The Spy who “Loved” Nigeria

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Sir Hanns Vischer

As they say; “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” Sir Hanns Vischer, was an agent of His Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service in Nigeria. He was referred to as “Dan Hausa” due to his mastery of the Hausa language which he helped in standardizing. He was also prolific in Arabic, Fulfulde and Kanuri in addition to Greek, French and German. Based in Kano from 1907 to 1919, his cover was head of the Education Department.

Gidan Dan Hausa, now a national monument was his official residence. The building had being in existence for about a hundred years before Kano was conquered by the British in 1903. It had previously served as the base of the overseer of the royal farming plantation outside the ancient city walls known as Rumada. Vischer rebuilt it from scratch making improvements in 1907.

The spymaster first came to Nigeria in 1901 and was based in Lokoja before he was reassigned to Maiduguri in 1903. By 1906, he crossed the Sahara Desert. He recounted his journey in a 1911 book entitled; “Across the Sahara from Tripoli to Borno” Another book he wrote is; “Rules for Hausa Spelling” printed in 1912.
Kano was crucial to the British in two aspects. First, in creating an elite that would oppose national independence. Second, it was a crucial cross roads in monitoring Francophone territories and the German colony of Kamerun.

According the historian, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman;
“The Hausa-speaking people, not only do they have dialects, which were barely mutually intelligible, but they have no tradition of a common origin.” Hausa as spoken and written today was therefore a British project. Vischer was one of the arrow heads.

Vischer’s residence also served as a school for sons of emirs from all over the North. With his wife who joined him in 1912, the couple moulded the young aristocrats teaching them how to read and write in English and Ajami (Arabic in Roman script) The school started with 30 pupils in 1909. Their hostel was within the Nasarawa palace of Kano emirate nearby.

Enrollment increased to over 200 princes by 1913 from the 11 provinces of the Northern Protectorate. It produced the first Western educated elites in the North that eventually became the first members of the House of Chiefs and Assembly both in Kaduna. Vischer’s school relocated becoming Katsina College in 1921, which is now Barewa College in Zaria.

The Vischers had two children at Gidan Dan Hausa. Their photographs including that of their house maid still adorn the main living room of the historic house to date.

The British did not come to the colonial contours of what became Nigeria for sightseeing – they came to plunder.
To pull that off they needed to apply “divide et impera” – divide and rule. They ensured no level of national consciousness could develop eventually preparing us for national independence without economic freedom.

The likes of Sir Vischer were instrumental to Pax Britannica. Such people are described as “capax imperii” – capable of ruling an empire by understanding and study of languages;
“One had only to watch him in his daily avocations in those early days to realize how completely at home he was with every class of society—whether he was engaged in grave deliberations with emirs, viziers and other high personages of the ruling hierarchy, or whether he was chaffing the hucksters at the market stalls as he rode through Kano city. No less revealing was it to see him in his own home pick up a native drum and, squatting on the floor, croon local Hausa songs to his own accompaniment. So inimitably did he do it that, if he had been hidden behind a screen, one would have said that an African musician had been engaged to entertain his guests”

At Gidan Dan Hausa, Vischer reorganized traditional Hausa building materials of “Tubali” and “Azara” by creatively using “Chafe” for plaster and “Makuba” for relieve motifs retaining “Zankwaye” (the horns at the top) and “Dakali” (the horizontal platform at the base)
Vischer used local labor sourced within the ancient city of Kano from “Unguwan Gini”

The original inhabitants of Kano are the “Abagawa” of the Nok Civilization. The “Wangara” from present-day Mali conquered and incorporated Kano into the Songhai Empire. Eventually the Habe held sway before the Hausanization process that followed the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate.

It has been the southern entrepôt of the Trans Saharan trade for millennia. Arabs and Tuaregs have been part of Kano’s mosaic for centuries.

It provided the perfect cover for Sir Hanns Vischer, a spymaster par excellence according to Nigel West in; Historical Dictionary of World War I Intelligence (2014)

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: Nation of leaders, not followers

BBC’s Martin Patience is leaving Nigeria after 2 years. I listened to a recap of his lessons learned in a version of the ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ yesterday. Below is a transcribed excerpt of his version.
________________________________

”Nigeria is truly the maddest place I have ever had the pleasure of living in. It’s a country that constantly feels on the brink but never quite goes over the edge.

“It feels like you are living in a giant soap opera with all the joy and tragedy that goes with it. It is a nation blessed or burdened with extraordinary cast of characters.

“It can make you want to cry with laughter or with tears. ‘’where else?’’ said a friend.

“That you have to bribe the attendant in a lift just to be allowed out of it; or you will be hassled in a church for a donation or where you will go to a lost but found office only to be told that nothing has been handed in this entire year. What you may not have heard about is the sheer exuberance of this country.

“They should hand out ear plugs in Nigerian weddings because the noise is so intense! Millions truly believe that tomorrow could be the day they make it big. The language here is unbelievably colorful.

“A top official once described a former president as an honest fool, who held the horn while the others milk the cow.

“I have never ever lived anywhere like Nigeria! It’s exhausting and exhilarating but never is there a dull a day.

“I was recently sitting in a plane and we were taxiing out to the runway; a pilot piped up in an intercom, ‘’a passenger’’ he said, ‘’was rude to an air hostess’’. ‘’I ask you the passengers’’, he said, ‘’to intervene, because unless he apologizes, we will have to go back to the terminal and unload him’’.

“A queue of about a dozen people surrounding the man, shouting at him to apologize. He refused, so the pilot did indeed turn the plane back towards the boarding gate. And then finally, the man, realizing his number was up, said sorry.

“The pilot was back on the intercom, ‘’I will like to thank you all for intervening’’ he said with obvious delight, ‘’ we are now off to Lagos’’.

“For all the drama and frustrations, one friend summed up Nigerians’ best, ‘’they have remarkable patience’’ he argued. ‘’but for the wrong things.

“They put up with lack of clean water, poor access to health care, rotten schools and crumbling infrastructure.’’ Many Nigerians are fiercely independent. This is a nation of leaders and not followers.”

#copied

Sex For Grades: The Known and Unknown

If you haven’t seen the recently viral BBC News Africa documentary ‘Sex for Grades’ then look it up before you continue reading:

Sex For Grades (Documentary)

THIS WRITE UP IS NOT A RESPONSE TO THE DOCUMENTARY, NEITHER IS IT AN IMPLIED QUERY. IT IS A GUIDED CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOUD PRETENTIOUS OVERTURES THAT FOLLOWED THE DOCUMENTARY’S RELEASE.

I’m going to make this write up as brief as possible, if that is possible for anyone documenting well over four decades of tertiary education life.

SO IF YOU ARE IN A RUSH, PLEASE SKIP ‘DISCLAIMER, & QUALIFICATION’. BUT YOU JUST MIGHT WANT TO READ THEM AGAIN AFTERWARDS.

IT IS YOUR PICK?

DISCLAIMER

I. IF YOU READ ABOUT ANYONE THAT REMOTELY RESEMBLES ANYONE YOU SUSPECT, DON’T BURST YOUR BALLS, IT’S THEM.

II. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET INSANELY ANNOYED, PUSH OFF.

III. IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN OBJECTIVE MIND & YOU WISH TO CRITICIZE WITH PREJUDICE, BRING IT ON.

IV. LASTLY, THE LECTURERS ALREADY CAUGHT & EXPOSED, PLEASE DON’T BOTHER READING THIS BECAUSE YOU’RE DESERVEDLY IN THE ABYSS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENDLESSLY RETRIEVEBLE HISTORY.

I DON’T WANT YOU THINKING; “Why didn’t this fool put this up before now?” Then running off to kill yourself. ALL LIFE MATTER & GOD LOVES EVEN YOU TOO.

Just, maybe only HE might still love you now.

QUALIFICATION

Am I qualified to write about this?

You tell me?

I have; A combination of Thirteen years lecturing in six tertiary institutions in Northen Nigeria (mainly on part time basis), presently a senior Educational Administrator in a Health based tertiary institution.

I have; A cumulative period of just under twenty five years as a student at seven different Nigerian tertiary institutions studying programs leading to the award of Certificates, Ordinary/Higher/Post graduate Diplomas, Masters Degree. All these inclusive of those dropped, abandoned, completed & yet to be complete.

I have; Separately, Thirty seven plus years of visiting, living with and having endless discussions with very close lecturer friends, hanging around with, partying alongside, holidaying with, as my lecturers or my close friends or housemates or colleagues or relatives or in-laws. All of them with various levels of experience in the most diverse disciplines & professional callings.

I have; All my Fifty years of life time (thus far) lived in a family that lives & breathes tertiary education, with (as at the last count) all together; one of the oldest (still actively living) Professors in Northern Nigeria, Six times full tenure University Vice Chancellor (both within & out side Nigeria) Three PhDs, I don’t really know how many Masters degrees, we don’t have time & space here to list the number of first degrees & various assorted levels of diplomas & I haven’t the faintest idea how many undergraduates are still studying within & outside Nigeria. Most of whom I interact with continuiously.

Bottom line: I have lived, talked & walked Nigerian tertiary education all my literate life. To a large extend I know & have been part of the workings of Nigerian tertiary institutions for most of my life. And everybody knows that the core part of the tertiary education experience is the relationship between lecturers & all their many students; the young & old, the stupid & smart, the Good, the Bad & the Cute.

EXPERIENCE

After the roll of CV, I’ll limited this section to my experience with the opposite sex. (I apologize to the LGBT community because most folks don’t realize that when we say ‘oppposite sex’, we exclude other…. Hmmmmm, other sexes?)

So, by now you’ve worked out I am a Straight Male, about five decades old, considerably educated & someone who has been ‘all over the place’. And I mean ‘All Over The Place’. Don’t worry, you will work out what the expression means by the time you’re done with this section.

I have no romantic story of worth to tell from my secondary school days (Primary school was more eventful) But credit to me, I had put that woeful romantic experience to good use & scored a resounding distinction for unending effort. This experience taught me to talk my way out of every situation conceivable and as I ended my teen age, I perfected how to talk and endear my way into almost every cooperative female heart and in most instances, all the way beyond the depts of the female heart.

My romantic experience at the various tertiary institutions I was a student in was to say the least hyperactive & swinging. I will summarize it with this quote;

“THERE WERE NINE GIRLS IN MY PROGRAM CLASS AT ONE TIME AND I HAD THE SHAMEFUL RECORD OF SEPERATELY BEING ROMANTIC INVOLVED WITH ALL BUT ONE OF THEM IN ONE CALENDAR YEAR.”

I was more than just romantic with most of them. The level of coy & maneuvering that went into that feat was quite advanced and would make many war-time Generals envious. The single girl that got away escaped for two main reasons;

(1) I had saved her for last because she was always going to be the toughest nut to crack. The plan was to become ‘born again’ and join her church at the end.

(2) I ran out of time. The plan had worked out smoothly, we had become all brotherly and sisterly, started holding hands to and from places when time ran out.

THE RUB

I wasn’t your typical good looking lad, I was as black as soot & taller than a door. But I knew my positives and flaunted them.

I was a jock, played Basketball & football in the school teams, I was quite smart too. I solved calculus problems & explained complicated lecture notes, even those not of my immediate area of study.

I wasnt just at every party & live shows there was, I organized most parties and live shows.

I had my fill of the campus life. I was lord over the social life & called the shots. I was mindful that lots of my classmates & buddies in those days on campus couldn’t join in the rolling fun. They just didn’t measure up to the expectations of the girls back then. These were mainly the really smart ones. The Nerds, as Americans call them.

They either didn’t have the time, didn’t make the time, didn’t put in the effort, were shy, got discouraged or simply weren’t bothered for the social campus life way back then.

LET’S CONCLUDE

Here it comes:

Of the so many of the lecturers I have come across in my ‘Thirty seven plus years of visiting, living with and having endless discussions with very close lecturer friends, hanging around with, partying alongside, holidaying with, as my lecturers or my close friends or house mates or colleagues or relatives or in-law”, a whooping 75% of them were nerds. They said so or I know so.

Do my math too;

Off all the clear cut Nerds I went to school with, all those I can remember or kept in touch with or met again many years later or followed their progression through life, all but three are lecturers now. Two of the three are dead & the one, I last heard was walking the streets in Benin (South central Nigeria) picking up trash & mouthing nonsense, mad as a tornado.

Make up your own conclusions:

Of all these so many nerds I knew and related with, that all became lecturers, a resounding 90% have either had some kind of sexual related incident with a female student or have indicated the tendency to indulge in illicit romantic dealings with female students.

This will blow your away;

I watched the Sex for Grades documentary and there on the screen was one of the nerds in the stats offered above.

I’m not surprised I know one of them & if you’re still asking why, then start reading from the top again

© Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

October 2019

Future related reading & possible documentary subjects:

I. Whoring for Grades

II. Nigerain Culture of favour for favour

III. Qualities of a lecturer

CC

Kiki Mordi @kikimordi

BBC News Africa @BBCAfrica

#SexForGrades #BBCAfricaEye

UK & USA Reject Nigerian Elections

Breaking News:

UK & USA Reject Presidential election results, threatens to remove Buhari .
Read full story….

The U.K and USA has rejected the Presidential election held on Saturday.
The Urhobo Kingdom (UK) representing Irodo community in Delta State And the UKwani Student Association (USA) also threatened to scatter the INEC office in Irodo and UKwani, two small communitIes where only about 100 and 300 people registered to vote
Details later….

Happy new month with blessings

POEMS: All Hail the Abiding Sparrow, Loathsome, Blind Sight, Fine Times, Zebra Crossing & British Branded Civility (BBC)

ALL HAIL THE ABIDING SPARROW

Even the sparrow has found a home made
In the shallow nest she makes for her young.
For in those periods all so dry, dark and dead,
Despair is a refusal to struggle and belong.

While I sat thoroughly disillusioned in a park,
With a disappointed heart deaden to all hope.
Like it wouldn’t often do to anyone; even in the dark,
A little sparrow bird picked my hand and on hopped.

Then my mind tugged at how amazing a sparrow is;
A very small feathered reflection of true doggedness.
As through all the four seasons the rolling year is,
The sparrow lingers on the land’s harsh barrenness.

Chirping cheerily in the dreary winter ending year,
Perched on bare brown twigs of the bleakest days,
Begging on frost glued door steps of a starting year,
Abiding through yet another year till its wintry days.

While the swallow darts off after the sun elsewhere,
The sparrow stays home and braves stormy blasts.
So can I; if it can fight it and still remain right here.
Its gaily lesson brought me back from despair at last.

Hope took on its feathers and perched on my soul.
Sang without any words and never stopped at all.
When despair over takes us and erases our goal,
God can come to our aid and we really never fail.

LOATHSOME

As you strut and malign,
Mean malediction you align.

All the beauty of the bile
You manage to make vile.

BLIND SIGHT

Willed to mind those seen,
His checkered tale has been.
Sworn to swell only his own,
Cursed man’s ego as borne.
What he sees is in the look
As much as the view it took.

From beneath, night twinkles
Like tiny fire-flies in singles.
When above, man and plants
Appear the mere weed or Ants.
Within these eyes’ perspectives
Are dark truths held captives.

FINE TIMES

Winners so abound,
Strapped and bounded.
Elated all around,
Joyously dumb-founded.

Those fine times
Speaks for all kinds.
Saying as do chimes,
That time do binds.

Rare times of winning
Brings forth the hidden.
Revealing all missing;
Fingers in the mitten.

ZEBRA CROSSING

Long nights had passed by,
I still stray into the dream.
My tears had filled my try,
My beaten milk isn’t cream.

Donkey’s years pass on along
And made me an ass all alone.
Donkey’s oversized head belong
To the horses my very fate own.

The will shade appear itself
And I can not be too careful.
In crossing to my other half,
I find I am the Zebra’s fool.

BRITISH BRANDED CIVILITY (BBC)

By the waves of the BBC, which sits us down,
There we wait, where we’re reminded of our world.

So let their words pierce our hearts,
And our meditations mould all our words,
To be respectable in common fairness to all deeds.