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#ENDSARs: A Week Of  Hell… And Humour By Aliyu Abubakar 

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By Aliyu Abubakar 

This past week has been full of fire, fury and despair for most Nigerians, no thanks to the unfortunate ENDSARS protests and the many catastrophic, unsavoury scenes that characterised its chaotic aftermath.

This past week, violence reigned supreme in the land. From arson and thuggery, to burglary and nationwide looting spree, it was just (one hell of) a week to forget.

Amidst all the anger, the mayhem and the pandemonium though, there lie some absolutely ridiculous and comical images, incidents, scenes and scenarios.

And please don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing criminality in any form. No! I am a law-abiding citizen who abhors lawlessness of any kind. But no matter how serious they seem or look, some things are just too hilarious you just can’t help but laugh.

Therefore, here are my top fifteen ridiculous moments of Nigeria’s unwanted theatre of the absurd, these goddamned and forsaken past few days of fire and brimstone…

1. A thug running away with the ‘Opa Ase’, the traditional staff of office of the Oba of Lagos, HRM Alh. Rilwan Akiolu. Where is the boy going with the sacred staff? Only the young man can tell! What a sacrilege!

2. Another hoodlum wearing a ruby-coloured royal footwear, also belonging to the Oba of Lagos, and admiring his foot while posing for the cameras. How despicable!

3. An arsonist wearing a judge’s wig and robe, shortly after playing a part in setting a court building ablaze in Obalende, Lagos. Even more ridiculous is the chap walking freely in his new judicial attire with a naked matchete in his hands! Is that his new gavel?!

4. A thug who, obviously had just helped burnt down a Police station in Edo State, donning a Police uniform and mimicking a cockish walk and a salute with the khaki on, while his fellow thugs repeatedly cheered him on with loud choruses of “DPO!…DPO!!…DPO!!! DPO indeed!

5. Some hoodlums in Agbor, Delta State brazenly looting a truck-load of helpless goats and live chickens and jumping onto motorbikes. Even more absurd is the sight of some commercial motorcyclists lining up to pick up the looters to their various destinations. For them all, Christmas has arrived already.

6. A young man looting away a whole State capital! Amidst the ensuing melee which threw wide open the gates of COVID19 palliative warehouses and stores in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba State, a young man uprooted the town’s signpost and proudly walked away, later displaying his spoil of war for sale. Jalingo people, you can’t say anything again, for you have been conquered and on the verge of being sold!

7. A young man walking away with a hospital bed from a Psychiatric Hospital in Calabar, Cross River State, after the hospital was vandalised and the entire patient’s reportedly set free! I am still confused as to who really is the lunatic here between the insane inmates and their rescuers, sincerely.

8. A man coming out from a looted shop, along side his son, while firmly clutching a box of king-size Indomie Noodles! Haba Oga, you don’t need to take that innocent boy along. Why destroy that kid?

9. Two young men looting a water closet from a Senator’s house in Calabar! What were they thinking here? Probably, they have never used such a luxurious item to answer the call of nature. These ones should be competing with two other Ilorin able-bodied youth, who bolted away with boarding house mattresses on their heads. These four have surely found their own “Next Level”!

10. Securitymen telling Nigerians to loot peacefully! What is peaceful in looting again? In my fourty-plus years of existence in this world, I have never seen this frighteningly bizarre moment from our security personnel. Guys, we are all in soup!

11. Rival group of looters putting their differences aside and uniting to dislodge an ATM Machine in Lagos. We haven’t seen how the loot was shared though, but amidst this incredible partnership in crime, you can not beat their unity of purpose.

12. Some Nigerians – majority of whom can’t even communicate to themselves – turning into seasoned speechwriters and communication experts overnight! This came shortly after Mr. President had delivered his long-awaited speech. Depending on where you stand in the entire ENDSARS hullabaloo, the consensus remains that not everyone can be a Speechwriter – especially a Presidential one.

13. State Governors putting up an unnecessary volte face of defending their questionable decisions to lock up COVID19 Palliatives in the midst of hunger and poverty. Come on, even if you have one million reasons as to why those items could not be distributed, wisdom should tell you that any attempt to defend that action will fall on deaf ears.

14. Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki giving inmates an ultimatum of one week – and adding another week – for them to return to their Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre. As at Wednesday, 21st October 2020, about 1,818 inmates were still at large, while 163 have been re-arrested and six have returned voluntarily. It will be interesting to see how many more will turn up again.

15. How about this last one: some Governors pleading with looters not to consume looted grains because they are seeds sprayed with insecticides and other dangerous substances; or begging the looters not to take some drugs because they have expired? Who cares about chemicals and date of expiry when people are hungry and poor? Now that is the mother of all absurdities.

By the way, in the wake of this unfortunate circumstances of looting and laughter, and of suffering and smiling, let us all not forget to say a prayer for Nigeria. May Allah, the Ultimate Healer, heal our fatherland.

Aliyu Abubakar
25.10.2020

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OPINION

My husband and I agreed that another man impregnated me ’cos he has low sperm count —Wife

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A woman, Toyin Dotun, has appealed to Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, to dissolve her 11-year-old marriage to her husband, Bello Dotun, on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Toyin stated that her relationship with her husband was devoid of intimacy.

The plaintiff explained that she was tired of covering up for her husband and pretending that all was well.

She thus pleaded that their wedlock be ended.

Bello however insisted that their union should not be dissolved.

According to him, Toyin is God-sent and his destiny helper.

Toyin in her evidence explained, “I have endured this long in our marriage because I didn’t want the world to know that things were not going on fine between us.

“I have covered up enough and it is taking its toll on my health which is one of the reasons I came to court.

“My husband and I are just living together under the same roof but there is no relationship or intimacy between us.

“Bello carries out no responsibility towards me as his wife, but has rather been using me to meet his needs.

“I built and moved into my house 10 years ago and my husband moved in with me. My husband and I have never had sex since then.

“We lost the only child in the union at age six and I requested that we had another. To my chagrin, my husband refused that we had sex. He stated that his doctor advised him to abstain from sex because he was on treatment.

“I didn’t understand this nor believed him, but I later came across the result of a test which read that he had low sperm count.

“I sought the help of some medical doctors and they fixed appointments with my husband at different times but he refused to honour these appointments.

“We both agreed that I had an affair with another man who would impregnate me. Our plan was to raise the child as that of my husband and cover up for his inadequacy.

“My lord, my husband failed to show me and our child any love or affection while he is in the habit of disgracing and humiliating me in the public.

“Any time we had a disagreement, he would threaten to take the child away from me.

“My lord, I’m fed up with our relationship. I pray that you separate us, “the plaintiff said.

Bello giving his testimony said, “My lord, I refuse that our marriage be dissolved. My wife is God-sent. She is my destiny helper

“Our marriage is blessed with two children, but we lost one.

“It is true that the doctor told me I have low sperm count, but she never told me our child is not mine.

“Toyin lied that I refused to have sex with her. She is in the habit of closing her door against me. She accused me of wanting to have sex with her through diabolic means when I once forced myself into her room.

“Toyin and I both take care of this child while I do that which is within my capacity in fending for the home. But to be sincere, my wife bears the brunt the responsibility.

“My wife and other family members prevailed on me to move in with her in her house, it was never in my plan,” he concluded.

Giving his judgment, the court president, Chief Olasunkanmi Agbaje stated that more evidence was needed.

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OPINION

Change of guards and expectations, By A.A. Gadzama

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By A.A. Gadzama
The President and Commander-in-Chief has finally succumbed to public pressure and replaced the former Service Chiefs.  The changes were long overdue and justified considering the fact that there was not much progress in defeating the insurgents in the North East, stopping the spate of killings by people suspected to be herdsmen across the country and the state of general insecurity in nearly all parts of the country.
These were not the only acts of insecurity and criminality that concerned the populace. Equally of concern were, the virtual state of siege in parts of the country as exemplified by attacks on public highways and the rampage by lawless individuals and groups. The change of Service Chiefs  is therefore commendable.
The President and his advisers once again proved responsive to public opinion. The decision took time understandably to avoid past mistakes of appointing unfit persons into sensitive positions of leadership. Many of us believe that the President made well informed choices in the appointment of the new Service Chiefs. Not even his most ardent critics could fault the choice of the new Service Chiefs.
The appointments addressed the twin problems of lopsidedness and brazen disregard of the Federal Character principles and ethno religious balancing. Much more important however is the issue of competence, loyalty and restoring professionalism in the Services which demand extreme caution.
I am compelled to write to underscore the importance of caution which in the past was not exercised in such appointments resulting in failure to defeat the security threats that have engulfed the country in the last one decade. We believe the President and his advisers exercised due diligence. It is important to note that past efforts failed to appreciate our realities.
The persistence of insecurity in the country is to a large extent also due to lack of required assets to pursue the wars and deficiencies in strategies being deployed. There is also the problem of dishonesty. I have often advised that there can be no success in any enterprise when there is no honesty in the pursuit of the mission.
There is also the indispensability of the support of the citizenry. It is a known fact that no counter intelligence war has ever been successful without the support of the citizenry. In almost all cases, the efforts of the security forces should be complemented with the support of the citizens in intelligence sourcing and identification of criminal elements. Some of us believe that the forces can make do with more psychological support to encourage the troops to defeat the criminal elements.
It should also be pointed out that the ongoing counter insurgency war in the North East suffered immeasurable losses due to uncomplimentary remarks by individuals who should know better. Demanding invitation of foreign mercenaries to deal with the insurgents is ill-informed and smacks of lack of knowledge on the issues being dealt with that constitute serious distractions.
There are also other tendencies that should be discouraged. Change in the attitude of those who find themselves in political leadership is necessary. Politicians must appreciate the predicament of the security forces. We need to insulate the current efforts from politics and parochial sentiments. Conversely the security forces must accept genuine criticisms from critics in order to make amends.
It has been observed that a major problem in the ongoing war against the current security challenges is that many in the corridors of power are allergic to what they misconstrue as unwarranted criticisms. We believe some of the criticisms are honest and well intended as suggestions that some things could be done differently are acceptable in democratic settings. Those defending the Government inevitably end up making more enemies for the Government when they are less tolerant of honest advise.
Another deficiency that is very glaring in the ongoing wars against insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and attacks on communities  is the dearth of actionable intelligence. Not much progress can be made without the required intelligence. The new Service Chiefs must therefore revitalize their intelligence gathering strategies and assets.
The new Service Chiefs should avoid is deception and playing to the gallery and be weary of false claims being churned out. This is the reason why some critics wondering just how many insurgents and bandits there are, considering the frequency of announcements of successes and “neutralization”. There is so much sceptism over some of the claims being made by the spokesmen of the security forces who have formed the habit of only telling their principals what they want to hear. This attitude needs to be discarded as it is poses serious credibility problems in the ongoing efforts against the security challenges.
There are also the challenges of welfare of personnel. The major area of concern of those prosecuting the wars is the negligence of their warfare and the non-availability of assets and platforms that could help bring the various security threats to an end.  Their efforts have also been undermined by the activities of insider saboteurs and those that have lost relevance. The fact is our security forces are generally resilient and could give their best in every situation but they could easily be frustrated when their leadership is not living up to expectations. Accordingly, the new Service Chiefs if they are to succeed should frontally deal with the menace of sycophancy, nepotism and compromise that frustrate honest attempts to deal with problems at hand. The near mutinous situations in some military formations in the past hardly speak well of those in command positions. Finally, there is the problem of inadequacy of men in the theatres of war. It will be fool hardy to expect that the security challenges would be won with security forces that are terribly inadequate, ill-equipped and overstretched. Not much progress would be made without addressing the problems of lack of adequate equipments, increase in staff strength and very inspirational leadership. The new Service Chiefs should note that what the country expects from them is bringing to an end all the security challenges in the land. This is possible.
We wish to congratulate the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor and the New Chief of Army Staff Major Gen Attahiru who previously were Commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East. The two officers did exceptionally well and gave good account of themselves  as commanders of operation Lafiya Dole. We pray they will live up to expectation.
   A. A. GADZAMA OFR, mni, Chairman Board of National Institute of Security Studies.

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OPINION

A city has fallen: Professor Dahiru Yahya By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa

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By Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa

 

“The Mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.  William Arthur Ward.

Professor Dahiru Yahya was one of my favourite teachers and remains a good mentor to this day. In Professor Dahiru Yahya, true scholarship and humility meet.

A generous, charismatic and prolific thinker. I first met him at Bayero University, Kano when I was an undergraduate student in the Department of History. Since that time, Prof as he once said, enjoyed every moment he spent with me.

He believed that young people always have novel ideas and be updated; he would always listen to me as if I was his teacher.

He used to call young people his teachers whenever they told him something new. In one of the moments I spent with him, Prof. told me that ahead (brain) of a professor is just like a city. He, therefore, advised me to value every moment spent with Professors by exploring the city.

During my MSc degree between 2012-2014, Prof was so keen to read my thesis when I informed him that I was writing on Boko Haram and AQIM.

He helped me with whatever I needed to complete the thesis. A year later, I informed him that I was presenting part of the work in a Faculty seminar. He was so happy and promised to come all the way from Abuja to listen to my presentation. After the presentation, he ushered in intellectual discussions on the origin of ‘Islamic activism’. He even responded to the questions I was supposed to answer. What a great honour!

As a humble person, Prof allowed me to explore his city as much as I could. I wanted to explore more when I informed one of my course mates that I wanted to see Prof to discuss the situation of the country last week. He deliberately shared some of his life encounters with people I considered great men in Nigeria. I have a lot to say on this. Perhaps this is not the right place.

In 2014, Prof and I were having dinner in his sitting room. His wife served us with a variety of foods. After a few minutes, Prof looked at me and said “Danguguwa! You have a masters degree but you have zero experience regarding what women can do” I was single without even a fiancé. He taught me what he jokingly called “makircin mata” .

He advised me not to underestimate the power of a woman. He said “your wife’s money is hers, while your money is for hers. Make sure you take good care of her”

When one of my course mates wanted him to write a reference letter for him, Prof gave him his letterhead and directed him to meet me. I wrote whatever I thought was right and Prof signed the letter without a second thought. In 2019 during a conference organised by Faculty of Humanities, Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, Prof served as a lead paper presenter.

The thought-provoking paper was sent to me for review prior to the presentation. I was confused for I couldn’t even comprehend the content of the paper. How could I review what Prof wrote? He was not happy though.

Prof joined academics almost two decades before I was born. In 2010 Bayero University Kano organised a Festschrift conference in his honour. By that time, he spent four decades teaching in the University. Out of more than seven and a half decades he spent on earth, over half a century was dedicated to teaching, research and mentorship.

Hundreds of students and colleagues attended his funeral today. Hundreds of tributes will be written in honour of the diplomatic and intellectual historian. This six hundred and forty-one words tribute says nothing about Prof Dahiru Yahya.

Allah Ya sa Aljanna ce makoma.

Kabiru Ibrahim Danguguwa, a historian and lecturer with Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, writes from, Kano.

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