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Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim
Department of English and Literary Studies,
Bayero University, Kano
muhsin2008@gmail.com


INTRODUCTION

The title suggests a banal subject, some people might think, which has been at the centre of hot debates among many writers, particularly the Nigerian Chinua Achebe and the Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiango for many years. The case of India is exceptionally a unique one as the country is also very unique in the world. India is a place of myths and legends; a birthplace of some of the world’s leading religions and creeds; miscellaneous cultures and traditions, and other peculiarities. It is the second most populous country after China—and would, as projected, overtake China in the ranking in a few years to come—with population of over a billion inhabitants. The people are largely divided along mass and massive ethnically heterogeneous societies that share little or nothing in common. It was gathered in a recent report that ‘Over 1652 languages belonging to four different language families…’ (http://www.ciil.org)—eighteen of which were given recognition by the government—are spoken in the varied and vast geographical entity of India. Nonetheless, one of such languages, being more or less understood by at least more citizens than the others, enjoys a special, elevated status above them, and it’s widely accepted as such. The language is none other than Hindi, an Aryan language with more than 300 million speakers across and beyond India.

However, being one of the earliest places the British colonial masters settled and had a very long stay, the Hindi language has what is seen by many as its antithesis, and this is the English language...

Read more: http://immuhsin.blogspot.in/2013/11/10-is-english-value-free-tool-or.html

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Oct. 11, 2013

by Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim; @muhsin234

INTRODUCTION

The world can no longer escape being ‘exposed’ through the media—print and non-print. It is no longer what it used to be. Globalization, now at its peak, is tied with media like a computer to its screen. Hence wars are fought through the media; election campaigns conducted there; products advertised; and there is virtually no place uncovered by the media. Films, as vital machinery used by the media, are accorded with ample efficacy, for via this much propaganda—for good or bad—of the so-called world superpowers were said to have, and are still being, sold to, and devoured by, people. This is possible for, almost everybody can understand the language of film and its universal appeal; film is endowed with the communicative power that can mobilize people to frenzy or lull them with dreams and illusions. This is very evident especially in Hausa-land where both its teeming youth and elderly so much used to watch Indian films many years back when the technique of subtitle was probably not known for a possible comprehensible English translation, and yet identified with the characters, laugh at their antics and feel sad for their agony. Indian film still enjoys patronage among the people, though not as before.

Therefore, the impact of film is overwhelming. But such as it is, filmmakers in Kano as well as other states in the Muslim northern states of Nigeria are often in ideological clash with the larger society, government and religious institutions. The filmmakers are accused of misrepresenting and attacking socio-cultural and religious value systems of Hausa people (hereinafter referred to as Hausawa), the major ethnic group in the region. Hausawa are strict followers of Islam, the religion, which, in a greater proportion, conforms with their culture; thus, both the culture and Islam frown at the film, especially such as

Read more: http://immuhsin.blogspot.in/2013/10/9-hausa-film-compatible-or-incompatible.html

33
Senator Sani Ahmed Yerima (APC, Zamfara) has denied backing child marriage, asserting that under Islamic law a girl is considered ripe for marriage based on her physical and mental maturity.
The senator gave this explanation in a statement released in Abuja.
The senator representing Zamfara West said insinuations that he supports child marriages were untrue, misleading and the handiwork of mischief-makers.
He said the 1999 Constitution doesn’t provide for any specific age when a girl can be married, but stipulates that any girl aspiring to be married must attain a full age.
“What is the criteria for defining maturity or otherwise of a girl? The Nigerian Constitution didn’t say 18 years. There is no definition in the Nigerian Constitution. You see in Islamic law, once a girl reaches the age of puberty and she is matured, she is of full age and she is ready for marriage.
“And once she is married, she is of full age. And that is why the constitution recognises Islamic law and made that provision. So if you say you are going to remove that provision, you are going against and counter to Islamic law.
“So under sharia law, any country that practices sharia, age is not a defining factor for marriage,”Senator Yerima said.

Read more on:
http://www.sundaytrust.com.ng/index.php/news/13944-islam-sanctions-marriage-based-on-maturity-not-age-yerima-insists

34
General Board / EARLY MARRIAGE? - By Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu
« on: July 21, 2013, 12:42:11 AM »
EARLY MARRIAGE? - By Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu

A virus is a small infectious agent replicates only inside the living cells.Viruses infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants to bacteria. Since 1892 when Dmitri Ivanovsky described a non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco about 5,000 viruses have been described in detail,they can be found in every ecosystem on Earth and are the most abundant type of biological entity.

Of late, virus have found a heavenly host in the Nigerian social media network.

In minutes,a concept can go viral,permeating every corner of the world.This trend can be greatly beneficial,but also deadly dangerous. On this particular occasion I find it dangerous. In the last 48hrs, there has been an outcry on social media about a bill in the Nigerian Senate to legalise child marriage. The bone of contention simply ' Instead, they gave a legislative seal of approval for the marriage of underage girls. That means even a 5 year old toddler could be married off by her parents' Pro ported to be pushed by Senator Yerima Ahmed Sani,the former governor of Zamfara state,the institutor of sh aria law and admittedly a colourful and controversial figure. There is no reference to where this legislative seal lies. Which section of which constitution. All that is going round is an advocacy outcry and anti child marriage logos. If this rage against the so called amendment legalising child marriage is to remind us of Yerima's marriage to an Egyptian girl a few years ago then let us clearly say so. Again if the aim is to create awareness against child marriage then kudos again but let us be clear. But to mix up the two issues is mischievous and unnecessary.

Unfortunately it seems as a nation we delight in criticizing actions taken by leadership blindly,without objective use of glaring facts. The debate on the constitutional amendment was televised nationally. The senate sittings are documented daily. The votes and proceeding document is a legal document produced and available to the public. Unlike the British constitution that's unwritten, ours is written clearly and available to buy on most street corners. So anyone that can read the english language access and analyze what and what happened. Instead, majority of us are just copying pasting and broadcasting a misleading and inciting message. What is upsetting to me personally now is that this 'us' that are spreading the stop the child marriage message can read. We graduated from the best primary schools and obtained degrees from an era when universities that didn't go on endless strikes. So 'WE' have no right to be spreading messages without at the very least verifying what the true situation is. I have received at least 10 of the message. Directed against the Nigerian senate and Ahmed Sani in particular. I am certain also certain that all of these 10 people can read, possess TVs and internet subscriptions that enables them access past events and most of all do not have up to six degrees of separation from the legislators that can easily explain what the issue is. The danger of this is obvious. We are living in divisive times when suddenly every Nigerian is acutely aware of being muslim or christian,being Urobo or Kanuri. Feelings that certainly didn't exist in my formative years but are glaring in my twilight ones.

The issue is one split in two. Chapter 3 covers citizenship of Nigeria. Chapter 3 clause 26 relates to attaining whilst Chapter 3 clause29 relates to renouncing Nigerian citizenship.

As it is, the law allows foreign wives to obtain Nigerian citizenship via marriage; Chapter 3clause(26)(a). Conversely, if a Nigerian woman marries a foreign man, he does not automatically get the right to apply for Nigerian citizenship. That gender discrimination was considered in the ongoing review by the current lawmakers. The votes and proceedings paper of Tuesday 16th July 2013 show the senators voted to replace the word woman for person. A less discriminatory word and giving Nigerian women the power to grant her husband citizenship of her country also.

The second issue and probably the more pertinent one is the Renouncement of Nigerian citizenship. This is what is being erroneously broadcast. Chapter 3 Section 29(1) of the Nigerian constitution states that to renounce citizenship, one must be of full age. Subsection 4 goes further to define full age as a) 18yrs and above and b) woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.

The 2013 review sought to remove the second qualifier. That is a married woman. On the surface, it didn't seem to make sense to differentiate in that manner as in the earlier section 26. Not until Senator Ahmed Sani pointed out the historic reason for this.

Whilst 18years is generally accepted as the age of maturity in most cultures Islamic law is not as clearly stated. Maturity in Islam is measured in various ways. One of which is marriage. Thus a married woman, (and NOT a 5year old) is deemed mature enough to make a decision to renounce her citizenship of Nigeria. Furthermore, in 1979,the lawmakers led by late Aminu Kano of PRP felt the age 18 years used was an arbitrary western concept of maturity. The legislators in 1979 at the time agreed to the PRP argument and it was included.
Even in the west, standards are adjusted to suit the welfare of all citizens. In the USA for instance, a 14year old that gets pregnant and has a child is eligible to social benefits,including housing, even though she cannot vote. So in her welfare,she is treated as an adult and provided safe home for herself and her child.

Last week, when Senator Ahmed Sani pointed out the same reason and sought not to remove the married woman clause. The senators voted 60 ayes to 35nos and thus the constitution will remain as it is assuming the bill that will eventually be brought from this is passed. A minimum of 72(one third) votes are required for any amendment to pass. The nays and abstains do not matter. This amendment had 60,and thus failed.

Both times, relating to section 26 and 29, the lawmakers voted in a manner that carried along gender and religion; a reflection of why each of us has a senator representing our interests. Nothing in the proceedings indicate age of marriage or how a legislative seal was given to child or even adult marriage as is being circulated in the messages going around.

Because I have mentioned Islamic law and maturity, I will mention one more point. I mention it to balance,not to start a religious debate. What is the age of competence for marriage? I am not an expert in Islamic jurisprudence, so I cannot go further than I have. However in the 12th century, the age for marriage without parental consent was set by the Roman Catholic church, a ruling which remains unchanged. For females it is 12 years and for males it is 14 years. Conversely in Islam, a 20year female old can not get married without the consent of her parents. Agreed Nigerian laws are neither Islamic or catholic. Instead the laws are guided by these major religions and native laws and customs. If we feel the need to put more clarity in this has come, then let us say so and do so in the proper way. Over the last year,each legislator has had constituency meetings on the ongoing constitutional amendments. This was stepped up to the Zonal groupings where each zone took a stand on the various issues. We had ample time to make submissions to amend our constitution. Anyone who didn't do so at the time has no moral justification to take to twitter and facebook lamblasting imaginary changes in our laws.

Yerima's fault on this occasion might also be in his timing. As a member of the current constitutional review committee, he had ample time to bring the issue to the table and stop it being included on the recommended change that was debated on Tuesday. But that is Yerima. That is his way. You can love him or hate him, that is another matter.

All I am saying here is,let us be careful in our expressing our sentiments and use social media to unite Nigeria unshakably, instead of ripping her apart bit by bit. Till there are no 5year olds left to marry even if Yerima wanted to.

MD Medicaid Radio-Diagnostics
2 Libreville Street, Aminu Kano Cresent, Wuse 2 Abuja.

35
General Board / CAN Tells Presidency – Let All Nigerians Carry Arms
« on: September 14, 2011, 05:00:18 PM »
Posted by Obanor Chukwuwezam in Home » Nigerian News on September 14, 2011


National President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

As a result of the rampant attacks being suffered by innocent Nigerians especially in the Northern states (particularly in Jos) and the seeming inability of the law enforcement agencies to either bring the murderers to book or to provide citizens with the necessary protection and security. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the Presidency to allow every man arm themselves.
The statement made by the national president of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor read:

“we urge the president, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to stop the orgy of ethnic cleansing or accede to recent calls for all Nigerians to carry arms.”

Stating that the killing of innocent villagers could not assuage electoral disadvantages, Oritsejafor added that if the president could no longer guarantee the safety of life and property of Nigerians, in accordance with the oath he took, then the National Assembly should immediately enact a law that would make every Nigerian to carry arms for their own protection.

“As a nation, we cannot continue like this. There has to be a genuine demonstration of commitment to the collective development of the country, through honesty of purpose. The current orgy of violent ethnic crises has continued unabated for several days, just a few days after the president had identified the people behind the growing spate of terrorism in the country,” the statement said.

http://www.informationnigeria.org/2011/09/can-tells-presidency-let-all-nigerians-carry-arms.html



Stupidest thought ever by a religious body on earth. Pathetic! :-[ :-[ :-[

36
Literature / Only if I had Known (A Short Story)
« on: September 04, 2011, 05:23:00 PM »
Only if I had Known
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Written by MMI



MALAM JAMILU, a lean, tall, tanned dark-skinned nomadic pastoralist, wearing a thatched-bowler, with a stick on shoulder, a machete a little below the armpit, looking haggard, shagged and hazard had arrived in Kano, at its southern part, wandering from this location to that, looking for a range land to feed his flock.

Eventually, he was entangled in a fatal motor accident, when trying to cross the road with the animals. Many of them perished, others scattered into the bush in panic and terror, hence many again were lost, while he himself was thrown half dead with severe injuries to a distance away from the main road. The truck driver involved apprehensively ran away after seeing the gory scene.

At cock-crow, Malam Usman came, a strongly built aged farmer, popularly called Shehu in the honour of Shehu Usman Bin Fodio, a renowned Islamic propagator in northern Nigeria, from the neighbouring village; his farm was a shouting distance away from the road. He suddenly saw the corpse-like figure of Malam Jamilu lying still. Shehu closely looked at his face and later learned that he was not dead, but gravely wounded. So, he immediately took him to a nearby dispensary for medical treatment.

The half-dead man spent weeks receiving treatment. Luckily enough time passed by and he was able to see, talk and make a few motions with his legs, hands and later his entire body. He was finally discharged and taken by the old farmer to his home, a small village outside the area of the Kano famous wall.

Following that horrible accident, its climax and anti-climax, the victim made uncountable thanks and vowed to give whatsoever Malam Shehu would someday demand from him and went away to his village of origin. He amazingly later came back, requesting to stay with him (Shehu) due to the little memory loss he had.

“Malam,” said Jamilu in a waxy and pale face as they sat in his entranceway.

Shehu looked up, “What's wrong? Have you left something and now come back to take it?” he surprisingly but friendly asked.

“I was definitely going wild. I discovered I couldn't go back. I lost the specific way to follow,” he replied, tears pouring down his pale face.

“What did you say is your village name?”

He said nothing but started sobbing, thinking it wasn't fair to do this to him. Does he think I'm lying? He asked himself.

“It's sweet of you to worry by asking me or there's any kind of help to offer of taking me back. I can swear, so I want more than anything in this world. But…..”

Cut in Shehu, “I know. I notice that at once. Don't ever bother yourself. You are welcome.”

Malam Jamilu was nicknamed “Bako,” meaning a “stranger” by Bishiya village people—the village he relocated. He stayed, running errands for Shehu and learning Islamic knowledge. Shehu was a settled Qur'anic school teacher with a number of students.

Years flew. Bako got married, witnessed by his helper as his wali (guardian) and some of his colleagues and the hospitable people of Bishiya village. Shehu had three kids among who one was named Usman, but called Maisunan Malam, meaning Malam's namesake. He was a naughty boy of twelve. His sisters, Jamila, a couple of years older than him, and Baraka, whose brother died before Maisunan Malam, was four years older. Maisunan, as the name was shortened, once ran away from his parents, but was later brought back by the spiritual power of the hard prayer by his father and his students.

On the very day Bako's first daughter was born; Maryam, he promised to give her hand in marriage to the bilious son of Malam Shehu. He did it blindly, overlooking the furious nature of Maisunan but thinking, and hoping that someday he would change for the better.


Years passed away. Maryam had grown to be a very ravishing, likable and creditable girl and started school. But her childhood betrothed was not schooling. As to the tradition of Hausa people, the kids of makarantar allo traditional Qur'anic school teachers do not usually go to makarantar boko western/modern school, and even any other school on a misconception that these kids will inherit the knowledge possessed by their parents. Maisunan was allowed to follow the footsteps of those kids. Severally, this false belief was rejected by some true scholars, saying that the Apostle of Allah, Muhammad says: “All Muslims should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” And nobody was excluded.

Unexpectedly, Maisunan disappeared for the second time to an unknown place, even to himself, in protest to his being punished over the rudeness he fomented. This obnoxious incident occurred after Bako had left Bishiya as an interloper, a squatter with his family to his own residence in Raunita quarters in Kano metro.

A message came to him that his would-be in-law was abducted. He did his best relentlessly to unearth where the scourge was taken to, but flatly failed. The first thought that came up to his mind was his daughter betrothed to Maisunan. He felt defeated and depleted.

“Oh, Allah, by what other way can I show my deep gratitude to Malam Shehu? Help me Allah; bring back this boy.” He prayed in an undertone.

Years went, but there was still no information about Maisunan’s whereabouts. One day, Malam Shehu and his daughter, on their way to visit Bako, had an accident and all went to the world beyond, as his wife did about a decade ago. But before then, he left a will to Bako not to forget to fulfil his promise. He went on and said: “Had it been among my other two kids there lived a boy, I would have advised you to give her hand in marriage to him.”

Maisunan showed up once again many years after everybody had almost forgotten about him. Maryam, at that time, had already finished secondary school; had an educated boy-friend, Abubakar by the name who was also her cousin. Abubakar was an educated, twenty-three-year old chap. He was studying at a university in the city. Likewise Maisunan was now a rich-man. He, after fleeing his natal village, went to Lagos and started up as a scavenger, then a mugger and ultimately, luckily became a business-man, now a mogul. Even that miraculous re-bounding with Maryam occurred during an intra-state Qur’anic Competition in which Maryam represented her Islamiyya, Islamic school. The gathering was held in one of his hotels in Lagos, He traced her therefrom.

Bako was so happy beyond imagining by seeing Maisunan back. Besides, this brought him confusion concerning who to give his daughter’s hand in marriage to: her old betrothed, who was still a rascal as ever but rich; or to Abubakar, a student, not-yet-so-ready but a relative and the person his daughter dearly loved and firmly preferred.

Maryam, from her side, showed every possible resistance to her father’s likely decision of marrying her to Maisunan. She at last made up her mind, giving heed to her father’s wish following a brief encounter she had with her bosom friend, Samira.

“What are you doing? You alone?” Samira asked, bewildered, looking at her friend in a palpable perplexity.

“Hmm. I thank Allah for bringing you to me. I’m compounded by thoughts, sister.”

And she briefed her about Abubakar and Maisunan.

“Who is your choice, then?”

“Aha, that’s what I want to be advised of.”

“Mts.” She hissed, irritated. “Who is wealthier, ready and accredited by your parents?” she was blunt.

Maryam was instantly numbed. “Sincerely speaking the Alhaji, but…”

“No ‘buts’ here, sister. Thank Allah.” She now looked business-like. “In this suitor recession era, you got two at your disposal. Don’t misuse your golden chance.”

Maryam considered and reconsidered what Samira had said. She furthered her deliberation: only me am blessed amongst my other friends. It’s true. The early bird catches the worm.

And, Abubakar too had grudgingly given up, for all he said after hearing the unfolding situation was: “I can’t help any matter out here; I wish I could.”

Malam Bako had had a while of going through; as he taught what he did was, and finally married off Maryam to Maisunan in spite of all the fact that came to light about Maisunan being too dangerous a person to be his daughter’s husband. He still insisted that he could change. More-over, his wife had personally expressed her doubt over their daughter’s love for Abubakar. It could be a mere consanguineous one, she innocently maintained; not true love. And whatever, I’m going to be rich, yes rich as an in-law to such a tycoon. But unfortunately for him the marriage was short-lived.

Alhaji Usman as he was known among his business associates there in Lagos, it was gathered, was among some unscrupulous Nigerians, who exploited children to make money. He used to arrange, secretly, with some proprietors or proprietresses of day-care centres and some self-cantered, dishonest parents, to take children, register them as his messengers, waiters or waitresses in his hotels or even prostitutes as their pimp in his many brothels. He, worst of all, used to “shack up” with some. That was why he never paid attention to Maryam as his wife.

As to the punishment of those captured red-handed for child abuse, negligence and human trafficking, Maisunan was sentenced to life in prison. Government forthwith donated all his property to charity as compensation to the unending sorrow and protracted frustration he forced in the hearts of the parents of auspicious children. So, even his house in Kano, which his wife Maryam lived in, was claimed as government property. Worst still, Maryam, shortly after that shocking experience, was tested HIV positive following a miscarriage she had, which led her to acquiring a Pregnant Induced Hypertension and she eventually died.

Maryam’s parents, particularly her materialistic, shallow-thinking father regretted his ill-conceived decision. He vowed not to ever give his daughter’s hand in marriage except to the person she loved and whom he thoroughly checked background of, knowledge and the like. It was so late he discovered where he was wrong. He fell sick; he could not breathe. Malam Bako, within a short period died of congestive heart failure.


                                                                                                     

37
Health Matters / Woman delivers seven babies in 11 months
« on: June 14, 2011, 06:47:14 PM »
By Ishola Balogun & Bunmi Azeez

IN a strange manner, a woman has delivered a set of  seven babies within a space of 11 months, three males and four females.

The woman, Mrs Precious Donatus who lives in Aguda, Suru-lere, Lagos, gave birth to her first child in August, 2009, after 11 years of childlessness but the baby died five days later.



Ten months later, Mrs Precious conceived and delivered the seven babies within intervals of one month . When Saturday Vanguard visited the home of the family, the husband Mr Donatus Ogbonna, a business man from Imo State  was at home.

He told Saturday Vanguard that at birth of the first baby, they  did not know that would be the beginning of her journey to delivering seven babies.

Narrating her story, Mrs Precious told Saturday Vanguard that the first baby died after five days of birth adding that “immediately after putting to bed the first baby, the doctor told me that there was another baby in my womb.”

The babies are :first baby, August 25 2009, Amarachi (died after five days); second baby, May 6, 2010 (Conqueror, female); third baby, June 3, 2010, (Chizitere, female); fourth baby, August 16, 2010 (Ekpereamaka, male); fifth baby, September 19, 2010, (Fineseed Angel, female); sixth baby, October 19, 2010 (Evidence, female); seventh baby, January 13, 2011,( Flourish, male), eight baby, April 2, 2011, (Ebenezer, male).

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/06/woman-delivers-seven-babies-in-11-months/

38
Three female NYSC members raped, police arrest 3 suspects, in Delta State

Three female members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), serving in Delta State, have been reported attacked and raped in Owodokpokpo Igbide community, Isoko South Local Government Area of the state.

According to local sources, a six-man gang allegedly forced their way into the residence of the Corps members (who are serving as school teachers in the community), and dragged them into a nearby bush amidst gunshots.  After raping them, the men reportedly also took their cellphones and other items.

However, an intensive manhunt launched by security operatives has led to the arrest of three out of the six persons who are suspected to have carried out the act. The suspects are now being questioned by the police.

The Public Relations Officer of the Police in Delta State, Mr Charles Muka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed to newsmen that the three suspects arrested had made useful statements to the Police. He said information obtained from those already in the net will help the police apprehend those still at large.

This incident is only the latest in a growing list of incidents of sexual violence against female NYSC members. Among the most reported cases since 2008, are the following:

On 23 October 2008, a horde of unidentified gunmen reportedly invaded the residence of the Corps members posted to Abonnema town, Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, broke into every flat and raped 28 female members at gunpoint.

In October 2009, a female Corps member, Miss Grace Ushang, was raped to death in Maiduguri, Borno State, by suspected religious fundamentalists who said they were incited by her wearing a pair of regulation khaki trousers.

On 16 September 2010, five Corps members – four of them ladies – were seized by gunmen in Rivers State and taken to a forest in Abia State where they were held for 20 days; by the time they were freed by security forces on 4 October, there were unconfirmed reports that they had been sexually abused by their captors.

On 23 March this year, a traditional ruler, the Alowa of Ilowa-Ijesa in Obokun Local Government Council, Oba Bukola Alli, allegedly lured a 24-year-old female Corps member into his residence, locked her up and eventually raped her; the Oba is currently standing trial before an Osogbo Magistrate Court.

In April this year, during the post-election violence in Bauchi State in which 10 Corps members were killed, it was reported that “one of the NYSC members killed was pregnant and also raped by her killers”.

This most recent incident, coming just a few days after gunmen seized another five Corps members and demanded a N100 million ransom in Rivers State, will certainly intensify the debate on whether the NYSC should be continued or scrapped.

http://saferafricagroup.com/2011/06/12/three-female-nysc-members-raped-police-arrest-3-suspects-in-delta-state/

39
By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH

President, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Dr Frederick Fasehun has said the emergence of Hon. Aminu Tambuwal as the new Speaker, House of Representatives was a dangerous development and a slap on Yoruba race.

He noted that the emergence of Tambuwal as the Speaker of the lower House now placed the nation’s governance and leadership of the legislative arm in the hands of a region of the country.

Speaking at a press congress organized by the group to register their discomfort over the development, Dr Fasehun lamented that the step taken by Tambuwal and those who teamed up with him was deliberately planned to scheme out the people of the South West from taking a shot in the ongoing dispensation.

Fasehun, noted that the new Speaker, executed “a malevolent plot, deliberately designed to shortchange the South-West which sailed through and Hon. Aminu Tambuwal from Sokoto State emerged as Speaker.

That places Nigeria’s bicameral legislature firmly under the control of one part of the country. As a result, the North now controls the posts of the Vice President, Senate President and House of Representatives and that is: Number Two, Number Three and Number Four positions in the country’s hierarchy.

“This is very dangerous. It will be the first time such a configuration is imposed on the country. In 1999 when someone from the South-West reigned as President and a Northerner was Vice President, the East controlled the Senate while the North headed the House of Representatives. This guaranteed the equitable balancing of the power equation amongst Nigeria’s geo-political entities.”

He called on the people of the region to be weary of the new political development  saying, “this era of vicious marginalization must be converted into the South-West’s finest hour.

An evil has been perpetrated against the race by this marginalization, no doubt. But rather than fold up and wither away with resentment, our people should synthesise some good out of this episode, seizing it as a golden opportunity for Yoruba Renaissance.

“This is our chance to actualize the true Federalism we have always prayed and clamoured for. This must serve as a clarion call for the Yoruba people and leadership to take their destiny in their hands and fashion out a roadmap for the future of our ethnic nationality.  Since the days of the pre-independence conferences, Yoruba people have always stood for true federalism.”

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/06/emergence-of-tambuwal-as-speaker-a-hausafulani-agenda-fasehun/

40
Health Matters / How far should you sleep from your cellphone?
« on: June 05, 2011, 05:49:32 PM »
Lyon:  Can cellphones cause cancer? As the world debates a worrying new report by the World Health Organization, the man whose agency prepared that report speaks to NDTV about whether users need to think twice before using their phones. (Read: Cell phone use may cause cancer, says World Health Organization)

Dr Christopher Wild, Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) spoke to NDTV's Noopur Tiwari in France about cellphones being "possibly carcinogenic."  He stressed that at least five more years of research need to be devoted to exploring health concerns linked to mobile phones.

NDTV: What about sleeping with phone next to you?

Wild: The distance is important. The strength of the radio frequency electro magnet field associated with the phone diminishes very rapidly as you move the phone away. There's much lower exposure from phone which is at some distance with the individual. The same thing is relevant for base stations associated with several orders of lower exposure because of distance


Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/cellphones-and-cancer-a-few-pointers-109678?cp

41
General Board / Northern consensus candidate: Atiku gets the nod
« on: November 23, 2010, 12:59:28 PM »
Northern consensus candidate: Atiku gets the nod
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 00:00    Suleiman M. Bisalla

- How Ciroma c’ttee chose him
- IBB, Saraki, Gusau pledge support
- Profile: The comeback kid
- Atiku: I am humbled


Several weeks of drama and suspense around the search for a Northern consensus presidential aspirant within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] ended yesterday with the choice of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar by the “Committee of Wise Men” led by former Finance Minister Malam Adamu Ciroma.
Following his selection, General Ibrahim Babangida, Governor Bukola Saraki and General Aliyu Mohamed Gusau all congratulated him, signalling their withdrawal from the PDP primary race.
 

The Adamu Ciroma-led committee was mandated by the four Northern PDP presidential aspirants to help them decide on a consensus candidate in order to approach the PDP primary election with a common front in defense of the party’s zoning arrangement, under which the North is supposed to produce the president until 2015. Babangida, Atiku, Saraki and Gusau had previously pledged to support whoever was chosen under the consensus arrangement.

Secretary of the consensus committee Malam Bello Sabo Abdulkadir who addressed a world press conference to announce the result in Abuja yesterday, said the committee had spent the previous 48 hours deliberating on the information collated from several weeks of consultations across the country. He refused to give the criteria used in arriving at the decision but said members had voted at the end of the exercise. He also refused to reveal the pattern of voting.

Flanked by Alhaji Bashir Yusuf and Senator Abubakar Mahdi, Secretary and member of the Northern Political Leaders Forum respectively, Secretary of the consensus committee Abdulkadir said the three other aspirants had reassured the committee that they will work together to enable Atiku Abubakar clinch PDP’s ticket for the 2011 presidential election.

A four paragraph statement signed by chairman of the committee Alhaji Adamu Ciroma and its Secretary Alhaji Abdulkadir read in part: “We are pleased to announce that we have concluded our assignment of arriving at a consensus candidate today [Monday] and one out of the four aspirants who submitted themselves to the process has emerged. He is ATIKU ABUBAKAR.

“We are glad and proud that we have finally arrived at this outcome after several weeks of hard work and wide consultations. We are proud because of the unusual honour and extraordinary privilege given us by the four gentlemen who placed their political destinies in our hands. We are humbled by the strength of their faith. We appreciate their humility and cooperation. We have been reassured by all of them that they will work together to enable Atiku Abubakar clinch their party’s ticket in the presidential primaries.

“We thank all Nigerians, supporters and critics alike for their views over these past several weeks. While we note these views and respect each one of them, we insist that no individual, organization or society dreaming of success and greatness can achieve these dreams without respect for others and honouring agreements voluntarily entered into. This is especially so where these agreements have been transformed into a binding document, a constitution, which governs the conduct of those who subscribe to it.

“We call on all Nigerians to reflect on this. We also call on all delegates to the forthcoming party conventions to take these into account while casting votes.”

They said the consensus arrangement was worked out following the insistence of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the presidential election in violation of the zoning arrangement of the PDP.

DAILY TRUST

42
General Board / Northerners’ Support of IBB: Conviction of Coercion?
« on: October 23, 2010, 09:39:29 PM »
Northerners’ Support of IBB: Conviction of Coercion?
24th October, 2010

It’s nearly an election season in Nigeria. Each and every political party has set before the people its products for buying or otherwise. Those of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party, especially of presidential seat, obviously seem to have attracted more attention and occupied wider political landscape. They include, among others, the incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and the former Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB). The two, indisputably, remain the much-talked-about contenders and formidable challengers with the former crushing the party’s ‘unofficial’ policy of zoning—where the candidacy in 2011 is said to be zoned to North—and the latter objecting to the former’s aspiration.

Other presidential hopefuls from the North; of whom majority are barely ‘known’ beyond the Northern states include General Muhammad Buhari under the umbrella of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Although contestably, Buhari stands unique among them based on his virtually stainless records as erstwhile Head of State and a handler of various ranks and offices, yet could hardly get voted by the Southerners who mostly see him as a mere Hausa-Fulani Muslim who will favour his religion and region. Governor Bukola Saraki, has enough problems to settle in his state pertaining his sister’s governorship candidature; ex-VP Atiku Abubakar, is effectively politically dead and can thus scarcely win majority votes in his local government of origin; former Security Adviser to the president, General Aliyu Gusau, who, in politics, is no more than a featherweight; whilst it’s not yet time for the younger breeds like the former anti-graft commission, EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu. There is, thus, little or no hope in peoples’ minds over these contesters’ possibility and/or capability in challenging GEJ’s ardent bid in any way.

IBB did quite good to Nigeria during his reign, yet he, though arguably, is one of the most loathed leaders infamously because of the annulment of June 12, 1993 election, which is said to be the fairest, freest and most credible election ever witnessed in Nigeria’s history; his instituting of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in the late 1980s; and his “maradonic” dribbling through out his stay on the Nigeria’s driver’s seat. The hatred is (or was?) so widespread to almost every nook and cranny of the country. But it’s more felt here in the North as some people fumed that “son of the soil disappointed us”.

Notwithstanding aforementioned ‘frailties’ of all the Northern contenders, Northerners still see GEJ’s ambition as dishonourable, for “it’s their turn” (Sic). Thus by whatever possible, peaceful means they seek for alternative and indefatigably deepen in their quest.

To make matter worst, GEJ all the time messes up things more. His infamy all at once outmatches that of the dictator, IBB. He is so naïve, incompetent and unfit to govern a state like Nigeria. For instance, much of a recent, in the aftermath of October 1 tragic bomb blast in Abuja, he unwisely made utterances that are plainly unpresidential, sectional and very parochial. He boldly absolved the terrorist group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) that took responsibility of the dastard act, adding that he knew who the attackers were. The president portrayed his real image—tribal bigot who’s so sentimental and temperamental—to the Nigerians, particularly Northerners, and the whole world, as observed many foremost columnists and political commentators.

Eventually many things followed that faux pas as the president senses that IBB is really capable of upturning his much desired wish. Hence, he decided to further follow the footstep of his mentor, the mischievous joker and old despot, Olusegun Obasanjo. He unhesitatingly ‘ordered’ a detention and questioning of the director-general of General IBB’s campaign organization, Chief Raymond Dokpesi by the SSS, over the bomb blast.

The issue worsened and twisted increases when Henry Okah, ‘leader’ of the MEND revealed what had transpired between him and the presidency. He was directed to “blame the attacks on northerners…” (Sic) whom the president felt are problem to his becoming a president next year. That prompted an instant and strong condemnation of the president by the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) led by former finance minister, Adamu Chiroma, calling GEJ to resign or be impeached.

Days after, the same GEJ spew more heedless words that 6-3-3-4 policy of education, established by IBB, had failed and ruined education. He therefore called on former education minister Professor Babatunde Fafunwa, who died days after that politically motivated call, to apologise to the Nigerian children.

These are but a few of what is there for people to witness. Many more events have happened and more are forthcoming. Considering this and fearing for the worst, Northerners lost all confidence in him and are feeling stiffly unsecured. They seek for a refuge, at first by trying numerous ways such as a consensus candidate, which eventually flatly failed in the past and is prone to fail again and again. The last resort ultimately surface to be the same IBB they despised. The man, as an average Northerner would strongly say, has resources, both financial and human. He has “boys” in every cities and towns of the South and the North in the country. Thus all hopes cling against him to extricate people—Northerners, from GEJ’s grip of power.


Muhsin M. Ibrahim
Dept. of Education,
Bayero University, Kano
muhsin2008@gmail.com

43
General Board / The Rise, Reign and Retrogressing of Governor Shekarau
« on: August 16, 2010, 10:49:04 AM »
The Rise, Reign and Retrogressing of Governor Shekarau
4th August, 2010

Virtually whoever knows or is aware of the Kano political situation is left wondering at the visible reversal of its opinions over the passage of each day. The state is of course famous of such unpredictability in politics. Yet this is unusually intriguing: the shunned and stoned away “Noah” now turns to a revered and august “Christ”; and likewise the other venerated “Christ” to a cast away monster. Thereof one cannot help asking both answered and unanswered questions to whoever cares to listen.

Additionally, to the amazement of many, opposition parties of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the other newly born, though revolutionary one, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) can be said to have dominated the state’s political landscape currently (both parties, I fear, are no better: the latter a hub for power hungry actors; while the former, centre for Capitalists who have little or no concern for a common man). This had not been the case since Nigeria’s general election in 2007 which mark the emergence of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, as the governor of Kano State.

What exactly happened? Well, it’s a proverbial assertion that water cannot develop a bitter taste without being touched. This water happens to be not an exception. Governor Shekarau came on the scene of Kano politicking in 2007 when the government of his former master, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, whom he divinely succeeded, was so detested and despised by the largest number of Kano people. The reason for the discontentment is not up today clear to all, though many commentators declare that that had to do with the out-going government iron-handiness in holding power, negligence of the Shari’ah and maltreatment of working and even retired classes.

Thus people craved for change; and massive support for the new government after the election and declaration of the winner. Furthermore, though disputably, plus the adoration of people for the former Head of State, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, an ANPP presidential aspirant then who stormed Kano days to the polling day and “changed” things, aggregated and  subsequently resulted to Shekarau’s being governor of Kano State.

There then the government of ANPP began with earnest enthusiasm and copious confidence in peoples’ mind that it would deliver to their extreme expectation.

It quite started well before it later turned-off to the so-called Adaidaita Sahu (societal re-orientation program) which, seemingly not to the knowledge of his Excellency Shekarau, has been unprofitable and wholly ineffective as far as Nigeria and Nigerians are concerned. Kinds of this program had begun many years back after Nigeria’s independence: Gowon’s Three Rs, Buhari’s WAI, IBB’s MAMSER, Obasanjo’s The Heart of Africa and now ‘Yar-Adua/Goodluck’s Rebranding; all these and more are never effectual, how on God’s earth would Adaidaita Sahu be?

Hence with achieving little or nothing the first tenure wrapped up. Yet the people of Kano, blinded by the infatuation of the man, re-elected him. It went to the extent whereby some thought that was due to charm of somewhat nature that Shekarau deployed to win peoples’ hearts, but that was nothing more than a fabricated lie. Though, still, this was and still is surprising.

During the campaign and afterwards Governor Shekarau made so much rosy promises, typical character of him. And to be very honest with the governor, he even realized the illusion behind the ostensive reorientation program and embarks on palpable, physical project here and there in the State afterwards. That aside, people are well aware of the other promises, added to the dogged grubby grab of power by some of his cabinet members after being undeservedly forgiven by the governor over their usual scandalous actions.

One of the preponderance actions that started x-raying the real Shekarau to populace was the local government council election held on 17th November 2007. Hardly an action like this had ever happened in Kano history; for I was an eye witness. In my local government, not a ballot cast was counted, yet the winner, an ANPP candidate, was announced! Some political hoodlums orchestrated by their aggrieved and tactless masters thoughtlessly and heedlessly set the local government building ablaze; and they looted everything, leaving only irremediable rubbles.

Relatively recently was the untenable demolition of peoples’ business tents on both major and minor roads. Although that of the former roads was justifiable to even a greater extent, but that of the latter was an unwarrantable oppression of masses. It was a hidden machinery to launch a vendetta against some helpless groups of people, myself for example.
 
The governor’s shocking actions and inactions couldn’t just be mentioned in a constrained space like this. The hottest one is his unwanted and unwelcomed move of imposing a candidate hated by everyone within and outside ANPP. Such a foray by a party’s political office holder is never done in civilized, truly democratized world. Party affairs should be democratic not autocratic. Shekarau should know that he too is subject to question by his party for it’s higher in authority than him.

I am afraid I might be mistaken as a politician; no am simply a student, an apolitical one. It’s only truth, which it’s said to be bitter, I take a gauntlet of saying wherever and whenever I find the chance to do so.

I invoke Allah, the Exalted; for His blessings upon Kano and Nigeria in the whole, amin.


Muhsin M. Ibrahim
Dept. of Education
Bayero University, Kano
muhsin2008@gmail.com

44
Written by Mohammed S. Shehu
01 July, 2010


Nigeria's midfielder Sani Kaita (R) hides his face after being handed a
red card for kicking Greece's defender Vasilis Torosidis (unseen) during
the Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match Greece vs. Nigeria
on June 17, 2010 at Free State Stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein.
AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO

A week after they returned from the World Cup tournament in South Africa following their first round exit, the national football team, the Super Eagles, were summarily disbanded by President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday. The president also directed that Nigeria withdraws from all international football competitions for the next two years to enable the country reorganise its football administration following the dismal performance of the Super Eagles at the ongoing World Cup in South Africa.
The Super Eagles ended this country’s dream for football glory in South Africa by bagging just one point in Group B, where they were grouped alongside Argentina, Greece and Korea Republic.

President Jonathan also directed that an audit be undertaken of the finances of the World Cup project and   that any perceived misapplication of funds should be investigated in order to bring the culprits to book.

Addressing State House reporters soon after a meeting between Jonathan and members of the Presidential Task Force on the 2010 World Cup, the president’s spokesman Ima Niboro said Jonathan also approved the auditing of all monies spent by the country during the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. “President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that Nigeria withdraws from international competitions for two years to enable the country put its house in order,” Niboro said.

Yesterday’s presidential decisions however risk attracting a FIFA ban of this country from all international football events. Football’s world governing body frowns at government interference in football matters. “At the time of writing, we have no official information on this matter,’’ FIFA said in a statement last night. “However, in general, FIFA’s position regarding political interference in football is well known.’’

Read the full text

45
Education / Reps order stoppage of Post-UME exams
« on: May 28, 2010, 06:27:52 PM »
By Victor Oluwasegun,

The House of Representatives yesterday ordered the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure the immediate abolition of Post-University Matriculation Examination (Post-UME) in the nation’s universities.

To ensure that the resolution is abided with, the House mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance to enforce it.

Members also resolved that the House committee on Education and Justice should investigate the collection of N10, 000 by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) from candidates whose aresults are being withheld with a view to release it.

This was sequel to the adoption of resolutions on two motion brought before the House by Hon. Samson Positive and Hon. Abubarkar Shehu Bunu.

In a motion titled: "Abolition of Post University Matriculation Examination (Post UME) in Nigerian Universities," Positive noted that the introduction of post matriculation examination in Nigerian Universities is an aberration.

According to him, the exercise is "subjective, adjudged with stress and also an exploitation of candidates and parents."

He said that the exercise is associated with the risk of travelling long distances by the candidates and that they spend" within the range of N15, 000 to N30, 000.

Positive stated: "The current introduction of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTMA) by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) where candidates have six choices –two of universities and two of Polytechnics and two of Colleges of Education renders Post University Matriculation Examination unnecessary."

He concluded that in spite of the fact that the admission offered by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is provisional, "Nigerian Universities conduct Post Matriculation Examination only to raise their internally generated revenue (IGR) at the detriment of our poor candidates and parents."

THE NATION

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