and French governments, also on Wednesday, said they would send teams of experts to complement the US team heading to Nigeria to help with the search for the girls.
France Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said France was ready to send a “specialized team … to help with the search and rescue.”
President Goodluck Jonathan, reacting to these developments, also said China had offered assistance.
In a similar development, Africa Thisday has confirmed that Canada has indicated interest in helping Nigeria fight against Boko Haram.
Meanwhile, the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria, is now generating worldwide attention and condemnation.
SHOCKING REVELATIONS ABOUT THE MISSING MALAYSIAN FLIGHT MH370..7 WEIRD CONSPIRACY THEORIES ON THE FLIGHT
1: The plane could be in Taliban-controlled regions
Investigators looked at a possibility of the plane being flown to Taliban-controlled bases.
Malaysian authorities sought diplomatic permission to scrutinize Taliban-controlled bases on the borders of Afghanistan and North West Pakistan, the Independent reports.
According to the report, experts said that the plane’s transponders were deliberately disabled by someone of expertise on board, as the plane continued to give out ‘pings’ or satellite signals despite getting off radar.
Meanwhile, the satellite data pointed that the plane was on one of two possible arcs, one stretching north from Thailand to Kazakhstan and crossing more than 10 countries, and one to the south over Indonesia and out across the southern Indian Ocean.
Large areas of the southern half of Afghanistan are ruled by the Afghan Taliban, while some areas of north-west Pakistan, adjacent to or near to the Afghan border, are controlled by the Pakistani Taliban, the report said.
Malaysian officials said that the search area has been significantly expanded and changed, as they were now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries as well as deep and remote oceans and have also requested help from a dozen Asian countries and asked them to provide radar data.
Pakistani civil aviation officials said they had checked their radar recordings and found no sign of the missing jet.
2. Chinese satellites spotted the wreckage
Another “red herring” for the investigators was the satellite imagery released by China, which showed “three suspected floating objects” of varying sizes in a 20-kilometre radius, the largest about 24-by-22 metres off the southern tip of Vietnam.
The images, taken a day after the MH370 went off radar by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, gave coordinates of 105.63 east longitude, 6.7 north latitude, which would put it in waters northeast of where the aircraft took off in Kuala Lumpur, south of Vietnam and close to where the plane lost contact with air traffic control.
Malaysian authorities have, however, rejected the claim. “There is nothing. We went there, there is nothing,” Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
New Zealander Mike McKay, who works on the oil rig Songa Mercur off Vung Tau on the south east coast of Vietnam, claimed he saw the ill-fated flight on fire.
In fact, McKay was so sure about what he saw that he mailed his employers, urging them to pass the information onto authorities.
In his email to his employers on March 12, he claims he saw flames in the sky which quickly extinguished.
“From when I first saw the burning (plane) until the flames went out (still at high altitude) was 10-15 seconds. There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary, or going away from our location,” he wrote.
“The general position of the observation was perpendicular/south west of the normal flight paths. The surface location of the observation is Lat 08 22’ 30.20” N Lat 108 42.22.26” E.”
Vietnamese officials sent a plane to the area to investigate the man’s claims, but the search was fruitless.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that US investigators suspect a missing Malaysian jetliner flew on for four hours once it lost contact with air traffic controllers.
The report said, “Aviation investigators and national security officials believe the plane flew for a total of five hours based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing Co. BA -0.99% 777’s engines as part of a routine maintenance and monitoring programme.”
“That raises a host of new questions and possibilities about what happened aboard the wide body jet carrying 239 people, which vanished from civilian air-traffic control radar over the weekend, about one hour into a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.”
The report adds that while Malaysian authorities have refused to comment on the new data, that “the huge uncertainty about where the plane was headed, and why it apparently continued flying so long without working transponders, has raised theories among investigators that the aircraft may have been commandeered for a reason that appears unclear to US authorities”
The theory involving terrorists gained momentum after two passengers on board MH370 were found to be travelling on stolen passports.
However, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said investigators had determined that one was a 19-year-old Iranian, Pouria Nourmohammadi Mehrdad who was planning to migrate to Germany.
Interpol identified the second man as a 29-year-old Iranian and released an image of the two boarding a plane at the same time. Interpol Secretary General Ronald K Noble said the two men travelled to Malaysia on their Iranian passports, then apparently switched to their stolen Austrian and Italian documents.
But terror angle has still not been ruled out.
Pilot David Learmount, who is operations and safety editor of Flight Global magazine, said: “Something happened and the pilots did not tell anyone. Why? It’s a good question. It’s extraordinary the pilots failed to call because they had plenty of time to. Unless there was a bomb on board but there has been no evidence of that.”
Other groups, however, have claimed responsibility over the last few days, including an unknown Chinese group. An email was sent to various journalists in China, saying: “You kill one of our clan, we will kill 100 of you as payback.”
But officials in Malaysia have said they believe the group’s claim could be a hoax.
6. Passengers’ phones are still ringing
Panic alarms went off when distraught family members heard a dial tone while trying to call their relatives onboard MH370.
Numerous media reports cited instances when phones taken on board the flight were still ringing four days after the plane’s disappearance.
Reports suggest as many as 19 families managed to call phones of their missing loved ones, while the airline itself has got through to some of the missing crew’s handsets.
And even more bizarrely, some social media sites have shown missing passengers as still being ‘online’
But experts are blaming phone networks and carriers for the panic.
“That does not mean the phone you are calling is ringing yet,” wireless analyst Jeff Kagan told NBC News, adding, “”The network is searching for the phone. First based on where it last was, then it expands. Then if the network can’t find the phone, the call terminates.”
7. The invisible aircraft
Conspiracy theorists say terrorists could have cut the transponders, dropped below the radar and flown the plane to an isolated airport somewhere in Vietnam — left over from the Vietnam War.
The plane had at least seven hours worth of fuel on board and this theory is supported by the lack of wreckage.
The theory goes further with the possibility the plane could have been ‘cloaked’, technology that uses a hexagonal array of glasslike panels to bend light around an object.
There are suggestions this theory could be linked to the 20 passengers on board who worked for Texas company Freescale.
Citizen news site, Beforeitsnews.com said: “It is conceivable that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane is “cloaked,” hiding with hi-tech electronic warfare weaponry that exists and is used. In fact, this type of technology is precisely the expertise of Freescale, which has 20 employees on board the missing flight”.
However, Thomas Way, associate professor of computing science at Villanova University, told FoxNews.com: “Invisible to what? We already have stealth aircraft that are invisible to radar (usually), but there is absolutely no way given our current understanding of physics that something could be made invisible to the naked eye… If that’s what they are claiming, it’s a hoax.”
It has become clear to the world that there is something the government of Malaysia is not telling the world. Conspiracy theorists working with Africa Thisday are already brainstorming on the possible background of Flight MH370; the identity and personality of every member of the crew of MH370; their call logs and possible connection to any terrorist group; the GPS location of the phone numbers of the passengers of MH370.