GENERATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Don’t hate, observe and understudy instead

Devoid of sentiments, without sanctimonious grandstanding and negative profiling apart, tell me how the Indomie generation of Thank you Daddy can withstand this kid in future?

If truth be told, any kid that can command this kind of thunderous herd is way ahead in strategic thinking and tactical response of his peers. Shoes? He doesn’t need any. His stick is his keyboard and mouse for now.

Let us face it, dominating any environment is a mindset that must be cultivated early. This kid is not chauffeured to school. He is not on Social Media neither does he flip through DSTV channels. By the time he goes to school he doesn’t have to drop his CV anywhere.

Many Nigerians have so much modernized that we have abandoned the ethnic rites of passage for our young. The Fulani naturalis have not. They don’t abandon culture.

This kid doesn’t speak English but can effectively communicate with his herd. He can read their mind and decode their mood. He is already taking charge. His mates are still crying Mummy.

This kid might not be able to read and write but he is a natural GPS that can navigate without map reading. He can sniff rain days ahead and sense danger miles away. He doesn’t have to Google pasture. He is an ecological encyclopedia.

This kid’s swagger is earned.
Insult, deride and abuse his older ones. But you can never deny the potential, natural aptitude and work in progress in this kid.
How many conventional schools can package the unfinished greatness that is already apparent in him?

The Fulani. The Shuwa of the Lake Chad region. The Dinka of Sudan. The Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. The Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi. Even the Bedouins of the Arab world and Cowboys of America. Including the Hebrews of old. Keenly observe and carefully understudy them. They have always dominated their environment because of their understanding of the umbilical link between animal husbandry and human psychology – He who knows you most masters you more – by any means necessary.

“Hate is the reaction that we feel towards something that is threatening us. Fear is what happens when we can’t do anything about it.”

Life is historically a game of chess. We are mere players and the environment is our ultimate chessboard; “where a man must have a temper of iron”

It is either you stay ahead of the game or keep on complaining.

ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN BAIL WAS FREE

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Nigeria’s collective national security and military establishment started in 1863. It was well financed by the Royal Niger Company. The gradual separation came with the Niger River Constabulary in 1888 at Lokoja. Then came the Niger Coast Constabulary in 1894 at Calabar and eventually the Lagos Police in 1896.

Sir John Hawley Glover was an officer under the command of Dr. William Balfour Baikie both of the Royal Navy. Glover was the Lagos governor from 1863 to 1874 and Baikie the British consul of what became the colonial contours of what eventually became Nigeria under Lord Lugard from 1857 to 1859;
“Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigerian Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”

Dr. Baikie introduced the use of Quinine for the treatment of Malaria in our clime, authored; Observations on the Hausa and Fuifuide Languages printed in 1861 and previously in 1856; Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwora and Binue. He collected vocabularies of nearly fifty languages, and translated portions of the Holy Bible and prayer-book into Hausa and Arabic. His translation of the Psalms into Hausa was published by the Bible Society in 1881. More importantly he established Lokoja;
“After purchasing the site, and concluding a treaty with the Fula emir of Nupe, he proceeded to clear the ground, build houses, form enclosures and pave the way for a future city. In less than five years he had opened up the navigation of the Niger, made roads, and established a market to which the native produce was brought for sale and barter. His settlement grew to include representatives of almost all the tribes of West-Central Africa, and more than 2,000 traders visited the town in its first three years.”

Lest we forget as Ghanaian authorities harass and intimidate Nigerian traders;
“Glover was employed to repel incursions of the Ashantis. When the Third Anglo-Ashanti War broke out in September 1873 he landed at Cape Coast, and, after forming a small trustworthy force of Hausa, marched to Accra. His influence sufficed to gather a numerous native force.
In January 1874 Captain Glover was able to render some assistance in the taking of Kumasi, but it was at the head of a Hausa force.”

The Nigerian Police Force has always been segmented along regional lines each headed by a Commissioner reporting to an Inspector-General in Lagos. Chief Louis Orok Edet (1914-1979) became the first Nigerian IGP between 1964 and 1966. Back then every Commissioner had a network of Native Authority Police formations. The Nigerian Immigration Service, Correctional Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and Civil Defense were all carved out of police duties.

By 1966, onwards the Police became more centralized at the federal level. Under IBB it became Nigerian Police when Force was removed. The reason was obvious. If IGP Sunday Adewusi had had his way under President Shehu Shagari the military coup of December 31, 1983 would not have taken place. The rest as they say is now history as the Nigeria Police became systematically underfunded. During the era of President Shagari the monthly pay of a Constable was increased to N400 and personnel strength reached 152, 000. Now it is 375,000 with a huge chunk outsourced to VIPs, financial institutions, government assets, private company premises, traditional rulers and even celebrities.

The Glover’s Hausas were at the vanguard of dismantling slavery and the notorious slave trade across Nigeria particularly in defeating the Sokoto caliphate. It consisted of martial oriented tribes from all nooks and crannies of what later became Nigeria including from parts of present day Niger, Tchad, Cameroon to as far as the Darfur region of Sudan. Hausa therefore in Glover’s context was not an ethnicity but a Lingua Franca that is why an Ibadan Signals officer like Raji Rasaki would more than a hundred years later with ease ask in Lagos; “Who build dis gada?”

For the Nigerian Police to become more effective it has to be more decentralized and modernized. With a population of over 200 million our police apparatus has to be increasingly technological based. Crime prevention and solving value added with forensic and IT capacities. Patrols have to include drones. Increased CCTV coverage is also imperative. All these are capital intensive. This means the cost of governance must drastically reduce in Nigeria. The Nigerian political class have become a major burden on the rest of the polity at expense of our collective security.

Warts and all, the police is your friend. If not call a thug when next you are in trouble! Every society gets the kind of police it deserves. If we want better policing we must better ourselves first!

General Gowon: Too Humbled to be Bundled

Does General Gowon look like somebody who moved to London with half of Nigeria’s Central Bank?

We, the undersigned call upon Hon. Member of Parliament representing Tonbridge and Malling of the United Kingdom, Ted Tugendhat to withdraw his recent statement at Westminster;

“Some people would remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the central bank, or so it was said, and moved to London,”

Mr. Tugendhat, had spoken when E-petition 554150 was being considered at the British Parliament on Monday, November 23, 2020 over a petition seeking sanction against the Nigerian government for alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.

We are not unmindful that the MP had added “so it was said” to his presumptuous claim. That notwithstanding, Mr. Tugendhat would have availed himself with some basic historical overview on the exact circumstances of how General Gowon ended up dining at the student cafeteria at Warwick University after his overthrow on July 29, 1975 while in Kampala attending a summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU now African Union)
Even after 45 years, General Gowon’s statement thereafter remains instructive;

“From all indications a new government had been established in Nigeria. I wish to state that I, on my part, have also accepted the change and pledged my full loyalty to my nation, my country and the new government. Therefore, in the overall interest of the nation and our beloved country, I appeal to all concerned to cooperate fully with the new government and ensure the preservation of peace, unity and stability of our dear motherland.

As a Nigerian, I am prepared to serve my country in any capacity, which my country may consider appropriate. I am a professional soldier and I can do any duty that I am called upon to do.
May I take this opportunity to thank all the people of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria for the support and cooperation that you all gave me during my tenure of office and call upon all of you to give the new government of our nation the same support and cooperation in the interest of our beloved country.
Long live one united, happy and prosperous Nigeria. Long live the Organisation of African Unity.”

The attached images are of General Gowon after he had enrolled as a student at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Where eventually his Ph.D Thesis focused on The Economic Community of West African States: A study in Political and Economic integration.

It would be recalled after his overthrow from government several investigations were made into corrupt enrichment. The General was neither found complicit nor indicted in any. More ever;

“Many offers of residence came to him in Kampala from various African countries. He notified the new regime in Lagos that he would leave Kampala for Lome in Togo. Since he was financially broke, teary-eyed members of the Nigerian delegation along with staffers at the Nigerian High Commission in Kampala donated 3000 pounds sterling to enable him begin a new life. He was flown to Lome – via Garoua in Cameroon – aboard President Idi Amin’s executive jet.

Part of the flight passed through Nigerian airspace and Gowon took the opportunity to transmit a radio message reaffirming loyalty to and support for Brigadier Muhammed’s new regime. Although offered permanent domicile in Togo he chose to join his family in the United Kingdom. He received an additional 10,000 pounds sterling donation from General Eyadema. Following a telephone call to Brigadier Muhammed, during which he made requests for elementary federal assistance, he left for London.”

Furthermore;
“When he got to London, he was offered official accommodation by the Nigerian government which he, however, turned down for a variety of reasons. After some weeks at the Portman Hotel, he moved into the house of an old friend – Mr. Emmanuel Otti – at 472 Finchley Road, London. The delay was to enable the house to be redecorated by Mr. and Mrs. Otti and Brigadier Sam Ogbemudia (who had been in the UK when the coup took place in Nigeria). Other friends came to the assistance of the family. It was not until September 1975 that he began to get his pension and gratuities as a retired Four-Star General. In the nine years he had been Nigeria’s ruler he had not built himself a single house, inside or outside the country, nor did he expropriate one kobo of government money.

Unlike some of those who served under him, his TOTAL savings throughout his service years as well as his years as Nigeria’s leader was N75,000 – all of which was inside Nigeria. In time to come this would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of and personal fortunes of most of those who conspired to remove him from office – or benefited from it.

Once settled in with his family, the General, who was offered several Masters Degree programs, signed up for undergraduate studies in Political Science at Warwick University. Newspapers in Nigeria later carried news items and photographs depicting the former Nigerian leader carrying trays in a student cafeteria in the UK.
The Muhammed regime was embarrassed and therefore dispatched Brigadier TY Danjuma (who, took Kano born Col. Wali along) to ask Gowon adopt a supposedly more dignified stance. Gowon rejected the overture and reassured his “embarrassed sympathizers” that he was comfortable with his situation. (Conceivably nothing could have been more embarrassing than to be overthrown while attending an OAU summit). He made friends among the Nigerian students at Warwick, including a family friend of mine, Desmond Guobadia, now a legal practitioner in Lagos. Meanwhile his spouse, the former First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon (who was a nurse) registered as a catering student at a University College in London.”
See details in; Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975 – Epilogue: From Kampala to Lome to London and back to Nigeria by Nowa Omoigui

Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all Nigerians of goodwill and indeed the members of the international community at large to ignore the insinuations of Mr. Tugendhat. In turn, by this signed clarification we call upon the MP to be appropriately corrected and to do the needful by withdrawing his statement on General Gowon.

Signed;

Abdallah Baikie.

Ahmed Yahaya Joe.

Everything in life is in perspective

By Carolyn Forster on Facebook

Everything in life is taken in perspective…

Imagine you were born in 1900.

When you’re 14, World War I begins and ends when you’re 18 with 22 million dead.

Soon after a global pandemic, the Spanish Flu, appears, killing 50 million people. And you’re alive and 20 years old.

When you’re 29 you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment and famine.

When you’re 33 years old the nazis come to power.

When you’re 39, World War II begins and ends when you’re 45 years old with a 60 million dead.

In the Holocaust 6 million Jews die.

When you’re 52, the Korean War begins.

When you’re 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends when you’re 75.

A child born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and catastrophes.

Today we have all the comforts in a new world, amid a new pandemic.

But we complain because we need to wear masks.

We complain because we must stay confined to our homes where we have food, electricity, running water, wifi, even Netflix!

None of that existed back in the day.

But humanity survived those circumstances and never lost their joy of living.

A small change in our perspective can generate miracles.

We should be thankful that we are alive.

We should do everything we need to do to protect and help each other.

Now that really puts all we are going through into perspective.

Remember today and everyday…
2 Love – 2 Dream – 2 Serve

*Copied

Col. Gadaffi’s Warnings: 6 years on

By Mohammed Babafari (on Facebook)

It’s exactly 6 years since Muammar Gadaffi was assassinated!

Muamar Gaddafi’s Prophecies:

“I will not go into exile to any foreign country. I was born here in Libya, and I will die here. This country was a dessert, and I turned it into a forest, where everything can grow.

“No one Love this land more more than its citizens. If Europe and America tells you that they love you, be careful. They love the wealth of your land. The oil and not the people. They are helping you to fight against me but, it will be more wise for you to fight against them because they are fighting against your future and progress.

“My message to you the people of Libya is, they are helping you to kill me but you will pay the price because you will suffer. And my message to you America and Europe is, you will kill me, but be ready to fight a never ending TERRORISM.

“Before you realise your ignorance, terrorists will be hitting you at your doorstep.”

COL. GADDAFI’S IMPACT IN LIBYA:

1. There is no electricity bill in Libya, electricity is free for all its citizens.

2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens are at a 0% interest by law.

3. Home is considered a human right in Libya. Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home.

4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinars (US$50,000) from the government to buy their first apartment.

5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi, only 25% of Libyans were literates. Today, the figure stands at 83%.

6. Libyans taking up farming as a career, they received farm land, a farming house, equipment, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free.

7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they needed in Libya, the government funded them to go abroad for it.

8. In Gaddafi’s Libya, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.

9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0. 14 per liter.

10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.

12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

13. A mother who gave birth to a child under Gaddafi, received US $5,000 as child benefit upfront.

14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15

15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree

16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man- Made River Project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

If this is called “Dictatorship”, I wonder what type of Leadership Democrats have!!

USA vs IRAN: WWIII postponed

By Ahmed Yahaya JoeWhy I am not bothered about the present escalation of tension in the Middle East? Well to start with according to Carl von Clausewitz,

“War is the continuation of politics by other means”

War is also big business for the military industrial complex and not me. My primary concern is therefore the Nigerian economic outlook in 2020 because I barely scraped through 2019. To me what is happening between the US and Iran is as clear as mud as Aubrey Bailey puts it:

“Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in the fight against Islamic State (IS) We don’t like IS, but it is supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like. We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him. We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win. If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And all this was started by us invading Iraq to drive out terrorists who weren’t actually there until we went in to drive them out. Do you understand now?”

Simply put Bailey is reminding us of the initial US justification of invading Iraq to search for “weapons of mass destruction” and topple Saddam Hussein that was based on “Known knows, known unknowns and unknown unknowns”
I also find the following narrative highly instructive:“Alexander the Great marched into the Middle East graveyard about 2,500 years ago. Easy to march in, hard to march out. His words. He and his mother wrote to each other all the time. One day, he got a letter from her saying: “What the hell? You conquered most of the known world in a day and a half, what are you doing bogged down there?” He grabbed a bag and shoveled it full of dirt and had it sent back to Greece with a message to his mother: “Take this dirt and dump it around the palace, see what happens.” So Alexander’s mother spread the dirt all around the palace. Later that night, a couple of attendants showed up to make sure she was alright. One says: “Go ahead, after you.” And the other says: “No, after you.” And the first one says: “No, I insist.” And the second one says: “Don’t you tell me what to do.” They pull their swords and go at it till they kill each other. Alexander’s mother watched all this and wrote a note to him saying: “Okay, okay, now I get it.” And he wrote back saying: “Even the dirt is hostile, dogs fight dogs, birds fight birds, men kill men”In conclusion, life can be summarized in just 3 words:

It goes on.

If the world survived the First and Second World Wars why wouldn’t it survive a Third?

👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻US automated missle defense system that defended the 2 American bases in Iraq.
3000 rounds per minute of crazy scary precision. About 10 missles were killed on arrival.

Girls at War: A Review

This a personal & non-academic review of Chinua Achebe’s Short story ‘Girls at War’. Originally done for a Whatsapp book discussion group but which I’ve been encouraged to share far & wide. The Short Story ‘Girls at War’ is from the collection of Nigerian civil war time short stories of the same title by Chinua Achebe.

Let’s start with the title, I have always had thing for titles.

Have you ever seen teenage girls fight? Well, if you have then simply multiply the confused, abusive, scratchy, revealing spectacle a few times over & you have ‘Girls at War’. Girls play dirty & fight crazy. Maturity & civility goes out the window. Fairness remains a distant past, order is lost completely, wisdom a mirage & a ‘strip tease’ a strong possibility, very much expected by amused bystanders, who watch with keen selfish interest.

Even those who step in to separate the Waring ladies will have their motives questioned, especially if they are male. (And in these modern days, even female ‘referees’ get their sexual preferences scrutinized also).

Who to grab, where to hold, what to say, to laugh or not, how to behave, self preservation, (dangerously essential for guys with their two very fragile natural passengers to worry about).

Now if you’re the poor fellow the warring girls are in battle over, you’re not on your own for nobody minds their business anymore. Everyone is in your face nowadays. Blaming everyone & you, for the ‘hurt’ girl is always right by default these days.

‘Who rules the world?’, don’t ask Beyonce, just read the tabloids. “That time done pass. Now everybody want (their say). They call it (free speech). You put your number six; I put my number six.
Everything (is) all right.”

Nigeria was at war with Biafra, is the setting of the story & Biafra was doing quite badly. War is the art of survival. Which of the the two sexes is most dexterous in the practicalities of survival? Girls are at War, perpetually.

The manipulation in daily living is survival, one that is sired in us from that maiden race down a ‘penish’ tube, as we aim to win the fertilization laurel & indirectly cause the demise of millions of our first ‘spermy’ peers.

This a story of changing priorities, of changing times & changing people surprising themselves & but not really altering stereotypes & established perceptions.

The first hint of romance is carried through, ’till death do them part’. The young Gladys clad in khaki, searching cars at a roadblock in the early days of the war, changed into a reluctant battle field for troops to ‘not march in’. The privileged intellectualism of Reginald Nwankwo of the Biafran Ministry of Justice is reduced to the pettiness of the pursuit of luxuries everywhere, that will end with ‘drilling his troops’ in Gladys’ ‘battle field’.

The war efforts had commenced with enthusiast children ‘who marched up and down the streets at the time drilling with sticks and wearing their mothers’ soup bowls for steel helmets.’ Alongside them was the jest of the likes of ‘the contingent of girls from a local secondary school marching behind a banner: WE ARE IMPREGNABLE!’

By the time Gladys & Reginald crossed paths for a third & final time, eighteen months of ‘Death and starvation’ had long
chased out the headiness of the early days.’

Amidst the lackness in
blank suicidal resignation of multitudes, Reginald towed Gladys along to a party with the better-off few feeding off the war. Those ‘who had no other desire than whatever good things were still going and to enjoy themselves to the limit. ‘But unlike these strange lot, normalcy had not returned to the rest of the world. ‘Girls became girls once more and boys boys,’ only in the parties of these priviledges few, as the world around them ‘was a tight, blockaded and desperate world.’

Living in these war days made
heads of stockfish & tinned meat a very privileged luxury and the likes of ‘the dreadful American stuff called Formula Two’ heaped on the populace by international relief bringers. Reginald’s contacts kept him within easy reach of a variety of relief stuffs like ‘rice, beans and that excellent cereal commonly called Gabon gari.’ He has an official car & a driver to ferry him through the land & a bomb shelter within reach of his home to weather the horrific fear of air-raids.

Reginald Nwankwo is fortunate and not one of ‘the starved scarecrow crowd of rags and floating ribs’, reduced ‘by the independent accusation of their wasted bodies and sunken eyes’ as they perpetually hung around relief centres, making crude, ungracious remarks like “War Can Continue!”

Reginald did the best he could to keep the clutches of kwashiokor out of the reach of his driver’s (Johnson) home by making sure that whenever he got sizeable supplies he gave some to Johnson, for his wife and six or
seven kids.

At one pound per cigarette cup in the market, Gari might as well be caviar for most ordinary folks. Something has to give & always did. Priorities changed & things like respect & sympathy lowered in standard, so much that only pretty girls get rides in staff cars, not begging old women.

When gentleman say to a pretty girl, ‘I broke my rule today to give you a lift. I never give lifts these
days”, it’s not love or fondness, it is good old sweaty panting lust. When a girl braves bomb raids on the road to a major city during a war & tells you ;“I am going to visit my girlfriend,” it’s good old fashioned survival hunting.

Gladys got the bush meat she came out for in a comfy bed, party fun, good food & scarce money. Reginald got the ‘match’ he wanted to win for a looooooooong time.

“But your family is not there with you?” “No,” he said. “Nobody has his family there. We like to say it is because of air-raids but I can assure you there is more to it. Owerri is a real swinging town and we live the life of gay bachelors.” “That is what I have heard.” Gladys heard the hunting is good in the Owerri metropolitan bush and she came to get lucky.

In a real swinging party hosted by a Lieutenant-Colonel, in the real fun of the moment, she saw someone better than Reginald and fell in-love with what she saw in a man for the first time in Owerri & as it turned out, for the last time. While Reginald was ashamed of himself, hating the parties and frivolities to which his friends clung like drowning men, Gladys found her mojo.

Still it was always about taking a girl home for the classy dude & Reginald was always a classic guy who wants to get the babe. ‘And this particular girl too, who had once had such beautiful faith in the struggle and was betrayed (no doubt about it) by some man like him out for a good time.’

This personified the entire story for me. Gladys is the ‘Girl at War’ with the circumstances she has found herself in & setting out to make the best of it. Just like a young controversial nation at war with the circumstances it found itselt & making a whole mess of it. And five decades later, that region of the nation is still making a mess of the politics of it, playing the blame game still.

Their last morning together, Reginald felt better as he saw Gladys as ‘a mirror reflecting a society that had gone completely rotten and maggoty at the centre. The mirror itself was intact; a lot of smudge but no more. All that was needed was a clean duster.’ One that is still being awaited over fifty years later. And like the bold Biafran experience, Gladys ventured to be bold & heroic at the moment that called for it. Like Biafra, she ended her in a monumental crash of her world in a charred, smoking and entangled remains of the girl and that didn’t what ‘troops to match’ in her insides.

Sadly, the story is a comical but romantic take on how wrong it could be when it feels so right, like fighting a war to regain the peace the war shattered.

Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

The Kano Pigs in Gala

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

This was reputed back in the day to be the largest piggery established by Kalil Maroun in Kano to cash in on the massive animal protein demand for allied troops during the Second World War. By 1959 the facility was transporting up to 36,000 swine annually by rail to Lagos for processing and packaging at a plant located in Apapa. That is why in 1962 when “Gala” was first introduced to the Nigerian market there were the pork and beef varieties. Soon after Satis set up shop producing sausages and bacon. In another part of Kano was a corned beef factory. A modern day abattoir including a livestock development agency and cold storage facility were also built in that ancient commercial city by the 1970s. Back then there was no need for Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore because the supply chain was to come from a herd of cross breed of Friesian cows with our local breed at the Farm Center where also a mechanized dairy plant producing export quality fresh milk, cheese, butter and yogurt was established.

The imported cows were fed from the by-products of “Double Crown” and eventually “Power Stout” from a brewery located in Bompai commissioned by the Sardauna of Sokoto in the early 1960s. Now the piggery of K. Maroun & Company is partly a motor part and the Farm Center grazing grounds a GSM market.
Today in Nigeria a kilo of iced fish from Norway is cheaper than its equivalent of locally produced beef. We even import Pizza. Meanwhile the shipping cost of a 40ft container from China to Tin Can Island is N900, 000. That same consignment costs N700, 000 and N1, 500,000 to reach Alaba and Onitsha respectively.

A combination of factors has led Nigeria to its present prostrate position. That is why I deeply sympathize with those that expect a quick fix to our problems. There is however a starting point which is simply to create an enabling environment for business to thrive. What attracted Mr. Maroun from the Juwaiyya region in Southern Lebanon to Kano in the first place is not unconnected to the business friendly nature of that ancient city guaranteed by local authorities. As early as the 1900s Ilyas Al Khuri arrived in Kano where the textile merchant district still bears his surname. Every economically vibrant society must open its hands to welcome a wide variety of outsiders. Unfortunately we are becoming more insular from Ijawnization to Fulanization.

However capital investment is essentially a coward that easily gets scared. It hates insecurity but likes accommodating leaders that point at the right direction like the generation of Governors Audu Bako of Kano and Samuel Ogbemudia of Mid-West. Those guys had imagination. Benin’s Ogbe Hard Court was on the global tennis circuit just as how the Argungu – Kano Motor Race predated Paris- Dakar Rally. Nigeria was back then on the world map for all the right reasons. Nobody gave a damn where you came from. Today governors are better known for being unaccountable for enormous security votes and tinkering with traditional institutions. With the combined resources of their states and those of local government subventions which they always corner, these governors are supposed to cumulatively outspend the Federal Government Naira for Naira in developmental projects. The real damage to our national economy takes place at state and local government levels.

Regerettably all eyes are on Abuja.

FRIENDLY FOES: A World of Sentiments

Strangest explosion rocks the Karachi international airport just as a massive deployment of US marines arrived the busy airport. Stories of victims and their relatives, responders and their purpose, perpetrators and their reasons, unfolds a tale of current resolutions based on old conceptions.

The narrative tells of the most diverse colorful global characters surrounded with a good mix of friends and foes.

David Holden is the English Doctor who loves humanity more than his origins and Abdul Kazaar Ali is his opportunistic aged patient who lives out his perception of Muslim norms like he desires. Aaamu and her mother Rael, live by their wits as their circumstances allow. Fatima is smart enough to outwit her sexuality but too human to resist normalcy.

Ruth is the Israeli genius whose Jewish father gave her a lot more than just his name and Lee is her Chinese boyfriend, trying out fantasies alongside opinions. Then there is Sean Samuel, the Irish-American reporter with a huge reputation he constantly seeks to live up to, like his country.

Diverse Factors on the Plateau

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe.

I personally took the attached photograph on the Plateau earlier this year in June on my way from Kaduna to Jos through Manchok via Vom. I was awed by the engineering genius in the road construction. Barely a week later that same road reportedly had become a killing fields of sorts particularly for delegates returning back to the North East from the APC national convention held in Abuja. That is how precarious that axis of Nigeria despite that many of us are still pretending that the nation is not dangerously sitting on a time bomb following latest events on the Plateau.

Call them potato chips or French fries you can’t have any without the Berom just as you can’t traduce the Fulani and still enjoy your Suya or Cow tail pepper soup anywhere in Nigeria. We are therefore all involved on the Plateau. That nevertheless it would be an act of deliberate mischief and reckless presumptuousness to box the Berom into a genocidal corner despite the circumstantial evidence recently found at a pond in Du District.

This is simply because an alleged crime scene is very much different from a suspected dump site. No doubt there is probable cause for complicity that however does not translate into credible evidence against the entire Berom. Truth is General Alkali and other hapless Nigerians suspected to be victims in the vicinity of Du are actually collateral damage of a longstanding proxy war of historic elite dynamics on the Plateau. That notwithstanding the suspected perpetuators of whatever led to Alkali’s car been found at the bottom of a Du pond must be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law. Permit me to reemphasize that the rule of law must prevail. While that would bring some semblance of justice and temporary succor for the nation at large what of the fundamental issues that created the enabling environment for the dumpsite to exist in the first place?

The fire on the mountain currently on the Plateau is all part of the symptoms of a deeper malaise caused by the stubborn virus of religion. Merely treating its symptoms without ridding the underlying virus will continuously be an exercise of futility for the nation. If so what then are the fundamental issues bedeviling the Plateau? Jos is a Green Line of sorts which makes it the Nigerian version of Jerusalem. Jos is the home of the Izala sect founded by Samaila Idris a religiously controversial army officer that was forcibly retired in 1978 who hails from Bauchi’s Jahun Fulani clan. He set of up JIBWIS that his one-time teacher Abubakar Gumi became the Grand Patron of. The Sunni Izala is essentially Wahabbist and anti-Sufi. Their openly confrontational stand to all others that don’t subscribe to their teachings does not need further elaboration here.

Meanwhile Jos is also the home base of the Sudan United Mission that was the arrow head of missionary activities in the non-emirate areas of the North. That is one aspect. The other is Jos is the capital city of Middle Belt consciousness making the Plateau a perfect storm waiting to happen in the political North. Under such circumstances the truth and level headedness are normally the first casualties. With Jos being hotly contested historically between the Berom “Gwash” narrative and the Hausa-Fulani “Jas” counter narrative the battle lines are therefore well entrenched and rest is now living history. As the say in the Middle East if the talking stops the shooting starts.

The Northern Muslim intelligentsia and North’s Christian must find common ground in Jos or there will be much more General Alkalis which an endless number of Zaki Biams or even Odis can never stop. History has a curious way of repeating itself. First as tragedy then as farce.

The Nigerian Army on 15th January 1966 lost its present day equivalent of Chief of Administration then known as Adjutant General in person of Lt Col James Pam. He hailed from Du and his body was never found after he was abducted by mutinous troops loyal to the infamous “5 Majors” from his Ikoyi residence. 52 years later the same institution has lost another Admin chief in Du District under the same circumstances of inter-communal violence as one section of the Nigerian polity angrily raises up against another. Both chiefs have somehow become victims of the inherent contradictions of our nation building process.

Have we not learnt anything in 5 decades? Back then drums of war were beaten right now drums of war are still beaten. Back then also there was anger and revulsion in segments of Nigeria. Right now there is still that same kind of anger and revulsion. What historical inferences can we draw from the unfortunate incidences of 1966 than could serve for us as useful signposts in 2018? That should be the topic of conversation.

Every issue in Nigeria no matter how complicated has a big picture and a small one. In any case apart from its infamous pond what else is Du known for? Du is the home district of Lt Col James Pam, DIG Victor Pam and Air Cmdr Jonah Jang. The senior Pam was the 4th most senior Northerner in the army when the unfortunate events of 15th January 1966 unfolded. His esteemed seniors Maimalari, Kur, Largema also lost their lives alongside his good self.

He was the Adjutant General having taken over that office from his bosom friend Yakubu Gowon who had to proceed to Staff College in the UK. The police Pam was billed to by seniority succeed Gambo Jimeta as IGP but was seconded to the National Guard instead. He would later be Gbong Gwom of Jos in 2004. A tough cop he met the Maitasine sect eyeball to eyeball in Kano, Bulunkutu, Gombe and Jimeta. He also set up the Mopol school in Gwoza.

Many political pundits have put it that if his Mopol hardware ordered from abroad had arrived earlier the coup to topple Shehu Shagari would have failed. As the monarch of Jos he criminalized selling of any Berom land to non-Christians and any Christian parents whose daughter converted thrown out of the Church a source put it to me. He also attempted ridding Berom land of its famed Burkutu small scale industry. He woefully failed.

Little wonder before joining the police in 1958 he trained as a priest at the famous TCNN in Bukuru. Jang on the other hand if it would be recalled was Military Administrator of the former Gongola and Benue respectively under IBB. Shortly earning his first star he was appointed head of air force logistics then almost immediately retired. He is still bitter which trickled down to the rest of the Berom.

IBB ever the Maradona would then appoint Lamba Gwom a former Navy paymaster to replace Domkat Bali on the FEC to water down Berom anger. Worthy of mention is the “Langtang Mafia” that apparently came into ascendancy as the Berom star was dimming. They were AFRC members when Jos South and Bukuru LGs separately created to diffuse Jos North. That is why I had earlier mentioned elite dynamics and its overall effect on what is playing on the Plateau.

Without understanding the context and background of this multitude of diverse factors how can a veritable solution ever be crafted out on the Plateau? God bless Nigeria.