#BringBackOurGirls, #ChibokGirls, Abnormal, Acquaintance, Across, action, actions, affections, Afraid, african adventure, African literature, ago, agree, alone, Anthill, Ants, ate, azeenarh mohammed, bait, birth, Born, Nigeria
#BringBackOurGirls, #ChibokGirls, Abnormal, Acquaintance, Across, action, actions, affections, Afraid, african adventure, African literature, ago, agree, alone, Anthill, Ants, ate, azeenarh mohammed, bait, birth, Born, Nigeria
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
This is Commander James Stockdale on 2nd September 1965. A week later on the 9th of the same month the Navy fighter pilot was shot down over Vietnam after his plane received a barrage of anti-aircraft fire. He parachuted to safety but captured.
As a Prisoner of War he had to endure multiple fractures due to repeated torture and beatings, sleep deprivation, lack of medical attention and solitary confinement for 8 years. Upon his release in 1973 the US Navy named its school for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape after him. His story in captivity was summarized into what is now known as the Stockdale Paradox which is to “retain the faith that you will prevail regardless of the circumstances but at the same time confront the brutal facts of your reality” The Stockdale Paradox has universal application in balancing optimism with reality, intuition with planning, faith with fact. It is all about being supremely rational in all situations. Being emotional and losing focus are never options. It is therefore against that background that no judicial process in Nigeria as presently superintended will ever unseat Buhari.
With the benefit of hindsight in 2007 and 2011, Buhari spent 24 and 30 months respectively in various courts in pursuit of his mandate. Under the current acting CJN who will certainly be confirmed by the next APC majority senate Atiku Abubakar could spend 48 months. The mountains of evidence of electoral malpractices in the recently concluded presidential elections to be produced in open court will certainly undermine the integrity of the process. But what the courts would decide and how long it will drag is yet another ball game.
In conclusion Goodluck Jonathan did not challenge the outcome of the 2015 polls not because he didn’t have a legal basis to but because there were other political undercurrents. Similarly this time around the PDP flag bearer went into a wrestling contest with one arm tied behind to his back by not reconciling the fundamental differences between APC returnees and PDP stay puts ahead of the polls. Simply put the opposition suffers from lack of internal cohesion. The need for an electoral post-mortem including a SWOT Analysis from the ward to the national levels cannot be overemphasized. If there is anything the Stockdale Paradox has zero tolerance for it is wishful thinking. The signs and symptoms of a massive second coming failure are glaring. President Buhari will be in dire need for scapegoats for the inevitability of Murphy’s Law to catch up with him. The APC will also require a series of major distractions to blame on the opposition. So very soon the chorus of “corruption fighting back” will resume in full force. The gloating and taunting will continue then harassment and various forms intimidation. The opposition therefore requires clarity, purpose and direction with effective counter narratives to weather the storm for the next 4 years. Let us buckle up!
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
When Hilary Clinton lost the US presidential elections in 2016 she wrote down her thoughts on what played out. She entitled her musings ‘What Happened’ which became a major bestselling book. While she attributed her loss to various factors she did not spare herself from blame. In her own words the most difficult part was when she had to attend the swearing-in ceremony of her rival Donald Trump.
Mrs. Clinton’s attitude is highly unusual but commendable. In the coming weeks if not months much will be said about our own presidential elections but what lessons can we all learn despite our deep seated political differences? To start with the cost of organizing the 2019 cycle of elections is N242 billion which recorded a total voter turnout of less than a total of 30 million voters for the presidential elections in a country of 198 million citizens. From matters arising from the February 23 polls the next election cycle must have more of technology introduced and less of cumbersome paper work. The diaspora needs to also be factored in. There are over 260,000 documented Americans of Nigerian descent in the US. In the UK they are actually 201,184.
Put together including those elsewhere in the world our compatriots abroad are actually more than those that voted in the FCT last Saturday yet these same Nigerians remitted a total of US$21 billion back home in 2017 alone. Hilary Clinton dedicated her book to her campaign staff which she all named and thanked. She did not hide her resentment and explained how she had been coping since her loss. She also broke some furniture, smashed various household items and flung objects at her husband. It was all in a bid to get psychological closure. Moving closer home: how should Atiku Abubakar handle the results as declared by INEC? I have just read President Buhari’s acceptance speech and I am wondering how his supporters can look Nigerians in the face and still claim he is a man of integrity. Will they ever accept like Umar Yar’adua did that the process led by Mahmood Yakubu was credible?
That notwithstanding like Hilary declared in the conclusion of her book – “Keep going”. Simply put remain vigilant.
As I was saying before the elections: many relationships have broken down with so many friendships destroyed. Was it really worth it? Life however can always be summarized in just 3 words – it goes on. That is why for me the elections are over. I can now fully resume my hustling because I have got bills to pay. But for those of you who want to continue the political acrimony permit me to introduce you to Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who was deployed to fight the Americans on Lubang Island of Philippines in 1944 during the Second World War.
When the army base the 22 year old Onoda was serving was captured his good self with 3 others refused to surrender instead they retreated deep into the jungles. However by 1945 Japan had surrendered. The 4 soldiers noticed a lull in fighting and repopulation of the island but they nevertheless held on by eating stolen rice, coconuts and meat from stolen cattle from the isolated settlements of Lubang. The victorious Americans from intelligence reports were aware that the 4 were still carrying on the fight so they dropped leaflets from aircraft. They included photographs of the surrender ceremony, current newspapers from Japan and copies of letters from their various families. The relevant authorities also announced from loudspeakers the war was over but the tenacious soldiers did not bulge. They dismissed all those efforts as fake. Not until 1950 when one was killed by the Philippine army. Another in 1954. By 1972 another had surrendered with a message from Onoda that he would only be relieved from duty by his superior. So his commanding officer retired Major Yoshini Taniguchi had to be tracked down in Japan and sent into the jungles of Lubang. As soon as the now 52 year old soldier recognized his former boss he saluted him. He was then ordered to stand down and Onoda finally agreed to surrender. He rejoined civilization in his uniform that he had carefully preserved, carrying his rifle and remaining 500 rounds of ammo with his service sword after 30 years of active service. He is seen here handing over his prized blade to the then president of Philippines Ferdinand Marcos at the Malacanan Palace in 1974. The Samurai eventually left for Japan. He died in 2014 at his retirement farm house at the ripe age of 91. Coming nearer home the 2019 presidential elections will no doubt produce many like Onoda in Nigeria no matter the outcome from the INEC presidential collation center. The struggle continues.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
50 years ago in 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the Moon. Irrespective of who wins the presidential elections what lesson can we as Nigerians learn from the Moon landing? In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first unmanned satellite to orbit the earth. By 1961 the Soviet Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the world. At the end of the same year the Iron Curtain had launched 5 space shuttles. The Americans had none. That did not stop the American president JF Kennedy from declaring to his compatriots that “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth”.
It was a tall order because the Americans had not even launched any manned satellite by then. That however happened in 1962 when the American John Glenn in 4 hours circled the world 3 times from an altitude of 162 miles. The normal cruising height of a commercial aircraft is 6 miles high. In 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon and successfully returned to earth after 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds. The call sign when the shuttle landed on the Moon was: The eagle has landed. On the main screen at the Mission Control Center on earth Kennedy’s 1961 speech was scrolling followed by the words: Task Accomplished. The space race that started in 1957 was finally won by the Americans in 1969. The Space Center in the US was named after the Kennedy. The then US president was Richard Nixon his Republican archrival. The longstanding political bitterness between the 2 men did not affect the US space program despite the fact that the Democrat Kennedy had died in office 6 years earlier. The event was televised worldwide and broadcast on radio to millions of others including in the Soviet Union. Fast forward to Nigeria, a pathetically dysfunctional country where 60 years after national independence we are still eyeing each other through the prism of ethnic identity and religious affiliation. A country where State of Origin and not State of Residence is the major meal ticket cannot land on the Moon.
Ours is where a sitting president cannot give any cogent answer to the Almajiri problem because it might acknowledge his predecessor from the South in building special purpose schools in the North. Nigeria today needs a leader like Kennedy who will dream while awake and a Nixon that will cast aside political bitterness. The main leadership challenge in Nigeria is how to manage our diversity. What has happened the last few years is that Ijawization was simply replaced with Northernization. It is now time to break the jinx by externalizing our aggression like the Americans did with the Soviet Union. Nations develop when they have rivals to surmount. If there was no Japan there wouldn’t have been the Asian Tigers led by South Korea. India needs Pakiskan to excel and vice versa. Without Taiwan’s rivalry China would still be backward communist nation. Even under Murtala Mohammed the emancipation of Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa was our rallying point. Without external rivals nations cannibalize themselves as we have been doing for decades. Leadership imagination is very crucial in turning the tide. Nigeria therefore needs a president that can think outside the box by creating an external rival that will unite us in a common purpose and direction. We can then land on the Moon instead of fighting each other.
A young, well qualified Nigerian Officer left the job in Lagos and emigrated to Canada for better prospects and applied for a salesman’s job at Vancouver’s premier downtown department store. It was the biggest store in the world: you could get anything there.
The boss asked him, “Have you ever been a salesman before?”
“Yes sir, I was a salesman in Nigeria
The boss liked him and said, “You can start tomorrow. Learn fast and do well.”
The first working day was long and arduous for the young man, but he got through it.
Finally 6 pm came around. The boss duly fronted up and asked, “How many sales did you make today?”
“Sir, I made ONE sale!” said the young salesman rather happily.
“Only one sale?!” shot back the boss. “No! No! You see, most of my staff make 20 or 30 sales a day.
If you want to keep this job, you’d better be doing better than just one sale.
By the way, how much was your sale worth?”
“$933,005.00”, said the man.
“What?! How did you manage that?” asked the flabbergasted boss.
“Well,” said the salesman, “this man came in and I sold him a small fish hook, then a medium hook and finally a really large hook.
Then I sold him a good fishing rod and some fishing gear.
Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast.
So I told him he’d be needing a boat, so I took him down to the boat department and sold him that 20-foot schooner with the twin engines.
Then he said his Volkswagen wouldn’t be able to carry it, so I took him to our automotive department and sold him that new Deluxe 4X4 Blazer.
I then asked him where he’ll be staying and since he had not decided, I took him to camping department and sold him a six-sleeper camper tent.
Then he said I should throw in about $200 worth of groceries and two cases of juice.”
The boss took two steps back and asked in astonishment, “You sold all that to a guy who came in for a fish hook?!”
“No, sir,” answered the young man, “he came in to buy sanitary napkins for his wife and I convinced him that since he will be bored with his wife being in periods fishing is the best remedy for boredom.”
Boss: “Where did you work?!”
“Hustled in Maryland Junction Traffic in Lagos sir.”
You’ll all love this one from Ahmed Joe’s post on facebook.
He always puts up a friendly fight with real bullets…
Well? It is that time of the year for sharing. End of year bonus, gifts, welfare and so on. Even tight fisted people feel charitable. And no matter the state of the economy there is always an abundance of meat, rice and even “hot” to go round as can clearly be seen. Many of us also buy clothes and other things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. It is also a period when there is a spike in Federal Road Safety warnings on “If you drink don’t drive”.
Then there is the double edged sword of “drink responsibly”. Truth is that humanity has always searched for various means to induce “temporary insanity” by cheaply feeling “high”. The problem has always been in controlling the dynamic. A trailer driver neighbor recently gave me another insight about inducing “guts” when driving cross country particularly at night. He claims they see “things”. I am yet to discuss with any sailor if such “clear eyes” are needed on the high seas thus the maxim of “drunken sailors” but I have sure met many hard drinking pilots. Now is also a season for agricultural harvest and rural prosperity.
Ever wondered where most of the trailer loads of grains from the North end up across the South? In breweries. I once asked about the religious and moral implications of that including VAT proceeds from the sales of the end products. I never got a clear cut answer.
John Grisham in his 1996 bestseller ‘Runaway Jury’ put the tobacco and alcohol industries under the microscope. It is all about abuse. Too much of everything is bad. Which still brings us back to the ability to control usage. Grisham however exposed how nicotine content is manipulated to induce addiction which translates to more profits for the cigarette industry. The Russian government recently admitted it could not successfully ban Rap without driving it underground thereby causing more harm on their youth, instead it would take over control of the musicians “to properly navigate them”. So what is the verdict: to drink or not to drink?
Sir Winston Churchill was once asked about this using whisky as an example. Here’s how he answered:
“If by whisky you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, I am opposed to it with every fibre of my being.
” However if by whisky you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes. If you mean good cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of a gentleman on a frosty morning. If you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow. If you mean that drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of pounds each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation….then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it. This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle”
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
This is a metaphor of what the Talakawa refer to as ‘Kashin Dankali’ used in Hausa to exemplify societal oppression of smaller potatoes beneath that always bear the brunt of the bigger ones above. It was an analogy made popular by Malam Aminu Kano after the Sawaba Declaration of NEPU in the 1950s.
So ‘Kashin Dankali’ signifies how elites subjugate the downtrodden in the North irrespective of religion or ethnicity. Back then the political differences in the North were ideological. Today they are religious. The implication is that instead of making progress the North has backslidden. ‘Kashin Dankali’ almost 70 years later begs the question of why the Buhari administration discontinued the Almajiri school projects started by Jonathan. The answer is very simple and straight forward – the political North is so narrow minded and conceited that holding power in the interim is more preferable to it than planning for the future of its younger generation.
Simply put as far as the Northern intelligentsia is concerned dominating defense and security portfolios including headship of NNPC, NPA, FCT ministry among many others is more expedient than completing the 400 Almajiri schools earmarked across the North. Apparently to the ruling APC in the North an Almajiri child voter is more equal to an educated Talakawa leader of tomorrow. A more equitable Arewa is therefore not on its agenda. That is ironically among the root causes of the Boko Haram insurgency which now has become a political weapon in the dubious hands of the same mischievous Northern elite.
The first private university to be licensed in Nigeria was located in Rigacukum along the Kaduna- Zaria expressway as far back as 25 years ago. To date it has never admitted a single student nor built any lecture hall. In fact it is now a secondary school under Turkish management. Contrast that with the number of private universities springing up along and off the Lagos – Ibadan expressway within the last 10 years. Jonathan thought he was doing the North a favor when he located 9 of the 12 Federal Universities he established in the North. Not only that the former president elevated FCE Kano and Zaria to the status of Universities of Education. Both gestures were set aside when Buhari became president. With Alvan Ikoku at Owerri and Adeyemi in Oyo ambushed in the cross fire.
The newly established Nigerian Army University by the current Buhari administration would have brighter prospects because it is located in the more cosmopolitan Southern Borno. The high inter-communal harmony and level tolerance of that part of the NE are the reasons why the BH has repeatedly been unable to make any major foothold there. But what does not add up in the North is fact that our elites are mostly of humble background that were educated at public expense while their children and wards are so cut off from their grassroots and so expensively educated in private schools. Gone are the days when the son of a messenger will share the same class with that of a Perm Sec. That marked the beginning of the end of education in the North.
The man formerly known as Lamido Sanusi Lamido described it as a misplaced “12th century mentality” based on religious ignorance. I totally agree with him. Currently the Hon Minister of Education is a Northerner so are most of the heads of the ‘juicy” agencies under him. Yet the North still wears the dishonorable badge of educational backwardness under the current dispensation.
Will Atiku be any different if he becomes president? I humbly stand to be corrected but between Buhari and Atiku all their children were tertiary educated abroad. That is why both of them don’t have any comprehensive agenda on Education in Nigeria. Both candidates are fundamentally the same in ideological perspective.Truth is the differences between the North’s political elite are only in their bank balance, personal character and level of socialization but as far as ‘Kashin Dankali’ is concerned they are the same kind of oppressors Aminu Kano had always warned the Talakawa about.
2019 is therefore a Hobson’s Choice. A precarious situation where all the major options are just not good enough for Nigeria.
By Lukman Babalola Sanni
Just 17 years ago, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they were bankrupt. This will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people in those industries don’t see it coming.
It will happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Software disrupting 90% of traditional industries within 5-10 years. It is amazing to think that Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.
In the US, young lawyers can’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Watson already helps nurses diagnose cancer, 4 time more accurate than human nurses. Facebook has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
In 2019 the first self-driving cars will appear. By 2022 most of us won’t own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up and drive you to your destination. Our kids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car.
Cities will have 90-95% less cars, parking space can become parks. We now have one car accident every 60,000 miles, autonomous driving will drop that to 6 million miles and save a million lives each year. Many car companies could become bankrupt. Without accidents, insurance will become 100 times cheaper, the car insurance business model will disappear. Real estate will change, because working while you commute will enable people to live better further away.
Cities will be less noisy because cars will be electric. Electricity will be incredibly cheap and clean: Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than new fossil installations. The price for solar will drop so much that coal companies will be out of business by 2025.
With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as they need, for nearly no cost.
One of the major beneficiaries will be health: There will be companies who will build a medical device called the “Tricorder”, that works with your phone, taking your retina scan, your blood sample and when you breathe into it. it analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free.
The future is already here.
*Is Nigeria Ready for the Future?*
Are Nigerians ready for the future?
The changes are quietly creeping in on us;
*Who is using Post Office today?
*In the last 2 years many people have not bought or read newspaper.
*TV and cable TV is on its way out with smart TV connected to internet and you can watch millions of channel with your data.
The future is already here. Are you part of the future? Are your children part of the future?
A POINT OF ORDER!
Of recent, the Berom nation has been inundated with an avalanche of hate speeches, write ups, press releases, conferences and even protests by some groups and individuals within and outside Nigeria.
Notable among them are the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), with various captions such as, ”Matters arising from the Plateau”, “Stop Berom Terrorists now” and “Berom Christians, the real terrorists”.
The Berom nation takes serious exception to this smear campaign which is aimed at demonizing the Berom, heightening religious hatred and intolerance. To us, these narratives are largely blatant lies, others contradictory in terms, misleading or merely the figments of the authors’ imagination.
It is obvious that the purpose of all the write-ups is to change the well known narrative of sustained Fulani aggression and territorial expeditions against the Berom. According to this deliberate distortion of facts and reality, Berom Christians are vilified as evil, terrorists and cannibals fitting exactly into the schemes and justification of our detractors and invaders of our communities.
It would appear logical from their narration therefore, to continually brutalize, dispossess, displace and massacre innocent and defenseless peasants, women and children. It is quite revealing that none of these accounts made any reference to the past and present losses of the Berom in terms of lives, crops, farmlands, sacked communities and the displaced currently languishing in make-shift camps as IDPs. We dare to ask, who killed Rev. Bitrus Manjang, the then retired Vice President, Church Of Christ In Nations, (COCIN), in Rim village? Have the killers of Distinguished Senator Gyang Dalyop Dantong or that of Hon. Gyang Fulani, the then Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly been brought to justice, not to talk of the killers of a First Class Chief in Bokkos LGA, Da Lazarus Agai, the Saf Ron Kulere? Have we forgotten so soon, several massacres (genocide?) of Dyenburuk (Dogo Nahawa), Gashish and Riyom in June 2018 and most recently, Loh-Pamdyet, where thousands of innocent lives have been wasted?
We find it very dubious to isolate the unfortunate disappearance of Major Gen. Idris Alkali and treat it outside the context of security challenges bedeviling Plateau State now for nearly two decades. In fact, to do this, it would conspicuously imply that thousands of wasted Berom lives do not count, neither do their property, farmlands and homes, even when from their ancestry, they remain unconquered people except for the British. More intriguing is the ignorance being feigned that there are no Muslims amongst the Berom when in fact, thousands of them are indeed devout Muslims, with some highly placed as Sheiks and Khadis. How on earth do we excuse Professors Salisu Shehu and Ishaq Akintola if they both claim not to know that the urban setting and cosmopolitan nature of Jos, the Plateau State capital demands a higher level of responsibility on any statements involving criminality? Again, how acceptable is the narration that every act of criminality in Jos is defined by the twin frames of Berom ethnicity and Christian identity, when indeed armed banditry, robbery and cattle rustling are organized by syndicates that transcend religious and ethnic boundaries?
In our view, “no matter how thick suspicion is, it does not translate into a fact”. The Berom nation strongly holds that the mere discovery of a car in veryunclear circumstances at a particular location does not immediately incriminate an entire community, no matter how much we are hated or demonized. Justice demands that particular culprits be fished out through established procedures of scientific and criminal investigation practiced all over the world. This is what we expect in the circumstance, not for the Nigerian Army to indiscriminately arrest and harass community members and passers-by including heavily pregnant women and the aged with the aim of torturing them and “cowing” them to make statements under duress.
It is unbelievable and indeed ungodly that highly regarded Islamic bodies under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, can fall to the low ebb of becoming abusive on fellow citizens. These bodies have chosen to malign and unscrupulously label an entire ethnic nationality as “… a bunch of evil and deadly ethnic supremacists whose brazen show of cannibalism astounded the world…”. How we wish that these Islamic bodies stood up for true religion that considers human life sacred and upholds the tenets of justice to all for the promotion of peace and peaceful coexistence without prejudices to ethnicity, religious differences or social status.
The fact remains that the particular incident being used in this wild allegation and abuse, like many others including Loh-Pamdyet, Dyenburuk, Gashish, Riyom, Jol, Fan and Foron are yet to definitively deal with specific individuals or groups that have been found culpable from an official investigation. Today however, what the Berom nation is confronted with is the biased speculation and religiously motivated campaign to justify the dispossession and extermination of its people.
More fundamentally, we consider the labeling of the yet unknown perpetrator(s) of the disappearance of Major General Idris Alkali, as “Berom Christian terrorists” as not only prejudicial but malicious and inciting, meant only to further entrench religious bigotry and hatred.
Here, the question that demands an answer is whether the so called Prof. Ishaq Akintola who issued the statement by Muslims Rights Concern, MURIC has any evidence that there is an established Christian terrorist network that is Berom either in the said community or Berom land? Otherwise, what is the aim of statements such as “the General was targeted by Berom Christian terrorists because he was a Muslim passing through Berom territory”? What is the basis for calling the Berom a terrorist nation? Have the Berom ever attacked any community within or outside Plateau? Are the Berom the ones fighting in the North East, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Benue, Zamfara and Southern Kaduna?
On reading the statements, one wonders whether Berom Christians or better still, Christians in Plateau State have any rights at all.
The disappearance of General Idris Alkali is without doubt, painful and unfortunate. However, this must be explained in a proper perspective of the prevailing general insecurity, the compromised security agents and the quality of governance amongst others. The Berom nation has never and shall not tolerate criminality or cover bad elements in any way. Nonetheless, it shall not fold its arms nor keep quiet when lies, ill conceived narrations and thoroughly biased statements are unleashed in bad faith on the unsuspecting public. We pledge as a people to contribute our own quarter as we have always done to the collective struggle of uniting Nigeria and restoring peaceful coexistence, tolerance and the fear of God in our society.
We encourage the Media to stand on the side of the truth using incontrovertible facts to show the world the forces and factors at work on the Plateau, never to lose objectivity on the platter of intimidation, threats or ethnic and religious sentiments.
As far as the Berom nation is concerned, its people and communities are victims of sustained terrorist attacks by the Fulani which are aimed at dispossessing and annihilating them from their ancestral lands and heritage. On this, it must be said that no matter the terror and killings of our people, not a single inch of Berom land shall be ceded to Fulani occupiers and their cohorts in this 21st century , neither will we succumb to the wishes of paid political surrogates and thugs like one so called Rotdunna Sekat, calling for the deposition of our highly revered First Class Royal Father, His Majesty Da (Dr.) Jacob Gyang Buba and the arrest of former Plateau State Governor, Distinguished Senator Jonah David Jang as accomplices to the attacks and killings in their own land against their own people. How ironic this can be… blaming the victim! The so called Sekat who goes with several pseudo names such as “Kim Bulus” and “Loiusanta”, should rightfully be in the custody of security agents if his concocted and confused claims have any substance or better still a rehabilitation centre where lunatics and substance abusers receive help.
Lastly, evidence abounds for all that care to know that the Berom are peaceful, hospitable and accommodating. That is why Plateau State won for itself the appellation of the “Home of Peace and Tourism”.
Da Iliya Choji Kim
Vice President, Berom Educational and Cultural Organization, BECO
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe.
I personally took the attached photograph on the Plateau earlier this year in June on my way from Kaduna to Jos through Manchok via Vom. I was awed by the engineering genius in the road construction. Barely a week later that same road reportedly had become a killing fields of sorts particularly for delegates returning back to the North East from the APC national convention held in Abuja. That is how precarious that axis of Nigeria despite that many of us are still pretending that the nation is not dangerously sitting on a time bomb following latest events on the Plateau.
Call them potato chips or French fries you can’t have any without the Berom just as you can’t traduce the Fulani and still enjoy your Suya or Cow tail pepper soup anywhere in Nigeria. We are therefore all involved on the Plateau. That nevertheless it would be an act of deliberate mischief and reckless presumptuousness to box the Berom into a genocidal corner despite the circumstantial evidence recently found at a pond in Du District.
This is simply because an alleged crime scene is very much different from a suspected dump site. No doubt there is probable cause for complicity that however does not translate into credible evidence against the entire Berom. Truth is General Alkali and other hapless Nigerians suspected to be victims in the vicinity of Du are actually collateral damage of a longstanding proxy war of historic elite dynamics on the Plateau. That notwithstanding the suspected perpetuators of whatever led to Alkali’s car been found at the bottom of a Du pond must be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law. Permit me to reemphasize that the rule of law must prevail. While that would bring some semblance of justice and temporary succor for the nation at large what of the fundamental issues that created the enabling environment for the dumpsite to exist in the first place?
The fire on the mountain currently on the Plateau is all part of the symptoms of a deeper malaise caused by the stubborn virus of religion. Merely treating its symptoms without ridding the underlying virus will continuously be an exercise of futility for the nation. If so what then are the fundamental issues bedeviling the Plateau? Jos is a Green Line of sorts which makes it the Nigerian version of Jerusalem. Jos is the home of the Izala sect founded by Samaila Idris a religiously controversial army officer that was forcibly retired in 1978 who hails from Bauchi’s Jahun Fulani clan. He set of up JIBWIS that his one-time teacher Abubakar Gumi became the Grand Patron of. The Sunni Izala is essentially Wahabbist and anti-Sufi. Their openly confrontational stand to all others that don’t subscribe to their teachings does not need further elaboration here.
Meanwhile Jos is also the home base of the Sudan United Mission that was the arrow head of missionary activities in the non-emirate areas of the North. That is one aspect. The other is Jos is the capital city of Middle Belt consciousness making the Plateau a perfect storm waiting to happen in the political North. Under such circumstances the truth and level headedness are normally the first casualties. With Jos being hotly contested historically between the Berom “Gwash” narrative and the Hausa-Fulani “Jas” counter narrative the battle lines are therefore well entrenched and rest is now living history. As the say in the Middle East if the talking stops the shooting starts.
The Northern Muslim intelligentsia and North’s Christian must find common ground in Jos or there will be much more General Alkalis which an endless number of Zaki Biams or even Odis can never stop. History has a curious way of repeating itself. First as tragedy then as farce.
The Nigerian Army on 15th January 1966 lost its present day equivalent of Chief of Administration then known as Adjutant General in person of Lt Col James Pam. He hailed from Du and his body was never found after he was abducted by mutinous troops loyal to the infamous “5 Majors” from his Ikoyi residence. 52 years later the same institution has lost another Admin chief in Du District under the same circumstances of inter-communal violence as one section of the Nigerian polity angrily raises up against another. Both chiefs have somehow become victims of the inherent contradictions of our nation building process.
Have we not learnt anything in 5 decades? Back then drums of war were beaten right now drums of war are still beaten. Back then also there was anger and revulsion in segments of Nigeria. Right now there is still that same kind of anger and revulsion. What historical inferences can we draw from the unfortunate incidences of 1966 than could serve for us as useful signposts in 2018? That should be the topic of conversation.
Every issue in Nigeria no matter how complicated has a big picture and a small one. In any case apart from its infamous pond what else is Du known for? Du is the home district of Lt Col James Pam, DIG Victor Pam and Air Cmdr Jonah Jang. The senior Pam was the 4th most senior Northerner in the army when the unfortunate events of 15th January 1966 unfolded. His esteemed seniors Maimalari, Kur, Largema also lost their lives alongside his good self.
He was the Adjutant General having taken over that office from his bosom friend Yakubu Gowon who had to proceed to Staff College in the UK. The police Pam was billed to by seniority succeed Gambo Jimeta as IGP but was seconded to the National Guard instead. He would later be Gbong Gwom of Jos in 2004. A tough cop he met the Maitasine sect eyeball to eyeball in Kano, Bulunkutu, Gombe and Jimeta. He also set up the Mopol school in Gwoza.
Many political pundits have put it that if his Mopol hardware ordered from abroad had arrived earlier the coup to topple Shehu Shagari would have failed. As the monarch of Jos he criminalized selling of any Berom land to non-Christians and any Christian parents whose daughter converted thrown out of the Church a source put it to me. He also attempted ridding Berom land of its famed Burkutu small scale industry. He woefully failed.
Little wonder before joining the police in 1958 he trained as a priest at the famous TCNN in Bukuru. Jang on the other hand if it would be recalled was Military Administrator of the former Gongola and Benue respectively under IBB. Shortly earning his first star he was appointed head of air force logistics then almost immediately retired. He is still bitter which trickled down to the rest of the Berom.
IBB ever the Maradona would then appoint Lamba Gwom a former Navy paymaster to replace Domkat Bali on the FEC to water down Berom anger. Worthy of mention is the “Langtang Mafia” that apparently came into ascendancy as the Berom star was dimming. They were AFRC members when Jos South and Bukuru LGs separately created to diffuse Jos North. That is why I had earlier mentioned elite dynamics and its overall effect on what is playing on the Plateau.
Without understanding the context and background of this multitude of diverse factors how can a veritable solution ever be crafted out on the Plateau? God bless Nigeria.