The Awesome Power of Forgiveness

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

I have just finished watching a BBC documentary that featured the attached family (L-R) Rizqy Setiawan, Iwan Setiawan and Sarah Setiawan flanking Ahmad Hassan (2nd from L) Iwan is the father of Rizqy and Sarah.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Hassan is on death row. He was one of the conspirators of a bomb attack that killed Iwan’s wife, the mother of Rizqy and Sarah. The program put together by the maverick BBC reporter Rebecca Henschke was such a profound experience for me. It is a poignant reminder that the best way to fight against evil is through forgiveness. As Abraham Lincoln famously asked;

“Do I not destroy my enemies by making them my friends?”

“Setiawan was on his motorbike, speeding past the Australian embassy in Jakarta. His mind was on his wife, whose arms were around his chest and whose pregnant belly he could feel pressing against his back. Their second child was due within weeks and they were on their way to hospital for a check-up. Suddenly there was this incredibly loud sound and we were thrown into the air,” he remembers. Iwan didn’t know till much later that it was a suicide bomb, planted by a militant group a responsible for a series of attacks in Indonesia, including the Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people from around the world. “I saw blood. Lots of blood. Metal went flying into one of my eyes, destroying it. His wife was thrown from the bike, landing metres away. Both were rushed to hospital and, in a state of shock, a badly injured Halila Seroja Daulay went into labour.

She was rushed into the operating room after getting contractions. But praise be to Allah, somehow she was still able to give birth naturally,” Iwan says. That night Rizqy was born. His name means “blessing”
According to Setiawan “I lost my best friend, my soul mate, the person who completed me. It’s so painful to talk about it,”. At first, he was filled with a desire for revenge. “I wanted the arrested conspirators to die, but I didn’t want them to die quickly,” he says. “I wanted them to be tortured first. I wanted their skin to be cut and salt put in the wounds so that they had some idea of the pain their bombing caused, both physically and mentally. My children and I have struggled so incredibly hard just to keep living.”

The car bomb attack that killed Mrs Setiawan went off at 10.30 am Jakarta time on September 9, 2004. It killed the suicide bomber that triggered it, 8 others, injured 150 and destroyed not just the Australian embassy but that of Greece and China shattering glass windows up to half a kilometer away. 6 persons were eventually arrested and sentenced to death. They are currently cooling off their heels in a maximum security prison on a jungle covered island that the surviving Setiawan family members met Ahmad Hassan including the mastermind of the bomb attack Darmawan Munto Rois. Setiawan senior had all previously met them before bringing his children along. Who by way of introduction started;
“I have invited my children to meet you, I want them to understand too why you did the bombing that killed their mother and caused me to lose one of my eyes. They have to know because they lost their mother when they were so young” Ahmad Hassan nods solemnly and replies;
“I never wanted to hurt your father, he just happened to be passing by, and my friend who was carrying the bomb blew it up at that time. I hope that you, the children of Iwan, can forgive me.” His voice starts to break.

“I am a flawed human. I have made many mistakes. My friends and I were given the wrong education and learning. I wish that we hadn’t acted before we had really gained knowledge and understood what we were doing,” he continued.
Sarah summons up courage and says; “I would always ask my dad when I was little, ‘Where is my mum?’ and he told me she was at Allah’s house. I asked where that was, and he said it was the mosque. So I ran away to the mosque. My grandmother was looking for me, and when she found me I told her that I was waiting for my mum. I was waiting for my mum to come home. But she has never come home.”

“Hassan closes his eyes and opens his hands in prayer. Over and over he mumbles a prayer seeking forgiveness from Allah. “Allah wanted me to have to meet you and be forced to try and explain,” he finally manages to say. “But I can’t explain to you my child, I am sorry. “I can’t hold back my tears. I take Sarah as my own child. Please, please forgive me. It’s in your hands.” Everyone in this tiny room is crying – except the mastermind and financier of the bomb attack who on his part stated; “I have a child, too. I haven’t seen my wife or child for years. I really miss them. I am even worse off than you. You’re still with your children. My child doesn’t even know me.” Darmawan continued “I didn’t do what they said I did. Why did I admit to it? Maybe when you are older you will understand” he said directly to the Setiawan children but added

“All humans have made mistakes. If I have wronged you in any way I apologise. I feel pain. I really do”

The entire meeting is part of a De-radicalisation program by the Indonesian government that brings captured terrorists and their victims face to face many of which have found healing and moved on with their lives without bitterness. Quite a number of the terrorists have also recanted because they are kept in isolation. Without their death sentences carried out and group solidarity they break down. Can the same template be applied in Nigeria? Will one day Shekau pose for a photograph holding hands with the Sharibu family? Are terrorists not actually pawns on a chessboard they neither understand nor have real control over? Truth is the real terrorist grandmasters never blow up themselves or get in any harms way.

They always pose as good guys because terrorism is the continuation of politics by other means. That not withstanding there is power in forgiveness.

The various aftermaths of the Nigerian Civil War during the Oil Boom 70s, the emergence of a Rainbow Nation after dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa and the current soaring of Rwanda after the Hutu genocide against Tutsis are all examples of that awesome power.

Why Maps are important

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The Chadian President; Idriss Derby’ on his official Twitter handle at 8.15pm on April, 5 2020 posted; “In Baga-Sola, I visited soldiers injured this afternoon during the operations launched against the Boko Haram enlightened. They are proud to have accomplished a sacred mission in the service of their dear homeland.”

Meanwhile, a follow up report with various photographs stated; “Chadian troops had on Saturday launched an offensive against the insurgents in the Goje-Chadian area of Sambisa forest, a stronghold of Boko Haram. The operation, led by Chadian President Idriss Déby, lasted for hours with the soldiers clearing the insurgents off the area.” Without the help of cartography we cannot properly contextualize the foregoing reports as all the mentioned areas are well highlighted in the attached map which is very important in 2 main respects.

First, it shows us that the Boko Haram insurgency cannot be defeated without active support and cooperation of our neighbors Chad and Cameroon. This simply means the main solution to the crisis is actually in Paris. Second, the shrinking water body of Lake Chad is a major factor that has negatively affected the agricultural fortunes of that region which in turn provides the steady flow of recruits to the insurgency.
Let us also not be be unmindful that Francophone Africa has always had a frosty relationship with Nigeria as far back as colonial times. The fundamental question is; does France perceive Nigeria as a threat to its interests in the Sahel? Without properly answering this question I doubt if a final solution to the Boko Haram crisis could be found as it implies the insurgency that has caused so much sorrow, tears and blood has always had foreign support despite starting within Nigeria. Because there is no way the massive stockpiles of military hardware attributed to Boko Haram would have arrived in the Sahel region without going through any Francophone territory. That notwithstanding within Nigeria itself there are various interest groups firing the embers of the conflict because how could such a fraction of Nigerian territory be so problematic for so long?

Interestingly, the insurgency was the political Achilles heel of Goodluck Jonathan yet it has refused to abate in the last 5 years. We Nigerians have our issues and agendas but what is truly going on in the North East? Truth is our wall had to crack before the French lizards started taking advantage of our lack of national focus and direction.

“Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first stage it is ridiculed, in the second stage it is opposed, in the third stage it is regarded as self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer in Allgemeine Verkehrsgeographie (1913)

When salt losses its taste

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


I do not know why the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) chose a day after President Buhari’s national broadcast on the Covid-19 pandemic to demand N1.1 trillion from the FG for the “revitalization” of the Nigerian university system. It is truly apalling with the current economic situation!


But then, this is Nigeria where any proof of life speech by the leader in standing position is breaking news. We are indeed a cynical federation! as ours is breaking news. While the periodic distraction that the national speculation on the whereabouts of Mr President might be temporarily strategic it has a cumulative effect in the progressive bastardization his political legacy in the long run. Being a president is not a call to be an expert. Rather it is simply being in charge which in an internet age is not a picnic.


The contents of President Buhari’s speech in overall context commendably covered all the relevant issues. That it was short on details is perfectly understandle. This is because unlike President Trump that briefs his nation daily on the pandemic, ours only addresses his national constituency “after hours and hours of rehearsals, which nonetheless unmasks his declining cognitive faculties” as his leadership template is apparently that of “presidency by absenteeism”




The world we live in is a global village. From Uganda, a young lady Kenyangi Bale tweeted at 7.58am Kampala time on March 27, 2020 just 2 days before President Buhari addressed us ” I know Ugandans deserve better. But, our president, Museveni has addressed this nation the 5th time in 2 weeks on the COVID-19 pandemic. You guys needs to visit Nigerian Twitter. They are looking for their president. He is no where to be found”.


Last night (Nigerian time) Mr Trump started his usual live briefing by announcing that the US Navy hospital had sailed into New York ready for medical battle. The former oil tanker was converted to a hospital ship in 1987 has 1000 beds, 12 operating theaters, a dental clinic, 4 X-ray machines, CT scanner, 2 Oxygen production plants, Optometry lab, 5000 unit capacity blood bank, daily 300,000 gallons fresh water plant, helipad and morgue. According to the US Navy, the hospital ship that is the equivalent in height to a 10-storey building and 3 football fields long was due to sail for New York in 8 days but when the Army Corps of Engineers was drafted in it sailed in 5 days.


Meanwhile, it took 35 days between when the first Covid-19 case was announced in Nigeria and when President Buhari addressed the nation. In India it took an Indian academic, Virologist Minal Dakhane Bhosale 42 days to develop an indigenous test kit. She unlike her Nigerian counterparts was not on strike, rather as soon as she finished her project headed for the maternity ward to deliver a bouncing baby girl. What is the difference in distaste between Mr President and ASUU?


Anyway soon after Mr. President addressed the nation a disturbing video started making the rounds on social media showing an obviously distressed Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, the CO of Operation Lafiya Dole apparently addressing, his boss the army chief.



“We have been met with very strong resistance – from more than pockets of Boko Haram. From every flank not less than 15 gun trucks were facing us. I’m standing here with Sector 2 Commander; the armed helicopter has just come to hover our air, the instruction I gave them was that anything they see moving they should engage because most of my gun trucks are not moving. Like I said earlier, the three battalions are fighting as deployed — nobody is running” He went on “But what we have here, I will give you some estimates. Boko Haram has fired more than a hundred mortar bombs at us; they have fired 80 to a hundred RPGs at us; in addition to eight to 10 gun trucks firing at us from all sides. We have not run, and the soldiers are not misbehaving or disobeying orders.We have casualties. I will come and see you in person on what we need to do. But we are not running. We lost about 20 MRAP tires here. We have changed close to 250 Hilux tires due to the terrain.”


According to a report that accompanied the viral video “Several wounded soldiers could be seen crying in the video while bodies of their colleagues was scattered all over location. Recall that Boko Haram recently ambushed troops in Borno and killed more than 50 soldiers during that attack”That such a highly classified communication is being circulated in the public domain is shocking. It however means the video was perhaps deliberately leaked by whistleblowers in service to alert the nation on the deterioration of affairs in the North East.
Nigeria’s security and military apparatus cannot afford to be distracted because elsewhere in the world either by hook or by crook according to the newspaper Times of Israel in its March 27 edition; “The Mossad intelligence service on Thursday helped bring another 400,000 CoronaVirus test kits to Israel from an undisclosed foreign location, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. That was in addition to the roughly 100,000 test kits the spy agency brought to Israel last week. The PMO, which is responsible for the Mossad, said the intelligence service had imported the chemical reagents needed to perform approximately 400,000 tests. The swabs needed to carry out the task are being sourced both internally and from a number of foreign countries. The PMO refused to comment further on the matter, specifically on the country or countries that sold it the testing components, leading many to assume that it was a country that does not have strong or formal ties with Israel.


In another report in Blomberg.com dated March 19, 2020; “Earlier this week, the Shin Bet (Israel’s) domestic security service was authorized to use a technology developed primarily for counterterrorism purposes to identify who infected people may have come in contact with”
So on one hand, while in our country the military is besieged by a seemingly endless insurgency in others the armed forces and security are being used to assist a national effort in medical health care delivery. No doubt it is all about a coordinated leadership that has purpose and direction. Ours unfortunately is mostly about an “absentee presidency” If so what is the way forward? It is all about to be seen to be in-charge. Leadership is mostly about effective presence without actually saying much or being an expert. Just be there!


Law 16 of 48 Laws of Power recommends “Use absence to increase respect and honor. Create value through scarcity” There is however a caveat “Absence is dangerous – instead of fanning the flames, it will extinguish them. In the beginning, make yourself not scarce, but omnipresent. Only what is seen, appreciated, and loved will be missed in its absence” It is against this background that Law 6 is instructive; “Everything is judged by it’s appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention”

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOKO HARAM & THE RELIGION OF ISLAM

1. The Boko Haram kidnapped girls and forced them to change their religion.

While
Islam says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion…..”

(Qur’an 2:256)

2. The Boko Haram have forcefully married off girls.

While
Islam says: “…..Do not inherit women against their will…..”

(Qur’an 4:19)

3. The Boko Haram are aggressive towards those who do not follow their beliefs.

While
Islam says: “IF IT HAD BEEN YOUR LORD’S WILL, all of the people on Earth would have believed [in one religion]….” (Quran 10:99)

And

“Let there be no compulsion in Islam ”

(Quran 2:256)

4. The Boko Haram have murdered thousands of Muslims and Christians alike in cold blood.

While Islam says: “….If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…”

(Quran 5:32)

5. The Boko Haram use the cover of Islam to commit their mayhem and claim they are doing ALLAH’S work or JIHAD (HOLY WAR).

While Islam says: “…… BUT DO NOT TRANSGRESS LIMITS; FOR GOD LOVES NOT TRANSGRESSORS.”

(Qur’an 2:190)”

6. The Boko Haram believes once you are not with them you are an enemy to them.

While Islam says: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other)……”

(Quran 49:13)

7. The Boko Haram have unleashed tyranny and indecency in the land.

While Islam says: “God commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny….”

(Quran 16:90)

Finally, upon all their false claims its clear to see that Boko Haram do not represent Islam in any way because, they are acting against Islam.

*Copied; Author Unknown

Question is, the non-Muslims do not get or feel the impression that regular Islam, as proposed & preached by the Holy Quran, is Defended by genuine Muslims as much as it is said to be Offended by Boko Haram.

© Yas Niger

Boko Haram: Western Values are Forbidden by Yas Niger (2014)

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

HONESTY

bird in hand

Honesty is not seen as it should be anymore, it is not seen as a wholesome noble act of justice, and not even measured and scaled properly or ensured or indeed insured. In its place is an insatiable quest for a luxurious life style that guides a preference scale of needless priorities.

Only the human conscience has the most taming influence on the excesses of people.

TAMING AS THE CONSCIENCE

With this thought comes the word
That a taught mind does afford.
From the heart’s thrust for action,
The spirit reveals its intention.

Creeping up guts and spines
Of the anguished, as he pines.
The real is seen not as before,
For requests never ever bore.

One thoughtless act or yet
Another rehearsed and so wet,
Could afterwards be active
And securely hold any captive.

Days go by written with them,
Hours pass mindless also then.
As minutes and their seconds
Of their pain’s mocking bonds.

the poet in the poet - Copy
The poet in the poem
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AA-Boko Haram - Cover - Copy
Boko Haram
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#BringBackOurGirls

Save our girls
(excerpts from Boko Haram: Western Values are Forbidden; Chapter 7)

This is a tribute to the over two hundred girls abducted by Boko Haram from the north eastern Nigeria a year ago. You might find the following excerpt rather unsettling, but be advised that though the deductions are based on actual facts, what you are about to read is a work of fiction. #BringBackOurGirls #ChibokGirls

“But what message do you have for the Nigerian people and the rest of the world who were hopeful that they were rid of Boko Haram?”

“This is the calm before the storm. The long dormant seed of Boko Haram has germinated and grown into a massive oak tree that can not be uprooted with mere hands of the Nigerian Armed forces. The Western world must recognize this fact.”

“Boko Haram abducted more than two hundred Nigerian school girls that have not been heard of as a whole again. Do you know what has become of them?”

“That is a very funny incident for me personally.” “Funny?” The black reporter asked in amazement. The Sheik was sweating profusely as the reporter gasped.

“Yes funny, because it wasn’t made an issue that these girls had actually been gathered together by elements in the Nigerian Western Educational system; with the approval and sponsorship of their parents and guardians. They hid them away from the Nigerian authorities so they can secretly carry out their acts of gross examination practices. This is a very common practice in Nigeria. While the Nigerian authorities claim they weren’t aware of this, Boko Haram didn’t and took the initiative to put and end to it. They took away the girls and gave them more meaningful lives to live.” The reporter had no idea his mouth had stayed open.

“Incredible! So the innocent school girls were saved by their abduction?”

“Yes and like I told you earlier, the concept of ‘Innocent Victims’ it too vague. In this case will you call these girls, their parents or their school management or educational authorities innocent victims? They were all complacent and actually exposed in the act of defrauding their very own sick Western educational system.”

“But are the girls all alive and living somewhere else presently?”

“No, many of them are not. Some got the most glorious martyr death of suicide bombers. Some escaped, some were killed by the bombing of the Nigerian Armed forces over the Boko Haram positions. Some are with their good Muslim husbands around the world, enjoying their lives as good faithful obedient Muslim wives.”

“They were sold as slave wives?” the reporter asked and the Sheik laughed.

“If you like. In your view all dowries are payments for female slaves then?” The reporter didn’t recognize the ingenuity in the first and only joke they shared.

“I also found this so called abduction of the school girls funny for another reason,” the Sheik continued. “For centuries disgruntle militant fighters have abducted massive numbers of young innocent school boys as their main source of recruits and over hundreds of years forcibly turned them into ruthless fighters who terrorized local communities with relative ease. But there has never been such a worldwide out roar or a whole scale international effort to rescue them.

“Maybe if the militants had instead been taking young school girls in such huge numbers, there would have been genuine efforts to end it all. The abduction of young boys by militants actually pose more danger than the abduction of young girls because the boys instantly get directly involved with the fighting, becoming future militants themselves. Western values has lots of misplaced priorities, some of them out-rightly illogical. I remember reading about how decades ago the Jewish inventors of suicide bombing had bombed and killed lots of Germans. This was about a decade after the holocaust. But the Germans just wouldn’t retaliate.

“”Because we are Germans and they are Jews.” That is the reason a German federal minister gave when asked why they weren’t retaliating. That is stupid! The elimination of millions of Jews in the holocaust is the single most laudable act of the Western world and it should have been continued with equal zeal and craft.”

“Don’t you feel there are consequences for all actions, especially killing men?”

“It is because we will eventually face the consequences of all our actions that every one of our action must be as Allah wills it, for we exist for His pleasure. Gladly this concept is acceptable to all Abrahamic religions, only Muslims act on it.” The reporter succumbed to the urge to say something in defense of liberality.

“Still you must admit that the common truth about your kind of people is they are predominantly Muslims. What is it about your brand of Islam that makes you think it is justified to use deadly force and kill people, to make a point? One will think there is a distinct teaching in all Islam that encourages this sort of it?”

AA-Boko Haram - Cover
Boko Haram; Western Values Are Fobidden….
Available from the links below

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BOKO HARAM (western values are forbidden) IN PRINT

http://www.amazon.com/Boko-Haram-Western-Values-Forbidden/dp/1505336287 Boko Haram translates into Western education is forbidden, a clarion call that forbids Western values. It is the insurgency across northern Nigeria with political bombs in Islamic shells, establishing Islamic values by expunging Western ones. It likens this mysterious young vengeful quest to fight a perception of God’s war, deny itself the fair chance to live according to values it holds dearly. Every one is potentially a writer because they make up some sort of story in their minds. Respective stories vary from factual to fictional. People tell it or write it, share it or not, but everyone wants to be heard making sense of their deductions of the life they observe and live, trade or share. The most idealistic writers are quite assertive and would want to have the last word. They rebel against other assertive ideals that conflict with theirs and seek to establish their values by force. The most aggression comes off the most conservative extremists. Boko Haram became the identity of the Nigerian variation of militant Islam, long after it had taken root the world over. Their campaign of terror is construed to be barbaric idiocy to all who aspire civility. As the sect marked their brand of insurgency across most of northern Nigeria with emerging political bombs in Islamic shells, they sought to establish Islamic values in the country by forcibly expunging Western values. Boko Haram translates into Western education is forbidden, but in practice the clarion call has always been Western values are forbidden. Deservedly or not, each individual feels they have earned a say and it is usually just enough to voice it. But these extremists must have their say at all costs. Since it is in the nature of people to have more of what they most desire, these extremists naturally do not stop at just having their say, they must also impose it, regardless that every single person must have their own say too. In his quest to fight his perception of God’s war, a mysterious keeper of an elite community Mosque denies himself his own natural ability to live according to the values he holds dear. By embarking on crusades across humanity to end the excesses of cultures they abhors, Militants simultaneously deny their own values the opportunity to exhibit their laudable essence. In effect, they torture themselves without the decency of living even the simple sacred lives they deserve.

Missing Nigerian School Girls

Save our girls

The ordeal of a nation is capture perfectly in this painting…

Please share it freely and spread the news of what the parents of the missing Nigerian school girls have to deal with.

The parents of these over two hundred innocent school girls that were ruthlessly kidnapped by the Boko-Haram Islamic sect. now have to deal with not only the reality of their missing daughters and the limitless possibilities of things the menacing murdering Muslim sect. Boko-Haram; who have loudly and visibly claimed it has taken the girls, can do with their daughters.

They have to contend with the effortless work of a confused Government that is divided between the numbers of the missing girls and how best to even commence searching for them after two weeks. But the parents now also incredibly have to deal with the stupid insensitive out-lash of the Nigerian fist Lady who claims their children are not even missing but are merely a ploy by the government’s critics…

#BringBackOurGirls