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Happy 52nd!

 

This is to wish a happy Independence Day celebration to Nigerians and friends of Nigeria..

There is still much work to be done, but at least on one special day, Nigerians should take the time to drink and be merry and remember the day they were allowed by the Brits to be in charge of their own affairs. Check here for YouTube videos of different people performing the National Anthem.

 

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Hey MAUL, What’s Up?

UNILAG students protest university name change to MAUL

In Lagos, the past few days have been quite chaotic as students of the University of Lagos Nigeria, have protested vehemently the sudden change of the school’s name to Moshood Abiola University.

What caused it?

Apparently, in a broadcasted speech given by the president Jonathan Goodluck, on Democracy Day, to honor some eminent or patriotic Nigerians who have striven in one way or the other to advance the cause of democracy in Nigeria, the president figured it would be great to honor the dead Moshood Abiola by renaming the premier university in Lagos state after the man.

For the benefit of anyone who might not know, Moshood Kashimawo  Olawale Abiola was a widely recognized Yoruba business man and philanthropist who ran for  the presidency in 1993 under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and actually defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). However, after the victory, the results of the election were annulled by the Head of State at the time, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on June 12, 1993. Abiola therefore never got his mandate to rule until he finally died in 1998.

When the result of that election was cancelled, IBB put in a transitional government led by one Ernest Shonekan. It wasn’t too long afterwards that IBB, fearing a possible descent of the polity into anarchy, teleguided the seizure of power by his comrade General Sani Abacha. I remember vividly that at the time his mandate was denied, the Yoruba segment of the population felt especially cheated and some of the more extreme supporters of Abiola promised to make the country ungovernable if his mandate was not restored. Abiola tried to play it intelligently and strategically to avoid being perceived as being overly power-hungry, but when it finally dawned on him that Babangida had no intentions of reversing his decision, his (Abiola’s)  utterances on the matter assumed a revolutionary dimension.

He declared himself the constitutionally elected president of Nigeria (which indeed he was) at a time when there was already another government structure in place headed by General Sani Abacha. It wasn’t very long afterwards when there was massive unrest and panic in Lagos state, as supporters of Abiola went on a vengeful and destructive rioting spree. Many Northerners and South-easterners fled Lagos state and returned to their respective geographical enclaves fearing a protracted and deadly civil war. Nevertheless, that didn’t pan out as the petty rebellion was snuffed out by the military and Abiola himself apprehended on charges of treason and thus held in captivity till he eventually languished and died in jail.

So, from the little above, you may agree that he stood firm on his pro-democratic persuasions and ultimately laid down his life for his principle. You might even agree that he was one of the few members of the Nigerian political class that might have indeed merited honor. So why then was the larger student body at the University of Lagos Nigeria incensed to the point of rampage when Jonathan announced this change? Your guess is as good as mine. The rioting was so severe that the school authorities had to close down the university for 2 weeks to allow calmer heads prevail in the matter.

My question is: what was the big deal about this announcement? Was it that the students did not value MKO and never regarded him with the sort of honor that Jonathan wishes we recognized him? Was it that the student body felt slighted by the president in that there was no time the proposition for the change of the university name was put to a referendum by the alumni and the current students of the university? Was it that the students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) did not particularly despise MKO Abiola but nevertheless found the name Moshood Abiola University Lagos (MAUL) less palatable or less cosmopolitan?  Things get renamed all the time so it is not as though this is the first time something like this has happened. So what exactly about this renaming incident made it the peroverbial straw that broke the camel’s back?

What indeed is in a name? I am reminded of the adage that says that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. I sincerely wonder whether the priority of these students shouldn’t have been on real matters like school infrastructure, quality of teachers, cost of tuition and other more important issues rather than on a mere name. If it could be said whether factually or otherwise, that UNILAG has great faculties and staff, or a generally clean environment, or relatively affordable tuition for all, or viable infrastructure, then by Jove, what is the hullaballoo about the name change? Frankly, a name change is not going to alter in any meaningful manner any of these circumstances on the ground. If these students are to protest at all, it would be better if it were for more substantive issues and not for something as trivial as a name change.

A Titan Passes On

Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Calpurnia:

“When beggars die there are no comets seen;

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31)

It was with an admixture of relief and sadness that I received the news that Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has passed on to glory.  I am relieved because towards the latter end of his life, it was painful to watch this courageous man’s health deteriorate steadily to the point that many happily pronounced him dead week in, week out—even as he was struggling to recover from a stroke. Did he have the best possible medical care at a time he needed it most? Is it possible to imagine a scenario in which the Ikemba Nnewi successfully received treatment and recovered from the stroke? Would he have fared better in another medical facility? At this time, it is impossible to answer any of these questions definitively. Perhaps there is just no way to know these things. The only certain thing is that at long last the Ezeigbo Gburugburu has finally gone to meet his maker.

In life—he was larger than life. He had many haters and detractors. Nevertheless, he was a man that was deeply cherished and admired by his people. Here was a man that commanded the grudging respect or even fear of his adversaries. Love him or hate him, it cannot be denied that Ojukwu was a man of destiny and clear vision, and that his love and devotion to his Igbo people and to Nigeria as a whole has simply been unparalleled. He will most certainly be missed. As a matter of fact, I make bold to say that in time history will remember him kindly. His dogged commitment to the liberation of the black man sets him apart; his prophetic insight into the future fate of the country (as per the Ahiara declaration) has been borne out severally even in his lifetime. I daresay that whenever the history of Nigeria is written in years to come, Ojukwu will play a prominent role.

Now, I do not wish to open afresh the painful wounds of the Nigerian civil war neither have I elected to write any condescending or disparaging commentary against people who have for one reason or the other chosen to denigrate the man or his politics.  Even without my adding anything to the discussion, tomes have already been written on the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, so I realize that a lot of people already have had a number of sources influence or shape their perception of that war and the role Ojukwu played in it.

It should be noted however that a lot of the derogatory perceptions of Ojukwu are founded on deliberate misinformation or willful exaggerations.  This is understandable because in war, there is almost always a propaganda or perceptions war going on as well. Nevertheless, the war ended over 40 years ago and in those 40 years, Ojukwu conducted himself as a model law-abiding Nigerian citizen—even contesting for the presidency of the country. This at once puts a lie to the injurious speculations that Ojukwu was hell-bent on carving out a country of his own. Any fair and knowledgeable person analyzing the war should clearly surmise that the main cause of the war – at least that which motivated the Igbo –  was the general feeling of insecurity prevalent in the then Eastern Region because of the frightening wave of genocidal pogroms against the Igbo that occurred all over the country.

Unsurprisingly the corrosive bile, resentment and antipathy directed against Ojukwu in some areas are of such frightening and sickening proportions that they simply boggle the mind. It is therefore imperative that I remind anyone reading this that my main aim of writing this post is simply to recognize a truly iconic character and further to commiserate with the friends, family and well-wishers. It is not, I am afraid, to rehash the ugly and dark days of the civil war.

As with all larger-than-life personalities, he had his own generous share of human frailties, but the one thing that cannot be said about Ojukwu is that he lacked the courage, will or the strength of character to act upon his convictions. It is this commitment to fairness, decency, the rule of law, and a sense of history that saw his meteoric rise to prominence in the army—a calling to a position of trust and influence; one which would uniquely equip him to stand up for his people during the dark days of Nigeria’s anti-Igbo pogroms.

Now, as you can probably tell, there is a lot to the civil war that a mere blog post cannot do adequate justice to. I’ll leave you with one thought however. All through his life, Ojukwu has kicked against inequality and unfairness whether in his career or his personal life. Evil, it is said, thrives only when good men and women refuse to do anything about it. Ojukwu was content to lose not only his material possessions, nor indeed to sacrifice personal comfort, but was moreover keen on standing up for the defenseless. He stood for transparency, integrity and accountability which is why his military record when compared with most of the consecutive looting generals that lorded over the Nigerian estate is simply unrivalled.

It is left for Nigerians of today (especially Nigeria’s visionless and incompetent leadership) to eschew shortsightedness, blind hatred, corruption, ethnocentrism or nepotism, the craven worship of mammon over mettle, the feckless devotion to pennies over principles, if there is ever to be any hope that Nigeria as currently constituted will be a shining beacon of progress and prosperity on the African continent. If this does not happen, the spirit of Ojukwu—that indefatigable spirit that demands justice, fairness and self-determination—will continue to inspire and enervate the disenchanted, dispossessed and disenfranchised masses until a time comes when the Nigerian center cannot hold: and then indeed, things will fall apart.

Fare thee well Dikedioramma (November 4, 1933 – November 26, 2011)

Iwe – Flavour’s Tribute to MC Loph

Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor a.k.a MC Loph

Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor popularly known as MC Loph—one of Nigeria’s rising indigenous crooners, and a dear friend to Flavour N’Abania—was returning to his hometown of Ugwuaro in Anambra state from Lagos State, in the company of his only sister and sibling Chinwe, and his fiancée on September 14 of this year, when he crashed his newly acquired SUV at Benin-Ore road. He died with his sister before help came. He was returning home to his parents in order that they could go about the normal Igbo traditional marriage rites to be fully married to his fiancée when this most unfortunate thing happened to rob some grieving parents of their only children.

This is a very tragic loss to the Nigerian music industry, and it represents yet another example of precious lives that are lost on Nigeria’s dangerous roads—roads which are in dire need of serious repair, but which have consistently been ignored by the state and federal government.  How many lives would be swallowed by Nigeria’s ugly death traps pretending to be highways before a tough-minded dedication towards road rehabilitation occurs?

At any rate, MC Loph and his sister were buried on October 28, 2011. It wasn’t surprising therefore that Flavour dropped a soul-stirring and emotional farewell tribute to a dearly beloved friend. Here, I’ll try to translate the song as faithfully as I can, and in as much detail as is required to help any non-Igbo speakers understand what’s being said. The original words of the song are in bold; I’ll underline the direct translation of the original lyrics into English. To further expand, I’ll give a background or contextual deeper explanation in curly brackets. You may discover that you’d have to listen to this song several times while you read the translations for it to adequately sink in.

MC Loph is fondly remembered for his hit song ‘Osondi Owendi’ which was itself a remixed tribute to the late great king of highlife music Chief Stephen Osadebe.

Read the rest of this entry

Azonto

Just like D’banj’s OLiver Twist song has gone viral in Nigerian circles, prompting an avalanche of youtube videos of Nigerians spontaneously getting jiggy with the beat, there is a song which has also gone viral in Ghanaian circles. It is called the Azonto song.  All over the place you can see people eagerly stepping or dancing to this gripping song and dance.

Try to dance to that song and see how well you can replicate those dance steps, if you dare! Ok, let me get my dancing shoes and do the Azonto!

Meet A Nigerian Tycoon

I give you Africa and Nigeria’s  wealthiest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote:

Happy 51st!

This is just to celebrate with the millions of Nigerians both home and abroad on the 51st Independence day celebrations. On October 1, 1960, Nigeria formally gained her independence from Great Britain.  I realize that many Nigerians are cynical about all the  profuse celebrations going on when they look around and see economic hardship, general insecurity, political malfeasance, infrastructural decay, austerity, and general backwardness. They may wonder why anyone would want to celebrate a nation like Nigeria which must appear to be a failed state.

I recognize all these Brobdingnagian setbacks but nevertheless, I feel compelled to celebrate with people who despite the woes manifest in their homeland, are simply eager to acknowledge  and proclaim their Nigerian connections and pride. Of course there is work to be done, and I hope that beyond the fleeting mass hysteria and wild partying that October First induces, Nigerians of all stripes would find the time once again for deep and sober reflection on the nation’s abysmal state of affairs.  And having done such reflection, that they may find themselves sufficiently motivated to work for the greater good. This may seem like a mere wish to you, but for me, it is also a silent prayer.

Of ‘Killer’ Phone Calls

Ok, have you heard the latest rumor circulating?

I got a call from Naija a few days ago and after the discussions, my interlocutor asked me whether I knew what was going on in Naija. I was about to hang up the phone when this question came flying at me. So, I paused and asked to be told what this all-important news was. You see, usually when I call Nigeria, I try to get posted on the latest events—sometimes, I get the new information before they make it to the online Nigerian newspapers. Yes, word sure travels fast back in Naija.

In a partly unserious, partly scared tone of voice, he informed me that about 5 people suddenly dropped dead somewhere in Adamawa state after they replied a call from some anonymous 5 digit number. So the word spread like wildfire throughout the federation, and people are now being extra-cautious about picking up calls from 5 digit numbers. To understand why this would cause some panic, there is no telecommunications network in the entire country on which you could get a 5, 6 or even 7 digit number for your cellphone or landline. They are usually 10 or 11 digit numbers.

But why was this scary? According to the person who gave me this info, we’ve heard and seen a spate of violence from Boko Haram. His suggestion was that disgruntled and hidden Boko Haram members, fortified with great juju charms, have devised a new means of wasting lives. They would give you a call from this 5 digit number 09141, and as soon as you picked up the call, you would collapse and die—ostensibly from the devastating power of the charms which were being channeled across phone lines.

Hmmmmmm—dis naija people sef. Oh by the way, you can stop laughing now. You think I don’t see you smiling to yourself there?  But on a serious note: Why are so many Nigerians so superstitious and gullible?

I started to laugh after he finished his tale. In a stern voice, he demanded to know why I found the account amusing. I suppose in his mind, and given the plethora of scary supposedly supernatural events he had heard (but never seen), this was something to take seriously; something you dare not scoff at. This was probably in line with what he might have thought or suspected.

Pray tell me, how does one begin to answer this query? How exactly do you convince someone like him that the story is a hoax, or at best heavily embellished? How do you explain to him that people just do not slump and die from answering phone calls? How do you get him to understand that since he was never there and never personally witnessed the story, he couldn’t tell if 5 people really died—and if they did, what the full circumstances of their death was?  Who was it that did the autopsies of these dead people, or who exactly was the investigator that revealed all 5 (or however many casualties there supposedly were) had the particular ‘deadly’ number as the last calls on their phones? How do you explain to him that if at all 5 people died after picking phone calls, then you should first suspect that these unfortunate dead people were tracked and personally executed—and so didn’t die magically from getting a phantom  killer call?

When I began to persuade him not to pay attention to this nonsense, he quickly shot back at me that I was the one who was living in some lala-land because I have allowed myself to be deceived into thinking that rumors like these must have perfectly natural explanations which ought to rob them of their capacity to inspire fear and dread. He claimed that I had completely westernized my mindset and values and I have simply refused to acknowledge the ability of evil persons to channel their malicious ill-will to their targets through whatever technology is available.

I must admit it sounded like a compelling accusation. But when we x-rayed the details of this account, we found out that it really ought to be treated as a rumor. First was the fact that there was no compelling evidence for these claims—there did not seem to be any eyewitnesses to the account, nor any investigators who could verify the cellphones and the ‘killer numbers’. Secondly was the convenient distance and remoteness of the said account. This happened in some nondescript rural environ in an already sparsely populated dusty Adamawa village—at the very edge of nowhere. Thirdly was the fact that since the rumors began to spread it seems as if there have not been any further casualties. Why indeed would these supposedly malicious mobile phone murderers suddenly cease their operation seeing as there was virtually little to no means of being caught? And are we to believe that since this rumor started spreading a few days ago, everybody in Nigeria is now currently aware of this ‘deadly’ number 09141—aware and scared of the number so much so that they have taken great pains to not answer a possible call from the number? How possible is it to believe that these cellphone mercenaries could not find at least one unlucky chap out of 150 million (who perhaps due to sleepiness, tiredness or sheer carelessness) unknowingly answers a call from the ‘killer’ number a few seconds before realizing that he should not have done so?

By the time I was done talking to him in this manner, he was now laughing along with me at the transparent hilariousness of this claim. It reminded us of other urban legends and superstitious hogwash that one can find a dime a dozen in Nigeria. A clever spinner of tall tales is certainly going to enjoy this gullibility-rich environment. It is almost as if a great number of people come pre-packaged with a propensity for believing the utterly absurd. How easy to tap into this rich fountain of unquestioned credulity!

My friend was laughing with me at this stage, not quite sure how he could have allowed himself to be taken in by this obvious sham. As we were laughing at this absurdity, I suddenly stopped laughing and in a serious tone of voice I asked him:

“Hey, what if a call comes to your phone now from that 5 digit number. You will definitely pick it up now that you agree with me that this was just a silly hoax, right?

“You must be mad”, he shot back at me quickly “why would I want to do something stupid like that—did someone tell you that I am tired of my life or something? Stop this joke at once!”

And the line went dead.

No Honor Amongst Thieves

It has come to light that two former presidents of Nigeria are having a feisty and open verbal clash. They are presidents IBB and OBJ. This public spat on the pages of national dailies would have been comical and highly entertaining were it not for the lamentable reality that one is forced to contemplate.

Former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida came into power on the back of a coup against the Buhari government in 1985. He then ruled Nigeria with despotic tightfistedness for 8 years. Indeed, he would very much have wanted to continue his maladministration were it not for a widespread and seemingly national outcry against his continued reign. He finally surrendered power after having looted the country to her knees. In 1999, President Matthew Okikiola Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo took office; like IBB he ruled for 8 years as well. And much like IBB, his government was characterized by misappropriation, mishandling and wholesale plundering of the national coffers.  Guess who bore the brunt of their administrative incompetence and malfeasance? Yes, you are right—the impoverished, desperate and struggling masses.

How lamentable it must be for these unvarnished brigands to strut around insulting the sensibilities of the long-suffering Nigerian by unashamedly claiming to have respectively governed Nigeria well! It is one thing for a pair of feuding septuagenarian erstwhile generalissimos of the Nigerian armed forces to rubbish their respective governments for their glaring incompetence. In that, I wish them well and I encourage them to highlight all their sordid past records for all to see and remember. If anything, it shows that these godfathers of Nigerian politics are altogether not oblivious of the pervasive rot and decay that has characterized their respective administrations—no matter how much they pretend to be disconnected from the cries and plight of the suffering masses. They know too well how they have pilfered to the tune of billions of dollars, and how that has manifested in the shambolic infrastructure, a culture of looting, and the incompetent institutions they bequeathed to successive administrations.

Nevertheless, it is an entirely different matter to brazenly claim their respective governments to have been beacons of progress, stability and excellence. It requires an amazing dedication to duplicity for them to present their myopic and niggardly records as though they were architects of massive economic boons. The unfortunate thing is that there are many downtrodden Nigerians who would undoubtedly find themselves unwittingly drawn into one of the two camps: cheering loudly for their perceived hero and lobbing vicious accusations at their perceived villain. The truth however is that these two feuding former Aso rock occupants are really two sides of the same ugly coin. While some are cheering on the national show of shame, there are already concerned former stakeholders and generals convening meetings to get these ugly fiends to sheath their swords so as not to unwittingly upset their stringent hold on power. As far as I am concerned, they could call themselves FOOLS till they literally turn blue in the face; they could expostulate against the perceived mischaracterizations of their respective tenures in office till the cows come home, alert Nigerians will always refused to be suckered in. How true it is that there is indeed no honor amongst thieves.

Contra Boko Haram!

It may come as no surprise to any Nigerian following the political winds that the country has been seized by increasing panic and fear over the general security of lives and property ever since Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was declared the winner in this year’s election. At first, people were content to dismiss the mass killings in the North as a temporary but fixable orgy of violence designed to let off collective steam over the North’s failure to produce the president. But it is becoming increasingly clear now that what was once thought to be a momentary but manageable spike in violence in many parts of the North has indeed metamorphosed into a full-blown and persistent scourge of terrorism.

Yes, Nigeria is now a hotbed of terrorism; marinate on that for a minute.

There appears to be many groups that could at a moment’s notice visit unspeakable cruelty to the minority in the north. By minority, I mean Christians, Southerners or perhaps members of the National Youth Service Corps that hail from southern states. Of the lot, one has managed to come to the fore by the sheer ‘success’ of their frontal assault on not just the minorities in the North, but also visible symbols of state or federal administrative power. This group is known as Boko Haram.

First of all, it would be necessary at this point to remind non-Nigerians about the tenuous nature of Nigeria’s constitution. Nigeria is roughly divided along religious lines into 2—the predominantly Christian South and the predominantly Muslim North. This does not to suggest however that there are no Muslims in the South or Christians in the North; indeed as the case may be, there is a healthy 10% of Nigerians who are adherents of indigenous pagan religions. To effectively govern a country like Nigeria, it made a lot of sense that the highest law of the land, the Nigerian Constitution, should in fact be secular in nature and tone; pandering neither to Christian or Muslim sensibilities, but nonetheless cognizant of the fact that people might on occasion allow cases to be settled in customary, less secular, or even religious courts.

As the case may be, the North decided that it was not going to recognize the secular Nigerian constitution as the final arbiter on matters of justice. As if to give weight to that general sentiment, as far back as the first term of President Olusegun Obasanjo, 13 core Northern states in the Nigerian Federation unilaterally chose Sharia law as the preeminent law in these states. Such bold and reckless decision by these Northern states should have been grounds for concerted Federal action, if for nothing else, to demonstrate how seriously the Obasanjo administration takes any affront to the [fictional] unity of the federation. Suffice it to say that the Obasanjo administration did nothing to rein in these excesses with catastrophic consequences to the religious and cultural minorities in Northern Sharia states.

What followed was a season of anomie as people genuinely wrestled with Sharia’s prescribed punitive measures for crimes like petty theft and adultery. The world watched in horror as the predominantly Christian south railed at Sharia’s requirement of amputations for petty theft and stoning for adultery. This only consolidated the xenophobic attitudes of many extremist Northerners who chose to see the outrage as a direct attack on Islam and their religious identity. This gave rise to many resistance groups like Boko Haram, who swore to remove or kill the pesky Christians and Southerners and vestiges of Western education and civilization from core Northern states. That struggle, to sanitize the North as it were, and rid it of the non-Muslims opposed to the dictates of the Quran, goes on to this day. It is against this backdrop that one has to now weigh the escalating terrorist activity of Boko Haram at this time. One thing is undeniable though: they have managed to grab not only the attention of the present occupant of Aso Rock but former occupants as well. As a matter of fact, people who were formerly complacent about the ugly menace of terrorism are beginning to wake up to the fact that Boko Haram really means its sinister business.

So, we are no longer just talking of routine massacres of innocent North-bound southern travelers who are waylaid, ordered off their luxurious buses, robbed at gun or machete point and then eventually slaughtered or set ablaze. No, our homegrown terrorists are now going after big game. If you were unmoved when ordinary civilians were butchered for no crime other than they were minorities, – if you maintained your peace when patriotic NYSC corpers in many parts of the North were beheaded and mutilated during the past election, – perhaps you would sit up and whistle now that Boko Haram has proven that they could recruit more foot soldiers from places like Chad, Somalia, Niger and Sudan to commit even more daring atrocities. In recent times, they’ve threatened politicians and murdered some (as a matter of fact the current Vice President Sambo is on their target list), they have targeted the IG of police and came close to killing him when they detonated a crude bomb at the Abuja Police Headquarters. Boko Haram has put great fear into youth corpers when they bombed an NYSC Orientation camp in Maiduguri. The feeling of insecurity in Borno state was so pervasive that the University of Maiduguri, Borno’s state university, was forced to close and dismiss students indefinitely—presumably until the Nigerian state finds a way to arrest this terrorism issue.  They have also attacked and bombed Businesses and Banks with crippling effect to the local communities.

The time has come for all peace-loving Nigerians to wake up and smell the coffee and denounce Boko Haram and all her sister terrorist outfits. If Nigerians do not want the country to become another Pakistan or Afghanistan, paralyzed and ruled by discrepant extremist guerilla groups, the time for concerted and brave action is now.

I do not want to place all blame squarely at the door of the various security agencies in the country like the very incompetent Nigerian Police Force simply because one needs no crystal ball to see that they are simply ill-equipped to handle this menace. Many policemen do not have the requisite training nor the motivation required for the task of uprooting terrorists. In like manner, I do not want to simply blame President Jonathan for not taking a bold and decisive action earlier. He is still settling into his job and at any rate, the task of providing local security should be under the purview of state governors and local police. But we cannot afford to be lethargic now because Nigerians are paying the price of administrative ineptitude with a senseless and a needless loss of innocent lives.

We are talking about a well-funded terrorist network in Boko Haram. I am not normally in favor of governments turning their country’s military loose upon the local population, but Nigeria presents a unique case. The Nigerian military is perhaps the only organized force with the adequate firepower and training required to stake out Boko Haram hideouts and defeat them in any ensuing firefight. It is precisely because the local police and other security personnel have shown themselves severely overmatched by Boko Haram that I welcome any future move to send soldiers into any suspected Boko Haram enclaves to tackle this incipient menace fully and frontally.

Down with Boko Haram and all their diabolical, murderous accomplices! The sooner this is nipped in the bud, the better for everyone. It is regrettable to read or listen to commentary which amount to nothing more that cuddling and pacifying brazen killers. If Nigerians perceive that to get the attention of the president and others straddling the corridors of power, all one need do is become part of a heartless murderous extremist group, I’ll predict that we shall see rival, ethnic-based, armed bandits spring up in other geopolitical zones to compete for government attention and largess. I do not need to point out that what will ensue is a furious race to the bottom; a horrific dance of death played out in a ghastly theater of innocent blood.

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