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Are we now blaming the victim?

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Are We Now Blaming the Victim?

By Hassan Gimba

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile but is morally treasonable to the American public.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Last week, the Nigerian Army issued a statement on what in Naija terminology is called “Collabo”. The information was a warning to those “who collaborate” with Boko Haram. Coming in the aftermath of the unfortunate Zabarmari pogrom, in which scores of Nigerian rice farmers were slaughtered, one is left with the feeling that the statement might have been made with them in mind. An audio recording of an unknown man with unknown sources accusing the slain of being Boko Haram collaborators had gone viral immediately after.

A press release by the army said: “The Theatre Command, Operation LAFIYA DOLE has reliable information that despite the obvious implications and the dangers of collaborating with Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and other criminal elements in the society, some unscrupulous elements engage in it. The level of collaboration and support ranged from providing information and intelligence on troops and law-abiding citizens, (sic) to logistics supply and to trading with the terrorists. In particular, certain communities in the general areas of Benisheik, Jakana, Mainok, Magumeri, Gajiram and Gubio, all in Borno State, have been identified as harbouring these unpatriotic and heartless criminal elements. This account (sic) for high level of terrorists activities and general insecurity that results in casualties in those areas. “Consequently, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE wishes to inform all those involved in these dastardly acts to stop it forthwith. Anyone caught will face the full wrath of the law as we will not tolerate anyone sabotaging our concerted counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts through collaboration with the Boko Haram terrorists. We may also be compelled to come out hard on any community or groups that support or collaborate with terrorists in any way or form or act as a buffer or harbour zone to these criminals.”

Collaborators, you say? But who is a collaborator and under what circumstances can he be termed a collaborator? What is even “collaboration”? Collaboration could be positive or negative, but the army is talking about collaboration as “traitorous cooperation with an occupying enemy”.

You see, I am totally against any traitor of our fatherland. We should all put the country first before any human being or earthly interests because, in reality, our country is what we are bequeathing our children and our children’s children. No matter how many houses or how much money you leave for them, they become nothing without the land. Ask the children of Iraqi or Libyan millionaires during the reigns of Saddam and Ghaddafi whether they are now enjoying their wealth in their war beleaguered nations.

Since I am for patriotism, I also believe it is up to the nation not to give the citizen any excuse to be unpatriotic. No everyday citizen who is sure the government has his back will collaborate with his country’s enemies. Here, I am not talking of women of easy virtue, some even married, who often leave town to go to the bushes to wet the loins of marauders. I am not talking about those who send information to outlaws or engage in any activity with them with pecuniary gains in mind. No. I am speaking of the hapless citizens under the suzerainty of the rebellious.

Let us take the people of some areas in the North West who are forced to go through checkpoints operated by Boko Haram in bandits’ toga on their way to the markets or their homes or their farmlands. If these people had where to go to, they would have since fled to that haven. They, therefore, find themselves living side by side with the bloodthirsty outlaws. The latter would not hesitate to slaughter them at the drop of a coin.

Those responsible for dislodging the undesirables have not done so. The people have witnessed their friends and family members slaughtered, and nothing has changed except for the usual condemnations and empty promises from certain quarters. The occupiers of their lands continue living unchallenged. What, for God’s sake, do you expect these luckless villagers to do? Report to the appropriate quarters, someone said. But you report what is not known. The concerned quarters all know and understand what is happening yet they have not taken any necessary measures.

Do you think if these people, who live large and man checkpoints and collect taxes, go to markets and collect taxes, collect fees before they allow farmers to farm, ask the villagers to cultivate the land for them, the villagers can refuse? Put yourself in the villagers’ shoes before answering.

In these villages, people seek permission from these bandits before any wedding ceremony. The devils can also come to a wedding gathering and demand for the bride to be given to them. Anyone who refuses does so at the cost of his life. It was in the news just about two weeks ago that they went to a man and asked him to ‘lend’ them his daughter for a week. The man had to comply because no one could save him from this humiliation. Even if there was, who would come to his aid? In any case, would he have had the chance to go and report? Okay, the news later filtered out, what is the authority doing to give justice to this debased father?

Now, what do you call these people if you want to be fair, objective and just? Those forced to work – any form of work – for these occupiers or the man who “loaned” them his daughter? Collaborators? If they are, what do you call the Chibok girls married to Boko Haram commanders? All these belong to the category of those whose father could not save them even if they spit in the eye of the devil.

You see, this is the similar situation the Zabarmari rice farmers and many communities in Borno find themselves in. Living in Boko Haram occupied territory calls for tact to survive. There are other areas in Borno where the Boko Haramites hold sway – lording it over villagers – and those who should know know, but they have done nothing about it.

Many communities in the North East, North West and of course the North Central are under siege by either Boko Haram or its alter ego, the bandits. I have always maintained that they are the same foot soldiers of some sinister puppeteers. Unfortunately, there seems to be “shyness” in revealing these puppeteers. We have had countless arrested culprits of both groups. Either they get “deradicalised” and released into society, only to return to their old ways, or nothing is heard of them again. All our security agencies are supposedly trained in debriefing, and yet sponsors have not been unearthed. We are getting overwhelmed by them, yet it is a taboo to cry out over our deficiencies. Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, demoted for lamenting over the lack of weapons to prosecute the war can tell you what a taboo is and what it is not.

It is instructive when the army said, “We may also be compelled to come out hard on any community or groups that support or collaborate with terrorists in any way or form or act as buffer or harbour zone to these criminals.” Do you think there is any Boko Haram infested or bandit flooded community that will not welcome the army with open hands and hearts? Who do you think loves living in fear and humiliation under marauders where living is brutal, activities nasty and life cheap? No matter how much we cry, a safe Nigeria where peace and justice reign is what we want.

But instead, politicians use them to bait gullible voters by promising to “reveal sponsors” when elected only to continue with accusations when in office. Ordinary citizens bent on exonerating their idols accuse, without any evidence, from nations to individuals and other countries’ leaders. However, we should know that the fish that is forethoughtful can never regret: the fish that saw its water getting shallow escapes to deeper water. At the same time, those that lived for the moment perished as a result of drought.

But which part of the country is safe? Travelling is at the traveller’s risk. Agreed there are security challenges all over the world. Yes, there are killings all over the world. However, there is none like ours across the globe. High crime is becoming routine, and if we do not apply the brakes, none of us knows how he will end. It will be unfortunate if we fail to do something urgent and thorough. This is because we will hand over a dysfunctional land to our children even though our fathers handed us a functional one.

It is high time we prioritised the sanctity of life and truth in this country. It is getting to a stage where killers, kidnappers and all sorts of pillagers run amuck at will. A story goes that a man in a part of a Nigerian town called a friend at the other end to warn him that gunshots are being heard in his area. The friend told him not to worry, saying, “there is talk that it is kidnappers taking their victim”. Truth from government officials is necessary for people to trust their government. We were told a long time ago that Boko Haram had been defeated. Later it was amended to “technically” defeated. We were then told their attacks were the last kicks of a dying horse. We were told the Boko Haramites held no territory and on the run. Still, the slaughtered people of Zabarmari, some 20 kilometres out of Maiduguri, were accused of not obtaining clearance before venturing to their farms.

By the way, can’t the federal government enact a law to the effect that for any criminal arrested with an unregistered SIM card or for any crime perpetrated in which an unregistered SIM card was used for communication, the network provider should be sanctioned? Such ideas might be considered undemocratic. However, Joseph Goebbels once said: “It will always be one of the best jokes of democracy that it gives its deadly enemies the means to destroy it.”

Hassan Gimba

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The alarming rate of drug abuse in Nigeria. By Gaji Ahmed 12/12/2020 The Alarming Rate Of Drug Abuse Among The Youth and The Old And Its Consequences On National Development, Peace And Stability….. Drug abuse is one of the major social upheaval in contemporary age, it has created wide range of problems that has became a nightmare to the entire world. Governments across the world spent Billions of Dollars in combating the menace, sadly, there are powerful people who are behind the carnage, those people are well connected and extremely rich, in fact, the issue of drug abuse has posed a potential threat to the entire humanity. The alarming rate of increase in drug abuse is a cause for concern, normally, young people were the category of people known for such activities, nowadays, the trend has gone beyond imagination and redemption. Different class of people are known to be abusing substances, regardless of class, age, gender, status and hierarchy, it depends on the level of people income, the higher the income,, the higher the category of the substance, the lower the income, the lower the category of the substance. Cocaine, morphine,crack and other expensive drugs are for the well to do,while marijuana, codeine, tramadol and other related substance are for the low income earners. It is sad to note that an old man of over 70 years of age engage in substance abuse, so also women and children. Syrup abuse is the commonest substance use by students, especially women. Last year, it was reported in the nations major Newspapers that, each day, over 3 Million bottles of codeine syrup are abused in Kano state alone, in fact, it was a pathetic revelation which need serious action from all angle. Another painful story is that of young women who steal in order to buy the substance, just yesterday, Nafdac said, 70% of trycle riders in kano state abuse drugs. In such situation, nobody is safe, because accident is imminent. NDLEA has recorded substantial success in the fight against drug abuse and sell, yet, the trend is persisting on daily basis, due to the increase in prices of substance, the youth resorted to highly risk and fatal ways of abusing substance, for instance, lizard dung, latrine and other unhealthy methods are the latest way of self satisfaction by the abusers. Recently, according to a report,,young men in Indonesia boil menstrual pads and drink in order to get high, what a madness! Jenki, slow and other similar drugs are common in black market. The danger of abusing mind bending substance is a threat to our collective well-being, it will slow development, create instability, chaos and monumental health challenges to the nation. Government should devise a strategy in order to curb the threat of substance abuse and agencies like NDLEA, NAFDAC and related bodies should be adequately funded and empowered, so that healthy growth,, peace and stability will be achieved. Most of the ongoing crisis in our nation and other nations were deeply influenced by substance abuse. The time to act is now, or else the nation will plunge into a national disaster that will have a fatal consequences

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Opinion

So who is delaying APC National convention?

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So who is delaying APC National Convention?

By Yusuf Ali

Recently, I read hilarious articles by fifth columnists within the APC rank warning Governor Mai Mala Buni the APC Chairman Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) not to contemplate extension of the party’s National Convention. Its quite unfortunate, this clandestine fifth columnists are now involve in acts of sabotage, disinformation and espionage executed within defense lines by a secret symphatizers working with external forces.

In their delusionary grandeaur, its not surprising, therefore, that these saboteurs have chose to deliverately deny the enormous task before the National Caretaker Committee and all the good things its doing so far to reposition the party for greatness as they went about pre-empting that the Committee is extending tenure when its not.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? It’s clear that some people wants us to go for National Convention without proper planning, irregularity and divided house so they can have their way to further destabilize the party as they have proved to us that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing masquerading as progressives, and there are indications that there are many wolves flooding into APC with sheep’s clothing and who may swallow the Shepherd’s that are determined to protect the national flock. Tufiakwa.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? Its funny that some say and write stupid things like “Gov Buni wants to perpetuate himself in power enjoying the national office”. This is utterly foolish, absurd, senseless and a preposterous tale. Those people should be reminded that Gov Buni is a sitting Executive Governor of Yobe State with all the powers and privileges in office.

For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Buni does not live on the money of the party neither does he earn salary, its only sitting allowances and most of this money are given out to party supporters anyway. It is also important to note that the National Secretary and other members of the committee are also gainfully employed and busy. So, no one is jobless.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? Its not the Caretaker Committee that extended its ongoing membership registration/revalidation and update exercise for three weeks to keep the job. According to the APC National Secretary John Akpanudoedehe, Its the audit of the reports received from the National Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee; the States’ Registration Committees; and that of the party situation room indicated that most states, for varied reasons, started late and require additional time to conclude the exercise.

The party’s decision was also sequel to the avalanche of applications from critical stakeholders including all states Caretaker Chairmen for an extension of time to capture Nigerians who are still desirous of joining the fold of the progressives.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee under the able leadership of Hon. Mai Mala Buni had done everything possible to keep to the earlier timeline, however, it has become imperative to extend the duration of this very important party activity to produce authentic membership register for the party.

The Forum Chairman of APC States Chairmen, Hon Ali Bukar Dalori has said that the ongoing exercise has tremendously increased the membership base of the party since the exercise began and has continued to increase as the exercise progresses. Dalori stated: “After the conduct and conclusion of membership registration/revalidation exercise we urgently call for the immediate conduct of congresses and convening of the national convention; and to allow for the completion of all other tasks assigned to the committee by NEC within the time frame.”

He noted that the ruling party has seen tremendous turnout of Nigerians and the mass increase in the party strength in the last few months.

The forum stressed that it was only proper that the party allows the exercise to progress to the best of conclusion.
It said immediately after the commencement of the exercise, members saw the need for an extension to accommodate the second stage of the exercise in view of the mass turnout of Nigerians to associate with the party that was not duly prepared for.

The forum added that having reviewed the development and making arrangements for requisite materials to accommodate all into the fold of the party, hence, the need for further extension has logically arisen.
Dalori noted: “Due to logistics bottleneck and the complexity of the distribution process of registration materials, a number of State only received the materials to commence the second phase of the registration exercise not too long ago, and we therefore not be able to meet up with the reviewed schedule timetable of the exercise without denying so many willing citizens the opportunity to join with the party.”

The forum pointed out that the exercise so far has provided a prelude to what is to be expected in all future elections in Nigeria. It stressed that with the turnout of Nigerians to identify with the party, it was certain that the trust of Nigerians in the party remain unwavered and just like projected, it will continue into the next decades to provide the needed leadership to the country as the party in power, not only at the center but in almost all the states of the federation.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? The serious and hard working Governor Buni-led Caretaker Committee is only waiting for the conclusion of the revalidation/registration of members exercise by the state chapters of the party before planning for the national convention. The party is not in a hurry to hold its convention, as rushing into its congresses could lead to mistakes and fuel litigations and factionalization.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? When the Caretaker Commitee is doing everything humanly possible to meet the deadline. They stand by the mandate given to it by the NEC. The Committee members are all gentlemen. They cannot liar to Nigerians. There is nothing like dilly-dally. If there is a need to do anything including the tenure extension, they will go to the National Executive Committee (NEC) the party’s highest decision making body to approve their request. There is nothing
unconstitutional. Everything is now done with decorum, fairness, justice and according to the mandate of the Committee.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? There are so many things that needs to properly put in place before the convention. We are talking of over 30 million registered members that needs to be properly check to ensure that the data and materials provided by members were verified by the party after the exercise has been concluded. This is a herculean task and it must be done.

So who is delaying APC National Convention? The fifth columnists and co saboteurs. May Allah protect Gov Buni and his Committee members from the enemy within to deliver on their mandate.

Yusuf Ali
Media Officer
APC Headquarters Abuja

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Opinion

Buni’s Administration Impacting Positively On The Life Of The People

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Buni’s Administration Impacting Positively On The Life Of The People 
By Haruna Yusuf 
Yobe state, a society with a rich history, with sons and daughters who have excelled and continue to excel in all fields of endeavour within the country and in many parts of the world, an agrarian state with huge potentials, was a shadow of herself, until Buni came-in as the democratically elected governor of the state, then, agriculture took a right turn when he triggered   revolution on the sector. Yobe and Borno are among the states respected in the country and beyond because of her contributions to national development. 
The choice of Buni by Yobeans is the best thing that ever happened since the creation of Yobe state, the people now know what democracy is all about, the dividends has cut across the state and Buni’s actions has changed the face of democracy completely in Yobe state. Most people, young and old now wake up daily to have work to do and earn their daily living. 
Yobe happens to be an agrarian state that made the governor to trigger a revolution in the agricultural sector and beyond, he worked aggressively by even partnering with the kingdom of Morocco to get Yobe back to reckoning by creating wealth and new jobs within the sector, by assisting farmers to overcome the challenges of assets, training, infrastructure, financing and access to markets through the following: a) Large-scale mechanized commercial farming, the wider application of modern technology and the production of high quality and value-added products.b) The complete value (cultivation, harvest, processing, packaging and marketing) among others. 
Governance in Yobe state, under the determined leadership of Gov. Buni, now known as “promise made and kept” it is no more a pleasure ride, it is serious business minds, look at yobe, besides the facts. 
Buni is busy tapping opportunities from FG and canvassing for foreign investors to partner with the state to bring development and job opportunities to all and sundry. 
Right from his first day at work, he has kept his eyes on the ball and kept it rolling, not once has he lost sight of his government call and task despite his national assignment. He has so far, tapped opportunities with various investors home and foreign and brought investment and development to the state in all ramifications. 
It is not always easy to work with a “workaholic” governor, whose main requirement is competence plus, ‘doing the extra miles in achieving the set goals and objectives” like, always a broken record, the governor could be heard saying, that, education is the greatest social equalizer” as he believes in providing access to educational opportunities especially to the children of the poor and low income families, he institutionalize the scholarship programme. 
If you can vividly remember, on his assumption of office, the first and bold step he took was to declare state of emergency on education sector, he know the dilapidated state of schools across the state and the epileptic learning and environment. 
Buni’s led administration has proven itself to be an all-inclusive government by carrying everyone along irrespective of tribe, religion or political inclination. His government has tremendously achieved in delivering so much in education, health, Agriculture, infrastructure, security and above all, job creation, he meant total transformation and also, inline with his campaign slogan of continuity and consolidation and more. Yobe state cannot but remain memorable with how Buni’s transformational agenda is piercing through all the nooks and cranny of the state. 
Even with the two magnitude projects of Sunday market in Damaturu and the Trailer Transit Park in potiskum will turn the fortune of yobeans around and topple with the Cargo Airport, it will automatically make the state envious. The beginning of the end of unemployment and wealth creation has just emerged and yobe will indeed become a shinning example of what governance should be at all levels. 
Gov. Buni also noted that, the move reflects the policy of his administration to provide quality and affordable housing to the people of his state. Inline with the united nations sustainable development goals,( SDGs) we believed that affordable housing is key marker of social progress when the people have comfortable accommodations, they are more likely to have the right frame of mind to engage in meaningful socioeconomic activities, he built 3600 housing unit that cut across the state.
There are facts on people’s opinion about Buni’s transformational agenda, some are rating him the best governor that Yobe has ever got. Buni always say, this state belongs to all of us, together we shall take yobe to a greater glory, irrespective of tribe, religion status or political affiliation, we always seek the prayers, support and cooperation for easy steering of the state ship to the promised land of abundant opportunities and greatness.  

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Grand Coalition For zulum Borno State, Rejoices With Prof Over The Deserving Award Of Alumnus Of The Year

The emergence of the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor (Engr.) Baba Gana Umara Zulum, MNI, as the University of Ibadan Alumnus of the year in their semi-centennial occasion did not come as a surprise to us, particularly in Borno State.
Prof. Zulum has dedicated his life in providing succor to the people of Borno State even before he became a Governor in the 2019 General Elections. His sterling leadership qualities, distinguished service to the State and the country at large as well as personal his accomplishment in the academia and service to humanity earned him this well-deserved award from the prestigious University of Ibadan.
In view of the above, I am calling on well meaning Nigerians, particularly the youths to emulate his dedication to duty and leadership qualities in taking Nigeria to the Promised Land. Thus, I hereby rejoice with His Excellency the Executive Governor of Borno State and the good people of the state on this well deserved award.
Dr. Ali Bakari
Coordinator, Grand coalition for Gov. Zulum

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