Monday, March 22, 2010


Jos. Still on my mind.

Just today, the Police has finally been able to draw up a list of 162 people to prosecute for the massacres in Jos. What I find most interesting are the offenses for which the suspects are being 'prosecuted'.

- 41 suspects are to be charged with terrorism and culpable homicide, punishable by death'

- 82 would be charged with unlawful possession of firearms, rioting and "mischief by fire"

Terrorism? Culpable homicide ? Pray, how many will be charged with 'Murder'? None.

'Mischief by fire'; is that the same as arson? Maybe not.

No wonder nobody seems interested in the trials, if ever they actually take place. From the onset, we have refused to call a crime by its name; we glorify criminals and call them 'muslims' or 'christians'.

I am not sure if we have learned anything from all these killings and a people who would not learn from their history, are bound to repeat.

Will we ever forget what happened in Jos? Unfortunately, yes. Sooner than later, we will.

Did we not forget Ife/Modakeke? Aguleri/Umuleri? and the many wars of the Ijaw/Itsekiri/Urhobo?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cunning Man Die ...

For Nigeria and Nigerians, these are very interesting times.

With a president who has been AWOL for almost 80 days and a clique of hangers-on who have decided NOT to do the right things even when the right things are as simple as writing a letter (or a communication) to the Senate President. Things had got so heated up that people were afraid of a breakdown of law and order and probably a breakup of Nigeria.

It is true that we take Nigeria's resilience for granted and we subject her to all kinds of pummeling but then if such be the path of our nation-building, then so be it. We are still a country trying to become a nation. Nigeria will definitely outlive all of us. In fact, I am not afraid for Nigeria, it is Nigerians I pity.

I have come to know enough of Nigeria to know that it will take more than Turai Yar'adua and her band of hangers-on to bring this country to her knees. Their game was so obvious even to a child right from the onset, what remained to be seen was how Nigerians would react to it.

We were not voted the happiest people on earth for nothing. We have learned the art of meeting our challenges with humor. The latest one was even very funny. It was like a game of draughts. For most of January the clique reacted to every single act of the Nigerian people:

- Every time Nigerians vowed to go to Court: Aondoakaa went to Court. The same court, mind you and gets the same judgment over and over again in such record time.

- When newspapers reported that Yar'adua was either dead or brain damaged, the next day, he gave an interview to the BBC Hausa Service in English.

Now, that interview has become their undoing. I remember that when he asked why the President would give an interview in English to an Hausa station, Aondoakaa said the transmission was meant for all Nigerians and not just Hausa speakers.

I agree that what we have is a political resolution and may not be the actual end of this logjam as it presents its own challenges. For instance, by this resolution - if we accept it for arguments sake - Nigeria now has two Presidents -though one is acting. Yar'adua never left power and Goodluck should be very careful what actions he takes. If he tries to remove Aondoakaa, Kaase will go to Court. Remember he was the one who got the spurious judgments from Abutu in the first place. All the same it is a step forward.

Now that the National House of Assembly has adopted the BBC interview as direct transmission by the President to it, I wonder how Aondoakaa will wiggle out of this.

Some lawyers have contended that an interview in which the President clearly declared that he was not well and fit enough to carry out his duties was not equal to a letter written to the Senate President.
  1. That the interview was not authored by the President but rather by the BBC which is not even a Nigerian medium.
  2. That the mode of transmission was not directly to the Senate President but rather a broadcast to the whole world.
  3. That the Constitution (s. 145) clearly states that the transmission must be written because it says 'writes' and besides, it was not signed by Yar'adua.

These might be true, but the Senate (and some other lawyers) responded that:
  1. We all know that Presidents don't usually write or type letters; they get some Secretary to do it and if they feel strongly enough they may actually dictate the letter to the Secretary who transcribes the dictation and it is the final transcript that is transmitted to the Senate President. We all know that the paper (medium) on which the letter is written is not likely be made in Nigeria.
  2. The Senate president is part of the whole world and has decided to accept the interview as a direct transmission to himself. The messenger is not important, as long as he gets the message abi?
  3. The BBC interview has been transcribed and published on the BBC website with the express permission of the President who has not come out to deny any part of the publication besides, the Constitution did not require any signature on the document.
We can even go further to say that the President's voice signature was all over the transmission, unless of course, Aondoakaa can prove that it was not the President's voice on BBC.

That will take us back to square one.

See? Cunning man die, cunning man bury am.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Code Of Silence

The silence surrounding the state of being of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua is deafening.

Nobody seems to know exactly what is happening with/to him right now.

Well, they know but nobody wants to get the 'Baba Gana Kingibe' Treatment.

Remember the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the circumstance of his sack? He had announced the demise of his principal, only for the man to miraculously wake up a few hours later (after some serious prayers) and sack him - some say with the promptings of the First lady. Understandably.

So here we are again at the same pass. And yet again, we expect a miracle.

But this time, there is a code of silence in force. From the VP, to the Ministers, to the cleaners in Aso rock, the answer to every question is: Let us pray for the President to recover quickly.

Let us believe the best.

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