• The Need for Holistic and Altruistic Approaches to IGR and Taxation in Nigeria

    09/Dec/2015 // 359 Viewers

     

    This is not an academic or professional article about what IGR or taxes are. We already know what they are and the role they play in governance in any country. This is more about our leaders’ attitude and approaches to implementing them effectively, such that they will be more publicly understood and acceptable.
    On the back of recent economic woes that has befallen the states in Nigeria, and the Federal Government, several state governors seem to have woken up and are gradually coming to their senses and the cries of the need to increase, improve or, for some, establish Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and taxation in their territories have suddenly dominated their statements to the public through press interviews, projects commissioning and workshop opportunities.

    In most cases, these erstwhile profligate and corrupt politicians are speaking through the sides of their mouths because they either do not know what they are talking about or they are playing up to the gallery to cover past misdeeds and to appear to the public that they are still there with the knowledge of what to do about their ailing and moribund economies.
    In saner and more civilised countries, where decent politics, democracy and good governance have been embraced by all, both leaders and followers; IGR and taxations are no longer issues; they are normal governance procedures. The leaders who are elected do not need to chase after IGR and taxes; these are already in place to support them in delivering the goods to their people. And the people from whom these are collected are assured that whatever is collected from their salaries, business profits and other incomes will be used judiciously by those they elected or are appointed to rule them.

    These two interconnecting facts do not exist in Nigeria. People, perhaps understandably, do not want to pay taxes and contribute to IGR because of the ingrained perception that such money extorted from them will disappear into the rulers’ pockets to fuel inordinate wealthy lifestyles, and even worse, to oppress them. In fact, we see the evidence every day in the way our elected and appointed officials behave in public, internally and outside in the wider world.
    Herein lays the dilemma for both rulers and followers – lack of trust, lack of credibility, lack of sincerity, lack of purposeful leadership and lack of trusting followership, as well as an ignorant, indifferent and unsympathetic public. A dilemma or difficult circumstance of our own creation from which there seems no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions - dubbed "a catch-22 situation".
    A little digression: Just a few months ago, a local government chief executive sought my advice, and a possible contract for me, on exploring and exploiting new sources of IGR in his local government area, as well as improving on what little they already have. I came back to him after one month with just four pages of comprehensive and implementable ideas, including new sources and execution methods that will pay the salaries of his staff; will reduce dependency on the federal or state allocations so that the federal handouts will be released for developmental and other local authority projects. He was ecstatic, but unfortunately for both of us, for me on a business consideration; he told me his governor did not warm to the ideas. I know what he meant. There seemed to be not enough money in the ideas to benefit his “oga”. 
    Then recently, the governor of the State of Osun proclaimed that he is recruiting “Tax Marshals” to boost the revenue base of the state. Remember the State of Osun was the worst offender that failed to pay the salaries of his workers for almost eight months before the federal bail-out came, and even now  still owes many month’s unpaid salaries, and not very sure of its ability to continue paying the salaries. Who or what is a Tax Marshal? I will let him answer that, but I sure hope it is not like that of Lagos State, where they say over 25% (please don’t quote me, the figure is always varying, because nobody knows the true figure) of the taxes and revenue collected go into the tax consultant’s pocket in fees.
    A friend then wrote me: "The challenge for Osun is to create jobs and attract investments, first and foremost. Without jobs, organisations, factories, shops, or commerce there will be no taxes to collect. As a matter of fact if you recruit 'Tax Marshals' who go about intimidating entrepreneurs, prospective investors are driven away.
    To encourage investors, your tax regime must be liberal initially as well as competitive. Knowing Osun and Nigeria, these civil servant 'Tax Marshals' will be underpaid, owed months of unpaid wages, will have no other alternative but to demand bribes from shopkeepers, companies, factories or other organisations.
    When Awolowo and the AG developed Ikeja, Ilupeju and other industrial and commercial estates, the tax regime was initially low. Lagos state is now the biggest beneficiary of Awolowo's foresight and investment. The industries and commercial concerns are tied in already. So Lagos State could impose stricter tax regimes.
    Has [Governor] Aregebesola created investment, industrial or commercial base [and enabling environment] in Osun yet? Is Osun attracting investors? Let Aregbesola lay the foundation like Awolowo did, then Osun will gain the tax benefits in the future". (Olukayode Nathan)

    Furthermore, development initiatives are not about just the federal allocations or IGR. It is about developing the human capital through applicable education, skills development, providing basic infrastructure; potable water, electricity, transportation, roads, telecommunications and in these say the Internet. Any government not addressing these developmental initiatives is a failure. Any government that does not make provision for good education for the youths is a disaster no matter how big the IGR is.
    Are the vast majority of children achieving at schools and colleges? For Lagos and Akwa Ibom or any other state, the answer is NO.
    Are the state governments providing for the health and welfare of their people? The evidence shows there is a lack of basic infrastructure; lack of potable water, health facilities, lack of sewage facilities etc. in most parts and indeed the rural parts of both Akwa Ibom and Lagos states, or any other state in Nigeria for that matter. So both states like all other states fail the test.
    We need to be objective rather than defend ineptitude. None of the governors or public officers in those states would send their children to their public schools including the universities, and as we often see, they and members of their families will use the state-built hospitals for medical care. A good and poignant example is that of former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, now a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who had claimed and shouted to the rooftops during his tenure as governor that he has built a “world-class hospital” only to be flown abroad for treatment for minor injuries he sustained when he was involved in a motoring accident in Abuja a few months ago. How do we explain this incongruity and hypocrisy? 
    The problem is that our politicians never think of legacy building; they never think of building and erecting foundations for the future or for the next generation. They are very myopic, and do not see beyond their noses, all clouded by greed, self-interest and thievery.  They want it NOW, during their tenure, mainly because of the profit in kickbacks and bribes and the exaggerated glory that will come to them during their tenure only. "What do I care about the next government or the next generation?” that is their thought.
    That is one of the main reasons why the development of our industrial, infrastructure, investment and commercial base are so poor. They make no attempt to leave some legacy behind; no continuity of purpose and governance. Even in the same political party, a new incoming governor or local government chairman wants to start afresh, just to make his own money and empower a few family and friends and then proceeds to dismantle and discard the little that his predecessor managed to do.
    It is very sad, this phenomenon. With so many dearth of ingenuity and resourcefulness from our so called leaders, it is no wonder most states are in distress in Nigeria and go begging cap in hand for the Federal Allocation in Abuja, out of which they even embezzle most. 
    Fiscal federalism or autonomy is a very long unachievable dream in our times, if the mindset of both rulers and the ruled stay primordial and suffocatingly corrupt because the revenue allocation formula in Nigeria inevitably encourages parasitic governance where states become relaxed and endlessly expectant of the monthly ritual of allocation from the federal government. According to Dare Arowolo, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State, the implication of this is that while the allocation formula limits the capacity of states to provide public goods needed to promote and sustain governance, it also predates on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of each state, thus making the states perpetually dependent on the Federal Government.
    The surest way to at least partial fiscal federalism by both the states and local governments not only lies in an altruistic approach to generating internal revenue but also a sincere and holistic will and commitment to using the income so generated. 
    In a way, we should be happy that the mindsets are changing, but why should it be only when reality has set in; only when the price of crude oil, which we have depended on for so many years that we have neglected other sources of revenue, has fallen to very economically-dangerous levels?
    We are in it together!!!  

    Akintokunbo A Adejumo writes from London, United Kingdom. 

    MSc, Dip Mngt, CIHM, MCMI, FITP, MIH Food Safety & Hygiene Trainer and Consultant www.affinitylibra.com.ng

     

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish are entirely the author's and do not reflect or represent the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Climate change, weaponry and a dying world? ,By Bobson Gbinije

    09/Dec/2015 // 486 Viewers

    THE destructive  capabilities of nuclear weapons make their good uses to pale into insignificance. Our world and its environment is now  facing total annihilation because of wanton and uncontrolled flaring of gas, development of chemicals, industrial emissions and manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction.

    Efforts to remedy a highly polluted global environment have been in vain  as America and various culpable polluting nations have refused to sign and ratify treaties against pollution. They have failed to agree on reductions in the carbon-dioxide emissions that accelerate global warming because they said this would hamper their economic growth. The Kyoto Protocol, Canada Declarationand the Montreal Convention of March 1989 commit the international community to a 100% reduction, but they have turned out to be mere placebos.

    We live with the fear of air, water, pesticidal poisons, ozone layer depreciation and forest pollution, but there is a greater disaster inherent in global warming and nuclear power fission and testing. It is clear that the carbon-dioxide  emissions now threaten the world’s climate, by causing a gradual warming of the planet, the so-called “Green House Effect”. Climatologists have posited that the average temperatures of the earth have increased tremendously in the last century. They assert that greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels are accumulating in the atmosphere and trapping heat that would normally have escaped into space. This will trigger hotter weather conditions which is already prevalent and also the polar ice caps will release more water into the oceans, raising sea levels across the globe.

    The ozone layer, which protects us is also threatened. Ozone is a gas made up of three oxygen atoms (O3). It is inherently unstable, and is formed partly by the action of sunlight on normal oxygen, which is made up of pairs of oxygen atoms (O2). Ozone is minor constituent of the atmosphere, found in varying concentrations between sea level and a height of 60km. Most ozone is in the layer of the atmosphere called the stratosphere, which extends from around 10km to about 40km above the earth’s surface.

    The ozone layer filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ultraviolent radiation can cause skin cancer and eye cataracts, and can damage crops. The depletion of the ozone layer is majorly compounded by “chlorofluorocarbon, CFCs, man-made gases used in air conditioning, fridges, many aerosol and foam-blown cartons. The gases released from these products collect in the upper atmosphere and then decay into chloride gas, which destroys the ozone. The world should develop safer substitutes for CFCs as a delay will create more holes in the ozone layer thereby endangering the planet earth alongside the nuclear armament.

    The nuclear power is the most ghoulishly dangerous decimation weapon and pollution agent in our world today. Although, as an electricity supply format it could be put to good use, but the bellicose and power – acquisition instinct of man has made it very dangerous in our midst. The Pressurized Water Reactor, PWR, the Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor, AGR, Boiling Water Reactor, BWR and the Fast Breeder Reactor, FBR, could be put to good use, but the fear of the capricious and wicked introduction of Uranium (U-235) and plutonium could cost us  our world and humanity.

    On August 6, 1945 America unleashed the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing 155,200 people and the same thing in Nagasaki killing over 83,000 people. The disastrous consequences are still being felt till today. At 1:23 am local time on April 26, 1986, a nuclear reactor disaster at Chernobyl’s No. 4 Reactor in the former Soviet Union resulted in innumerable deaths, but 1.7 million people were exposed to varying levels of radiation.

    On July 9, 1962, a 1.45-megaton nuclear explosion occurred in space 399km above Johnson Island (Christmas Island) in the Pacific Ocean. The 7,500kg warhead, codenamed ‘Starfish’ was launched by the American Air Force. The explosion was 100 times more powerful than the 1945 Hiroshima blast and formed its own artificial aurora as radioactive particles interacted with the earth’s magnetic field. The height of this detonation equals the orbital altitude of the space shuttle. What a shame!

    It is clear that the ultimate dream of the nuclear industry is not to spill big nuclei as at present, but to combine small ones to exploit nuclear reaction rather than nuclear fission. This is evidenced by the fact that many countries apart from America, Iran, France, Russia, Britain, China and North Korea, have slowed down their construction of nuclear reactors. In principle, nuclear fusion sounds the perfect answer. The fuels required are deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen can be produced relatively simpler and in unlimited quantities. Whichever way, the manner in which countries in Asia, America and Europe are developing nuclear warheads in obvious disregard for the Non-proliferation Treaty, Strategic Arms Limitation Agreement (I and II), Entente détente and other moratoriums on nuclear disarmament calls for action by the United Nations.

    It is in this light that one must condemn in no uncertain terms the testing by North Korea of its ballistic missiles and nuclear devices along the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea and the Korea Bay respectively. The United Nations must invoke all necessary statutory sanctions against North Korea. But North Korea is not alone in this, as America followed by France, China, Russia, Britain, Iran and Ukraine, etc, are still acting in breach of the Non-proliferation Treaty.

    We want to see a nuclear-free and pollution-free world where our environment will continue to concretise the basis of our lives and progress.  We opt for a nuclear-free world. America must blaze the trail.

     


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  • Power sector: Great expectations from Fashola, By  Uche Aneke

    09/Dec/2015 // 312 Viewers

     

    AT a time, doubts were rising and hopes were receding as to the timely appointment of federal ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari, the list of the ministers emerged from the President with a bang and to the amazement of sceptics and others. Amazement, not so much because the ministerial list took so long in coming but more because of the novel way in which portfolios were assigned.

    Babatunde Raji Fashola, the immediate past governor of Lagos State, was appointed as the new minister of power, works and housing, a position that was hitherto occupied by three ministers. Till this day, opinions are divided over this appointment. On the one side, is the group that says that the responsibilities that go with the portfolios will overwhelm him. They argue further that this may end up damaging his cherished reputation. On the other side, is the group that believes the assigned portfolios is an open endorsement and confidence in his ability by the President.

    Given his antecedents as an achiever, a man of towering intellect and fierce passion for sacrifice and service, which led to what I call “the miracle of Lagos transformation” during his eight years tenure as governor of Lagos State, he is uniquely poised to seize the promise of this new assignment to make a national statement on the present administration’s resolve to provide stable electricity in the country. He is the right man, the right leader for the job, with skills capable of fast tracking and sustaining the gains already made in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). There is no doubt that Fashola will justify his inclusion in the cabinet and the confidence reposed in him by the President and indeed Nigerians. This will certainly show in his conduct of business and performance in the upcoming days.

    The review of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) of 2005 is one area that should gain the immediate attention of the new minister. The Act was enacted to NESI and with the successful privatisation of the generation and distribution companies, it has achieved one of its main objectives. Hence, the need for a post-privatisation era Act/laws to deal with emerging issues that have arisen as a result of the operation of the Act and to give statutory backing to the new entities that were established as part of the unbundling of PHCN.

    An area that requires huge financial investment is the transmission network of the nation’s power sector. This is because the nation’s transmission wheeling capacity has not been given the desired attention and remains weak. This poses the serious challenge of evacuating generated power. The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) should be made to embark on repairs and expansion of transmission lines to mitigate frequent system collapses.

    As an accomplished lawyer, the minister should look into the Service Level Agreements (SLAs)/ Performance Level Agreements (PLAs) with DisCos to ensure improvement in power supply. At present, there are a number of complaints ranging from estimated billings to poor transformer status, prepaid metering installation and load rejection. Many are of the opinion that one of the reasons for these complaints is the inability of the DisCos to fulfil part of the agreements they entered into to invest in and improve distribution facilities and network. The Minister should ensure that DisCos keep to the terms of these agreements. The metering gap in the country is huge; DisCos should be made to close up this gap, which is part of their responsibilities.

    There are cases of electrical accidents and electrocution across the country in recent time. Undoubtedly, the recent death of Miss Justina Oluchi, a 300 level student of the University of Lagos, and also of a 15-year-old pupil, Afusat Musa, in a mosque on Ishaga Road, Idi-Araba, in Lagos would have been averted if the DisCos were alive and responsible to their duties.

    From the records available, the electrocution occurred as a result of the poor state of DisCos’ network and negligence on the part of the distribution company in charge of the areas where the incidents occurred.

    Shortage of gas and protection of gas pipelines have become recurring issues in the power sector. It is expected that the minister will rise up to the challenge of ensuring that thermal plants in the country are regularly provided with gas to ensure full power supply. There is also the need for protection of power facilities and the gas pipeline network nationwide. Gas pipeline vandalism has not only become a hard kernel to crack but has impaired growth in the country’s generating capacity.

    Achieving a robust energy mix is one area of necessity that should engage the attention of the minister. At present, the major sources of energy supply in the country are in the proportion of 70 per cent thermal and 30% hydro. In spite of the fact that the country is blessed with renewable energy sources like coal ,wind,        solar and abundance waste for biomass, harnessing the potential in these renewable energy sources in addition to embedded generation and distribution should be made a priority. Efforts should also be made to develop a clear cut renewable energy and energy conservation policies for rapid growth in the Nigerian Power Sector.

    The minister is blessed with the right temperament and wisdom to bring about positive changes to ensure that NESI is a success story. He is a change agent and has been tested before. The testimonies are out there for all to see going by his “miracle of Lagos transformation” and the President’s confidence in him by giving him three big ministerial portfolios to manage at this early part of his administration. With the right team at the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Nigerians will certainly see a glorious and massive transformation in his Ministry.

     


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  • Political economy of Bayelsa electoral war, By Jide Ojo

    09/Dec/2015 // 299 Viewers

     

    Bayelsa State, better known as the Glory of all lands, had its governorship election on Saturday, December 5, 2015. Just like that of Kogi State earlier held on November 21, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the election inconclusive. The Bayelsa election is one of the seven off-cycle elections in Nigeria occasioned by judicial pronouncements. The others are Anambra, Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, and Osun states.
     
    Bayelsa is the state with the smallest population in the country. It was created on October 1, 1996 and has a population size of 1,704,515 according to the 2006 census figures.
     
    The state derives its name from the acronym of three of its local government areas – Brass (BALGA), Yenagoa (YELGA) and Sagbama (SALGA). It is erroneously believed that Bayelsa is made up of only the Ijaw. This is untrue. The main ethnic groups in the state are the Ijaw, Kolokunu, Ekpetiama, Igbriran, Atissa and Biseni. There are 10 languages spoken in the state; of these, Izon, Nembe, Ogbia and Epie-Atissa are the most predominant.
     
    The state has 663,748 registered voters (54 per cent male and 46 per cent female), 1,806 Polling Units, 105 Wards and eight local government areas and three senatorial districts, five federal constituencies, and 24 state constituencies. INEC deployed 9,827 poll workers to conduct the governorship poll. Twenty out of the 29 registered political parties in Nigeria fielded candidates in the December 5 poll although the result of the seven out of the eight Local Government Areas so far released by INEC as of Monday, December 7, 2015 showed that the election was a two-horse race between two “governors”. The incumbent, Henry Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party and his immediate predecessor, Timipre Silva, of the All Progressives Congress. Before the cancellation of the polls in Southern Ijaw, results from seven of the eight local councils announced showed Dickson polled 105,748 votes while his closest challenger, Sylva, got 72,594 votes, a difference of 33,154 votes.
     
    INEC published the time-table for the election on June 19, 2015 and since then a lot of plans and preparations were made by the various actors and stakeholders in the electoral process to ensure that there was a successful, credible and violence-free election. On the part of the electoral management body, it activated its Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, deployed its Election Risk Management Tool to map out potential flashpoints and hot spots for election-related violence, conducted extensive voter education, women sensitisation programmes, organised an Electoral Alternative Dispute Resolution workshop for political parties and the civil society, held several stakeholders fora, got the contesting parties and candidates to sign a peace accord on November 10, trained poll workers, conducted Continuous Voter registration in September and ensured that their Permanent Voter Cards were printed and distributed ahead of the election day as well as made sure that adequate sensitive and non-sensitive election materials were deployed for the election.
     
    The civil society organisations with support from donor agencies mobilised resources to organise political debates for the contestants, complemented INEC’s voter education exercise and also deployed accredited election observers across the length and breadth of the state. The security agencies were not left out of the plan. The Nigerian Police Force alone deployed 14,000 of its personnel under the leadership of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police; the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps deployed about 5,000 personnel as well while the military Joint Task Force also provided additional security. The media too carried out some voter education as part of its corporate social responsibility and ensured free flow of information from the election management body, the political parties and contestants to the public.
     
    Ordinarily, given the elaborate preparations made for the election, nothing should go wrong. Those who believed that are naïve about Nigeria’s style of politics which is Machiavellian in nature. The end simply justifies the means. Election is war in Nigeria and for Bayelsa, the stakes are far higher than what obtains in other states. The state is located in the South-South geopolitical zone where militancy has been raging for over a decade. While it may be true that amnesty programme was instituted in 2009 during which thousands of military hardware including small arms and light weapons were surrendered by the Niger Delta militants in exchange for forgiveness of their economic crimes of kidnapping and sabotage of Nigeria’s oil facilities, the programme did not extinguish the flames of criminality in the Niger Delta region. It only reduced it. Cases of kidnapping for ransom and oil theft are still rampant in many of the six Niger Delta states, especially in Bayelsa.
     
    It was in that volatile environment that INEC tried to conduct the election last Saturday. Meanwhile, the militants in the state have metamorphosed into private armies for politicians seeking to use both fair and foul means to wrest power in the oil-rich state. Politics wise, Bayelsa had hitherto been a de-facto one party state though a de-jure multi-party one. From 1999, the PDP had held sway and whoever won the party ticket was as good as having won the main election. The opposition parties operating in the state were just too weak to pose any electoral threat to the PDP in the state. All that changed early this year as many disgruntled elements who lost out of the PDP primaries held ahead of the 2015 elections massively defected to the APC. With the APC winning the 2015 presidential election, it became the new bride as many more politicians from the rival PDP and other opposition parties moved into the party in droves. Opposition politics is not lucrative in Nigeria given the winner-takes-all political system we run.
     
    That is the emergence of Bayelsa as a de-facto two-party state with balance of power and balance of terror. It bears being mentioned that the December 5 election is the fiercest and most competitive election to be held in Bayelsa since 1999. Now, the calculations are multifold. The PDP wants to retain its stronghold having lost the entire governorship seats in the North-West and North-Central geopolitical zones to the APC in the last elections. Four out of six states in the North-East were won by the APC and an election petitions tribunal recently gave the party the fifth one in Taraba. In the South-West, only Ekiti and Ondo states are controlled by the PDP. It also controls only three out of the five states in the South-East. Meanwhile, five out of the six South-South states belong to the PDP. Bayelsa was thus for consolidation.
     
    Besides, the state election is a referendum on former President Goodluck Jonathan and Dickson. The sentiment is that if the APC wins Bayelsa, then Jonathan, whose godson is the incumbent governor, will become politically irrelevant.
     
    Economy wise, Bayelsa is an oil producing state and is one of the top four in terms of revenue allocation from the federation account. The state also enjoys projects from the Niger Delta Development Commission and the amnesty programme. It equally shares from the 13 per cent oil derivation revenue. The APC covets the oil and gas dividends accruing from the state and thus threw everything into the game to oust the PDP.
     
    Indeed, the PDP and APC party stalwarts should be held responsible for the mayhem recorded on December 5 and 6 across Bayelsa State. I blame the security agents for not mopping up arms and ammunitions in the wrong hands ahead of the poll. As things stand, all the arrested perpetrators of electoral violence in the state should be successfully prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others. INEC should ensure that adequate security is put in place for the supplementary election in Southern Ijaw where the poll was cancelled as a result of violence and electoral malpractices. It is a shame that politicians who of their own accord signed a peace pact treated it with disdain by observing it in breach.
     
    Bayelsa, like Kogi before it, has demonstrated that politics is not all about service in Nigeria but more about self-interest and self-aggrandisement.
     
     
     
     
    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we published are entirely the author's and do not reflect or represent the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Requiem for a Hero

    09/Feb/2016 // 362 Viewers

    By Akintokunbo Adejumo

    PARIS, FEBRUARY 9, 2016: (DGW) - “I was actually in that valley on March 28, 2015. I did not want Nigeria to slide into a theatre of war, with his fellow countrymen and woman dying, and many more pouring into other nations in Africa and beyond, as refugees. In fact, it became so disturbing that some interest groups in the United States began to predict indeed, many Nigerians did buy into this doomsday prophesy as they began to brace themselves for the worst. As the President, I reminded myself that the Government I led had invested so much effort into building our country. I worked hard with my top officials to encourage Nigerians and non-Nigerians to invest in our country to be able to provide jobs and improve the lives of our people” said ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, during a dinner in his honour by Cercle Diplomatique, Geneva, Switzerland recently.
     
    In the aftermath of the March 2015 Elections, when ex-President Mr Jonathan conceded defeat to Mr Buhari, the immediate reaction of his supporters, both in his political party and outside, was to hail Mr Jonathan as an uncommon African hero, a man who loved his country so much that he did not want it to slide into anarchy, or worse, a civil war, where there will be blood on the streets, so he conceded defeat gracefully.
     
    To these champions, they cited the fact that in previous elections where Mr Buhari had lost elections (three times before 2015), there had been violence and deaths on the streets, most notably in some parts of the north of Nigeria, allegedly instigated by the words of Mr Buhari then. Of course, there was no such violence in the southern part of the country, east and west or even the middle belt. I always concur with them that this was rather unfortunate and really, at that time, I was very much against Mr Buhari considering what appeared to be his desperation to get to power.
     
    I really cannot understand the cerebral reasons behind Mr Jonathan's assumed heroics for conceding defeat. He ran in an election in a democratic setting; the results came and he lost, so what else should he have done? Hold on to power despite the result which showed more than 15 million Nigerians preferred Mr Buhari to the 12 million who voted for him? He must concede, of course! There is nothing heroic about it.
     
    Yes, if he had not conceded and the country had been ripped about by violence, all blame would be on Mr Jonathan, so he really should be commended for this. It is not enough to say that at previous elections, (which were obviously rigged by the then ruling party) that Mr Buhari did not concede defeat and violence was the result, so he did not want to put Nigeria through this pain. But apparently, Mr Jonathan is still besieged by those sycophants, political jobbers and bad advisers who ensured his term in government was an absolute disaster for his own countrymen and women.
    Mr Jonathan was roundly rejected and handily defeated in the polls, what choice did he really have other than to concede defeat and acknowledge the winner? Jonathan ascribing any other reason for conceding to Buhari other than his loss at the poll is saying so much about nothing.
     
    On the other hand, with all these going around the world and saying things like this is nothing but another malaise of the typical African ruler’s mind and notion that they must always be in power; win or lose, wanted by their people or not; a total disregard for democratic norms and values and for their own people.
     
    What sympathy, respect or laurel does Mr Jonathan hope to gain from these statements of “heroically” conceding defeat in a democratic election, if I may ask again, because I do not see any? He’s rather making nonsense of democracy in his country and confirming to the whole world, again and again, that it is a normal thing for an African leader to refuse to relinquish power in an election. It is sad.
     
    When citing what happened after Mr Buhari lost elections previously, Mr Jonathan’s supporters failed to remind us that Mr Buhari was not in power, but in opposition, and had no control over his supporters who took to the streets, maiming and killing, and that security of the whole country is still the responsibility of government. Here, let me say that may the souls of the innocents that lost their lives in these mindless violence, rest in peace and the Lord provide succour to the family they left behind.
     
    How can we describe the way Mr Jonathan conceded defeat in any way as 'heroic', with all the 'failed' intrigues to scuttle the elections, the last of the intrigues being the Orubebe's infamous act, that, by divine power of God, hit the rocks; the stupendous amount of money – mostly in American dollars, that was spent (and which we now know ended in the private pockets of his chief campaigners) ...and the 'road' got blocked inevitably?
     
    There were elections in Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana and power changed hands in these countries, even Cote D’Ivoire by force; what's so special about Mr Jonathan conceding defeat, after his six-year myopic, very mundane leadership style?
     
    The special thing about the election is a people's determination to elect who they desire against all odds, whether right or wrong, that's what needs celebrating, not a very spurious and self-congratulatory “heroic” concession of defeat. This is not what Mr Jonathan needs to tell us at this time; what he needs to tell Nigerians, and indeed the world, is how his government managed to be so corrupt and incompetent that the economy of the country was on the edge of collapse.
     
    Mr Jonathan will do well to discard this delusion of a hero, if he’s to maintain any further dignity from whatever little is left. If the people who misadvised him in six years of power are still the ones advising him, I am afraid he’s on the verge of being consigned to the dustbin of history with massive ignominy.
     
    I would have loved for Mr Jonathan to go down in history as a different kind of hero, even super-hero; but, let us face it, his six years in office was more of zero. Many Nigerians, including me, took to the cold streets of London, and other cities like New York in 2010 to demand that Mr Jonathan assume the Presidency after the intrigues played out by the cabal of the now late Umar Yar ‘Adua; and in 2011, after promising a “breath of fresh air”, we were, including me again, conned into voting for Mr Jonathan. The returns and promises of our faith in him are what we are experiencing today with great pains, poverty, dire economic straits, extreme corruption, insensitivity of his officials, lieutenants and acolytes, not to talk of a destruction of our moral values, dilapidation of infrastructures and a decayed socio-economic fabric.
     
    What separates Mr Jonathan’s hero from Mr Jonathan’s villain? As things are panning out and a lot of murky details are being unearthed about Mr Jonathan’s tenure in office, isn’t he turning out to be more of a villain than a hero? How successful was his hero anyway? And are heroes such as him, if you insist on calling that, successful anyway?
     
    Mr Jonathan should not be going about propagating that label of hero. He has no claim to gallantry based on conceding defeat in a democratic election. Let him and his followers a genuine epic reason for him to label a superman.
     
    Since 2010, our former President went from hero to zero.
     
    *Akintokunbo Adejumo writes from London, the United Kingdom.
     
     
    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch
     
     
     


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  • Zaria Pogrom: Every chief in Nigeria runs a State within the State

    09/Jan/2016 // 414 Viewers

    By Dr Perry Brimah

     

    Seven days curfew begins today at 4 p.m. in Ile-Ife after Oba Sijuwade's burial

     

    The allegations used in attempted justification of the Zaria pogrom of December last year have revolved around the so-called creation of a "State within the State" by the "despised" Islamic Movement.

    "I read a Press report of the Kaduna community complaining about them...how can they create a State within this State," President Muhammadu Buhari stated in support of the Military extremist actions. The same has been stated by the Military and Kaduna State government.

    Every Chiefdom Is A State Within The State
    But every single Chief in Nigeria has always run a State within the State. What else does the Chiefdom office in Nigeria mean? The Sultan of Sokoto runs a State within the State. The Alaafin of Oyo runs a State within the State. The Emir of Ilorin runs a State within the State. The Lamido of Adamawa runs a State within the State. The Emir of Zazzau runs a State within the State. What is so different about Zakzaky? Is it time we close all Chiefdoms (hopefully not the Buratai brutal way though)?

    Nigeria has governmental administrators but also as a dichotomous society retained the offices of Chiefs after colonisation who run States within the State. Few of these States within the State have as large a followership as El-Zakzaky has: 10 million strong according to Pew polls (12% of Nigeria's estimated 80 million Muslims and also including Sunnite sect non Muslim faithfuls). Can we in honesty say that the reason the Islamic Movement "State within the State" came under Buratai's brutal, deadly attack has nothing to do with their minority brand of Islam being "despised" by a larger foreign billion-dollars influenced societal facet, tainted with anti-"Shia" hate and Sunnite-sect Takfiri extremism and intolerance? Can we say this in honesty? What is so different about the "State within the State" Zakzaky ran where Nigeria's police and government largely failed for the past 30 years and those run by other Chiefs in Nigeria who have armed guards, inconvenient communal laws and the like?

    Equity, Justice And the Upholding Of The Rule of Law

    Dr Rotimi Adigun, a Strategy and Policy analyst with expertise in African Governance gave the example scenarios: "what if His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Saad III was going somewhere in his convoy and Lt. General T.Y. Buratai wished to pass enroute an important anti-terrorism meeting at the Army headquarters Garrison command in Abuja. Would the Army Chief have barreled his way through the Emir's entourage and massacred everyone in the path, and then sent troops to the Emir's house to kill everyone there and demolish all structures?

    "What is the Chief of Army Staff was trying to pass areas cordoned by obtuse guards of the Alaafin of Oyo during a ceremony. Would Buratai have killed everyone in sight and mowed down the Chief's palace?"

    Dr. Rotimi painted a picture of injustice and unjustified use of force that may likely have long term and severe implications for those in positions of power directly implicated in the Zaria tragedy, at local and international levels with the way the government is going about the issue, especially amplified with their unguarded and implicating public statements.

    An Attorney General's office is created as a unique legal power authority that gives advice to the Presidency and has the capacity to take independent decisions to ensure justice is observed within the nation. However, Nigeria's young Attorney General in his latest public statements not only demonstrated a lack of understanding of the powers and responsibilities of his office, not knowing of and questioning the urgent importance and his ability and need to initiate an investigation into the Zaria pogrom, but also pandered to the official religious sectarian sentiments in addressing a 10-man Supreme Islamic council delegation.

    “I will do whatever I can within the confines of the law to see how an amicable resolve can be achieved. So when your demands is formalised, I will treat and facilitate it to the appropriate quarters accordingly,” Abubakar Malami said. “As Muslims, we know what is obtainable in Islam especially in the area of rights, individuals rights, especially rights of way. As Muslims, we have a collective responsibility to create awareness through our preaching on tolerance and compliance according to the dictates of Islam," he continued.

    This public statement by the Attorney General's office, made while the nation had extra-judiciously kidnapped Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, his wife and hundreds of other faithfuls, for almost a month, denying them attorney rights, medical, visitation and other constitutional rights, paints an extremely scary state of the nation. Does the new AGF not know his duties and powers? Is he simply a radical tool of the Executives and Military?

    Whereas the Islamic Movement with its years-long records of unaddressed military excesses against its members–in its video and picture evidence of the latest December massacre–actually paints a most damning picture of a built up provocation ahead of the road blockade, the best "State within a State", "road block" and "attempt on Buratai" and other evolving defenses by the Nigerian State will not do very well in International courts of Law. Refer to Ivory Coasts' Gbagbo case.

    Far-Reaching Consequences
    It is urgently necessary the Nigerian government recognizes the implications of the several infractions starting from the military not inviting mobile police but mowing its way through stick and stone wielding protesting youth, to the deadly siege on Husainiyyah Baqiyatullah Islamic center, the deadly sieges on Gyellesu and Darul Rahma burial ground, the mass burial of victims, the bodies left exposed, the demolitions of structures of Chief Zakzaky and his family at more than four sites in Zaria by the Army and Kaduna State government; the use of bombs and burning against indigenes of Zaria; the alleged immediate murder of live captives; the wheel-barrow extremist behavior "humiliating" kidnapping of Sheikh El-Zakzaky, his wife and hundreds of others and continued denial of their constitutional rights and the government's official implicative statements justifying the military pogrom that resulted in as many as 1000 Nigerian deaths as the "appropriate response for alleged communal infractions."

    Respect for and adherence to the rule of law and rights of all citizens is the bedrock of prosperous nations. The nascent administration in Nigeria currently enjoys widespread goodwill and support of Nigerians home and away. Disregard for due processes and constitutional safe-guards would lead to a gradual frittering of the current goodwill with consequent cataclysmic consequences. PMB is advised to urgently release the Islamic Movement Sheik and promptly pursue rapprochement with this group."

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch

     


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  • ISLAMIZATION OF NIGERIA: What other proof do you need?

    09/Mar/2016 // 376 Viewers

     

    By Lazurus Obinna

    When it was said earlier that APC is an Islamic party with an Islamic agenda and that Buhari is an Islamic fundamentalist, some people dismissed it with a wave of hand.

    President Buhari during his recent interview with Al Jazeerah, said Nigeria has joined the Islamic Coalition against terrorism being championed by Saudi Arabia. Hear Him:

    “We are part of it because we’ve got terrorists in Nigeria that everybody knows which claim that they are Islamic. So, if there’s an Islamic coalition to fight terrorism, Nigeria will be part of it because we are casualties of Islamic terrorism,” he said

    When asked whether Nigeria joined the coalition during his meeting with King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia recently, Buhari said “yes.”

    Buhari queried the position of some Christians in Nigeria who have opposed Nigeria joining the coalition. He wondered why such Christians had not gone to fight Boko Haram in the North or militants in the South. Hear him Again:

    “Why can’t those Christians that complained go and fight terrorism in Nigeria or fight the militancy in the South. It’s Nigeria that matters, not the opinion of some religious bigots,” he said

    There are similarities between the APC and the ruling AKP of Turkey, Erdogan and Buhari. Buhari's visit to Turkey,Saudi Arabia,Qatar and other Islamic nation is not a mere coincidence.

    Disturbing reports over the past several years have revealed that Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamic Prime Minister, is a strong follower of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic imam. While outwardly appearing to be a tolerant Muslim, Gulen himself, however, is a believer in the Islamist Nur movement, which calls for Islamic domination worldwide.

    A self-proclaimed prophet, Gulen has even delivered sermons calling for Turkey — and the world — to become Islamic states and to implement sharia law throughout the globe. Gulen’s fundamental belief system also includes the notions that Muslims are permitted to lie to “infidels” and that total secrecy is acceptable.

    In accordance with those tenets, Erdogan and his ruling party, the AKP, has effectively managed to conceal an agenda of advancing Islamic rule, which has been in place since Erdogan was elected Prime Minister in 2003.

    In July 2011, four of Turkey’s top military commanders — secularists who opposed Turkey becoming an Islamic state — all resigned from their posts, having reportedly been coerced into resignation by the AKP. The AKP has also reportedly been responsible for plots to discredit more than 400 people, including 58 journalists and 250 military personnel, who have attempted to make the truth known about its intentions.

    In an attempt to further control Turkey’s media, Gulen and the AKP have acquired nine of the country’s leading newspapers, and television and radio stations. Gulenists have also taken over the Turkish police force.

    With the above revelation,what is the difference between AKP, APC, Buhari and Erdogan?

    Open Doors, an organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians, has published a 47-page report on violence against Christians in northern Nigeria.

    “Not just radical Islam, Boko Haram being the most notable example, but also Muslim Hausa-Fulani herdsmen and the northern Muslim political and religious elite are also major actors of targeted violence towards the Christian minority,” the report stated. “Moreover, Christian communities in Sharia states especially but also in other parts of northern Nigeria face the challenge to withstand the pressure of an environment that marginalizes and discriminates.”

    The report found that a “minimum of 9,000-11,500 Christians have been killed,” that 1.3 million Christians have fled their homes since 2000, and that 13,000 churches “have been closed or destroyed altogether.”

    The recent invasion of Agatu, a Christian community in Benue state by Fulani herdsmen is another pointer that something sinister is going on that Nigerians are yet to know about. The proposal by the Buhari led government to establish grazing reserves in the southern part of Nigeria is a dangerous move which will expose the southern communities to the murderous Fulani herdsmen whose only stock in trade is to kill and conquer territories for their masters. We have seen how many Christian minors (girls) kidnapped, converted to Islam and married off by these crazy Islamic fundamentalists.

    Nigerians may wake up one day to the realization that they have been forced into an Islamic nation.

    MAY GOD SAVE US!

     

    Disclaimer: Views published in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the rditorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Abacha never stole - Buhari

    09/May/2016 // 709 Viewers

    By Ochereome Nnanna  

    “Nigeria is awaiting receipt from Swiss Govt. of $320 million, identified as illegally taken from Nigeria under Abacha” – Buhari @NGR President, 5:09 PM – 27 APR 2016.

    WHEN Twitter-addicted Nigerians stumbled on this posting on President Muhammadu Buhari’s Twitter handle last week, the whole Internet went abuzz, with most people expressing their dismay at Buhari’s refusal to call a spade by its correct name. 

    Before we go on, let us try to reason out the meaning of this statement, especially against the backdrop of its nexus to our history where Abacha and Buhari’s paths crossed.

    It is obvious why the President or the operator of his Twitter handle chose to describe this amount (which is over N100 billion, a third of what the Federal, State Local governments shared in February 2016) as money “identified as illegally taken from Nigeria under Abacha”, rather than the usual “Abacha loot”. The answer is simple. 

    Buhari, long before he was elected president, stubbornly insisted that Abacha “never stole”, and that he was not corrupt. “Illegally taken from Nigeria” is a ploy to sidestep the word: “stolen”. “Under Abacha” portrays it as if other people, not Abacha himself, committed the “illegality” without Abacha’s knowledge.

    Some unknown individuals were taking money from Nigeria and lodging it in Abacha’s Swiss bank accounts? For what purpose? Perhaps, they knew that our economy would be in trouble in the future and decided to “save” for this rainy day for us? If that is what President Buhari wants to say, let him say so openly, so that we all will join him in congratulating the Abacha family for the sacrifices their patriarch made for Nigeria. 

    In the past sixteen years, series of sums of money in foreign currency have been brought back from Western countries, especially Switzerland, where former military Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha stashed funds which he looted from the Nigerian treasury. These monies have always been called “Abacha loot”. Abacha is the only former ruler boldly ascribed, even in official circles, to have “stolen” or “looted” our public funds. He certainly was not the only one who did so. And most of us believe that he was probably not the biggest looter. Then, how come it is only his loots that are being “identified” and repatriated? Is it because he is dead?

    If he were still alive like most of his fellow former rulers, would there be any such thing as “Abacha loot”? I doubt it, since his predecessors and successors who probably took more have never even been officially accused or made to return their own “loots”. In fact, one of them majestically struts over the landscape calling other people corrupt without justifying his own obvious affluence after his long stint in the Presidency. Are we a nation of cowards and dastards, mobbing Abacha and his estate simply because he is dead? 

    More questions: if Abacha had not arrested, tried and jailed General Olusegun Obasanjo for his part in the 1995 coup attempt to unseat him, would Obasanjo have launched the campaign to recover Abacha loot? If Abacha had not died and he played a role in the election of Obasanjo as President in 1999 as Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Theophilus Danjuma and their civilian Northern cohorts had done, would Obasanjo have started the campaign to retrieve the Abacha loot?

    Still more questions: if Buhari had been the one elected as the civilian president of Nigeria in 1999, would he even be talking about receiving money from Swiss Government “illegally taken away” under his regime since he maintains, against all concrete evidence, that Abacha never stole our money? So, is it only when a person deals with us and dies that he becomes corrupt, but when he treats us nicely (as Abacha did to Buhari) he becomes a “saint”? If Abacha had not rehabilitated Buhari after being jailed by Babangida; If Abacha had not appointed him as the Executive Chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), where he was given unlimited powers to spend billions of Naira between 1996 and 1998, would Buhari have stuck out his neck for him and say he was not corrupt? 

    Is this the mentality we take with us in fighting corruption, making sure that those who helped us are regarded as clean, while those who wronged us are pursued with a single-minded quest to retrieve their loot and sent to jail? Is this our national standard for integrity? How are we sure that retired Col. Ja’afaru Isa, a close Buhari acolyte who was reluctantly arrested, briefly detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC, and released after a couple of days for allegedly returning part of his share of Col. Sambo Dasuki’s bonanza, actually returned anything?

    Everybody calls President Buhari a “man of integrity”, in spite of certain things we read and hear which do not add up to conclusively justify that branding. Buhari made his declared assets public. But he never disclosed their financial worth, nor did he let us know where they could be found as late President Umaru Yar’Adua voluntarily did. He never followed Yar’ Adua’s exemplary footsteps of including the assets of his wife. And from the look of things, ever-smiling Madam Aisha Buhari is very well-to-do, what with her reported donation of N135 million to displaced persons in Adamawa during the campaigns last year, which has not been denied. 

    I still cannot reconcile the fact that Buhari, as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had to borrow N25 million from banks to pay for his form in October, 2014 when his wife could so easily have given it to him from her own resources. There were even some reports that Buhari was once ejected from his “rented” mansion, No 11, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Asokoro, Abuja in 2012. That report was never debunked. Elaborate efforts have always been made to brand Buhari as a retired general who lived on his military pension before he became elected President.

    Yet, when he became President and the foreign exchange crunch set in, he told parents who have their children in foreign schools that they should look for forex wherever they could find it as the Federal Government could no longer afford to provide it. When reminded that he had his own children in foreign schools, he simply retorted:

    “I can afford it”.

    These conflicting signals about our President and his true mindset on corruption as well as his real standing financially, is being noticed, and nobody is a dummy. Even the younger generation of Nigerians are watching, reading and taking note of this confusion and wondering what “integrity” actually means here in Nigeria. 

    It is not only the youth that are confused. I am certainly no longer a youth, but I am confused!

     

    The post Abacha Never Stole appeared first on Vanguard.


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  • Obama declares war on Israel

    09/Oct/2015 // 14812 Viewers

    In short, Obama’s anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Muslim terrorists and radical Arabs.

    By Bassam Tawil, the Gatestone Institute

    Instead of congratulating the Israeli people for being one of the few countries in the Middle East to hold real free and democratic elections, Obama has decided to inflict collective punishment not on Netanyahu, but on all Israelis, even its Muslim and Christian citizens, for having an election that came out not the way he wanted it to.

    The terrorists have also been following with great enthusiasm reports that the Obama Administration is considering reassessing its policy – that the US no longer considers Israel a strategic ally in the Middle East.

    In short, Obama’s anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Muslim terrorists and radical Arabs.

    Watch video: 

     


    Obama also seems not to want to face the fact that because of his withdrawals and neglect, the situation in the Middle East today, with the rise of Islamic State and other terror groups, is not the same as it was even five years ago.

    Thanks to Obama’s policies, the Iranians and their friends are now in control of Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, and much of Bahrain, and have surrounded the oilfields of the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile the US has been forced to close down its embassies in three Arab countries – Syria, Libya and Yemen.

    Even Palestinians and Arabs are aware of the fact that under the current circumstances a Palestinian state would sooner or later be controlled by jihadists and Islamic terrorists, whose dream is the destruction of Israel, Europe and the US.

    The last thing the Americans and Europeans need is another Islamic extremist country that exports terrorism – with nuclear weapons – to all parts of the earth.

    The Enemy is Not Netanyahu

    The real enemy is not Netanyahu. The real enemy is Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Islamic State.

    Many Arabs and Muslims are rubbing their hands in joy as they watch US President Barack Obama declare war on Israel after the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in last week’s general election.

    They do not see the rising tensions between Obama and Netanyahu as the result of a personal dispute between two leaders. Instead, the dispute is seen by many Arabs and Muslims as part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to undermine Israel and force it to make territorial concessions that would pose an existential threat to Israel.

    At the beginning of his first term in office, he raised high hopes in the Arab and Islamic countries when he rushed to deliver an apologetic speech at the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Al-Azhar University in Cairo. His speech left many Arabs and Muslims with the impression that here, finally, is an American president who is prepared to sacrifice Israel for the sake of appeasing its enemies.

    Muslims have long considered Obama to be on their side in the conflict with Israel. They were expecting him to become the first US president to abandon Israel in favor of Arabs and Muslims. But since the 2009 speech in Cairo, there has been great disappointment with Obama in the Arab and Islamic countries for failing to “do something” about Israel.

    Now, at long last, the Obama Administration’s increased hostility toward Israel is being welcomed in many Arab and Islamic capitals. They are overjoyed to see that after failing the Arabs and Muslims for the past six years, Obama seems finally to be moving in the “right” direction.

    Islamic Terrorists Overjoyed

    Terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad are also expressing satisfaction with what they see as Obama’s “declaration of war” against Israel. Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank are also celebrating over the fact that Israel has become the number one enemy of the Obama Administration.

    This week, a Palestinian Authority official was quoted as saying that the Palestinians would not be surprised if President Obama himself joined their campaign to file war crimes charges against Israel before the International Criminal Court. The official was reported to have told a Ramallah-based Western diplomat that Obama hates Israel and this was good news for the Palestinians.

    Obama and Netanyahu
    PM Netanyahu (R) meets President Obama at the White House, May 20, 2011. (Prime Minister’s Office)
    Israel’s enemies have been sitting on its borders and waiting for an opportunity to attack. One of the reasons they have been reluctant until now to wage an all-out war to destroy Israel was their fear that the US would come to Israel’s rescue. But now, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Islamic State and other terror groups are hopeful that Obama has finally decided to abandon Israel.

    The terrorists also have been following with great enthusiasm reports that the Obama Administration is considering reassessing its policy in the Middle East in the wake of Netanyahu’s electoral victory. This is exactly the kind of news they have been waiting to hear for so many years — that the US no longer considers Israel its main strategic ally in the Middle East.

    Reports that the Obama Administration will no longer support Israel in international forums and agencies, especially in the UN General Assembly and Security Council, are seen by a growing number of Arabs and Muslims as the beginning of the end of the partnership between the US. and Israel. This partnership has worried Israel’s enemies for decades because it stands in the way of achieving their goal of wiping Israel off the face of the earth.

    In short, Obama’s anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Islamist terrorists and radical Arabs. For the first time ever, the Obama Administration has created hope among Israel’s enemies that the U will at last give them his wholehearted support, just as he has been doing with Iran.

    Iran Capturing One Arab Country After the Other

    The sharp crisis between the Obama Administration and Israel has been taking place at a time when the US is losing most of its Arab and Muslim friends, especially in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, as well as other countries. It is also taking place at a time when Iran is capturing one Arab country after the other, and has now surrounded all the oilfields in the Persian Gulf, as well as having quietly for years infiltrated South America.

    Thanks to Obama’s policies, the Iranians and their friends are now in control of Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, and much of Bahrain, and have surrounded the oilfields of the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, the US has been forced to close down its embassies in three Arab countries — Syria, Libya and Yemen.

    Instead of facing the dangers of the Iranian drive to export the Islamic revolution to as many Arab and Islamic countries as possible — with the help of an accelerating operation to acquire nuclear weapons — Obama has turned Israel in general, and Netanyahu in particular, into the main threat to world peace and stability.

    And instead of congratulating the Israeli people for being one of the few countries in the Middle East to hold real free and democratic elections, Obama has decided to inflict collective punishment not on Netanyahu, but on all Israelis, even its Muslim and Christian citizens, for having an election that came out not the way he wanted it to.

    Palestinian State – an Existential Threat

    What Obama does seem to want is to force Israel to accept a Palestinian state that would pose an existential threat to it and become the source of instability and tensions in the region. Obama also seems not to want to face the fact that because of his withdrawals and neglect, the situation in the Middle East today, with the rise of Islamic State and other terror groups, is not the same as it was even five years ago.

    Even Palestinians and Arabs are aware of the fact that under the current circumstances a Palestinian state would sooner or later be controlled by jihadists and Islamic terrorists, whose dream is the destruction of Israel, Europe and the US.

    If Obama is interested in reconsidering his Middle East policy, he should start by examining the repercussions of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on regional and international security. The last thing Americans and Europeans need is another Islamic extremist country that exports terrorism – most probably with nuclear weapons – to all parts of the earth.

    Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu. The real enemy is Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Islamic State. Unfortunately, Obama — as he continues undermining moderate Muslims and Arabs in the free world — has decided to side with the wrong side.

    Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.


    The post 'Obama declares  war on Israel' appeared first in  World Israel News (WIN)


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  • The 'CHANGE' that needs change - Shuaib Isa Ahmad

    10/Aug/2016 // 718 Viewers

     

    Beyond the great wall, came the birth of a great uprising, by a revolutionary so amazing, with a personality so enterprising, who existed for a reason.

    History described humanity as determined by archaeological and written records. However, millions of sensible people believed that the ancient recorded history begins with the invention of writings, hence, the root of civilization reach back to the earliest introduction of primitive technology and culture, talking of Paleolithic Era, Neolithic Era and the Agricultural Revolution in the Fertile Crescent between 8000 and 5000 BCE that marks the systematic husbandry of plants and animals-the change that make civilization possible towards enhancing ingredients of living and humanity.

    What is the essence of life?
        
    In life, there are two classes, the class of  truth , right , good (TRG) and the class of  false, wrong, evil (FWE). Each of these classes has its own elements.

    Historically and traditionally what normally use to happen when someone choose the TRG class (T-truth, R-right, G-good) and shun the FWE class (F-false, W-wrong, E-evil)?

    When someone grows sadly accustomed to the horrific sad events that are happening to humans on daily bases- killings, massacre, rape, destructions, injustice, fabrications, lies, mass graves and so on, at times some people think otherwise in the sense that they begin to view these tragic events as a sobering spectacle that could make them questioned God. 
         
    I believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, Master of all, and the Creator of all. In both Islamic and Christian history, all messengers of God were tested, some were killed ,e.g Prophet Yahya (a.s). History revealed that prostitute danced for the ruler of his time and the ruler asked her for the reward she wanted and she said the  head of Prophet Yahya (a.s). That ruler cut off his head and gave it to her.

    Some were imprisoned like  Prophet Yusuf (a.s). Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) was thrown into fire and Prophet Nuh (a.s) was beaten to the point of death dragged on mud and dumped outside the city,his people decided to make his boat to be their public toilet , e.t.c .

    Tyrants of the time of Isa (a.s) ,Jesus did the same to him .

    In the Holy Qur’an, Allah says “And indeed, We gave Musa (Moses) the Book and followed him up with a succession of Messengers. And We gave Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), clear signs and supported him with Rooh-ul-Qudus [Angel Jibril (Gabriel)]. It is that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourself desired not, you grew arrogant? Some you disbelieved and some you killed”.[Albakara 2:87]
               
    The seal of Prophets and Messengers of Allah , Muhammad (S) was attacked in uhud by the pagans of Hijaz under the command of Abu –Sufyan headed by Khalid bn Walid to the extent that the pagans shouted “we have killed Muhammad” because he was fatally wounded and was dragged on the sand by them without any sign of life in him at that moment. 

    Imam Husain (a.s), grandson of Prophet Muhammad(S) was massacred together with his followers in the plains of Karbala in the yeah 61A.H, his head was cut off, and drag naked, their tent was set on fire children and women were also massacred, all by the Army of Yazid bn Mu’awiyah. 
              
    Reflecting at what happened in Zaria , Kaduna state of Nigeria between 12th to 14th December ,2015 to Shaikh Zakzaky and his wife , the massacre of 1000+ of IMN members including three of Shaikh Zakzaky’s sons , his sister and nephew burnt to death ,himself and wife were fatally wounded with multiple gun shots by the Nigerian army under the watch of the Chief of Army staff  Lt. General Y.T Burutai ,Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari, one will clearly understand that Shaikh Zakzaky, his wife, his children and his followers chose the TRG class – truth, right and good as the Prophets and Messengers of God did. Shaikh Zakzaky lost six sons in less than eighteen months.

    With the kind of unscrupulous behaviour some people were exhibiting in name of hatred for Shi'a in the area where bodies of killed innocent people were lying after the the Zaria blood birth one will understand the need of a true revolution - Change of attitude.

    I was embarrassed when a friend of mine saw a clip showing  some people jubilating and stealing items belonging to massacred bodies said to me "These people that are stealing phones and money from the pockets of the massacred bodies , removing their rings are they Muslims ?" I told him yes he said to me "I never thought in northern Nigeria where Islam has been in existence for hundreds of years people will demonstrate such anti Islamic and barbaric behaviour, are they human beings with all senses of humanity and human dignity"?

    I kept mute because I have no answer to give him , at that moment , I only wished he had not seen the clip.
    So many people around the world felt bad about that particular embarrassing act demonstrated by some people who look physically well.

    If there is no life after death the essence of living in this world has no meaning. Although historically, killers and oppressors harvest the seeds they planted here in this world before their death. The likes of Ramsis Thani (Faroh of Egypt) , Haman ,Karun , Aba Jahal , Shah Muhammad Ridha Pahlawi , Ariel Sharon , Gen Sani Abacha etc.
              
    In all societies, manifestation of injustice, tyranny, unjust rulership, dictatorship, cruelty, occupation and all kind of inhumanity gradually makes reasonable people to start thinking of a way out of the above stated evil acts. They gradually start thinking of changing from that terrible condition to a better way of living. Naturally, people wish to be remembered in the most honorable way even if one did not believe in life after death.

    Interestingly, in Islam, anyone who sacrifices for the sake of  Allah, for the sake of unity, peace, development, humanity, standing against oppression and injustice, and in the process of that he become killed (Martyred ) his good and quality position here in the word and in the hereafter is beyond description- here comes the birth of all true revolutionary enterprise.   
           
    There are so many revolutions as I mentioned earlier, looking at the revolutions of the 21st Century , one will conclude that the only successful and true existing revolution is that of Ayatollah , Rohollah Al-Musavi Al-Khomeni of the Isalamic Republic of Iran. It is a complete revolution because it’s an intellectual revolution that guides people towards the TRG (T-truth, R-right, G-good) path.

    I once heard the leader of the Islamic Movement, Shaikh Zakzaky, whose six children were massacred by the Nigerian army explaining the meaning of revolution as: - “change of mind, change of attitude, people have one set of ideas and they behave in one way and they change those set of ideas and behave in a different way”.
           
    For almost four decades, this Charismatic leader Shaikh Zakzaky whom I value and accepted his explanation of the meaning of revolution have been preaching without violence and crime and was able to be patient despite all the intimidations, lies ,fabrications, conspiracies against him ,killings of his children and followers.

    Changing the attitude millions of people and their way of thinking from uncooked reasoning to cooked one have qualified him to a true revolutionary icon of the 21st Century. A charismatic and cherished personality that follow the foot step of Imam Khomeini (Q.S).

    Allah is the Creator of all, He alone created us and he loves His creation. He gave us faculty of existence and observations, He has not created human beings like the flora and fauna but He has endowed human biengs with spirit and animation.

    He bestowed human beings with the best futures of face and body, He gave human beings external and spiritual senses. 
           
    About six years back , I was in a car and heard through a loud speaker a scholar was saying that in a Hadithul Qudsi, Allah says: "If I were to be asked to choose between killing a single soul
    (He said a soul, any soul and not only the soul of the believer) and destroying heavens and earth, I would have chosen destruction of the heavens and earth rather than to kill a single soul. I created the soul and decreed that once killed I would not bring it back to life until the day of Judgement while the heavens and earth by My powers, I would reconstruct them."

    Similarly, it was reported that the Prophet (S) looked at the Ka’aba and said "How exalted are you Ka’aba? God has exalted you but the soul of a single believer is more exalted than you." [Sunan Tirmizi & Silsilatus Sahiha tradition number 3420]

    Thus, if one were to be given an option between destroying the Ka’aba and killing a soul, one would rather choose destruction of the Ka’aba. This is so because the Ka’aba could be reconstructed but the soul can’t be brought back to life once killed.

    Furthermore Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

    "Whosoever kills any soul unjustly, will have a recompense of Hell, wherein he would dwell eternally, and God is annoyed with him, and He (God) has prepared for him a severe punishment."[Nisa’i 3:93]

    How would someone massacred 1000 + of innocent creatures of God including women, students and children and live in peace? God will not allow him rest.
                   
    Conclusively, I will like to call on the president of the Federal republic of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari to release the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky unconditionally, for proper medical checkup by his doctors immediately. Holding him under detention illegally will not change anything, his Movement is uncrushable, he built the Movement with TRG tools (T-truth, R-right, G-good), the Movement is a non-violent Movement and peaceful. Mr President Sir, what you should do now for your own good is to set him free, apologise to IMN and the families affected by the ungodly massacre and compensate Shaikh Zakzaky and the rest of the IMN members.

    Beware of prayers of the oppressed. If Mr President, General Burutai and Narsir Elrufa’I can uproot Zuma rock, lift it up and then walk with it above your heads to a different location, that one is easier than crushing and wiping nearly 40-million non-violent and well-coordinated citizens and supporters of Shaikh Zakzaky who strongly believe in TRG (T-truth, R-right, G-good), as well as martyrdom.Think of the best way to live in peace with them as they are part of the society and peaceful.

    Furthermore, set up an independent committee to investigate the massacre consisting of independent individuals who are not directly or indirectly party to that massacre. All those involved should be brought to book.

    Shuaib Isa Ahmad 
    sahmadi51214@yahoo.com


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