[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - For the 'infidels' in Nigeria, it seems that, times are getting worse. When Boko Haram was at the peak of its inglorious fame, I often was moved to wonder what Nigeria truly implied for its citizens, and why those who have held to a One-Nigeria dogma were yet unable to maintain it in true practicality. Today, it's a different scenario: while Boko Haram seemed to have started, as forerunners, their terror for a separate and exclusive Islamic State within the territories of the agitators, Fulani herdsmen seem to be fighting to conquer and own the whole country-from their northward homeland through the South-West and the Middle Belt to the old Eastern Region. They tender their ‘nomadic lifestyle’ as proof that they own all. Now this reminds every deep thinker, sadly, of the Dan-Fodian ministry and the dipping of the Koran into the Atlantic Ocean. But, before we look deeper into the spirit which drives the Dan-Fodians, here are two accounts of Fulani herdsmen’s latest and unprovoked mayhem in their host communities.
Setting The Record Straight
"Let me use this medium to set the record straight:
1.Was there an attack? A resounding yes! I was in Enugu live and direct.
2. The communities where the onslaught took place are Nimbo (Nimbo Ngwoko, Ugwuijoro, Ekwuru, Ebor, Enugu Nimbo, Umuome and Ugwuachara). Mathematically, seven villages were attacked. For the avoidance of doubt, these villages are well populated by persons whose preoccupation is farming.
3. They came in Hulix. They had sophisticated weapons, and were up to 400 in Number, if not more.
4. Why did the APC media refuse reporting exactly what transpired in Enugu? The news was not in their favor as 90% of Nigerian online media outfits is controlled by APC.
5. Is it true that more than 700 people died in that Boko Haram attack? A resounding yes, too. I saw it myself. Because I was there, I am in a better position to state what actually happened in Enugu.
6. So why did the APC media outfits (including channel TV) report that it was "only 6" persons that died from the attack? They control the media. When they could no longer contain the disturbing figures they increased the number to 21. When it was obvious that Nigerians may
discover the truth, they advanced the figures to 100.
7. Ladies and gentlemen, I reiterate: the actual numbers of persons that were killed by Boko Haram in Enugu State is up to 800. If I am placed on oath, I wouldn't waste one nano second to repeat myself.
8. I wonder why these ‘Buharists’ are playing politics with everything.
9. This is not the first time APC is downplaying figures. Immediately APC assumed office, Boko Haram struck somewhere in the north. The figure of persons killed was about 200. But to utter surprise, Lie Muhammed said it was "only 20 persons" that were affected. Now you know." - https://m.facebook.com/public/Ahmed-Madaki
Madaki also revealed that, when the Igbos resident there were making attempts to run for their lives, they were ordered by the army to go back ...that ‘everything was under control.’”
Details of Possible Complicity in the Presidency
“Apologies to the Governor of Enugu state for leaking this story. There was a call made by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to the president, he was put on hold for over an hour and fifteen minutes. This call was made in the presence of thirteen men and four women. (On picking the call after the long wait) the president's aide told the governor that the president would get back to him. The president, through his aide and after four hours, told the Enugu state governor that the he will do something about it. My relative was among the people who witnessed this call. Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on hearing that the police have not arrived at Uzo-Uwani, called GOC 82 division for help. He was referred to the presidency again. This time, he was put on hold for nearly two hours again, while waiting to speak to the president. Then news came in that the attack he was planning to prevent has actually taken place. Within an hour, the commissioner and GOC who referred the governor to the president had mobilized their men to stop retaliation-same way Lagos and Agatu were attacked and retaliation prevented. I want to use this medium to apologize to the governor of Enugu state for speaking out on this true event, but I would like him to demand a probe/investigation on this massacre. I know he has learnt his lessons, but if not, then he is still a cretin we will endure for only four years. We need to know why the police commissioner and GOC needed the presidency to issue orders to them before they could protect innocent citizens? We need to know why the police and the military sent their men to Uzo-Uwani after the attack to prevent retaliation.We need to know why a sitting governor cannot use the support of the police and the military to protect his people.” The writer continued. “My governor, I am just apologizing because l thought you did nothing at all, until I was given all these information. But as a man-an elected governor-what was your PLAN B if presidency failed to help? You ought to have used the media, which is FREE. Able bodied men and women would have prepared to help and protect their own people." - www.nairaland.com/3071428/what-uzouwani-looks-like-now
The Dan-Fodian Spirit Revealed
Without wasting time, let us delve into a clear picture of the Fulani spirit. According to Wikipedia, "The Fulani/Fula/Fulbe people, numbering approximately 20 million in total, are one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse of the peoples of Africa." It further states that an estimated 13 million Fulani are nomadic, thus making them the largest pastoral nomadic group in the world. This nomadic life proved to be an advantage when Usman Dan Fodio went with his followers into exile-motivated by his reformist ideas and increasing repression by local authorities. After staying a while in exile, Shaihu Usman dan Fodio, born Usuman ɓii Foduye in 1754 and said to be a religious teacher, writer, Islamic promoter and the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, returned with a revolution to forcefully plant his beliefs and teachings-beginning from northern Nigeria through Cameroon to other countries across West Africa. A Jihad was born. From then on, the Fulani, though still maintaining their northern homeland, gradually advanced into territories fully occupied by other groups. Here, it suffices to say that, majority of those who claim to champion one rights and secessionist group or the other have simply been towing the same part for which the great Shaikh was infamous. This group of championers, warmongers and death-bringers must either take a more persuasive and democratic route or be nipped in the bud. Today, sadly, the Fulani have grown more assertive and, therefore more demanding and authoritative. It has even gone worse with a Fulani as the president of today’s Nigeria. Although Boko Haram has made its demand marks, the Fulani do not negotiate as they believe that they own anywhere and everywhere they want.
Role of Religious Divide
The Fulani are mostly Sunni Muslims, is it then a wonder why the Shiites are killed with reckless abandon, and by those saddled with protecting them as fellow citizens? They seem to be backed by the military which, sadly, behaves more or less like them as they often run to their defense and only after they have carried out their calculated attacks with mostly sponsored military and paramilitary type of guns? Remembering that Sir Ahmadu Bello, who once berated the Igbo for their ingenuity ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y1Zpk4DrlA ) and mobilized the North against patriotism and true nationalism, was a descendant of Uthman dan Fodio, I now think that the raison d'être of all these terrors from the becoming has been clearly defined: The attacks in Agatu-narrowing to several of such in Enugu State-is clearly unmasking a Dan-Fodian hasty, southward drive towards dipping that Koran into the ocean of blood. This time, it seems that the Koran which the Fulani use may not, after all, be the same as that used by the Shiite-wherever they picked their differences notwithstanding. While pondering on the vehemence and assertiveness of a Fulani, I recalled with a shudder the clear threats of one of Nigeria’s leaders, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of Kaduna State, to soldiers and civilians alike via his twitter handle, @elrufai, on June 15, 2012: "We (sic) will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani, takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes." How sad! My question now is: can president Buhari prove my submission a mere thesis by putting up practicable, practical and productive measures towards assuring a Nigeria where people's rights are protected and their future assured? I also want to know from the governors of the attacked South East: what are you going to do this time...really?
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: C. K. Ekeke reports ] - What a Nigerian Senator takes home every year is simply mind-boggling. This is another major reason why Nigeria continues to flounder and blunder - no future for vast majority of Nigerians until we fundamentally change the institutions of governance into fiscal federalism. Nigeria as constituted is a fraud and few are handsomely benefitting from the status quo and mediocrity. Really this is crazy and amazing, to imagine that such amount of money is squandered by a few Nigerians in a country where intellectuals abound.
Below is the mind-boggling comparative figures -
Senator's Pay World Wide:
* Sri Lanka – $5,100.00
* India – $11,200.00
* Malaysia – $25,300.00
* Thailand – $43,800.00
* Spain – $43,900.00
* Ghana – $46,500.00
* Saudi Arabia – $64,000.00
* Indonesia – $65,800.00
* Kenya – $74,500.00
* France – $85,900.00
* Sweden – $99 300.00
* South Africa – $104,000.00
* Britain – $105,400.00
* New Zealand – $112,500.00
* Israel – $114,800.00
* Germany – $119,500.00
* Ireland – $120,400.00
* Hong Kong – $130,700.00
* Japan – $149,700.00
* Canada – $154 000.00
* Singapore – $154,000.00
* Brazil – $157,600.00
* United States – $174,000.00
* Italy – $182,000.00
*Nigeria - $2,183,685.00
The details of the remuneration of an average Nigerian Senator is detailed below;
* Basic Salary (B.S) – N2,484,245.50
* Hardship Allowance (50% of B.S) – N1,242,122.70
* Constituency Allowance (200% of B.S) – N4,968,509.00
* Newspapers Allowance (50% of B.S) – N1,242,122.70
* Wardrobe Allowance (25% of B.S) – N621,061.37
* Recess Allowance (10% of B.S) – N248,424.55
* Accommodation (200% of B.S) – N4,968,509.00
* Utilities (30% of B.S) – N828,081.83
* Domestic Staff (70% of B.S) – N1,863,184.12
* Entertainment (30% of B.S) – N828,081.83
* Personal Assistants (25% of B.S) – N621,061.12
* Vehicle Maintenance Allowance (75% of B.S) – N1,863,184.12
* Leave Allowance (10% of B.S) – N248,424.55
* Severance Gratuity (300% of B.S) – N7,452,736.50
* Car Allowance (400% of B.S) – N9,936,982.00
* TOTAL MONTHLY SALARY = N29,479,749.00 ($181,974.00)
* TOTAL YEARLY SALARY = N29,479,749.00 x 12 = N353,756,988.00
The average salary of Nigerian worker based on the national minimum wage is N18,000.00.
So, the yearly salary is N18,000.00 x 12 = N216,000.00
Remember, yearly Salary of Nigerian Senator = N353,756,988.00
Proportion: N353,756,988.00/N216,000.00 = 1,638
It will take an average Nigerian worker 1,638 years to earn the yearly salary of a Nigerian Senator.
–C. K. Ekeke, a public theologian, author and leadership scholar reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Mike Rapu reports ] - Augeas, the mythical king of Elis, kept great stables that held 3,000 oxen and had not been cleaned for thirty years – until Hercules was assigned the job. Hercules accomplished this task by causing two rivers to run through the stables. This story depicts two things: the misfortune of inheriting a messed up estate, and the level of creativity and innovation required to clean up the mess. To be clear, here, I refer to the mess President Muhammadu Buhari inherited from 16 wasted years of the Peoples Democratic Party’s hold on the reins of leadership in our dear country.
I write as an independent Nigerian, suffering what every other person is suffering, plying the bad roads every other Nigerian plies and like many other graduates, I spent years searching for a job. I also wish to say here that I am not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) neither am I a member of Buhari’s administration. One thing is sure, the process of getting to the Promised Land, I have to admit, is a tough and long one. Maybe, that is why St. Paul spoke to early Christians about enduring “long suffering”. I have since accepted this as part of the sacrifices I have to make for my unborn children to enjoy what I hope will someday be the prestige attached to being Nigerian.
Anytime I hear Americans talk about the “Unborn American”, I ask myself when Nigerians or its leaders will think, let alone talk, of the “Unborn Nigerian” like I am presently doing!
I must admit here as someone who voted for Buhari, that like many others who did, our expectation was that things would change immediately he was sworn in on May 29, 2015 at the Eagles Square. Now, I face what is our national reality; the damage done was grave indeed.
President Buhari has always maintained that things will change, and I want us all to believe him. At least he has no record of telling public or private lies. He has never told us that STEALING is not the same as CORRUPTION.
Our challenge, though, as a nation has always been that of the dearth of quality and visionary leadership. I believe that the quality of followership is always determined by the quality of leadership, be it at the family, village, community or national level.
On the task currently at hand, I believe that the spate of sacks of many corrupt officials and the dismantling of decay(ing) structures as they now stand in the country are perfectly in order. Some insane and retarded posturing from the usual culprits suggest that the exercise by the Buhari administration in Abuja is lopsided and parochial. And the ethnic card is already shamelessly being flashed by those who know too well that in the last few years, Nigeria has been hemorrhaging from all sides of her anatomy while some still have the audacity to whine about one being Igbo or Yoruba, Ijaw, Efik or Hausa. Who cares?
I believe that the season to re-write our laws to make corruption a treasonable offence has come upon us, as once prescribed by Tanzania’s founding father and one of Africa’s most iconic leaders, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere to his countrymen.
I have always told anyone who cares to listen that Nigeria’s problem as a nation has attained crisis proportion and anything – I mean anything – to resuscitate her should be administered as a panacea for her malaise. I am in no way advocating breaking of the law to accomplish this goal on the part of the executive. All I am saying is that all the realms of governance – legislative, judiciary and the executive, and of course the fourth estate, the media, must join forces, work in tandem, and with unreserved nationalistic fervour to rescue the tottering ship of state from going down. These are unusual times, and we have to address the issues using unusual solutions. Fighting corruption is never easy; fighting institutionalised corruption which the PDP administration represents is not only more difficult but dangerous!
Nigerians must be patient with this government. Much is being done, but the task is huge. The mess left behind by the previous administration is humongous. I believe at the end of the day, Nigerians will smile and live a good life.
Mike Rapu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports from Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - It is necessary to urgently advise the Nigerian army and main stream media to stop endangering true and decent Fulani herdsmen by yoking them to all sorts of bandits and Boko Haram terrorists operating outside of the Sambisa axis. It is reasonable to still believe there are more decent Fulani herders than not.
In a recent Nigerian military press release, some 92 suspect armed bandits cum terrorists intercepted in a lorry and camry at a checkpoint near Abuja were called "herdsmen." While they had Fulani staffs, they clearly had no herds and hardly dressed or appeared like Fulani herders with some not appearing to be of the Fulani ethnicity.
By labelling all bandits and terrorists Fulani herders, Nigeria is putting innocent herders at serious suspicion and risk across the entire country and seriously endangering them.
There are bandits and terrorists and there are herders and the distinction must be underlined. A herder who kills and burns is a terrorist. He must be arrested and dealt with under the Nigerian anti terror laws which prescribe death for terrorists.
“(2) without prejudice to sub-section (2) of this section, where death results from any terrorist act, the penalty shall be death sentence.” Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013, Part 1, subsection 4.
Nigerians need to know what exactly is happening in the country and who these armed 'Fulani' bandits and terrorists are. Are they linked to Boko Haram or actually one and the same with Boko Haram? Is their agenda the Boko Haram agenda? Are they the sponsors of Boko Haram?
Where do they get their arms and ammunition from?
What is their mission?
What is the truth behind their mode of operation: exterminating and occupying territory essentially identical to Boko Haram?
What is the police doing if anything to arrest and prosecute all of the murderers among them?
It is important Nigeria outlaws Fulani related banditry and terrorism. The message must be clear, resounding and propagated to them in a language they understand. Nigeria cannot continue to explain away this new disseminated armed terrorist network operating liberally across the federation. The government must urgently stop the romance, take off its kid gloves and sound a clear warning while assuming a posture that shows we as a nation are not in any way going to accept new editions of Boko Haram on our soil.
The messages from the security departments have so far not been reassuring. It is time to step up to this new deadly threat that continues to claim lives and destroy billions in property.
By continuing to romance and sympathize with killers, murderers and incendiary terrorists, the government of Nigeria is rather putting the decent herdsmen across the nation at risk as Nigerians are losing their patience and potential terrorists in various communities may take to 'revenge' terrorism against innocent herders in their vicinities as has been reported on occasion. The government should not fail to act urgently and properly while continuing to endanger real herders and Fulani across the nation.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Nigeria Army logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - Borrowing a quote from merriam-webster.com, a national anthem is "a song that praises a particular country and that is officially accepted as the country's song." Some online commentators describe it as a "part of who we are, a kind of oath or pride we take on ourselves and
our country-reminding us of who we are, where we have come from and our collective destiny." Although proper records may not have been taken on the earliest country to use a national anthem, Wikipedia pegs the oldest anthem to Wilhelmus of the Netherlands. Gradually, national anthems became a force that musters patriotism among citizens. Nigeria, in 1978 and after a national anthem contest, picked lines
from the submissions of John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P.O. Aderibigbe and crafted them into our present anthem (replacing the old one: 'Nigeria We Hail Thee') under the directorship of Benedict E. Odiase. Since then, we have all grown to sing it - but, in all truth, absentmindedly and hypocritically to a point that, today, more than 60% of those who lead us cannot
correctly write down the wordings of this anthem.
Every song is meant to stir the spirit into a patterned thought-form. In the case of national anthems, towards patriotism. But before we question the merits of our superficial and hypocritical rants in feigned patriotism, I would like us to revisit the lyrics of our revered anthem:
"Arise, O compatriots
Nigeria's call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom
Peace and unity.
Oh God of creation
Direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign."
Now that we have thoughtfully gone through the words we have made a 'necessary pain' during national events, it is time to match it-line by line-in the prism of conscious self-evaluation. Here, I would warn beforehand, that my diagnosis may appear humorous to the unserious but, to he who truly yearns for change, remedy is clearly seen. As we weigh our individual actions on the scale of this national oath, I would like to reflect openly on a few.
1. "Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria's call obey. To serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith..." Indeed every Nigerian is a fellow compatriot, so this refers to all. But my question is: What call are we called unto as compatriots? The next line " to serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith" seems to have answered it, only its answer is meaningless in my time. For example, how do you expect a
student who came from a very poor home, fought through his college days and served his country selflessly for a year-serving with all love and strength- to wake up from his last day in his one year compulsory service only to be employed and fed by faith? It no longer beats my imagination why the foundation of Nigeria's universities has crumbled: Despite the activists in every course and discipline, faith seems to be what Nigeria can offer her teeming graduates. Lack of job opportunities for graduates has clearly made even undergraduates loose faith. If faith in a good reward is, therefore lacking, where then will the love to serve come from and upon which strength? Ponder!
2. "The labor of our heroes past shall never be in vain..." Now, this is a very serious one. From the look of things, the labour of our heroes past were in vain because, clearly, every seed bears fruits according to its kind. If today's Nigeria is this messy, it can only attest to the fact that the so-called "heroes past" were the foundational problems of Nigeria. And you ask me "how?" Well, I will tell you. Take a look at what the shameful politics of bigotry, nepotism and tribalism has done to Nigeria and her citizens. Who instituted, allowed or condoned bigotry, nepotism and tribalism to be
laid as foundation pillars of Nigeria when the colonial masters were leaving? Some would quickly say it's the British but, now, I beg to differ. If you ask me, I'd honestly say that Nigeria has no heroes-past or present. As for the future, today gives us the picture.
3. "To serve with heart and might. One nation bound in freedom, peace, and unity." The last two lines of the first stanza openly reveals our collective doom if not revisited. The word "bound" remains a wonder as to how it managed to gain acceptance when English was the real queen in Nigeria, when the gluttony and selfishness of our so-called "heroes past" had not reached the level of adulterating the revered "Queen's English." For a moment, please, take a closer look at the second line.."One nation bound in freedom, peace, and unity." Forget that
they clevery exchanged the 'with' in the sentence with an 'in,' it basically tells you the same thing in this context.This is clearly where we began to dig our graves or, I would say, where our revered heroes past laid the foundation of Nigeria's cemetery. Who told them that, in English language, or any language for that matter, it is
possible to 'bind' freedom, peace and unity together? These are three different and independent words with their independent life expressions. Freedom defines itself and you cannot unite freedom with a bond to obtain peace and unity. It is impossible! It is blasphemous! It is destructive! For these three to work 'harmoniously,' freedom has to express itself to the fullest. It is the principal human right. That's the first thing we started with in the hands of our colonial master and that's what today's United Nations erroneously claim to stand for. After freedom is expressed and recognized, peace naturally flows. That is when, looking from afar, one can say 'they are united.' But our heroes past thought it wise to otherwise compel. No wonder we are where we are today with government after government exhibiting characters of bigotry, nepotism and tribalism as one national character. What a shame!
I dare not attempt to look deep into the second stanza which began with "Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause" because that would amount to putting God to remembrance of how we have collectively mocked Him. Although we sing Him in every hymn, our hearts seem to be full of scorn for Him. No wonder our heroes past called 'binding people in forced freedom, peace and unity' a noble cause. We must change. This hypocrisy called national anthem must be replaced and a new Nigeria-in all truth-added together in words that edify, not only the citizenry, but the spirit that drives Nigeria as a country. We cannot continue to claim that Nigeria is not chronically sick and we cannot continue to politicize our individual and collective
spirituality which drive what we see and experience on a daily basis.
I appeal to those in power, and who have genuinely stepped forward to change the status quo and to save, to give it all they have got and to empty all of them towards saving what is left by cutting off what is dead and what is clogging the wheel of national heritage and pride. It is only and after we have successfully done these can we understandably expect anyone, in all sincerity, to say, "I pledge to Nigeria, my country" to be faithful, loyal, and honest; to serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory."
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - A recent report that succeeded in debunking the false narrative of Whites being more intelligent or academically proficient than Blacks, further identified the Igbo Nigerian race as outliers, demonstrably surpassing the Asian--best of the Caucasian race. The report provokes serious thought.
The United States DV lottery is not a charity as we sometimes wrongly assume. The program gives America the opportunity to select from the extraordinary human gene pool to ultimately catapult the advancement of the country.
It is no surprise therefore that New York, California, L.A. and London with their wide variety of races are primary sources of innovation today. California's Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay were the birth places of Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and thousands of other world renowned companies. Tim Cook said, "Diversity is critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple’s future."
There are two things to note: firstly in all races are unique skills and secondly, neglect to harness the unique skills of peoples to your detriment.
Apart from corruption or perhaps as an additional detriment, African states fail to properly exploit the number one resource on God's earth: the diverse human potential. As the nation's are led by intellectual 'bricklayers' who at best only know how to mix and plaster, that essential resource that leads to competitive development is totally lost. I am not sure that in the plan for Nigeria today there is an agency tasked with instituting optimized development of the human resource by unique features: region, ethnicity, selective capacity and related distinctive opportunities.
While there may not necessarily be a genetic component to increased innovation of certain races or sub races, with a recent study finding 99.9% genetic identicality between Yorubas and Igbos for instance, nature and nurture have their way of fashioning and sharpening human skills.
Can we deny that most innovation in Nigeria comes out of the tiny land mass occupied by the Igbo ethnic group? Can we deny the Alaba industrial complex? Can we ignore the fact that so many finished products and industrial semi finished materials have managed to emanate from the East over the years? That while Nigeria prides itself with not being able to make toothpicks, Alaba manufactures firearms? That the Igbos have been the bedrock of economical activity across the states?
And all this the region with its members does/do without government encouragement and against all odds.
Late Sardauna rather infamously identified the unique Igbo ability to advance and dominate wherever they adventure. While the Sardauna as Provincial head correctly, I dare say, identified this attribute as a risk to his region which he was responsible for in the then regional Nigeria setup (note: Nigeria was operating true Federalism at the time with distinct self identifying and serving regions), today as a de-regionalised single entity, Nigeria must harvest the skills of these peoples or let them go.
The Igbo is not only industrial but entrepreneurial. He is like the Western Jew. Now while other ethnic groups to also harbor similar and variable unique skills, one can imagine the outcome had the Western world not only ignored their Einsteins but frustrated them and pushed them into social rebellion and crime. Not only would they have lost decades of advancement but they would have suffered enduring regression from the easy transfer of intelligence and unusual skills to socially destructive applications. Your geniuses are some of your best resources or your greatest liabilities depending on how you utilize them.
Building a cohesive society and harnessing all the available human potential is the most important and critical measure towards fixing and then advancing a nation. More important than building infrastructure and providing amenities. Perhaps so important that Nigeria needs new ministries tailored towards advancing human capital... a Ministry of Human Resource Development as multicultural India has.
In my opinion, it is time to unleash the unique potential of the Igbo race or let them go.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria).
[ Masterweb Reports: SKC Ogbonnia reports ] - The change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari has received positive reviews so far from the United States of America. Many American businesses appear ready to take a chance again on Nigeria. But some are beginning to develop cold feet so soon because many tales on Nigeria are still very emblematic of the inept shadow of the immediate past regime.
Perhaps many factors contribute to the bad image, but none has been more annoying than the case of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS). For example, the process of obtaining ordinary Nigerian Visa or Passport defies common sense. The primary headache is Innovate 1 Services, a maladroit company contracted during the past regime by the NIS to process passport/Visa applications. Quite frankly, it is not an overstatement to quip that the old NEPA was by far more efficient. At least Nigerians could easily relate to the voices at the then NEPA. Put differently, besides the prevailing challenges at the Innovate 1 Services, the contractor also has the audacity to outsource the few jobs from a critical component of Nigerian national security to our Indian friends whose relentless brawl with the English language makes a typical Nigerian sound like an Englishman. Yet, millions of our highly qualified citizens roam the streets home and abroad in search of any kind of job.
Make no mistake about it, many would care less if the Innovate 1 Services and its “Oyibo” staff could provide the desired service. But the reverse is obviously the case here. In fact, nothing seems to work right in that company from web technology, applications, method of payment, customer service, and what have you. Attorney Stefano Fabeni, the Executive Director, Global Initiatives for Human Rights at Heartland Alliance in Washington, DC, had a first-hand experience and was able to tweet the matter exactly how it belongs: “Applying for #Nigerian visa with Innovate 1 services is a nightmare. They should NOT be allowed to operate in the US.”
As a foreigner, Fabeni’s harrowing account was on Visa, but the passport process for our citizens in the USA is even worse. Not only do these fellow Nigerians have to grapple with the Innovate 1 Services system, those who live outside the regions where the embassies or consulates are located incur costs of an average of $1,000 to obtain a common passport. To mitigate the costs, the Nigerian Embassy designed an intelligible intervention program whereby passport services are entertained in major cities outside the consulates. However, apart from a potpourri of unprintable details, the intervention program itself is fraught with two daunting challenges.
First, the exercise is extremely time-consuming in a country where time matters most. The reason offered for this failure is that each consulate office in the USA is equipped with only two Immigration bio-data capturing machines. To that end, a consulate can only afford to lend one machine for interventions, and understandably so, since the other machine must remain at the consulate for its normal operations. Second, the consulate does not seem to have the desired number of staff to contain the type of volume usually generated from the passport interventions.
A good case in point is a recent passport intervention conducted from February 19 through 22, 2016 in Houston by the Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta. Over 1,000 Nigerians applied and showed up at the venue. Although the consulate staff had to work over 15 hours per day, only less than 400 of the applications were captured by the lone machine. The majority had to go home dispirited, wondering why simple things are made difficult once associated with their native country. And you cannot fault the frustrations. In attempt to obtain ordinary passports, these fellow Nigerians had to take off from work to queue in line for days only to come out empty. Even when the passports are finally processed, it takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks before they are received by the applicants.
The most mind-boggling is that Nigeria does not have a permanent consular post in the Texas/Oklahoma region. For those unfamiliar with the American geography, the area in review is similar size to the entire Nigeria and features big cities, such as Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Oklahoma City. More notably, the area includes Houston, a city recognized by the US State Department as boasting the largest concentration of Nigerians in America. Moreover, Houston is the energy capital of the world with a hive of Oil & Gas businesses tailor-made for Nigerian investment.
Buhari’s vision on foreign investment requires a holistic approach—targeting foreigners as well as Nigerians in the Diaspora. It does not require a clairvoyant to discern that these Diaspora-based Nigerians, who have been remitting home an average of $21 billion per year, actually hold the key to foreign investment into our country. To start with, they are highly vested in the different nations and serve as unsung ambassadors in their respective fields. Furthermore, most of them are nearing the retirement age and are pondering whether to invest at home or abroad. Best of all, their foreign-born children, most of who are also highly placed in different societies, are naturally eager to explore opportunities in the African country. Yet, while their parents might have been used to the “Nigerian factor”, the younger generation expects better.
The way forward is not too complicated. The change agenda of President Buhari must also be rooted in the government agencies that implement his policies. This case requires professionalizing—without any delay—the NIS services in the United States of America in line with international best practices. Very importantly, the government should ensure that the Nigerian consulates in the USA are strategically located, easily accessible, and fully equipped with adequate and competent staff, the desired number of bio-data capturing machines, and ready passport/visa booklets. First impression truly matters. The very few who venture to explore opportunities in Nigeria ought to have good stories to tell, beginning from the processes of traveling to the country.
SKC Ogbonnia ( Email: SKCOgbonnia@firsttexasenergy.com ) reports from Houston, Texas, USA.
*Photo Caption - Nigerian e-passport
[ Masterweb Reports: Victor Edozie reports ] - Armed bandits have robbed unsuspecting passengers along the lonely Okpere/Okene road and dispossessed them of their valuables. Witnesses said the six heavily armed bandits barricaded the Okpere/Okene road for more than one hour. Two vehicles, a Tayota camry and a Siena bus were intercepted by the bandits.
The witness said the bandits directed all the passengers from the vehicles to alight just as they were dispossessed of valuables such as handsets, I-Pad and undisclosed amount of money.
"The vehicles were coming from Auchi and suddenly ran into an ambush of armed bandits. We sighted them and quickly made a detour back to Okpere and finally ran inside bush. They succeeded in robbing two vehicles before Police came in", the eye witness said.
The incident caused pandemonium along the Okpere road as more than fifty oncoming vehicles quickly made a detour. Passengers and other occupants of the vehicles alighted and ran inside the bush.
The incident caused a very serious traffic gridlock along the road as vehicles were parked at the two wings of the road.
Policemen dispatched from Kogi State Police command later came and opened the road for vehicular movement.
*Photo Caption - An AK-47 Rifle. *One of the tools of evil in the world.
[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili reports ] - President Muhammadu Buhari’s five-day working visit to China has yielded additional investments in Nigeria exceeding $6 billion. Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said in a statement yesterday that Buhari expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his visit to China.
He said the president believed that the several agreements concluded with the Chinese during the visit would have a huge and positive impact on key sectors Nigeria’s economy like power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.
“In the power sector, North South Power Company Ltd and Sinohydro Corporation Ltd signed an agreement valued at $478,657,941.28 for the construction of 300 megawatts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State,” the presidential spokesman stated.
He said in the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Ltd and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at $55 million for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.
About $1 billion will be invested in the development of a Greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, Shehu said.
“For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a $250 million deal to develop an ultra-modern 27-storey high rise complex and a $2.5 billion agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project,” he stated.
“Other agreements announced and signed during the visit include a $1 billion for the establishment of a hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State.
“Furthermore, the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Ltd also signed an agreement valued at $200 million for the construction of two 500MT/day float gas facilities.
“An agreement valued at $363 million for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi State was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.
“Other agreements undergoing negotiations include a $500 million project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a $25 million facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Ltd,” the presidential aide said
He added that about 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - As the Kaduna state government has finally confessed the level of atrocities perpetuated in the bloody days of last December, there are more uneasy and quite painful questions that are prompted.
According to the narration of events in Monday's "panel" revelations, 191 bodies were picked up from the military and added to 156 bodies allegedly picked up from ABU Teaching hospital. There had been reports of over 300 bodies deposited at the teaching hospital's four wards, though where the remaining bodies are is not yet revealed and is still queried.
The bodies were allegedly loaded in six Mercedes tippers and conveyed to the Mando burial ground where they were buried in a single grave in a span of about 6 hours. This process occurred on December 14th and 15th, within hours to a day of the massacres.
As the revelations come in, a very pertinent and perturbing question to ask is: who certified the 191 bodies picked up from the Army depot as being truly dead?
As a Medical Doctor, I know the complexity and protocol involved in determining a corpse as dead, legally and ethically. There have been numerous instances when persons have been certified dead and have later recovered; and these are even instances where Medical professionals did the certification; unlike if it was done by military officers and on the scale of the Zaria massacre and within the limited 'rush' time frame.
As an example in recent public record, after the deadly stampede during the 2015 Saudi hajj, it was stated that "some –pilgrims– were still alive and were merely knocked out, but –the– Saudis did not pay attention to their condition and piled up all bodies," and this made the number of deaths rise over the days following. There have been tons more instances across the world where people have been assumed dead and buried while yet alive.
Professionally and as a research scientist, I can confidently categorically state that several massacre victims were buried alive at Mando.
Knocked out persons in Zaria could have been believed to have been dead while they were only comatose in a state called "apparent death" and could have or did revive later only to die of shock, heart attack or asphyxiation due to inhalation and swallowing of sand in the mass grave or/and died of hypoxia.
A tonic immobility state would very possibly have happened in many of the victims which would have led to an erroneous assumption of death by the untrained military personnel in a hurry to bury the dozens of victims. Extreme fear as was a certain feature in the climate of the pommelling rocket, rapid fire, demolition and incendiary attacks that killed the hundreds of victims is a typical cause of tonic immobility 'apparent death' appearing state where the patient's muscles are in (motor) inhibition and he or she appears dead. Sexual assault and other episodes of disasters, natural and artificial lead to tonic immobility states. The Zaria massacre which was predominated these severe stressors would have been prime for many such tonic immobility occurrences on a large scale.
More troubling is the very likely possibility that many may have moved, groaned and even talked while being transported or being dumped, but considering the level of apparent disdain for the Islamic Movement and Shia Muslims exhibited by the Nigerian Military and Kaduna government, eager to 'bury' all evidence, without entertaining the thought of inviting the IMN or the families to come for their corpses, it can only be reasoned that those with life still in them were either snuffed off or buried alive knowingly.
In February this year when we discovered the mass graves at Mando, we wrote urgent articles begging the Nigerian authorities to immediately investigate the site, exhume the bodies and ascertain the state and nature of the victims. See: "Who Is Investigating The Mass Graves Found In Kaduna?," February 9, 2016. There was no response from the Kaduna government, military or Presidency.
As Amnesty has made the urgent call to President Muhammadu Buhari to mark the Mando burial ground a crime scene and has called on the Military to come clean on the massacre, revealing if there are any other sites and how many and where all victims are and other relevant matters, we believe when the bodies are exhumed it will be possible to determine if and how many of them might have been buried alive. This can be found for instance with the finding of sand and related elements in their respiratory passages, lungs and blood vessels and many other methods available to forensic medicine.
There is much that will be revealed as this horrific tragedy Nigeria witnessed slowly unravels. This is one more stain on the heart of Nigeria that we must pray the Good Lord forgives the nation of and has mercy on Nigeria for.
We empathize with the victims and pray they have some form of relief, knowing where their loved ones may be resting and that no matter how long it takes and how long delayed, we will continue to fight for justice and justice will be.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Mourners praying at site of Zaria mass grave.