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Posts tagged ‘Kano’

Looking For Jobs, Finding Death – By Femi Fani-Kayode.


By Femi Fani-Kayode

Whether anyone likes to accept it or not the bitter truth is that 80 per cent of our GRADUATES are unemployed in Nigeria today whilst 51 per cent of our PEOPLE are also unemployed. As a frightful and grave consequence of these shocking statistics, which I happen to believe may well be a world record in terms of unemployment, a terrible tragedy occurred in Abuja and other parts of our country on 16th March 2014.

Approximately 68,000 of our youths gathered at the National Stadium in Abuja for an aptitude test for just 3000 jobs in the Immigration Service. 10 of those children were killed in a stampede whilst looking for those jobs. It did not stop there. Another 20,000 youths gathered in the stadium at Port Harcourt, Rivers state for aptitude tests for the same 3000 jobs and there was another stampede there as well in which 4 of their colleagues were killed and four more were so badly wounded that they remain in a coma up until now.

Similar gatherings for the same Immigration aptitude test took place in cities all over the country all for the same 3000 jobs and three young pregnant girls together with three male youths were killed in a similar stampede at the stadium in Minna, Niger state.

The only crime that all these children that were either killed, maimed or injured in these horrific stampedes in the stadiums of all these cities like Abuja, Port Harcourt, Minna, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Benin and elsewhere had committed was to try to get a job, to fight for a better life for themselves and to try to secure their future. What a tragedy.

One day Nigerians will appreciate the importance of facts, figures and statistics and the consequences of tolerating atrocious, lousy, insensitive and unaccountable governments. They will also understand the implications of having a government that has no qualms about taking advantage of the pitiful plight of it’s own youths and citizens and scamming them in the most obvious and shameful manner.

Why should anyone be surprised that hundreds of thousands of youths gathered in stadiums all over the country on the 15th March 2014 just to apply for a tiny handful of jobs that are available in Immigration? This is so SIMPLY because there are NO jobs available for these children in our country.

I repeat 80 per cent of our graduates are unemployed and 51 per cent of our people are unemployed. Why won’t they die and be killed or injured whilst looking for the few jobs that are available? Why won’t they gather in stadiums all over the country in their hundreds of thousands just to do an aptitude test for a job in Immigration for which there are only 3000 vacancies? Why should anyone be surprised by this madness and this turmoil? Why should anyone be moved by this horrific carnage when it is now a regular phenomenon in our country for children to be slaughtered. If they are not butchered whilst at school by islamist fundamentalists they are slaughtered whilst they are looking for jobs from a heartless government which has effectively destroyed their future.

Yet look for jobs they must because these children and these youths are desperate and they are suffering. To make matters worse they are also being taken advantage of and scammed by their own government who are desperate to extort money from them by all means available. If this were not the case why would the Comptroller-General of Immigration and the Minister of Internal Affairs order that each and every one of those youths that flooded the stadiums in their hundreds of thousands and that stood in the sun should be made to pay 1000 naira each for the forms that they were to use to do the aptitude test at the various stadiums all over the country.

Someone was set to make a whole lot of money considering the fact that over one hundred thousand youths were involved in this shameless exercise and the amount of cash that they must have made runs into hundreds of millions of naira. The whole thing was just a massive and monuemental scam to extort hundreds of millions of naira from these poor, young and innocent souls and many of our youths have paid for it with their lives.

This is what President Goodluck Jonathan’s Nigeria has done to them. We now have an army of angry, jobless, frustrated, disillusioned and desperate youths on our hands in this country and consequently we are literally sitting on a keg of gunpowder. May God help us and may He forgive us for failing these children and destroying their futures.

Other than this I will say no more on this matter because the truth is that most Nigerians no longer ”give a damn” when blood is shed and when lives are taken. This is so even when those lives are those of children. Permit me to give an example. On the very same day that our youths were dying in stadiums looking for jobs with Immigration another 100 innocent people were being slaughtered by ”unknown gunmen” in southern Kaduna and no-one seems to care. Again only two days before then, on March 12th 2014, 110 innocent Nigerians were butchered by what were described in the press as a group of ”fulani gunmen who were on motorbikes” in Katsina state whilst the President was on an official visit there. What a tragedy.

Under President Goodluck Jonathan we have become a nation of vampires where the death of innocent children and youths means nothing and where we cannot even provide jobs or a decent standard of living for our young ones. Instead we attempt to scam them and to extort money from them. What a government, what a country.

If our government had any sense of decency, justice or accountability the Comptroller-General of Immigration and the Minister of Internal Affairs would have not only been compelled to resign or fired by now but they would also have been arrested and would be facing criminal charges for, at the very best, criminal negligence and manslaughter and, at the very worse, accessories before the fact to murder. Yet we know that that will never happen as long as President Goodluck Jonathan is in power. Far from it.

As a matter of fact instead of bowing his head in shame and showing any sense of contrition or remorse the Minister of Internal Affairs has come out shamelessly and blamed the dead youths themselves by saying that ”they did not exercise enough patience during the exercise”. May God forgive this man. I wonder if he would have expressed such sentiments if any of his own children had been killed in the stampede.

Permit me to end this contribution by quoting from a moving email that I received from a dear Nigerian family friend who herself is a mother and who presently resides in the United Kingdom with her family. She sent it to me the day after the tragic death of the youths in the stadium. I have obtained her permission to share her words in this write-up but for obvious reasons I will not mention her name. She wrote-

”Good morning uncle Femi. I honestly don’t know where to start from. My heart is so heavy. What is it about Nigeria that (or is it we as a nation) nothing  good comes out of the news. I’m beginning to wonder if there is nothing wrong with me when I go through websites expectant of only bad news. Why don’t I ever expect anything good to come out if Nigeria? I don’t even know what to tell my children again. I try to give them a balanced view of the country but something would always come up to make nonsense of that. Why would any sane person want to come and live in that madness called Nigeria where nothing is guaranteed. Life is not guaranteed, jobs are not guaranteed, education is not guaranteed, security is not guaranteed, a decent daily meal is not guaranteed. I could go on and on.

I came to a realization recently which is self-preservation. Abi shebi it’s life/self first. When I saw the early morning pictures of the crowd of youths at the Abuja stadium my heart just sank because I could almost write the script of what would follow. And so I waited (expectantly?)and wasn’t disappointed. Would anything come out of it? No. Would life go on? Yes. Do they care? No. And the moron of a Minister had the gall to say that candidates died because of ”impatience”. Meanwhile the so-called aptitude test was just a ruse. They had handpicked their preferred candidates weeks ago. The crowd alone told me that we have a serious problem of youth unemployment yet Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would come out and be reeling stupid figures. Please tell her that she’s not fooling anyone. As if the unemployment is not bad enough government is opening more universities like daycare centers and still granting licenses for private universities. Who is going to absorb these teeming unemployed graduates? Where are the industries? Are you creating an enabling environment for investment? In fact I’m just done with agonizing over Nigeria. Self first please!”

Her words and counsel moved me to tears. As far as I am concerned she captured the mood very well and her simple yet succinct submission is reflective of the thinking and deep pain of millions of Nigerians from all over the world that are fast losing hope in their nation. Yet what can we do but just continue to hope and pray. What can we do for the future of our children and to better the fortunes of our nation? This is indeed food for thought. As the bible says, ”may God deliver us from bloodthirsty and evil men” and ”may the balm of Gilead heal our wounds and comfort our mourning souls”.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

We are seeing hell – Borno Elders.


 

The Bornu Elders, Monday gave a graphic details of how life in Borno and the entire north east has been reduced to hell by the activities insurgents.

Addressing a gathering of Northern Elders Forum in Kano, Zanna Hassan Boguma who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of Borno Elders Forum declared that the entire region is now engaged in full time war from enemy within.

Boguma stated that “we have been seeing hell, our people are constantly decimated, our towns and villages razed, properties destroyed, schools and places of worship burnt, even innocent travelers were not spared” .

The elder stateman said that from the inceasant attack that the axis had witnessed in the last weeks was a confirmation of how vulnerable the entire region is.
He disclosed that the region has been turn in to a war zone with attendant humanitarian crisis, stressing that this is the time the whole country should mobilized to stop the carnage.

Boguma who doubted the intention of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity in the region was quick to add that “much as we know, the whole matter has nothing to do with claimed intention of a section imposing their will on the others, or issues of sharia or making the country ungovernable for the President or a religious war as they want to look at it”.

He however accused the Federal Government of lacking the political will to address the crisis, pointing out that Borno Elders is surprised at the grave yard silence of Government and its inability to implement several report on the insurgency turned in by expert engaged to do so by the same Government.

The Borno Elders noted that the solution to the crisis does not lie with the PDP or APC, maintaining that the situation at hand transcend politics and urged the entire Country to identify with them at the moment of need.

This catastrophe which has befallen us should be the concern of all Northerners irrespective of tribe, region, or creed. Those of you who are residing far away shold know that other citizens needed your sympathy and attention”.

Boguma posited that “until those who were namd as supporters, financiers, and alliesto the Boko Haram were brought to justice, until the political Boko Haram were apprehended and prosecuted, until the operations to contain this madness is sincerely handled, lives of our innocent villagers will continued to be sacrificed”.

By AbdulSalam Muhammad

Source: Radio Biafra.

U.S. releases damning human rights report about Nigeria.


 

“The most serious human rights abuses during the year were those committed by Boko Haram.”
A new report by the United States has described Nigeria as a country where corruption, official impunity, and gross human rights violations occur at will.
The report described the human rights violations to include extra-judicial killings, rape, torture, mistreatment of detainees, destruction of property, violence against women, vigilante killings, child labour, forced and bonded labour, and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
This assessment of Nigeria is according to the 2013 Country Report on Human Rights. The report, which is now in its 38th year, is sanctioned by the U.S. Congress. It, amongst other things, helps inform the U.S. government policy and foreign assistance.
According to the report, the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and the Nigerian Government are the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses in the country.
“The most serious human rights abuses during the year were those committed by Boko Haram, which conducted killings, bombings, abduction and rape of women, and other attacks throughout the country, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and widespread destruction of property; those committed by security services, which perpetrated extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, beatings, arbitrary detention, mistreatment of detainees, and destruction of property; and widespread societal violence, including ethnic, regional, and religious violence,” the report said.
The report came hard on the Goodluck Jonathan administration for institutionalising impunity with the state pardon granted to serial money launderer and former governor of Bayelsa State, Dipreye Alamieyeseigha. It also said the Nigeria government has displayed no willingness to prosecute soldiers and police officers accused of gross human rights violations.
The report makes specific reference to the refusal of the government to prosecute members of the armed forces found to have perpetrated extrajudicial killing and torture in clear disregard of the recommendation of The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Committee against Torture.
“During the year joint task forces (JTFs), composed of elements of the military, police, and other security services, conducted raids on militant groups and criminal suspects in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Katsina, Jigawa, and Yobe. These raids resulted in numerous deaths of and injuries to alleged criminals, militants, and civilians. Local NGOs, international human rights groups, and political and traditional leaders in the affected states accused the security services of indiscriminate and extrajudicial killings.
“The national police, army, and other security forces committed extrajudicial killings and used lethal and excessive force to apprehend criminals and suspects as well as to disperse protesters. Authorities generally did not hold police accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody. The reports of state or federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths remained unpublished.”
Inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
The report frowned at the technique of “parading” of suspects commonly used by the police. It observed that most of those paraded are subjected to public ridicule or abuse.
“Police commonly used a technique called “parading” of arrestees. Parading involved literally walking arrestees through public spaces, subjecting them to public ridicule and abuse.
“Bystanders often hurled taunts, food, and other objects. Police defended this practice with the argument that public humiliation helped deter crime,” it said.
It further observed that police flagrantly extort money from civilians and in blatant violation of the law. They use torture to extract confessions from suspects, which are later used to secure convictions in court.
The report indicts the police of rape and other sexual offences of women in their custody. In one example in Abraka in Delta State, in March 2013, a woman said four men raped her while she was in police custody. She said the police had put her in the same cell as the men. She accused the police of failing to help her. According to her, the investigating police office told her to keep quiet about the incident.
Over-crowded and disease-infested prisons
The report described a horrid condition of the country’s prison. It said the prisons are mostly over-crowded and in such deplorable states that they provide fertile breeding grounds for communicable disease. It said prisoners are poorly fed and their health neglected.
For instance, it observed that inmates with mental illness are kept among the general population. Prison warders are also accused of widespread torture, extortions, and sexual abuses such as rape of female inmates.
“Prison and detention center conditions remained harsh and life threatening. Prisoners, a majority of whom had not been tried, were subject to extrajudicial execution, torture, gross overcrowding, food and water shortages, inadequate medical treatment, deliberate and incidental exposure to heat and sun, and infrastructure deficiencies that led to wholly inadequate sanitary conditions and could result in death.”
“Reports indicated guards and prison officials extorted inmates or levied fees on them to pay for food, prison maintenance, and prisoner release. In some cases female inmates faced the threat of rape. Female prisoners pregnant at the time of incarceration gave birth to and raised their babies in prison,” it added.
“Overcrowding was a significant problem in some prisons. Although national capacity stood at 47,284, an imbalance in the use of prisons resulted in underutilization at some facilities, while others were at more than 800 percent of their designed capacity. For example, the Owerri Federal Prison had the capacity to hold 548 prisoners but held more than 1,784. Ogwuashi-Uku prison in Delta State, with a capacity to house 64 prisoners, housed 541, while Port Harcourt prison, with a capacity to hold 804, held 2,955. Ijebu-Ode prison in Lagos, with a capacity to hold 49 prisoners, held 309,” it continued.
“Although the law prohibits the imprisonment of children, minors–many of whom were born there–lived in the prisons. A 2006 report on the rights and welfare of children from the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs to the African Union found an estimated 6,000 children lived in prisons and detention centers. The Nigerian Prison Service reported, however, that as of March, 69 infants resided in prison with their mothers while 847 juvenile inmates were detained in juvenile detention centers.”
Freedom of Speech
The report observed that though the freedom of speech and a free press are guaranteed by the constitution, high-handed security and government officials still occasionally harass journalists.
The report made a case in point of the December 2012 raid of the homes and offices of the editor Musa Muhammad Awwal and reporter Aliyu Saleh of the Hausa-language weekly newspaper Al-Mizan, confiscating their phones and laptops as well as detaining the journalists and their wives.
“Politicians and political parties harassed and attacked journalists perceived as reporting on them or their interests in a negative manner. For example, on April 8, authorities in Abuja detained two reporters for Leadership Newspaper, Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe, following the publication on April 3 of an article alleging that President Jonathan had ordered the disruption of operations of his political opponents. Authorities charged the two men with “vexatious publication.” All charges were later dropped.
“Journalists also were at risk of abduction. For example, in March assailants in Ondo State abducted a Nigeria Television Authority journalist, Olubunmi Oke, as she arrived home from work with her infant child and maid. The child and maid were later released. Media reports stated that the assailants had demanded an eight million naira ($50,240) ransom. Oke was freed after three days, following the payment of an undisclosed ransom.
Nicholas Ibekwe
(From Biafra Galaxy)

We are Ready to Rescue Nigeria From “Clueless Leaders,” Says APC.


Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured Nigerians that the party is ready, willing and determined to make all the necessary sacrifices to reverse the prevailing gloomy situation in the country and bring about the much-needed change for the better in the interest of the long-suffering citizens.

APC Interim Spokesperson, Lai Mohammed

APC Interim Spokesperson, Lai Mohammed

In a New Year message issued in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Nigerians should go into the New Year with an unyielding commitment to be part of ongoing efforts to set the country on the path of growth and development, rather than get into a state of funk on the basis of the cumulative mis-governance of the past 14 years by the PDP-led Federal Government.

”While wishing all Nigerians a great 2014, we hereby solicit their unalloyed support for our efforts to reshape the country’s political landscape, shake off the heavy yoke imposed on them by their selfish, self-serving and clueless leaders and make the country a source of pride not only to its citizens but to all black people in the world,” it said.

APC said the first step in what will be a tough but final battle to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of rapacious leaders will be to bring the citizenry on board the train of change that is barrelling through the country, and to ensure that elections in the country are free, fair and credible.

”As we wrote in the preamble to our manifesto, ‘democracy, to be stable and meaningful, must be anchored on the principle that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed….This means that governments are instituted on the basis of free, fair and credible elections, and are maintained through responsiveness to public opinion.

”’In addition, the exercise of political authority is rooted in the rule of law. APC believes in the doctrine of social contract between the leaders and the led; which means that the public office holder is a trustee of the people and that power must be used in the interest of the people rather than in the interest of the public office holder’,” the party said.

It said in order to ensure that as many Nigerians as possible are brought aboard the APC train of change, the party would kick-start its membership registration drive early in the year, targeting in particular the youth who are indispensable in any effort to bring about change.

”We ask all those who are yearning for genuine change to seize the moment and embrace the engine of change, which the APC represents! Our compatriots who have lost faith in our dear country because of inefficient and corrupt leadership can count on us, because we represent committed, transparent and focused leadership,” APC said.

The party pledged to halt the country’s drift towards a failed state with a conscious plan for a post-oil economy in Nigeria, details of which would be outlined in the weeks and months ahead; and to make the welfare and security of the citizenry, which is the raison d’etre of any government, its top priority.

APC said that in order to extricate Nigeria  from the dire straits in which it has been plunged by the successive PDP governments, the party has decided to make as its priority the War Against Corruption; Food security; Accelerated Power Supply; Integrated Transport Network; Free Education; Devolution of Power; Accelerated Economic Growth and Affordable Health Care.

”We know skeptics will sneer at these and deride them as mere sloganeering. After all, Nigerians have been taken for a ride for the past 14 years by those who have mistaken transmogrification for transformation, and those who have relentless pursued power for the sake of power, rather than to use it to harness the country’s abundant human resources.

”But most things look impossible until they have been achieved, and the impressive record of performance in the states under our control, from Kano to Imo states and from Lagos to Edo, testifies to our ability, determination and willingness to make things happen for the benefit of our people,” the party said.

Source: African Examiner.

Sharia Implementation in Northern Nigeria: An Asset or a Liability? By Leo Igwe.


By Leo Igwe

Today, criticizing Islam has become a dangerous undertaking even when such criticisms are warranted. Islamic clerics and intellectuals freely voice out their oppositions and criticisms of other religions or moral philosophies to the extent of inciting violence and hatred of whoever they perceive to be an ‘enemy’ of Islam. But anyone who dares point out the abuses and crimes being committed in the name of Mohammedan religion risks being accused of blasphemy or islamophobia- a term recently coined by those who want to make criticizing Islam a crime around the globe.

Such accusations make a critic of Islam look like a criminal. They make the fellow an endorsed target for murder and elimination by the ubiquitous foot soldiers of Allah, seeking slots in paradise.This development has created a climate of impunity and apprehension in many places as Muslim extremists rampage, kill, maim, loot and destroy in furtherance of their own interpretation of Islam, Sharia and the will of Allah.

So what we have in many countries is a situation where local authorities and governments turn a blind eye on atrocities being committed by Islamist because they do not want to offend Muslim sensibilities. They do not want to be portrayed as anti-Islam.

One such place where Islamic extremism is raging and wrecking havoc is northern Nigeria. Most parts of northern Nigeria are currently under siege from fanatics, jihadists and theocrats with competing and conflicting ideas of Sharia implementation and Islamic state. To put the situation into perspective, a brief historical background  is helpful here.

Shortly after Nigeria‘s return to civil rule in 1999, Muslim majority states in the north imposed Sharia law.  The process was marked by bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians in states with significant number of non Muslims like in Kaduna and Bauchi, Many lives were lost. Many people were displaced and property destroyed. At the end of the day, Sharia ruled -fully or partially- in many of the states. Right now the situation remains volatile. Tension and unease calm reign across the region. Hatred, division and suspicion caused by the introduction of Sharia law is not going away too soon. At the beginning of Sharia implementation, governments in these states assured the people that the law would not apply to non Muslims; that the law was for Muslims only. But this is not the case today. Most Sharia implementing states have become full fledged Islamic states where non Muslims are treated as second class citizens. In fact many Sharia implementing states have made Islam a state religion and promotion of Islam a state business.

Recently the government of Katsina state voted to spend 359 million in building mosques in 34 local councils in the states. Building mosques? What is the business of the Katsina state with building mosques? What makes building mosques in local councils a priority today? Is that how the government is tackling poverty and unemployment in the state?

Meanwhile in Kano state, Sharia implementation is getting serious nowadays. Kano state has a state funded Sharia police called Hisbah. Hisbah have been very active in the state. The Sharia police have literally usurped the role and duties of state police. They enforce Sharia law in ways that flagrantly violate the constitutional rights of non Muslims as well as Muslims. Apart from compelling- and teaching- Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan, Hisbah arbitrarily arrest and detain those whom they perceive to be prostitutes or homosexuals. They clamp down on the sale and drinking of alcohol.

Not too long ago, the sharia police destroyed  over 240,000 bottles of beer as part of its latest crackdown on ‘immoral practices’ in the state. Some of these goods belong to non Muslims or are for consumption by non Muslims. Who says that sharia implementation does not apply to non Muslims?

Sharia states have also been funding the propagation of Islam in the country. Two governors of sharia implementing states- Sokoto and Bauchi- were among those who gave cash rewards to mainly Igbos who converted to Islam in Abuja National Mosque. Couldn’t they have made better use of this money in developing there respective states? What is the business of state governors with the conversion of people from Christianity to Islam or vice versa?

Some of the reasons advanced for the Islamic insurgency in northern Nigeria are poverty, unemployment and marginalization of northern states. But here is a situation where the so called poor and marginalized states have enough money to waste building mosques and rewarding converts to Islamic religion. Is that really a wise way of spending or investing the scarce resources of these poor states? Today Sharia states have two layers of policing and court system. The Sharia layer of police and court is funded by the state government. Is that not a waste of limited resources?

The time has come for Sharia implementing states to call their politicians to order. They need to divest from state funding of Sharia and invest in building schools, colleges and skill acquisition centers. Sharia states should invest in schemes that create jobs, tackle poverty and empower the people; schemes that address the development needs of persons of all faiths and none.  Sharia implementing states should check the activities of Hisbah and other quasi Sharia policing organs in the region. These groups are spreading Islam-based hatred, fear and intolerance.If as they say, there is no compulsion in Islam, then there is no need for Sharia police at least in indigent Muslim majority states in northern Nigeria. Sharia agitators declared in 1999 that the destiny and development of Muslim majority states was tied to Sharia implementation. Going by the developments in northern Nigeria since then, one may ask: Is Sharia implementation now an asset or a liability?.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Kano Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Expresses Disappointment And Surprise At Arrest Of Top Officials of State Legislature.


The government of Kano State has expressed “utter disappointment and surprise” with Monday’s arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Gambo Sallau, and other principal officers and Clerk.

A statement by Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, the Director of Press and Public Relations to Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, stated that the officials were apparently arrested in connection with the government’s 2013 budget amendment, which the governor has already signed into law.

“It is crystal clear that the above mentioned public officials were arrested by the EFCC on the orders from the above, because of the legislators’ defection to APC, in support of Governor Kwankwaso,” the statement said.  It stated that the officials were only exercising their constitutional responsibilities of ensuring that budgets are properly articulated to ensure probity and accountability in public expenditure and enable the citizens enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“This action is obviously to intimidate and cow them into submission for choosing to move to the progressive fold,” the government said. “This action is not only despicable and absurd but also capable of igniting crisis in the polity, thereby breaching the relative peace that is being enjoyed in Kano state.  It is regrettable that the EFCC is allowing itself to be a tool of witch-hunt in the hands of powers that be.”

The statement confirmed that in addition to Alhani Sallau, also arrested were the Deputy Speaker, Isyaku Ali Danja, the Chief Whip, the Deputy Chief Whip, the Majority Leader and the Deputy Majority Leader.

The Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, and the Clerk of the House were also arrested.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Nigerian Youths: The Future Is Now By Godbless Sotu.


By Godbless Sotu

I kept wondering and pondering, so as not to get to a point of conjecture as regards the reason why a large portion of the Nigerian youth, educated and uneducated alike are turning a blind eye towards how the country we call our own is being run at the moment. It shows we are now like a people without  direction, a people dancing skelewu on an aircraft with the pilot as the DJ while the plane remains auto-piloted.

We focus more on entertainment programmes like “Kim Kardasian Shows, Big Brother Africa and the African Magic World etc.” As we now think that the leadership of nations (politics) is evil but whereas its the very determinant of how our society turns out to be through the decisions those in power make and take. It has led us to being striped off our rights, made us slaves at home and beggars of our own properties.

I saw in the news today of how the Kano state government just concluded with a mass wedding of more than 1000 couples; bravo the people of Kano must have applauded their governor who started the programme since 2011 but I vehemently put forward that if not for the decadence in our National and grassroots leadership there wouldn’t be such public hokum in the guise of serving the people. What more can we say is an evidence of the failure of governance when our youth can’t do a simple thing as paying bride price just because they don’t have good jobs. “what a shame”.

We are in this quandary not because the land is cursed nor is it because we are from a land of black-skinned people but because we’ve failed on our own part as a youthful giant to recognize the strength we possess. Adimba Toivo ya Toivo the founder and Secretary General of South West African People’s Organization who spent 19 years with Nelson Mandela in prison told a strong mentor of mine that “you must fight your war and not have another person fighting your war for you”, during his visit to Argentina in 1985 when he asked him (Adimba) why he rejected Nigerian and the Joint African Army to free Namibia.

Obama said on the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) and I quote, “Africa’s future belongs to his young people…we need young Africans who are making things happen not only in their own countries but around the world”, so if it takes a US president to recognise our potentials before we do, then something must be wrong because only a people with a sense of duty to their fatherland can truly decide on what they want and until we start the decision making, we won’t go anywhere from where we are now. We as young people must stand up and take our future into our hands instead of leaving it in the hands of people who cannot even run their family.

We’ve being cowed, colonized via the usual way of giving us peanuts whenever an election is around the corner. Oh I weep for my fellow Nigerian youth, we trade our future away for what won’t last more than a day and in the end we stand to cry foul, with no one to answer simply because we traded our honour for honey. I remember the famous line of Patrick Henry at the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775 at a time when Americans thought it wise to free themselves from colonial rule, his words; “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”. This was the cry of a man who wouldn’t live a life lesser than the one he is capable of living as against what our Nigerian youth settle for; a life of slavery and poverty, a system of pay me, fill my stomach and chain me if you like.

Nothing will change until we reform our psyche. Nothing will change until our mind is tamed. Nothing will change until we reject the status quo currently in place, nothing will change till every Nigerian youth see himself as the architect of the dream Nigeria; a Nigeria where Ankara would become wedding gown, where foreigners will line up for days to get a Nigerian visa, a Nigeria where darkness becomes a fairy tale, a Nigeria where we can speak the language of green and white as opposed to ethnicity. It falls on our shoulders to take the bull by the horns, wielding the might of the social media, wielding the strength of our population as youth and redefining how we want to be governed by getting actively involved and making the needed change that we crave.

A time will come when our children shall ask us about what we did when we were at our youthful age to prevent the further collapse of our dear nation and it will be up to us to tell them the truth as to what we did now, after we saw this writeup, after we saw the molestation of the Edo state widow, after we saw gross electoral malpractices in various polls, after we saw hunger, unemployment and the rapid ebbing away of human rights and social justice. Right from childhood, we’ve been told that we are leaders of tomorrow but that isn’t true, the mindset of being leaders of tomorrow is the reason why people like Buhari, Tinubu, Banbangida are still thinking of leading Nigeria to the promise land. It is this same reason that made Obansanjo to attempt a third term and also the same reason why Senator Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo still feels like governing Oyo state despite his age. This leaves me with a conclusion thus; the leadership of the youth is now else the resultant effect won’t be farfetched; an eventual collapse of this Nation.

I know a few Nigerian youths who are taking this initiative as a duty, though I won’t mention names but to those who share my ideas and put them into good workings in their daily activities; my praise and commendation goes to them but yet, there is still a lot of us who need to conquer territories dominated by ignorance and spread the light of freedom.

HISTORY BECKONS

This link might interest you: http://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/washington-fellows/

GODBLESS SOTU is a freelance writer, social crusader and the pioneer of TAMED(Think A Minute EveryDay) MINDSET, A Platform with the aim of reaching out to young Nigerians who have been in one way or the other rendered hopeless by the current societal ills.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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