If you've ever taken time to follow my posts on these boards, you'd know that I always go the extra mile to contextualise my views.
At no point did I infer Mandela's achievements dwarfed that of other campaigners, although I could so easily have done this to satisfy the whims of simpletons. I couldn't on good conscience present a neatly packaged narrative even if I wanted to, because I not only have the greatest regard for so many unheralded heros of the anti-apartheid struggle, but was also fortunate enough to have met some of its leading figures in person. What is more, at the height of the struggle, I was more closely aligned with the Pan African Congress (of Azania), which took a radical and ideological different stance to Mandela's organisation - the ANC.
With the above said, what is obvious from your posts is that, like some other detractors I have read of late, it is obvious you do not understand that at the heart of every 'movement' resides an iconic figure. Frankly, it is this essential factor which coalesces organisations with different orientations around the same agenda. In the case of the anti-apartheid movement (AAM), which started off as a small organisation in Britain before extending its reach around the globe, I think, it was both incidental and instructive that Mandela fitted this bill.
More on the great man...
Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About
In the desire to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life — an iconic figure who triumphed over South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime — it’s tempting to homogenize his views into something everyone can support. This is not, however, an accurate representation of the man. Mandela was a political activist and agitator. He did not shy away from controversy and he did not seek — or obtain — universal approval. Before and after his release from prison, he embraced an unabashedly progressive and provocative platform. As one commentator put it shortly after the announcement of the freedom fighter’s death, “Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.”
As the world remembers Mandela, here are some of the things he believed that many will gloss over.
1. Mandela blasted the Iraq War and American imperialism. Mandela called Bush “a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly,” and accused him of “wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust” by going to war in Iraq. “All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil,” he said. Mandela even speculated that then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan was being undermined in the process because he was black. “They never did that when secretary-generals were white,” he said. He saw the Iraq War as a greater problem of American imperialism around the world. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care,” he said.
2. Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” Mandela considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
3.Mandela criticized the “War on Terror” and the labeling of individuals as terrorists without due process. On the U.S. terrorist watch list until 2008 himself, Mandela was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s war on terror. He warned against rushing to label terrorists without due process. While forcefully calling for Osama bin Laden to be brought to justice, Mandela remarked, “The labeling of Osama bin Laden as the terrorist responsible for those acts before he had been tried and convicted could also be seen as undermining some of the basic tenets of the rule of law.”
4. Mandela called out racism in America. On a trip to New York City in 1990, Mandela made a point of visiting Harlem and praising African Americans’ struggles against “the injustices of racist discrimination and economic equality.” He reminded a larger crowd at Yankee Stadium that racism was not exclusively a South African phenomenon. “As we enter the last decade of the 20th century, it is intolerable, unacceptable, that the cancer of racism is still eating away at the fabric of societies in different parts of our planet,” he said. “All of us, black and white, should spare no effort in our struggle against all forms and manifestations of racism, wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.”
5. Mandela embraced some of America’s biggest political enemies. Mandela incited shock and anger in many American communities for refusing to denounce Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had lent their support to Mandela against South African apartheid. “One of the mistakes the Western world makes is to think that their enemies should be our enemies,” he explained to an American TV audience. “We have our own struggle.” He added that those leaders “are placing resources at our disposal to win the struggle.” He also called the controversial Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat “a comrade in arms.”
6. Mandela was a die-hard supporter of labor unions. Mandela visited the Detroit auto workers union when touring the U.S., immediately claiming kinship with them. “Sisters and brothers, friends and comrades, the man who is speaking is not a stranger here,” he said. “The man who is speaking is a member of the UAW. I am your flesh and blood.”
omenka: Guilty conscience already eating you up. Better put a leash on your emotion before you rupture some blood vessels. This is a public forum and if you dont like the way things are done around here stop visiting, and i assure you, you aren't gonna be missed. You keep yelping like a rabid chuwawa outta whose mouth a bone has been yanked. As much as you think the mods are bias, alot more folks in here think they are fair. What gives you the impression your opinion is superior to others? If you were being revered as a king in the little cocoon from whence you emerged and you were expecting thesame treatment here only to be disapointed, deal with it man! If you want a forum where only your opinion would be heared, create one. We've had enough of your whining!
Both of them are not Nigerians and most likely never been to Nigeria in their lives. Just the british press trying to tag the fraud as 100% Nigeria.
I beg to disagree.
Investigators found evidence of the scam on seven devices at Bammeke's home, which had accessed 181 accounts from his address.
But Barclays found 2,439 customers had been affected and investigators say the true scale of the fraud will never be known. Bammeke admitted he had been involved in the scam for more than a year. He played a 'key role' as England's 'platform' for the scam, the court heard.
He said if the gang had tried to log into accounts from Nigeria it would have triggered the banks' alarm systems.
The tentacles of this crime reached all the way back to Nigeria, and even Ogunyemi (the female accomplice) "admitted putting money into accounts, and paying money to someone called ‘Miller’ in Nigeria."
We often claim the successful ones right here on NL, so why not accept the failures as well?
Most observers will agree that, barring disagreements over the frequency of its occurrence, the violation of our Child Rights Act remains an open sore on the conscience. For evidence of this, one needs to look no further than the plethora of civil liberty organisations springing up, to safeguard the interests of the Nigeria child.
Like other commentators who have reacted to this article, I was also going to express outrage before following up behind the scenes with a plan of remedial action - after all, in this particular instance, there is a named magistrate (Jadesola Adeyemi), a court where the sentencing took place, and also a specific date. I was going to do just this until due diligence prompted me to drill down a little further on the facts presented...
LASG denies jailing 162 children for minor offences
JULY 12, 2013
Lagos State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye
Lagos State Government on Thursday said its special court did not imprison 162 children for environmental offences as alleged.
The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, said at a press briefing on Thursday that the category of convicts referred to in the reports were adults and were only 115 in number.
The PUNCH had in its report observed that the convicts whose ages were not confirmed, were imprisoned for up to 390 days for minor environmental offences without having legal representations and adequate time to prepare for their defence.
The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayotunde Philips, also reportedly warned the magistrate, Mrs. Jadesola Adeyemi, who sentenced the convicts for not imposing community service instead of sending them to jail.
Ipaye said on Thursday that the magistrate and the court registrar took conscious efforts to ascertain that the convicts were not juveniles.
He said, “We have concluded an investigation into the matter. In the first place, the number of defendants that were arraigned on the said day was 115 and not 162 as reported.
“As you may be aware, it is customary for the prosecutor to indicate the name, the age, the gender and address of the defendants on the charge sheets.
“None of the defendants had his or her age stated as being below 18.”
Ipaye assured the people that the government would continue to ensure that no underage offenders were incarcerated in adult prisons in the state.
He added that his ministry had intensified its efforts on prison decongestion through regular prison visitations and speedy review of case files of inmates awaiting trial.
Ipaye said, “On June 13, we visited the Kirikiri Female, Medium and Maximum Prisons.
“In the Female Prison, we discovered that out of the 226 inmates, 171 were ‘awaiting trial’, with only 54 inmates already convicted.
“At the Maximum Prison, we discovered 121 inmates who were awaiting trial for various offences.
“It is important to note that the great majority of these inmates have no file or report awaiting legal advice in the Ministry of Justice.”
On the issue of death penalty, Ipaye explained that President Goodluck Jonathan did not give any directive to state governors on the signing of warrants of prisoners on death row.
He said, “The President merely gave an advice. Our criminal law provides for the death penalty.
“The Constitution requires every governor to implement all laws of the state but the governors are hesitating for two major reasons.
“The convicts’ right to appeal and the prerogative of mercy granted them by the constitution.”
Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view. Right now, you are anxiously pacing the corridors of your condos and country estates, looking for the right words, the right tributes, the right-wing tributes. You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. “Let’s get together, and feel alright.” Yes, you will do that.
You will make out that apartheid was just some sort of evil mystical space disease that suddenly fell from the heavens and settled on all of us, had us all, black or white, in its thrall, until Mandela appeared from the ether to redeem us. You will try to make Mandela a Magic Negro and you will fail. You will say that Mandela stood above all for forgiveness whilst scuttling swiftly over the details of the perversity that he had the grace to forgive.
You will try to make out that apartheid was some horrid spontaneous historical aberration, and not the logical culmination of centuries of imperial arrogance. Yes, you will try that too. You will imply or audaciously state that its evils ended the day Mandela stepped out of jail. You will fold your hands and say the blacks have no-one to blame now but themselves.
Well, try hard as you like, and you’ll fail. Because Mandela was about politics and he was about race and he was about freedom and he was even about force, and he did what he felt he had to do and given the current economic inequality in South Africa he might even have died thinking he didn’t do nearly enough of it. And perhaps the greatest tragedy of Mandela’s life isn’t that he spent almost thirty years jailed by well-heeled racists who tried to shatter millions of spirits through breaking his soul, but that there weren’t or aren’t nearly enough people like him.
Because that’s South Africa now, a country long ago plunged headfirst so deep into the sewage of racial hatred that, for all Mandela’s efforts, it is still retching by the side of the swamp. Just imagine if Cape Town were London. Imagine seeing two million white people living in shacks and mud huts along the M25 as you make your way into the city, where most of the biggest houses and biggest jobs are occupied by a small, affluent to wealthy group of black people. There are no words for the resentment that would still simmer there.
Nelson Mandela was not a god, floating elegantly above us and saving us. He was utterly, thoroughly human, and he did all he did in spite of people like you. There is no need to name you because you know who you are, we know who you are, and you know we know that too. You didn’t break him in life, and you won’t shape him in death. You will try, wherever you are, and you will fail.
take dat:How can they start 'recruitment process' last week and from this report, the institution held its 'opening day ceremony for new academics' just last week. Recruitment process takes time, right from advertising the vacancies to the several interviews conducted by the university management. The VC himself commended them for being found worthy of employment after 'Rigorous Interviews'.
*FUTO's VC already denied sacking any lecturer.
Psych Ops methinks. Given the short window, the emboldened could only have been achieved if the Federal government had drafted in lecturers from the Army. A credible source once told me this was how Margaret Thatcher (the Iron Lady) broke the back of the teaching unions in the '70s.
The Next Big Luxury Market Isn't Where You Think Porsche, Rolex Lead Luxury Invasion in Nigeria
05 Dec 2013
As Nigeria's economy grows -- 6 percent this year -- so does the wealth of some of it's citizens. The wealthy few no longer have to shop abroad for their luxury staples because those brands are setting up shop in the African country to tap into the top spenders.
Just last month four men of Nigerian descent were convicted of an email scam designed to fleece hard working customers of money saved in British bank accounts,...and now this. I can see that, like those Romanian ATM bandits, some Nigerians have redoubled their efforts to renew our credentials as one of the world's epic centres of bank fraud.
“The criminal activity was stopped early but there was potential to access in excess of £19m.”
Bammeke played a ‘key role’ as England’s ‘platform’ for the scam. He said if the gang had tried to log into accounts from Nigeria it would have triggered the banks’ alarm systems.
Ogunyemi’s evidence formed a large part of the prosecution’s case.
She said when she started dating Bammeke aged just 17 she had believed his story that his money came from his father’s business in finance. But she later became aware of the truth – and accepted a car worth £2,300 he gave her. She also admitted putting money into accounts, and paying money to someone called ‘Miller’ in Nigeria.
If there is one quibble, here, it concerns the point you made about the death penalty. Like so many other decisions taken at the time, that was not simply Mandela's doing but, rather, a reflection of the ANC's ideological underpinnings. It is understandable, though, that given his larger-than-life personality, all manner of things will be ascribed to him in death, as was the case while he was alive.
He was, of course, his own man in many respects but, for completeness, it must be understood that he was also a 'party man'.
I wouldn't so much call him a coward, as being a lot more pragmatic and self-centred than his admirers realize. It's almost like he made a pact with the whites: We make you an international saint and icon, and you let us retain the wealth. His relinquishing office after one term helped that agenda, by freeing him of all responsibility for the fact that the masses lives still were not significantly transformed (and would not be even after his second term) etc...
Mandela's main goal in life was to help dismantle the apartheid infrastructure. Having achieved this by the age of 81, he saw little point in indulging in the kind of sit-tightism which leads to mission creep.
Whatever faults it has, I know for a fact that the ANC is built along different lines from any of our national parties, which rely largely on the messianic appeal of individuals and tribalism, for 'continuity'.
SSS “arrests” Junaid Mohammed over comments about President Jonathan
Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service, on Friday interrogated Junaid Mohammed, a staunch critic of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government, over inciting comments credited to him.
The politician was reportedly summoned to the SSS headquarters in Abuja, where he was quizzed for several hours over comments credited to him suggesting there would be violence should President Jonathan stands for reelection.
A source in the SSS claimed Mr. Junaid told investigators he was misquoted out of context and that he would not do anything to undermine the peace and security of his own country.
Our source said he was cautioned and then released after he gave an undertaken to refrain from making incendiary comments in future. Contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Junaid confirmed the SSS “invited” him for a chat and that he was released shortly thereafter. “It is all over,” he said in a telephone interview. “They (SSS operatives) were professional in their dealing with me. I can see they are a bunch of educated people who are equally concerned about this country.”
Mr. Mohammed, a social critic and second republic parliamentarian, is known for divisive and incendiary remarks.
Recently, he was quoted to have said “blood would flow on the streets of Nigeria should President Jonathan insist on running for the Presidency in 2015.”
In early 2012, he gave a controversial interview where he said the North of Nigeria was ready to break up and go its separate way. After his “blood would flow” remark, Abuja-based lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, released a statement calling on the Inspector General of Police and director of the State Security Services to arrest Mr. Mohammed.
“I, as a law abiding citizen and one who has great hope for the future of this great nation, therefore, use this medium to call on the Inspector General of Police, the Director State Security Service and other security agencies of Government to look into the underlying messages being passed across to insurgents by these individuals particularly the recent one made by Dr. Junaid Mohammed, ” Mr. Ajulo had said.
Jonah's press coverage is like an antagonistic personal assault march for no reason. Most of his detractors in the press are not proposing new policy or how to make things better. They are mainly spewing personal attacks, at him, his family, his tribe then the whole Southsouth, as if we have done anything to them.. We have had enough. That's why, you hear Asari, Clarke and the push back from the Southsouth. Most people here have simply been pushed to the wall, and they refuse to take anymore of these insults.
I don't know what you meant failed to demonstrate fidelity to suffering people of Nigerdelta. We don't think, he has failed. Remember Goodluck is President of Nigeria not the Nigerdelta. We are getting our fair share in projects and allocation. The Amnesty program he sustained, has touched the lives of thousands of young people than anything the Federal government has done in the region before. Can more be done, yes. The NDDC is coming back to life, and all things will only get better.
Perhaps if Jonathan had not proved himself to be a major disappointment in the area of governance, there would be fewer detractors from that sector.
The point folks like you fail to understand is that, with increased internet pene#tration rates, the number of self-styled social critics in Nigeria has also grown exponentially. When you employ pedestrian arguments to suggest President X had it a little easier, as you are wont to do, you leave no room for this important consideration.
While casting an eye on the efforts of the 'detractors' you've identified, have you ever stopped to do a critical self-assessment? For instance, it is clear that some of those who aligned themselves most closely with the ND struggle in the yester-years - and I should know based on my personal contributions - are the same people you and others subject to all manner of opprobrium, due to your thin political skin and barely disguised xenophobia. You are smart enough to know that Dokubo-Asari and other ethnic warlords, who you now consider above reproach, represent very narrow interests; but, then, none of this matters in your quest to deliver a dose of comeuppance, right?
My point about Jonathan's poor outing is informed by the view that, he has done little to re-distribute the wealth currently reposed in the hands of various cabals. Mind you, as a direct beneficiary himself, Dokubo-Asari's alternating assessment, which recognises the betrayal of trust one minute only to then point the finger in a different direction the next, is entirely understandable
I will agree "Nigeria practicing federalism/confederationism is better than a Nigeria broken down into smaller pieces. Let the ND collect the revenue from its oil resources". Most people in the Nigerdelta will want to remain in Nigeria,that's my own personally feeling, They want control over their lives and resources. Even, if they had to pay some percentage to the center.The last 14 years has changed lots of mind about this Nigerian project, for the ugly. The treatment GEJ has received mostly from the Yorubas press/politcal class and Fulani political class came as shock to us. For most people now, is simply bring whatever you have, we are ready.
But how has GEJ entrenched greater equity in the Niger Delta. Is it not true that the so-called Yoruba press was equally unforgiving of other past leaders? Why should someone who has failed to demonstrate any fidelity to the long suffering Niger Deltan folks be afforded a free pass?
Truckpusher: I personally do not encourage the disintegration of the most populous black race ,but tell these guys that they should advice their political elites to agitate that every region becomes autonomous as the ND and SE neighbors are agitating, but they will never let the idea fly. My question is ,what are they afraid of?
I would like you to clarify who the 'elite' are before responding in full. Are you referring to the political class, the intellectual class or both?
Eziachi: Rather than using the weapons of fear and scare mongering, try and articulate a form of compromise if you really that afraid to be on your own after Nigeria as we know it. If all the palmwine tarpers are crippled by the lame tale of what happened to the man that fell off the palm tree, we won't have any palm wine to drink at all.
What scare-mongering are you talking about here? Why do we always vault off on an emotional trip when discussing issues that require a cool head, Sir? You think repeating oneself incessantly on NL, without putting shoulder to wheel and getting behind some organised effort, as Dokubo-Asari has clearly done, is the way to achieve that utopia you seek?
How many of the commentators who pound the same beat over and over on these boards have channeled their deep-seated views to the Confab committee? Even more, how many of the self-appointed spokespersons, here, can lay hand on heart and proclaim they have the backing of the constituencies they speak for?
If asking commentators to look at the wider context is what equates to scare-mongering, then it is clear we are refusing to heed the lessons of the past.
Nigeria needs to be reshaped as a confederation - created along the lines of the aborted Senegambia project.
In my opinion, the wider ramifications of a complete dissolution are simply too difficult to fathom. Anyone who thinks a nation like Nigeria can be split into its constituent parts without much bloodshed, on the basis that this was done in Czechoslovakia, has not thought this one through. I mean, come on, even the Sudan went through 30 years of intense war before arriving at an amicable arrangement.
At a time when the French are about to go into the CAR to help quell a simmering conflagration, and with neigbouring Congo in a perpetual state of anomie (having lost 6 million lives in 15 years), I am afraid to say some of the commentators on this thread are demonstrating a poor grasp of Africa's recent history.
Ndu_Chucks and only a few others are the ones asking the difficult questions.
But some people said you are doing the President more damage than good (with your utterances)…
That is left for the President to decide. I am not doing it for Goodluck Jonathan; I’m doing it because of a struggle I started. Goodluck Jonathan just appeared on the scene; he is not why we started our struggle. So, because of Goodluck Jonathan, we would not stop our struggle; we will continue our struggle.
If in the course of our struggle, it outlaws Jonathan or has some advantages for him, it is okay. We would not say because it brings some advantages or disadvantages to him, we would abandon our struggle; we will continue with our struggle.
If a man threatens me or threatens my brother, it is for me to tell him that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. But you cannot threaten my brother and expect me to fold my hands and look at you.
But Dokubo-Asari cannot hurt anybody. In my school today, majority of my students are from the North of Nigeria. Majority of my scholarship students, I took them to Hajj; they call me daddy.
In fact, some of them, with their fathers call me big daddy. If I call any of their fathers, for instance, if we want to do something, they will say, “Wallahi, they are your children; why are you calling us to ask questions about what you are doing with your children?”
So, I have children from Zamfara State, from Kano State, from Kebbi State, from Plateau State, and from Kwara State who are on my scholarship.
Is it true that you are married to a northerner?
I have been married to a northerner. Currently, my wife is from Borno State. I had a wife from Borno State before and I’m also married to a northerner.
If I hate the North, I will not have over 20 children from the North on my scholarship. In my house where I stay in Abuja, the Imam is from Zamfara State. I picked (took care of) five of his children for the past five years. I’m trying to send one of them to the university now.
The Imam of my community, Musa, is from Nasarawa State. One of my managers is from Kaduna State, from Zaria.
How is the maritime security business going?
I don’t have the maritime security job with government; maybe there is a mistake. It is Tompolo (Government Ekpemupolo) doing the maritime security business with NIMASA. So, I’m not involved in it at all.
What do you have to say on the national confab?
In a situation where you don’t make decision by yourself, as events come, you tackle them as they come because, if we were to take decisions by ourselves, we would have preferred a conference before elections (in 2015).
But the conference is not sovereign. When we go to the conference, we will go with our agenda, the agenda that we stand by. We want a Sovereign National Conference, not a national conference.
If we boycott the conference, we will not succeed. So, we would go to the conference even if we have issues on the conference, on nomenclature because the conference should be totally sovereign. Everything should be put on the table.
All of us are preparing to go to the conference. I have started preparing to go to the conference. When Obasanjo wanted me to go to the (National Constitutional) conference, I did not go. If I had known, I would have gone.
But now, this one, we are all ready to go to the conference and we believe our input would go a long way in shaping the decision of the conference. This conference will actually lead to a sovereign national conference.
What are the things you would love to secure through the conference?
What we want to secure at the conference is very clear: that the people should decide on what they would want to be. If Ijaw people want to be in Nigeria, there should be a memorandum; that’s the ultimate.
(Former Ghanaian President Kwame) Nkrumah said, “Seek ye the political kingdom and all other things would be added on to you.”
We are going there with a political agenda; the political agenda is that we are seeking political kingdom, which is that all peoples, from 1893, the kingdom from old Calabar… this treaty is the only one binding on us. All other treaties are not binding.
The singular demand we are seeking at the conference is simple: Our people, having signed treaties with the British government, now want that these treaties should be validated and we should be allowed to go our separate ways and form a separate country.
People who decide can form union and become one country like Europe coming together.
All of us are preparing to go to the conference. I have started preparing to go to the conference. When Obasanjo wanted me to go to the (National Constitutional) conference, I did not go. If I had known, I would have gone. But now, this one, we are all ready to go to the conference and we believe our input would go a long way in shaping the decision of the conference. This conference will actually lead to a sovereign national conference.
What informed your decision to open the university in Benin instead of Nigeria?
One needs a good business environment and the type of business you want to do. My schools are bi-lingual schools. Apart from nursery, primary and secondary schools, which are almost lingual Arabic, English and French; all my other institutions are bi-lingual.
And when you have an institution that is bi-lingual, you have to go to an environment that is less influential in one language. For instance, if I open the school in Nigeria, I will lean towards English and the French content of the programme will not be well taken care of.
So, it was better for me to go to a French environment, to open the schools so that my aspiration for the schools will be realised. My aspiration was to make the school a bi-lingual school and that has been working. It’s an experiment.
In Nigeria, there are lots of universities, but my university is different. The sort of courses we do, my students, even from the secondary schools or university, are self-reliant; they don’t need to look for work after leaving school because they are equipped in different aspects of life.
Some people in Nigeria said that you were arrested because your presence in the country might affect voting in 2015, and that you were brought back to Nigeria in a presidential jet…
I don’t think that is true because I am speaking to you from Cotonou. So, the story of the presidential jet is in the figment of the imagination of those who are saying it.
I will be coming back to Nigeria today because I will be made the District Head of my place, for the final ceremony.
But there is the possibility that the hands of politicians might be there because of my position in support of (President) Goodluck (Jonathan), because so many people are desperate. They are not trying to take power on behalf of the people, but to fill their pockets and fill their stomachs. For that, they can kill; they can go to any length in getting power.
So, I will not be surprised if political interest was brought to bear (on my arrest). But I Alhamdulillah, as Allah said in the Qur’an, for every difficulty, there is a relief.
Today, I’ve been quietly staying in the Republic of Benin; I did not have much contact with government officials.
But with my arrest, from the President (Boni Yayi) down, I have had contact with them. I have had contact with the President, with all the relevant ministers. Everybody was at the cell to release me; they accorded me all the niceties that hitherto I was not enjoying.
Now, I have official police protection from the Benin Republic, and free of charge. They know there is a rich man in this country, who is not just an ordinary person.
I was going to the clinic to pick my baby. I was very busy when my car was stopped. The next thing I saw, I was whisked away.
I was hopeless when I was in the cell. I was standing for 24 hours. I was chained to the bar and did not sit down for 24 hours. I was praying to Allah because Allah delivered Jonah from the belly of the whale.
I have 194 students on my scholarship in secondary school, 52 people on my scholarship in higher institution. I said, ‘if I am doing it genuinely for you, oh Allah, deliver me from this problem that I have found myself.’
The period I was in detention, they did not allow me to go (anywhere). So, if I wanted to urinate, I did that inside my cell. It was a hopeless situation.
Between 10 o’clock in the morning when they opened the door and removed the handcuff, the first thing I said was Alhamdulillah. This is because it was so hopeless; all the people who came to see me — all my staff — were all arrested.
What they wanted was that I should be totally incommunicado so that nobody would tell the outside world that I had been arrested or been kept anywhere. But in all that, Allah found a way for me and bailed me out.
So, this is sad. I have been arrested over 70 times.
Did you actually say that if there was no Jonathan as President in 2015, there would be no Nigeria, and blood would flow?
Yes, I did say so and it’s a reaction to what other people had said. Our elder statesman, former governor of old Kaduna State, said that if Jonathan became head of state, the polity would become ungovernable; even if he succeeded, he would not be allowed to rule.
And we are seeing activities that are going on — that are pointing to that fact. I may not be as close to Jonathan as some people think I am; that is the truth of the matter.
A lot of people think I’m close to Jonathan, maybe I am, but I may not be as close as people think I am, because it is very difficult to be my friend.
‘Our demand at confab: Let’s go our separate ways, form separate countries’
05 December 2013
Controversial leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, spoke to Liberty Radio, Kaduna, on a wide range of issues bothering on the proposed National Conference by President Goodluck Jonathan; why the preference by the people of the South-South for a Sovereign National Conference; his recent incarceration in Benin Republic, and why he became a Muslim, reports Northern Bureau Chief, Saxone Akhaine.
ON his comment that if President Jonathan did not run, and win in 2015, there would be no Nigeria and that he was coming to the North to help northern Christians who were being persecuted by the Muslims.
In politics, people take different camps depending on where their ideologies and principles lie. Nigeria is a conglomerate of many nations and in this conglomerate, I happen to be an Ijaw man. Goodluck Jonathan is also an Ijaw man like me.
Whether you like it or not, when you go to London, if you see somebody speaking your language, you will be more attracted to the man speaking your language than the one who does not speak your language. You will feel more secured and safer by associating with the man who speaks your language than the man who doesn’t. This is natural and that is the way God has made it.
Coming to the fact that Dokubo-Asari is coming to assist Christians against Muslims, I don’t think there is any truth in that because Dokubo-Asari is a Muslim.
I ’ve been a Muslim for 25 years and since I became a Muslim on the 17th of September 1988, my children are Muslims; there are many associates of mine from my own home, Ijaw land, who are Muslims, and who also, because of my being a Muslim, were attracted to Islam and are even better Muslims than myself. So, there is no truth whatsoever (in it).
But there are collaborative abilities among most people, whether they are Muslims or Christians; these collaborative abilities cannot be wished away. This is a small world and a very globalised world in that you associate with people from all sorts of opinion.
How were you converted into Islam?
I was born into an environment that I would say was a Christian environment. I was born into a family (of Christians). My mother was a Baptist; my father’s parents were Anglican. At that time, my dad was not close to spiritual activities, in fact, until he died.
In fact, I had a spiritual threat, which led me into becoming a born-again Christian. I was baptized in Deeper Life in 1980, and I continued to research but I was not satisfied.
So, during the course of the Iranian revolution, I started reading about Islam, the British Encyclopedia Britannica and so on. I started reading Islam and I found out that Islam was the best decision I could take to worship my God and to get close to my God.
And for the past 25 years, I don’t have any regret but I’ve several challenges. But it has kept me on. Allah has shown me that being alone (He is with me).
Why were you arrested in Benin Republic?
I was arrested at the Republic of Benin. Some people thought my university would close their university. They said I’m an English-speaking person and my schools are doing very well. They are tri-lingual: English, French and Arabic and so many people are getting attracted.
So, they reported (me) and so on. With the way they had planned it, there was no way that I could be released. They carried (took) my visa; my businesses were closed down (on the allegation) that I am the founder of Boko Haram.
Those were the charges that they gave to me: that I am the founder of Boko Haram; that I built some mosques in Benin Republic; that why should I be building mosques in my schools? They closed down the mosques.
I was left incommunicado; all my staff (members) were arrested. That showed how faithful Allah has been to me. I’ve been to many tight corners, and without Allah, I wouldn’t have come out.
Are these people (students) Nigerians or Beninoise?
There are many who have taken advantages. Like 99 per cent of students are from English-speaking countries; 90 per cent are Nigerians. And somebody, who is from an English-speaking country, the challenges will be very enormous for them. May be some of the students going to their schools will not go.
And the speed with which we got the license to open our university — it takes about five years — but it took us one year to get our license because of the activities that were in place. We are second to none.
It revealed that by doing that, we would run other people out of business. We don’t know who they are because it is wrong to ascribe but from the question, all the security services in Benin, everybody was involved. Because from the questions that I were asked, all led to one area — that it is because of the university.
Curiously, the same newspaper ran following article yesterday
Ghana moves to over-take Nigeria, awards $2.5bn port expansion contract
December 03, 2013
Ghanaian government is to award a $2.5 billion contract for the expansion of its ports facilities to attract bigger vessels in a bid to make it the hub for the sub-region.
The contract, which is expected to be completed in 2018, will be twice the present capacity of the port. The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), which is handling the project for the government, noted that the project will increase the capacity of the port to handle larger ships and reduce waiting time for vessels.
Paul Asare Ansah, Head of Marketing and Public Relations of the GPHA, pointed out that GPHA has given 18 companies from around the world, a deadline of January 27, 2014, to present technical and financial bids for five stages of expansion at Tema and Takoradi ports.
Capacity for twenty-foot equivalent containers at Tema, which handles about 90 percent of the nation’s traffic, will double to 2 million TEUs a year by 2018, he said. Tema is located 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Accra, the capital.
“It’s our dream to make Ghana the regional hub for shipments and receive really big vessels,” Ansah said. “We need to quickly expand capacity to handle the ever increasing traffic.”
Ghana’s debut as an oil exporter in 2010 boosted demand for imports of machinery, fuel and food. The economy of the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer has grown at an average of 7.3 percent, faster than the average in sub-Saharan Africa, in the past decade, putting pressure on aging infrastructure. Ghana wants to offer an alternative to Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and home to West Africa’s biggest port, as cases of piracy increase in the Gulf of Guinea.