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USAfrica: After 57 years, Nigeria continues to flounder, fumble and stumble

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USAfrica: After 57 years, Nigeria continues to flounder, fumble and stumble.

By Dr. C.K Ekeke

Special to USAfricaonline.com  @USAfricaLive

On October 1, 2017, Nigeria turned fifty-seven years old since its political independence.  Despite attaining such mature age, Nigeria continues to gyrate in a vicious circle. In spite of its size, estimated population of 150 million and endowed natural resources, Nigeria continues to flounder, fumble and stumble like a baby still learning to walk. The nation and her citizens have never enjoyed any genuine freedom or political peace or national prosperity because of tribalism, ethnic hatred and clashes, marginalization, political instability and poor leadership, bribery and government corruption, injustice, indiscipline and political irresponsibility, religious ignorance, intolerance and violence, war and moral degradation.  These and other vices continue to mar the nation’s prospect for development and progress until today.

Since Nigeria gained its independence from her colonial master – Great Britain on October 1, 1960, this humongous nation, an amalgamation of nearly 350 variant ethnic groups with distinct language, religion, culture, social norms, etc., formed for the political and economic hegemony of Britain in Africa has not worked and may never work – unless a new kind of political structure and leadership style are invented to govern Nigeria.

Those entrusted with the affairs of governance are undisciplined, irresponsible and have been a dismal disappointment.  In fact, one of the reasons, Nigeria has not yet moved beyond its failing statehood and foolishness is because of the kinds of people selected, elected or imposed to lead the country.  Nigerians have never elected a true leader.  Nigeria has never elected a bright, smart, intelligent, capable and de-tribalized citizen to lead the country.  Sadly, men and women who have the right qualifications and moral fortitude to lead were either denied access to office or never ventured into politics at all because of the crude, incivility and political muddle in the country.

Nigeria has had various systems of government – unitary, parliamentary, military and democratic presidential system. But since the return to presidential democratic government in 1999, Nigeria has not yet maximized its potential to the fullest, but wallowed in religious and sectarian violence, political leadership failure, corrupt courts and judges, security challenges and human right abuses.  Despite the many economic reforms that the nation has embarked upon; yet nothing much has been accomplished to uplift her citizens.

The nation is also rapidly falling apart and disintegrating and the rulers care less about it. The truth is that Nigeria is faced with serious challenges of nationhood and most politicians in power don’t want to hear it.

Nigeria is popularly labeled as the “Giant” of Africa only in terms of population because all other indicators of a prosperous and healthy nation do not exist in Nigeria.  In fact, according to Global Peace Index, Nigeria ranked top among the most corrupt and most dangerous countries to live in Africa. It is also rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

In terms of prosperity, economic dominance, life expectancy and so on, Nigeria does not even make the list among the top ten in Africa.  Nigeria is also ranked highest among the top terrorist countries because of Boko haram (3rd deadly) and Fulani herdsmen (4th deadly) terrorist organizations in the world according to Global Terrorism Index – all operating and resident in the Northern Nigeria.

Nigeria has also the lowest primary school completion rates in the continent and the largest percentage of the 100 million children, mostly girls; who are out of school worldwide.  An the annual meeting of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2005, the following conditions — good governance, democratization, economic and political reforms, reduction of poverty, population explosion, fight against poverty and hunger, pandemic diseases, terrorism, conflict and wars and domestic peace, security, prosperity, and the rules of law were listed as key important challenges facing Nigerian and most of the African nations.

Nigeria is a nation that murders her intellectuals, freedom fighters and true leaders. Nigeria continues to exile her brightest minds, scholars, engineers, doctors, educationists, scientists, poets, writers and media professional, philosophers, social thinkers, human rights activist, pro-democracy activists, and its young citizens.

A nation that continues to fail to educate her young generation, but instead murders them, a nation with institutionalized bias and hatred against its own people, discriminating against the potential segment of its own people, and goes on rampage killing unarmed young citizens.

A nation that does not maintain its infrastructures or build new ones but prefers to embezzle and launder public money overseas, money destined for Federal projects, State programs, community and rural development.  This is a nation that has disregarded education which is the foundation, pillar and engine of economic growth and prosperity.

A ranking of top universities in Africa, showed no Nigerian university made the top 10 Africa universities, yet we pride ourselves as the giant of Africa.  South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, and other less populated nations dominated the ranking.  The University of Ibadan is the only leading university in Nigeria that showed up in that survey and yet did not make the top 10 in Africa.

That survey clearly shows how Nigeria has degenerated as a society.  I weep when I see the dilapidated condition many schools in Nigeria are in. The condition of some of the primary schools will make any sincere person shade tears.  Yet, these are the young ones we are preparing to lead the country and guide the future of the nation. Quality education is the pillar and engine for societal development and progress and any nation that ignores educating her young people properly is destined for failure and doom.

And so, Nigeria has serious issues.  The challenges and problems facing Nigeria are also convoluted.   Apart from the social and economic problems confronting the nation, new kinds of challenges are surfacing daily — intractable problems and challenges such the question of its foundation and nation building — namely ethnic strife, bias, hatred and clashes, religious conflicts, terrorism, political instability, poor governance and corruption, lack of infrastructure, public healthcare crisis, poverty and unemployment, crime, violence, lawlessness, injustice, political thuggery, looting of public treasury, money laundering and debilitating political corruption, massive corruption, parasitic attitude, incompetence, impunity, rascality, callousness,  lawlessness, absurdity, stupidity, foolishness, poverty and terrorism, military brutality and human right abuses, and many other challenges.

In this section, I am reproducing a brief portion of Nigeria’s military and political leadership history, which was published in book I wrote in 2010 titled: “Nigeria’s Leadership Liability: A Clarion Call to Courageous, Compassionate and Wise Leadership – Selected Writings to Commemorate Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary.”

A review of the succession of civilian and military regimes of Nigeria clearly revealed how the Hausa-Fulani Caliphate, Yoruba Oligarchy and corrupt political elitist sect reduced and rubbished Nigeria as a nation.

So, let us fast forward with the exclusion of British colonial rule from 1914 and through Nigeria’s struggle for independence, the parliamentary system of Government of the 1950’s, and the political crisis that led to the military eras of Aguiyi–Ironsi, Nigeria-Biafra civil war, Yakubu Gowon, Murtlala Mohammed, Olusegun Obasanjo, and then the first second republic presidential system that led to Alhaji Shehu Shagari presidency in 1979.

On December 1983, a palace coup takes place and Muhammad Buhari, a military general and a radical Islamic leader from the North ousts the incompetent Shehu Shagari, a school teacher also from the North of the Sokoto Caliphate.  Buhari takes over the helm of affairs, accusing Shagari’s government of corruption and economic mismanagement, putting him only in house arrest, while Vice President Alex Ekwueme was put in prison, and other Southerners were exiled or executed.

On August, 1985,another palace  coup took place, this time, Ibrahim Babangida, also another Northerner and Buhari’s chief of army staff , overthrows his boss and accused  Buhari of being insensitive to the feelings of the Nigerian masses especially his ‘War against Indiscipline’ which was excessive  and targeted to those who opposed him.  Buhari was not even arrested.

Ibrahim Babangida began his reign with a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) and market reforms that eventually destroyed the Nigerian currency and economy.  During IBB 8-year regime, there were two attempted coups – Mamma Vasta in April 1986 and Gideon Orkar on April 1990.  Both coups failed and IBB managed to survive those two coups.  He executed the coup plotters and imprisoned most of his critics.

In 1990, IBB began a process to return to civilian rule.  In June1993, a presidential election was held in which Moshood Abiola, a business mogul, friend and a trusted confidant of IBB, overwhelmingly won.  But surprisingly in June 12, 1993, IBB annulled the election and declared that the election result was fraudulent, an election that was perceived to be the first fair election in the history of Nigeria.  The cancellation led to civil disobedience by several human right activists, pro-democracy activists, media and thousands of demonstrators.  When the pressure mounted, on August 27, 1993, IBB resigned and appointed a lame-duck civilian from the Southwest region, Ernest Shonekan, as head of an interim government.

Within three months into Shonekan’s government, on November 17, 1993, another military general,  Sani Abacha, also from the North and defense minister of IBB, booted out the transitional government of Ernest Shonekan in yet another palace coup and took over the government.  Sani Abacha did not also touch IBB.

Sani Abacha was practically visionless and did not have any economic plan but a political agenda to entrench himself as a life president.  He disbanded SAP programme and introduced a monetary policy that began the official pegging of the Naira against dollar and other nations’ currencies.  During Abacha’s era, the official rate of Naira rose to nearly 200 Naira for a dollar.  He destroyed the currency and basically rubbished the nation’s economy, which actually elevated greed, bribery, and corruption and enthroned most of the crooks, cronies and pathetic personalities we have today as political leaders in the nation.  He looted the national treasury and left the Nigerian economy with a horrendous national debt.

During his regime, most of the institutions collapsed. Sani Abacha persecuted, arrested and imprisoned many notable Nigerians including Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, music icon Beko Ransome-Kuti and many others.   He arrested and jailed those who criticized him and charged  notable Nigerians like Poet Wole Soyinka, the 1986 Nobel Prize winner in Literature  and Ken Saro Wiwa,  leader of the Movement for Salvation of the Ogoni People (MOSOP),  for treason and punishable by death for criticizing his government.  Sani Abacha carried out ethnic cleansing in Ogni, Okirika, and Adoni – oil rich Delta regions of River State.

On October 31, 1995, Abacha’s civil disturbances tribunal found the writer and environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other MOSOP leaders guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging.  Despite appeal for mercy from the human rights organizations, statesmen, religious leaders, international governments and world leaders including the Commonwealth and Nelson Mandela, on November 10, 1995, all 9 MOSOP leaders and activist were hung.

Ken Saro-Wiwa, a writer, playwright and environmentalist scholar was hung because he called the government attention to the oil spillage and environmental pollution and degradation in his hometown, Ogni.  The military despot, Sani Abacha and his cohorts were so ignorant and visionless, that they refused to listen to the world renowned environmentalist.

Weeks after that barbaric killings and massacre of Ogni people, the United Nations (UN) confirmed of massive oil pollution in Niger Delta.  The report from the United Nations Environment Program, the first of its kind in Nigeria, was based on two years of in-depth scientific research. It found that oil contamination is widespread and severe, and that people in the Niger Delta have been exposed for decades – the report said.

The report provided irrefutable evidence of the devastating impact of oil pollution on people’s lives in the Delta – one of Africa’s most bio-diverse regions. It examined the damage to agriculture and fisheries, which has destroyed livelihoods and food sources of the Niger Delta region and its environs.   One of the most serious facts to come to light is the scale of contamination of drinking water, which has exposed communities to serious health risks. Amnesty International Global Issues Director, Audrey Gaughran, who has researched the human rights impacts of pollution in the Delta Region, said, “That report proved Shell has had a terrible impact in Nigeria, but got away with denying it for decades, falsely claiming they work according to international standards.”

The UN and Federal Government of Nigeria reported that it will take about a $1 billion and up to 30 years to clean.  But we know it may take as much as 50 years to cleanup and restore normalcy to the area devastated with oil pollution and ongoing oil spillage till today.

The Niger Delta oil pollution is much worse than the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil leak in the Gulf Coast, which affected the ecosystem and fishing businesses of those that live around the coastline of Louisiana State, USA.  The business owners and citizens fumed and when it is all said done, BP paid out nearly $750 million to compensate businesses, fix the leak and cleans their mess.  Until today, BP is still faced with litigation, lawsuits, reparation and compensation for oil spillage in the Louisiana coastline.  Oil pollution has been going on in the South-south and some Southeast communities for years.

The BP oil spill was rated the worst oil spill in US history even though it was just about 7 month’s oil leak.  The Niger Delta region oil pollution is been going on for over 50 years.

Let us continue with the nation’s vicious circle.  Sani Abacha also imprisoned Olusegun Obasanjo and other critics of his government.  He accused MKO Abiola of treason for declaring himself president and in 1996, placed him in solitary confinement.  This was when they were cooking the plan to murder him.  After the 1994 arrest, one of Abiola’s wives, Kudirat Abiola, launched a campaign for democracy and human rights. She held pro-democracy rallies, defied the military decree banning political associations, presented victims of military repression to international fact-finding missions, inspired many other people, especially women, and won the “Woman of the Year” awards in both 1994 and 1995. However, on June 4, 1996, she was assassinated in cold blood, and it is believed that this was ordered by Al Mustapha, CSO to the military dictator, Sani Abacha.

On December 21, 1997, an attempted coup against Sani Abacha by Oladipo Diya foiled.  In 1998, Diya and others believed to be co-coup plotters were sentenced to death.

Like IBB, Abacha set in motion agenda to return to civilian rule on October 1, 1998. However, in April 1998, Abacha became the only nominated candidate for the presidency. Even though many political prostitutes and vision-less Nigerians supported him in his unbridled quest, many opposed him. Demonstrations and riots broke out, and many innocent Nigerians were killed.  On June 8, 1998 Abacha surprisingly and mysteriously died of a heart attack.

After Abacha died, Abdulsalami Abubakar, another Northerner took his place, and set up a transition program that would lead the country back to democracy by 1999.  After a series of political wrangling and meetings with imminent Nigerians, statesmen and international leaders to release M.K.O. Abiola and restore his mandate, mysteriously MKO Abiola died in prison.  Abdulsalami Abubakar government said, it was heart attack, but most Nigerians knew that was not the truth.

Abiola’s demise in prison provoked more riots and pro-democracy activism and the return to democracy was non-negotiable.  And so, on May 29, 1999, the nation returned to a presidential democratic system of government with the win, surprisingly, a prisoner of Sani Abacha and former military ruler, Olusegun Obasanjo from Southwest and same state with MKO Abiola.  Many have written that Obasanjo’s civilian presidency 1999-2007 was compensation for Abiola’s mysterious death and denial of his rightful mandate.

During the 8-year presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo, corruption, political thuggery, godfatherism,   political assassinations, Niger Delta militancy, armed robbery,  kidnapping, religious intolerance, radical Islamic fundamentalism and lawlessness reached its zenith.  Boko haram officially surfaced in 2009 during the watch of Olusegun Obasanjo and he was unable to tame the murderous sect.  It was rumored that he allowed Sharia when it reared up its ugly head in order to pacify the north for allowing and voting for him to be president.  Also during the Obansjo era, Sharia was launched in many Northern States.  Before he completed his two-term reign, he began to campaign for Alhaji Yar’adua, the then governor of Katsina State, and surprisingly handed the presidency to a sick man, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, another Northerner to be the president of Nigeria.

This is the same weak and coward leadership that has been destroying Nigeria.

President Yar’Adua took office in May 29, 2007 and in his inauguration messianic speech like sermon on the Mount, he admitted that Nigerians were going through hell and promised to create 40 million jobs within 10 years, lower interest rates, reduce inflation and achieve realistic exchange rate for Naira, yet he did not want to support CBN monetary policy which was the second phase of PDP economic agenda.  He reversed most of the economic reforms and most laws of his predecessor and re-deployed Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the anti-corruption czar to the Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Plateau State, Nigeria.

During Yar’Adua’s watch, Nigeria entered into a state of hopelessness until his demise in May 2010.  Unlike Obasanjo that authorized the massacre of Odi people in the predominantly Ijaw town in Bayelsa State by the military forces, Yar-Adua was able to dialogue and reach some settlement with the so-called Niger Delta Militants in Bayelsa.  Yar-Auda would have made good on his promises despite ill health and bad cabals that surrounded him.  His demise on May 2010, threw Nigeria into political wrangling and turmoil.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, his VP and a civilian from oil rich South-south managed to finish the first term as President after much political fight over rotational arrangement for power to remain in the north.  On April 16, 2011, he overwhelmingly won the presidential election, which has been adjudged to be the freest and fairest election in the nation’s history.

Immediately after his inauguration on April 29, 2011, the country was besieged with radical Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism known as Boko haram.  Thousands of innocent citizens were killed and millions displaced in several Northern states.  Also on April 2014, nearly 300 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria – the so-called Chibok girls (#BringBackOurGirls) campaign became a world-wide phenomenon that even the former First Lady of the United States of America – Mrs. Michelle Obama and other American personalities got involved.  Today, millions of dollars continue to pour into the country to support FG to rehabilitate the released Chibok girls and military hardware to vanquish Boko haram – which is now used by Buhari and military forces to crush Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and pro Biafran youths.

President Jonathan rather than focus on the security challenges, the economy and other social problems confronting the nation, to provide solution to alleviating the suffering most Nigerians were going through by maximizing the technocrats he appointed in his cabinet like Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Barth Nnaji and others, he embarked on constitutional amendment with a concocted six-year single tenure for the president and governors.

Public opinion fumed against such insensitivity and within weeks, the National Assembly tossed out that part of the bill, saying it is untimely and suspicious.  However, there were items in the Constitutional Amendment such as true federalism that should be vigorously pursued.

As we know, Jonathan’s presidency was accidental.  President Obasanjo was clearly the godfather of Nigeria politics then and still today.  He could not find a reputable candidature to be VP.  The Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili was so embroiled in corruption.  In fact with the exception of few like Donald Duke of Cross Rivers State and Goodluck Jonathan of Bayselsa, most of the governors during Obansjo’s two–term were either embroiled in money laundering and state embezzlement and were clearly in the net of EFCC.

So, Jonathan was preferred and trusted to be loyal to the Caliphate. He was not only accidental but was also weak and incompetent.  His weakness and incompetency lead to the imposition of Mohammadu Buhari, an ex-military dictator upon Nigeria by former British Prime Minister, David Cameron and ex-President of the U.S., Barack Obama as well as internal supporters like Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi and Others.

Sadly, since President Muhammadu Buhari came into office in May 2015, his misguided leadership, unguarded comments, nepotism, hypocrisy and unwise actions have led to deepen the divide between the various ethnic groups in Nigeria.

There is now deep divide, rancor, and enmity between the major ethic groups especially between Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo/Ijaw.  Buhari has further deepened the division of Nigeria due to his ethnic, tribal, imperialistic and fascistic leadership style.

1.         Who will forget the brutal massacres of unarmed Biafran youths are who are rightly seeking freedom from a nation that has denied them their life and destiny.   Biafran youths, who are rightly are seeking self-determination and freedom from a system that is destroying their talents, potentials and destinies are being massacred and our politicians, elders, and even religious leaders are afraid to speak-out against such heinous massacres and crime against humanity.  These are the youths they are entrusted to protect and care for.

2.         The continued unlawful detention of Indigenous People of Biafra leaders and the recent illegal and barbaric invasion of the family home of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu. What an atrocity and abomination!

I have read and heard all kinds of insults, blame and criticism being leveled against Kanu.  It is even pitiful when I read such criticism from the Clergy – Christian church leaders.  I want to let them and others know that if Jesus was here with us today, he’ll be doing exactly what Nnamdi Kanu is doing now.  This is not to equate Kanu with Jesus in any way.  But we must understand that Jesus operated as a mere human being.  He divested his divine powers in order to fulfill his divine purposes for which His Father sent him to do.

Jesus used harsher words than Kanu is using today.  Just read the Gospels to see how he addressed the Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious and political hypocrites of his day.

As we know, Jesus was born in a world under the brutal domination of Rome. It was a period of horrific political oppression of conquered territories, of moral crisis, social unrest and disorder, economic exploitation, heavy taxation of the poor, extreme poverty, disease, injustice and harsh repression of dissidents fighting for liberation and freedom from Rome. Instead of the Jewish political and religious leaders to support their people, they aligned with Rome to massacre their own people.

More than any other factor, it was the massacres, the betrayal of the people by the religious and political elite and off-course Roman colonial occupation of Israel that created the setting for the formative years of Jesus as a moral leader and activist. It was in that turmoil and tumultuous time that Jesus was born, which prepared him to become the world’s greatest spiritual leader, political activist and liberator of all time.

Gandhi, MLK Jr., Mandela and other great freedom fighters all studied Jesus and used his methodology. Nigeria may kill Nnamdi Kanu but they will never kill the spirit of Biafra.  Biafra is a nation.  And so, to tag a nation of 70 million Indigenous people as terrorists is ridiculous and laughable.

Under Buhari, other atrocities and impunities are still being carried out upon innocent citizens:

3.         The brutal massacre of Shiite Muslims and continued unlawful detention of the leader of Nigerian Islamic Movement, Alhaji Zakyzaky and his wife.

4.         The genocide of the people of Southern Kaduna Christians orchestrated by Kaduna State governor, El Rufia.

5.         The destruction of farm lands, raping of girls, women and massacre of unarmed villagers by Fulani herdsmen.

6.         The continued unlawful detention of Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, threat and torture of other political opponents.

7.  The granting of freedom to Boko haram jihadists, recruiting them into the Nigerian military and unleashing to carry mayhem in SE and SS regions.

8.         The continued harassment, torture and shooting of harmless citizens without cause – latest being the invasion of the family compound of the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu recently.

9.         The illegal and ridiculous proscription and unconstitutional tagging of IPOB as a terrorist group.

10.       The inability of the Federal Government to arrest Arewa Youths who issued a hateful and treasonous declaration threatening Igbos living in the North region to vacate the region and threatened to massacre them and destroy their businesses.  As I write, many Igbos are beginning to return home in fear of what might happen on October 1, 2017, which is Nigeria’s Independence Day.  Some have had their houses and businesses destroyed already.

11.       The president’s hate speeches – December 2015 National broadcast, 2017 National broadcast after his return from medical leave and recently the U.N speech.  Buhari speeches have not only been hateful but insulting on the collective intelligence of Nigerians.

12.       The attacks on the U.S, UN, EU, UK and other international organizations that have condemned the federal government for proscribing IPOB and tagging the group as a terrorist organization.  How ridiculous can this government can be?

13.       The threat to dismember from almost 90 international organizations including ICC, where Buhari and the Nigeria military forces have so many cases against them for their human right abuses, and extrajudicial killings of the people of Biafra.

14.       And many other atrocities, executives lawless, impunity and corruption.

Since Mohammadu Buhari came into power, defenseless and innocent citizens have been tortured, imprisoned, and out rightly massacred around the country by a combined Northern military and terrorist groups namely: Army, Police, DSS, Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen

Meanwhile, Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen continue to carry out their mayhem on innocent and harmless citizens across the country with impunity.  And the FG is not doing anything nothing to stop these illiterate almajiris – a group that have been rated by global watch terrorist group as the 4th deadly terrorist organization on the planet.

In the meantime, Boko haram, 3rd deadly terrorist sect in the world is still having a field day killing and massacring innocent citizens including the vulnerable citizens in IDP camps.  And no one is doing anything to stop the jihadist group that is fighting for an Islamic State.  Boko haram is still firmly in control of four to five local government areas in Borno and Yobe States.  They openly display their flags, currency, and even conduct military parades.

APC Govt led by Buhari has not unleashed the military to crush Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen but instead unleashed Boko haram in army uniform to massacre unarmed Biafra youths and IPOB that Buhari wants to crush. In addition to the ongoing arrests, torture, and killings, a systemic economic strangulation of Igbo businesses and entrepreneurial activities are being destroyed in the North and SW.

Buhari/APC government have been torturing, arresting, killing and massacring any opposition, critical voice and dissenting views.  Is this democracy that Nigeria opted for?

In spite of these glaring atrocities and impunity being displayed by Fulani herdsmen, some selfish and foolish Nigerians especially from the East continue to insult the leader of IPOB – Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his operation to liberate Biafran people from bondage, slavery and coming islamization that Buhari and Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba co-conspirators are gradually carrying out before our very eyes.

Buhari’s oppressive regime has touched virtually every facet of life in Eastern Nigeria—the increased military presence in the country especially in the former Eastern region and the unleashing of military killer squad made of DSS, Army, Police, Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen in the East is condemnable and will not help resolve the challenges facing Nigeria currently – which is the quest for restoration of Biafra.

One of the beauties of true democracy is the ability to dialogue to resolve conflicts and dissenting views.  In democracy, dialogue and proper reasoning are used to achieve fairness, equity, and justice.   But that has not been the case in Nigeria.  Only force is used to quench dissenting views and opposition, which will never achieve expected result. Fifty years later, we are still talking about Biafra.  If Biafra is not restored this time, fifty years from now, Nigeria will still be dealing with Biafra.

Democracy is dead in Nigeria under Buhari fascist regime and those who represent us in the National Assembly and Senate are not saying or doing anything. Buhari’s political puppets, political prostitutes and military mafia – DSS, Army, and Police are busy arresting, torturing political opponents and killing unarmed Biafra youths, while Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen are busy killing and destroying innocent citizens and occupying their farms and communities.

What we have today is a government of lies, deceit with a relentless and almost pathological undertone to undermine the truth.  Today, we read from government and presidential spokespersons, who concoct lies, deceits and speak with dispassion and systematic distortion and manipulation of facts to deceive and confuse public opinion.  We have not seen such dispassion and manipulation of public opinion since the return to democratic government in 1999.

In any civilized and sound democratic government, the president would have been impeached for many of his violations of the constitution, not to mention his many atrocities and hopelessness that have pervaded the Nigerian society. I think it’s time for Buhari to bow out of this presidency before he completely destroys Nigeria and its democratic institutions.

Nigeria is a failed state and its disintegration was forecasted by the U.S. intelligence to occur in 2015.  In fact, it is the political elite and corrupt public officials who are delaying Nigeria’s disintegration. It looks like they want it to happen violently – another civil war perhaps.

The truth is that Nigeria is not working and may never work.  Nigeria is now a decadent, corrupt, lawless and failed state. Nigeria’s amalgamation has expired and needs to be re-negotiated now.  Nigeria is rotten and the only viable solution is to return Nigeria to its original state before amalgamation or peacefully divide her into several nations. If not, Nigeria is headed to a violent disintegration. The nation cannot continue in the current lawlessness, stupidity, foolishness, irresponsibility and impunity.

The Nigerian state is surely chronically ill, ethically and morally decadent and surely suffering from a serious and severe foundational arrangement, in which the corrupt political elitist sect are determined to keep Nigeria and her citizens in perpetual bondage and slavery.

Since, the 1930’s, Igbos have been massacred all over Nigeria without any arrest or punishment of the perpetrators of such heinous and barbaric massacres.  The Eastern region have had enough of systemic marginalization, economic exploitation, political oppression, extreme poverty, senseless massacres, and most importantly the satanic agenda to make Nigeria an Islamic State by Sokoto Caliphate sponsored by Saudi Arabia and other radical Islamic Arab nations.

It is time the United Nations and global powers end Nigeria forced amalgamation and false unity. Nigeria will never be one. Nigeria does not have shared value system, patriotic principles, religious and political ideologies to be one country. Nigeria will never genuinely develop and proposer as a nation without peaceful division of the country. The systemic injustice, economic strangulation, political oppression, religious intolerance, ethnic hatred and envy against Igbos and Biafran people are unacceptable, intolerable, unbearable, and insufferable.

An independent State of Biafra may be the only suitable solution to fix Nigeria’s corrupt political system, lawlessness and failed institutions. Biafrans want to be freed from subjugation, oppression, marginalization, mediocrity, incompetence, jihadism, tyranny, poverty, disease, and hopelessness of Nigeria. Biafrans are tired of living in bondage, slavery and servitude. It is time for Biafran people to live in freedom, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness and prosperity like other civilized peoples and nations. Freedom for Biafran people will be freedom for other indigenous populations and freedom for millions of young Biafrans from unemployment, poverty, disease, and hopelessness.

France and especially Americans have a holy hatred for tyrants, dictatorship and destroyers of the human freedom. Every July, the U.S., Canada, France, etc. celebrate their Independence Day and reflect on their fight for freedom and battle for liberty. It is time global powers support to liberate Biafra from bondage, slavery, Islamic radicalism and jihad in Nigeria.

Once again, I call on the United Nations, African Union, United States of America, European Union, United Kingdom, and other concerned nations to intervene. It is time the International Community and Global Powers intervene to give the Indigenous People of Biafra – a nation of seventy million people, a State of their own. It is time to dismantle Nigeria and free unarmed Biafran people from looming civil war that will have devastating consequences on sub-Sahara Africa and global economy. It is time to end the bondage and slavery of Biafrans in Nigeria and free her to compete like other indigenous people of the world. It is time to liberate and free Biafran people from pathological hatred, ethnic cleansing, systemic injustice, economic strangulation, political oppression, religious violence, and radical Islamic political ideology of the Nigerian State.

Enough is enough.  ‘One’ Nigeria and ‘Unity’ cannot be by force. One-Nigeria is a myth and a sham.  It does not exist in practice but only by mouth. Let us stop deceiving ourselves in order to save the lives of our children and young people. Let us not allow greed and selfishness to destroy us all.

•Rev. Dr. C. K. Ekeke, contributing columnist for USAfricaonline.com, is a theologian, author, consultant and lecturer.  He is the President of Leadership Wisdom Institute.

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Saraki: Flagrant persecution by Buhari’s government forced me to quit APC

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By Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON
President of the Senate of Nigeria

Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com

I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This is not a decision that I have made lightly. If anything at all, I have tarried for so long and did all that was humanly possible, even in the face of great provocation, ridicule and flagrant persecution, to give opportunity for peace, reconciliation and harmonious existence.

Perhaps, more significantly, I am mindful of the fact that I carry on my shoulder a great responsibility for thousands of my supporters, political associates and friends, who have trusted in my leadership and have attached their political fortunes to mine. However, it is after an extensive consultation with all the important stakeholders that we have come to this difficult but inevitable decision to pitch our political tent elsewhere; where we could enjoy greater sense of belonging and where the interests of the greatest number of our Nigerians would be best served.

While I take full responsibility for this decision, I will like to emphasise that it is a decision that has been inescapably imposed on me by certain elements and forces within the APC who have ensured that the minimum conditions for peace, cooperation, inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist.

They have done everything to ensure that the basic rules of party administration, which should promote harmonious relations among the various elements within the party were blatantly disregarded. All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined. And all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party, but also the country at large, were simply ignored, or employed as additional pretext for further exclusion.

The experience of my people and associates in the past three years is that they have suffered alienation and have been treated as outsiders in their own party. Thus, many have become disaffected and disenchanted. At the same time, opportunities to seek redress and correct these anomalies were deliberately blocked as a government-within-a-government had formed an impregnable wall and left in the cold, everyone else who was not recognized as “one of us”. This is why my people, like all self-respecting people would do, decided to seek accommodation elsewhere.

I have had the privilege to lead the Nigerian legislature in the past three years as the President of the Senate and the Chairman of the National Assembly. The framers of our constitution envisage a degree of benign tension among the three arms of government if the principle of checks and balances must continue to serve as the building block of our democracy. In my role as the head of the legislature, and a leader of the party, I have ensured that this necessary tension did not escalate at any time in such a way that it could encumber Executive function or correspondingly, undermine the independence of the legislature. Over the years, I have made great efforts in the overall interest of the country, and in spite of my personal predicament, to manage situations that would otherwise have resulted in unsavoury consequences for the government and the administration. My colleagues in the Senate will bear testimony to this.

However, what we have seen is a situation whereby every dissent from the legislature was framed as an affront on the executive or as part of an agenda to undermine the government itself. The populist notion of anti-corruption became a ready weapon for silencing any form of dissent and for framing even principled objection as “corruption fighting back”. Persistent onslaught against the legislature and open incitement of the people against their own representatives became a default argument in defence of any short-coming of the government in a manner that betrays all too easily, a certain contempt for the Constitution itself or even the democracy that it is meant to serve.

Unfortunately, the self-serving gulf that has been created between the leadership of the two critical arms of government based on distrust and mutual suspicion has made any form of constructive engagement impossible. Therefore, anything short of a slavish surrender in a way that reduces the legislature to a mere rubber stamp would not have been sufficient in procuring the kind of rapprochement that was desired in the interest of all. But I have no doubt in my mind, that to surrender this way is to be complicit in the subversion of the institution that remains the very bastion of our democracy. I am a democrat. And I believe that anyone who lays even the most basic claim to being a democrat will not accept peace on those terms; which seeks to compromise the very basis of our existence as the parliament of the people.

The recent weeks have witnessed a rather unusual attempts to engage with some of these most critical issues at stake. Unfortunately, the discord has been allowed to fester unaddressed for too long, with dire consequences for the ultimate objective of delivering the common good and achieving peace and unity in our country. Any hope of reconciliation at this point was therefore very slim indeed. Most of the horses had bolted from the stable

The emergence of a new national party executives a few weeks ago held out some hopes, however slender. The new party chairman has swung into action and did his best alongside some of the Governors of APC and His Excellency, the Vice President. I thank them for all their great efforts to save the day and achieve reconciliation. Even though I thought these efforts were coming late in the day, but seeing the genuine commitment of these gentlemen, I began to think that perhaps it was still possible to reconsider the situation.

However, as I have realized all along, there are some others in the party leadership hierarchy, who did not think dialogue was the way forward and therefore chose to play the fifth columnists. These individuals went to work and ensured that they scuttled the great efforts and the good intentions of these aforementioned leaders of the party. Perhaps, had these divisive forces not thrown the cogs in the wheel at the last minutes, and in a manner that made it impossible to sustain any trust in the process, the story today would have been different.

For me, I leave all that behind me. Today, I start as I return to the party where I began my political journey, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

When we left the PDP to join the then nascent coalition of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, we left in a quest for justice, equity and inclusion; the fundamental principles on which the PDP was originally built but which it had deviated from. We were attracted to the APC by its promise of change. We fought hard along with others and defeated the PDP.

In retrospect, it is now evident that the PDP has learnt more from its defeat than the APC has learnt from its victory. The PDP that we return to is now a party that has learnt its lessons the hard way and have realized that no member of the party should be taken for granted; a party that has realized that inclusion, justice and equity are basic precondition for peace; a party that has realized that never again can the people of Nigeria be taken for granted.

I am excited by the new efforts, which seeks to build the reborn PDP on the core principles of promoting democratic values; internal democracy; accountability; inclusion and national competitiveness; genuine commitment to restructuring and devolution of powers; and an abiding belief in zoning of political and elective offices as an inevitable strategy for managing our rich diversity as a people of one great indivisible nation called Nigeria.

What we have all agreed is that a deep commitment to these ideals were not only a demonstration of our patriotism but also a matter of enlightened self-interest, believing that our very survival as political elites of this country will depend on our ability to earn the trust of our people and in making them believe that, more than anything else, we are committed to serving the people.

What the experience of the last three years have taught us is that the most important task that we face as a country is how to reunite our people. Never before had so many people in so many parts of our country felt so alienated from their Nigerianness. Therefore, we understand that the greatest task before us is to reunite the county and give everyone a sense of belonging regardless of region or religion.

Every Nigerian must have an instinctive confidence that he or she will be treated with justice and equity in any part of the country regardless of the language they speak or how they worship God. This is the great task that trumps all. Unless we are able to achieve this, all other claim to progress no matter how defined, would remain unsustainable.

This is the task that I am committing myself to and I believe that it is in this PDP, that I will have the opportunity to play my part. It is my hope that the APC will respect the choice that I have made as my democratic right, and understand that even though we will now occupy a different political space, we do not necessarily become enemies unto one another.

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AFRICA

Zimbabwe’s presidential election offers opportunity for post-Mugabe progress. By Wilf Mbanga

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Zimbabwe-Politics-USAfricaonline

Today, Monday July 30, 2018, Zimbabweans [went] to the polls to elect Robert Mugabe’s successor. For pretty much the average life expectancy of many Zimbabweans, one man has ruled the country with an iron fist. Eight elections were held during his rule – and every time, that fist ensured victory for Mugabe.

The current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, the man who finally ousted Mugabe in a bloodless coup last November, has also crushed his enemies ruthlessly in the past – but his iron fist lies within a well-padded velvet glove.
Mnangagwa goes head to head at the polls with Nelson Chamisa, 40, who took over as leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) after Morgan Tsvangirai died earlier this year.

Whoever wins, this election heralds a new dawn for Zimbabwe. Mugabe has gone. Things will never be the same again. Certainly, Mnangagwa brings a lot of baggage from the Mugabe era – having been the former president’s righthand man.

But he is different in many significant ways – today, Mugabe even urged voters to turn their backs on his leadership, and went so far as to wish Chamisa well. Most importantly, Mnangagwa understands business and is determined to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s moribund economy and give the people what they so desperately want and need – jobs.

He is primarily a soldier, having left Zimbabwe as a teenager in the early 1960s for military training in China. He has fashioned himself after the former communist leader Deng Xiaoping, who modernised China and laid the foundations for the economic powerhouse it has become, while maintaining a strictly authoritarian regime.

Deng abandoned many orthodox communist doctrines to incorporate elements of the free-enterprise system. Mnangagwa seems determined to do the same for Zimbabwe. He is a wealthy man in his own right, having run Zanu-PF’s and his own businesses since the early 1980s. He has been mentioned in a UN report on the plundering of mining and logging resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo together with General Sibusiso Moyo, who is now the foreign affairs minister.

Over the eight months since he took the reins from Mugabe, Mnangagwa has given clear signals of a clean break with the past – actively courting the west, preaching and practising peace instead of violence, eschewing corruption, meeting business leaders and white farmers, and generally projecting himself as a reformist. He has met personally the many business missions that have visited the country this year, and has promised to get rid of the cumbersome bureaucracy that currently stifles new investment. He has suspended Mugabe’s populist indigenisation act, which required foreigners to cede 51% of their shares to locals (ZANU-PF, of course) in all sectors except gold and diamond mining. He has even made it his election slogan – with party supporters everywhere sporting T-shirts proclaiming “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

While Mugabe was a consummate manipulator, skilfully playing people off against each other and weaving a complex web of patronage, Mnangagwa is a much more of a strategist. He will be prepared to make tough decisions that could ultimately benefit the economy. He has certainly been more successful in attracting foreign investment in the short time he has been in power than Mugabe was in decades of berating the west.

 

The MDC’s Chamisa is just as pro-business as Mnangagwa, and to his credit has surrounded himself with several capable technocrats. There is no whiff of corruption about him and he has been drawing massive crowds in many rural areas which, under Mugabe, were no-go areas for his party. And of course the MDC’s democratic and human rights credentials are well established – while those of Zanu-PF are a constant cause for concern.

Should Chamisa win the election, there is no doubt that the world would welcome Zimbabwe back into the fold with open arms. But Mnangagwa is smart enough to realise that international recognition of his government can only come if this election is acknowledged as free and fair by the global community. While Britain has been unswervingly supportive of the post-Mugabe regime, the US has reserved judgment – recently renewing its sanctions on Zanu-PF leaders and companies, but promising to lift them once credible elections have taken place.

And there’s the rub.

Many believe it is impossible for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to run a free and fair poll. It is accused of rigging every election since it was established in 2004; it is still staffed largely by the military and Zanu-PF loyalists; and it has shown shameful bias towards the ruling party in recent months. For example, the law says the ballot paper should be in alphabetical order, which places Chamisa second on the 23-person list. The commission cleverly formatted the paper into two lop-sided columns, in order to place Mnangagwa at the very top of column two.

So this election could bring three possible results: if Mnangagwa wins, the MDC already has enough ammunition against the electoral commission to cry foul.

If Chamisa wins convincingly, it will be a new dawn indeed – but the military might not accept this, as the Generals have already invested a lot in Mnangagwa.

But if there is no clear winner, the most sensible way forward would be for the two protagonists to agree to a marriage of convenience – otherwise known as a government of national unity.
• Wilf Mbanga, once falsely classified by Mugabe’s government as ‘enemy of the people’, is the founder, editor and publisher of The Zimbabwean weekly, published in the UK and Johannesburg

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CHIDO

USAfrica: PDP, Obasanjo and Jonathan failed Nigeria. By Hafsat Abiola

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Special to USAfrica [Houston] • USAfricaonline.com  • @Chido247

(slightly edited for context by USAfrica)

Please nobody should abuse my late father (MKO Abiola).. with this sudden noise that “Buhari was playing politics” (by honoring MKO through declaring June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day).

When did it become a crime for politicians to play politics? 

Were they not voted in to play politics? 

Will it be wrong to develop our roads, infrastructure, free education, return oil blocks to the State instead of individuals? 

What is this noise all about? 

Jonathan was voted for by the South West in 2011, the same SW voted for Buhari in 2015, what is all this noise all about the SW going for Buhari? 

Former president Obasanjo, the direct beneficiary of #June12, is from the same State with MKO; why didn’t he play politics and declare June 12? 

Jonathan  had opportunity for 5 years to do same, he rather gave Abacha from the North posthumous honor, pardoned ex-convict from the West, Alams from the South… 

What do you call that? 

Is that politics or chemistry? 

16 years opportunity to acknowledge #June12 they refused to use the #PoliticalUndertone…

So are you expecting Buhari to use Biological or Chemical undertone to take such decision? 

Why are you guys fixated about those supporting Buhari, is it not a choice and must you dictate to others? 

You brought up religious sentiments prio to 2015 election, yet blamed Buhari fr being the religious bigot….

Jonathan was running from one Church to another, Sambo openly told them in the North that they must not vote for Buhari because Osinbajo is a Pastor of a big Church….Who is a religious bigot here? 

I mean, who was running from one religious organisation to another in 2015 because of politics? Pastor Bosun came up with that sudden apostasy, wrapped up Jonathan PDP politics in the name of “wake up call” message.

I’m happy that I’m still here. I asked him when most of you were analyzing that heretic message that “Jonathan is fulfilling prophecy”…..

I asked a simple question: “Which prophecy is Jonathan”? Pastor Bosun went ahead to say “even if the Islamic party (APC) presents a Christian Governor in Lagos, you must not vote for him, you must vote for the other party (PDP)….” Wait, who was using religion?

Obasanjo removed Senate Presidents at will, removed any opposing voice, removed Fayose for a small insult, removed Ladoja with thugs in Ibadan…. Who are you calling “DICTATOR”? Muhammadu Buhari……… 

Obasanjo withheld Lagos State fund for 3 years, not minding how Lagosians would eat. President Yar’adua [Obasanjo’s successor] got there and released the funds.

Nigeria’s National Assembly [NASS] members are abusing Buhari openly, messing up everything at will, Fayose has been abusing Buhari for 4 years now….. 

Not a single State in Nigeria has been denied their constitutional rights because of politics till date, all their funds, Paris fund, bail out, FAAC etc… But who is the DICTATOR? BUHARI. 

Jonathan ensured that NASS opposition members were locked out including Tambuwa the Speaker of the house. They had to climb gate to gain access…..

Jonathan empowered OPCs in Lagos and they were destroying anything in Ikorodu to Ojota that looked like opposition party. Orga of DSS was used to invade APC secretariat, Journalist arrested and Newspapers siezed, we forgot all these….

Ekiti was militarised, Fayose was given power from Aso rock to order Military guys at will. Fayemi the incumbent at that moment was rendered powerless that he was shouting when Police commissioner was used by PDP and a guy was shot…All these videos and pictures are still here (google is your friend)…

But who is the dictator? BUHARI. Jonatahn met FX+ECA at $62 billion+. He DEPLETED it to less than $30 Billion in 5 years Jonathan sold crude oil for 5 years at an average of $100 per barrel of 2.2 million daily (2010-2014). Did he add a DIME to Nigeria purse in 5 years? NO. 

Buhari the ILLITERATE sold oil at an average of $50 of less than 700,000 barrel at some points because of militancy, yet had moved that FX to $47 Billion in 3 years. Don’t say how much did he borrow if you don’t even have the figure borrowed between 2010-2015 without adding a dime to FX. Who is the ILLITERATE? BUHARIIII. 

Jide Omokore, Aluko and oil goddess Alinson made an oil deal of N1 trillion and chose not to remit to Nigeria under GEJ. Did anyone raise eyebrow? INTEL of Atiku refused to remit to NPA, not until last year that “ordinary” Hadiza the NPA boss challenged INTEL and insisted the funds must be remitted. 

A Christian Professor had been leading JAMB all through Obasanjo to Jonathan; yet for 40 years of JAMB, only N52 Million was remitted to FG….A Muslim Professor who was appointed just in two years of handling JAMB remitted over N15 Billion……FIFTEEN BILLION.

So who is following after righteousness?

For five years [of the Obasanjo and Jonathan’s different presidencies as Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi] Okonjo Iweala was paying over 45,000 ghost workers unabated, yet just within 3 years, “ordinary” Kemi Adeosun removed such nonsense.

 

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