By ADEOLA ADEROUNMU, Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘militants’

How The Nigerian Government May Have Sponsored And Financed Terrorism

By Adeola Aderounmu

When late Musa Yar Adua became the ruler of Nigeria in 2007 in one of the several disputed elections in Nigeria, one of his “achievements” was granting amnesty to the Niger Delta militants. His 6 or 7 points agenda including the vow to improve power supply never saw the light of the day.

The origin and the spread of militancy in the Niger Delta creeks are based on different arguments and different school of thoughts. The arguments are also influenced by political inclinations.

I know some people who earn their livelihood by taking dangerous sea trips to fish in Nigerian internal and territorial waters. Therefore what I know for certain based on eye-witness reports is that the militants became more “useful” when Obasanjo was aiming for his second term in office.

The allegations wrap Peter Odili in the game plan and the summary was that when the elections were over, the militants became more potent than ever before and also found new ways and tools to become more relevant than the pre-Obasanjo era.

The things that happened around that time would lend more credence to this narration from a close person. For, at that time in the history of Nigeria more people became aware of attack on national pipe-line and spate of kidnapping, first of expatriates and then of Dick, Tom and Harry.

When I was a young boy, at my early teenage years to be sure, I remembered that I swore never to step my feet on the soils of Northern regions of Nigeria. I think my opinion at that time was based on the news and images that I got about Northern Nigeria.

I started reading newspaper at the age of 8 and today I am still glued to my news-magazine subscriptions despite the availability of the internet and online news sources. So, I must have been well-informed about the “terrorism” of Northern Nigeria that came in different shades-religious, tribal wars and all sorts.

I remembered how I “worked” hard to make sure that my service year did not cross the borders of western Nigeria. I knew what I wanted and what I never wanted was to be part of the inexplicable madness of Northern Nigeria where my neighbour could be the one to slice my throat.

I envy those who went up north as the Northern images formed in my teen years is still with me and once I decided to leave Western Nigeria, it was on an international flight. If things were different-I would have been a good traveller not only across the world but also in my country of birth.

Nigeria got her independence in 1960. However, and so, so sad, Nigerians have not been able to successfully steer their country. As I prepare to send this story for publication, the signs became more ominous with the staggering internal rifes across different political parties.

You hardly hear of ideological debates. All you hear and see are egocentric views and mentally deranged arguments and struggles that show extremely low levels of human cognitivity. In summary, Nigeria is completely derailed and hope is lost.

From one government to another, impunity rose, corruption soar and the plundering of the country’s wealth by both people, local and international institutions and governments continue unabated. It appears the goal is to leave the country in an irreversible ruin.

Every time I write about Nigeria the intelligent questions haunt me and I don’t want to be the one to state that the largest accumulation of black people in the world resulted to one of the most useless forms of government on earth and an unbelievably resilient followership.

When Yar adua granted amnesty to the Niger Deltan militants, the signals were obvious. It appears that to be heard in Nigeria; you also have to be harmed. The militants gained access to government houses. Some of them got some of the best houses in Abuja and in their home states. Militants under Yar Adua became kings and lords.

When Goodluck Jonathan appeared, militants simply took over Nigeria. They got juicy government contracts and government appointments/jobs.

In short, as a militant, you can meet with the president easily compared to if you were a university professor trying to get a grant for a special research project. As a militant, you can get a scholarship award easier than if you are a hard working students with poor parents.

Over the years in Nigeria, mediocrity was lauded as a virtue. It grew with time and today you really have to be almost a “nonentity” to rise to position of power.

Aggression, violence and instruments of murder have been used to steer Nigeria for long and eventually these crimes came to the surface and became their “rule of law”. Good people became endangered species in Nigeria.

It was therefore easy for Boko Haram to rise. The origin of Boko Haram is still under debate especially considering the possible infleunce of foreign elements/powers. What is sure is that they became more prominent in the post-Yar Adua amnesty days.

Boko Haram may have existed when I made up my mind as a teenager not to step on the soil of the blood-spillers. They may have been their when the power hungry rulers of Northern Nigeria promised to make Nigeria ungovernable for Mr. Jonathan.

You see, in Nigeria treason is not even a crime. You can say these volatile words and walk free. You can annul and cancel elections and walk free. In the same way, you can rule anyhow and steal anyhow and nothing “go happen”. It is part of their rule of law.

Let us not be deceived by what appears to be the roles of established government worldwide in the rise and spread of terrorism. The Federal government of Nigeria will not be the first to directly or indirectly sponsor terrorism.

The role of the United States in the rise of Bin Laden’s led Al-Queda in Afghanistan are well documented. When Gadaffi of Libya became the target of the United States and NATO, terrorists were armed to aid the displacement and eventual murder of Gadaffi, just to mention a few examples. People are still studying the Syria scenario.

The now established terror groups in Northern Nigeria can partly be attributed to the failure of the various governments since 1960. Before 1999 the majority of the dictators and rulers of Nigeria were from Northern Nigeria.

They deliberately impoverished their people intellectually. They ensured that their people were educationally deficient so that the Northern elites will always have their ways among the ignorant populace. Today, the pay-back price is inestimable.

Ignorance is a disease. Northern Nigeria is that place that will go to war for events or happenstance that are not related or connected to Nigeria. When religious conflicts occur in other countries around the world, death tolls can be higher in Northern Nigeria than the affected countries themselves.

You will never find a greater cost for ignorance except the emergence of full-fledge terrorism itself. Northern Nigeria was a ready-made fertile ground for terrorism, thanks to dictators and thoughtless politicians from that area.

The militancy in the South of Nigeria followed a similar pattern. The governors of the oil rich states have over the years looted their people blind. What will remain inexplicable is how the looters and thieves from this region always have the backings of the people they steal from.

The Stockholm syndrome should be renamed the Nigerian syndrome. A situation where the people will defend or support their “thieving sons and daughters” should open a new area of research in human behaviour, psychology or anthropology based on the Nigerian examples.

Even the vocal leaders of the Niger Delta and those who served as ministers in federal and regional institutions like OMPADEC and NDDC ought to be brought to books. They coveted to themselves all the funds earmarked for the development of the Delta. They took from foreign coorporations and from state and federal government without accountability.

Therefore the fault is not only at the door steps of the unitary government headed by corrupt rulers since 1960. However it is well known that if the head is rotten, then the entire body is bad. That’s where the buck always stops at the door of the central government.

The Niger Delta militants are now waging “wars” that lack ideology. They have seen how “easy” it is to become super-rich and influential in government through the use of guns and gun-powders.

They have seen how their members have spread all over the world yet still siphoning amnesty funds like leeches and parasites. Oh! I hope I am not the only one who knows that militants at home and abroad earn more money every month that many teachers and professors labouring in Nigeria!

What these mostly non-combatant militants have not seen is the end to the spillage in their environment. What they have not seen and probably not looking forward to is the implementation of all the policies and promises that have been made by governments and agencies connected to the Delta.

They have grown to love the quick money and get rich anyhow style. Like their masters-the local chiefs and like the government of Nigeria, the future doesn’t count for them.

Truth is, for more than 50 years Nigerian rulers stole and carted away the treasures of Nigeria.

Truth is, everything was neglected including education, health and other simple basic infrastructure. Hence, in Nigeria, it actually ought to be a total war on bad governance. All patriotic Nigerians should actually be out there asking the government to surrender, pack and exit.

In Nigeria, the new full-grown terrorism and militancy are delayed responses to the now more than 50 years of absolute waste of independent status.

It appears that the 3rd generation of pro-independence Nigeria are also wasting away. With the spread of militancy and the popularity of terrorism, one can presume that knee-jerk responses on the part of Nigerian government have made these twin calamities into wars that the Nigerian military will not win.

The end may likely come when the system of governance change radically. Those who have tried to fight off terrorism in the absences of functioning governments and social justice always fail.

It’s been 53 years of stupid rulership. Leadership does not not exist in Nigerian politics or military dictatorships. Nothing (except corruption and vices like impunity) is working with the system of governance where the man at the center decides for the whole country.

This ineffective system of governance has rendered almost all Nigerian government institutions paralysed-they are places for self-enrichment and not performance.

With evidence starring at us daily, we see that the Police are corrupt, the Judiciary is corrupt, the ministries starting from the presidency in the federal system to the departments in the local countries are all means for self-enrichment and endless political hullabaloo.

Nigeria will benefit immensely from a sudden change of system of governance. This means that the unitary system of government needs to be abolished as soon as possible. Doing so will automatically punctuate the ambition of the Northern terrorists and their sponsors who seem to be making the capture of Aso rock their goal.

Nigeria can do without Aso rock by appropriately returning power to the regions. Most of the stupid intra- and inter-party wars lacking ideology will disappear with the change of the system of government.

Regional governments will restore the old Western Nigeria and the other recognised pre-independence regions with minimal frictions for re-adjustments.

The change of the system of governance will not return Nigeria overnight to the paradise it was in the olden days. It will serve as the first step among several other steps that are needed to start the long journey back to normalcy.

Citizen re-orientation programs which will include patriotism, dignity of labour, promotion of merits, top- level discipline, committment to job, family, community and nation/country are among the virtues that will be needed in the various regions that will be re-instated or reconstructed.

aderounmu@gmail.com

twitter @aderinola

Boko Haram and One Hell of a Country

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria will have to do a lot more on her immigration policy. Chadians and Nigerien infiltrating Nigeria and unleashing mayhem on Nigerians is completely unacceptable. Northern Nigeria is a ready-made fertile ground for jihadists and for once those who introduced the sharia system of government in Northern Nigeria are beginning to see the foolishness of their actions.

In the name of politics and political gains, the Northern states in Nigeria introduced the sharia system of governance which is contrary to what the national constitution stipulates. Nigeria is a secular country and the introduction of sharia under the Obasanjo administration is a very costly mistake. It was an act of madness which MUST be reverted as early as possible. Obasanjo did nothing to stop the foolishness and stupidity of the Northern Governors which incidentally include Yar’ Adua who is now ruling Nigeria after forcing his way to power through illegitimate elections.

Bokom Haram is the latest addition to the “hell” that Nigerians are going through. This is a national problem and the effects are profound in the North of Nigeria. The illegal immigrants from Chad and Niger and the massive pool of unemployed Northerners have now become a national emergency.

Bokom Haram would have to be wiped out literarily. I am sure of this. But the real battle will include addressing fundamental issues relating to the Nigerian constitution, education, social infrastructure and national orientation. What does the constitution say about religion and secularity?

When we have addressed the issue of returning the Northern States to normalcy, it will bring social justice and fairness to the various citizens esp Christians living in Northern Nigeria. I mean the south of Nigeria is still secular and no southern states have declared their territory Christian Nation. So if Nigeria is one country, there should be a way unify the country in an absolute manner. If the Northern States continue to have Sharia constitution, then Nigeria is definitely not one country. It will be an illusion to address her as such.

Religious crises are parts of the hallmarks of Northern Nigeria. Bokom Haram is the latest addition to the madness in Northern Nigeria. Over the years we have seen how Christians and other innocent citizens have been slaughtered for no reasons at all. There was a time a problem in far away Denmark led to the slaughtering of Christians in Northern Nigeria. To avoid a Miss World Show from being staged in Nigeria, Christians also paid with their lives. They were murdered by riots in Northern Nigeria.
The level of ignorance and illiteracy in Northern Nigeria is extremely high and shameful. This is the same Nigeria that has been ruled for several years by military men and civilians from Northern Nigeria. These rulers do not have plans to educate the civilians in the North, at least not to the standard that is obtainable in the East, South and West of Nigeria. This way the few privileged ruling class in the North can conveniently suppress the illiterate population. Worse still is the ease with which these illiterate populations are harnessed and used for religious and political violence and riots.

In this manner, the Bokom Haram found a fertile ground to infiltrate the vulnerability of the people and the states in the North of Nigeria. It is a sad situation. Years of neglect, underdevelopment and ineptitudes has caught up with the North. It has infected the entire country because everything is now slow and almost standstill. The country is almost entirely paralyzed due to strikes and inefficiency of institutions.

Due to the mentality of the illiterates and politicians from Northern Nigeria, I don’t know if it is possible to completely prevent religious riots or uprisings in Northern Nigeria. It is a very complex situation as ignorance is a real disease. But a few things can be done over the next few decades for the future of Nigeria.

Education should be given more attention. Massive and unprecedented efforts should be made to educate all the children born in Northern Nigeria and of course in Nigeria as a whole. Such an effort will minimize the high level of illiteracy and consequently ignorance about religion and religious tolerance. Civics should be taught in Nigerian schools. Tolerance, co-existence and the acceptance of other people’s views should be emphasized.

Imagine that 80% of the Manufacturing companies in Kano have closed businesses. Kano is the commercial center of Northern Nigeria. This means that probably millions of youth in the North are unemployed or idle. Urgent steps must be taken to address unemployment across Nigeria. Electricity is almost absent in Nigeria and this is affecting businesses. What is wrong with Nigeria? Electricity must be restored by all means so that business can come back to Nigeria. Individuals and private people also need electricity to do many things.

Provision of basic infrastructures ranging from housing to water and safe environment (in addition to the electricity mentioned above) is now even more than National Emergency. It is something that must be done NOW!


Mohammed Yusuf

Mohammed Yusuf KILLED

Mohammed Yusuf (www.bbc.co.uk)

Image from BBC

Detained Nigeria sect leader dead http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8177451.stm

Mohammed Yusuf has been killed in Police Custody. Extra-judicial killing?

Why the Price of Gas May Increase (Even More)

By Adeola Aderounmu

The activities of the Nigerian Militants have ensured that crude oil has almost stopped flowing in Nigeria. This means that tough days are ahead of Nigerians and the rest of us elsewhere in the world.

The pump price of gas may just continue to rise over the whole summer.

But in Nigeria the economy will suffer more dwindling fate. The cost of doing business will rise and the masses will pay more for transportation. Depending on the amount of reserves and the eventual severity of the situation, Nigerian workers must brace up for the worst.

This is the result of 49 years of absolute madness.

The illegal regime in Nigeria is working out an amnesty for the militants. It should actually be the other way round. The Niger Deltans should be the ones working out amnesty for the Nigerian govt and all the oil companies that have devasted the oil rich region. The govt should perhaps take a cue from SHELL that recently paid a token for some of its atrocities in the region.

The Nigerian government is one of the most corrupt in the world. Yar Adua is feasting and merrying with the most corrupt people ever known in Nigeria and he is telling us bullshits about the economy and he is committing genocide in the Niger Delta.

Yar Adua is a very corrupt man and he does not have the interst of Nigerians at heart. That is why he has surrounded himself with the likes of Ibori who has stolen all the money from the Niger Deltan people when he was a governor. Yar Adua has received loads of this money as a presidential candidate and it seems he is ready to get more and more. This is absolute madness and insanity.

In the meantime, Nigeria needs to go back to the days of old when Agriculture was our major earner of foreign exchange. We must stop depending on crude oil and we must stop destroying the environment in the Niger Delta. Until we focus and develop our agricultural systems/products, and until such a time that we remove all these looters who have destroyed the country by stealing more money than even what some african countries do have, we are not ready to move ahead in Nigeria.

Nigeria must also work hard to utilise the vast mineral deposits and resources in the country.

Nigeria’s Government WAR ON BLOGGERS and ACTIVISTS

Yar Adua’s government continues to arrest bloggers and activists. What kind of rubbish is that? Are we not free to express our opinions any longer?

I don’t understand why a civilian regime can undertake such a mission of arresting bloggers and activists. Are we under a military rule? Are we in the Stone Age when people are not free to express their opinions?

Yar Adua and his boys must be called to order. They must stop this mess. They should know that no one has the possibility to stop the flow of information and ideas. They must know that in this age of internet and advanced communication, there will be absolutely nothing they or anyone can do to stop BLOGGERS whether they like or hate the opinions expressed.

And if arresting, torturing, molesting or killing bloggers is what Yar Adua is telling the State Security Service to perpetrate, he is making one of the BIGGEST mistakes of his life. I have written before that this is one BATTLE he will NEVER win. NEVER!

My advice: Yar Adua should do his work and if he has no idea what he is doing, he should just get lost. We are tired of the molestation and harrassment. Leave Bloggers and Internet commentators alone.

Nonsense!

The mad militants; Nigerians killing Nigerians

Adeola Aderounmu

It is up to the federal government of Nigeria to acknowledge or deny the existence of the several wars going on in Nigeria. This is so because even the government itself is at war with the people. Imagine a country where the people, the ordinary masses cannot determine the state of affairs through the power of their votes. Imagine the country where the men and women who should be doing time in prisons continue to hold sway at the helm of governance albeit illegitimately.

Recently, women and children in some parts of the Niger Delta came out to vehemently protest the spate of kidnapping that had continued unabated. In our dear country, the security of individuals is not one of the responsibilities of the state. Instead, your safety and security are a function of how much care you can grant yourself both physically and spiritually.

The killings of Nigerians by Nigerians are usually never met by stiff condemnations. If an unpopular government sees itself to be at war with the ordinary citizenry, it will definitely care less if the citizenry turns fire on itself. Thousands of lives have been wasted in Nigeria under military and civilian dictatorships but life goes on, just like that! One can easily loose count of innocent citizens whose lives were prematurely terminated under the different regimes in Nigeria. The leadership under Obasanjo wiped away an entire community with its own hand. No one has been charged with genocide.

In Nigeria if you are very influential politically or economically, you can kill as many as you like and walk away free. No major breakthroughs have been achieved in the murder cases of senior citizens and big politicians in Nigeria. The list continues to grow as the chickens continue to eat the intestines of their kinds. It is sad then that the government (itself a killing machine in many ways) is not showing any concern or sign of awareness regarding the conversion of the Delta region into a major killing field in Nigeria.

The militants in the Niger Delta are not only kidnapping expatriates or indigenes in order to obtain ransom but are also on a daily basis sending tens of Nigerians to their early graves. The activities of the militants have been diversified and proliferated probably due to the emergence of hundreds (thousands maybe)of factions and counter factions in the Niger Delta.

On the 30th of May 2008, a cook on one of the shipping trawlers met his untimely death when he got hit by a stray bullet. What the militants do is that they approach trawlers in their own speed boats while shooting randomly at the same time. They stop the boats or trawlers; rip the occupants of major items, money and valuables. Sometimes at very close range, they gun down one or two occupants of the trawlers and disappear into thin air. If you are lucky, they give you only verbal warnings while they cart away valuables.

On a daily basis, lives are lost in this region. This type of news or information is not what you get on the pages of newspapers. You have to be affected one way or the other by this menace to know about it. I have a family member who is a marine engineer and this is his 20th year on African waters. Just to ensure that they conduct their business and fishing in normal way, the fishing companies have bribed and settled the major militant groups or warlords but out of insatiable greed some fresh factions would emerge from nowhere to make new demands and unwarranted incursions. The fishing entrepreneurs, marine engineers, sailors, fishermen, hustlers, casual workers and just ordinary Nigerians carrying on decent living are left perplexed and worried by this development. It has been going on for a long time.

The persistence of this menace is very worrying and like every other ill in Nigeria, it looks like another Nigerian problem that will last forever. The Nigerian Navy or coast guards are either helpless or irresponsible in this scenario. As an arm of the Nigerian defense, they are irresponsible. They cannot offer security to people doing legitimate businesses in their motherland. As fallout of the malady of the Nigerian state or federation, it is helplessness. Nigeria is definitely not a normal country.

The problems in the Niger Delta have been allowed to drag on for too long. It is now clear that the solutions to these problems are beyond the workings of any insensitive or illegitimate leadership steering the nation from in Abuja. For several years, the leadership in Nigeria has ignored the genuine plights of the Niger Delta masses. These genuine plights have now become fireballs which invariably have led to the unannounced but silent declarations of war on the larger Nigerian state.

The regional leaders, past and present governors in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria share larger portions of the blame concerning the troubled delta. They have contributed to making the region volatile, unstable and ungovernable. The winner takes all attitudes of our politics and politicians have deprived millions of Nigeria of decent existence. These deprived millions; about 90m to be sure, are voiceless and powerless. They are disenfranchised, suffering and smiling.

A fragment of these aggrieved souls found some voice and aggression; they possess firearms and ammunition (no thanks to politics, corruption and smuggling), they fight for what they thought they deserved. They are the supposedly true militants of the Niger Delta. Unfortunately, their struggles have been converted to armed robberies, arsons, senseless murders and an aggression turned towards the wrong set of people in the country. This message is clear; the disoriented and fragmented Niger Delta militants have now intensified their unannounced war on the rest of us instead of the people in power who continue to deprive them of their demands.

Related article: The Troubled Delta

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