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Posts tagged ‘Niger’

Suspicious Moves: Sultan, northern rulers in a closed door talk with National-Security Adviser (NSA).


Sultan-Abubakar

DAILY NEWSWATCH – As part of ongoing efforts to harmonise a common front before the 2015 general elections and also end the crippling insecurity in the region, members of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), National Security Adviser (NSA) and Northern Traditional Rulers Council were yesterday locked in a closed door meeting in Kaduna for hours.Daily Newswatch gathered that NEF, which has been championing the battle to return presidency to the North, is set to woo traditional rulers, while NSA, Sambo Dasuki, is expected to collaborate with traditional institutions to end the endemic insecurity in the region.Speaking at the opening ceremony before the closed door session, Chairman, Northern Traditional Rulers and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, indicted northern governors for not doing enough in developing the region.According to the Sultan, “In our quest to develop the North, because we are Northern leaders first, we always try to reach out to our political leaders. I want to put it on record here that even last year, we presented a position paper to the Northern Governors’ Forum on the way forward to reduce the suffering of our people on lack of education, insecurity and all sort of things.“The paper has been given to them and I want to draw the attention of the Northern Governors’ Forum that we are yet to hear anything on that paper we gave them. They should reach out to us to brief us, so that we can continue to contribute on how to really sustain peace and development of the north,” he said.Speaking at the gathering, Governor Ramallan Yero of Kaduna, called on the “royal fathers not to relent in your efforts at evolving workable conflict resolution models. The time has come for us to work as partners towards reuniting our people for the purpose of facing the massive developmental hurdles bedeviling our progress as a people.”Yero said, “As government, we are ready and our doors are open to suggestions that will help actualise our objectives of building lasting peace and security in Kaduna State and the entire nation.”On his part, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger, represented by his deputy, Ahmed Musa Ibeto, said Nigeria was passing through one of the most difficult times in its post-independent experience, adding “when political and electoral tension, social and economic insecurity, communal conflicts and civil unrest have reached unprecedented levels, they require the collective dedication of all.”

Nigeria’s Retrogressive Anti-Gay Law By Abiodun Ladepo.


By Abiodun Ladepo

This past Wednesday, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan elevated crassness and primitiveness to the highest level imaginable by signing into law a bill banning homosexuality in Nigeria.  I deliberately crafted the previous sentence so unambiguously.  He did not just ban homosexual marriage; he banned homosexuality as a whole!  Perhaps if the law had only stopped at “persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison,” one might not feel so much outrage.  But it went on to state that “any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison”!  In essence, only heterosexuals are allowed to hold hands in public, sit on each other’s lap, hump each other while dancing in clubs or kiss publicly.  What, in the name of God, just happened to Nigeria?

Let me state upfront that I am a Straight (heterosexual) guy who is happily married to a beautiful woman.  So, this write-up is not about me or my sexual preference.  It is about Nigeria’s lack of originality and lack of creative instincts.  We the people, along with our leaders, fail to do the deep thinking, the due diligence, in many respects that will take our country farther and more quickly than we have hitherto done.  Lethargy is irredeemably ingrained in our psyche.  Otherwise, how does being openly gay draw our country back?  We already have thousands of gay people in our midst!  How does their gayness prevent those of us who are not gay from going about our businesses?

This law assumes that the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community just arrived in Nigeria yesterday.  No, the LGBT has been with us since, at least, when I was a young boy over 50 years ago.  I recall growing up in (yes) Zaria, Kaduna State, of all places, and going to watch evening dances of members of the LGBT.  We used to call them “Dandaudu.”  We, the kids, used to marvel at their public display of amorous acts.  This was in the early 60s.  They were not hidden behind the walls of any clubs in the middle of the night; they danced in open spaces and in early evenings.  I have also personally witnessed “Dandaudus” doing their dances in Bukuru, Jos, Bauchi and Maiduguri in the 70s.  And if you lived in the hostel during your secondary school years, don’t tell me that you did not catch a few of your guy friends “doing it.”  I have heard from some of my secondary school female friends of the sexual trysts that went on in their hostel.  Let’s not even talk about what happens in the dorms of our universities.  So, why are we just now finding out that their presence in our midst is anathema and antithetical to our moral fiber?

Reuben Abati, that formerly celebrated anti-bad government champion, who is now a turncoat and who I now detest with so much passion, defended the law with the pedestrian argument that since 90 percent of Nigerians were opposed to same-sex marriage, “…the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs.”   Ninety percent?  First, how did we come up with that percentage?  When did we poll the country to ascertain that 90 percent of our people oppose same-sex marriage?  And even if they do, what right does the majority have to trample on the basic right of the minority – the fundamental human right to freedom of association?  What right does the majority have to deprive the minority of having sex with whomever it wants as long as it is consensual?  The worst that the Nigerian government should have been able to do should have been the denial of official recognition of such a union. But to criminalize it is akin to despotism, especially in a democratic dispensation.

And by the way, since when has this government or any past Nigerian government taken a decision in favor of an issue perceived to have received the support of the majority of Nigerians?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the removal or Stella Oduah as Aviation minister, Diezani Madueke as Petroleum minister and Reuben Abati as adviser?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the banning of government officials, especially the President, from seeking medical attention abroad until our medical facilities and personnel are of the same standard as those they use when they go abroad?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the supply of 24/7 uninterrupted electricity to all corners of Nigeria?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the revamping, rejuvenating and reinvigorating of the EFCC so it can better fight corruption?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support a massive overhaul of our educational infrastructures from elementary all the way to university systems?  Don’t 90 percent of our people oppose the blocking of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway by mega-churches and mega-mosques?  Have our lawmakers crafted any laws that criminalize the failure by government to do the things mentioned above?  No.  But these nosey people are eager to get into the bedrooms of Nigerians.

I find this homophobic inclination that is so rampant in our country as yet another example of religious zealotry and self-righteousness that have been the bane of our society.  Everybody is stampeding and trampling each other today in their quest to out-do one another as they condemn homosexuality.  But we will find out one day – tomorrow maybe –  just as we have found out in Europe and America that even family members of influential government officials can be (and are indeed) gay!  In fact, we will soon find out that membership in the LGBT community cuts across all spectra of our society – from the ranks of elected politicians, to traditional rulers, military officers, police officers, teachers, technocrats, pastors, imams, babalawos, traders and what not.  And what are we going to do when we find out that one of these influential people whom we had thought was heterosexual was indeed bisexual?  Would we throw OBJ or IBB or GEJ or Mama Iyabo or Dame Patience or any of their children into 14 years of prison terms if any of them turns out to be gay? What would we do when we discover that Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye or his wife, Folu do engage in homosexual acts (with other partners, of course)?  What about Sheik Muhammad Yahaya Sanni and his many wives?  Are we going to give them immunity against prosecution?

This is why I stated earlier that our leaders did not subject this law to a rigorous and intellectual discuss before allowing their emotion, religion and communal bandwagon mentality to overtake their sense of reason.  Before the bill was adopted by the Senate in 2011, a few Nigerian members of the LGBT community, supported by some civil rights activists, appeared before the Senate to argue against enacting such a law.  The lawmakers and religious zealots in the chambers of the Senate booed and heckled these gay folks till they cried and left in disgrace.  Among the booing and heckling crowd were men who maintain two, three, four or more wives – wives who are subjugated, mentally and are physically abused.  Among this crowd were women who cheat on their husbands with their pastors and imams to the extent of making babies out-of-wedlock while their husbands thought the babies were theirs.  These people, in my opinion, lack the moral right to tell a gay man or woman whom to love and whom to cavort with in public.

Believe me, gays are the least of Nigeria’s problems.  Graft in high places, greed in high places, hired assassination, kidnapping, murder, armed robbery, neglect of rural areas, neglect of urban areas, lack of functioning basic amenities like electricity, water, hospitals, education, transportation, youth unemployment – all take precedence over what my neighbor is doing in his/her bedroom.  I am ashamed that my leaders do not see this.

And I get it. I get the fact that Nigeria is a deeply religious country.  Even if I wonder how truly religious we are when we watch our religious leaders steal from the religious houses and sexually abuse the laity; even if I sometimes wonder why our religious leaders live in obscene opulence while they watch their followers wallow in abject poverty, I still get the fact that Nigeria is a deeply religious country.  It is the reason why an issue such as gay rights should have been thoroughly debated intellectually.  I hope the passing of this primitive and retrogressive law begins the rigorous discussion of how we allow members of the LGBT to bask in their rightful sense of belonging.  We should lead Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia out of the comity of nations still wedded to the archaic tradition of segregating their own people on the basis of sexual preferences.

We should join South Africa, Zaire, Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Mali (yes, Chad, Niger and Mali), Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea Bissau in the comity of nations that embrace the diversity of their people’s sexual preferences and have legislated to protect the rights of their LGBT people.

By Abiodun Ladepo

Los Angeles, California, USA

Oluyole2@yahoo.com

 

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

We Killed 56 Terrorists In Borno Over Weekend – Nigerian Military.


By SaharaReporters, New York

The Nigerian military said yesterday that it launched ground and air operations over the weekend on locations used by terrorists in the Alafa forests, 21 kilometers from Bama, Borno State.

In a statement released Monday by the Director of Defense Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, the military disclosed that at least 56 terrorists lost their lives in an intense exchange of gunfire. The statement added that two soldiers were wounded in the operation which was meant to track fleeing terrorists.

Major Olukolade the military had acted on intelligence which indicated that the terrorists were making renewed efforts to establish a new camp in the forest locations. The land and air operations inflicted heavy casualties on the insurgents who reportedly lost both men and material. According to the statement, “Air and land bombardments are continuing in different locations where terrorists have been reportedly sighted.”

In a separate development, troops of the multi-national Joint Task Force reportedly foiled an attempt by terrorists to carry out an attack on some Nigerian communities. A military source told SaharaReporters that the terrorists were massing up on an island on Lake Chad in order to stage an attack. He said the military’s preemptive strike disrupted the terrorists’ plot. He added that seven of the terrorists died, with troops still in pursuit of their number fleeing in different direction towards Niger and Chad Republics.

The military source said some of the wounded terrorists were seen in a canoe paddling towards Tumbun Telkandam in Chad.

Inter-States Muslim Workout Despite B’Haram Attacks,Suicide Mission Or Proof That B’Haram Is A Northern Agenda?.


muslim match

Thousands of Muslim brotherhood Movement from Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and parts of Katsina State on Saturday began an 83-kilometre trek to Zaria in Kaduna State.Speaking to newsmen at the starting point in Funtua, Katsina State, leader of the exercise, Malam Qasim Sanda, stated that the exercise was to commemorate the martyrdom of the grandchild of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussaini ibn Aliyu, who was killed in Karbala in the present Iraq.He said at least 15,000 people including men, women and children would participate in the exercise, adding that besides Nigerians, people from neighbouring communities in Niger Republic would participate.According to him, adequate arrangements for feeding, health care and relaxing points were designed, adding that the trek commenced in the last two days from other areas of Nigeria.Sanda said the destination was Zaria where lectures and other activities would be conducted to be led by general leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.He explained that the exercise was a symbolic representation of unity of Muslim faithful and further attention of those that were oblivious of the happenings in Islamic history.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Curse Of The Letters By Dr. Soyombo Ayomikun.


By Dr. Soyombo Ayomikun

A sage died
Baba travelled for his burial
Sobriety struck his soul
The letter leaked

Filled with hailstones and fire
Towards the Ijaw man
President of the Niger area
Perceived to be a failing leader

Baba talked of corruption
He talked of insincerity
He called for a change
Before it is too late

To the president
That once walked barefooted
Baba willed a kingly sandal
One mentioned to now be tattered in the letter

Nigerians awaited a reply
From the accused
A sort of induced self defence
To absolve the one donning the black hat

Instead,a bizarre response
Was what followed
Allegedly from baba’s very blood
From baba’s daughter

The letter reeked of hate
It exhuded bottled up anger
Confusion rented the atmosphere
With its tattered fabrics beyond repair

Baba needed actions
From his successor
Baba’s daughter needed change
From her predecessor

The letters seem to be
Fragmented parts of a jigsaw
Perhaps reaffirming the truth
That stones shouldn’t be thrown in a glass house

For the failures of this land
Please let us embrace the blame
Both the leaders and followers
We all are the clogs

Ours shouldn’t be a land
Where daughters allegedly abuse fathers
Ours shouldn’t be a country
Where fathers abuse the kings

Therefore to all men
Strive to keep your homes at peace
So that when you are called to lead
Your government may thrive in peace

 

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

Gov Obi tasks FG on federal highways & 2nd Niger Bridge.


Niger-Bridge

The issue of the deplorable condition of federal highways in the South East geo-political zone and the 2nd Niger Bridge came up again yesterday, during an interactive session of federal civil servants working in Anambra State, with Governor Peter Obi .
During the meeting, the governor called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the implementation of policy decisions relating to the two projects. The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, described the two projects as very dear to the people of the zone and hoped that serious work would begin on them as soon as possible.

He promised that the state government would continue to maintain cordial relationship with both the federal government and its establishments within Anambra State through constructive, proactive, and mutually beneficial relationship.

According to him, Anambra State will also continue to support federal establishments domiciled in the state within its limited resources to enable them tackle challenges facing them.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), Alhaji Buka Aji, who was represented by the permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi, urged public servants to adhere strictly to the rules while discharging their duties.
He assured that a lot of reforms were being carried out in the public service to engender quality delivery, in line with the transformation agenda of the federal government.

Aji added that plans were on to reduce huge financial cost of training personnel abroad by domesticating such training within the country.

He reminded them that meeting the demands of the transformation agenda entailed that workers maintained a high sense of discipline, punctuality to work, decorum, ownership of the reform process and avoiding rumour mongering, reminding them of the federal government’s zero tolerance for corruption.

Source: Radio Biafra.

We The North Are Ready To Go; We Are Tired Of Being Called Parasites.


Map of Nigeria divided into North and South
By Dr. Peregrino Brimah

We the north of Nigeria are ready for a separation process, which will either involve regionalism or total disintegration.
On the topic, Sagir Aliyu said: Yes, I’m in support of BREAK UP. Because most Nigerian minds are full of hatred, sentiments, ethnicity, religious differences and tribalism. Some are calling for revolution, but instead of loosing lives and property; let the romance end. Also if the 2015 election will result to loss of lives and property, the romance should end before then, Please!

Idris Musa also commented on the subject: Break up is long overdue. Why can some have freedom to perform their religious rites while some are deprived? I can’t remain at home on Fridays like Christians do Sundays, Marital dossiers are only emphasized for only one wife & four children. Economically, we are considered parasites because they refused to revamp agriculture. They refused to explore oil deposits in more than five places in my region. Let us break so that we have fresh air.

Musa Maiunguwa: I beg it’s long overdue! Let’s break up anyhow regardless of the consequences. I want to be governed by ISLAMIC LAW not this Infidel system of government. I hate to be governed by DRUNKARDS.

These comments were the prevalent type of response from Northerners on facebook to my earlier article on the subject, “Nigeria: Do We Need To Break This Up?”

A majority of northern masses are now making this call as situations keep deteriorating in the nation and undeserved ethnic insults and ethnic torment has become the order of the day from certain quarters in Nigeria. Additionally, it appears that Nigeria as formatted and the perceived disenfranchisement of certain aspects of the South, justify and subject us and Nigeria as a whole to a most terrible regime that is unable to secure life in the north and yield for us the social, economic and developmental dividends of democracy; as poverty reigns at its highest level in the north which is unfairly economically disadvantaged.

Today, Nigeria has 100 million poor, however there is an uneven distribution of the poverty with the South doing more favorably, whereas the north suffers the most with its level of poor as high as 80% living under a dollar a day in many states, this compares to the south that has levels from 20-50%. This level of poverty in the north exceeds the level in neighboring Mali, Chad and Niger, all sharing the northern ecological and cultural demographics.

Trading blame as to whom and what military and civilian dictatorial and usurpist regime caused this high level of poverty is puerile, meaningless and disingenuous; and it contributes nothing towards addressing the real and present epic crisis. Also, asserting that because northern dictators have ruled the nation for 60% of its independent life over 40% Southern rule is meaningless and does not solve the deadly poverty situation.

The ordinary masses are suffering. We gain absolutely nothing from Nigeria’s oil, apart from what we buy of it at the pumps at a price above the global mean, and rather we suffer from oppression and terror as a consequence of, and thanks to bloody oil money. Only the cabal enjoy from the current state of Nigeria. Let it be known that the voices of many so-called northern leaders, which are obviously the loudest, do not represent the sentiments of us suffering masses, wrecked with poverty and lack of opportunity. These ‘northern elders’ are part of a national cabal that exploits and extorts the nation. These cabal obviously have no honest interest in our region as can clearly be seen by their lack of investment in the north, building all their factories in the South. We the real people of the north are eager for autonomy of our region. This is our position.

The landlocked north is clearly disadvantaged. None of the regimes provided the transportation networks to link the north to Nigeria’s ports as would have been the basic and smallest requirement to re-establish a northern economy.

Our agriculture industry has been left to decay. Our textile industry has been completely abandoned, as we suffer from the ‘curse’ of oil and the illusion of Nigeria’s wealth from a mono-economy, which has satisfied and favored only a set of greedy cabal without regional distinction, north, east, west or south.
We see regionalism with the plan of possible disintegration as an urgent next best step towards a northern cultural and economic awakening.

Many of us across Nigeria now agree that military dictator; Aguiyi Ironsi made an error on 24 May 1966, when he released Decree No. 34, which dissolved the regions. Excerpt: “The provisions of the Decree are intended to remove the last vestiges of the intense regionalism of the recent past, and to produce that cohesion in the governmental structure which is so necessary in achieving, and maintaining the paramount objective of the National Military government, and indeed of every true Nigerian, namely, national unity. The highlights of this Decree are as follows: The former regions are abolished, and Nigeria grouped into a number of territorial areas called provinces. . . . Nigeria ceases to be what has been described as a federation. It now becomes simply the Republic of Nigeria.”

We hope Nigerians in South territories share our sentiments and will be happy to peacefully and respectfully discuss modalities of separation into economically independent regions which will test and pave a path for emotional, marital, economical, military and other national related changes and challenges necessary for possible separation in the future.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah
http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]
Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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