AVANDE GARDE, CAUSE CÉLÈBRE


(A very famous trial ahead of fashion)


“Wake up, you’re dead.
What says your plea?”
“Pray, I am in bed.
You come and flee.”

“Arise, you sleep not.
Your dreams all end.”
“Pardon, my reason is rot.
I am no fiend.”

“I ask not for I know.
State your stewardship?”
“To those above I, I bow.
For those beneath I, I reap.”

“Did they smile above,
Were they glad beneath?”
“With every pain I solve,
With every single breath.”

“What of all the lands
And all that is of it?”
“With my mind and hands
I cared for every bit.”

“What of I, thy Lord?
Did thee walk My path?”
“I knew not only one word,
Couldn’t tell lie from fact.”

JUDAS, PETER


In faith I betray.
My faith I fail to say.
I put cost to my trust.
Mine in fear I just lost.

Silver pieces I sowed.
An ear my dagger mowed.
Son of man amidst us I show.
Son of God amongst us grow.

The master I so truly know.
To His end I didn’t follow.
One of the dozen chosen.
A special place I was given.

I failed myself not He.
It was as it was to be.
And my life I chose to kill.
After tears, I humbled my will.

IDOLS


The patience of man
Had over many ages
Given to his own land
Births of many images.

It has made gods
Of so many symbols;
Earthly made rods,
Also celestial balls.

In his long wait
His patience creates
Answers that relate
Only to his state.

The clouds of reason
Cover his horizons;
Make a sky season,
Or mystic masons.

Sight is so deceptive
That it can tilt a view,
Halo any perspective
With inspired preview.

Man looks around
And sees such beauty,
Beyond any he found
Or his own humanity.

In his natural urge
He pays respects to
Visions and courage,
Where honour isnt due.

In his all human way,
He puts faith in those
He comprehendsll stay;
Idolizing his very nose.

SHOWN OFF



Sorry bro, if you haven’t guessed it yet,
and if you doubt it you’ll lose this bet.
There is an ongoing assault on your senses,
and it mainly targets your viewing lenses.

Ladies make sure you see their goods,
those curvy naughty goody foods.
They test your resolve to be normal,
teasing to resist their mean abnormal.

SINGLED OUT


Found out amidst the threshing stones,
sort out of the cupboard of bones.
Where the situation was doctored
fell out that one not to be mastered.

Revenge consumes like any fire
and depends on sentimental air.
An action sought to set any aside
is vengeful if reason and sense coincide.

When anybody is singled out
the stone-casters dance about,
exposing ignorance and malice;
ironically with the drummers piece.

MONEY AND THE MISER


Spend me! You miserable clot,
So I can travel, visit and just be.
Have I not uplifted all your lot
With my coming and swelling sea?

Ha! See what is talking here;
Another creation grown astray.
Has making you collect near
Lost its purpose as any way?

I have existed so long before,
Making many, long before you.
Hadn’t my might sown more
Fright in you than you’ll rue?

My fear of you doesn’t keep,
That is why you I do amass.
How trivial your might heap
Just like any furniture was?

I taste the air men breathe,
Inhaled in its life and gasped.
Hasn’t the ease I could knit
Warm skeletons all trapped?

I don’t lodge or host guests
And don’t burden any to host.
Haven’t I seen your requests
Send errands until they’re lost?

I plunge in a lake all humble,
Help will come and does drown.
Had not man’s urge so trouble
His lust for his own crown?

Then I’ve unraveled your plot,
So with me you’re ever sunk.
I’ll keep man’s own twin clot.
After all, arent you precious junk?

THE SPOUSE

The spouse is the chosen partner;
either by craft, design or choice.
Becoming indeed a legal partner,
regardless of thought or noise.


No other legal relative is such,
not even the adopted children.
For they never share that much,
not in bodily or geno brethren.

Spouses come to a disadvantage,
one that timelessly edges it on.
Success makes it an advantage,
failure casts it good in rusty iron.

Spouse is a lengthy subscription,
one that needs constant renewal.
Spouse is one true legal relation,
in danger of instant withdrawal.


JUST THIS ONCE


Truthfully none lives all alone,
But dead as alive all has none.

The words we are saying now, found us somewhere we know.

Our thoughts are always near, holding us captive right here.

REBIRTH

Everything is chaos
that comes to a head.
Like life is not yours,
if it owns you instead.

The parent of logic
is simply knowledge.
What’s certainly tragic,
is all life is in bondage.

IMMORALITY

Time is a precious commodity,


one we cannot create but waste.

How we use every opportunity,

determines our enduring taste.

The fabric of every community,

makes up it’s content and state.

When a people lose their sanity,

old men rule like boys in haste.

THE 411 IS 404

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?

While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.

After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!

LIVING

Living is a trip that keeps going.
Daily it comes, always it’s going.

It is peopled, hectic, never cozy;
Fares as pests all quite naughty,
Only it’s tiny stops are a bit rosy.

Picture from @xinorino

January 15, 1966

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The last official public function of Nigeria’s first and only elected Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the commissioning of the River Niger Bridge linking Asaba with Onitsha. After which;
“On December 19, 1965 he (Balewa) went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe’s “Palace of the People” Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs. Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before.

Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave.”

The Prime Minister was briefly in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 4, 1966 before returning to Lagos.Despite the fact that Sir Balewa was a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, he was a modest person who had throughout his life led a Spartan and ascetic lifestyle. He owned only 2 private residences in Bauchi and Kaduna and a 50 acre farm near his hometown of Tafawa Balewa.

His personal integrity was unassailable, yet in Lagos as Prime Minister he headed a government that glossed over the proven corrupt practices of its apparatchiks for the sake of political expediency;
“The NCNC parliamentary leader and Minister of Trade, Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe was caught using his office to divert a government land at Ijora Causeway to his private company Afro Properties and Investment Company since 1961. He then assigned the land lease to Nigerpool in return for a hefty annual profit. The discovery generated another media-exposed corruption scandal.

The Prime Minister met privately with Babatunde Jose, the editor of the powerful Daily Times spearheading the intense campaign to remove the corruption extremist if he declined to resign. Mbadiwe never bothered. Sir Balewa told the editor: “You want me to remove this man? What he did fell below what is proper. Under British standards, he would go, but the NCNC who put him in my original coalition are solidly for him. Its central working committee had just passed a unanimous vote of confidence in him. If they withdraw, since Awolowo can’t join, the [coalition] government will collapse.’”No doubt during the First Republic there were numerous signs and symptoms of rapid democratic decay against the background of massive political corruption.

The bloody events of January 15, 1966 did not just happen in some vacuum. By January 15, 1966 our nation was a disaster waiting to happen as there was a noticeable buildup towards chaos as noted by declassified US diplomatic cables which clearly stated how our nation had got to a level of; “Very complicated African politics, in which tribes, religions and economics all play a part, are involved in the situation. The Northern Premier is at odds with the Eastern Premier in whose region large oil deposits have been discovered. In the heat of the election campaign, there have been threats of secession by the East; threats of violence that would make Congo look like child’s play.”The American cables were about the intense political rivalry at the highest echelons of government;
“Following the controversial Federal Election of December 1964, ceremonial President Azikiwe of the NCNC, refused to invite Prime Minister Balewa of the NPC to form a government and issued orders mobilizing the Army to enforce his authority to suspend the government, annul the elections and appoint a temporary interim administrator to conduct elections.

However, the oath of allegiance of the officer corps was not only to the Commander in Chief but also to the government of Nigeria. The Army Act (#26 of 1960) and the Navy Act (#9 of 1960) were also clear on lines of authority and control.While the Army and Navy were “under the general authority” of the Defence Minister in matters of “command, discipline and administration”, the authority for operational use and control was vested in the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. President Azikiwe and the service chiefs were so advised by the Chief Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Thus the Navy Commander, Commodore Wey politely told the President that the Navy (under him), the Army (under Major General Welby-Everard) and the Police (under Louis Edet) had decided to refuse his orders. After a week of cliff hanging tension, in which the military stood aside, a political compromise was eventually reached and a government of “national unity” formed under Prime Minister Balewa.” Was Dr. Azikiwe privy to the January 15, 1966 coup?There was also the political collateral damage of;
“Operation Banker’, a joint Army-Police operation in the Western region, led by then CO, 4th battalion, Lt. Col. Maimalari, allegedly at the behest of the pro-NPC regional Premier (Akintola) culminating in the declaration of a state of emergency in May 1962 after a fracas in the House of Assembly and the appointment of an administrator.

Interestingly, the General Staff Officer at the Army HQ in charge of Intelligence was none other than Captain Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu who, as a Major, was later to play a key role in the coup of January 1966 in which Maimalari lost his life.”This politicization of the military led to; “The arrest on September 22, 1962 and subsequent imprisonment of the opposition leader, Chief Awolowo, on suspicion of planning a civilian overthrow of the government. It was alleged that 300 volunteers were sent to Ghana for 3 weeks militia training.”
Interestingly; “The last interview granted to the magazine ‘West Africa’, by the late Prime Minister Balewa on January 14, a few hours to his death, went like this:
Question: Do you see the solution as taking the form of a coalition government in the West?

Balewa: Yes, it would have to be that …The Action Group has accepted my mediation, but the NNDP has asked for more time. If I use real force in the West – and make no mistake about it, I haven’t yet – then I could bring the people to their knees. But I don’t want to use force like that. Force can’ t bring peace to people’s hearts.
Question: Would you consider the release of Chief Awolowo as part of a political solution of the West’s troubles?

Balewa: I think that might be part of it; yes, obviously we would have to see.
This interview was not published until January 29, 1966.”
Little did Sir Balewa know that the political end game of the January 15, 1966 mutineers was to release then opposition leader, Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison and install him as head of a national unity government. Chief Awolowo has never confessed to being privy of the coup attempt though the official documents containing the details of what actually happened and how 54 years ago are still classified.May the souls of Sir Balewa and that of all those that lost their lives on January 15, 1966 continue to rest in peace.

LIKE IT OR NOT

To avoid being quite sorry,
it’s always prudent to worry.
Not just for the tiny bit thing,
but to also laugh, cry or sing.

Good are also ugly and bad;
and can turn fair moods sad.
Most friends’re opportunistic,
indeed their needs are mystic.

IN THEIR SHOES

Common is the expression;
not quite the true situation.
Rare does the circumstance,
fit the damned consequence.

Whenever the setting changes;
timid viewers face challenges,
same fashion commentators
will become eating predators.

#poem
#poetry

SKELETONS ABOUND

Skeletons still in the cupboard,
are still new, across the board.
Just a step into the near past,
reveals old habits always last.

Tombstones mark old cruelties;
hidden, mean, untold mysteries.
Looks are most deceptive tools, lying to the most gullible fools.

CHANGING TIMES

How the times have changed
and their days have managed
to turn our thrones into pulpits
our peaceful abodes into pits.

Mere words now make violence;
sacred scripture praise offence.
Social media taints knowledge,
as our youth mirror our tutelage.

#poem

PRISM

Times have aged into a routine;
one weaned, not born by cooks.
Money now owns worship’s sin,
as many heros become crooks.

Todays’ are yesterdays’ whores,
all their victories liken abortions.
All gains reach emptied shores;
laurels are prismatic emotions.

TIMELY STROLL

Time never stops in its track;
It will grow, age, dry or fly off,
But never ceases, end or lack.

Each time rolls in its moments;
Strolling by in its miserly bluff,
Daring all to enjoy its torments.

Picture from @kc_clancy

FUTURE SOLDIERS ON

We walk in steps, fits and starts,
Come and go like beatin’ hearts,
Pacing back, forth, yet onwards;
Winning battles, losing all wars.

Life drills all as an erring soldier,
Demands as needs never older,
For the future soldiers on bolder.

SOLDIER’S WISH

Waiting patiently for the nights
when we sit, raise our glasses,
toast trigger fingers’ heights,
gun powder and saves asses;
over our chilled whiskey shots,
brag about our notable shots.
We won’t lock horns with evil;
for not forever reigns the devil.

We might clatter like pawns
across their Chess boards,
as their domination quests runs.
But at some point it surely burns
and we won’t fall or die off.
For angels far away from here,
wait to shine feathers enough,
to spread wings with all of us;
Once this is over for ours & us.

Picture from @hify_2

CAN’T WAIT

Can’t wait to be felt and noticed. Can’t wait to be seen and heard;
To be right here acknowledged.

When not if, a certain constant,
As I stand out in this moment.
For what is now is my current.

Picture from @oj_deji

THERE ARE COWS & THERE ARE COWS

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

These are Wagyu cattle from which the most expensive beef in world comes from in Japan.

They are arguably the most pampered of domesticated animals, because their daily routine consists of regular massages, beer drinking, baths and listening to relaxing music.

It is believed by herdsmen over there, such delicate care helps to keep the highly priced beef known as “Kobe” so tender.

Meanwhile, other cattle, in you know where, are raised against the backdrop of Rat-ta-ta music of AK 47 gunfire.

With more civilized herdsmen, Denmark is not left out as
a group of students of the Scandinavian School of Cello dropped by to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Pezzo Capriccioso” to the delight of a herd of classical music loving cows.

Do not ask me if the following day milk production reached all time high. It did!

Meanwhile, over here the Rat-ta-ta…..Kwantinues.

Simply put –

Garbage in, Garbage out!

40 YEARS AGO!

Copied

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ᴀғʀᴀɪᴅ ᴏғ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.

……………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.

………………………………….

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴇᴀsʏ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ɪᴛ ɪs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ɪs sᴏ ᴇᴀsʏ.

…………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴡᴇ ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴛᴏ ᴏᴜʀ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs.

…………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴠɪʟʟᴀɢᴇʀs ᴡᴇʀᴇ ғʟᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪᴛʏ ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴊᴏʙs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴏᴡɴ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ғʟᴇᴇɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ CITY ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇ.

………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғᴀᴛ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴅɪᴇᴛs ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ.

………………………………….

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ʀɪᴄʜ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ ᴀʀᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʀɪᴄʜ.

…………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ᴡᴏʀᴋᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡʜᴏʟᴇ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴏɴᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.

……………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴜᴅʏ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ʙᴏᴏᴋs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ғᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡʜᴀᴛsᴀᴘᴘ ᴍᴇssᴀɢᴇs.

40 YEARS AGO WAS 1980,

WHICH SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!

Hard ғᴀᴄᴛs of ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ’s ʟɪғᴇ.

GENERATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Don’t hate, observe and understudy instead

Devoid of sentiments, without sanctimonious grandstanding and negative profiling apart, tell me how the Indomie generation of Thank you Daddy can withstand this kid in future?

If truth be told, any kid that can command this kind of thunderous herd is way ahead in strategic thinking and tactical response of his peers. Shoes? He doesn’t need any. His stick is his keyboard and mouse for now.

Let us face it, dominating any environment is a mindset that must be cultivated early. This kid is not chauffeured to school. He is not on Social Media neither does he flip through DSTV channels. By the time he goes to school he doesn’t have to drop his CV anywhere.

Many Nigerians have so much modernized that we have abandoned the ethnic rites of passage for our young. The Fulani naturalis have not. They don’t abandon culture.

This kid doesn’t speak English but can effectively communicate with his herd. He can read their mind and decode their mood. He is already taking charge. His mates are still crying Mummy.

This kid might not be able to read and write but he is a natural GPS that can navigate without map reading. He can sniff rain days ahead and sense danger miles away. He doesn’t have to Google pasture. He is an ecological encyclopedia.

This kid’s swagger is earned.
Insult, deride and abuse his older ones. But you can never deny the potential, natural aptitude and work in progress in this kid.
How many conventional schools can package the unfinished greatness that is already apparent in him?

The Fulani. The Shuwa of the Lake Chad region. The Dinka of Sudan. The Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. The Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi. Even the Bedouins of the Arab world and Cowboys of America. Including the Hebrews of old. Keenly observe and carefully understudy them. They have always dominated their environment because of their understanding of the umbilical link between animal husbandry and human psychology – He who knows you most masters you more – by any means necessary.

“Hate is the reaction that we feel towards something that is threatening us. Fear is what happens when we can’t do anything about it.”

Life is historically a game of chess. We are mere players and the environment is our ultimate chessboard; “where a man must have a temper of iron”

It is either you stay ahead of the game or keep on complaining.

Sacking of Benin City: 124th Anniversary

By Dan Hicks 18th February was the 124-year anniversary of the sacking of Benin City by a British naval force.Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire.They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin.They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes – a collection of thousands of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria.Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.The story of the Benin Bronzes sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums.In The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks makes a powerful case for the urgent return of such objects, as part of a wider project of addressing the outstanding debt of colonialism.

The Spy who “Loved” Nigeria

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Sir Hanns Vischer

As they say; “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” Sir Hanns Vischer, was an agent of His Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service in Nigeria. He was referred to as “Dan Hausa” due to his mastery of the Hausa language which he helped in standardizing. He was also prolific in Arabic, Fulfulde and Kanuri in addition to Greek, French and German. Based in Kano from 1907 to 1919, his cover was head of the Education Department.

Gidan Dan Hausa, now a national monument was his official residence. The building had being in existence for about a hundred years before Kano was conquered by the British in 1903. It had previously served as the base of the overseer of the royal farming plantation outside the ancient city walls known as Rumada. Vischer rebuilt it from scratch making improvements in 1907.

The spymaster first came to Nigeria in 1901 and was based in Lokoja before he was reassigned to Maiduguri in 1903. By 1906, he crossed the Sahara Desert. He recounted his journey in a 1911 book entitled; “Across the Sahara from Tripoli to Borno” Another book he wrote is; “Rules for Hausa Spelling” printed in 1912.
Kano was crucial to the British in two aspects. First, in creating an elite that would oppose national independence. Second, it was a crucial cross roads in monitoring Francophone territories and the German colony of Kamerun.

According the historian, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman;
“The Hausa-speaking people, not only do they have dialects, which were barely mutually intelligible, but they have no tradition of a common origin.” Hausa as spoken and written today was therefore a British project. Vischer was one of the arrow heads.

Vischer’s residence also served as a school for sons of emirs from all over the North. With his wife who joined him in 1912, the couple moulded the young aristocrats teaching them how to read and write in English and Ajami (Arabic in Roman script) The school started with 30 pupils in 1909. Their hostel was within the Nasarawa palace of Kano emirate nearby.

Enrollment increased to over 200 princes by 1913 from the 11 provinces of the Northern Protectorate. It produced the first Western educated elites in the North that eventually became the first members of the House of Chiefs and Assembly both in Kaduna. Vischer’s school relocated becoming Katsina College in 1921, which is now Barewa College in Zaria.

The Vischers had two children at Gidan Dan Hausa. Their photographs including that of their house maid still adorn the main living room of the historic house to date.

The British did not come to the colonial contours of what became Nigeria for sightseeing – they came to plunder.
To pull that off they needed to apply “divide et impera” – divide and rule. They ensured no level of national consciousness could develop eventually preparing us for national independence without economic freedom.

The likes of Sir Vischer were instrumental to Pax Britannica. Such people are described as “capax imperii” – capable of ruling an empire by understanding and study of languages;
“One had only to watch him in his daily avocations in those early days to realize how completely at home he was with every class of society—whether he was engaged in grave deliberations with emirs, viziers and other high personages of the ruling hierarchy, or whether he was chaffing the hucksters at the market stalls as he rode through Kano city. No less revealing was it to see him in his own home pick up a native drum and, squatting on the floor, croon local Hausa songs to his own accompaniment. So inimitably did he do it that, if he had been hidden behind a screen, one would have said that an African musician had been engaged to entertain his guests”

At Gidan Dan Hausa, Vischer reorganized traditional Hausa building materials of “Tubali” and “Azara” by creatively using “Chafe” for plaster and “Makuba” for relieve motifs retaining “Zankwaye” (the horns at the top) and “Dakali” (the horizontal platform at the base)
Vischer used local labor sourced within the ancient city of Kano from “Unguwan Gini”

The original inhabitants of Kano are the “Abagawa” of the Nok Civilization. The “Wangara” from present-day Mali conquered and incorporated Kano into the Songhai Empire. Eventually the Habe held sway before the Hausanization process that followed the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate.

It has been the southern entrepôt of the Trans Saharan trade for millennia. Arabs and Tuaregs have been part of Kano’s mosaic for centuries.

It provided the perfect cover for Sir Hanns Vischer, a spymaster par excellence according to Nigel West in; Historical Dictionary of World War I Intelligence (2014)

Amina Allgrownupandborin Mohammed

http://yasniger.com/2015/01/22/amina-allgrownupandborin-mohammed/

Six years on & the hurt still feels fresh…. Rest in peace my dearest friend.


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Dear Almighty God,
Take into your most gracious embrace my dear friend and sister. Keep her in your divine presence and rest her gentle soul in your most perfect peace, for all eternity.

I miss her already, beyond words. My tears have dried out, my throat is raw.

The rest of my world will not be the same again without our years long endless chats. Sitting across from each other we talked and argued, debated and planned. Hundreds of miles apart, you were ever helpful and ever there to lend a hand, give some advice and edit. Just as we still talked on, mindless of the incredible phone billings, be assured that we talk on still. In my thoughts and in my mind, we talk on.

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This act of cruelty is meaningless, beyond comprehension and reasoning.
Who will want to spoil such beauty and decency, or remove from amongst us?
WHO and WHY?!
Righteous God in our comforter.

Who will understand my peculiarities like she did? Who will be my unconditional friend like she was? A part of me died with you, Ameena.

You were my most special friend, you always brought the best out of me.
I became a better person by just being your friend, a privilege you allowed me.

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Ameena, you died terribly, yet you live on beautifully in our thoughts.

REST IN PIECE

https://www.facebook.com/amina.a.mohammed.7?fref=ts

Hiding in plain sight

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

There is nothing any smartphone phone user can do about what goes on in this disc shaped building located at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) It is the corporate headquarters of DarkMatter. UAE is an Arab Gulf country with a population of 9.2 million made of 7 emirates including Dubai – a favorite destination for loaded Nigerians. However, only 1.4 are Emiratis. The 7.8 majority are foreigners.
DarkMatter is a cyber security firm and proxy for NSO Group Technologies (NSO stands for Niv, Shalev and Omri) the names of the company’s founders to market the world’s most advanced phone surveillance technology known simply as Pegasus which is classified as a weapon by Israel and any export of the technology must be approved by the government. UAE is therefore an offshore trading post.

Due to its existential realities hightech security is not only a national necessity but a major business for Israel being the only Middle East country with neither crude oil nor Natural gas. Niv, Shalev and Omri are retired military intelligence officers that served under Unit 8200 of Signal Intelligence of the Israeli Defence Force;
“Unit 8200 is composed primarily of 18–21 year olds. As a result of the youth of the soldiers in the unit, and the shortness of their service period, the unit relies on selecting recruits with the ability for rapid adaptation and speedy learning. After school programs for 16–18 year olds, teaching computer coding and hacking skills, also serve as a feeder programs for the unit.” Many phone Apps and Antivirus software in use around the world are created by companies set up by former officers of Unit 8200. The Israelis are reportedly the first nation to hack into any android phone any where in the world by remote access and use it as a listening device even if is not on!

What is happening to WhatsApp?

In October 2019, WhatsApp and its parent sued NSO Group Technologies under the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for using the Pegasus spyware to violate the privacy of of over 1 billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Have you recently been asked to update your “privacy agreement” with WhatsApp recently? It is a fallout of that case.
Many WhatsApp users have started migrating to other platforms like Telegram and Signal that guarantee better “end to end encryption” for users. But truth is there has never been privacy in telecommunications. The internet was invented by the US Department of Defense; “If you have something that you don’t want anybody to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”
WhatsApp was established in 2009 by two digital nomads previously working with Yahoo with a seed capital of $250,000, by 2014 Facebook acquired it for $19 billion. Meanwhile we all use it for free; so where do the profits come from? As they say; “The most expensive things are free”

One World Government is now inevitable

What do the Israelis and Arabs have in common? The oil shiekhs abhor democracy but want to retain power and control over their masses without causing another Arab Spring. The Israelis have the technological means to aid the aristocrats while maintaining their democratic survival and national security in the world’s most hostile region. This arrangement is sweet music to the proponents of Globalization in maintaining world order.
According to an Al Jazeera report dated December 8, 2020;
“Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency has acquired equipment that it can use to spy on its citizens’ calls and text messages, according to a report by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which researches digital surveillance, security, privacy and accountability. The report, titled Running in Circles: Uncovering the Clients of Cyber-espionage Firm Circles, said a telecom surveillance company by the name of Circles has been helping state security apparatuses across 25 countries, including Nigeria, to spy on the communications of opposition figures, journalists, and protesters…..The Citizen Lab report also said Circles was affiliated with Tel Aviv-based NSO Group, an Israeli hacker-for-hire company, whose software, Pegasus, has allegedly been used by several governments to spy on dissidents by taking control of their smartphone, its cameras and microphones, and mining the user’s personal data.”

Big Brother is watching you

Femi Adesina recently released a statement entitled; “Criticise us fairly, President Buhari appeals to Nigerian elite.” What the presidential aide has simply done is to stratify Nigeria in line with privileged information hidden in plain sight.
“Big Brother” is the fictional leader of a country called Oceania in George Orwell’s novel “1984” that was published in 1949; “Oceania’s society as divided into three distinct classes: the Inner Party, the Outer Party and the Proles.
The Proles made up almost 85% of the population in Oceania; they receive little education, work at manual labor, live in poverty although in privacy and anonymity………Party members (the Inner Party and Outer Party) are under surveillance via telescreens in both private and public; by contrast, Proles’ quarters are generally free of telescreens as the Big Brother does not care to observe them. Their functions are simple: work and breed. Proles are described as “caring little about anything but home and family, neighbor quarrels, films, football, beer, lottery tickets, and other such bread and circuses.”
In case you missed the optics, Mr. Adesina has issued a serious warning to the members of the Inner and Outer Party in Nigeria by implying the Proles are still loyal. Information is power!

Stages of Death

“Their trip back progressed quietly mostly and was rather quite uneventful until they came upon the scene of an accident that blocked the entire road, so they had to stop.

“Kengua had strolled over to the crash spot to have a closer look. He wished he hadn’t. There was a victim lying on the unpaved roadside being attended to by a number of over-enthusiastic people. These untrained first responders just kept fumbling with the man as he laid flat on his back on the dusty ground, face up and breathing unevenly heavy.

“He was foaming profusely in the mouth, with the dark part of his eyes sneaking upwards, into his upper eyelids, as if he was trying to see something overhead without trying to arc his neck backwards to look up.

“Soon his hands left his sides and started lifting upwards slightly, then falling back into place swiftly, with only his elbows bending at each time. Within the second minute, the victims legs joined in, his shoeless bare feet stabbed away from his body in a continuous stretching motion.

“Kengua was transfixed, too scared to keep looking but yet he kept his eyes on the obviously dying man, as if watching the poor chap death was an act of charity.

“Later on Kengua remembered thinking that maybe if the mans legs had found something vertically stationary to rest on, the agonized departing spirit of the dying man just might not leave when it did. Maybe it is because he didn’t strike at anything with his leg activity that his departure from the realm of the living was completed. Maybe people wouldnt die at such moments if they stood up defiantly.

“Though Kengua wasn’t alone there, he sort of felt he was the only spectator who could actually claim to have seen the man die, but he doubts if he really did see him die. He only saw a pained man briefly struggling to live on endlessly and then the same man, against all his desire to live on, became quite still and motionless. He didn’t see life leave the man. If that was ever humanly possible, the privilege wasn’t granted him that warm humid afternoon.

“So Kengua strangely romanticized that gross occurrence by curtly summarizing that the brevity of death is like an orgasm. That is if what he saw is indeed the moment of dying, which is arguably death.

“They recommenced their rudely paused journey an hour later. Kengua made a comparative analysis in his mind on what he had just witnessed and what he read some living sage wrote to win the world over into believing and accepting his listed five stages of death. Kengua was now certain that the writer has not seen these stages exhibited.

“The five stages were made easy to remember by sequencing them to DEATH as an acronym, as;

Denial, Enraged, Appropriating, Tension and Healing.

Or more aptly:

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Kengua saw none of those that afternoon as he watched the man kick the air to his death. The least of all to be exhibited is Acceptance.

“Death simply damned the mans Desires, nullified his Energy, shrugged off his Activity, Terminated his life and Held him eternally Hostage. Kengua concluded that for want of a more suitable break down of the DEATH acronym;

Desired Energized Activity Terminated and Held Hostage

….would be a whole lot more befitting.”

Who Moved My Cheese? – A Review

By Dr Spencer Johnson

This a review of “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson

The forewords by Dr Kenneth Blanchard reads:

It’s…An AMazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about
change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.
Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry. And two are little people’ – beings the size of mice who look and act a lot like people. Their names are Hem and Haw.

‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it’s a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, good health, or spiritual peace of mind. And ‘The Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the organization
you work in, or the family or community you live in.

In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually, one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his
experience on the maze walls.
When you come to see ‘The Handwriting on the Wal ‘, you can discover for yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more
success (however you define it) in your work and in your life.

Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.

The four imaginary characters
depicted in this story

– The mice: “Sniff” & “Scurry;’

– Little people: “Hem” & “Haw”

It is a simple yet, complex book.

It is an exposé on all of us & indeed, “Parts of All of Us!” –
The Simple and The Complex

They’re intended to represent the simple and the complex parts of ourselves, regardless of our age, gender, race or nationality.

Sometimes we may act like

SNIFF out change early

or

SCURRY into action

or

HEM ourselves in, deny & resist change as we fears it will lead to something worse

or

HAW in paused hesitation to study, learn to adapt in time when we see changing can lead to something better!

Whatever parts of us we choose to use, we all share something in common: a need to find our way in the Maze and succeed in changing times.

In the Gathering, old school classmates eating together after a reunion all realized that although they had gone off in different directions—from working at home to managing companies they were
experiencing the similar thing. Everyone was trying to cope with the unexpected changes that were happening to them in recent years. And most admitted that they did not know a good way to handle them.

Micheal, One of the gathering then told them how he learned to cope, with lessons from this story.

I must say here:

THIS A STORY BEST READ IN FULL. IT IS QUITE SHORT & TAKES LESS THAN AN HOUR TO READ!

Sniff & Scurry; the mice, run around in a labyrinth of maze chasing for cheese to eat daily.

Hem & Haw; the little people, did the same daily.

Both pairs put on their running shoes & do the same thing everyday.

They return daily with helpings of cheese for the day’s meal.

Then they hit Cheese Station C. It had large storage of cheese.

Hem & Haw moved their home closer to Station C & decorated their cozy home’s walls to enjoy a simple life of plenty.

Sniff & Scurry however didn’t change much. They hung their running shoes around their necks & simply came from further off like before to enjoy the moment while it lasted.

Then the cheese finished suddenly one day.

White Hem & Haw in their arrogance, which they had developed, blamed the system for the abruptness of the loss of their cheese paradise, Sniff & Scurry on the other hand simply took it in their strides, put on their running shoes once more & hit the road, running through the nooks of the maze in search for more cheese.

Hem & Haw kept returning daily to their now empty paradise, in the hope for a miracle but it remained empty of cheese & they were the worse off for it.

Sniff & Scurry hit the jackpot soon enough with their discovery of Station N, which has the largest storage of cheese they have ever seen.

Hem kept asking the air “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?” as Haw started having doubts if their complex approach of rationalizing & analysing will pay any dividend for they remained hungry still.

Soon enough, Haw got tired of trying to persuade Hem to leave Station C & come away in search of food rather than sit around complaining.

Haw left some inspirational quotes on the wall & left Hem to his misery too.

Haw finds tiny bits of a new type of cheese in the maze, which he brings back to Hem, but Hem refuses to eat it because he only wants the old type of cheese. He has grown accustomed to what he’s used to.

Haw keeps exploring since these tiny bits aren’t enough to sustain him. As he journeys to new areas of the maze, he pushes past his fears and learns many life lessons.

He writes a few lessons on the wall from time to time to encourage himself to move forward and for Hem if he ever decides to follow him.

Haw finally finds a new place deep in the maze that has a ton of cheese, including all sorts of new types.

Haw meets Sniff and Scurry again, who arrived here long before he did.

Haw writes all the lessons he wrote earlier on a big wall, the lessons are:

1. Change Happens. They Keep Moving The Cheese.

2. Anticipate Change Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

3. Monitor Change Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

4. Adapt To Change Quickly The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese

5. Change Move With The Cheese

6. Enjoy Change! Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!

7. Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again.

They Keep Moving The Cheese.

Haw now regularly explores new parts of the maze and monitors the cheese supply so the same thing doesn’t happen again.

He decides it’s best to let Hem find his own way to him; he realizes Hem has to change on his own.

ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN BAIL WAS FREE

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Nigeria’s collective national security and military establishment started in 1863. It was well financed by the Royal Niger Company. The gradual separation came with the Niger River Constabulary in 1888 at Lokoja. Then came the Niger Coast Constabulary in 1894 at Calabar and eventually the Lagos Police in 1896.

Sir John Hawley Glover was an officer under the command of Dr. William Balfour Baikie both of the Royal Navy. Glover was the Lagos governor from 1863 to 1874 and Baikie the British consul of what became the colonial contours of what eventually became Nigeria under Lord Lugard from 1857 to 1859;
“Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigerian Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”

Dr. Baikie introduced the use of Quinine for the treatment of Malaria in our clime, authored; Observations on the Hausa and Fuifuide Languages printed in 1861 and previously in 1856; Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwora and Binue. He collected vocabularies of nearly fifty languages, and translated portions of the Holy Bible and prayer-book into Hausa and Arabic. His translation of the Psalms into Hausa was published by the Bible Society in 1881. More importantly he established Lokoja;
“After purchasing the site, and concluding a treaty with the Fula emir of Nupe, he proceeded to clear the ground, build houses, form enclosures and pave the way for a future city. In less than five years he had opened up the navigation of the Niger, made roads, and established a market to which the native produce was brought for sale and barter. His settlement grew to include representatives of almost all the tribes of West-Central Africa, and more than 2,000 traders visited the town in its first three years.”

Lest we forget as Ghanaian authorities harass and intimidate Nigerian traders;
“Glover was employed to repel incursions of the Ashantis. When the Third Anglo-Ashanti War broke out in September 1873 he landed at Cape Coast, and, after forming a small trustworthy force of Hausa, marched to Accra. His influence sufficed to gather a numerous native force.
In January 1874 Captain Glover was able to render some assistance in the taking of Kumasi, but it was at the head of a Hausa force.”

The Nigerian Police Force has always been segmented along regional lines each headed by a Commissioner reporting to an Inspector-General in Lagos. Chief Louis Orok Edet (1914-1979) became the first Nigerian IGP between 1964 and 1966. Back then every Commissioner had a network of Native Authority Police formations. The Nigerian Immigration Service, Correctional Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and Civil Defense were all carved out of police duties.

By 1966, onwards the Police became more centralized at the federal level. Under IBB it became Nigerian Police when Force was removed. The reason was obvious. If IGP Sunday Adewusi had had his way under President Shehu Shagari the military coup of December 31, 1983 would not have taken place. The rest as they say is now history as the Nigeria Police became systematically underfunded. During the era of President Shagari the monthly pay of a Constable was increased to N400 and personnel strength reached 152, 000. Now it is 375,000 with a huge chunk outsourced to VIPs, financial institutions, government assets, private company premises, traditional rulers and even celebrities.

The Glover’s Hausas were at the vanguard of dismantling slavery and the notorious slave trade across Nigeria particularly in defeating the Sokoto caliphate. It consisted of martial oriented tribes from all nooks and crannies of what later became Nigeria including from parts of present day Niger, Tchad, Cameroon to as far as the Darfur region of Sudan. Hausa therefore in Glover’s context was not an ethnicity but a Lingua Franca that is why an Ibadan Signals officer like Raji Rasaki would more than a hundred years later with ease ask in Lagos; “Who build dis gada?”

For the Nigerian Police to become more effective it has to be more decentralized and modernized. With a population of over 200 million our police apparatus has to be increasingly technological based. Crime prevention and solving value added with forensic and IT capacities. Patrols have to include drones. Increased CCTV coverage is also imperative. All these are capital intensive. This means the cost of governance must drastically reduce in Nigeria. The Nigerian political class have become a major burden on the rest of the polity at expense of our collective security.

Warts and all, the police is your friend. If not call a thug when next you are in trouble! Every society gets the kind of police it deserves. If we want better policing we must better ourselves first!

General Gowon: Too Humbled to be Bundled

Does General Gowon look like somebody who moved to London with half of Nigeria’s Central Bank?

We, the undersigned call upon Hon. Member of Parliament representing Tonbridge and Malling of the United Kingdom, Ted Tugendhat to withdraw his recent statement at Westminster;

“Some people would remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the central bank, or so it was said, and moved to London,”

Mr. Tugendhat, had spoken when E-petition 554150 was being considered at the British Parliament on Monday, November 23, 2020 over a petition seeking sanction against the Nigerian government for alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.

We are not unmindful that the MP had added “so it was said” to his presumptuous claim. That notwithstanding, Mr. Tugendhat would have availed himself with some basic historical overview on the exact circumstances of how General Gowon ended up dining at the student cafeteria at Warwick University after his overthrow on July 29, 1975 while in Kampala attending a summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU now African Union)
Even after 45 years, General Gowon’s statement thereafter remains instructive;

“From all indications a new government had been established in Nigeria. I wish to state that I, on my part, have also accepted the change and pledged my full loyalty to my nation, my country and the new government. Therefore, in the overall interest of the nation and our beloved country, I appeal to all concerned to cooperate fully with the new government and ensure the preservation of peace, unity and stability of our dear motherland.

As a Nigerian, I am prepared to serve my country in any capacity, which my country may consider appropriate. I am a professional soldier and I can do any duty that I am called upon to do.
May I take this opportunity to thank all the people of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria for the support and cooperation that you all gave me during my tenure of office and call upon all of you to give the new government of our nation the same support and cooperation in the interest of our beloved country.
Long live one united, happy and prosperous Nigeria. Long live the Organisation of African Unity.”

The attached images are of General Gowon after he had enrolled as a student at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Where eventually his Ph.D Thesis focused on The Economic Community of West African States: A study in Political and Economic integration.

It would be recalled after his overthrow from government several investigations were made into corrupt enrichment. The General was neither found complicit nor indicted in any. More ever;

“Many offers of residence came to him in Kampala from various African countries. He notified the new regime in Lagos that he would leave Kampala for Lome in Togo. Since he was financially broke, teary-eyed members of the Nigerian delegation along with staffers at the Nigerian High Commission in Kampala donated 3000 pounds sterling to enable him begin a new life. He was flown to Lome – via Garoua in Cameroon – aboard President Idi Amin’s executive jet.

Part of the flight passed through Nigerian airspace and Gowon took the opportunity to transmit a radio message reaffirming loyalty to and support for Brigadier Muhammed’s new regime. Although offered permanent domicile in Togo he chose to join his family in the United Kingdom. He received an additional 10,000 pounds sterling donation from General Eyadema. Following a telephone call to Brigadier Muhammed, during which he made requests for elementary federal assistance, he left for London.”

Furthermore;
“When he got to London, he was offered official accommodation by the Nigerian government which he, however, turned down for a variety of reasons. After some weeks at the Portman Hotel, he moved into the house of an old friend – Mr. Emmanuel Otti – at 472 Finchley Road, London. The delay was to enable the house to be redecorated by Mr. and Mrs. Otti and Brigadier Sam Ogbemudia (who had been in the UK when the coup took place in Nigeria). Other friends came to the assistance of the family. It was not until September 1975 that he began to get his pension and gratuities as a retired Four-Star General. In the nine years he had been Nigeria’s ruler he had not built himself a single house, inside or outside the country, nor did he expropriate one kobo of government money.

Unlike some of those who served under him, his TOTAL savings throughout his service years as well as his years as Nigeria’s leader was N75,000 – all of which was inside Nigeria. In time to come this would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of and personal fortunes of most of those who conspired to remove him from office – or benefited from it.

Once settled in with his family, the General, who was offered several Masters Degree programs, signed up for undergraduate studies in Political Science at Warwick University. Newspapers in Nigeria later carried news items and photographs depicting the former Nigerian leader carrying trays in a student cafeteria in the UK.
The Muhammed regime was embarrassed and therefore dispatched Brigadier TY Danjuma (who, took Kano born Col. Wali along) to ask Gowon adopt a supposedly more dignified stance. Gowon rejected the overture and reassured his “embarrassed sympathizers” that he was comfortable with his situation. (Conceivably nothing could have been more embarrassing than to be overthrown while attending an OAU summit). He made friends among the Nigerian students at Warwick, including a family friend of mine, Desmond Guobadia, now a legal practitioner in Lagos. Meanwhile his spouse, the former First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon (who was a nurse) registered as a catering student at a University College in London.”
See details in; Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975 – Epilogue: From Kampala to Lome to London and back to Nigeria by Nowa Omoigui

Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all Nigerians of goodwill and indeed the members of the international community at large to ignore the insinuations of Mr. Tugendhat. In turn, by this signed clarification we call upon the MP to be appropriately corrected and to do the needful by withdrawing his statement on General Gowon.

Signed;

Abdallah Baikie.

Ahmed Yahaya Joe.

Lived Once, Buried Twice

#Copied

After succumbing to a fever of some sort in 1705, Irish woman Margorie McCall was hastily buried to prevent the spread of whatever had done her in. Margorie was buried with a valuable ring, which her husband had been unable to remove due to swelling. This made her an even better target for body snatchers, who could cash in on both the corpse and the ring.

The evening after Margorie was buried, before the soil had even settled, the grave-robbers showed up and started digging. Unable to pry the ring off the finger, they decided to cut the finger off. As soon as blood was drawn, Margorie awoke from her coma, sat straight up and screamed.

The fate of the grave-robbers remains unknown. One story says the men dropped dead on the spot, while another claims they fled and never returned to their chosen profession.

Margorie climbed out of the hole and made her way back to her home.

Her husband John, a doctor, was at home with the children when he heard a knock at the door. He told the children, “If your mother were still alive, I’d swear that was her knock.”

When he opened the door to find his wife standing there, dressed in her burial clothes, blood dripping from her finger but very much alive, he dropped dead to the floor. He was buried in the plot Margorie had vacated.

Margorie went on to re-marry and have several children. When she did finally die, she was returned to Shankill Cemetery in Lurgan, Ireland, where her gravestone still stands. It bears the inscription “Lived Once, Buried Twice.”

#HistoryVille 😱😱😱

Adieu Patriot & Tyrant: Jerry Rawlings

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Adieu to a patriot and tyrant

Agreed Kwame Nkrumah was the father of modern Ghana. John Jerry Rawlings is however the facilitator of contemporary Ghana. I doubt if that country would have got to where it is today without the intervention of Rawlings. As they say; “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”

JJ was a consummate patriot and benevolent tyrant. As a military dictator and civilian president, Rawlings always stooped low for the underprivileged like in the attached throwback picture at an official engagement in the Upper-West Region on September 28, 1987 when he spotted whom he described as the “most important guest around” The Head of State stopped mid speech and walked down the dais. It was quintessential JJ for you!

Interestingly, the maverick pilot and Flight Lieutenant never promoted himself beyond his designated rank from 1981 to 1992 that he served as Commander in Chief. He might be accused of many things. Official corruption is not one of them. He was integrity personified. While he had a common touch with the masses of Ghana he was bloodily vindictive to his perceived enemies. He nevertheless had vision and was massively charismatic.

Straight as an arrow, he shunned luxury, conspicuous consumption and the primitive accumulation of wealth. He was not an openly religious man He believed; “The test of religious belief is not in pious platitudes and cautious charity, but in positive and creative action.” Thanks but no thanks to Rawlings, unlike Nigerians, Ghanaians don’t engage in any form of what can best be described as the “apropos of doubtful religiosity”

As soon as he seized power he lined up 3 previous Military Heads of State, Generals Akwasi Afrifa, Ignatius Acheampong, and Fred Akuffo executing them by firing squad. He did not spare anyone with unexplained income. In his own words he described his actions as; “a housecleaning exercise that seeks to purge the country of corrupt political and business leaders and recalibrate Ghana’s national moral compass.”
He purged the then political class in Ghana describing them as; “a pack of criminals who bled Ghana to the bone” JJ Rawlings vehemently vowed to “organize this country (Ghana) in such a way that nothing will be done, whether by God or the devil, without the consent and the authority of the people.”

Rawlings no doubt restored dignity to an impoverished Ghana. He was referred to as “Junior Jesus” by old timers and “Papa J” by the youth who were not even born when he was a military leader. How did he pull it off with neither oil wealth nor Chinese loans? He built an inclusive nation by personal example. Under him and beyond the citizens of that country are always Ghanaian first.

Last year or so, viral videos of him directing traffic in a gridlock surfaced. He looked awesome. Hate him or admire him he was one those personalities that can never be ignored. Was his tyrannical proclivity justified for the common good of Ghana? I think so because it laid the foundation of the relative peace and prosperity Ghana now enjoys compared to the insecurity wrecking Nigeria.

JJ Rawlings had an impeccable public service career. Bullets could not take him down – Coronavirus did, aged 73. He shall always be fondly remembered as the inspirational icon. He was truly a phenomenal leader. Bold, assertive, confident and bushwhacking. He never hid behind the façade of Media Aides. His razor sharp mind radiated in press interviews and impromptu engagements. He never left doubts about where he stood on any issue. Nigeria might be the giant of Africa but Rawlings has made Ghana the pride of Africa. His compatriots trusted and believed in him. He never disappointed them for the 21 years he was in power.

I have so many friends, too numerous to mention here from Ghana that we have over the decades enjoyed endless Kelewele, Red-red, Banku and Kenkey dishes together in various joints of Sabongari, Kano. Kindly accept my condolences on the recent demise of your beloved political hero.

Howaazat sir? As long as you fellow cricketers admit Nigerian Jollof is better and that you actually stole Waakye, Tuo Zaafi and Fufu from us. Nigeria-Ghana relations has always had its ups and downs but we shall be always be friends and neighbors. Akwaaba!
May JJ rest in peace!

#EndSARS: THE FALLEN UNARMED PEACEFUL NIGERIAN PROTESTER

By Taiwo Sanni

Tell my mother I was unarmed.

Tell my father I had the flag in my hands when I was shot.

Tell the unborn Generation that I died singing the national anthem.

Tell the cowards who shot me that my spirit lives on in the life of every good Nigerian youth.

Tell the government that they shot my body but not my spirit.

Tell the world I died for freedom like many good people before me.

I regret nothing, for I have done what my father’s, mother’s, uncle’s and aunt’s couldn’t do out of fear. Let God judge me, I am only sorry for the pain of leaving you this early.

My prints will forever remain in the sands of history for I have done my time based on the path I chose freely & willingly.

Now that my torment in Nigeria is over, please lay me to rest on mother earth where you all will join me in due time, take my voice and hand it over to the next good youth whom I hope by Gods Almighty grace will benefit a better Nation.

For I know that freedom is coming, yes freedom will come tomorrow.

Good bye…

BUHARISM: Economic Theory and Political Economy

By Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
LAGOS: July 22, 2002
(All views are strictly personal)
lamidos@hotmail.com

“Do I support Buhari’s decision to contest for the presidency of Nigeria? My answer is no. And I will explain.

“First, I believe Buhari played a creditable role in a particular historical epoch but like Tolstoy and Marx I do not believe he can re-enact that role at will. Men do not make history exactly as they please but, as Marx wrote in the 18th Brumaire, “in circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.” Muhammadu Buhari as a military general had more room for manoevre than he can ever hope for in Nigerian Politics.

“Second, I am convinced that the situation of Nigeria and its elite today is worse than it was in 1983.Compared to the politicians who populate the PDP, ANPP and AD today, second republic politicians were angels. Buhari waged a battle against second republic politicians, but he is joining this generation. Anyone who rides a tiger ends up in its belly and one man cannot change the system from within.

“A number of those Buhari jailed for theft later became ministers and many of those who hold key offices in all tiers of government and the legislature were made by the very system he sought to destroy. My view is that Nigeria needs people like Buhari in politics but not to contest elections. Buhari should be in politics to develop Civil Society and strengthen the conscience of the nation. He should try to develop many Buharis who will continue to challenge the elements that have hijacked the nation.

“Third, I do not think Nigerians today are ready for Buhari. Everywhere you turn you see thieves who have amassed wealth in the last four years, be they legislators, Local Government chairmen and councilors, or governors and ministers. But these are the heroes in their societies. They are the religious leaders and ethnic champions and Nigerians, especially northerners, will castigate and discredit anyone who challenges them. Unless we start by educating our people and changing their value system, people like Buhari will remain the victims of their own love for Nigeria.

“Fourth, and on a lighter note, I am opposed to recycled material. In a nation of 120million people we can do better than restrict our leadership to a small group. I think Buhari, Babangida and yes Obasanjo should simply allow others try their hand instead of believing they have the monopoly of wisdom.

“Having said all this let me conclude by saying that if Buhari gets a nomination he will have my vote (for what it is worth).

“I will vote for him not, like some have averred, because he is a northerner and a Muslim or because I think his candidacy is good for the north and Islam; I will vote for him not because I think he will make a good democrat or that he was not a dictator.

“I will vote for Buhari as a Nigerian for a leader who restored my pride and dignity and my belief in the motherland. I will vote for the man who made it undesirable for the “Andrews” to “check out” instead of staying to change Nigeria. I will vote for Buhari to say thank you for the world view of Buharism, a truly nationalist ideology for all Nigerians. I do not know if Buhari is still a nationalist or a closet bigot and fanatic, or if he was the spirit and not just the face of Buharism.

“My vote for him is not based on a divination of what he is or may be, but a celebration of what his government was and what it gave to the nation.”

*Copied from Ahmed Yahaya Joe’s Facebook page

Nigeria@60

“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership………..

“One of the commonest manifestations of under-development is a tendency among the ruling elite to live in a world of make-believe and unrealistic expectations. This is the cargo cult mentality that anthropologists sometimes speak about – a belief by backward people that someday, without any exertion whatsoever on their own part, a fairy ship will dock in their harbour laden with every goody they have always dreamed of possessing………

“In spite of conventional opinion Nigeria has been less than fortunate in its leadership. A basic element of this misfortune is the seminal absence of intellectual rigour in the political thought of our founding fathers – a tendency to pious materialistic woolliness and self-centred pedestrianism…………..

“But whereas tribalism might win enough votes to install a reactionary jingoist in a tribal ghetto, the cult of mediocrity will bring the wheels of modernization grinding to a halt throughout the land.
Unlucky is the country where indiscipline is seen by ordinary people as the prerogative of the high and might. For, by the same token, discipline will be seen as a penalty which the rank and file must pay for their powerlessness………

“My frank and honest opinion is that anybody who can say that corruption in Nigeria has not yet become alarming is either a fool, a crook or else does not live in this country”

– Chinua Acbebe (1983)

Culled from Ahmed Yahaya Joe on Facebook

The Five Languages of Apology

By Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas

A REVIEW OF CHAPTER 9:

LEARNING TO FORGIVE

Here we move to accepting apologies.

It is established that the need for forgiveness always begins with an offense.

One Professor Robert Enright,
pioneering forgiveness research, sees forgiveness as a moral issue & defines Forgiveness as a “response to an injustice (a moral wrong),” and “turning to the ‘good’ in the face of wrongdoing.”

If no offense, then forgiveness is absent.

Apologies all have same two goals: 1) offender be forgiven
2) relationship be reconciled

Forgiveness is still a choice. You & I can choose to forgive or not.
Offense destroys the
tranquility of the relationship. There’s hurt, anger, disappointment, disbelief, betrayal & rejection.

Your sense of justice has been violated.

Offense would sit as an emotional barrier between two people. Often the situation gets compounded by response, especially when show of disrespect is reciprocated.

People are all imperfect & sometimes fail to treat each other with love, dignity & respect. Apologies and forgiveness are thus essential elements to healthy relationships.

First is apology is unimportant. Apologies are important. An apology reaches out for
forgiveness.

The art of forgiving

Three Hebrew words & four Greek words translated into ‘forgive’ in English. They’re synonyms with varying shades of
meaning. Key ideas are “to cover; to take away; to pardon; and to be gracious to.”

If you’re the offended party, forgiveness means that you will not seek revenge, that you will not demand justice, that you will not let the offense stand between & anyone or anything.

Forgiveness results in reconciliation.

The Forgiveness Cycle

An apology is an important part of the forgiveness cycle. An offense is committed; an apology is made; and forgiveness is given.

Here the author goes a biblical journey, which I will spare you most it but he concludes that the divine model is a wise and prudent model for making an apology in today’s world because it has two essential elements:

(1) confession and repentance on the part of the offender

(2) forgiveness on the part of the one sinned against.

To forgive opens the door to reconciliation. Not to forgive leads to further deterioration of the relationship.

Jesus declared to His followers, “Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Since most of us would like to have forgiveness when we fail. Therefore, we are encouraged to extend
forgiveness to those who offend us. The ideal scenario is that when we offend others, we take the initiative to apologize.

If the person apologizes, then you forgive. There is to be no limit to our forgiveness so long as the offender returns to apologize.

What if the offender refuses to apologize—even when confronted with his/her wrong behavior? We are to approach the person a second time, telling them of the offense & giving them opportunity to apologize.

Moral failures always stand as a barrier that can be removed only by apologizing and forgiveness.
Therefore, if a person refuses to apologize for a moral failure after being confronted several times, we are to release the person who has sinned against us to God, letting God take care of the person rather than insisting.

THE DANGER OF FORGIVING TOO EASILY
Since childhood loads of people learned to forgive quickly & freely. In so doing, we may end
up encouraging destructive behavior.

Earlier it was indicated that there are two common responses to an apology:forgive or not to forgive.

But in reality, there is a third possible response: Sometimes we have been hurt so deeply or so often that we cannot bring
ourselves emotionally, spiritually, or physically to the point of genuinely extending forgiveness. We need time for inner healing, lor the restoration of emotional balance, or sometimes physical health that will give us the capacity to forgive.

Simply put, the 3rd option is to wait.

This brings us to the issue of rebuilding trust. Forgiveness and trust are not to be equated because forgiveness is a decision, it can be extended immediately when one perceives he has heard a sincere apology.

However, trust is not a decision —it is rather an emotion . Trust is that gut-level confidence that you will do what you say you will do.

COMPLETING THE CYCLE

Forgiveness holds the power to give renewed life to the relationship. Without forgiveness, relationships die. With forgiveness, relationships have the potential for becoming vibrant and enriching the lives of the people involved.

WHAT FORGIVENESS CAN’T DO

Forgiveness does not remove all the results of failure.

For example, If a man is given to fits of anger and strikes out at his wife, hitting her on the chin and breaking her jaw, he may sincerely confess and she may genuinely forgive. But her jaw is still broken and may cause her difficulty for years to come.

It is one of the fundamental realities of life: When we commit actions or speak words that are detrimental to another, the consequences stay on.

The Chapter ends with tips on Statements of forgiveness:

– I am deeply hurt by what you said.

– I think you realize that.

– I appreciate your apology, because without it, I don’t think I could forgive you. But because I think you are sincere, I want you to know that I forgive you.

– What can I say? I’m touched by your apology. I value our relationship greatly. Therefore, I’m choosing to forgive you.

– I didn’t know if I would ever be able to say this sincerely. I was devastated by what you did. I would never have imagined you capable of doing such a thing. But I love you, and I choose to believe that your apology is sincere. So I am offering you my forgiveness.

– Your work error has cost me both time and money. I want to forgive you for causing this problem. Yes, I believe that with your correction plan in place, I can forgive you.

– I know how hard it is for you to swallow your pride and say, “I was wrong.” You’ve grown in my eyes, and I do forgive you.

Learning to Forgive
The Five Languages of Apology

1. EXPRESSING REGRET – “I am sorry.”

2. ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY – “I was wrong.”

3. MAKING RESTITUTION – “What can I do to make it right?”

4. GENUINELY REPENTING – “Try not to do that again.”

5. REQUESTING FORGIVENESS – “Will you please forgive me?”

The Siddis: Lost Africans of India

By Ahmed Yahaya JoeAccording to Winston Hubert McIntosh the founder of The Wailers; He sings :“Don’t care where you come from,🎵
As long as you’re a black man,🎶 You’re an African🎵
No mind your nationality,🎶
You have got the identity of an African” 🎵The Bush Doctor otherwise known as Stepping Razor but more popularly as Peter Tosh nailed it in his Equal Rights album of 1977The Siddis or Habshi are fellow Africans inhabiting India and Pakistan known as Afro-Asians; “They are descended from the Bantu peoples of the East African region. Some were merchants, sailors, indentured servants, slaves and mercenaries. The Siddi population is currently estimated at around 270,000–350,000 individuals, with Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad in India and Makran and Karachi in Pakistan as the main population centres. Siddis are primarily Muslims, although some are Hindus and others are Christians”Similarly; “another term for Siddis – Habshi, is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent. The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in India in 628 AD at the Bharuch port.”To escape discrimination and racial profiling many Siddis have inter – married to dilute their identity. However, the Siddis should not be mistaken for the dark skinned Indians known as Dalits that mostly inhabit Tamil Nadu. I have visited their capital Madras now called Chennai
The caste system in India is chiefly based on birth and color – The darker the lower. The Brahmins (the priestly people) are the highest then the Kshatriyas (also called Rajanyas, who were rulers, administrators and warriors), followed by the Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers), and Shudras (the labourer class) of which the dark Dalits known as “Untouchables” are on the lowest rungs“What is Wrong With Being Black?” is the title of Matthew Ashimolowo’s well researched and extensively referenced 2007 book that traces the history of racial discrimination with the economic rise of Europe through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade replicated in the Indian Ocean with Arabs.Truth is discrimination of whatever kind is a strategic weapon to gain undue advantage over others. That is why within the same race there is a caste system or class structure, within the same religion denominational differences and even within the same family siblings are positioned by age or gender and so on.Hierarchy is an entirely human creation. All men were created equal but nobody in history has ever had the capacity to enforce that inconvenient truth thereby validating the ancient axiom; “I, against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world”It is against this background that identity politics was invented and conflict entrepreneurs arose. Since then we have all been sucked into an endless vortex of hitting each other with ethnicity, religion and other means we find necessary to take advantage over each other

“Don’t go looking for fights – but if you’re hit, deck the bastard” – Roger Ailes

When You’re 40

IF YOU ARE ABOVE 40 YRS OF AGE OR APPROACHING THE MARK, HEALTH HINTS FOR YOU

A. Two things to check as often as you can:
(1) Your blood pressure
(2) Your blood sugar

B. Four things to reduce to the minimum on your foods:
(1) Salt
(2) sugar
(3) dairy products
(4) starchy products

C. Four things to increase in your foods:
(1) Greens/vegetables
(2) beans
(3) fruits
(4) nuts

D. Three things you need to forget:
(1) Your age
(2) your past
(3) your grievances

E. Four things you must have, no matter how weak or how strong you are:
(1) Friends who truly love you
(2) caring family
(3) positive thoughts
(4) a warm home.

F. Five things you need to do to stay healthy:
(1) fasting
(2) smiling / laughing
(3) trek / exercise
(4) reduce your weight.

G. Six things you don’t have to do:
(1) Don’t wait till you are hungry to eat
(2) don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink
(3) don’t wait till you are sleepy to sleep
(4) don’t wait till you feel tired to rest
(5) don’t wait till you get sick to go for medical check-ups otherwise you will only regret later in life
(6) don’t wait till you have problem before you pray to your God.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF !!!

*Copied

Forgotten Covenant; between Muslims & Christians

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

There is an overwhelming need to improve inter-communal harmony that has become so toxic in our dear nation. Religious hatred is a mainly product of ignorance and mischief. Both sides of the divide are very much guilty particularly against the background of political grandstanding. We currently live in tumultuous times. The ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic is no respecter for religious difference. Its economic fallout will not spare anyone while the political will be all encompassing irrespective. We therefore need a bird’s eye view on issues to pull through.

I asked the first Israeli I ever met, why the dickens Jews and Arabs in that highly combustible nation haven’t been able to work out an acceptable peace agreement between them for decades? She replied that the problem wasn’t actually religious as I had presumed but more about international power play, control and manipulation of spheres of influence as such it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to resolve the fundamental issues between them due to the various conflicting interests beyond their borders.

I still find my conversation with that secular Jewess in far away Singapore 31 years ago instructive as far as Nigeria is concerned Najran is the capital of the a southern administrative division of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the same name. Before 1902 there were 4 monarchical Sheikhs of 4 regions which Abdulaziz Al Saud of Nejd emerged superior and became overall King in 1932 up to 1953. All subsequent monarchs in Saudi Arabia to date are among his 36 sons that survived him based on seniority.

I first heard about the Pact of Najran through my good friend Ahmad Ramadan, a extremely brilliant legal mind who back in the mid 1990s was a practitioner at the chambers of Aliyu Umar Esq, later Aliyu Umar SAN now of blessed memory.

On the al-Masīḥiyyūn al-ʿArab in the historical Arabian Peninsula the background narrative is; “The visit of the Christians of Najran to the city of Medina in 631 is perhaps the most important noted interfaith interaction between Christians and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). At this time Muhammad (pbuh) had sent letters to different communities and their leaders, encouraging them to embrace Islam. In the case of the Najran, who lived near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medina, the Prophet sent Khaled ibn al-Walid and Ali ibn Abi Talib to deliver the letter.

At the time of this diplomatic endeavor, Najran Christians had a highly organized religious system. As such, after considering Muhammad’s (pbuh) letter, it is unsurprising that few Christians embraced Islam. In reaction to this “failed attempt” of conversion, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent another representative to Najran, Mughira Ibn Shu’ba, who was meant to elaborate on this new religion called Islam. Intrigued by Ibn Shu’ba’s message, the Najran Christians sent a delegation of sixty people to visit the Prophet in Medina. The delegation consisted of about forty-five scholars and fifteen assistants.

When the Christians of Najran arrived to Medina, Muhammad allowed them to pray in Nabawi mosque where the Muslims also prayed. This invitation was not only the first example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, but it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque. While Prophet Muhammad and the Najrans were not able to reach common ground on all theological issues, he nonetheless gave them a place to stay near his home, and even ordered Muslims to pitch their tent.
Upon leaving Medina, the Najran Christian leaders told Muhammad (pbuh):

“O, Abu al-Qasim, we decided to leave you as you are and you leave us as we are”. But the Christians nevertheless left Medina with a pact (written guarantee) that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would protect their lives, property, and freedom to practice Christianity.”
No doubt the visit of Najran Christians to Medina is an example of religious pluralism. If so why are Al – Mu’minin (Muslims) and Ahl – al – Kitab (Christians) so historically daggers drawn? There is need to highlight the Pact of Najran;
“I hereby declare that my horsemen, my foot-soldiers, my armies, my resources, and my Muslim partisans will protect the Christians as far away as they may be located, whether they inhabit the lands which border my state, in any region, close or far, in times of peace as much as in times of war. I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert.
I will protect their religion and their Church wherever they are found, be it on earth or at sea, in the West or in the East, with utmost vigilance on my part, the People of my House, and the Muslims as a whole.
I place them under my protection. I make a pact with them. I commit myself to protect them from any harm or damage; to exempt them for any requisitions or any onerous obligations and to protect them myself, by means of my assistants, my followers and my nation against every enemy who targets me and them”

Agreed there is controversy over the applicability of the he Pact of Najran beyond that specific Christian community the treaty was sealed with. Understandably, through the eras of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Safavids, and so on Ottomans right down to the Maliki revival of Sheikh Othman Dan Fodio a lot of water has passed under the bridge, lest I forget the intervening Crusades that spanned 175 years from 1096 – 1271.

We however have a monumental reference point in our own clime in the groundbreaking letter written by Shehu al- Hajj Muhammad al – Amin al – Kanemi (1776 -1837) on the 23rd day of Rabee-ul-thani, 1238 AH to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Bello (1781 – 1837) who was Amir al – Mu’minin, Commander of the Faithful from 1814 -1836. After the usual polite and often flowering greetings, felicitations and best wishes the Shehu of Borno that was born in Murzuk, in present day Libya stated;

“Hence, the cause of writing this letter and the purpose of its lines, is to acquaint you that the bearers are English travelers; whose nation, out of all the other Christians, has maintained with the Mooslemeen uninterrupted treaties of religious amity and friendship, established since ancient periods, which they inherited from their forefathers and ancestors; and on this account, they penetrate into Mooslemeen countries whenever they please, and traverse all provinces and lands in confidence and trust, without fear. They came to our country, sent to us by our virtuous and accomplished friend, the Lord Yousuf Pasha, master of Tripoli, to see and delight themselves with the wonders of the Land of Soodan, and to become acquainted with its rarities, as lakes, rivers, and forests (or gardens) ; equal to which are seldom seen in other countries.”
The accomplished cleric and sovereign of the Borno empire that was of Kanembu ancestry of present day Tchad who upstaged the Sefuwa dynasty with its former capital in today’s Yobe state, ruled from Kukawa which he founded in 1814. Maiduguri was later established around Yerwa by the Ngadda River in 1907 after a treaty with the Germans, French and British.

He continued;
“You are well aware of what is stated in Alcoraanic sayings upon the subject of the observance of honour, dictated by our Lord, the Apostle of God; and that the true Mooslemeen have always avoided shedding the blood of Christians, and assisted and protected them with their honour. Be then attentive to these travelers, and cast them not into the corners of neglect; let no one hurt them, either by words or deeds, nor interrupt them with any injurious behavior: but let them return to us, safe, and may the high God bestow upon you the best reward for your treatment to them, and insure to us and to you the path of righteousness for conduct in this life.”

For me this iconic attestation that accompanied the English explorers Major Dixon Denham and Royal Navy Commander Hugh Clapperton from Kukawa to Sokoto in January, 1824 is sufficient proof of the historical covenant between Muslims and Christians before even Nigeria was crafted into being a nation. It is on that foundation laid 196 years ago we must build a new Nigeria!

In any case the conclusion of the Pact of Najran emphasized;
“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”

In conclusion; You don’t have to be Hindu to enjoy Indian films or an Inca to watch Telenovelas or indeed worship Shinto to drive a Honda or Toyota neither have no religion to patronize any Chinese product nor be a Korean Buddhist to use any Samsung or be an agnostic to admire Nelson Mandela. Must you own an iPhone or any Apple product if like Steve Jobs that produced them you don’t subscribe to any particular religion?

Less 48 hours or so ago America despite its present health pandemic and economic woes launched a space mission called Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover; “That will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance the quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars” – yet here we are in Nigeria still dividing ourselves over religion!

Can they beat Trump?

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Can a Biden/Harris ticket beat President Donald Trump?

On the surface this is a winning team. However, in America democracy it is all about the Deep State. That is why during the 2016 presidential elections despite her 65.8 million votes, Hilary Clinton could not enter the White House. Rather Donald J. Trump and his 62.9 million votes is now the current chief tenant.
So what happened? The United States Electoral College voted him in that is what. Trump got 304 votes of college electors while Clinton got 227 – end of story.

“The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, which forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election……The number of each state’s electors is equal to the sum of the state’s membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.”

Interestingly, there are “Faithless electors” who switch sides or are compelled to do so by the Deep State and its allies and interested parties. But who are these electors in general? The answer to this question is why Kamala Devi Harris is very crucial to Joe Biden’s candidacy. The state of California where she comes from has the highest number of 55. Besides Harris is biracial, her father is from Jamaica and her mother from India. Gender also plays a prominent part in the permutation as women voters are the most consistent in American politics. American men are good in arguing and debating politics but it is women that actually turn out to vote in more numbers per capita.

Deep State is defined as; “A hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process”

There is also what is known as American Exceptionalism which; “is the theory that the history of the United States is inherently different from that of other nations.” The idea that America has a unique mission to transform the world. Therefore to achieve that only those that can preserve and keep the American national interest should be allowed to occupy the White House. For instance, Obama came into office with the repeated promise to shut down the illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay but for 8 years he couldn’t. And by negotiating a nuclear peace treaty with Iran he openly defied the Deep State making Mrs. Clinton take the fall.

In the United States no president can go to war with the Deep State and win. Ask John F Kennedy and his brother and Attorney General, Robert F Kennedy who wanted to run for president – they were both assassinated. The Deep State is an extended cabal that cuts across party lines.
It is very important to note that very deeply embedded in the American psyche is the role of the Sheriff that constantly fights off bad guys. That is why Hollywood endlessly promotes the protagonist/antagonist dynamic – always between an “actor” and the “boss” The oxygen of the US economy is the military-industrial complex which cannot survive without conflicts and wars all around the world; “Without war human beings stagnate in comfort and affluence and lose the capacity for great thoughts and feelings, they become cynical and subside into barbarism” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821- 1881)

My take on the forthcoming US elections is solely based on stone cold analysis of the 2000 polls “won” by George W Bush by a complete outsider through the pages of; Stupid White Men of Michael Moore (2002) If I had been resident there I am sure I would have felt different and opined otherwise. I am merely a detached student of the dynamics of power. I say this out of respect for my numerous friends and even some relatives in the US. I respect their choices.

Now back to the question; can the Biden-Harris ticket beat that of Trump-Pence? I have my doubts for the following reasons;

1. The opinion polls that Biden is currently leading Trump by 10 points is no different from that of Clinton over Trump in 2016 yet see what played out.

2. America is a deeply racist country and will always remain so because there is an umbilical link between racism and capitalism – one cannot exist without the other. Biden is already 75 years old this means he has no second term ambition. Harris is however 55 which means another Black presidential against the background of all these Black Lives Matter protests in 2024. Even liberal WASPs might gravitate back to White supremacy by default.

3. Joe Biden is not a war monger and he will tax the rich more to pay the poor like bring back Obama Care.

4. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant segment of America prefer Trump’s sabre rattling on Immigration. Biden will open up the flow. Trump has shut the tap!

5. Biden is a supporter of strict Gun Laws. Trump is not!

6. Masses are masses anywhere in the world – the inability to see the big picture is always the same. The American masses vote in popular elections but it is just a few hundred “electors” that always determine who wins.

7. The ace in every US elections is Israel. Biden has always rooted for Palestine. He will also return to the conference table with Iran and negotiate with China. Trump will not because; “Leaders have always found it useful to have an enemy at their gates distracting the public from their difficulties. Use the rhetoric of war to heighten the stakes” – page 12 of 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene (2006)

God is Not a Christian

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The construction of Hagia Sophia church with its characteristic pendative dome was completed in the year 537. The project started in the year 360. Hagia Sophia which means – Holy Wisdom in Greek was the Constantinople seat of Byzantine Orthodoxy which had severed relationship with Roman Catholicism. When the ancient city where Hagia Sophia is located was captured by the Papacy during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 the church was converted to Rome.

In 1261, the Byzantines recaptured their city and church. Constantinople was named after Constantine the Great (227-337 AD) the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However by 1453 the city became Istanbul and Hagia Sophia, a mosque under the Ottoman Turk, Mehmed the Conqueror. That was when its minarets were added and the crosses, icons removed with the images within plastered over with various Arabesque features.

In 1923, the historic edifice was converted into a secular museum by the founder of modern Turkey, General Kemal Atatürk. Most of its original imagery were then restored. The United Nations would eventually declare it as a World Heritage Site.
By July 24, 2020, Hagia Sophia would revert back to a mosque again. The Turkish presidential order has already been signed. Many in Christendom are worried, others concerned. I am neither for 2 main reasons. First,

I totally subscribe to the Solomonic axiom – “The race is not for the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to the men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” Second, I remain an acolyte of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who told the story n 1989; “of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?” The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!” The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.”

His Grace Tutu went on; “Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.” The Nobel laureate eventually rested his argument; “My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don’t know what significant fact can be drawn from this — perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.

My second point is this: not to insult the adherents of other faiths by suggesting, as sometimes has happened, that for instance when you are a Christian the adherents of other faiths are really Christians without knowing it. We must acknowledge them for who they are in all their integrity, with their conscientiously held beliefs; we must welcome them and respect them as who they are and walk reverently on what is their holy ground, taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. We must hold to our particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, not pretending that all religions are the same, for they are patently not the same. We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.”

Tutu concluded; “God is not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us”

In the 1567 year history of the existence of Hagia Sophia it has withstood massive earthquakes in years 553, 558, 869 and 1344. This UN World Heritage Site has outlived wars, famines, plagues and indeed dictators, emperors and kings including presidents. It has been a constantly recurring decimal in the politicization of religion in Constantinople, now Istanbul at that crucial junction in modern-day Turkey where Europe meets the Middle East. Simply put the issue is beyond religion, it is another chess game in the “Clash of Civilizations”
Hagia Sophia will therefore outlive President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and return to its origin status as a church one day. Whether or not it happens during our lifetime is beside the point. So why bother? As the ancients wisely put it; “Only 3 things cannot remain hidden for long, the Sun, the Moon and the Truth”

Tick, tock, tick, tock…………

Tale of Two Nigerians

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Nigeria: A Nation of 75% Idiots, 20% Tribespeople and only 5% Citizens?

Against the backdrop of the trial of Hushpuppi on multiple counts of internet fraud and other related charges on various aspects of criminality in the United States another Nigerian “Lieutenant Victor Agunbiade was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Development Medal for his exemplary accountability. According to the US Navy, Agunbiade effectively managed its largest cash disbursing office handling $45 million which is approximately N17 billion.

The money accounted for approximately 70% of its overseas disbursing volume.
According to the award citation, Agunbiade earned the honor while serving as cash disbursing Officer at the navy’s Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, between October, 2019 to July this year.
“Additionally, he managed 100 per cent accountability of 23 million dollars (N8.7 billion) across six rigorous inspections and independent audits with zero discrepancies. By his unswerving determination, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, Agunbiade reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States naval service” the citation read.
Agunbiade enlisted in the US Navy as a storekeeper in 2008 and was commissioned as a supply corps officer in 2013.

He has always displayed a high level of professionalism while discharging his duties. In 2018, Agunbiade was named the Navy’s 2018 Officer Recruiter of the Year, alongside 17 others and honored at the annual Recruiter of the Year ceremony in Washington D.C.”
The same Naija but different persons: what is the explanation?

“According to the ancient Greeks, the founders of modern civilization, there are three kinds of people in any society; The first kind of people in any society are the idiots, not necessarily mentally deficient, but rather one who is a totally private person; totally selfish and totally self-centered (sometimes donning expensive suits, uniform or agbada).

The idiot is always out for his personal gain and his personal interest. He does not have a public philosophy, he has no character, no knowledge and no skills to live by and to be able to contribute in a flourishing society or community. He is all out for his personal pleasures and his personal treasures. The Greeks said the idiot is just an upgraded barbarian – you see them every day in society. They are the ones who form tadpole queues and drive against traffic. They toss litter freely out of their cars and appropriate our commonwealth for their personal use; The Greeks refer to these are the IDIOTS.

The Greek also said there is a second kind of person in any society called the tribespeople. Tribespeople does not necessarily mean belonging to a certain tribe; which is not bad in itself, but when the Greeks used the word tribespeople, they meant a tribal and a tribalistic mentality. The Greeks said the tribespeople are those not able to think beyond their small tribes and their small social groups.
For the tribespeople, the primary, only and ultimate allegiance is to their tribe. Their tribe is their god and their religion is tribalism. Tribespeople are always afraid of things that are different or are a little alien to them. They are always suspicious and fearful, and they always deal with different people and difficult situations with intimidation, force and with violence. The Greeks also said the ideal person for tribespeople is the warrior, because tribespeople are a war making people.

But it was not so for the Greeks, for them, there was another kind of person, and that for them was the ideal person, and they called this ideal person the citizen. When we use the word citizen we are not talking about legal status or political status or the accident of birth; those are outcomes. We are talking about the idea and ideal of citizenship – which is a choice.
Who then is the citizen you might wonder? the citizen according to the Greeks is someone who has the skills and the knowledge to live a public life, and able to live a life of civility. The citizen recognizes that he or she is a member of a commonwealth and thus strives for the common good.
The citizen knows his right in a society but also knows his responsibility to society. The citizen can fight for his right but always with an awareness of, and with the respect for the rights and interest of others; of their neighbors, of the smallest minority and of their worst enemies.

It is citizens, the Greeks said that make up a civilized society, because citizens settle their differences with civility, they produce a civilized society, a society that truly lives up to the meaning of the name society. Society literally means friendship and friendliness.
This is the threefold distinction that the Greeks have given of people in a society. That is the choice that each and every individual, whoever he or she may be, has to make in a society.
Indeed, no sovereign can make any significant advancement when the number idiots and tribesmen far outnumber the number of citizens. When we conducted random surveys on the various cohorts of Delegates at the Ausso Leadership Academy, the perception is that; about 75% of Nigerians behave as idiots, 20% as tribespeople and only 5% as citizens. Do the results shock you enough to want to do something about it?
Nigeria is her people; If we want to see change, we have to start by being citizens of our country. According to Maria Robinson “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

The foregoing was nailed by Austin Okere, the Founder of CWG Plc, the largest ICT Company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange & Entrepreneur in Residence at CBS, New York. Austin also serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network, and on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Austin now runs the Ausso Leadership Academy focused on Business and Entrepreneurial Mentorship.