Showing posts with label Muhammadu Buhari. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muhammadu Buhari. Show all posts

Thursday

Opinion Flashback: Muhammadu Buhari - From tyranny to democracy and back again to tyranny

Nigerian soldiers were buried in secret graves
CC™ Viewpoint - By Editor-in-Chief 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to defend President Muhammadu Buhari.

As news of a general descent into lawlessness permeates the Nigerian and indeed global airwaves, the neutral among those that supported Muhammadu Buhari's aspirations for the highest office in Africa, as well as one of the most influential in the world in 2015, have been left rather disappointed and almost embarrassed at the turn of events in the country.

The recent proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) the Shiite Muslim sect in Northern Nigeria by a Fulani president of the Sunni faith, is further proof that PMB's propensity for tyranny was indeed a valid fear harbored by millions of Nigerians before the 2015 elections. This move could not have come at a worse time and adds to the litany of missteps by a man reputed by his military peers for being impatient and reactionary, two traits not conducive to ensuring good judgement as a leader.

When the same Buhari came into power in 2015, this time through the ballot as opposed to the bullet (as he had done in 1983 in overthrowing the late Shehu Shagari), most Nigerians were hopeful that he had learned his lessons and was a more mature, open-minded and cerebral leader. Unfortunately, the decisions that have been made by this administration, from the Fulani herdsmen terror of the Nigerian people that still rages on, to the recent proscription of a religious sect that was demanding the release of their leader (as has been already ordered by the highest court in the land), have left a lot to be desired and the environment is becoming even more fertile for a potential conflict of civil war proportions, if things continue the way they are going.

President Muhammadu Buhari rode the wave of a popular democratic uprising at the polls like has never been seen before in the history of Nigeria and indeed Africa. For the first time ever, an incumbent democratically elected president was defeated at the polls, and Buhari assumed office without a single shot being fired! 

The previous administration under the abjectly clueless Goodluck Jonathan, was an absolute train-wreck and had in fact ceded some Nigerian real estate to the Boko Haram terror group. PMB promised to deliver on security as he was a retired General who had also fought in the Nigerian civil war.

To date, the president has not delivered on that singular promise and if recent reports by the Wall Street Journal are anything to go by, the war is anything but won as PMB recently declared. Things are actually getting worse in the brutal war being waged by Boko Haram and its affiliates, with Nigerian soldiers reportedly being buried in unmarked secret graves. Thus, family members and indeed Nigerians (and possibly the president himself) are being lied to by the military with regard to the true state of things on the war front.

Whether it's the continued detention of the only Christian among the kidnapped Chibok female students - Leah Sharibu (with reports now saying she may have been killed by her captors), while her Muslim peers were all released, the heavy-handed response to IPOB, the selective prosecution of supposed corrupt individuals (while Buhari himself remains surrounded by corrupt benefactors), the equally heavy-handed response to the Shiites in Nigeria (which risks another Boko Haram-like insurgency) while turning a blind eye to the murderous escapades of the Fulani herdsmen, the president has shown a propensity for jaundiced ethno-religious and parochial malfeasance. 

At the last elections in 2019, given the President's vulnerability as a result of his political missteps, if the PDP or any of the opposition parties had fielded a credible candidate, Buhari would have had to resort to massive rigging to stay in office. Some may say he did but Atiku, his main rival lacked the moral fabric or political cache to move the needle across the Nigerian landscape. 

In closing, President Buhari must do better as history will judge him as a man that was given so much but gave back so little, if anything. There needs to be an inquiry by the legislative arm of the government into the report by the Wall Street Journal of Nigerian soldiers being buried in secret graves. There is a good chance that most, if not all of the soldiers being given such a horrendous treatment, are probably from the South or the Middle-Belt (my reliable sources tell me). Nigeria will not survive at this rate and no amount of intimidation by the security forces can stop the impending revolution that will surely follow, if the status quo remains. 

Nigeria as presently constituted, is unsustainable and it is incumbent upon those that truly have the best interest of the nation at heart to stand up and be counted. There is currently a Jihad being waged by the Fulani hegemony in Nigeria (please do not be fooled by the appeals of the Sultan of Sokoto - as he is the third arm of Nigeria's own Third Reich), but it has already failed as these are different times and the people are prepared. If the genocide currently being perpetrated against Christians, Middle-Belters and Southerners continues, not only will Nigeria collapse, but President Buhari and Nasir El-Rufai may end up having a case to answer at the Hague. 

Nigeria must not only survive, but also flourish (as it should) for the good of Africa. 

Wednesday

CC™ Investigative: The Northern "usual suspects" behind Boko Haram as Nigerians search for answers to the violent insurgency

CC™ Investigative
By Tayo Busari

When the late National Security Adviser, Rtd. General Andrew Owoye Azazi  blamed the rise of insurgence by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram in the country on the internal wranglings of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, he naturally made many in the corridors of power uncomfortable, at the time.

Not surprisingly and rather mysteriously, he was "killed" when his helicopter exploded over the skies of Bayelsa State after having been let-go by then President Goodluck Jonathan.

The late General Azazi was obviously privy to information regarding the real details behind Boko Haram. His position as the National Security Adviser at the time, put him at the head of that information. If anyone were to be in the know regarding the real truth behind the upsurge in the Islamic sect's violent insurgence, it had to be someone like Azazi as the nations top security head.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had on several occasions admitted that they knew who was behind Boko Haram, and these were top level officials, mostly of Northern extraction.


Gen. Azazi explicitly declared to his audience, who was behind the unrest. He narrowed it down to the result of ‘unconstitutional’ PDP convention regulations, which determined who could run for President vs who could not run.


He went on further:
"The extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule, Mr B can rule, Mr B cannot rule, according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution {applause} and that created the climate for what has manifest itself, this way. I believe that there is some element of politicization. is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, there will be problems in this society. Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, and in any case how did they get it all done…{warning of Boko Haram becoming snipers – who could potentially target elite}
But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work."
Intelligence sources have informed CC™ that although former President Jonathan knew (and still knows) exactly who the sponsors of Boko Haram are, he lacked the courage and political will to bring them to task as the "usual suspects" were actually aligned with Jonathan on ensuring that he got re-elected in the 2015 elections as long as he (Jonathan) "played ball".

One name did however stand out of the three "usual suspects" CC™ was able to gather credible information about. It was that of then Minister of Defense, Rtd. General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau. 


Gusau was always an ambitious man and those who know him very well not only say he is very "loyal", but they also pointed to a rather glaring trail in his professional dossier - he (Gusau) had always been in the "thick of the action" in just about every administration in Nigeria, from Babangida (a serial coup plotter himself) to Jonathan.


However, one thing always stood out, more-so in the administration of Nigerian Christian leaders from the South, namely Obasanjo and Jonathan; there was always insecurity of a religious nature that he (Gusau) although placed in charge of managing, had seemingly always found a way to allow spiral out of control. 


Gusau's history with Boko Haram is a rather interesting one. According to  TheNationOnline, 01/01/2012, "hardline allies of Jonathan’s went further, suggesting that northern rivals within the PDP – such as Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Mohammed Gusau – have covert ties to Boko Haram." Ironically, Jonathan however continued to have the ear and vice-versa of Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau.


Earlier as the NSA under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gusau had told Obasanjo that "there was no evidence of such a group as Boko Haram in 2006 although there had been evidence to the contrary as far back as 2005. 


Here is an excerpt:

PMNews, September 14, 2011: Sources, however, indicated that the Azazi’s predecessor as NSA cannot be absolved of blame. It was gathered that the the issue of al-Qaeda affiliated cells in the North-East part of the country was pointed out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo as far back as 2006. It was noted for instance that Boko Haram, termed the “Nigerian Taliban”, had been operating in the clear since 2005 when General Aliyu Gusau (rtd.) was NSA. The former president was said to have in turn asked Gusau to investigate the issue. But Gusau, according to reports, told Obasanjo that no such group existed in the country.It was gathered that the same issue of Taliban presence in Nigeria was raised with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in July 2007. “Goodluck Jonathan became President of Nigeria upon the death of Umaru Yar’Adua in May 2010. Former NSA Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was once again made National Security Adviser. Gusau could not possibly have missed the threat of Boko Haram. If his security operatives failed to raise the matter in their reports then the public statements released by Boko Haram and printed verbatim in Nigeria’s national newspapers should have raised questions from the NSA, if not alarm,” said Steven Davis, a public commentator. “The handling of the Boko Haram matter while Gusau was NSA resulted in a dramatic escalation in the conflict to the stage that it threatened the nation’s security,” he added.
Many media articles accused Aliyu Mohammed Gusau et al of being the terror mastermind(s) behind Boko Haram. 

An arms cache at the time in Kano with Hezbollah agents was linked to him and according to sources, he was under investigation with the result once again swept under the rug. 


It was under Gusau as NSA that Boko Haram acquired all their weapons and reigned terror. Gusau did nothing to check these terrorists. He even, according to Steven Davis as reported in PM News on Sept. 14, 2011, protected Boko Haram by telling then President Obasanjo that the group did not exist. 


This, despite series of attacks by the group. Gusau did not make any security report on the group, then called “Nigerian Taliban,” the paper alleges and Gusau even ordered the release of captured terrorists on the request of some Northern leaders, namely the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III, a former security detail of former dictator, Rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida. 


This is not surprising as Sultan Abubakar is on record as having condemned the crackdown on Boko Haram.


In his capacity as NSA (three times to be precise) in Nigeria’s history, Gusau failed woefully and invariably assisted Boko Haram in becoming the menace they now are, with hundreds of thousands of deaths to their credit to date.
It remains puzzling that Jonathan appointed a man who actually retired as NSA to contest for the Nigerian Presidency against him (Jonathan), as Defense Minister when everything pointed to the fact that Gusau, in addition to being grossly inept (as his record had shown), had a history of being "soft" in his response to Islamic militant insurgencies in the past and was therefore not the logical answer to ensuring the outright defeat of Boko Haram.
Gusau and his Northern mischief makers, who are nothing short of avaricious predators, are now witnessing the proverbial chicken coming home to roost, with the recent trend of events.
The fact remains that Northern feudalism and its staunch protagonists remain the secret hands behind Boko Haram, the Fulani Herdsmen terrorists and all Islamic fundamentalist movements. President Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and Nasir El-Rufai, just to name a few, are the incumbent facilitators of these violent and murderous terrorists. That is a fact!
Asking the thief to watch the house is essentially what Nigerians are doing, by expecting this current administration to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.
The soft response (born out of parochial mischief) of the Buhari administration to the menace of the Fulani and Islamic terrorists, while at the same time engaging in extra-judicial killings of IPOB members in the South-East of Nigeria, is evidence of a clandestine acquiescence to the activities of the Northern terrorists by the Buhari government. 

Sunday

Buhari apologises for inflicting pain, suffering on Nigerians


CC™ Politico News

Outgoing Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari has apologized to Nigerians who found themselves on the receiving end of some of the policies his government implemented in the last eight years.

The President tendered the apology in his farewell broadcast to Nigerians as the Commander-in-Chief, aired on the morning of Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Buhari is gearing up to hand over power to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in less than 24 hours and took out time to reflect on his eight years in office.

While thanking Nigerians for supporting his government, the President claimed he's leaving the country better than he met it when he came into office in 2015.

He claimed that most of the economic policies pursued by his government have yielded the desired results even though he admitted that such policies caused Nigerians a great deal of pain and suffering and apologised accordingly.

Buhari said, "In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologise to my fellow countrymen but the measures were taken for the overall good of the country."

The President also claimed that his government provided millions of job opportunities for Nigerians, while the nation achieved self-sustainability in food production among others all thanks to his policy interventions.

He said he's leaving the office as a fulfilled person due to some of the strides his government made to reposition Nigeria for future development and urged the people to rally behind the incoming administration so that the country can capitalise on the foundation his government has put in place.


PULSE.NG

Saturday

Tinubu inherits negative growth, non-performing sectors


CC™ Africa News

As President Muhammadu Buhari hands over the reins of the economy to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the scorecard seems overwhelmingly negative.

Key macroeconomic indicators are all in the red, with most of them far weaker than what was handed over to the outgoing regime in 2015.

From inflation figures to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exchange rates; from the money market performance through the entire financial markets and the real sector, the story is gory.

Headline inflation rose to 22.2 per cent in April 2023, the highest in 18 years. Buhari inherited a single digit inflation rate at 9.0 percent in June 2015, and he is set to hand over to Tinubu a second tier double digit inflation which is still trending up as at the time of this report.

This reflects the steady rise in prices of goods and services under Buhari occasioned by a number of wrong-headed or badly implemented policies including foreign exchange restriction on 43 items, border closure, farmers/herders clash, post-COVID supply chain bottlenecks as well as the most recent Naira redesign debacle, among others.

Consequently, the average headline inflation in the eight years of Buhari tenure rose to 14.77 per cent, up by 447 basis points from 10.3 per cent in the previous eight years, 2007 to 2014.

Of course this escalated the misery index across larger section of the citizens.

The GDP numbers through the previous eight years before Buhari took over in the second quarter of 2015 had averaged 4.8 percent.

As of the time the Buhari administration took off in the second quarter of 2015, Q2’15, the economy growth rate had slowed down to around 3.57 percent due to the oil price crises that had started a year earlier.

However, the high expectations that the economy is going to be revived quickly vanished when the new administration slumbered in setting up the cabinet and the subsequent economic management team that was expected to steer the ship away from the troubled waters.

Consequently, this lethargy littered the entire spectrum of the subsequent years, bringing the GDP numbers to one of the worst in history recording two recessions and an average of 1.2 percent growth.

Tinubu is inheriting a sluggish economy.

Mirroring the steady rise in inflation under Buhari, the benchmark interest rate, the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, rose by 500 basis points, bpts, to 18 per cent in March 2023, as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, moved to curb inflation.

Consequently, the maximum interest rate rose by 137 bpts to 28.08 per cent at the end of March 2023, from 26.71 per cent at the end of 2015. The Prime Lending rate, however, dropped by 295 bpts to 13.9 per cent from 16.85 per cent.

Tinubu is inheriting a high cost economic environment.

In the eight years of Buhari, the naira depreciated by 245 per cent and 135 per cent in the parallel market and in the official market respectively.

While the official exchange rate rose to N465.13 per dollar on May 17, 2023, from N198 per dollar on May 31, 2015, the parallel market exchange rate rose to N748 per dollar on May 17, 2023 from N217 per dollar on May 31, 2015.

Consequently, the premium between the two exchange rates widened to N279.87 on May 16, 2023, from N19 on May 31, 2015, the widest in the history of the country’s foreign exchange market.

Notwithstanding the decline in net foreign exchange, the nation’s external reserves rose to $35.19 billion at the end of May 16, 2023 from $28.28 billion at the end of 2015, translating to an increase of 24 per cent during the eight years period.

However, discounted for the $30.97 billion increase in external debt during this period, the external reserves will decline to $4.22 billion, hence a decline of 85 per cent in the eight years of Buhari.

How Buhari’s deficit budgeting hands fiscal albatross to Tinubu

The deficit budgeting strategy of the administration of the out-going President has created a fiscal albatross for the incoming administration.

The Federal Government deficit in 2016 was slightly above N2 trillion, but this has risen to over N12 trillion in the current fiscal year.

This follows a consistent pattern of weak revenue generation at the backdrop of propensity to spend more than earnings.

With poor revenue records and expansionary budget outlays, Buhari has consistently borrowed to fund the government budgets since assumption of office.

The National Assembly has also encouraged the borrowing to fund budget deficit from both domestic and external sources.

By 2015, out of the $65.428 billion public debt of the nation, the Federal Government debt was $44.857 billion or N8. 836 trillion

It consisted of $10.718 billion external debt while domestic debt was N8.836 trillion.

But as of December 2022, the total public debt stock of the nation had risen to $103.110 billion or N46.250 trillion.

Analysis of the detailed debt stock as of last year end shows that the external debt stood at $41.694 billion or N16.703 trillion while states and the Federal Capital Territory external debt stood at $4.456 billion.

At $61.415 billion or N 27.548 trillion, domestic debt accounted for 59.56 percent of the total debt stock. Out of that figure the Federal Government owed $ 49.515 billion or N22.210 trillion while states and the FCT owed $11.900 billion or N5.337 trillion.

Tinubu inherits tottering capital market

Resilience

Elsewhere across the entire financial sector, the story is almost the same, except for some resilience in the capital market.

In the negative principally is the exit of foreign investors in the capital market responding to the adverse macroeconomic and policy environment.

Foreign investors’ participation which hitherto accounted for more than 60 per cent of transactions in the Nigerian stock market went south between May 2015 and 2023.

But the secondary market for equities defied these realities and surged by 52.8 per cent.

The NGX under Buhari administration, is, therefore, marked by significant periods of highs and lows.

When the President took over office in 2015, the market capitalization of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), formerly the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was N16.88 trillion (equities 69.1% or N11.66trn, bonds and others 30.9%).

By May 16, 2023, the market capitalization had risen to N60.05 trillion comprising equities (N28.523trn), bonds (N22.390trn) and Exchange Traded Fund, ETF (N9.137bn).

Notwithstanding this increase, the ratio of equities market capitalization to GDP remains paltry at about 15 percent, an indication that the capital market is not really integrated with the economy.

Also, the main performance indicator of the NGX, the All Share Index (ASI), advanced to 52,419.33 points from 34,310.37 points, representing a 52.8 percent increase.

However, the positive scores in the capital market in the past eight years include few new listings in the exchange.

2019, particularly, saw the listing of blue chip companies. As one of the settlement terms with the Federal Government for infraction, MTN was compelled to list on NGX. The listing encouraged Airtel Africa, another telecoms giant, to also list, thereby shooting up the market capitalization of equities to over N19 trillion. Prior to the listing of the two telecom giants, Notore Chemicals had listed in 2018. Since then, other major companies, including Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO), BUA Cement, BUA Foods and Geregu Power, the first energy company to access the stock market, were listed.

Under the Buhari administration, several elite products were introduced in an effort to deepen the market.

More so, the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) segment of the capital market was revived and the products are now traded on the stock exchange. More Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and recently launched Exchange Traded Derivatives have emerged in the Nigerian capital market. With the rollout of Exchange Traded Derivatives, a critical financial market infrastructure, called Central Counterparty (CCP) for clearing, settlement and delivery, was set up by NGX and the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

In 2015, three new indices were launched, including the Premium Board Index, Pension Index and the Main Board Index.

During the eight years of Buhari, foreign investors’ confidence in the market took a nosedive. When he took office in 2015, foreign investors’ participation at NGX was 54%. But by the end of 2022, their participation, fuelled by foreign exchange (forex) scarcity and capital controls by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had fallen to 17 percent. This has kept many foreign investments trapped in Nigeria.

While there have been a number of new listings, the spate of delisting outweighed the former. While there were a total of seven new companies got listed, not less than 40 companies exited the market either through regulatory or voluntary delisting.

Since the 2008/2009 capital market crash, the primary market for equities has been dormant. Eight years of the Buhari administration failed to revive the primary market for equities. Other than the PO by MTN, there was practically no other equities public offering throughout the eight years of the President’s tenure.

Weak insurance sector

At the inception of the Buhari administration in 2015, the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, the regulatory body for insurance practice in the country, in collaboration with insurance operators, had set out to achieve some targets in the course of the administration.

The set targets include the insurance sector hitting a trillion naira mark in Gross Premium Written, GPW; enforcement of compulsory insurance; eradication of fake insurance; recapitalisation of underwriting firms; passage of the Consolidated Insurance Bill; regular payment of group life premium for civil servants; increase of third party motor insurance premium, etc.

However, the combined effects of adverse macroeconomic environment and rising poverty diminished the results of the efforts by both the sector regulators and operators.

In 2015, total industry Gross Premium Written, GPW, was N289 billion and, according to NAICOM, the GPW is highly inadequate to underwrite huge ticket risks such as oil & gas and aviation. The Commission, therefore, set out modalities to achieve one trillion GPW in the course of the administration.

However, by December 2022, industry GPW stood at N532.7 billion, a far cry from the N1 trillion projection.

NAICOM, in collaboration with industry operators, had put the machinery in place to enforce the compulsory insurances.

Insurance operators worry that insurance penetration will continue to be low if they remain within comfort zones without expanding the business to the nooks and crannies of the country.

Unfortunately, as this administration winds down, enforcement of the compulsory insurance policies is still a far cry from expectation.

According to experts, the insurance sector loses over N60 billion to fake insurance racketeers annually.

Although NAICOM has taken some steps to curb the spread of fake insurance policies, the menace persists albeit on a declining scale.

Before the administration came, the Consolidated Insurance Bill had been awaiting passage in the National Assembly.

In the course of the administration, the Bill continued to gather dust even as the sector made series of efforts to fast-track its passage.

The Bill is aimed to make insurance practice conform to the ideals of contemporary insurance practice as well as align the insurance sector with the powers of other financial regulators in the country.

Unfortunately, the Buhari administration did not do justice to the Bill.

On the positive note, the administration inherited non-payment of premium for compulsory group life for Federal Government workers from the previous administration.

The implication was that many government workers died in active service with no compensation from the group life insurance scheme, except where government decides to pay compensation from its treasury.

The development elicited outcry from insurance stakeholders as they called on government to give more attention to group life insurance scheme, stressing that the scheme remains one of the ways the government can cater for workers’ risk liabilities.

However, the administration resumed payment of group life premium for civil servants.

Accordingly, the administration on annual basis pays premium of N5.4 billion for the group life cover.


VANGUARD

Sunday

Buhari’s legacy of terror and bloodshed as Fulani Herdsmen terrorize communities in Plateau State


CC™ ViewPoint

Global News Desk

Intercommunal conflict has killed hundreds of people in recent years in Nigeria’s ethnically and religiously diverse Middle Belt region.

The death toll from fighting between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s north-central state of Plateau has risen above 100 with locals searching in the bush for more bodies, residents and local authorities say.

Gunmen stormed villages and burned several houses in the Mangu area on Tuesday with at least 20 people initially estimated to have died, mostly women and children.

The violence was in reprisal for farmers killing a herder and his cattle who had encroached on their land last month, local herder Bello Yahaya said on Friday.

Mangu local government chairman Minista Daniel Daput said a mass burial had been conducted for about 50 people. Residents said another 50 were to be buried on Friday and they were looking for more missing people in the surrounding bush.

Plateau is one of several ethnically and religiously diverse hinterland states known as Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where intercommunal conflict has killed hundreds of people in recent years.

The violence is often painted as an ethno-religious conflict between nomadic Muslim herders – mostly ethnic Fulani – and mainly Christian Indigenous farmers. However, experts say climate change and expanding agriculture have also exacerbated the conflict.

Makut Simon Macham, a spokesperson for Plateau’s governor, said authorities were assessing the situation and would prosecute suspects, but he could not give casualty numbers.

REUTERS

Saturday

Fela Died Of Poison From Nigerian Government, Not AIDS - Dede Mabiaku

Sani Abacha (L) 

CC™ ViewPoint

By Wale Adedayo

Dede Mabiaku, a close friend of the late Nigerian Afrobeat musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, has stated that the Afrobeats icon died from a lethal injection by the Nigerian Government, and not from HIV/AIDS as had been previously speculated.

Mabiaku said Fela had told him and his (Fela’s) youngest son, Seun Kuti, about his suspicions that he had been injected with “something” while in the custody of the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, during the draconian reign of the then military dictator, General Sani Abacha.

Mabiaku, a protégée of the late musician, says he is concerned that history might repeat itself with the continued detention of Fela’s son, Seun Kuti, by the Buhari administration. 

He stated, “they injected him (Fela) while he was in their custody, and why no one has raised this matter since then is surprising to me.

“Fela never knew what they injected him with. He just felt something and asked us whether we’ve seen him sleep face-down before and we said no. And he asked us how come it happened, showing us his side and saying he feels like he was injected with something.

“We need to be real with ourselves and ask questions when things don’t seem right. The Nigerian government is an oppressive one. So many people have died mysteriously while or after having being in custody of this wicked government. We must never forget and keep fighting.”

Thursday

Nigeria’s Stone Age President to spend additional week in London at the behest of a European Dentist

CC™ Nigeria News

By Seyi Ariwoola

President Muhammadu Buhari has added an additional week to his stay in London over an appointment with his dentist.Apparently, over the course of his rudderless 8 years in office, things have deteriorated so much that he can’t find a single dentist in Nigeria to care for his oral hygiene needs. 

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced this in a statement on Tuesday evening.

The president was supposed to return to the country this week after travelling to the United Kingdom last week to attend the coronation of King Charles III.

Giving an update on Buhari’s UK trip in a news release, Adesina said Buhari was currently undergoing dental care.

President Muhammadu Buhari will be in London, United Kingdom, for an additional week, at the behest of his Dentist, who has started attending to him,” he said.

“The specialist requires to see the President in another five days for a procedure already commenced.”

Adesina added: “President Buhari had joined other world leaders to attend the coronation of King Charles III on May 6, 2023.”

Saturday

Is Nigeria On The Brink Of A Civil War?

CC™ VideoScope

Peter Obi reacts to Buhari’s postponement of National Population Census

Buhari betrayed Jonathan’s Legacy

CC™ Global News

By Gboyega Sowemimo

Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Peter Gregory Obi, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to postpone the 2023 Population and Housing Census, earlier scheduled for May 3-7 2023.

Buhari in a press statement signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Saturday, officially approved the census postponement.

Mohammed revealed that Buhari gave the approval after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday.

According to the minister, President Buhari approved that a new date would be determined by the incoming administration.

Reacting via Twitter on Saturday, Peter Obi described Buhari’s decision as a welcome development, stressing that National Census is a critical development and nation-building tool.

Obi tweeted: “FGN’s decision to postpone the 2023 Population and Housing Census, scheduled for 3-7 May 2023, to a date to be determined by the incoming Administration is a propitious and welcome development. National Census is a critical development and nation-building tool”

It is imperative that the next National Population Census is done right, with a view to addressing past concerns of the exercise being manipulated to favor a certain region of the country. 

Thursday

Nigeria Completes Gas Pipeline Without Chinese Funds


CC™ Energy News

By Charles Kennedy

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has used around $1.1 billion of its own funds so far and has completed work on 70% of a large natural gas pipeline in Nigeria even after a Chinese loan for the project failed to materialize.

Nigeria's federal government announced in July 2020 that the Bank of China and Sinosure had agreed to finance part of the costs for constructing the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline to the economic hub in the north, Kano. In the summer of 2021, reports started swirling that Chinese lenders were reluctant to increase their exposure and finance part of the gas pipeline project estimated to cost $2.8 billion.

Nigeria has started to look for alternative funding for at least US$1 billion of the pipeline's cost and has started to approach other lenders, including export-import credit institutions, sources told Reuters two years ago.

This week, NNPC Group chief executive, Mele Kyari, said on a site inspection that the AKK Gas Pipeline project was nearly 70% completed, and more than $1.1 billion has been released so far to finance the project. The pipeline is planned to run for 614 kilometers (382 miles) and is currently being financed by the NNPC.

The AKK Gas Pipeline line will flow 2 Bscf/d and will power industries and power plants and create gas-based industries, Kyari said. By the third quarter of this year, NNPC will complete the entire welding job on this line, he said while visiting a construction site along the pipeline's route. 

“We have so far spent over $1.1 billion on this project from our cashflow," NNPC's Kyari said.

"We are a commercial company today. We have inter-company loans within our company now. This company can fund this project, so we do not need any support to deliver this project now."

Oilprice.com

Friday

Don’t vote politicians who’ll drag Nigeria back to dark ages, Buhari tells Nigerians


CC™ Global News

“Ironic, considering that is exactly what he (Buhari) basically did…..”

As activities geared towards the 2023 general elections gathers momentum, President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Nigerians against voting politicians who would drag the country back to ‘dark ages.’

He stated this during an event organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, with the theme: “Fighting corruption in Nigeria: The past, the present and the future.”

Buhari said he made sure to leave behind a legacy of ‘zero tolerance,’ for corruption, adding that he expects the next administration to follow the same light.

He said, “I strongly believe that our anti-corruption agencies need to concentrate more on asset forfeiture regimes in addition to prosecution to deny looters the gains from the proceeds of their crime. All looted assets within and outside Nigeria must be recovered and used for the wellbeing of our citizens while the looters will be prosecuted and convicted if found culpable.

“In a matter of weeks, Nigerians will need to go to the polls again to elect their leaders in the general elections. I beseech Nigerians to reject politicians who would drag our country back to the dark ages in which corruption was made the order of the day.

“As I leave office in a matter of months, I have left behind a legacy of zero-tolerance for corruption for our teaming youths and to every citizen. For me, corruption is Evil and must be vehemently rejected in all ramifications by all Nigerians anywhere, anytime. 

“It is by integrity, respect for rule of law, due process and genuine patriotism that we will make Nigeria the nation of our dream.”

In the same vein, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, lamented that the judiciary has not shown true commitment to the war against corruption.

Sunday

Priest describes ‘horrifying’ new attack on Catholics in Nigeria that leaves at least 11 dead

Close to 500,000 Nigerians have been either killed or displaced since Buhari took office

CC™ Global News

By Jude Atemanke

At least 11 people, most of them Catholics, were killed Jan. 19 when alleged Fulani herdsmen attacked a village near a refugee camp in Nigeria’s Makurdi Diocese, a diocesan official has reported.

In an interview with ACI Africa, CNA’s sister news partner, Father Moses Aondover Iorapuu, the diocese’s vicar general, recounted the “horrifying” persecution that Catholics were subjected to during the attack.

“The images of the attack are horrifying, and I keep saying that not even ISIS is capable of such brutality,” he said. “After killing, these guys decapitated some and took the parts away as proof to whoever is the sponsor.”

Aondover said the attacks took place Thursday about 9 p.m. in a village near Makurdi, the Benue State capital, where there is a displaced persons camp.

“As of this evening 11 people were killed, including women and children, and many with life-threatening wounds in the hospital,” he reported.

“Almost all the victims” of the attack were Catholics, he said, adding: “The attackers, according to the survivors, were Fulani, who occupied some of the villages they had abandoned in earlier raids.”

Aondover criticized the delayed response from security agents, saying: “The response from the police and the military as always: normal late arrival at the scene, and the attackers remain unidentified.”

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram’s insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The situation of insecurity in the West African nation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers over grazing land.

The Jan. 19 attack on the village saw the inhabitants “forcefully driven from their homes by these herdsmen,” Aondover said, lamenting “the incessant attacks without a single arrest and meaningful reaction from the government.”

“We feel terribly frustrated and abandoned by our government and the international community,” he said.

This story originally was published by ACI Africa, CNA's sister news partner.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Monday

MATTERS ARISING: BEYOND NORTHERN LAWYERS' NEW BAR ASSOCIATION

President Muhammadu Buhari has had an Islamization agenda from his first day in office

CC™ Opinion Letter - By Rev. Fr. Francis Anekwe Oborji

For me, the on-going saga of the formation of a parallel Bar Association by lawyers from the Sharia States of Northern Nigeria could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In fact, it may turn out to be the last straw that may lead to the redemption of the Nigerian State, as we know it. It could turn out to be the catalyst that will lead to the final solution of the age-long quest for a new political order for the Nigerian state. It is a signal which gives hope that the present political impasse and chronic state of insecurity and bloodbaths in Nigeria, is about to be challenged vigorously by those in legal profession.

This means that people of good conscience should not worry so much about this latest development, which for me is part of the unfolding drama of the present administration's Islamization and Fulanization agenda of Nigeria. The threat by the lawyers from Northern Nigeria Sharia States to discontinue their membership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and to form what they call "New Nigerian (Sharia States) Bar Association" (NNBA), should not worry anybody with sense of history. My prayer is that the Northern Muslim lawyers concerned should go ahead and make good their threats. A threat, methinks, is not unconnected with the recent dis-invitation of governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State to address the on-going 60th Annual Conference of NBA.

Since that dis-invitation letter from NBA was issued, it would appear heavens have been left loose for those who hold the Word captive in the Nigerian State. The governor himself, and his fellow Northern lawyer-sympathizers, instead of accepting in good faith, as true patriots and statesmen, the explanation given by the Chairman of NBA for the dis-invitation, have chosen the inglorious path responsible for the present disaffection, divisiveness, seeds of discord between the Northern Sharia States lawyers and the general body of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Is this type of behaviour not a confirmation of one of the intricacies and considerations that made the NBA in the first place, to disinvite the governor from speaking at the NBA 60th Annual Conference 2020? Is what is unfolding since that dis-invitation was issued not a replica of the actual situation of disaffection and mistrust we see today between the Kaduna State government and indigenous ethnic-communities of Southern Kaduna? There are well-founded grievances of the indigenous ethnic-communities of Southern Kaduna over the on-going killings and destructions of their villages and towns by the rampaging dreaded Fulani killer-herdsmen (a.k.a. bandits) and the federal and state governments' unwillingness to provide the indigenes of Southern Kaduna with adequate security of lives and property in their ancestral lands.

The government, rather than putting to stop the killings and destructions in Southern Kaduna and other prats of the country, chose instead to justify the carnage each time it occurs, calling it "herders-farmers' clash." How can one with sense of humanity in him/her be calling as farmers-herders' clash, what is clearly a terrorist invasion of indigenous ethnic-communities ancestral lands by the marauding killer-herdsmen? These are dreaded Fulani-herdsmen who roam around towns and villages of indigenous ethnic-communities, with AK47, killing people, destroying houses, farmlands, and raping women without any provocation? And which the government of the day has refused to arrest, prosecute or imprison any of the perpetrators. The government to complicate the matter all the more, tells the world that the killers are not Nigerians, but rather Fulanis from other African countries. But the government has never said a word about who invited or allowed them free entry into every nook and corner of the country? Neither, has the government categorically, told the world who their sponsors are?

The question is, 'How come it that the government and security operatives of the federal republic of Nigeria have allowed foreigners of Fulani-ethnic extraction who roam around with AK47, people from other African countries to invade the country, killing and destroying ancestral homes and farmlands of Nigeria's indigenous ethnic communities, unchallenged?' This is the one billion Naira question! Unfortunately, most commentators on this ugly situation, instead of asking these hard questions have chosen instead to toe the government one-sided deceptive narrative and lies, thus emboldening the terrorists and their sponsors.

For instance, since the recent feud between the governor of Kaduna State and NBA gained national attention, the powers, that be, have contracted some journalists, newspapers and media proprietors, most of whom are nowadays publishing articles trying to justify the government one-sided narrative of the carnage. These 'brown envelope' journalists, as they are often called, have embarked on the usual tactics of 'balancing the terror.' That is, trying to justify the government's inaction by claiming that not only indigenes of the indigenous ethnic-communities are killed, but that also Hausa-Fulani Muslims living in the area are in turn being killed in reprisal attacks by the fleeing natives of Southern Kaduna.

Everyone knows that, to hold to such a view of 'balancing the terror' is an oversimplification of the carnage that is actually taking place in Southern Kaduna today, as well as in other parts of the country, heavily under the herders' attacks and killings. Nothing can be far from the truth than such a devilish claim of authors of 'balancing the terror!'

The fact that most of the natives of Southern Kaduna have deserted their ancestral homes because of the on-going carnage, and are now refugees in the neighbouring states and towns, does not worry those propagating the doctrine of 'balancing the terror'? Again, the fact that prominent Christian traditional rulers of Southern Kaduna and other vocal politicians and intellectuals from the area have either been killed, kidnapped or sent on self-imposed exile because of the ongoing carnage there, makes no sense to agents of 'balancing the terror?'

Furthermore, the fact on the ground today, in the midst of all these, is that the state government is busy replacing the Christian traditional rules and Chiefdoms in the largely Christian Southern Kaduna with Fulani Muslim Emirates and Emirs! How these ugly development of things in Southern Kaduna under the present dispensation do not worry those hired authors of balancing the terror, is very unfortunate.

People of good conscience, not driven by politics, religious and ethnic clannishness, or monetary inducement, would consider these lies being propagated against the traumatized indigenous ethnic-communities of Southern Kaduna by authors of 'balancing the terror', as sufficient reasons to justify the dis-invitation of the governor by the NBA. Only a Bar Association that lacks sense of humanity and respect for sacredness of human life, would fold its arms, and watch a people of a particular region or regions of the country it serves, subjected to a systematic threat of extermination as the indigenous ethnic-communities of Southern Kaduna are facing today, without taking an action of disapproval?

The fact that the government in power both at the federal and state levels, are not doing anything tangible to stop the carnage in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country, should be a major source of worry to any right thinking person or group of persons like the NBA. Again, the fact that the government in power appears disinterested, not seen to be on the side of the victims of the Fulani killer-herdsmen attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country, should worry any right-thinking person!

That this scenario of bloodbaths and destructions in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country took a dramatic shape, and has lasted for over five years now, since the present regime came to power 2015, is the most worrisome aspect of the whole thing. Again, the present feud, setting up Northern Fulani Muslim lawyers against the NBA because of the dis-invitation of the governor, follows exactly, the same tactics used in setting up Fulani Muslims against the indigenous ethnic-communities in Southern Kaduna.

What we are dealing with here is the insensitivity of the so-called rulers and political gladiators with their inborn 'divisive spirit', conquest ideology and agenda of religious and cultural domination of indigenous populations of Nigeria. Put them anywhere, they must set-up one group against the other, using the parameter of primitive divisive elements of religion and ethnicity. When in power, they use government machinery to achieve their sinister agenda of conquest and domination.

The question is, 'why has this government not gotten the courage to express at least, a sincere outrage over the ongoing bloodbaths perpetrated by the marauding killer-herdsmen? Why has this government refused to declare these killer-herdsmen and their Miyetti-Alla sponsors, a terrorist group? Why? If not that the government itself, is implicitly, behind the carnage being perpetrated by these terrorists, as some have, rightly or wrongly, alleged?

Suffice it to mention the massacre of over 1000 Shia Muslims in Kaduna by the Nigerian military, and the continued ethnic-cleansings of Christians and indigenous ethnic-communities in Southern Kaduna, all happening under the watch of the present regime. Yet the regime does not want the people to feel outraged? Again, the worse thing is that till date none of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity in Southern Kaduna or elsewhere in the Middle Belt and Southern states, has been arrested, prosecuted or imprisoned by the present regime, both at the federal and state levels?

Another disturbing thing is that the government itself has never for once, sincerely and truly, commiserated with the victims. Rather, what the government does is to embolden and provide state and military protection for the terrorists, killer-herdsmen and bandits doing these killings and destructions in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country. And to go after any individual or group that dares speak against the heinous crimes and killings of innocent citizens going on in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country? Government spokespersons, both at the federal and state levels, would each time these carnages happen, try to justify them by blaming those who express outcry against the ugly situation. The recent government harassment of Dr Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of CBN, since he granted an interview to a Lagos-based FM radio station, in which he decried the killings of his people of Southern Kaduna, is a case in point.

The Rationale behind the Northern Lawyers' "New Bar Association"

There is no doubt that the same rationale propelling the harassment of Dr Obadiah Mailafia by the Nigerian security operatives, for decrying the Southern Kaduna carnage, is also behind the present threat by lawyers from the Northern Sharia states to discontinue with their membership of the NBA. As lawyers, which they claim to be, one would have expected the Northern Sharia States lawyers to come up with a position paper condemning the killings of Christians and indigenous ethnic-communities in Northern Nigeria. But this never happened. Rather, the Northern Sharia States lawyers are quick to point an accusing finger to their colleagues from other parts of the country who want to vent their disapproval for the ineptitude manner the state government is handling the genocide against Christians and indigenous ethnic-communities in Southern Kaduna.

In other words, for the Northern Sharia states lawyers, the lives of people of Southern Kaduna, being slaughtered on daily basis by the killer-herdsmen, do not count! What counts to these Sharia states lawyers from Northern Nigeria, is the interest of the present administration, at both state and federal government levels, which is the protection of the killer-herdsmen, and not the lives of indigenous ethnic-communities of Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country, being slaughtered on daily basis by the killer-herdsmen! Quo vadis?

This is why many people of good conscience think that the Northern lawyers' threat to form their own Bar Association with ethnic agenda to serve the Muslim Fulani North, may be a blessing in disguise. It may be the beginning forever of redefining a new path for Nigeria's rebirth. After all, who should bother so much, if people with that type of mind-set, decide to leave the global body of NBA to form their own clannish Sharia States Lawyers' Bar Association? Because their presence in the global Nigerian Bar Association breeds violence, hatred, injustice, lopsided leadership, insecurity, nepotism, and bloodbaths to the generality of the country.

Moreover, why should one worry about their leaving the NBA? After all, the Northern Sharia States have long left the country since the year 2001, when they adopted Sharia legal and political systems for their zones. The only worry now, is that today, they have taken over the complete control of the federal government and have embarked on a vigorous mission of total Islamization and Fulanization of the whole country. They have transformed the whole federal government machinery and leadership structure into Islamic and Fulani hegemony. The Nigerian judiciary, legislature and the executive arms of the Federal government under Buhari administration are already Northernized, Islamized, and Fulanized.

This means that if Northern lawyers and their kith and kin want to leave Nigeria to form their own political and legal state, they should be encouraged to do so. Let them go and form their own version of Bar Association that will serve the interest of their own people or rather their "new government" to emerge, which perhaps, sooner, or later, will be localized to their own part of the world? When that happens, know that the liberation of the indigenous ethnic-nationalities in this British contraption Nigeria is near at hand, so to speak. Because it will pave way for the total liberation of the rest of the people of the country from many years of servitude and ineptitude leadership by people with that type of mentality and mind-set.

The Nigerian Armed Forces - Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, as well as the Customs, Immigration, Road-safety, and all the Paramilitaries, etc., are already under the full control of Northern Fulani Muslims. So are all the important organs and parastatals of the present Federal government. The entire security operatives, governmental structure and machinery of the Nigerian State are today under the complete control of Fulani Muslims from the North. It is as if Christians and indigenous populations of the country no longer exist. So, the earlier Fulani Muslims of Northern Nigeria decide on their own to form their own associations and leave the rest of Nigerians in peace, the better for us all.

Presently, the regime at the federal level is in a desperate effort to install as governors in all the Southern and Middle Belt states, those politicians from these states that agreed to be used as 'willing-tools' by the regime for the Islamization and Fulanization of the predominantly Christian states of Southern and Middle Belt regions of the country. Where they found a strong resistance as happened in Imo State during the 2019 governorship elections, they will use the federal might, the Sharia Judge Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, to install their stooge. The on-going political wrangling in Edo and Ondo States for this September governorship elections in those states, will not be different. They want to install states governors of their choice that could be used as "willing-tools" for their Islamization and Fulanization agenda of Nigeria. And there is nobody on the ground in the country today, capable of stopping them from installing those stooges in office as governors in Edo and Ondo States.

Moreover, unless a miracle happens and Nigeria survives the present turmoil as an entity, by 2023 elections, the same forces derailing the progress and development of Nigerian state, will make sure that they install their stooges as governors across all the states in Southern and Middle Belt regions of the country. Make no mistake about it: The present-ruling party, APC, is a political party contracted by the OIC, Saudi Arabia and Muslim Brotherhood International, and which is being used in the on-going process of total Islamization and Fulanization of Nigeria.

During the Babaginda ill-conceived transition to civilian rule, the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) was the party the same forces had wanted to use to convert Nigeria into a full Muslim state. During Obasanjo and later Jonathan administrations, they kept these two former presidents of Nigeria under constant tension, using Buhari's political opposition parties and of course, the Islamists' terrorist groups, Boko Haram and Killer-herdsmen. But since Buhari became President in 2015, the regime has been doing the bidding of these agents of Islamization and Fulanization of Nigeria. The ruling party APC is the smokescreen they use today in that project. The party is 100% agent of Islamization and Fulanization of Nigeria! Don't mind, the 'willing-tools', who claim to be Christians, they often recruit from the Southern and Middle Belt regions. It is all meant to confuse the gullible. The fact remains that APC is an Islamic political party in power in Nigeria today!

The Implications of Northern Lawyers' 'New Bar Association'

In the midst of all these, 'what are the implications of all the fuss about the formation of a separate Bar Association by the Northern Fulani Muslim lawyers?' For me, there is nothing new in what the Northern lawyers have chosen to do. After all, that has been the political game Northern ruling class and elites often play and use to get whatever they want in the Nigerian state, each time there is something of this kind.

Was it not how their forbears delayed the independence of Nigeria from Great Britain in 1957 on the pretence that they were not yet ready? And when they claim to be ready for it in 1960, it was to them that Britain handed over the political power of the nascent independent Nigerian State. In addition, the colonial masters gave them an age over other regions of the country through the pre-independence massively rigged population census of 1953, and the colonial regional frontiers' landmass arbitrary boundary adjustments carried out by the British before they left the country in 1960. Thus, repositioning the North for permanent political control of the country.

In this way, the North was technically, positioned 'forever' by Britain to have preponderance in population and number of legislators in the National Assembly, over other regions in Southern Nigeria. Ab initio, Nigeria was an 'unbalanced union.' Nigeria was never created by Britain to succeed as a nation state, but rather to continue to serve British neo-colonial imperialism in Africa. This was how the seed of political instability, ethnic-hate and religious bigotry we see today in Nigeria, sixty years after political independence from Britain, was sown. It meant, in principle that political control of the entire country will always be at the hands of the Northern ruling class and the Caliphate. That is, as long as there was no strong resistance from the people of the Southern regions and the Middle Belt.

Therefore, the Northern lawyers by forming their own new Bar Association, separating from the global NBA, are just playing the usual traditional politics of the Northern ruling class and elites in the Nigerian State. But this time around, it will be a great mistake to allow them have their way. This is because many people have died in Nigeria as a result of all these historical facts. The North must be made to understand this.

On this basis, one cannot but appreciate the courage and sense of humanity demonstrated by the NBA leadership by dis-inviting the Kaduna governor. A government or political system which folds its arms, on the basis of ethnic or religious considerations, and watches hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in his domain, massacred in their ancestral homeland by terrorists, is not worth its salt. Any political system or government that is incapable of providing security of lives and property for its citizens, should be disbanded and replaced with a new political order and administration. Human life is sacred and sacrosanct. Protection of human life comes first in the order of priority of any government and in the fashioning of any political system, worth its name.

Therefore, in the present dispensation, the gladiators behind the newly formed Northern lawyers' Bar Association should be made to understand, that Nigeria has come of age. No more tolerance of nonsense from any person or group of persons. The Northern ruling class and elites, with all respects, have played this their game for a long time. It is now time to tell them that enough is enough!

This is what they have been doing in all aspects of the political life of the country all these years. The only difference now, is that they have gotten a complete control of the federal government machinery under the present lopsided federal government. A federal government, whose primary objective is the total Islamization and Fulanization of Nigeria. The present federal government is yet to convince majority of the citizens that it cares about the security of lives and property of the indigenous ethnic-communities in the Middle Belt and Southern States of Nigeria.

The Way Out of the Conundrum

Today, as we speak, the entire governance structure of Nigerian State is controlled by one clan, an ethno-religious group from the North, Fulani Muslims. They control the executive, legislative, and judiciary arms of the federal government. In the midst of such lopsided government and political system, of what use is the present structure of NBA? This means that time has come to call a spade a spade and know that Nigerian judiciary, just like the other two arms of the Federal government, the executive and legislature, have been grossly compromised.

The only solution, therefore, is to look for a new paradigm shift, away from what is on board presently in the country. Nigeria Bar Association, as a matter of urgency, needs a new paradigm shift, which must be based on respecting the value systems of each federating units in this British contraption called Nigeria. The present practice whereby only the value systems of a particular ethno-religious group, that is not indigenous to the country, is the philosophy driving the Nigerian legal and political systems is unacceptable.

Thus, as things are today, it is expected that members of Nigerian Bar Association will be in the better position to do the needful, help change the current trend of events in the country before it becomes too late. Nigeria is not a homogenous nation state, and there is no way the type of lopsided federal government structure - the executive, legislature and judiciary arms of government in place today in the country, will ever work. There is no meeting-point between Sharia legal system and the Common Law upon which the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, is claimed to have been based!

It is time therefore for conscientious lawyers, and judges from the Southern and Middle Belt states of Nigeria to begin to think for an alternative way, "return to their people and base, and know that the problem is nothing else, but NIGERIA itself as presently structured." The country needs to return to its founding story as a nation state. The question is, 'Is this NIGERIA, in the name of which we are witnessing state-sponsored genocides, pogroms and ethnic-cleansings on daily basis, since the creation of the country by Britain in 1914, … really, the type of country our forbears had envisaged for their children, born and unborn?' If not, why can't we tell ourselves the naked truth and resolve to do the needful before it is too late?

Since 2001, the core North 12 states and Northern part of Kaduna State have been practising Sharia legal system instead of the Common Law as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! It means that Nigeria as it is today is a country practising two parallels, irreconcilable laws and political systems. While the Sharia States of Northern Nigeria follow Islamic law - legal and political systems, the rest of the people in the Southern and Middle Belt regions follow a Constitution of "Common Law", which was given to them by no less a person than a military junta headed by a Northern Fulani Muslim, Gen. Abubakar Abudulsalami.

This means, in principle, that even the 1999 Constitution is a camouflaged "Islamic Law." This is why the words 'Sharia and Islam' appeared many times in the 1999 Constitution, and there is no mention of even a word of "Christian" in the Constitution. Yet nobody seems to be asking questions about all these aberrations in the 1999 Constitution?

Nigeria is already under total control of Northern Fulani Muslims. The President, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Senate President, and Speaker of House of Representatives, etc., are all Muslims. Even the Nigerian Law School and all the others, are all headed by Fulani Muslims from the North. In other words, the present Federal government is Northern Fulani Muslim-controlled government. In fact, today, before someone from the Southern States or Middle Belt regions is given any federal appointment, the individual is often forced, first, to make a pledge to the Caliphate and the ruling class from the North. Without that, no Christian or Non-Fulani would be appointed to any important position at the federal level. This is how Christians and other citizens of indigenous ethnic-communities survive in the present-day Nigeria.

The painful thing is that all the state governors, other prominent government officials, ruling class and elites are aware of all these. Yet nobody seems to be contesting it. In fact, it seemed all have been subdued by the present regime!

Conclusion

Taking into consideration all these, methinks that the decision of the Northern lawyers to separate from the NBA and form their own regional Bar Association to serve their selfish ends, should be seen by the rest of the country, especially, those from the Southern and Middle Belt, as an opportunity for a political renegotiation of the "failed Nigerian State." It is needless for any right-thinking person to contest whether Nigeria is a failed state or not. We all know that! In fact, no matter how much you hope that things will get better tomorrow in the country as presently structured, the more disillusioned you will become.

Moreover, since Northern ruling class have demonstrated time and time again, that they cannot live together as equal citizens with the rest of the citizens from the Middle Belt and Southern regions, that unless they lord it over others, nothing will ever move forward in the country, I think it is time to tell them that enough is enough!

Let what is happening today in the country, the general state of insecurity and perennial political instability, be an opportunity to initiate a concrete effort by the ruling class and elites from all the federating ethnic-nationalities, for a new political solution to emerge. This is a call for political renegotiation of Nigerian State, a new political order, so that security of lives and property of indigenous populations and Christians will begin to count in the scheme of things of whoever is in power.

Fr. Francis Anekwe Oborji is a Roman Catholic Priest, is Professor Ordinarius of contextual theology at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome.