Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Muslims’

Al-Qaida Magazine Calls for Car Bombs in US Read Latest.


Al-Qaida sounds a call for its terrorist followers to strike the United States and other Western nations with car bombs — and even suggests times and targets — in the Spring issue of its magazine, Inspire.

The magazine manifesto suggests U.S. targets such as Washington, D.C., New York, northern Virginia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as locations in Great Britain, France and “other crusader countries.”

The article suggests terrorists aim for places that are heavily populated: sporting events, election campaigns, and festivals.

Christmas and New Year’s are suggested as good times for attack. In Europe, the article suggests attacking the Bastille Military Day Parade in Paris and soccer stadiums in England “when huge crowds leave the stadium and celebrate around the entrances and [the English Football Association’s] FA Cup matches.”

“The important thing is that you target people and not buildings,” the article says.

Washington and New York have “symbolic importance,” the article says, because D.C. is the seat of the federal government and New York is the former capital and currently the country’s financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center.

Northern Virginia is suggested because “almost all the military bases are based in this state, apart from the Air Force which is based in Chicago.” The area also is home to many government agencies, the Department of Defense and CIA and “attracts a load of tourists,” the magazine said.

Chicago is the second-largest financial center in the United States and is a major transportation hub. Los Angeles is the second-largest city and is home to Hollywood. Celebrities often visit restaurants in the area on weekends, the article says.

A letter from the editor in the front of the magazine reads in part:

“The American government was unable to protect its citizens from pressure cooker bombs in backpacks, I wonder if they are ready to stop car bombs!

“Therefore, as our responsibility to the Muslim Ummah in general and Muslims living in America in particular, Inspire Magazine humbly presents to you a simple improvised home recipe of Shahzad’s car bomb.

“And the good news is … you can prepare it in the kitchen of your mom too.”

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

VIDEO: Muslims Set Police Station On Fire In Jerusalem, Burn Star Of David Near Temple Mount.


Jerusalem Arabs set ablaze a police station next to the Lions’ Gate in the capital’s Old City on Wednesday. Aryeh King, nationalist Jerusalem city councilman and member of the municipality’s Emergency and Security Committee, was present at the attack and managed to document it. According to King, police officers fled the scene.

muslims-set-fire-to-police-station-in-jerusalem-burn-israeli-flag-near-temple-mount-february-26-2014

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO NOW

“Unfortunately the prime minister is instructing the authorities to avoid eastern Jerusalem, and these are the results,” charged King. “Last night the funeral of a terrorist was held there, they marched from the Mount of Olives towards the Lions’ Gate attacking everything in their path and didn’t let Jews pass,” reported King. He adds that once the group arrived at Lions’ Gate they burned the police station.

King, who lives in Maaleh Zeitim on the Mount of Olives, noted that the incident merely highlights an endemic failure of the capital’s security. “The security in eastern Jerusalem is abandoned, women don’t dare go to the mikveh (ritual bath) in Armon Hanatziv, in Park Hamesilah next to Beit Tzafafa people are robbed in broad daylight,” commented King. The Jerusalem councilman added that Arab residents “build wherever they want,” without enforcement of the building laws. source – PamelaGeller.com

Boko Haram: Military Leadership Underserves President And Junior Soldiers.


By Abiodun Ladepo

“Gunmen from Islamist sect Boko Haram killed 51 people in an attack on a town in northeast Nigeria…in a region where President Goodluck Jonathan’s troops are struggling to contain its insurgency.  Dozens of Boko Haram fighters speeding along in trucks painted in military colours and armed with automatic weapons and explosives stormed Konduga local government area in Borno state at around 4 p.m. on…burning houses and shooting fleeing villagers…The insurgents also took 20 young girls from a local college hostage…The military confirmed the attack took place but said it was still assessing the number of casualties.”

The above was the lead paragraph in a Reuters’s story published a couple of days ago.  The story’s screaming headline was: “Nigeria’s Boko Haram kill 51 in northeast attack.”   Before this headline, there had been many such screaming headlines published by different media: “Gunmen kill 22 in Nigeria church attack: Witnesses”; “Attacks by extremists kill about 75 Nigerians”; “Nigerian gunmen attack toll reaches 85”; “Nigerian Muslim Cleric Opposed to Boko Haram Shot Dead.”  And we can go on and on quoting screaming headlines that have assailed our ears since gunmen first laid siege to northern Nigeria.  Does anybody even pay any attention to these headlines anymore?  Anybody…the Federal government, the military, and the rest of us not directly affected by the carnage…do we pay any attention to these headlines anymore?  Could it be that we don’t pay attention to these headlines because they have apparently screamed themselves hoarse?  Or have we all just become inured to (and inoculated against) their potency?

But probably the one headline that should have bothered Nigerians the most was this from ThisDay newspaper: “Five Aircraft Razed as Boko Haram Attacks Maiduguri.”  The paper reported on 03 December 2013 that the president was so perturbed by the brazen and gory nature of the attack that he called an emergency meeting of the Security Council.  Erstwhile Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, (now CDS) along with National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) were in attendance.  Soon after that meeting, the Air Force launched a few air sorties in the area, dropping a few bombs on what it thought were the enemies.  Many of the bombs were so erratic they missed their targets by kilometers.  Some hit “friendly forces” while others landed in open fields.  The attacking insurgents disappeared into thin air almost effortlessly and our military retreated back to their barracks claiming what later amounted to nothing but Pyrrhic victory – the fact that it successfully drove the attackers away.

Drove the attackers away?  That was part of the bragging statements issued by the Army as it went on a shameless victory lap around the mangled corpses of Nigerian Soldiers and the bloods of civilians, including those of innocent women and children, now mostly Muslims.  It used to be that these attackers targeted Christians and their churches; and because of that, we attributed their attacks to part of Boko Haram’s quest to Islamize the whole of Nigeria.  For a considerable length of time now, these attacks have been launched against Nigerians irrespective of religion, sect, age, ethnicity and gender.  Commonsense should, by now, inform the collective wisdom of our highest military echelon to consider the possibility that these are probably no longer the original Boko Haram adherents we were fighting.

Our military “drove the attackers away”, turned around and came back home?  And we are satisfied with that?  What is wrong in following the attackers to whatever hole from where they came – Cameroon, Chad, or Niger – and finishing them off there?  What is wrong in following the attackers, capturing those we can capture and bringing them back to our bases for interrogation?  Believe me, if we subject these Prisoners of Wars (POWs) to internationally sanctioned interrogation techniques – those authorized by relevant Geneva Conventions articles and guaranteed to preserve the rights and dignity of the POWs – we will obtain actionable intelligence from them that would aid in our execution of this war.  Instead, we allowed the attackers to retreat and re-group so they can fight us another day.  We tucked our tails between our legs, scampered back to our bases and declared victory.  And a few weeks later, the commander whose Air Force Base was so ravaged – Alex Badeh; the one whose subordinate personnel’s wives were carted away by the enemies in that bold attack, was rewarded with promotion to Chief of Defense Staff.

None of the senators who screened Badeh for the appointment had the good conscience to ask him where he was when the attack on the base occurred; what policies he had in place, as then Chief of Air Staff, to forestall the breach of his bases, and what policies he had since put in place to prevent another such attack.  If the senators (led by David Mark, himself a former senior military officer) had had the gumption to ask the tough questions, they would have learned, for instance, that the Nigerian military is languishing in archaic war fighting equipment and doctrine.  They would have learned that our Air Force did not have something as simple as up-to-date maps of our own country – maps which would have come in handy when trying to locate the enemy’s possible fortresses; maps showing all of our man-made and natural terrains that the enemies and our forces could use for cover, concealment and mobility.  The senators would have found out that our Air Force had very limited serviceable and air-worthy fighter aircraft.  They would have learned that because of the paucity of aircraft, only very few of our fighter pilots are well-trained in their jobs.  And those who have the training may not even retain much of these perishable flying-and-fighting skills due to lack of regular sustainment training.  Our senators would have learned that our Army still carries around moribund and often malfunctioning personal and crew-served weapons; that they move around in dilapidated Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs); that our Soldiers regularly run out of ammunition, petrol, food and other essential items in the middle of firefights.  Our senators would have found out to their utter chagrins the nauseating fact that we are sometimes late in paying our Soldiers’ combat and deployment allowances; and that when they die in combat, we take forever in paying their gratuities to their families, thereby keeping morale at the lowest ebb.

Our senators might also have learned that our senior military officers do not understand the difference between conventional war (country vs. country) and Counter-Insurgencies (COIN) (country vs. insurgency) war.  And what they do not know, they could not teach to their subordinates or supervise.  The senators would have learned that we have probably been fighting an armed insurrection or an armed unconventional invasion (assuming these attackers are from neighboring Cameroon, Chad, or Niger) with the tools needed to fight a conventional war.  Had our senators done their due diligence, they would have learned that our military and our intelligence agencies, especially the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), lack the technical knowhow to emplace and employ ground/aerial, static/mobile, human/electronic intelligence collection capabilities that would greatly complement the efforts of our gallant Soldiers.  (For example, we acquired for surveillance a couple of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), otherwise known as Drones.  But with what and whom are we coordinating the images we receive from these Drones?)  Gallantry without effective fighting weaponry is nothing but suicide.  Only when our Soldiers encounter unarmed civilians do their egos swell to match their menacing muscles.  When faced with well-motivated hooded insurgents wielding Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers and vehicle-mounted 60mm machine guns, our soldiers scamper for cover.  Had the senators asked the right questions, they would have known that without motivating and empowering our Soldiers with modern, up-to-date equipment, quality training, and rewarding pay, it is as if we have consistently tied their fighting hands behind their backs and sent them to battle to die.

This low-level war with insurgents has exposed the systemic rot in our military and we should wake up to our responsibilities.  Unless we are deluding ourselves, Nigeria may not survive a full-blown invasion from one of its neighboring countries.  At the minimum, we would suffer great losses in the hands of a determined foe.  Ordinary bands of rag-tag fighters probe and infiltrate our borders at will (daytime, nighttime and evenings); they conduct successful attacks and then successfully retreat with minimal casualties.  A few days later, they repeat the attacks with slight changes to their modus operandi, throwing our soldiers into confusion.  Haba!  These are textbook basic offensive tactics that have continued to make mincemeat of our so-called dreaded military.  And any Nigerian Soldier worth his or her salt should be embarrassed to no end by this.

If we eschew politics, Goodluck Jonathan has no blame in this whatsoever.  Because he was dissatisfied with their performances (and rightfully so) he sacked Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim and Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika.  To make it a clean sweep, he also sacked the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba.  While Badeh replaced Ibrahim, Ihejirika, and Ezeoba were replaced by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Minimah and Rear Adm. Jibrin Usman respectively.  Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu slid into Badeh’s old seat as the Air Force’s Chief of Staff.

That is all one could expect of a civilian Commander-in-Chief – reinvigorating the military at the top with fresh hands in the expectation that the new appointees will inject the Force with a new sense of purpose, direction and motivation.  Jonathan should not be expected to understand the minutiae of military Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs).  In fact, he is probably as angry and as surprised as the rest of us that we have not beaten this insurgency scourge.  Jonathan can only understand and approve what the military brasses put before him.  And anyone with a scintilla of expertise in advanced military operations, not just rudimentary knowledge of how the military conducts successful operations, should know that the succession of military brasses have not served Jonathan well.  They appear to me to have become either too obtuse and/or too impervious to designing radical changes to their TTPs.

So, as a matter of urgency, Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh should begin to earn his rank and salary by immediately setting up for himself a Command Post (CP) in Maiduguri and temporarily move his office there.  If anything, this would signal to all his subordinate commanders that he means business and it is no longer business as usual.  This is war and it should be treated as such.  It would also boost the junior Soldiers’ morale to knowing their overall boss is on the battlefield with them, not ensconced in Abuja drinking pepper soup.  Badeh will now be able to see up-close what his Soldiers are facing and can effectively assess what they need in order to win the war.  When he orders them to face death, he would be doing so with moral authority, not just rank authority.  Badeh will see firsthand how a typical fellow Nigerian in Konduga lives his or her daily life and can then report same to Jonathan.  Badeh will be able to go to the National Assembly (NASS) and to Jonathan to make a good argument why Nigeria needs to recruit more Soldiers.  He would be able to convince the NASS to increase the defense budget, allowing for training in modern warfare, equipment, remunerations and emoluments for its personnel.

Finally, Jonathan will then be able to inform (not seek permission from) the leaders of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic; the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), that henceforth, Nigeria would deal decisively with anybody or group of persons that violates its territorial integrity.  Jonathan will mandate Badeh and his entire military leadership to employ the Powell Doctrine of maximum force each time any part of Nigeria is attacked.  And, of course, with credible and actionable intelligence, superior equipment and a motivated military, Nigeria will meet its threat of lethal force with precision and deadly overwhelming delivery.  This will serve as an effective deterrence to would be aggressors and fomenters or anarchy.  This practice of watching whole families slaughtered in cold blood; of survivors gnashing their teeth, wailing and throwing themselves on the ground; and of our military and politicians throwing up their hands in total helplessness will then come to an end.  And we would have our country back.

Abiodun Ladepo                                                                                                                           Los Angeles, California, USA                                                                                   Oluyole2@yahoo.com.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

A Nation Without Empathy By Femi Fani-Kayode.


By Femi Fani-Kayode

A few days ago (12th February 2014) in Borno state Boko Haram killed 60 innocent Nigerians and carted off 24 young girls without any trace. On January 27th 2014 no less than 70 innocent Nigerians were murdered in cold blood by Boko Haram in a series of attacks in Borno and Adamawa states.

On January 14th 2014 at least 50 innocent Nigerians were blown to pieces by a Boko Haram suicide bomber in  the heart of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Not too long before then they attacked an army barracks in Borno, killed 200 soldiers, carted off the wives and children of our military personnel and burnt the barracks to the ground.

A few weeks prior to that, numerous schools were attacked and hundreds of our children were either shot to death, hacked to pieces or had their throats cut and blood drained. Consequently many schools have been closed down in Borno and Yobe states respectively.

A few weeks back no less than 160 of our soldiers were killed by Boko Haram in one skirmish simply because they ran out of bullets. Worst still it has been generally acknowleged that the Boko Haram fighters are better equipped and better supplied than our soldiers. Goodness me….what a mess.

Finally no less than 130 churches were burnt down in Borno state in 2013 alone and the Catholic Church alone lost 53 churches out of that figure. All in all Nigeria has lost almost 8000 innocent civilians to Boko Haram in the last three years and that includes women and children. It does not however include the vast number of women that have been captured and kidnapped by them and that are now being used as sex-slaves.

All this and yet some complain about the fact that I recently wrote that we have a   ”President without balls” who is simply incapable of facing the challenge of Boko Haram. Given his accursed weakness in the face of what is undoubtedly the greatest insurgency and rebellion of our time since the civil war and given his inability to behave like a real Commander-in-Chief and to properly engage and crush the enemy, I do not regret my choice of words (or title) for that celebrated essay. As a matter of fact I ought to have gone much further because our President deserves far worse.

As I wrote in another contribution almost one month ago, ”the problem that we have is the President himself- a President who prides himself on his own weakness and incompetence and whose love of false prophets and strange women knows no bounds and has no end. A President who is as confused and as clueless as the comic character called Chancey Gardner in the celebrated 1970’s Peter Seller’s Hollywood blockbuster titled ”Being There”. A President who does not understand the meaning of the word ”class” or ”honesty” and who breaks his own word consistently. A President who has abdicated his responsibilities, destroyed his own political party, divided his own country, alienated his own friends, humiliated his own mentor, abandoned his own people, brought ridicule to his own faith, cowers before his own officials, betrays his own governors, scorns the international community and BREAKS HIS SOLEMN OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE. A President who does not even have the nerve or the guts to call to order any of the numerous Jezebels that control him. He is the problem we have in our country today and until he resigns, is impeached or is voted out of power nothing will change and Nigeria will continue to go from bad to worse. That is what you get when you vote for a man who never wore shoes to school’- (‘JONATHAN, TUKUR AND A GOVERNMENT OF JEZEBELS’, Premium Times, 19th January, 2014).

It is no wonder that President Goodluck Jonathan has been endorsed for a second term by a motely and hitherto unknown group known as the ”Witches and Wizards Association of Nigeria”. As my good friend and brother and the Kakaki Nupe, Mr. Sam Nda Isaiah, recently wrote in response to this rather strange ”endorsement” from an equally strange group- ”the devil is a liar”.

Each time a precious soul is snuffed out and a life is cut short by Boko Haram, whether that person be a christian or a muslim, or a northerner or a southerner, it takes something away from our collective humanity and it wounds our nation’s soul. Worse still it diminishes us before the entire world and confirms the fact that our country has been turned into a human abbatoir and slaughterhouse where, no matter how many innocents are butchered, no-one really cares anymore.

Such matters no longer even make it to the front pages of our newspapers anymore and neither do our politicians or newspaper columnists even talk or write about it anymore. All that stopped long ago and now we see such atrocities as a norm that we must just accept and live with. We have accepted it as our ”lot in life” and, as our President said last year, we regard it simply as ”Nigeria’s contribution to the war against terror”. Early in 2013 our President also said that he regarded Boko Haram as his ”siblings” whom he ”could not move against” whilst Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the erstwhile National Chairman of his political party the PDP, described them as ”freedom fighters”.  Can you imagine that? These are commendations from Mr. President and the then serving National Chairman of the PDP for Boko Haram barely one year ago. Jumping Jehoshaphat. It is only in Nigeria that a terrorist organisation can kill thousands of it’s citizens in the most brutal, violent and horrendous manner and yet the President and the National Chairman of the ruling party still feel comfortable and safe with calling them their ”siblings” and ”freedom fighters”. What a terrible insult this is on the Nigerian people and what a bitter pill to swallow for the family members of all those that have been killed in the last three years by these terrorists. I really do wonder whose ”freedom” Boko Haram is fighting for, whose interest they seek to further and protect and what blood ties exist between them and our President. What a shameful and insensitive set of leaders we have and what an indolent and insensitive followership who are not prepared to call them to order and keep them on their toes when they make such outrageous comments and who have absolutely no empathy with or sympathy for the many victims of Boko Haram.

The truth is that we as a people have lost all sense of compassion and decency when it comes to such matters and our feelings and conciences have become seared. To the majority of Nigerians those precious souls and compatriots that have been killed by Boko Haram over the last three years are just a number- they are nothing but distant names, from a distant place, belonging to distant figures.

There is simply no sense of national outrage from our people about this insidious rebellion and about these brutal killings and vicious attacks and neither is their any sense of urgency on the part of our government to bring it to an end. Given the way we conduct ourselves one would not have thought that Nigeria is currently enmeshed in the most brutal war against terror in it’s entire history.

Yet as we go on with our day to day business and act as if all is well thousands are being killed in the north-eastern part of our country by Boko Haram. There can be no greater evidence of man’s inhumanity to man when one considers our attitude. Such inhumanity and insensitivity to the plight of others has taken firm root in the Nigeria of today. What a monuemental tragedy this is. When did we, as a people, degenerate to this abysmal level of lack of empathy and when did we stop becoming our brother’s keeper?

As millions of Nigerians join the world to celebrate Valentines day today and indeed throughout this weekend, please let us spare a thought and say a little prayer for those whose loved ones will not be with them on this day, or indeed on any other day, simply because they have been murdered or kidnapped by Boko Haram.

May God heal their wounds and have mercy on them even as we grieve with them. And may God forgive our President and the majority of the Nigerian people for simply ”not giving a damn” about their sad and unfortunate plight.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Only In Unity Do We Stand A Chance – Karo Orovboni.


By Karo Orovboni

As most Nigerians are religious or should I say portray to be religious, I will start by taking two quotes, one from the Bible, and the other from the Quran.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” – Matthew 12:25

“Do not be like the ones who became divided and disputed, despite clear proofs that were given to them. For these have incurred a terrible retribution” – Quran 3:105

Nigeria has become an extremely polarised nation, to the extent that the white on the national flag, which signifies unity, is crying for a colour change. Almost every national discussion you hear will most certainly have a sectional undertone. Political officers are chosen based on what part of the country they are from or to satisfy some political interests and not necessarily for their leadership capabilities or the intellectual skill set they possess. It is now endemic in Nigeria that a person who steals from the public purse is not a thief if he or she is from the same ethnic region; they are termed “my brother” or “my sister”. This in itself is shocking!

Almost every Nigerian you speak to is dissatisfied with the state of the nation; people are angry and blame each other for the deterioration of the nation. The northerners will tell you it is the southerners, the southerners will tell you the northerners have ruled Nigeria for too long. Some have even conceived that the amalgamation of 1914 was a terrible mistake; that we would have been better of if there was no amalgamation. But before we start pointing accusing fingers and blaming the problems on the other ethnic region, I have some advice. Why not look inwards and ask your regional or ethnic leaders that are in political positions or have held political positions in the past some salient questions like:

What have you done with the allocations given to you from the treasury?

Can you point to the projects you have executed with utmost transparency and accountability?

Where are the policies you initiated that have benefitted the average Nigerian and alleviated the level of poverty?

Can you in all sincerity tell us that you have not soiled your hands in the public purse?

This list of questions is in no way exhaustive but you can begin to form an idea of the kind of questions you need to ask them.

The secession of Nigeria is far from the solution, in fact, it will indeed worsen the problems. If Nigeria splits into many parts, the prevalent problems of today will still remain. If we don’t learn how to live in unity as Nigeria, we will never be able to live in unity even if Nigeria splits into fifty parts. There are only two sets of people in Nigeria – the good and the evil, and they both exist in every geopolitical zone of the country. The ethnic and religious division is nothing but a deceitful seed sown by greedy politicians that has now grown into a mighty forest that has since been nurtured by the same group. The divide and conquer rule is not a myth, it works, and it will continue to as long as you allow yourselves to be divided along ethnic and religious lines. The more the ethnic division continue, the more the greedy politicians increase in political and financial power – the division suits their purpose.

I have said it previously that the problem of Nigeria is not the Northerners or Southerners, it isn’t the Christians or Muslims, but the major problem is corruption in high places. This is the common evil that we need to wade at all cost. A poor man from Calabar is of no better than a poor man from Sokoto. The same denominator, poverty, joins them.

I will like us to ask ourselves some questions. Of what benefit is it to you personally if the president is from your region but you have just lost a close family member because you could not afford to pay for sound health care, or when pregnant women in your region have a slim chance of surviving child birth due to bad health care service that is in its own coma? Of what use is it to you personally if the governor is from your village but yet the probability of it snowing in Nigeria is higher than you finding a job after graduation? What benefit is it to you if the local government chairman goes to your church or mosque but yet the road to your house is still impassable?

As the body is of many parts, so is Nigeria of many ethnicities, languages, and dialects. God that made the human body didn’t make a body of the same part but of different parts. There are many parts of the body but they all work together. The eye cannot say to the mouth that I do not have need of you, neither can the feet say to the hand let us depart in peace. The nose cannot perform the functions of the stomach, neither can the ear do the functions of the mouth, each member has its own important part to play in the body. The tender tongue in the midst of 32 soldiers (teeth) cannot do without each other, even though they fight at times (teeth bites the tongue), they still live together and cannot be separated.

Nigeria is a diverse country; we should draw strength from our diversity and not division. We should understand that we have different religions, ethnicities, and culture; we should learn to respect each other, live with our differences and treat everyone fairly. Every Nigerian should be able to live the way he wants in conformity with his culture, ethnic preference, and religion.

The future of Nigeria is indeed bright and it needs the brightest of brains from the north, south, east and west to joins hands to move this nation forward. We should see people for who they are or what they can contribute to the emergence of a better Nigeria and not for the geographical location they represent. If we follow the holy books we claim to believe in, we realise that we stand a better chance if we unite to advance this great nation.

Karo Orovboni

You can engage Karo on twitter @K_Orovboni

 

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

Imagine the Uproar if Jews Were to Attack Palestinian Arabs.


Palestinians. Sometimes, there aren't enough rocks.
A Palestinian throws a stone during clashes with Israeli police after Friday prayers on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, Feb. 7, 2014. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Imagine that this week, Jews got angry and hundreds attacked Palestinian Arabs with rocks at the holiest Muslim site in the world. Imagine that this violence came after a handful of Muslims came to pray peacefully at the site and that even though hundreds of Jews attacked police officers, only seven were arrested.

Can anyone imagine the endless news stories and media reports that would emanate as a result? The New York Timeswould have three front-page stories; there would be countless United Nations and European Union condemnations, and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour would be on site. Media coverage would be nonstop.

In reality, Arabs attacked Jews repeatedly over the last few days at the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews, so it is barely a news story. Palestinian Arab violence against Jews is a regular occurrence, and as the media seemingly expects the Arabs to throw rocks, they don’t afford it much media coverage.

A few weeks ago, Stockwell Day, who served as Canada’s minister of public safety between 2006 and 2008, visited the area and was refused admittance by Muslims. On the Temple Mount, Jewish religious artifacts and symbols are not permitted and visitors report being strip-searched before being allowed admittance.

Imagine if, in the Vatican, people weren’t permitted to bring religious artifacts. World media would jump all over themselves to cover the story. But since it is Jews being attacked, the world’s media is silent.

The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site and the location of the two holy temples of Jerusalem, the latter of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. Despite the fact that this area is the holiest place on earth for the Jews, Jewish visitation is restricted.

Pretend there was an area in Washington, D.C., that had important political or religious significance to America. Could anyone envision a scenario where Americans were kept out and police officers were attacked regularly at the site?

Of course, if the Israeli police were to adopt the position of the American border patrol police that says they “consider rock-throwing to be deadly force which sometimes demands the same in response,” then the world headlines would criticize Israel for shooting at unarmed young protestors. Ignoring the fact that rocks kill people, the media would describe it as “tit for tat violence” if Israel responded. Talk about a no-win situation.

Israel, it seems, is simply always wrong and can do no right for the world’s media. This bias leads to Jews being killed and is simply despicable.

RONN TOROSSIAN

Ronn Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and respected public relations experts. Torossian is the founder, president and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the 25 largest independent American PR firms.

Again, A Case of Uncounted Billions By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

To a first-time visitor, much of Nigeria is likely to appear like the wreckage of a long war, what with its gutted roads, rutted infrastructure, the near-absence of electric power, and the paucity of pipe-borne water. It’s a developmental nightmare, a relic of the misshapen monuments of small-minded men and women, a patchwork of ill-conceived, abandoned projects.

Given Nigeria’s shape—or, more appropriate, its lack of shape—you’d expect a certain sense of urgency about transforming the space. You’d expect politicians and experts to focus at every opportunity on ways of creating a healthcare system worthy of human beings, revitalizing the educational sector, creating jobs for milling youths, providing basic facilities, and changing the moral tone.

Instead, what you find is a deranged obsession with a rat race whose sole goal is the primitive accumulation of riches. The country’s political leaders, who incidentally lead the rat race, seem to miss the point that the winners of such a race remain rats! Yes, a lot of them amass obscene sums of illicit wealth, but lucre merely raises their rating as ridiculous figures. The more they steal, the more they consolidate their contemptible quotient.

But Nigeria’s political “leaders” are far from the only problems. If anything, they seem to reflect a broader cultural malaise. Many Nigerians, one suspects, are hostile to the deep thinking that is a precursor to remarkable transformation. We’d much rather muck around in sectarian, ethnic and partisan baiting. Confronted with evidence of systemic collapse, many of us are content to blame Christians or Muslims, Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa, the North or South. We fail to realize that, where it counts, so-called Christian and so-called Muslim figures collaborate in schemes that impoverish the rest of us; that Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa politicians are not averse to acting together to corner looting opportunities; that men and women from the North and South work together daily to abort Nigeria’s promise.

The reportorial priorities of the Nigerian media mirror, I suggest, Nigerians’ little tolerance for substance. Despite Nigeria’s abysmal condition, it’s hard to see any serious debates in the media. It’s all about PDP this, APC that. Nobody, least of all the two parties’ top officials, can articulate what either party stands for. In lieu of any sustained presentation of ideas for making Nigeria a habitable address, both parties settle for parading personalities. What’s worse, the advertised political henchmen (and women) have pedigrees defined less by ideas than their possession of stupendous wealth.

You’d expect Nigerians to pay attention when somebody who ought to know talks about billions missing from the national treasury. But perish the thought!

Last week, Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria appeared again before the Finance Committee of the Nigerian Senate, and spoke about huge frauds in the oil sector. Mr. Sanusi’s presentation rang with grave claims. Speaking with a directness hardly ever used by any past occupant of his seat, he accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of failing to account for $20 billion from crude oil exports. According to him, the NNPC sold $67 billion worth of crude oil, but deposited only $47 billion.

He told the committee that two companies, Seven Energy and Atlantic Energy (which he said were owned by the same persons), were beneficiaries of a curious deal with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). The deal enabled the ostensible private investors to pocket billions of dollars that ought to belong to Nigeria, the CBN head asserted. He also spoke about “leakages from the system through opaque and complex Swap transactions between PPMC [Pipeline and Products Marketing Company] and some counter parties.” He added: “The Agreements signed by PPMC contained a troubling clause that permits the destruction of documents after one year.”

These are startling allegations, worthy of particular attention by Nigerians and their media. When I googled Mr. Sanusi’s presentation, I found that it received relatively tepid reportage in Nigerian newspapers. It was played up more by online media, especially those based outside of Nigeria.

Even if Mr. Sanusi were talking nonsense, the proper response would be for reporters versed in oil transactions to thoroughly dissect his presentation and expose his misrepresentations. Besides, President Goodluck Jonathan and his aides ought to debunk Mr. Sanusi’s allegations by providing proof that no money is missing. It’s far from an adequate response to point to the fact that the CBN governor’s figures have shifted since September, 2013. The discrepancies may point, in fact, to the complex, labyrinthine nature of the schemes used to defraud Nigerians.

The role of the media has been shameful—but let’s put it aside for now. How about labor unions, student organizations, and such professional bodies as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and the Nigerian Guild of Editors? What explains their astonishing silence on the matter? Is Nigeria so affluent—so awash with cash—that $20 billion don’t count?

On the Internet, some anonymous commentators fixated on the fact that Mr. Sanusi, bearer of a disquieting message, is a Muslim and a Northerner. Some accused him of awarding billions of naira worth of contracts to his cronies. Others raised issues about his personal life. Mr. Sanusi’s faith and ethnicity have nothing to do with anything here. If he illegally awarded contracts, he deserves to be called on it—and prosecuted, if he broke the law. If there are lapses in his personal life, they should concern us only if he meddled with public funds. Otherwise, it is up to the stakeholders in his personal life to hold him to account, or choose not to.

If students, lawyers and editors didn’t find the case of the missing billions worthy of a single raised eyebrow, who would blame the rest of the populace for going on, unconcerned? It was as if most of us yawned and quickened our stride to that pepper soup joint! Few, if any, bothered to contemplate all the things that $20 billion could do for Nigeria.

I can’t help contrasting the collective indifference to Mr. Sanusi’s expose with the hysteria over former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s decision to leave the PDP and enlist in the APC. Nigerian newspapers not only rushed to cover this relative non-event, they have also offered their readers numerous follow-ups.

You’d think that the answer to Nigeria’s crises of underdevelopment lie in Mr. Atiku’s choice to register with a party that has yet to spell out how it differs from the PDP, much less what answers it has for Nigeria’s worsening state.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Tag Cloud