Adieu Patriot & Tyrant: Jerry Rawlings

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Adieu to a patriot and tyrant

Agreed Kwame Nkrumah was the father of modern Ghana. John Jerry Rawlings is however the facilitator of contemporary Ghana. I doubt if that country would have got to where it is today without the intervention of Rawlings. As they say; “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”

JJ was a consummate patriot and benevolent tyrant. As a military dictator and civilian president, Rawlings always stooped low for the underprivileged like in the attached throwback picture at an official engagement in the Upper-West Region on September 28, 1987 when he spotted whom he described as the “most important guest around” The Head of State stopped mid speech and walked down the dais. It was quintessential JJ for you!

Interestingly, the maverick pilot and Flight Lieutenant never promoted himself beyond his designated rank from 1981 to 1992 that he served as Commander in Chief. He might be accused of many things. Official corruption is not one of them. He was integrity personified. While he had a common touch with the masses of Ghana he was bloodily vindictive to his perceived enemies. He nevertheless had vision and was massively charismatic.

Straight as an arrow, he shunned luxury, conspicuous consumption and the primitive accumulation of wealth. He was not an openly religious man He believed; “The test of religious belief is not in pious platitudes and cautious charity, but in positive and creative action.” Thanks but no thanks to Rawlings, unlike Nigerians, Ghanaians don’t engage in any form of what can best be described as the “apropos of doubtful religiosity”

As soon as he seized power he lined up 3 previous Military Heads of State, Generals Akwasi Afrifa, Ignatius Acheampong, and Fred Akuffo executing them by firing squad. He did not spare anyone with unexplained income. In his own words he described his actions as; “a housecleaning exercise that seeks to purge the country of corrupt political and business leaders and recalibrate Ghana’s national moral compass.”
He purged the then political class in Ghana describing them as; “a pack of criminals who bled Ghana to the bone” JJ Rawlings vehemently vowed to “organize this country (Ghana) in such a way that nothing will be done, whether by God or the devil, without the consent and the authority of the people.”

Rawlings no doubt restored dignity to an impoverished Ghana. He was referred to as “Junior Jesus” by old timers and “Papa J” by the youth who were not even born when he was a military leader. How did he pull it off with neither oil wealth nor Chinese loans? He built an inclusive nation by personal example. Under him and beyond the citizens of that country are always Ghanaian first.

Last year or so, viral videos of him directing traffic in a gridlock surfaced. He looked awesome. Hate him or admire him he was one those personalities that can never be ignored. Was his tyrannical proclivity justified for the common good of Ghana? I think so because it laid the foundation of the relative peace and prosperity Ghana now enjoys compared to the insecurity wrecking Nigeria.

JJ Rawlings had an impeccable public service career. Bullets could not take him down – Coronavirus did, aged 73. He shall always be fondly remembered as the inspirational icon. He was truly a phenomenal leader. Bold, assertive, confident and bushwhacking. He never hid behind the façade of Media Aides. His razor sharp mind radiated in press interviews and impromptu engagements. He never left doubts about where he stood on any issue. Nigeria might be the giant of Africa but Rawlings has made Ghana the pride of Africa. His compatriots trusted and believed in him. He never disappointed them for the 21 years he was in power.

I have so many friends, too numerous to mention here from Ghana that we have over the decades enjoyed endless Kelewele, Red-red, Banku and Kenkey dishes together in various joints of Sabongari, Kano. Kindly accept my condolences on the recent demise of your beloved political hero.

Howaazat sir? As long as you fellow cricketers admit Nigerian Jollof is better and that you actually stole Waakye, Tuo Zaafi and Fufu from us. Nigeria-Ghana relations has always had its ups and downs but we shall be always be friends and neighbors. Akwaaba!
May JJ rest in peace!

SHE DECIDES

It is more than a shade easier for a girl to be corrupted sexually, than it is for a boy. A girl is naturally more endowed with the implements to lean back on and conveniently make a living off in the dark, more than her male counterpart.

Besides, her clients are naturally conditioned to pour in, in droves. Most times, the girls are culturally pressured to play along when economically tasked. It is a merry go round legacy they inherit and grow up to bequeath to their successors.

When they are hounded out by circumstances, covered and wrapped up in the uncertainty’s mist, they avert the gaze of morality and succumb, expectantly. The spurious infallible laws of most customs appear to be in one long corroboration mode with nature to shortchange the woman.
While the woman cannot fathom the unending impertinence to the legality of her fight, she recognizes them easily. To some degree, this dependency of hers is harnessed for her, such that she perceives them as right. She feels as virtuous as compelled.

On the other hand, the mans indignant antecedents are never realigning their reliability. Even when the woman excels and is allowed to glut, she endlessly feels more of a consultant than a senior employee in this living enterprise. It isn’t an issue of semantics or shades, it is purely double standards by nature. It is as simplistic as that. It never ceases, even when possibilities are marginally upped or proclaimed.

Even when the possibilities that abound for her are marginally upped or proclaimed and redeemed, they continually humiliate her painstaking efforts still. But the woman is nevertheless passionate in her continuous efforts, never abandoning her tedious trials.
Yet at the peak of her fiercely gotten triumphs, her rich tapestry would still feel like her man’s discarded rags. It feels destined that men will manage to mount the wild cow of the woman’s fears and boldly grab her swaying horns into submission.

The irony of it all is, at the right time for her to make a decision to split open his dominance, she never actually does. Instead, obsessed by her peculiarity, she omits to be steadfast, prune her potentials, squint naturally, not wink pretentiously. His sun shines on as her eclipsed moon and leaves no traces again.

As far as life is concerned, the sole weapon nature endowed her with is submerged within her and confined to her thoughts only. The very core of her difficulty is a theorem nature had solved long ago, which time and man hadn’t yet changed, though they never don’t stop trying.

The man cannot ever emotionally harm himself with pictures of the woman he conjures up his mind. It is only this folly he might choose to try to cringe from, he is either hooked up or not. His broken heart is misinterpreted to atone nothing and to wrestle away from his dominance, the undercut tactics the woman can resort to and rely on; tends to neglect the fact that it cant quench the thirst it slakes.

The woman remains the smelling monstrous carcass in the mans dreams. He only needs to wake up every morning and go on with his life. She is only an eye witness to his dreams and cannot step into his living world, unless he decides to enroll her. The turbulence that is her apprehension for some control gathers momentum to be slighted.

The key central delight the woman enjoys the most for all time is her procreation grant, and only because the natural trepidation of time uses her with it. Even then the consternation involved in bringing forth a physical marvel someone else had sired inside her, is apathetic. It is like a badly crippled spider delighting on the spoils provided by another spiders cobwebs. She endlessly baffles at how easily her active role is truncated. The passive contribution of the man hinders the glory of her pain.

Unclouded by the impersonation of her man, in the flurried act of birth, the fierce heat of subtle neglect by tradition always insults her ultimately. The man ever lives on, strutting along in accepted honour for just being a cameo of sorts. While the woman can merely dramatize her emotions, still only skeptical whether she is honoured or not, abhorred or exalted. She never really knows and can tell quite little.

The diatribe lingers, intruding incessantly on her real position as the harbinger of life and love. She has to rely on this bias acceptance which she is infinitely chastised and castigated for. It is perplexing how the eccentricity of the situation belittles her, when it should celebrate her. But there is an eternal good in all this, granted that this portrayal seduced her. It understandably ought to make her deficient of undying love. It would make anyone else inescapably furious. Being so indulged in this solitary abstraction is quite punitively irritable. Dot on the spot, it scotches logic with tentative and doubtless ease. Still well acquainted with not just insinuated, outrageous accusation of it being a mere tool and not the worker, she remains doggedly devoted.

She exhibits an earnest and distilled shine of love and extraordinary dedication. Trembling with genuine affection she actually reinforces her floundering faith in her man, lavish him with some more of her branded selfless love. The spontaneity of which is not tarnished with any misplaced aggression on her part. The calculated belittling of her is conspicuous. But the conviction of all this natural, as well as artificially crafted cruelty notwithstanding, it triggers off what become a bloom of mild beautiful eruption.

Regardless of whether the woman is treasured and receives a big bequest, she is fascinated by her masculine distractor. Her dedication may stumble and still it deepens into an overall vital part of the mans wellbeing. She delved into living this way fully, only hesitating to sparingly investigate a partner. Whether she unearths a chunk of coal or a gold nugget, is inconsequential to her. She gives the man his ratcheting room, to make up his mind if he would harm or protect her and her interests. Rather than dawdle about, wondering which kind of person he will be, she decides which kind of person she is.

#EndSARS: THE FALLEN UNARMED PEACEFUL NIGERIAN PROTESTER

By Taiwo Sanni

Tell my mother I was unarmed.

Tell my father I had the flag in my hands when I was shot.

Tell the unborn Generation that I died singing the national anthem.

Tell the cowards who shot me that my spirit lives on in the life of every good Nigerian youth.

Tell the government that they shot my body but not my spirit.

Tell the world I died for freedom like many good people before me.

I regret nothing, for I have done what my father’s, mother’s, uncle’s and aunt’s couldn’t do out of fear. Let God judge me, I am only sorry for the pain of leaving you this early.

My prints will forever remain in the sands of history for I have done my time based on the path I chose freely & willingly.

Now that my torment in Nigeria is over, please lay me to rest on mother earth where you all will join me in due time, take my voice and hand it over to the next good youth whom I hope by Gods Almighty grace will benefit a better Nation.

For I know that freedom is coming, yes freedom will come tomorrow.

Good bye…

Nigeria@60

“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership………..

“One of the commonest manifestations of under-development is a tendency among the ruling elite to live in a world of make-believe and unrealistic expectations. This is the cargo cult mentality that anthropologists sometimes speak about – a belief by backward people that someday, without any exertion whatsoever on their own part, a fairy ship will dock in their harbour laden with every goody they have always dreamed of possessing………

“In spite of conventional opinion Nigeria has been less than fortunate in its leadership. A basic element of this misfortune is the seminal absence of intellectual rigour in the political thought of our founding fathers – a tendency to pious materialistic woolliness and self-centred pedestrianism…………..

“But whereas tribalism might win enough votes to install a reactionary jingoist in a tribal ghetto, the cult of mediocrity will bring the wheels of modernization grinding to a halt throughout the land.
Unlucky is the country where indiscipline is seen by ordinary people as the prerogative of the high and might. For, by the same token, discipline will be seen as a penalty which the rank and file must pay for their powerlessness………

“My frank and honest opinion is that anybody who can say that corruption in Nigeria has not yet become alarming is either a fool, a crook or else does not live in this country”

– Chinua Acbebe (1983)

Culled from Ahmed Yahaya Joe on Facebook

The Five Languages of Apology

By Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas

A REVIEW OF CHAPTER 9:

LEARNING TO FORGIVE

Here we move to accepting apologies.

It is established that the need for forgiveness always begins with an offense.

One Professor Robert Enright,
pioneering forgiveness research, sees forgiveness as a moral issue & defines Forgiveness as a “response to an injustice (a moral wrong),” and “turning to the ‘good’ in the face of wrongdoing.”

If no offense, then forgiveness is absent.

Apologies all have same two goals: 1) offender be forgiven
2) relationship be reconciled

Forgiveness is still a choice. You & I can choose to forgive or not.
Offense destroys the
tranquility of the relationship. There’s hurt, anger, disappointment, disbelief, betrayal & rejection.

Your sense of justice has been violated.

Offense would sit as an emotional barrier between two people. Often the situation gets compounded by response, especially when show of disrespect is reciprocated.

People are all imperfect & sometimes fail to treat each other with love, dignity & respect. Apologies and forgiveness are thus essential elements to healthy relationships.

First is apology is unimportant. Apologies are important. An apology reaches out for
forgiveness.

The art of forgiving

Three Hebrew words & four Greek words translated into ‘forgive’ in English. They’re synonyms with varying shades of
meaning. Key ideas are “to cover; to take away; to pardon; and to be gracious to.”

If you’re the offended party, forgiveness means that you will not seek revenge, that you will not demand justice, that you will not let the offense stand between & anyone or anything.

Forgiveness results in reconciliation.

The Forgiveness Cycle

An apology is an important part of the forgiveness cycle. An offense is committed; an apology is made; and forgiveness is given.

Here the author goes a biblical journey, which I will spare you most it but he concludes that the divine model is a wise and prudent model for making an apology in today’s world because it has two essential elements:

(1) confession and repentance on the part of the offender

(2) forgiveness on the part of the one sinned against.

To forgive opens the door to reconciliation. Not to forgive leads to further deterioration of the relationship.

Jesus declared to His followers, “Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Since most of us would like to have forgiveness when we fail. Therefore, we are encouraged to extend
forgiveness to those who offend us. The ideal scenario is that when we offend others, we take the initiative to apologize.

If the person apologizes, then you forgive. There is to be no limit to our forgiveness so long as the offender returns to apologize.

What if the offender refuses to apologize—even when confronted with his/her wrong behavior? We are to approach the person a second time, telling them of the offense & giving them opportunity to apologize.

Moral failures always stand as a barrier that can be removed only by apologizing and forgiveness.
Therefore, if a person refuses to apologize for a moral failure after being confronted several times, we are to release the person who has sinned against us to God, letting God take care of the person rather than insisting.

THE DANGER OF FORGIVING TOO EASILY
Since childhood loads of people learned to forgive quickly & freely. In so doing, we may end
up encouraging destructive behavior.

Earlier it was indicated that there are two common responses to an apology:forgive or not to forgive.

But in reality, there is a third possible response: Sometimes we have been hurt so deeply or so often that we cannot bring
ourselves emotionally, spiritually, or physically to the point of genuinely extending forgiveness. We need time for inner healing, lor the restoration of emotional balance, or sometimes physical health that will give us the capacity to forgive.

Simply put, the 3rd option is to wait.

This brings us to the issue of rebuilding trust. Forgiveness and trust are not to be equated because forgiveness is a decision, it can be extended immediately when one perceives he has heard a sincere apology.

However, trust is not a decision —it is rather an emotion . Trust is that gut-level confidence that you will do what you say you will do.

COMPLETING THE CYCLE

Forgiveness holds the power to give renewed life to the relationship. Without forgiveness, relationships die. With forgiveness, relationships have the potential for becoming vibrant and enriching the lives of the people involved.

WHAT FORGIVENESS CAN’T DO

Forgiveness does not remove all the results of failure.

For example, If a man is given to fits of anger and strikes out at his wife, hitting her on the chin and breaking her jaw, he may sincerely confess and she may genuinely forgive. But her jaw is still broken and may cause her difficulty for years to come.

It is one of the fundamental realities of life: When we commit actions or speak words that are detrimental to another, the consequences stay on.

The Chapter ends with tips on Statements of forgiveness:

– I am deeply hurt by what you said.

– I think you realize that.

– I appreciate your apology, because without it, I don’t think I could forgive you. But because I think you are sincere, I want you to know that I forgive you.

– What can I say? I’m touched by your apology. I value our relationship greatly. Therefore, I’m choosing to forgive you.

– I didn’t know if I would ever be able to say this sincerely. I was devastated by what you did. I would never have imagined you capable of doing such a thing. But I love you, and I choose to believe that your apology is sincere. So I am offering you my forgiveness.

– Your work error has cost me both time and money. I want to forgive you for causing this problem. Yes, I believe that with your correction plan in place, I can forgive you.

– I know how hard it is for you to swallow your pride and say, “I was wrong.” You’ve grown in my eyes, and I do forgive you.

Learning to Forgive
The Five Languages of Apology

1. EXPRESSING REGRET – “I am sorry.”

2. ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY – “I was wrong.”

3. MAKING RESTITUTION – “What can I do to make it right?”

4. GENUINELY REPENTING – “Try not to do that again.”

5. REQUESTING FORGIVENESS – “Will you please forgive me?”

The Siddis: Lost Africans of India

By Ahmed Yahaya JoeAccording to Winston Hubert McIntosh the founder of The Wailers; He sings :“Don’t care where you come from,🎵
As long as you’re a black man,🎶 You’re an African🎵
No mind your nationality,🎶
You have got the identity of an African” 🎵The Bush Doctor otherwise known as Stepping Razor but more popularly as Peter Tosh nailed it in his Equal Rights album of 1977The Siddis or Habshi are fellow Africans inhabiting India and Pakistan known as Afro-Asians; “They are descended from the Bantu peoples of the East African region. Some were merchants, sailors, indentured servants, slaves and mercenaries. The Siddi population is currently estimated at around 270,000–350,000 individuals, with Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad in India and Makran and Karachi in Pakistan as the main population centres. Siddis are primarily Muslims, although some are Hindus and others are Christians”Similarly; “another term for Siddis – Habshi, is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent. The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in India in 628 AD at the Bharuch port.”To escape discrimination and racial profiling many Siddis have inter – married to dilute their identity. However, the Siddis should not be mistaken for the dark skinned Indians known as Dalits that mostly inhabit Tamil Nadu. I have visited their capital Madras now called Chennai
The caste system in India is chiefly based on birth and color – The darker the lower. The Brahmins (the priestly people) are the highest then the Kshatriyas (also called Rajanyas, who were rulers, administrators and warriors), followed by the Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers), and Shudras (the labourer class) of which the dark Dalits known as “Untouchables” are on the lowest rungs“What is Wrong With Being Black?” is the title of Matthew Ashimolowo’s well researched and extensively referenced 2007 book that traces the history of racial discrimination with the economic rise of Europe through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade replicated in the Indian Ocean with Arabs.Truth is discrimination of whatever kind is a strategic weapon to gain undue advantage over others. That is why within the same race there is a caste system or class structure, within the same religion denominational differences and even within the same family siblings are positioned by age or gender and so on.Hierarchy is an entirely human creation. All men were created equal but nobody in history has ever had the capacity to enforce that inconvenient truth thereby validating the ancient axiom; “I, against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world”It is against this background that identity politics was invented and conflict entrepreneurs arose. Since then we have all been sucked into an endless vortex of hitting each other with ethnicity, religion and other means we find necessary to take advantage over each other

“Don’t go looking for fights – but if you’re hit, deck the bastard” – Roger Ailes

EMBARRASSMENT AND UNNECESSARY PRESSURE IN LIFE

1. Put your kids in schools you can afford because expensive schools don’t guarantee good
results. Just ensure they attend a good affordable school.

2. Rent apartments you can pay for conveniently. Don’t live in a house you struggle to pay yearly. If your 2 – 4 months salary or business profit can’t pay for your
accommodation, then that accommodation is not for
your level of income.

3. A man whose wife is pregnant has good 9 months to prepare, same as the pregnant woman in question. They should even plan for the worse and only seek help when they can’t meet up.

4. Some problems in our lives don’t just pop up. If we don’t own a home, we know we would pay rents. So its not an emergency.

5. Let’s plan our lives and live within our means. Save more and spend less and invest wisely. Never invest in something that will make you rich overnight. No seed grows to a tree overnight and provide fruits, not even
tomatoes.

6. Some women buy food for their children every morning before going to school or even for the whole family. Do you know it’s cheaper to cook at home?

7. Some people don’t earn much, but have cable TV at home and have get expensive upgrade bundles when they don’t have income upgrades. Besides, most people pay for cable subscription they don’t have light or time to
watch.

8. Eat healthy meals and protect your family from mosquitoes to avoid going to the hospital always. Sleep under mosquito treated net, saves you cost of
treatment on malaria.

9. Take advantage of food and fruits in season, its cheaper and you can be creative to create
amazing meals. Every fruit in each season is meant to
help your body fight sickness or health challenges in that season.

10. Don’t copy your neighbor’s lifestyle. She earns well and her
husband is a ‘big
man’.

11. Don’t follow trends, wear clean well-ironed clothes and
keep your hair neat. You would still look good.

12. Keep your circle small, keep only friends that are reasonable!

13. Above all things, be reasonable and prudent. If you’re religious or not have
integrity, don’t be lazy.

14. Planning is the key, if you fail to plan, you plan to FAIL.

15. Don’t do more than your budget this year, there is no award given to best family that wore an expensive cloth for
the year.

16. Don’t be in competition with
anyone. The purpose of shoes
and clothes are to cover our nakedness, make us smart and
good.

Always avoid living fake life & pretence.

#copied

When You’re 40

IF YOU ARE ABOVE 40 YRS OF AGE OR APPROACHING THE MARK, HEALTH HINTS FOR YOU

A. Two things to check as often as you can:
(1) Your blood pressure
(2) Your blood sugar

B. Four things to reduce to the minimum on your foods:
(1) Salt
(2) sugar
(3) dairy products
(4) starchy products

C. Four things to increase in your foods:
(1) Greens/vegetables
(2) beans
(3) fruits
(4) nuts

D. Three things you need to forget:
(1) Your age
(2) your past
(3) your grievances

E. Four things you must have, no matter how weak or how strong you are:
(1) Friends who truly love you
(2) caring family
(3) positive thoughts
(4) a warm home.

F. Five things you need to do to stay healthy:
(1) fasting
(2) smiling / laughing
(3) trek / exercise
(4) reduce your weight.

G. Six things you don’t have to do:
(1) Don’t wait till you are hungry to eat
(2) don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink
(3) don’t wait till you are sleepy to sleep
(4) don’t wait till you feel tired to rest
(5) don’t wait till you get sick to go for medical check-ups otherwise you will only regret later in life
(6) don’t wait till you have problem before you pray to your God.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF !!!

*Copied

Forgotten Covenant; between Muslims & Christians

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

There is an overwhelming need to improve inter-communal harmony that has become so toxic in our dear nation. Religious hatred is a mainly product of ignorance and mischief. Both sides of the divide are very much guilty particularly against the background of political grandstanding. We currently live in tumultuous times. The ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic is no respecter for religious difference. Its economic fallout will not spare anyone while the political will be all encompassing irrespective. We therefore need a bird’s eye view on issues to pull through.

I asked the first Israeli I ever met, why the dickens Jews and Arabs in that highly combustible nation haven’t been able to work out an acceptable peace agreement between them for decades? She replied that the problem wasn’t actually religious as I had presumed but more about international power play, control and manipulation of spheres of influence as such it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to resolve the fundamental issues between them due to the various conflicting interests beyond their borders.

I still find my conversation with that secular Jewess in far away Singapore 31 years ago instructive as far as Nigeria is concerned Najran is the capital of the a southern administrative division of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the same name. Before 1902 there were 4 monarchical Sheikhs of 4 regions which Abdulaziz Al Saud of Nejd emerged superior and became overall King in 1932 up to 1953. All subsequent monarchs in Saudi Arabia to date are among his 36 sons that survived him based on seniority.

I first heard about the Pact of Najran through my good friend Ahmad Ramadan, a extremely brilliant legal mind who back in the mid 1990s was a practitioner at the chambers of Aliyu Umar Esq, later Aliyu Umar SAN now of blessed memory.

On the al-Masīḥiyyūn al-ʿArab in the historical Arabian Peninsula the background narrative is; “The visit of the Christians of Najran to the city of Medina in 631 is perhaps the most important noted interfaith interaction between Christians and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). At this time Muhammad (pbuh) had sent letters to different communities and their leaders, encouraging them to embrace Islam. In the case of the Najran, who lived near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medina, the Prophet sent Khaled ibn al-Walid and Ali ibn Abi Talib to deliver the letter.

At the time of this diplomatic endeavor, Najran Christians had a highly organized religious system. As such, after considering Muhammad’s (pbuh) letter, it is unsurprising that few Christians embraced Islam. In reaction to this “failed attempt” of conversion, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent another representative to Najran, Mughira Ibn Shu’ba, who was meant to elaborate on this new religion called Islam. Intrigued by Ibn Shu’ba’s message, the Najran Christians sent a delegation of sixty people to visit the Prophet in Medina. The delegation consisted of about forty-five scholars and fifteen assistants.

When the Christians of Najran arrived to Medina, Muhammad allowed them to pray in Nabawi mosque where the Muslims also prayed. This invitation was not only the first example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, but it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque. While Prophet Muhammad and the Najrans were not able to reach common ground on all theological issues, he nonetheless gave them a place to stay near his home, and even ordered Muslims to pitch their tent.
Upon leaving Medina, the Najran Christian leaders told Muhammad (pbuh):

“O, Abu al-Qasim, we decided to leave you as you are and you leave us as we are”. But the Christians nevertheless left Medina with a pact (written guarantee) that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would protect their lives, property, and freedom to practice Christianity.”
No doubt the visit of Najran Christians to Medina is an example of religious pluralism. If so why are Al – Mu’minin (Muslims) and Ahl – al – Kitab (Christians) so historically daggers drawn? There is need to highlight the Pact of Najran;
“I hereby declare that my horsemen, my foot-soldiers, my armies, my resources, and my Muslim partisans will protect the Christians as far away as they may be located, whether they inhabit the lands which border my state, in any region, close or far, in times of peace as much as in times of war. I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert.
I will protect their religion and their Church wherever they are found, be it on earth or at sea, in the West or in the East, with utmost vigilance on my part, the People of my House, and the Muslims as a whole.
I place them under my protection. I make a pact with them. I commit myself to protect them from any harm or damage; to exempt them for any requisitions or any onerous obligations and to protect them myself, by means of my assistants, my followers and my nation against every enemy who targets me and them”

Agreed there is controversy over the applicability of the he Pact of Najran beyond that specific Christian community the treaty was sealed with. Understandably, through the eras of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Safavids, and so on Ottomans right down to the Maliki revival of Sheikh Othman Dan Fodio a lot of water has passed under the bridge, lest I forget the intervening Crusades that spanned 175 years from 1096 – 1271.

We however have a monumental reference point in our own clime in the groundbreaking letter written by Shehu al- Hajj Muhammad al – Amin al – Kanemi (1776 -1837) on the 23rd day of Rabee-ul-thani, 1238 AH to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Bello (1781 – 1837) who was Amir al – Mu’minin, Commander of the Faithful from 1814 -1836. After the usual polite and often flowering greetings, felicitations and best wishes the Shehu of Borno that was born in Murzuk, in present day Libya stated;

“Hence, the cause of writing this letter and the purpose of its lines, is to acquaint you that the bearers are English travelers; whose nation, out of all the other Christians, has maintained with the Mooslemeen uninterrupted treaties of religious amity and friendship, established since ancient periods, which they inherited from their forefathers and ancestors; and on this account, they penetrate into Mooslemeen countries whenever they please, and traverse all provinces and lands in confidence and trust, without fear. They came to our country, sent to us by our virtuous and accomplished friend, the Lord Yousuf Pasha, master of Tripoli, to see and delight themselves with the wonders of the Land of Soodan, and to become acquainted with its rarities, as lakes, rivers, and forests (or gardens) ; equal to which are seldom seen in other countries.”
The accomplished cleric and sovereign of the Borno empire that was of Kanembu ancestry of present day Tchad who upstaged the Sefuwa dynasty with its former capital in today’s Yobe state, ruled from Kukawa which he founded in 1814. Maiduguri was later established around Yerwa by the Ngadda River in 1907 after a treaty with the Germans, French and British.

He continued;
“You are well aware of what is stated in Alcoraanic sayings upon the subject of the observance of honour, dictated by our Lord, the Apostle of God; and that the true Mooslemeen have always avoided shedding the blood of Christians, and assisted and protected them with their honour. Be then attentive to these travelers, and cast them not into the corners of neglect; let no one hurt them, either by words or deeds, nor interrupt them with any injurious behavior: but let them return to us, safe, and may the high God bestow upon you the best reward for your treatment to them, and insure to us and to you the path of righteousness for conduct in this life.”

For me this iconic attestation that accompanied the English explorers Major Dixon Denham and Royal Navy Commander Hugh Clapperton from Kukawa to Sokoto in January, 1824 is sufficient proof of the historical covenant between Muslims and Christians before even Nigeria was crafted into being a nation. It is on that foundation laid 196 years ago we must build a new Nigeria!

In any case the conclusion of the Pact of Najran emphasized;
“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

In conclusion; You don’t have to be Hindu to enjoy Indian films or an Inca to watch Telenovelas or indeed worship Shinto to drive a Honda or Toyota neither have no religion to patronize any Chinese product nor be a Korean Buddhist to use any Samsung or be an agnostic to admire Nelson Mandela. Must you own an iPhone or any Apple product if like Steve Jobs that produced them you don’t subscribe to any particular religion?

Less 48 hours or so ago America despite its present health pandemic and economic woes launched a space mission called Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover; “That will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance the quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars” – yet here we are in Nigeria still dividing ourselves over religion!

Can they beat Trump?

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Can a Biden/Harris ticket beat President Donald Trump?

On the surface this is a winning team. However, in America democracy it is all about the Deep State. That is why during the 2016 presidential elections despite her 65.8 million votes, Hilary Clinton could not enter the White House. Rather Donald J. Trump and his 62.9 million votes is now the current chief tenant.
So what happened? The United States Electoral College voted him in that is what. Trump got 304 votes of college electors while Clinton got 227 – end of story.

“The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, which forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election……The number of each state’s electors is equal to the sum of the state’s membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.”

Interestingly, there are “Faithless electors” who switch sides or are compelled to do so by the Deep State and its allies and interested parties. But who are these electors in general? The answer to this question is why Kamala Devi Harris is very crucial to Joe Biden’s candidacy. The state of California where she comes from has the highest number of 55. Besides Harris is biracial, her father is from Jamaica and her mother from India. Gender also plays a prominent part in the permutation as women voters are the most consistent in American politics. American men are good in arguing and debating politics but it is women that actually turn out to vote in more numbers per capita.

Deep State is defined as; “A hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process”

There is also what is known as American Exceptionalism which; “is the theory that the history of the United States is inherently different from that of other nations.” The idea that America has a unique mission to transform the world. Therefore to achieve that only those that can preserve and keep the American national interest should be allowed to occupy the White House. For instance, Obama came into office with the repeated promise to shut down the illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay but for 8 years he couldn’t. And by negotiating a nuclear peace treaty with Iran he openly defied the Deep State making Mrs. Clinton take the fall.

In the United States no president can go to war with the Deep State and win. Ask John F Kennedy and his brother and Attorney General, Robert F Kennedy who wanted to run for president – they were both assassinated. The Deep State is an extended cabal that cuts across party lines.
It is very important to note that very deeply embedded in the American psyche is the role of the Sheriff that constantly fights off bad guys. That is why Hollywood endlessly promotes the protagonist/antagonist dynamic – always between an “actor” and the “boss” The oxygen of the US economy is the military-industrial complex which cannot survive without conflicts and wars all around the world; “Without war human beings stagnate in comfort and affluence and lose the capacity for great thoughts and feelings, they become cynical and subside into barbarism” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821- 1881)

My take on the forthcoming US elections is solely based on stone cold analysis of the 2000 polls “won” by George W Bush by a complete outsider through the pages of; Stupid White Men of Michael Moore (2002) If I had been resident there I am sure I would have felt different and opined otherwise. I am merely a detached student of the dynamics of power. I say this out of respect for my numerous friends and even some relatives in the US. I respect their choices.

Now back to the question; can the Biden-Harris ticket beat that of Trump-Pence? I have my doubts for the following reasons;

1. The opinion polls that Biden is currently leading Trump by 10 points is no different from that of Clinton over Trump in 2016 yet see what played out.

2. America is a deeply racist country and will always remain so because there is an umbilical link between racism and capitalism – one cannot exist without the other. Biden is already 75 years old this means he has no second term ambition. Harris is however 55 which means another Black presidential against the background of all these Black Lives Matter protests in 2024. Even liberal WASPs might gravitate back to White supremacy by default.

3. Joe Biden is not a war monger and he will tax the rich more to pay the poor like bring back Obama Care.

4. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant segment of America prefer Trump’s sabre rattling on Immigration. Biden will open up the flow. Trump has shut the tap!

5. Biden is a supporter of strict Gun Laws. Trump is not!

6. Masses are masses anywhere in the world – the inability to see the big picture is always the same. The American masses vote in popular elections but it is just a few hundred “electors” that always determine who wins.

7. The ace in every US elections is Israel. Biden has always rooted for Palestine. He will also return to the conference table with Iran and negotiate with China. Trump will not because; “Leaders have always found it useful to have an enemy at their gates distracting the public from their difficulties. Use the rhetoric of war to heighten the stakes” – page 12 of 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene (2006)