Sunday, 31 March 2013

AMNESTY FOR BOKO HARAM SECT IS ALREADY ON OFFER

The dust being raised in the country following persistent calls for amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgents is a revelation of ignorance, insincerity and religious mediocrity of many Nigerians. It is very unfortunate that Boko Haram can play on our religious reasoning and succeed in dividing Nigerians along four ideological perspectives centering on whether to grant unconditional amnesty to Boko Haram sect or not.

 

Ideological Perspectives to Boko Haram’s Amnesty

The first group is those calling for unconditional amnesty for Boko Haram without an in-depth analysis of the demands of Boko Haram visa vice what amnesty is expected to achieve in the Nigeria situational dictate.

 

The second group comprises those who think that Boko Haram members, considering the damage they have done to the country and atrocities they have committed against humanity deserve no amnesty but the full wrath of the law.

 

The third group includes those who are agitating for unconditional amnesty for Boko Haram jihadists as their own humble contributions towards the ongoing jihad aimed at establishing Islamic nation or Umman in Nigeria. They are covertly supporting the cause with their funds through Zakat and Sadaqat and morale, and are also overtly lobbying the Federal Government to grant amnesty to the executors of the holy war as well as allowing them to keep their weapons for use during the next jihad because according to Abubakar Shekau, “Muslims don’t lay down arms, they merely keep it aside”.  

 

The fourth group consists of those who are resolute that Boko Haram, as it stand now, do not deserve amnesty. This rational group is of the opinion that Boko Haram sect must meet the minimum standard required for the granting of amnesty before they will be afforded the opportunity. To this group belong President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Professor Wole Soyinka and majority of Nigerians. It is based on this premises that on Monday, 18th February, 2013 the Federal Government of Nigeria expressed its readiness to offer amnesty to members of Boko Haram, if their leader, Abubakar Shekau gives up himself. This condition by the Federal government is in place because Shekau is one of three members of the group on United States of America’s terror list.

 

Amnesty for Boko Haram Sect is Already on Offer

But, come to think of it, recently that the National Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Centre, Major General Sarkin-Yaki Bello (rtd) announced the readiness of the Federal Government of Nigeria to accommodate members of the Boko Haram sect in a rehabilitation programme. Why is it that the apostles of Boko Haram’s unconditional amnesty are not responding to this disclosure which was made at an interactive session with top United States military (Capstone Course) personnel led by Admiral Henry Chiles (rtd) at the National Defence College, Abuja? In the words of Major-General Bello, “Government is also working to ensure that an opportunity will be created to embrace extremists who renounce terrorism to come forward for rehabilitation.” (Emphasis is mine).

 

He added that government is prepared to meet the demands put forward by the group which included the release of its members in detention; the rebuilding of its mosque (Markas) which was destroyed by military operations in Maiduguri in 2009 and allowing sect members to practice their religion freely.

 

Bello said government would adopt some socio-economic measures to address extremism in the north, hence members of the sect who renounce violence will be granted amnesty.

 

“The Federal Government in conjunction with state governments will soon officially launch a coordinated programme aimed at addressing unemployment in the region.”

 

Conclusion

Irrespective of the group of thought we belong, let us swallow our pride, keep our righteousness to ourselves, imbibe religious tolerance, eschew violence in all its ramifications and follow the path of Mr. President. Rationality holds the key. You don’t discuss peace with someone holding a loaded AK47 rifle behind him.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Boko Haram: Action Is Needed Now


BOKO HARAM: ACTION IS NEEDED NOW


The Defence Headquarters, yesterday, in Abuja dismissed fears being expressed over the increase in terrorist attacks in the northern Nigeria and the threat to move into the Southwest, claiming that Boko Haram insurgents are fighting their last battle, as their defeat is imminent.

The new Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, gave the assurance in Abuja in his maiden meeting with Defence Correspondents. He also dismissed the purported retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim.

The recent multiple bombings in Kano, Jos and Maiduguri, and the attendant problem have been making many, including foreigners living in Nigeria, nervous as they believe the sect is getting more lethal and daring in their operations.

Revealing, however, that the reverse is the case, Brigadier-General Olukolade said: “What we are witnessing of recent from Boko Haram insurgents, I personally see as mere desperation. It is generally said that the battle is hottest when it is about to end. It is, therefore, obvious that this is the last fight by Boko Haram. From the way they have been working and the expectation from the headquarters, the fight against terrorism is coming to an end. Whatever is happening, the end of terrorism in Nigeria has come.

“Since its establishment, the JTF has identified and destroyed many IED factories, recovered large quantities of arms, ammunitions and IED materials, arrested most of their leaders and followers. They have also been able to identify and repatriate illegal immigrants from Niger, Chad, and Mali, among others.

“The efforts of the JTF have, to a large extent, made Maiduguri and its environs uncomfortable for Boko Haram. Some of the citizens who left Maiduguri at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency are now gradually returning. In the past few weeks, there was the destruction of Boko Haram identified camps at Sambisa and Demboa games reserves.”

 

 

The assertion that Boko Haram is fighting its last battle is merely deceptive and its intent is to generate force confidence in the populace. Guerrilla warfare, especially when the strategy is being employed by Islamic fundamentalists, is never won by military might alone. That Boko Haram has moved the battle from the desert of Borno State to the streets of northern Nigeria and is now advancing towards southern Nigeria is of great concern.

The speed with which Boko Haram’s leadership is creating new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives also call for concern. Is the new Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade aware that the main aim of Boko Haram is to establish Islamic nation or Umman supremacy in Nigeria? If he is aware, what are the security agencies doing to curtain regular supply of recruits, funds and other necessary resources to Boko Haram?

The recent Kano bus park bombing was a horrible scene to behold; and the discovery of terror cells in Lagos coupled with our porous unmanned borders and uncontrollable influx of illegal aliens from Niger, Mali, Chad, etc calls for serious action on the part of the Federal Government to guarantee safety and security of Nigerians and residents alike.

The battle ahead is a very long and endless one and should be appreciated in that regard. Boko Haram with what Wole Soyinka called “limited knowledge of Islamic education” (if he is right) have successfully targeted and attacked the process of decision-making within the Nigeria policy and is engaging the military and other security agencies in a battle for the control of the sole of Nigeria.  The Nigerian leadership is today divided between the legitimacy and illegitimacy of Boko Haram’s demands as well as between amnesty and no amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents. Surprisingly, the renowned novelist and author of the popular novel, “Things Fall Apart” Professor Chinua Achebe passed away at the time things have fallen apart in Nigeria. A double tragedy, if you like.

Nigerian security agencies need a rethink. They should return to the drawing board, exploit the social dimension strategy to correct the disadvantages identified in the technical dimension. The shout of PEACE in the face of WAR makes mockery of the security profession. Peace is a quality that can be felt, and war is a phenomenon that can be experienced by all. When we move from war to peace we will all see it, feel it, experience it, enjoy it and thank God for it.

Let the new Director of Defence Information visit any of the scenes of Boko Haran atrocities and he will appreciate the fact that it is time for the Federal Government of Nigeria to sum up the POLITICAL WILL and SECURITY MUSCLE to tackle the menace. Or, permit states and local governments to establish their own security apparatus and take their fates in their hands. Boko Haram: action is needed now!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Investigating Funders of Terrorism in Nigeria

As security agencies intensify efforts to uncover those behind the funding of terrorist activities in Nigeria, investigations have moved to accounts of foreign agencies, politicians and high caliber individuals and corporate entities in the country believed to possess the financial muscle to fund terrorism. The authorities are collaborating with banks and other financial institutions in the country to unearth a possible link.

Good and reasonable as the move is, we are of the opinion that the security agencies may lose out on the real financiers of terrorists and their activities in Nigeria if they keep looking down at the expense of looking ahead above the shoulders to see where the funds are gathered from and distributed to for the sake of prosecuting a what Islam term “holy war”.

Recently, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) through its Public Relations Officer in the 19 Northern States and Abuja Mr. Sunny Oibe made a startling revelation to the effect that 90% of northern politicians are Boko Haram members. Instead of analyzing the assertion in its proper perspectives many of us dismissed it with a wave of the left hand. But has it not done on us now that there is more in the disclosure than we can imagine as Boko Haram continues to widen both the scope and impacts of its nefarious activities? Lodgments into bank accounts associated with members of the group are usually in millions of naira if news reports are facts. Recently, we were told that a politician paid substantial amount of money to the group for what he claimed to be “purchase of ram”.

The beaming of searchlights on big shorts’ accounts are good starting points as the probability that these accounts could be used to launder money and finance terrorism is relatively high.

Embassies or foreign consulate accounts also pose higher risk in terrorism funding as experience has shown. Banks and other financial institutions need to take note of accounts where large currency transactions take place, especially if they involve countries categorized as high risk, such as Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Yemen, Sudan, and other nations associated with Islamic fundamentalism. It is on record that some Nigerians are involved in terror-related activities and are believed to have been trained in Pakistan, Yemen, Mauritania, Mali, and so on.

Terrorism is a capital intensive venture, involving extensive planning, organization, recruiting, training, acquisition and provision of necessary technology, mobilization and deployment of the terrorists and enticing financial compensation and convincing promise of a place in paradise. Where do these terrorists get their funding from? Who are the sponsors of Boko Haram? How do these monies get to Boko Haram? If there are foreign sponsors, who are the local links and how do they get funds transferred from abroad?

As CAN rightly reveal, 90% of northern politicians are involved in funding Boko Haram, directly or indirectly. Providing the required funds for jihad or Al Jihad bi-al-Mal, is mandated by many verses of the Qur’an, including chapter 61 verses 10-11, which says, “you, should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives”, and chapter 49 verse 15, implores, “The (true) believers are only those who… strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah”.

The legal justification for financial jihad was reiterated and popularized by a Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi in a lecture he delivered on May 4, 2002 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In that lecture, he emphasized that, “collecting money for the mujahideen (jihad fighters) was not a donation or a gift but a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation”. Shari’a financing is aimed at promoting the Ummah or “Community of the Believers” (ummaht al-mu’minin) – the Muslim world.

The basic goal of the financiers of Boko Haram is to Islamize Nigeria and this is in total agreement with the main aim of Boko Haram which sees nothing good in the Nigeria state but bent on the proclamation of Islamic nation or Umman in the territory known as Nigeria.  

Shari’a finance is a weapon in the arsenal of perpetrators of a conceived Islamic nation or Umman supremacy worldwide. Both the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which Nigeria was smuggled in as a member and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which is also doing everything to commence operations in Nigeria operate on the principles prescribed by the Muslim Brotherhood and in accordance with the tenets of the shari’a. The primary purpose of which is to sustain “the growth and advancement of the Islamic way if life”, maintained Nasser M. Suleiman.

The secret behind all the frantic efforts made by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for the establishment of Islamic Banking in Nigeria is perhaps to advance shari’a financing and the coming Umman supremacy; to take over the Nigeria economy; and Islamize Nigeria.

It was Osama bin Laden who soon after the 9/11 called on Muslims all over the world to look for the pillars of the enemy’s economy. “Strike the key pillars of the enemy again and again and they will fall as one”. This instruction is today being carried out around the world by Muslim fundamentalists.

Zakat, we were made to believe, is to help the needy. But over the years Muslims have found the practice of Zakat as a channel through which to finance terrorism. According to Janine A. Clark in the book, “Islam, Charity, And Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen”, Zakat is used to support the middle class, to strengthen its loyalty to the rulers, and to back their radical ideology.   

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi also proclaims that “Declaring holy war is an Islamic duty, and fighting is the Way of Allah for which Zakat must be spent” and in his 1999 publication, Fiqh az-Zakat, al-Qaradawi he said, “The most important form of jihah today is serious, purposefully organized work to rebuild Islamic society and state and to implement the Islamic way of life in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of Zakat”.  

Muslim jihadist-terror groups such as Boko Haram are indeed prominent Zakat recipients. J.  Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins in their book, “Alms for Jihad: Charity and terrorism in the Islamic World”, observed that when Zakat, which is obligatory to all Muslims, is given “in the path of Allah,” it is given to fund jihad. There are seven broad categories of eligible recipients: the poor, converts, wayfarers, those in bondage or in debt, those committed to Allah for the spread and triumph of Islam, newcomers whose faith is weak, and new converts to Islam “whose hearts have been reconciled. “Moreover, Zakat may be used to support those who administer it”, (emphasis mine). 

Revealing how charity funds or Zakat are used Saudi Arabia’s Secretary-General of the Official Muslim World League Koran Memorization Commission was quoted by Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen in their book, “The Cure for the Wahabbi Virus”, to have said that, “The Prophet said, ‘He who equips a fighter – it is as if he himself fought’. You lie in your bed, safe in your own home, and donate money and Allah credits you with the rewards of a fighter. What is this? A privilege.”

Today, the Islamic world is building thousands of mosques, Islamic centers, and Islamic studies programmes in universities across Nigeria to advance Umman’s power and undermine western education and legal structures and to replace them with the Shari’a and Nigerians are looking the other way. There are more mosques and Islamic centers springing up in all parts of western and eastern Nigeria now than ever before. Have you ever wondered “why”?

Many states in Nigeria today especially in the north and west have perfected state Zakat (and Sadaqat) as channels, probably, through which finances move to the jihad fighters who they believe are prosecuting the “holy war”.

Recently, the Sokoto Zakat and Endowment Committee was said to have disbursed N20 million to less privileged persons in the state. This is a welcome development that deserves commendation but for security reasons we are more concern with the sources of such funds and the end uses of the Zakat money than the moral and spiritual justifications which may both be detrimental to Nigeria as a country.

Similar public and private Zakat and or Sadaqat organizations exist in most states of the federation using one ruse name or the other, or operating as a non-governmental organization (NGO) but actually fronting the funding of terrorism in the country. Bank accounts and other monetary transactions of such bodies need to be properly scrutinized for both financial links/funding and miscellaneous supports of terrorism activities in Nigeria or elsewhere. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

HOW AMERICA CREATED BOKO HARAM IN NIGERIA

A nation is a geopolitical, psycho-social and economic expression. It is a group of people made distinct from other groups of people by its geographical or territorial location, its political ideology and its socio-economic orientation. The nation is a dynamic phenomenon because it is a living unit that is in a perpetual state of flux – it grows, stagnates, and retrogresses depending on its ability to contend with a variety of threats to both its survival and development. It is in this sense that the concept of national security evolved.

 In the modern nation states, it is difficult to tell who your friends are or say who your enemies are today or will be tomorrow. When it comes to preserving national security, trusting no one is the best idea. This is because information you share today might be used against you tomorrow. In their 2003 book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to National Security”, Michael Benson, Danny O. Coulson, and Allan Swenson (2003) wrote that Americans cannot easily tell who their enemies were. They narrated how the Soviet Union fought a war in Afghanistan against the ruling government there known as the Taliban, how America considered Taliban a friend because they were enemy of America’s enemy (Soviet Union) and supported Taliban in that battle. “Today, the Taliban is known as the government who gave the terrorist group Al Qaeda a home in Afghanistan…. Now, the Taliban is the friend of our (America) enemy (Al Qaeda) and so has become our (America) enemy”.

America supported Iraq and President Saddam Hussein during the 1980s bloody war between Iran and Iraq. In a twist, America led the world into Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction, found none, dethroned President Saddam Hussein, and hanged the dreaded perceived leader of the Great Middle East. America deceived the world to hit at Iraq and took over its oil and wealth. Deception has no other side. The policeman of the world knows how to use you against yourself.

This stance has been demonstrated by America in several other fronts and has led the world to arm race and the discovery of weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical weapons, laboratory accidents and escape of deadly viruses, nuclear reactor accidents, espionage and counter-espionage and harvests of assassinations. It aided industry, it killed industry, and suffocated economics, toppled governments, installed stooges and is attempting not only to imprison the world but bring it to untimely end.

The weapon of the cold war is deception. The cold war between America and USSR revealed the state of mind that encourages international deception and the mind of the state that perpetuates it. The big brother favours fraud instead of force to manipulate, dominate and control the world. In its war against communism America perfected a system I refer to as “set them against themselves” (STAT) to hasten the collapse of USSR when all strategies and tactics failed.  According to Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen in the book “Pirates, Terrorists, and Warlords (2009) by Jeffery H. Norwitz (ed), Shari’a which is the sole of Islam is referred to as, “the enemy – shari’a”, followed by the statement, “Exposing shari’a and all its adherents, be they states, organizations, or individuals, is crucial to our ability to defend ourselves. It will also enable us to undermine shari’a’s global structure, turning adherents against it, the way we did with communism”. To the Muslims the declaration of cold war on Shari’a is not only provoking but a call for the protection of Islam and the Muslim world.  Besides, they are not ignorant of America’s cold war strategy which is set them against themselves.

To Michael Benson, Danny O. Coulson, and Allan Swenson (2003), “militant Muslims have replaced Communists as the number-one enemy to U. S. security….”

The “Pirates, Terrorists, and Warlords” (2009) by Jeffery H. Norwitz (ed), describing shari’a wrote, “Shari’a is the set of Islamic laws established by Muslim jurists, based on the Qur’an and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, as recorded beginning more than 1,200 years ago. Its end goal, for all time, is establishing a world ruled entirely by Islam and the harsh shari’a laws. These laws govern every aspect of daily life and prohibit individual, political, and religious freedom”.

Shari’a is not only an adversary but have replaced communism as America’s number-one enemy. In Northern Nigeria there are numerous Muslim groups, which want to introduce shari’a in the whole country. In the states of the North these demands have been executed in 1999 and 2001. In the following 9 states the Shari’a has full validity: Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe. And in Kaduna, Niger and Gombe states the shari’a is valid for areas with a mainly Muslim population.  

Boko Haram which has been active since 2001 in northern Nigeria is not only seeing itself as a body of radical Muslims but also as a people committed to the propagation of the prophet muhammad teachings and jihad with a very strong ideological concept such as Islamic extremism and Islamic fundamentalism with an aim of Islamizing Nigeria. Apart from deriving inspirations from the Holy Quran, they are marshaling their unifying and supporting factors from what they termed America’s perception of Islam as “evil” and shari’a as “enemy”. Thus, they tagged Western education forbidden evil and Western lifestyle sin. Boko Haram is merely attempting to Islamized Nigeria as soon as possible for fear of America’s indoctrinating the entire country. The war directed against the Nigeria state by Boko Haram was born out of fear and inferiority complex.

True that after the fall of Communism, America may have wrongly or rightly perceive Islam as an emerging enemy or shari’a as a threat. The fear is not misplaced.  Americans fear the role of shari’a and the Muslim Brotherhood in developing a global ideology and a political movement supported by a parallel Islamic financial system designed to exploit and undermine the Western economics and markets. But, there has never been any official pronouncement in that regard.

To the Americans, this movement is the foundation and the major funding source for the political, economic, and military initiatives of the global Islamic movement. They are also of the opinion that the end goal of this movement is to impose that ideology globally, making the “Islamic nation” or ummah supreme. And so, the best solution is to dislodge Islam and contain Shari’a. Further still, no official statement has been made public; but the bombs are booming, lives are being lost daily and properties are being damaged on regular basis.

What position is Nigeria occupying in the Islamic circle to deserve her listing as a potential Islamic state? Many Nigerians are asking. If you are one of those asking such question, listen: Have you forgotten that Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)?  Are you not aware that almost all northern states have adopted “Shari’a” – the Islamic legal code? Are you not aware of the fact that Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world?  Are you ignorant of the fact that Nigeria is among the wealthiest nations of the world? Besides, Nigeria is blessed with enormous resources and Nigeria’s voice is loud globally. When you combined all these you will see why the fight for Nigeria’s soul is so fierce and bloody.  

Members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect are all aware of role the United State’s national security played for more than 40 years that eventually brought about the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Therefore by comparing Shari’a to Communism, Islamic fundamentalists are of the opinion that America is out to adopting the same military might and technology to confront their perceived emerging archenemy – Shari’a. Perhaps, that is why there are ongoing crises in all countries with handful of Muslims populations across the world. A war of survival if you like!

Yet by launching terror attacks on a nation’s innocent and lawful citizens, the Muslim fundamentalists have not only expressed their fear of eventual extinction of Islam as a religion but expose their weakness in terms of the ability to sustain their Islamic faith in the face of a more superior Christian religion.  

The adoption of Shari’a law between 1999 and 2001 contributed immensely to Islamists mobilization in northern Nigeria and is fast fuelling the deep dissatisfaction with socio-economic conditions and poor governance as well as provoking vociferous religious ideology with periodically obscures violence that is being driven more by economic factors and religious ideology and social sustainability syndrome. Survival instincts have the potential to drive a people to be aggressive to ensure their survivability and to also do anything that guarantee their uninterrupted growth and development.  

Boko Haram has succeeded in infusing religion into a long-churning brew of grievances about wealth and power distribution, corruption, and injustice. To this, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government has responded poorly not only to the long-standing ethnic tensions in the country, but also to the specific case of Boko Haram, often ignoring or instigating the former while brutally and indiscriminately overreacting toward the latter.

On the other hand, our security personnel has proved that they overwhelmingly lack intelligence capacity and the ability to either disrupt attacks before they happen or track down real culprits who are at times connected to key politicians.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government must move beyond the blunt use of lethal force by improving intelligence-collection and building healthier civil-military relations. Sending tanks to the streets may appease the angry public, but it is not an effective counterterrorism policy.

The United States whose stance on Islam and Shari’a contributed to unify all Islamic fundamentalists all over the world and acted as indirect boost and support for their campaign must encourage the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government to address the political, economic, and religious insecurities that give resonance to Boko Haram’s ideology.
The President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government must also empower and protect the many moderate Islamic leaders in the north that have stood up against Boko Haram even while facing assassinations. Ultimately, the real solutions to the Boko Haram menace are both local and global

HOW AMERICA CREATED BOKO HARAM IN NIGERIA

A nation is a geopolitical, psycho-social and economic expression. It is a group of people made distinct from other groups of people by its geographical or territorial location, its political ideology and its socio-economic orientation. The nation is a dynamic phenomenon because it is a living unit that is in a perpetual state of flux – it grows, stagnates, and retrogresses depending on its ability to contend with a variety of threats to both its survival and development. It is in this sense that the concept of national security evolved.

 In the modern nation states, it is difficult to tell who your friends are or say who your enemies are today or will be tomorrow. When it comes to preserving national security, trusting no one is the best idea. This is because information you share today might be used against you tomorrow. In their 2003 book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to National Security”, Michael Benson, Danny O. Coulson, and Allan Swenson (2003) wrote that Americans cannot easily tell who their enemies were. They narrated how the Soviet Union fought a war in Afghanistan against the ruling government there known as the Taliban, how America considered Taliban a friend because they were enemy of America’s enemy (Soviet Union) and supported Taliban in that battle. “Today, the Taliban is known as the government who gave the terrorist group Al Qaeda a home in Afghanistan…. Now, the Taliban is the friend of our (America) enemy (Al Qaeda) and so has become our (America) enemy”.

America supported Iraq and President Saddam Hussein during the 1980s bloody war between Iran and Iraq. In a twist, America led the world into Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction, found none, dethroned President Saddam Hussein, and hanged the dreaded perceived leader of the Great Middle East. America deceived the world to hit at Iraq and took over its oil and wealth. Deception has no other side. The policeman of the world knows how to use you against yourself.

This stance has been demonstrated by America in several other fronts and has led the world to arm race and the discovery of weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical weapons, laboratory accidents and escape of deadly viruses, nuclear reactor accidents, espionage and counter-espionage and harvests of assassinations. It aided industry, it killed industry, and suffocated economics, toppled governments, installed stooges and is attempting not only to imprison the world but bring it to untimely end.

The weapon of the cold war is deception. The cold war between America and USSR revealed the state of mind that encourages international deception and the mind of the state that perpetuates it. The big brother favours fraud instead of force to manipulate, dominate and control the world. In its war against communism America perfected a system I refer to as “set them against themselves” (STAT) to hasten the collapse of USSR when all strategies and tactics failed.  According to Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen in the book “Pirates, Terrorists, and Warlords (2009) by Jeffery H. Norwitz (ed), Shari’a which is the sole of Islam is referred to as, “the enemy – shari’a”, followed by the statement, “Exposing shari’a and all its adherents, be they states, organizations, or individuals, is crucial to our ability to defend ourselves. It will also enable us to undermine shari’a’s global structure, turning adherents against it, the way we did with communism”. To the Muslims the declaration of cold war on Shari’a is not only provoking but a call for the protection of Islam and the Muslim world.  Besides, they are not ignorant of America’s cold war strategy which is set them against themselves.

To Michael Benson, Danny O. Coulson, and Allan Swenson (2003), “militant Muslims have replaced Communists as the number-one enemy to U. S. security….”

The “Pirates, Terrorists, and Warlords” (2009) by Jeffery H. Norwitz (ed), describing shari’a wrote, “Shari’a is the set of Islamic laws established by Muslim jurists, based on the Qur’an and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, as recorded beginning more than 1,200 years ago. Its end goal, for all time, is establishing a world ruled entirely by Islam and the harsh shari’a laws. These laws govern every aspect of daily life and prohibit individual, political, and religious freedom”.

Shari’a is not only an adversary but have replaced communism as America’s number-one enemy. In Northern Nigeria there are numerous Muslim groups, which want to introduce shari’a in the whole country. In the states of the North these demands have been executed in 1999 and 2001. In the following 9 states the Shari’a has full validity: Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe. And in Kaduna, Niger and Gombe states the shari’a is valid for areas with a mainly Muslim population.  

Boko Haram which has been active since 2001 in northern Nigeria is not only seeing itself as a body of radical Muslims but also as a people committed to the propagation of the prophet muhammad teachings and jihad with a very strong ideological concept such as Islamic extremism and Islamic fundamentalism with an aim of Islamizing Nigeria. Apart from deriving inspirations from the Holy Quran, they are marshaling their unifying and supporting factors from what they termed America’s perception of Islam as “evil” and shari’a as “enemy”. Thus, they tagged Western education forbidden evil and Western lifestyle sin. Boko Haram is merely attempting to Islamized Nigeria as soon as possible for fear of America’s indoctrinating the entire country. The war directed against the Nigeria state by Boko Haram was born out of fear and inferiority complex.

True that after the fall of Communism, America may have wrongly or rightly perceive Islam as an emerging enemy or shari’a as a threat. The fear is not misplaced.  Americans fear the role of shari’a and the Muslim Brotherhood in developing a global ideology and a political movement supported by a parallel Islamic financial system designed to exploit and undermine the Western economics and markets. But, there has never been any official pronouncement in that regard.

To the Americans, this movement is the foundation and the major funding source for the political, economic, and military initiatives of the global Islamic movement. They are also of the opinion that the end goal of this movement is to impose that ideology globally, making the “Islamic nation” or ummah supreme. And so, the best solution is to dislodge Islam and contain Shari’a. Further still, no official statement has been made public; but the bombs are booming, lives are being lost daily and properties are being damaged on regular basis.

What position is Nigeria occupying in the Islamic circle to deserve her listing as a potential Islamic state? Many Nigerians are asking. If you are one of those asking such question, listen: Have you forgotten that Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)?  Are you not aware that almost all northern states have adopted “Shari’a” – the Islamic legal code? Are you not aware of the fact that Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world?  Are you ignorant of the fact that Nigeria is among the wealthiest nations of the world? Besides, Nigeria is blessed with enormous resources and Nigeria’s voice is loud globally. When you combined all these you will see why the fight for Nigeria’s soul is so fierce and bloody.  

Members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect are all aware of role the United State’s national security played for more than 40 years that eventually brought about the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Therefore by comparing Shari’a to Communism, Islamic fundamentalists are of the opinion that America is out to adopting the same military might and technology to confront their perceived emerging archenemy – Shari’a. Perhaps, that is why there are ongoing crises in all countries with handful of Muslims populations across the world. A war of survival if you like!

Yet by launching terror attacks on a nation’s innocent and lawful citizens, the Muslim fundamentalists have not only expressed their fear of eventual extinction of Islam as a religion but expose their weakness in terms of the ability to sustain their Islamic faith in the face of a more superior Christian religion.  

The adoption of Shari’a law between 1999 and 2001 contributed immensely to Islamists mobilization in northern Nigeria and is fast fuelling the deep dissatisfaction with socio-economic conditions and poor governance as well as provoking vociferous religious ideology with periodically obscures violence that is being driven more by economic factors and religious ideology and social sustainability syndrome. Survival instincts have the potential to drive a people to be aggressive to ensure their survivability and to also do anything that guarantee their uninterrupted growth and development.  

Boko Haram has succeeded in infusing religion into a long-churning brew of grievances about wealth and power distribution, corruption, and injustice. To this, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government has responded poorly not only to the long-standing ethnic tensions in the country, but also to the specific case of Boko Haram, often ignoring or instigating the former while brutally and indiscriminately overreacting toward the latter.

On the other hand, our security personnel has proved that they overwhelmingly lack intelligence capacity and the ability to either disrupt attacks before they happen or track down real culprits who are at times connected to key politicians.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government must move beyond the blunt use of lethal force by improving intelligence-collection and building healthier civil-military relations. Sending tanks to the streets may appease the angry public, but it is not an effective counterterrorism policy.

The United States whose stance on Islam and Shari’a contributed to unify all Islamic fundamentalists all over the world and acted as indirect boost and support for their campaign must encourage the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government to address the political, economic, and religious insecurities that give resonance to Boko Haram’s ideology.
The President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Government must also empower and protect the many moderate Islamic leaders in the north that have stood up against Boko Haram even while facing assassinations. Ultimately, the real solutions to the Boko Haram menace are both local and global

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Addressing Cultism and Insecurity in Ebubu Eleme


CULT CRISIS IN EBUBU: CARETAKER COMMITTEE TO THE


 

Following the drastic measures adopted by the Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa on the lingering cult crisis in Ebubu Clan, which has cost the area ten lives, by summoning stakeholders for crucial meeting a Caretaker Committee has been constituted to check cult crisis and bring lasting peace to the area.

The meeting which held in the instances of the Council Chairman with the chiefs, elders, youths, opinion leaders and other stakeholders of Ebubu Clan and lasted for two days made heart tootling revelations centering on lapses on the part of both the traditional rulership and youth leadership in the clan. While advising the chiefs to take their responsibilities concerning maintenance of law and order at the grassroots seriously, the meeting noted that the abandoning of strategic decisions by the chiefs at crucial periods to avert problems contributed to fuelling the cult crisis.

As a way forward, after due consultation, the Council Chairman constituted a Caretaker Committee headed by Comrade Atoseobari Ojinga (Egbalor). Other members of the committee include: Trust Nkporon (Egbalor), Charles Bebe (Agbeta) Sunday Chichi (Agbeta), John Oguru (Ejamah), William Adanta­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ (Ejamah), James oluka (Obolo), and Dabour Levi (Obolo). The committee which has one year life span is charged with the responsibilities of:

1.      Liaising with appropriate law enforcement agencies to mop up arms in youths’ possession in the clan;

2.       Ensuring lasting peace among the youths in Ebubu Clan; 

3.      Producing a Constitution to guide youth activities in Ebubu; and  

4.      Plan for a credible Ebubu Youth Council election.

Meanwhile, the Ebubu Council of Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders has suspended the Paramount Ruler of Ebubu Clan, His Royal Highness εmεrε Emmanuel Osaroeke Bebe and in his place appointed Chief Isaac Osaro Agbara as Chairman Ebubu Council of Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders with a mandate to henceforth convene all meetings of the Council and run its affairs until normalcy returns to the area, “to avoid the repetition of Gioko experience” said כnε εh Odido VIII, Paramount Ruler of Odido Kingdom, His Royal Highness εmεrε Obarinwite Nchimonwi.

The decision which was taken at the second burial of late Chief Oluka Nwafor was subsequently ratified by His Royal Majesty King Dr. S. O. Ejire, כnε εh Eleme X, King of Elemeland.

In the meantime, the various cult groups have started to turn in their arms. According to the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Comrade Atoseobari Ojinga, “the various cult groups are responding to the directive to submit their weapons. On Thursday, the cult groups from Agbeta returned their weapons – guns and ammunition – while Friday saw cultists from Egbalor doing the same. The response has been very encouraging and I am happy to say that there is relative peace in Ebubu now”.

Professor N. E. S. Lale expressed confidence in the Caretaker Committee headed by Atoseobari Ojinga to deliver on the assignment, stressing that Comrade Ojinga is an experienced and tested youth leader. He also commended the Council Chairman, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa for his concern for the Ebubu crisis, observing that “Eleme people have never had it so good, with his style of leadership”.

It is now the duty of the various stakeholders in Ebubu Clan to avoid a repetition of the ugly experience of the past which led to breakdown of law and order, and work towards ensuring lasting peace in the area. This, they could do by constantly and continuously monitoring the Caretaker Committee and calling them to order whenever they are derailing. The chiefs on their part are also advised to institute an effective and efficient peer review mechanism to prevent what might be detrimental to the fragile peace in the area.

The Rivers State Government should also consider the request of the chiefs, elders and opinion leaders of Ebubu Clan concerning establishing a Police Post in the area. Considering the rapid industrialization that is taking place in the area and uncontrollable influx of people from various parts of the world and the country into Ebubu Eleme the request for a police station in the area is not out of place but a priority. Police presence is a good deterrent.  

While appreciating the efforts of the Council Chairman to checkmate the menace of cultism in Ebubu in particular and Eleme in general, it is pertinent to call on all concerned stakeholders to ensure that the passion and zeal demonstrated this two days (Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th March, 2013) in the course of searching for workable solutions to the problems of cultism is not abandoned midway as that will be more disastrous.

It is also important to call on the Government to consider addressing those long term factors that gave rise to cultism in the area such as illiteracy, unemployment, and frustration in addition to the short term solutions being implemented.   

Monday, 11 March 2013

POLICE INVESTIGATE ALLEGED KILLING OF 7 KIDNAPPED FOREIGNERS

The Bauchi Sate Police Command has began investigation into the alleged killing of seven (7) expatriates kidnapped on February 16 from a construction site of  Setraco Nigeria Limited in Jama’are Local Government Area of the state to ascertain the authenticity of the claim. The seven expatriates include four Lebanese, one Briton, one Italian and one Greece.

In an online statement on Saturday, 9th March, 2013, claiming the killings, Ansaru said it killed the hostages because of attempts by Britain and Nigeria to rescue them.

Italy, Britain and Greece confirmed yesterday that the kidnapped foreign hostages in Nigeria have been killed. But, Nigeria’s defence and security officials are wary of speaking on the reported killing of the seven hostages.

The Bauchi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Hassan Mohammed Auyo told journalists that, “Police have no evidence that the kidnapped expatriates were killed. We are still investigating the matter. We are also investigating the genuineness of the information pasted on web allegedly by the group”.

In the same vein, a top security source in Bauchi said, “We heard about the killings of the expatriates as you heard about it. We are still enquiring to get the correct information, because we did not carry out any rescue operation either jointly or separately. We are still monitoring the situation”.

The British Foreign Secretary William Hague affirmed that all the hostages were, “likely to have been killed” by their captors.

“This was an act of coldblooded murder, which I condemned in strongest terms”, he decried, stressing his determination to work with the Nigerian government “to hold the perpetrators of this heinous act to account, and to combat the terrorism which so blights the lives of people in northern Nigeria and in the wider region”.

Meanwhile, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that the Italian Foreign Ministry in a statement referred to it as, “a horrific act of terrorism for which there is no explanation except barbaric and blind violence”.

“No military intervention to free the hostages was ever attempted by the interested government”, the statement revealed adding that the killings were “the aberrant expression of a hateful and intolerable fanaticism”.

Also, the Greek Foreign Ministry said that the “available information suggests that the Greek citizen abducted in Nigeria alongside six nationals of other countries is dead. Based on the information we have, there was no rescue operation”.  

An official of Setraco Nigeria Limited told AFP that he was aware of the report but could not confirm it.

The statement from Ansaru claiming the killings was issued in Arabic and English on March 9, 2013by SITE, Al-Qabidun Ala al-Jamr (Grippers of Embers) Media Foundation, an affiliate of the Sinam al-Islam Network. It also provided screen captures of a forthcoming video showing the dead.

In the meantime, Nigerian defence and security officials feel not to be in a position to speak as the situation is still smoggy. Presently, no one knows the location of the hostages or their bodies. If truly they are killed, this will not only be a slap on the nation’s defence and intelligence security apparatus but also a national embarrassment.   

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Nigerian Navy Helicopter NN07 Crash Report Faults Human Error


 


The Nigerian Navy has released the report of investigation into the cause of crash of the ill-fated helicopter NN07 which led to the death of the former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa and the former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd) and four others barely three months ago. The investigative report pinned the cause of the crash on either human error or material failure.

General Azazi and Yakowa had on December 15, 2012, boarded the unfortunate helicopter on their way to Port Harcourt from Bayelsa where they had gone to attend the final funeral rites of the father of a special adviser to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Dr Oronto Douglas, when the tragedy occurred.

The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) that was constituted by the Nigerian Air Force at the instance of the Nigerian Navy to ascertain the cause of the fatal crash involving the Nigerian Navy’s Agusta NN07 helicopter has submitted an interim report to the Naval Headquarters.

A statement released by the Nigerian Navy and signed by its spokesman, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu said that the cause of the disaster has been traced to either human error or material failure, but it categorically ruled out sabotage as was speculated in some quarters. According to the Navy spokesperson, “The Investigation which was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers – Agusta Westland — has stated that the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure or a combination of both.

“However, to determine the actual cause of the crash, there would be the need to tear down the engine of the helicopter in order to carry out detailed forensic analysis. This aspect of the investigation will be carried out by Turbomeca, the manufacturers of the engine.

“It is important to emphasize that an independent police report has equally ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash. Further information on the investigation would be made public when available,” the statement added.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Nigerian Army Discovers Illegal Arms Depot in Kaduna


 


The Nigerian Army Tuesday, 5th March, 2013, confirmed the uncovering of illegal arms depot and seizure of weapons and bomb-making devices at a politician’s residence in Kaduna.

 In a statement from 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, the Internal Security Force, led by Brigadier General TC Ude said six AK 47 assault rifles, some ammunitions and bomb making devices were found following an operation by the Nigerian troops in the home of a serving politician, Hussain Dei Dei near Dalet barracks in Kawo area of Kaduna city. The statement revealed that the raid was carried out on at about 5.30pm, following intelligence report in the area.

The statement added that two men, two women and five children were arrested during the operation.

Apart from six AK 47 assault rifles, the military listed the following items as part of the weapons recovered:

- One light Machine Gun.
-One teargas Launcher.
-Twenty Seven Loaded and Seventeen empty AK 47 magazines.
-One FN Rifle Magazine.
-Five Sub-Machine Gun Magazines.
- Four Pistols Magazines.
-One loaded Light-Machine Gun Magazine.
-Two Hundred and Seventy Five (275) rounds of 7.62 mm (NATO Ammunition).
-Seven Hundred and Sixty Five (765) Rounds of 7.62 mm Special Ammunition.
-Fifty Eight (58) Rounds of 9mm Ammunition.
-One Hundred and Twenty Five pieces of Detonator-33.
-Two Reels of Detonating Cords.
-Nine Small Cans of Prepared IED.
-One paint Can of Prepared IED.
-Nine pieces of 9-Volt Batteries.
-Three Bags of White Chemical substance.
-Five pieces of Remote Control Switches.
-One Reel of Firing Cable.
-Six pieces of Assorted Car Plate Numbers.

The statement appealed to the members of the public to cooperate with the army to fish out terror cells in Kaduna.

“We would like to seize this opportunity to solicit for more information about these terrorists and to assure you that every information received will be treated with absolute confidentiality”, he assured.

“Once more, let me assure the good peoples of Kaduna State in particular and Nigerians that the Nigerian Army in collaboration with other Security Agencies, will not relent on its efforts at ensuring the safety of lives and properties of the good citizens of our dear nation,” Brigadier General Ude, reiterated.

EXAMINING BOKO HARAM’S GOAL IN RELATION TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AMNESTY OFFER

The President-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar III has added his voice to the call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to grant the Boko Haram terrorists amnesty.

 

The Sultan made the call at the opening of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Annual Central Council Meeting in Kaduna. In his words, “I want to use this opportunity to say that we have heard in the news that Mr. President will be visiting Maiduguri in a couple of days. We want to use this opportunity to call on the government, especially, Mr. President to see how he can declare total amnesty to all combatants without thinking twice. That will make any other person who picks up arms to be termed a criminal”.

 

The Muslim leader is of the opinion that, “If the amnesty is declared, majority of those young men who have been running will come out and embrace that amnesty and some of them have already come out because we have heard some of the stories in the papers”. He reiterated that, “even if it is one person and he denounces terrorism, it is the duty of government to accept that one person and see how he can be used to reach others. Whether it is true or not the government should accept that person first, evaluate him and see whether he is genuine or fake”.

 

The Sultan expressed concerns and worries of Muslims leaders about the situation of the country especially the insecurity plaguing the nation, lamenting, “we have problem in the North, we have problem in the South-East, we have problem in the South-West and in the South-South and it remains the duty of government to protect all of us”. He admitted that Nigeria is bedeviled with mountains of challenges but advised that we must all contribute to ensure peace and stability in the country.  “My dear brothers and sisters, we are facing a lot of challenges in this country and as Muslims we owe it a duty to everybody to ensure that we contribute positively to peace and stability in this country….”

 

As President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan visits Maiduguri, the Bornu capital, the expectations of majority of Nigerians is that Mr. President will declare unconditional amnesty for Boko Haram members. This expectation was announced by the Sultan, in Kaduna.

 

Besides the call by the Sultan other prominent Nigerians have called on the Federal Government to dialogue with Boko Haram. Former President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida recently called on the Federal Government to exploit the option of dialogue with members of the insurgent group Boko Haram in order to arrest the prevailing drift in the nation’s security.  Before then, President Olusegun Obasanjo has suggested the “carrot and stick” formula as a tool to arrest Nigeria’s insecurity and return the country to peace and stability.

On Monday, 18th February, 2013 the Federal Government of Nigeria expressed its readiness to offer amnesty to members of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, known as Boko Haram, if their leader, Abubakar Shekau gives up himself.

Shekau is one of three members of the group on United States of America’s terror list.

National Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Centre, Major General Sarkin-Yaki Bello (rtd) disclosed this at an interactive session with top United States military (Capstone Course) personnel led by Admiral Henry Chiles (rtd) at the National Defence College, Abuja.

He revealed that government would accommodate members of the group in a rehabilitation programme.

“Government is also working to ensure that an opportunity will be created to embrace extremists who renounce terrorism to come forward for rehabilitation,” he announced.

He added that government is prepared to meet the demands put forward by the group which included the release of its members in detention; the rebuilding of its mosque (Markas) which was destroyed by military operations in Maiduguri in 2009 and allowing sect members to practice their religion freely.

Bello said government would adopt some socio-economic measures to address extremism in the north, hence members of the sect who renounce violence will be granted amnesty.

“The Federal Government in conjunction with state governments will soon officially launch a coordinated programme aimed at addressing unemployment in the region.”

“This will help reduce the pool of recruit for the Boko Haram sect. Additionally to this, the federal government will reform and regulate the hitherto unregulated Madrasa schools, popularly called the Almajiri system of education that has prevailed in the northern part of the country.

Nigeria is collaborating with other neighboring countries to prevent terror attacks,” he said.

The National Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Centre revealed that a number of foreign nationals were identified as Boko Haram members. In his words, “We have citizens of Niger Republic who are members of Boko Haram, we have Chadians, and we have Cameroonians as member”.

He also revealed the sources of Boko Haram’s arms and major security challenges confronting Nigeria. “The major source of arms for Boko Haram comes from Libya through Chad,” he said, pointing out that the Federal Government has evolved approaches to deal with the problem. He as well, observed that Boko Haram attacks, maritime insecurity and kidnapping are the major security challenges facing the country.

He emphasized that of the three, Boko Haram is the most dangerous because “its members live within the society and it’s difficult to spot them.”

“The sect has grown in sophistication from when it emerges in 2009 as it is now capable of carrying out coordinated attacks in many cities in northern Nigeria.

He said Nigerian security forces have had to review their tactics and modus operandi to address the new security challenges, adding that security operations will now be aligned to suit overall government effort of eradicating terrorism.

“In conjunction with other stakeholders, a draft National Counter Terrorism Strategy which will soon be approved by our president has been produced. The idea is to have an all embracing approach toward handling counter terrorism issues.

“Other measures include advance plan to set up National Counter Terrorism Centre which further ensure coordination and synergy among all agencies. A Fusion Centre will be a key component of Counter Terrorism Centre which will serve as a processing point for all source of intelligence,” he added.

A good account of the layers of protection that the Federal Government in putting in place to check insurgency and protect Nigeria and its interests.

Boko Haram insurgency has gone beyond arms struggle for negotiation for socio-economic development. Its primary aim is to Islamize Nigeria. How do we reconcile Islamization of Nigeria and the proposed unconditional“amnesty to all combatants”? Have we ever consider the fact that  Abubakar Shekau and his followers in Boko Haram are mere puppets in the hands of the puppet masters who are not only non-Nigerians, but also reside outside Nigeria, from where they direct Boko Haram’s operations and attacks in Nigeria?  If Mr. President is to declare amnesty for declaration’s sake, so be it.      

Advising on the best possible way to contain Boko Haram and check insecurity in Nigeria, it is heartening to note that our three respected leaders said the same thing in different languages. The Obasanjo’s carrot and stick and the Sultan Sa’ad’s unconditional amnesty and use of repentant insurgents to reach others cannot be divorced from each other; they compliment and reinforce one another. It is a tacit endorsement of the creation of ruse force to carryout pseudo operations in the country.