All posts by Adeolu Ademoyo

About Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo, a moral philosopher and African Studies scholar at Cornell University. He is a senior lecturer of Yoruba language and culture.

The Kingdom Of Morals from Boko Haram to the Chibok Girls, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Immanuel Kant the German 18th century Enlightenment, and modernist, thinker summed up his account of ethics as worship in the “Kingdom of Morals.”  Given the serial evil our world  inherited from the Stone Age, through the medieval periods in Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe, Middle East etc, ethics has come to  define, in part,  the meaning of a  “modern” world, or the reality of the “modern” that is in us.

The ethical component of the modern prevents humanity from returning to its evil past. But Nigeria’s Boko Haram and their visible and invisible sponsors both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria are calling to question that fundamental ethical step of the modern which humanity took centuries back to break away from a common barbaric past.

Thus, in a pan-African sense, the abduction and daily violation of the humanity of the Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram has raised three questions about evolution of African states. They are:  the political, the economic and the ethical. Perhaps consistent with what negatively characterizes African states, President Jonathan and his government, members of the political class in PDP and APC have  failed to show a correct understanding of the pre-eminent role of public ethics in governance.  This has affected their responses to the Boko Haramic evil which is inexorably re-defining the country.  The data are telling, but they have a history in African independence struggle.

Two traditions defined the independence struggle  and evolution of African states. They are the political and the economic. The political is summarized in Nkrumah’s freedom slogan “Seek first the political Kingdom and everything else will follow…” This  partly explains the dominance of the political over the economic in the evolution of African states. Also, it partly explains the virtual absence of the ethical in that evolution.

Except in sprinkled form in the moral thought of one or two African statesmen such as in Obafemi Awolowo’s Metaphysics, the ethical, and how this is to be worked out as an independent component  of state building-like the political and the economic- never systematically formed part of how African states would evolve and evolved.

This failure even among the most revolutionary movements may be that they thought that the nationalist struggle itself will cleanse the Augean stable and create a new morality in governance in African states. So, in the struggle against colonialism, slavery, neo-colonialism and the “neo-colonial bourgeois elites”- as we call them-a systematic and  independent language of morals was missing. In a situation where our language shows what we think this may be a tragic absence as it is showing in contemporary African states, which now exhibit extreme moral wretchedness in public governance.

Sadly, contemporary rulers such as President Goodluck Jonathan, his predecessors and leading members of the political class in both APC and PDP have continued this tradition of  extreme poverty of ethics in public governance in Africa. And that has shown in their handling and responses to the abduction and consistent rape of the Chibok schoolgirls by the epitome of evil called Boko Haram.

Of recent Nigeria had thought that formal education, importing Diaspora Nigerians to serve, as ministers etc will -apart from “solving” other problems- solve the problem of poverty of ethics in governance. This has been unhelpful because formal education alone and living in the Diaspora do not necessarily commit you to invest in public ethics.  If you  are not committed to ethics and the language of morals in an original sense you will never  SEE it as it is often the case with members of Nigerian political class-both local and imported from the Diaspora.

This is why members of Nigerian political class(local and Diaspora) and their spokespersons will interpret asking their principals to engage the ethical question in poor service delivery as “blame game”! While I understand (not agree with)  this poverty for local members of the political class it  is difficult to accept it for  Diaspora members of the Nigerian political class, the Diaspora ministers, their media and non-media spokespersons. This is because   they know or ought to know what obtains  in the Diaspora  with respect to public ethics and moral responsibility in governance.

This moral poverty explains why the defenders of President Jonathan, his government, PDP, APC, and their sponsored commentators  miss the ethical point.

For example, President Jonathan accepts the security challenge of the South South Creek terrorism, but is lukewarm to that of the Northern Boko Haram terrorism. It is morally problematic and against common sense to accept responsibility for security in one region and fails to accept same frontally in another region. Yet this is what President Jonathan, his government, PDP, and their  spokespersons are committed to. However, they are obliged to show Nigerians on rational grounds how to reconcile this contradiction.

Same thing goes for Boko Haram, their associates, some APC leaders such as former head of state Mr. Mohammadu Buhari, a former head of state. It is interesting that same Mr. Buhari of APC in his moral “wisdom” cleared the greatest African Kleptocrat -Sani Abacha – of any corrupt act!

Yet the group of APC politicians, which Mohammadu Buhari belongs to would when it works for them point to the looting by South South political elites of local public funds meant to stem   the tide of South South Creek terrorism. In calling attention to this looting, they are saying the South South political elites need to be responsible locally and regionally to the masses of South South people.

But the same APC politicians fail to see how that is applicable to the ground reality in Boko Haramic infested areas in the Northern part of the country. The APC would not see how one of their prominent leaders-General Mohammadu Buhari gave a clean moral bill of health to Sani Abacha, the worst African Kleptocrat ever,  by claiming that Sani Abacha was not corrupt, yet same Sani Abacha and members of his family stashed Nigerian public funds away in many foreign countries including the principality of   Liechtenstein!

Suppose the public fund Sani Abacha stole on behalf of his family were originally  invested in the Boko Haram infested areas? The positive  socio-economic and cultural  impact of this in nipping in the bud Boko Haramic  terrorism can only be imagined.

To then give the Kleptocrat, Sani Abacha   a clean moral bill of health as Mr. Buhari, the APC leader did is ridiculous. It is the worst form of moral blindness. The consequence is a yawning abdication of moral responsibility at the grassroots.

It is easy to see how the clean moral bill of health Mr. Mohammadu Buhari gave Sani Abacha would strengthen the irredeemable corrupt hands  of   President Jonathan in simply handing over the remaining Abacha loot to the heirs of the Abacha family for the survival of his (Goodluck Jonathan) own political fortunes in 2015 elections! What is  the difference between what Mr. Buhari of APC said about the Kleptocrat, Sani Abacha and what President Jonathan (of PDP), his ministers and advisers have done in handing what Sani Abacha stole from the Nigerian treasury  to the Abacha family?

But there is an interesting  missing link to this-something Nigerians ought to pay attention to.  A visit to the Middle East emirates will show how   members of Nigerian political class and their feudal apron strings (old and freshly crowned monarchs) have fully invested stolen money in the local economy of these emirates-especially Dubai. Also, same stolen money is used to sponsor their children abroad in elite schools in Middle East, Europe and America, and used to take care of their “princely” families tucked away in foreign countries.

These are local and regional members of the political class in PDP, APC “progressives” who tweet and re-tweet the most about corruption, yet they are fully invested in Dubai. How did they get this money?

And on the other side of the political aisle is the latest deal between President Jonathan’s government and the Abacha family for the Abachas to keep N100 billion which the federal government knows that Sani Abacha stole so that the same federal government can keep N36 billion the same Sani Abacha stole and tucked away in the principality Liechtenstein?

This is different from the $458m of the Sani Abacha Family loot frozen here in the US. So  our President, Goodluck Jonathan,  minister of finance Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Attorney General Mohammad Adokie, national security adviser Sambo Dasuki must think that letting N100 billion of Nigerian peoples money go (into the pockets of Abacha Family) for N36 billion (back into public treasury) is good “economics”,  “law” “security” and “ethics” under their economic, legal, and security watches.

And the point here is the link between corruption and terrorism, the moral wretchedness of Nigeria’s political class-both local and Diaspora who are historically and perpetually linked in their un-ethical and political agenda.  Having siphoned public money abroad, they impoverish local population and turn them into mass destitute.  This feeds into Boko Haramic and other forms of terrorisms in the land.

But, rather than take responsibility for pocketing public  resources, they turn around to sell silly dummies and pass the buck.

The masses do not need that money in Dubai, in foreign economies, in the private estate of African Kpletocrats like Sani Abacha.  They need it to be economically invested right there on ground in Boko Haramic infested areas and other parts waiting to be gunned down by Boko Haramic doctrine.

Consequently, in view of the dubious deals President Jonathan cut all over the place (the latest is the Abacha Family /Federal Government N100 billion/N36 billion swap) to garner support for his political survival in the 2015 general elections, how can he effectively fight terrorism while he is simultaneously promoting corruption?

Thus,  beyond Nkrumah in a historic sense, with respect to Boko Haram and the Chibok girls, let us all seek first the “Kingdom of Morals” and take responsibility. Such “Kingdom of Morals” may be the beginning of wisdom and the final solution to Northern Boko Haramic terrorism and their fallowed South South Creek counterparts.

I invite members of Nigerian political class –civilian and military, retired and serving, their old and new “progressive” “anti-corruption” feudal apron strings, our  Diaspora ministers- to this “Kingdom Of Morals”.

Seek first the “Kingdom of Morals.”  The modern in us is about ethics. Accept this, hearken to the moral voice and make a difference.

Adeolu Ademoyo, aaa54@cornell.edu, of the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, is also a member of the Premium Times editorial board.

 

Boko Haram, Myths and Realities, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

As those who officially claim to be members of Boko Haram and those who do not make such claim but are loosely and informally working under the Boko Haram doctrine continue their beastly slaughtering of people in the country, I expound the multiple views on Boko Haram held by some Nigerians.

I ask two simple questions: Do we want a modern Nigerian state? Or do we want to continue to desire Nigeria that is pre-modern and illiberal? Answers to these questions boil down to multiple but conflicting moralities among we Nigerians.

Nigerians hold some of these Boko Haram narratives. Boko Haram is an Islamic organization and has an Islamic agenda. Boko Haram is an Islamic organization whose revolt is caused by poverty and destitution. Because these narratives fail to properly locate the issue of responsibility, they beg the question and therefore may not allow for an enduring solution.

Let us go back to memory. Here I am talking about religious riots in Nigeria, Maitatsine and allied riots including the beheading of Gideon Akaluka in December 1994.

Maitatsine or Yan Tatsine predates Boko Haram. This was a Muslim fringe group, which organized around a so-called “mystical” leader from Cameroun. In late 70s and 80s, Maitatsine freely mobilized in Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri and some other parts of the Northern states even when this “mystical” leader of Maitatsine was not a Nigerian, and we were not aware of his legal status in the country.

So with a pre-modern enabling social environment (a country which is a mere geographical expression, where people are not properly documented), Maitatsine –led by a “non-Nigerian” caused major riots in 1980 in Kano and in 1982 in Maiduguri and Kaduna. The Kano Maitatsine riots caused 4,177 deaths between December 18 and 29, 1980.

The Maitatsine messianic cult had its own mosques. Its doctrine was antagonistic to established social, political and Islamic leaderships. It recruited its members from urban poor and dispossessed (both “Nigerian” and “non-Nigerian”) in the communities where it operated. The Maitatsine recruits-were indoctrinated to be up in arms against society, established Islamic mosques and congregations. The result was the massive outbreak of violence in the North from the late 70s to the 80s.

There are other documented religious flashpoints in Nigeria; one of the most reported given its barbarity and medieval doctrine was the beheading of fellow Nigerian Gideon Akaluka in December 1994 by ordinary Nigerians who professed the Islamic faith. Akaluka’s wife was accused by some Muslims in Kaduna of using the pages of Koran to wrap her baby. To the Kaduna Muslims, this was haram, i.e. sin.

And the punishment was Gideon Akaluka’s head. In daylight his fellow countrymen axed his head from his body. In a modern society, you can never be the accuser, the judge and the executor of judgment. But that happened in Nigeria.

Now the questions are: What are the differences and similarities between Boko Haram, Maitatsine, and the Akaluka be-headers? How do these fit into the conventional narratives that absolve some members of Nigerian political class from their immediate and contiguous moral, social, and political responsibility?

Please note the universal moral principle about contiguity, which relies on basic common sense to assert that each person is morally responsible to his/her neighbors and immediate constituents. This is the moral principle that makes local and regional players in any Nigerian crisis responsible. It is not a white man or black man principle. It is not an ethnic moral principle. It is a basic universal principle drawn from human nature and nature of society.

Let me quickly show with an aside how this worked in a limited sense in the recent past. This relevant aside is the relationship between the Akaluka be-headers and those Christians who were wrongly against Mr. Nasir El Rufai, former Nigerian minister, when he re-tweeted a Mary and Jesus message some Christians considered offensive to the Christian faith. Like the be-headers of Gideon Akaluka, these Christians were up against Mr. Nasir El Rufai, but these Christians were wrong.

However, the slight difference between Mr. Gideon Akaluka and Mr. Nasir El Rufai was that some Nigerians who were morally contiguous to the issue took it upon themselves as a moral duty to quickly rally in defense of Mr. Nasir El Rufai’s right as a human being. These Nigerians set aside religion and defended Mr. Nasir El Rufai’s right as a person, a human because they were morally contiguous to the issue.

Sadly such immediate morally contiguous response never happened in Gideon Akaluka’s case and his body and head are right there in the grave axed, separated, decaying. Akaluka’s case is part of the sibling history that connects Maitatsine, Boko Haram etc.

Hence, there is no fundamental difference between Maitatsine, Boko Haram, and the be-headers of Akaluka. They claim to be religious. They are viable because they are rooted in the massive material poverty of their constituencies, a state of poverty which co-exists side by side with the obscene and filthy wealth and affluence of members of the political class and feudal elites-both young and old in the same constituencies.

However, the fundamental similarity is that they operate in a Nigerian state that is pre-modern. A ridiculous indication of our pre-modern existence is the failure of numbers and numbering in our lives. We do not know our population and therefore it is difficult to know who is legally a Nigerian and who is not a Nigerian, and some of us Nigerians are invested in this for such woolliness and lack of specificity just work perfect for other agenda.

Also, because Maitatsine and Boko Haram operate in a Nigeria, which is pre-modern where numbering and quantification are alien, it is therefore very easy to recruit from the poor and “non-Nigerians” from neighboring countries. And these recruits across the border are bonded together by the religious, the social and the economic.

A scary example of our failure as a modern state- that counts, quantifies and documents-that breached trust and our security was the report that some Ghadaffi clan melted into Nigeria after his downfall in Libya. Our “security” and “military” are aware of this. True or false, mum has been the word.

In view of this, the questions are: where is the Nigerian sovereignty when through the complicit of some of us, we Nigerians pass “non-Nigerians”- who are ready labor material for terrorism- as “Nigerians”? Where were we when people from Mali, Niger Republic, and Chad, Cameroun, Libya etc would stroll in through the borders and melt into Nigeria? So, where exactly is the Nigerian border? And who is the “Nigerian citizen”? The answer is there is none for a valid distinction exists between just being people and being a citizen.

These are hard, blunt and bitter questions for our country. I understand if some of us are not interested in these kinds of questions. But Boko Haram is a bold illustration of the failure of Nigeria to rise and become a modern state which is liberal, citizen based, democratic, anti-feudal and where there are openly specified and equitable ethical criteria for the allocation of values, not a country which is a mere geographical expression wide open, raped and violated every second by its political class and the residue of feudal elites-both young and old.

In a modern state, part of the modern is how you are valued. You are valued based on merit, your talent, your cultivation, nurturing and investment in that talent and not some pre-modern and primordial ties. That failure of the modern in our lives and its consequence in Boko Haram is fully invested in by local and regional players.

In view of this, here is a simple test for those who want to muddle the issue and absolve local and regional players of at least a vicarious moral responsibility in this evil, called Boko Haram.

If Boko Haram is just a religious problem (this is a disguised way to absolve local and regional players of responsibility), then what should we do? Be converted because of Boko Haram? We know that is a silly proposition. But more importantly the Organization of Islamic Conference and other Muslim states have openly said Boko Haram is not an Islamic organization. The OIC says it is a criminal group.

And here is a Boko Haram which reports say rape the Chibok girls and other abductees. Will a religious group rape? The answer is Boko Haram is NOT an Islamic group. Like all criminal and terrorist groups in Nigeria, Boko Haram is or has been hijacked and turned into a criminal syndicate, a terrorist business consortium in the hands of members of Nigerian political class at local, regional, national and perhaps international levels.

Therefore, those who still defend Boko Haram as primarily and only a religious organization (in order to create the impression of an organization that is merely crazy because it attacks both Christian, Muslims, atheists and other religionists) in order to absolve local and regional accomplices with their agenda and muddle the issue must respond to this global and unanimous rejection of Boko Haram as an Islamic group

Second, if the cause of Boko Haram is mass poverty and destitution, the question is what did members of Nigerian political class at local and regional levels do with their resources and allocations. The minister of finance Dr. Ngozi Iweala has just released some figures about federal revenue allocation to some states in comparison to budgets of some African states (Premiumtimes June 3, 2014).

We know that the federal government under President Jonathan and his ministers is a thieving government that rely on dubious and pseudo-“intellectual” policies to steal and privatize public wealth. That looting of public treasury at the federal government level is replicated at state levels.

The figures the minister released in this case show that while Liberia’s budget is $433m, Gambia’s budget is $210m, Republic of Benin’s budget is $1.47b, federal revenue allocation (minus internally generated revenue) for some states in the North   are Kano $900m, Katsina $700m, Kaduna $600m, Borno $600m.

In other words the annual budget of some African states are less than the federally allocated revenue of some Nigerian states. This is a food for thought that allows us see how mass poverty and destitution may be linked to the irresponsibility of local and regional players of crisis states, members of the political class and the feudal elites-both young and old.

Finally, my point is that having failed to judiciously deploy resources and invest in human talents to focus the energies of the youths productively like modern societies do, it is reasonable to see how local and regional players, members of Nigerian political class and feudal elites at local levels, both military and civilian, ex-generals, ex-colonels, current generals, ex and current police officers etc will refuse to take responsibility, pass the buck and therefore be catalysts for Boko Haram. This is the nature of Boko Haram as a historical continuity and mutation of Maitatsine and the be-headers of Gideon Akaluka.

Taking moral responsibility is an ethical issue. For mom and I as I have insistently argued analogically, -good and bad-the responsibility for our children STOP on our tables. We take the hit, heat and shot, and move on. It is part of being modern. As it is with a family, so it ought to be with a country.

Taking responsibility is not an ethnic issue. It is ethical. It ought not be difficult. Let us do this with the country and the evil called Boko Haram. That is the ethical minimum and a foundation for an enduring solution.

The undesired alternative may be a civil strife that may provoke another civil war, a forced resolution and balkanization.

Nigeria has to be re-thought in a civil, cultured and civilized manner with a couth language and discourse. Nigeria cannot remain the same again after this. The ominous signs are on the Nigerian Wall.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

 

 

Boko Haram Plc or Foretelling the Balkanization of Nigeria, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

With the Jos bombing and other bombings, it is obvious that we need to turn the page to reflection time. And this reflection time starts with the political Plc, the terrorist business venture called Boko Haram. The signs and evidences show that a political business consortium is in charge of the evil and dark business of death here, and we may be nearing the gradual maturity of the balkanization of the country.

Nigerians must not forget that MEND, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari’s Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, and the band of marauding creek terrorists gave us the first terrorist copy book. For example, the response of MEND’s Jomo Gbomo to President Jonathan’s Democracy Day Speech on terrorism shows the twin relationship between the Boko Haram savannah terrorism and creek terrorism.

Hear Gbomo “Our attention was drawn to your (President Jonathan) olive branch where you said ‘Our doors remain open to them, (aggrieved armed groups) for dialogue and reconciliation if they (?) renounce terrorism (armed struggle) and embrace peace…’ MEND’s Gbomo continued, “As Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States said ‘Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided; but they are far better than certain kinds of peace,’”’ (Premiumtimes, May 30, 2014). It is instructive that MEND responded even when Boko Haram was the immediate focus of President Jonathan’s Democracy Day Speech.

With an evil precedent from the creek, Boko Haram Plc has thus perfected the creek terrorism copybook and advanced the frontiers of terrorism in Nigeria to higher heights as a business investment to negotiate political power and distribution of economic resources. Boko Haram is a savannah replication of creek terrorism in its most evil form.

Beside the fact that it is silly and thoughtless to ever think anyone can Islamize or Christianize Nigeria, Boko Haram Plc does not espouse Islam because its business is not religion. Its business is politics, commerce and business.  Its overt and covert associates in Nigeria’s political class across the parties are not interested in Islam or any religion. Any interest they show in religion is tenuous and it is meant to harass and negotiate for political power and economic resources.

Therefore, given the evidences and data before us, if care is not taken, the choices may ultimately be a re-thinking of the country or a disorderly and lawless balkanization.

We can glean the omens of balkanization from the tweets of the bombed dead, the lamentations of the bombed families of the dead, the weakness of the bombed Nigerian state under President Jonathan, and the reticence and resignation of the rest of us who are waiting to be bombed. All these mandate a re-thinking of the country- position I maintain   purely from a global African standpoint.

As a black person, a person of African descent, it is challenging to continue to defend a country or community where some stone age forces (Boko Haram and their over and covert sponsors and associates) shut down schools and kill students, where humans are slaughtered gleefully in the 21st century like beasts, where school girls who would be our scientists and leaders in this century are supposedly bidding their time in the wombs of darkness called Boko Haram and their sponsors in Abuja, Maiduguri, Yola, Damaturu on one hand while we Nigerian people on the other hand have not collectively marched on Boko Haram and terminate it or ask the Commander in Chief to leave if he cannot command anything.

Re-thinking Boko Haram, to be mild it is very difficult to accept the proposition of Boko Haram, their overt and covert associates and sponsors that education and enlightenment is haram.  In this regard, those who want to argue that we should see Boko Haram as a “national” problem, which therefore absolves local and regional players from responsibility, will have to do a critical re-think.

For example, I am a parent. Whatever happens to our children is the responsibility of mom and I prior to their contact with the community where my family live. This is called a universal moral principle of contiguity or contiguous moral relations.  In other words, I am responsible to my family, to my neighbors on my street; to the town or city I live, to people in my local government, to my state, to my country and to the world at large.

The moral principle of contiguity is basic whether you are tall or short, ugly, beautiful or handsome.  So you know your contiguous neighbors, more than non-contiguous fellow members of same community.  This is basic in elementary ethics. Hence, this moral principle has nothing to do with religion, race or ethnicity. It is just what it is.

This analogy shows why Boko Haram cannot just be flippantly and unreflectively said to be a “national” problem only. It is first a local problem, and then both a local and national problem to the extent that the Nigerian state has the duty and obligation of national security and defense. But to simply say it is a Nigerian national problem only is to ambush the truth. That Boko Haram is both a local and national problem is not contradictory. And the latter should not be privileged in order to screen off responsibility of political forces that are driving this evil at the local and regional levels.

For example, if the social is advanced as part of the reasons for Boko Haram’s terrorism, then members of Nigerian political class at that local level must first be accountable (before any other stratum of the political class) for what they did with the available resources that led to mass destitution which is said to be the cause for the Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency. The issue of the legendary privatization and private pocketing of public resources by members of Nigerian political class at local levels must be on the able in this evil act by Boko Haram.

On this, a critical knowledge of Nigeria must impel us to reject two false propositions. The first false proposition is that Boko Haram and their civilian sponsors are not known. On the contrary, they are known. Those who should know, know. No one can know our children more than mom and I. We are the first point of knowledge. No bucks passed. They stop on our tables. Good and bad we take responsibility for the moral character of our children. That analogy is applicable to Boko Haram at local level. So Boko Haram plc is known. Either by act of omission or commission, Boko Haram is the baby of regional and local political players. They are not UKOs- un-identified or un-known killing objects.

The second false proposition is that all the bombings are done by those few individuals who started Boko Haram. On the contrary, like all terrorist groups in the country, such as MEND, Dokubo Asari’s Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, the terrorist bands in the Niger Delta Creeks, Boko Haram Plc has become a consortium and a brand. Just as the creek terrorists used terrorism to negotiate for power and economic resources, Boko Haram Plc is using the copybook of the creek terrorists with some modification.

Therefore, individuals and groups who subscribe either rightly or wrongly to the agenda of power redistribution and redistribution of economic resources in the country, and, think that terrorism is the most potent tool to realize their agenda are part of the loose and close members of the Boko Haram consortium and brand. Nigerian peoples especially at local levels and the government know these individuals and groups.

This is why sadly; contrary to media reports not all of us are opposed to Boko Haram. The evidence is obvious. It is found in the loud silence and ambivalence in some quarters to the abduction of schoolgirls by one of the most heinous evils ever in humankind-Boko Haram.

No argument, rationale or narrative will ever justify or mildly “explain” or burnish the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls. On this Boko Haram Plc, and their sponsors in Abuja, Maiduguri, Yola, Damaturu and other Nigerian communities have over reached themselves thereby putting their civilian sponsors and associates in the political class across all the political parties in big trouble and on the line. There is no argument about deprivation, destitution, lack of infrastructure etc that can justify and legitimise this evil. This is political.

Finally, I note that we may have different   understanding of evil. One person’s evil is another person’s virtue. One person’s terrorist is another person’s “freedom” fighter! But the mass pogrom of lives in Jos is beastly and grisly. The abduction of schoolgirls is morally  beneath humanity and beyond the border of humanity. It is evil through and through. You do not just do it-full stop! And to keep quiet and pass the buck is morally complicit.

And just as Boko Haram shuts down schools and kills student, they and their sponsors are shutting down the remaining space for any meaningful national and rational conversation.

It is a shut down of national conversation that potentially raises the need to quickly begin to re-think the country.  Therefore for any of us to keep quiet on this speaks volume. And for any group- civilian or terrorist- to use the abduction of schoolgirls to negotiate closes all forms and avenues of national conversation because the country can no longer continue in the old way as if nothing happened after this.

In the past, our country Nigeria was never attractive to foreigners except those companies coming here to raid and rake profits. Today we are worst than being ugly. No foreigner wants to come to our country. As professors, instructors and teachers we cannot lead foreign students to the country for straightforward “Foreign Study Abroad Programs”, which if we can would have added value, wealth, prestige and respect to our country.

Which foreign country will allow their kids to come near chambers and wombs of death as constructed by both the creek and savannah terrorists? This is a discourse some people-the Boko Haram Plc and their sponsors among us just do not understand so it is difficult to even dialogue with them on why and how our country is ugly. Hence, we need to take a decision whether we want a country befitting 21st century or we do not want it.

Therefore, if (i) we are not collectively and equally opposed to Boko Haram, (ii) if the Nigerian state under our Commander in Chief, President Jonathan is too weak to battle Boko Haram, ground it, terminate it, and scorch it, and (iii) if Boko Haram Plc consortium and its civilian collaborators among Nigerian political class are bent on using terrorism as a tool to renegotiate power and redistribute economic resources as their counter part in the creeks did, then the last option which is a re-understanding and a re-thinking  of Nigeria ought to be attractive to all of us.

A united country has to be built on a public ethics, which is open, consistently universalizable, and mutually and equitably applicable to one another, and not on some crude quest for private, personalized, regional power, economic resources and uncritical camaraderie.

Therefore, with clear rationality we need to look at this now before we are all consumed and forced into a   full-scale civil war-an undesirable and morally undesired consequence that will be unpleasant for all of us.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Boko Haram: Open Letter To Gusau, Dasuki and Abubakar, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to you as a Nigerian Diaspora parent. And I am writing to you in your capacities as the minister of defence (Aliyu Gusau), the Inspector General of Police(Mohammed Abubakar), and the National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Because our children here in the Diaspora have openly connected with Nigeria, their roots, they have of recent faced increased barrage of hostile questions and interests from their friends and in our community about Nigeria. Similarly, I have faced more hostile questions and interest about Nigeria from African and non-African colleagues at conferences and workshops in the Diaspora.

The African proverb says “If the head is still full of lice, our fingers with which we remove the lice will remain bloodied…” The lice in our midst are Boko Haram and their evil machinations. The consequence of the evil machination of this lice is the problem of our daughters who you have the duty to defend and secure but who were left defenceless for the forces of darkness which Boko Haram represent to abduct. I write to you today because your first and only job is security of our country, the security of our children. But in this matter the data in the public domain show that you have questions to answer.

Just so you do not misconstrue my argument as many people who defend the present government will often do, it is important that I say this as a preliminary. In this matter, Boko Haram and their supporters among the ruling and political class and elites which you represent- are the primary problem. But it is unhelpful blaming Boko Haram for you know them and their sponsors. And you, the government you serve, and the political class you represent know what to do about them. It is to ground and scorch them.

Boko Haram is beneath moral contempt, it is outside the border of humanity. Boko Haram is not just evil that is banal, it is one evil which is beyond banality.   Therefore, the issue is no longer Boko Haram and their sponsors who do not belong to humanity. The issue is what you as our chief security officers do about this given your job to defend the country both internally and externally from Boko Haram.

Dear Generals, I put it to you that you know Boko Haram and their sponsors in the military and among the Nigerian political class and elites spread across the political parties. Why? You are either accomplished security operatives or you are not.

I believe that you are well-trained security operatives. In fact, one of you-General Gusau-has a long historical pedigree serving past Nigerian heads of state. With due respect, General Aliyu Gusau even nursed the aspiration to be the president of this country. Therefore the three of you know Boko Haram and their sponsors within your political class.

So, sirs you cannot have your cake and eat it. In other words, I am saying some of us know some of you since the commencement of your careers as security operatives. Therefore, you cannot play dumb by keeping quiet at what is going on.

Let me call your attention to Chibok -and the reason I am taking this route -even when you know already for the buck stops on your tables. Chibok is in Borno state, which is under emergency rule. The three of you –as security officers-supervise that emergency rule. Mr. Aliyu Gusau, you are a General. Mr. Sambo Dasuki, you are a Colonel. And Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, you are an Inspector General of police. The three of you must come together and tell Nigerians where you were when Boko Haram “sneaked” in and abducted the Chibok school girls in a state under emergency and under your security watch.

Sirs, Nigerian families live in a society where race is still a factor years after the formal end of enslavement and colonialism. So whatever the black person does rankles. Here in the Diaspora, this affects the memories of our children .

Thus, as a group, which is outside the border of humanity and civilization, the threat by Boko Haram that they will sell our daughters abroad necessarily rankled and jarred memories of enslavement, and slave trade in Nigerian and African Diaspora children. Boko Haram’s abduction of our daughters is a throw back to that dark moment of slave capture and trading of fellow Africans as slaves in African history.

And your failure to protect our daughters, your silence and that of President Jonathan, the active support (known to you as security operatives) given to Boko Haram by members of the Nigerian political class across the parties as a tool of power and resource negotiation is reminiscent of the complicit of the then African ruling elites to the raiding of fellow Africans and selling of abducted Africans abroad to foreigners, to a middle passage, a point of no return, to an evil world and historical age beyond moral redemption. Boko Haram and their sponsors among Nigerian political class, and your negligence have brought to memory this morally irredeemable historical phase-of slavery- in the lives of all peoples and children of African descent especially in the Diaspora.

Hence, if our daughters are not brought back complete, un-violated, in dignity, safe and sound, you, together with Boko Haram will go down in history as part of the contemporary statistics, data and reminder of the deadly and dark ages of the African trans Atlantic slave trade.

Therefore, you have the moral obligation to confirm so many things-part of which may help unravel why Boko Haram as a throw back to darkness endure and appear un-defeatable.

First, you need to confirm how much Nigeria spends monthly to “fight” Boko Haram. The recent public exchange between the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Iweala, and the military service chiefs on budget allocation and disbursement provides the context for this straight question. The speculation and allegation in the public domain is that Nigeria spends over 9 billion naira monthly “fighting” Boko Haram. In this regard, the speculation in town is that Boko Haram has become both a political and economic project, which members of Nigerian political class do not want to go away because of the benefits accruing to them. If it is not true that we spend 9 billion naira monthly to “fight” Boko Haram, then tell us how much we spend monthly to do this. What is the basis of the verbal exchange between the minister of finance and the military service chiefs? How does this affect the ‘fight” against Boko Haram?

As the heads of our external and internal security, where does the money go if our soldiers communicate with one another with cell phones despite budgetary allocation? I wonder how a military whose soldiers communicate with cell phones in the 21st century will ever be able to engage the enemy.

Sadly, General Azazi (may his soul rest in peace) cannot wake and defend himself. But the news in town is that the alleged turning of our national security and Boko Haram under General Azazi as the former NSA into economic and political project has continued under you Colonel Sambo Dasuki, General Aliyu Gusau and Mohammed Abubakar . Sirs, I am calling you out on this. Do two things: Look Nigerians straight in the face and answer my questions.

Before I conclude I must give you two more examples. There are two reports about the military drones bought from Israel. Drones are part of what modern armies use to track terrorists like Boko Haram and their civilian sponsors in difficult terrains not dane guns, charms, amulets and cell phones. Nigerian state bought drones from Israel. But Nigeria abandoned these drones.

Does this mean that those who bought the drones in the Presidency and military are  only interested in the profits from the drone contract? Why did Nigeria buy drones to fight terrorists and Nigeria abandoned same drones and allowed them to rot? How can anyone fight terrorists with rusty and abandoned drones? Why must the presidency and the military spend public money on drones they did not intend to use? If this is false, then tell us with verifiable data that it is false.

Second, you know Elbit, the Israeli Internet security firm. Today, you refuse to inform Nigerians what you have done about the Elbit Internet espionage and security contract. Is it on? Tell us. But more importantly, the fact that there are two contract figures in the Elbit Internet Security contract(one was given by Elbit, and the other was given by the presidency) is part of the deep moral problem of corruption that shows that serious issue about our collective security has become an economic project in the hands of the military and presidency and in the hand of the members of the political class you serve.

Please sirs, it would be unhelpful to tell us that “the issues are more than that…” as you and your spokespersons often say. Kindly tell us what the issues are. That is what we want to hear at this grave moment in the life of the country.

Let me refresh your minds with the consequences of the allegations I am putting before you, which you have the obligation to respond to. First, the foreign countries helping to fight Boko Haram have said that the military under you is incapable of fighting Boko Haram, that the military under you is too incompetent and scared to engage. Second, the same countries said their military will not share the information they gather in the course of finding the Chibok girls with you. In simple terms, it means Nigeria has lost sovereignty through the incompetence and corruption in the military. Did you catch the political implication of your corruption, which now has led to a loss of sovereignty for our country?

Third, given your failure, it is on record that some Nigerian farmers in Borno state, armed with amulets, charms and Dane guns said they are ready to confront Boko Haram if you invite them! I have my absolute respect for these Nigerian farmers who are only concerned at your failure. But it is a tragedy on knowledge that we have descended to this level under your security watch in the 21st century when nations send their brightest to space.

Based on the unfortunate situation of our country, I put it to you that you and the president –President Goodluck Jonathan have to take responsibility of the imminent tragedy looming in the country. My proposition to you and to Nigerians is that Boko Haram has become an economic and political project, which members of Nigerian political class are using to negotiate power and economic resources.

As adept security operatives who are also part of this project, you stand in gap in this knowledge. In other words you know all that is going on. And you know those who are involved. You must therefore inform us today why you think you deserve to continue to occupy your offices given this colossal failure. Your answers and information are part of what we need to clean this Augean stable. Nigerian children in the Diaspora wait for your response.

Thank you.

Adeolu Ademoyo (aaa54@cornell.edu), a member of PREMIUM TIMES editorial board, is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

 

 

 

Responsibility in The Heart of Darkness, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Why is Jonathan, Shettima, and Abubakar still keeping their jobs?

Tons of colonialist literature were written on Africa during the dark ages of enslavement and colonialism. Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” was one of the negative classics. When Mr. Conrad wrote “The Heart Of Darkness,” given the data he presented, some of us disagreed with his interpretation of Africa.

With our children languishing in the hearts and clutch of darkness, and with the failure of two central players in this evil dance in the forest– President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Kashim Shettima unwillingness to take responsibility for their failure to defend our children from the clutch of darkness, I think it would be difficult to controvert calling  this Boko Haram act  The Heart of Darkness.

Talking about heart of darkness, sadly, both the Nigerian state on one hand and we grieving parents on the other hand have been unable to give the EXACT FIGURE of the number of our daughters under the clutch of darkness -Boko Haram. To demonstrate this colossal failure, please check the number we quote in the media. We often say “…about  ….chibok school girls were abducted…” Yet we all are talking about human beings, our daughters.

This collective failure, this grand failure to be able to say exactly how many of our daughters are currently in the land of darkness, is significant both morally and from the point of view of national security. This is because  given the immoral nature of forces of darkness, the life of  just one daughter  may eventually  not be accounted for in this  heart of darkness-Boko Haram.

Therefore, we must start counting NOW! It is simple arithmetic. It is not rocket science. And President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP and Governor Kashim Shettima, APC of Borno state must lead that simple arithmetic. They must tell us EXACTLY the number of our children who both of them allowed the agents of darkness, Boko Haram to abduct. We do not want to read or hear “about….” anymore. Excuse me, we are talking about our children, our daughters, human beings.

This inability to give an exact number lends credibility to the view that there is a conspiracy among members of Nigerian ruling elites in this matter.  And that the conspiracy is about political power, its control  and its use to redistribute resources in the country. It also shows why neither President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP  nor Governor  Kashim Shettima of APC has come out openly to claim responsibility. But the facts of ground show that they are both guilty-FULL STOP.

Thus, either  both of them resign from office or they openly tell us and  hold those whose job is to protect our children responsible.  Those who should be queried and if found negligent be sacked  include the minister for defense, General Aliyu Gusau, the National Security Adviser to president Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the Inspector General of Police Mr. Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar.  Shortly,  I will refresh us  with both local and global instances.

But refresh your minds with why President Jonathan and Governor Shettima should leave or lead and hold responsible those whose job it is to protect our children. Our daughters were abducted from a school in a Nigerian state. The school, which is a boarding school  is  located in a division of police. Therefore, the school has boarding staff,  is under a school principal, is under a police commissioner, is under the jurisdiction of a Governor of a state, is located in a country called Nigeria and that country has a president. These are brute data that justify my call.

For example, I am a teacher in a university. If anything untoward happens  to the students I teach during my class under my watch, if I do not honorably hand over my resignation, I will justifiably be  queried and if found guilty justifiably be sacked. It is the law. It will not be because I am black, short,  tall, ugly or handsome. It will be because of  the law that governs all of us, and which we all must uphold.

Therefore, with the Chibok schoolgirls, we must insist that someone should at least publicly take responsibility for this collective failure. This is not a needle in the hay sack. Taking responsibility is the least difficult thing to do.   The day the  Hearts of Darkness-Boko Haram-abducted our daughters was the day President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Kashim Shettima lost the moral basis to continue in office when they failed to hold someone responsible. Examples in civilized world show and justify the moral  significance of  taking responsibility. I will repeat just two examples.

Here in the US we witnessed difficult moments with the registration of citizens under the Obamacare Health Insurance scheme.  Obamacare, which is a legitimate moral act initially, became a technological nightmare during registration period. Then (not now) many could not register.  Yet the same secretary of health –Kathleen Sebelius under whose watch Obamacare resolved the problem before she left. But that was not enough. Gracefully with her head held high in dignity, she  resigned honorably  in complete moral deference to the  citizens. In other words, she said “I was responsible. I am sorry. I resigned”.

Same thing in South Korea. A ferry sank. Lives were lost. The Prime Minister-Mr. Chung Hong-won did not wait. He resigned. Again, he took responsibility.

Therefore to fail to start from the basics, the morally irreducible and ask someone-President Jonathan and Governor Kashim Shettima- to take responsibility is to turn the abduction into a mythic act. It is not. Someone did it. And someone failed to prevent those who did it. This is the moral ground norm, the moral irreducible from which other things will follow. This is an ethical thing. It is beyond  ethnicity. It is not a North-South thing.  It is beyond religion.

Taking responsibility this way is what will show that we will go to for toe after the forces of darkness –Boko Haram-scorch it and ground it for Boko Haram  does not represent Africa, neither does it  represent Islam. But someone in Aso Rock, Abuja and Maiduguri must do the following.  Take responsibility. Scorch Boko Haram. Ground it.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu  is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 

Chibok, Jonathan, Abba Moro and the Hearts of Darkness, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Two tragic events and moral acts have defined our moral world in the last few weeks. The death of Nigerian youths and the moral failure of the Nigerian state to take responsibility. The death of South Korean youths and the promptness of the South Korean state in taking responsibility.

In doing this, I have come to the conclusion that   Nigerian rulers do not   read anything we write and that their ethical bodies if they have any seem frozen, dead and their hearts are nothing but hearts of darkness. But we still have to do this only for sake of history, for memory, and for the dead.

I will start with my dear country Nigeria. On March 15, 2014 19 employment seeking Nigerian youths died in the hands of the Nigerian state through the mismanagement of the recruitment exercise supervised by President Jonathan’s minister of Interior-Abba Moro. Consistent with everything Nigeria, we the Nigerian people have consigned the death of 19 young Nigerians who were looking for employment from their country to the dustbin of history. We are forgetting. We are moving on.

Consistent with everything Nigeria, we made some noise, wrote some opinion pieces condemning the action of Mr. Morro, sympathizing with the dead, and that is all. Consistent with everything Nigeria politics and ethnicity were dubiously fed to the media criticism of this death. However, it remains a fact that a Commander in Chief who led his army to the death chamber does not deserve to be in office for one more day. Mr. Moro is that Commander in Chief who killed nineteen young Nigerians. He ought to have been sacked by President Jonathan if he, Moro is dishonorable and graceless enough to have forgotten to submit his letter of resignation.

Fast Forward and go global to the Asian continent. The country is South Korea. On April 16, 2014, Sewol a 6825 –ton ferry sank. 302 people most of who are high school students are dead or missing. Public criticism of the death of the young South Koreans followed. Wiping tears from the faces of his people, Mr. Chung Hong-won, the Prime Minister apologized to the South Korean people in a nationally televised news conference.

I bring Mr. Chung Hong-won statement to fellow Nigerians. Mr. Hong-won said, “When I saw the people’s sadness and fury, I thought it was natural for me to step down with an apology.” He did and he is leaving the government if only in eternal honor to the ideal memory of the dead, to atone for the unfortunate deaths in a graceful gesture to the grieving good South Korean people.

Fast backward to the Heart of Darkness, Nigeria my own country, my birth country, my beloved country, the only entity which consistently sags me against the wall as she saps my emotions to nothingness.

On April 14, 2014 over 250 girls were abducted from their dormitory in Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno State in my country. Boko Haram, Nigeria’s Heart of Darkness, the very pinnacle of evil, my country’s evil contribution to the multiple hearts of darkness in the world, hearts of darkness, which masquerade under religious faith- Boko Haram-, has claimed responsibility. It has been reported that about 50 girls managed to escape leaving about 250 girls. Nothing else describes this other than that it is the Heart Of Darkness.

Even when some of us in the past took him to the cleaners for daring to call Africa the Heart of Darkness, Mr. Joseph Conrad the author of the book “Heart of Darkness” must look at us from his grave as he grins with complete satisfaction with his unfortunate characterization. I will not know what to say if Mr. Conrad wakes up from his grave and knocks on my door and tells my children that he calls to ask me if we have found our daughters from the hearts of darkness-Boko Haram- that justify his book, from the evil fangs of Boko Haram.

I am a parent.   You touch any of our children; my response will be predictable, clear, precise, and unmeasured.  Mom and I know and are wont to say that naked we came, naked we shall return. Therefore, while each life counts for same as a natural law, for us the social imperative privileges the lives of our children over ours. Thus any source of death must first claim us-as parents- before our children. In deference the moral call we willingly stand prior to our children in death.

This is the point the South Korean Prime Minister understood as he did the only thing he could do to atone when he willingly resigned from office. This is the point President Jonathan and Mr. Abba Moro are deaf and dead to. Hence, it is a mark of horror and dishonor that Abba Moro is still in office serving President Jonathan as a minister of interior. This is why both Jonathan and Moro will forever remind us of our collective historical shame- Joseph Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness”.

In the Hearts of Darkness ethics is dead while life is short, nasty and brutish. That is what Boko Haram shows. That is what Abba Moro symbolizes in sitting tight in office. President Jonathan crowns, deepens and entrenches the immorality of the Heart of Darkness in failing to sack Abba Moro.

I am aware that President has put a price of 50 million naira on the heads of the abductors of our Chibok daughters and children. I put it to President Goodluck Jonathan that it is one act too late.

If President Jonathan wants to convince Nigerians that he takes the lives of our children seriously and that he is not playing politics with the lives he must commence the process of ending the Hearts of Darkness by booting out Abba Moro his minister for interior for his hands are bloodied with the death of 19 Nigerian youths.

This is the minimum that will begin to symbolically convince us   that he, Goodluck Jonathan as our Commander in Chief will gird his loins and go after the other Heart of Darkness-Boko Haram toe for toe as our Commander in Chief to find our daughters. This is one act, which symbolically is not too late.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

The American Kathleen Sebelius and the Nigerian Abba Moro, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Ms. Kathleen Sebelius was the former American secretary of Health and Human services while Mr. Abba Moro is Nigerian interior minister.  Two life issues have joined the fate of these two public servants. These are the moral rights of working people to employment without being murdered, and the access to affordable heath care.

First let us take the case of secretary Sebelius. As the secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration she was responsible for the implementation of the Obamacare-President Barak Obama’s moral signature policy.  Due to website technical hitches the very first outing of Obamacare was a technical failure. In other words many Americans who wanted to buy health insurance under Obamacare were unable to do so because the website could not handle the deluge of potential subscribers.

Understandably, opponents of Obamacare pounced on this technical website glitch while ignoring the moral worth of Obamacare itself which ought to be the real issue. It is strange how website technical problem was used by opponents to measure the moral worth of a policy that made health care accessible to American working people, and the most vulnerable sections of the American populace.  Strange as this is, using a technical problem to read the moral worth of Obamacare is understandable because Obamacare itself is a moral statement in defense of citizens who otherwise would have gone without health insurance.

So, this was Ms. Sebelius moral dilemma. Even when she eventually sorted out the technical problem, thus making it possible for the initial target of subscribers to be met, she still resigned. Her resignation was a moral statement about sacrifice, and responsibility in public service. Even when it was clear that the Republican party’s opposition to Obamacare was political, Ms. Sebelius still took responsibility for the technical problem of the website.

This is the point at which Nigeria’s Abba Moro stands in sharp moral contrast.  As interior minister he supervised a recruitment exercise on March 15, 2014 that led to the death of 19 young Nigerian including a pregnant woman who were seeking for employment.

Mr. Moro hijacked the recruitment exercise by unilaterally selecting a private company Drexel Ltd. as the recruiter. The company selected by Mr. Moro failed to make adequate plans for a screening that involved more than 710,000 applicants.

Despite receiving N1, 000 from each applicant-totaling at least N710 million- the interior ministry and the Civil Defense Corps, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board, had no funds to conduct screening for the candidates. Nineteen young Nigerians who were looking for jobs died as a result of Mr. Moro’s act, but Mr. Moro still has the moral courage to sit in office as Interior minister.

The resignation from office of the American Kathleen Sebelius   and the sitting tight in office of the Nigerian Abba Moro reveals the face of ethics not only for the two-secretary and minister- but also for Presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Barak Obama and the peoples of the two countries.

It is instructive that in the American case at least in a physical sense no life was lost, yet Kathleen Sebelius has the sense of grace and honor to resign, hence taking responsibility for the failure of the first outing of an important moral policy such as the Obamacare.

On the other hand in the Nigerian case nineteen Nigerians died –including a pregnant woman – as result of a policy decision taken by minister Abba Moro yet minister Moro is still in office as minister.

We Nigerians can continue to live our lives as usual after the death of 19 Nigerians as if nothing happened. President Goodluck Jonathan can continue with his politics as usual defending the morally indefensible. This would not be the first time President Jonathan would be found to be in cold complicity and conspiracy with an intense immorality and evil.

President Goodluck Jonathan was in cold complicity with the immorality of his erstwhile aviation minister, Ms Stella Oduah until the moral stench in the kitchen was too thick to be covered. In the same vein, President Jonathan is presently in cold complicity with his Petroleum minister Ms. Diezani Alison-Madueke over the accusation that she -Ms. Alison-Madueke as minister of Petroleum who supervises NNPC, spends about 500,000 Euros (N130 million Naira) of public money monthly to maintain an aircraft, solely for her personal needs and those of her immediate family.  Diezani Alison-Madueke is involved with other alleged corrupt practices.

That ministers such as Abba Moro and Diezani Alison-Madueke are still in office after scandalous tenures in office says a lot about the gracelessness that defines public office and service in Nigeria. It says a lot about the miserable understanding or lack of understanding of public ethics by President Goodluck Jonathan and his cohort of advisers.

Finally, that we Nigerians continue to tolerate this gracelessness on the part of President Jonathan and his ministers is a testimony to the extent to which we are ready for our humanity to be abused. Ministers Abba Mora and Diezani Alison-Madueke should go. It ought to be about honor. It ought to be about grace.

No idea of the  “National Conference” should  make us forget and neither should it be allowed to cover the Abba Moro and Diezani Alison-Madueke mess. They are morally unworthy.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Reno Omokri: Anatomy of the Goebbels Motif, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu_Ademoyo_637572776

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such a time as the State can shield the people from political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels, The Nazi Propagandist.

Mr. Reno Omokri goes by the status of a presidential assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media.  Thus two things follow.  First, Nigerians pay Reno Omokri from the public treasury in virtue of his official role as the voice of President Jonathan on the New Media.  Second, it is reasonable to assume that when Reno Omokri writes, then President Jonathan speaks otherwise President Jonathan would sanction Mr. Reno Omokri for any mis-communication.

But it seems Mr. Reno Omokri has crossed the moral divide in his duty as President Jonathan’s presidential assistant on New Media.  And if as it is the case   that Omokri is the voice of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan on the New Media, then given the content of his recent un-ethical practice in linking Mr. Sanusi-the forcibly removed Central Bank Governor -with the recent Boko Haram killings in Federal Government College, Buni, it follows that President Jonathan needs to openly address this act of his paid propagandist.

Shortly after the forced removal of Mr. Sanusi as the Central Bank Governor, a sequence of events followed. While a wide section of Nigerians rejected the forced removal, it was business as usual for the Nigerian evil machine-Boko Haram. It struck at the FGC, Buni killing as usual children. Thin as these distinctions and deductions may appear there are three deductions that can be made from the rapid occurrence of events.

First is that the Boko Haram killings is a regular strike that has nothing to do with any event in the country. Second is that the Boko Haram strike coincides with the removal of Mr. Sanusi and the coincidence is meaningful. The third is that the forced removal of Mr. Sanusi coincides with the Boko Harma strike and the coincidence is meaningful. These are serious security questions which no one must be allowed to treat with levity for in the absence of verifiable evidence, and in a situation where the Nigerian security system has not spoken, then the first   deduction remains the only one that can be rationally defended. But not for Mr. Reno Omokri who as presidential adviser must act with the consent of President Jonathan.

Allegedly writing under the online clone name Wendel Simlin, Omokri asserted that: “Given the quantum of funds that were appropriated by the Sanusi-led CBN on non banking related activities and donations, and the strong desire that he and Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab have for proselytizing Islam as well as their circumstantial links to terror (Sanusi via Gideon Akaluka and Mutallab via his son) it is not such a leap for them to facilitate the activities of terrorists…” This claim is in agreement with our second deduction and came immediately after the Boko Haram killings.

In this regard, my questions are: Did Reno Omokri author and circulate this Nazi like propaganda? If so, as the presidential assistant to President Jonathan on New Media, did President Jonathan sanction the opinion canvassed in this Nazi propaganda piece?

Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s chief propagandist it was who perfected the art and act of repeating lies (in order to transform lies into “truth”) against the Jewish people thus creating the environment that led to the pogrom and the holocaust against the Jewish people.  Motivated by evil, Goebbels “theorized” the intersection between lies and “truth” thus:” If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” This was what happened and which justified the evil of the holocaust against the Jewish people under Hitler. In repeating lies many times directly and through his online pseudonyms such as Wendell Simlin , I do not see a difference between Reno Omokri’s propaganda practice and that of Joseph Goebbels.

But  Mr. Reno Omokri surfacing as Wendell Simlin  should be contexuliased for his Nazi propaganda practice has a trajectory.  For example, the dawn of Mr. Jonathan Goodluck’s presidency  since the election in 2011 coincided with the most virulent, corrosive and frenetic sectionalist and divisive campaign ever in the Nigerian history.

And given the now pre-eminence of the  New Media in the construction and dissemination  of knowledge locally and globally, it is understandable that much of the sectionalist campaigns in defense of and on behalf of  President Jonathan took place online with clear divisive and well targeted sectionalist  slogans organized around sectional and tribal ownership of natural resources which “other” Nigerians are said to be parasitic on by these online campaigners whose political goals tally with those of the Jonathan presidency.

The aggressive but well coordinated nature of this tribal sectionalist campaign  rattled and shocked some of us older Nigerians whose investment in the Nigerian project and unity from below as selfless private citizens is close to a  dogged religious commitment.

Thus, to suddenly wake up and see well oiled and coordinated  ethnic and tribal daggers thrown at such  commitment at unity by online clones and characters clearly linked to the Goodluck Jonathan   presidency  was instructive but cold and chilling for some of us-again older Nigerians who had known no other project than the Nigerian unity project.

Thus, given Mr. Reno Omokri’s signature tune, status and portfolio as presidential assistant on New Media to Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, such aggressive online sectional campaign on behalf  of   President Jonathan was clearly coordinated by him-Mr. Reno Omokri. Given his  unwitting betrayal of this sectionalist agenda through his  linkage to the clone called Wendell Simlin, I ask Mr. Reno Omokri to come out openly and dispute this  deduction including his linkage to Wendell Simlin.

Let me give just one example and discerning readers should go ahead and dig into these sectionalist campaigns  to unravel the “mystery”  and the character behind them. On October 20th 2011, Mr. Reno Omokri tweeted on Boko Haram thus “if they need emergency action then let them produce wealth. The North particularly, the core North are parasites…” It is strange that while Mr. Reno Omokri later denied this 2011 tweet claiming that his account was “hacked”, he has not till the time of writing denied his linkage with Wendell Simlin’s  2014 Nazi propaganda  piece which dubiously linked Mr. Sanusi with Boko Haram killings in FGC Buni, neither has President Jonathan or his government distanced themselves from this obvious Nazi piece.

It is possible that Mr. Reno Omokri is not courageous enough to  deny and refute his linkage with Wendell Simlin because it is impossible to deny what links the two-document Meta data.   Documents Meta data are hard facts and verifiable scientific data  that  can and do  establish an identity. Mr. Omokri needs to engage this.

In view of the obvious linkage of his assistant-Reno Omokri- on New Media to a  clear Nazi propaganda practice, which continues to  deepen divisions in the country, the loud silence of  Mr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency is instructive. Mr. Jonathan has an Internet spy program coordinated by the Israeli company Elbit Security.  This is an area of specialization of his contractor. Questionable as the contract to Elbit Security system is, we are not aware that  President Jonathan stopped this program.

This is why one wonders why the Nigerian presidency has not deemed it fit to ask its spy contractor-Elbit Internet Security  to establish or refute the linkage between Mr. Reno Omokri and Wendell Simlin. That President Jonathan has not done this may show that Elbit  Internet Security System was hired to engage those President Jonathan considers to be his opponents. It may also be that the presidency already knows that Reno Omokri is Wendell Simlin. This is understandable even when it is morally illegitimate.

Therefore,  if the Nigerian presidency does not investigate the linkage between Reno Omokri (its spokesperson on New Media) with the obvious Nazi piece by “Wendell Simlin”, and if the presidency does not distance itself from this piece and Reno Omokri’s manipulations of facts of Nigerian history, then the Nigerian presidency stands complicit  of a piece capable of adding to the  near genocide going on in the North East   of  the country.

The minimum for decency is for President Jonathan to sack Mr. Reno Omokri now for his media practices show that he is an incarnate of Joseph Goebbels, the chief Hitler propagandist on the Nigerian new media.

Adeolu Ademoyo, aaa54@cornell.edu, is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha: The Genealogy of African Kleptocracy, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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In September 2012 when another scandal of the now well known -family run Nigerian corruption –the oil subsidy theft- broke out I wrote an essay published in Premiumtimes titled “Bamangar Tukur, Arisekola Alao, Their Children And Oil Subsidy” In the essay I asked a simple question: “And in the specific sense of children of oil subsidy theft  to what extent are parents of oil subsidy thieving children  culpable? In other words, to what extent are Mr. Bamangar Tukur and Mr. Aríṣekọ́lá Àlàó culpable of the alleged oil subsidy theft of their children?

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/opinion/101075-bamangar-tukur-ari%E1%B9%A3ekola-alao-their-children-and-oil-subsidy-theft-by-adeolu-ademoyo.html

Then and now I believe the parents of oil subsidy thieves and other corrupt Nigerian parents  contribute either vicariously or fully to the  thieving ethics of their children.  My position is based on the view that lineage and family relations sustain Nigerian rogue state such that both children and parents are invested though unequally  in their predatory acts on the Nigerian treasury through corruption.  Some Nigerians disagreed then including one of my good friends a serving  Senator  from the western part of the country.

I refer to the honorable Senator not because I think he has done anything untoward, which I know of. I mention him  for specific reason because if someone like him disagree with the framework that Nigeria is a rogue state    run by a few  thieving families where both children and parents are implicated even though disproportionately, then we are in big moral trouble. Given Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha’s dubious defense of their daddy’s (Sani Abacha) dishonorable  rogue legacy I wonder if the honorable Senator will still stand by his position then.

Today, the same question is applicable to children of rogue heads of state. Our present focus is one of Nigerian rogue heads of state Sani Abacha. Reversing the question is appropriate. But  I am interested in one  question in this essay. The question is : to what extent have Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha’s “rebuttals” prove that their father was not a rogue?

While Nigerians know that the looting of public resources in Nigeria is done on family lines, children of Nigerian rogue families have always been hidden from public glare basically because  most of the times they have been ferried abroad to universities with Nigerian stolen funds only to return and be arranged and recycled  to occupy prized public posts. You may say this is the case of having your cake and eating it.

But the case of Sadiq Abacha and Gumsu Abacha is quite interesting since they have publicly and boldly stepped forward to defend their father’s rogue  and Kleptocratic  legacy. Since the case is already in the public domain, Nigerians have legitimate rights just as Sadiq and Gumsu do  to engage the issue with no holds barred.

Sadiq had responded to one of the Nigerians who pointedly articulated the moral  position of Nigerians against honoring thieves such as Sani Abacha. One of these moral voices is Wole Soyinka.

Sadiq and Gumsu, the junior Abachas have rights under the law to defend the rogue legacy of their father-Abacha Snr.  But more importantly,  with the Abachas, there are certain things here beyond  formal law, which help us understand  their position. Those things are the   “Filial, Kindred Fraternal”-the FKF. In other words being children of  a kleptocrat, there is a Filial,  Kindred and Fraternal basis for them to defend their father.

On FKF as a network of corruption in African states, many scholars have discussed  how the network of theft of public resources and looting of public  treasuries in African societies and other societies by state and non-state persons is sustained by a network of family: Filial, Kindred and Fraternal (FKF) relationships.

An extension of this family sustained  primitive  theft of public resources through a system sustained  by network of blood relatives, which the Abacha Jnrs are shamelessly defending,  is called  “prebendalism”.  Richard  A. Joseph, a professor and former director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, conceptualized this reality.

Richard  Joseph uses the concept to  explain the depth of corruption in Nigeria, which is sustained by a patron-client relationship or neo-patrimonialism. He argues that many people in Nigeria feel they have a “sense of entitlement to the revenues of the Nigerian state. These people include members of ethnic and religious groups, politicians, rulers etc. Joseph wrote “According to the theory of prebendalism, state offices are regarded as prebends that can be appropriated by officeholders, who use them to generate material benefits for themselves and their constituents and kin groups…”[3]

As a result of that kind of patron-client or identity politics, Nigeria has regularly been one of the lowest ranked nations for political transparency by Transparency International in its Corruption Perceptions Index.[4]

So while  the Abacha Jnrs have rights to defend Abacha Snr-their father who used prebendalism to steal over 4 billion dollars of Nigerian resources as head of state, there is no doubt that  their defense of Abacha Snr’s prebendalism shows that Sadiq and Gumsu being beneficiaries of the systematic prebendalism of their father Sani Abacha, they must be well nurtured “junior”  or “baby” “prebendalists” who if given the chance  will repeat and recycle their father’s inglorious legacy of prebendalism, of stealing and looting public resources. This is because for them given what they have written tweeted and published  there is nothing wrong with their father’s prebendalism for prebendalism is self-constituting and self-justifying! Its constituting elements are Filial, Kindred and Fraternal (the FKF) and the logic is family blood, which is said to be  thicker than water.

And this is understandable. Well-oiled family networks sustain corruption in Africa. Please check African dictators and thieves-Idi Amin of Uganda, Muammar Ghaddafi of Libya, Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, Marcias Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, Samuel Doe of Liberia, Jean-Bedel Bokassa  of the Central African Republic, etc.

From the northern part of the continent, during the fall of Ghadaffi,  it is speculated that the network of theft of public resources  in Ghadaffi’s Libya  extended up to Nigeria since  Muammar Ghaddafi himself had kith and kin in the Northern part of Nigeria who are linked to Nigeria thieving family dynasty. This is why  members of the thieving and fleeing Ghaddafi family were  sighted  in the Northern part of the country and given succor locally in Nigeria  after the fall of Ghaddafi. These are facts that are verifiable.  Like Sani Abacha, Muammar Ghaddafi privatized and relocated much of his country’s resources abroad.

Given that corruption in Africa is sustained by the  FKF- relation, “Junior” or “baby”  prebendalists such as Sadiq and Gumsu inherited the proceeds of their father’s prebendalism they must  thus defend him tooth and nail. So a Soyinkaic moral and sharp critique is a major threat to a thieving family legacy. Hence the surviving “baby” prebendalists must fight back  even if illogically. Muammar Ghadaffi’s children did the same in Libya after the fall of their thieving and rogue father.

At this juncture, I invite the  public to the “logic”  of the desperation of the  Abacha “baby” prebendalists as an instance of the things African baby prebendalists do. In doing this a distinction must be drawn between casuistry and logical thinking. Casuistry is a cheat on logic because it uses the appearance of logic to make a presentation when in actual fact there is nothing logical in the presentation.

But we must define our terms strictly and properly as we do this. Validity and soundness are two criteria with which an argument is assessed. This is a universal claim. So the following questions are relevant: In defending his father the senior prebendalist,  did  the baby prebendalist Sadiq  Abacha present an argument? If no, then we stop there. If yes, we ask, is the argument valid? Is it sound? I call baby prebendalist’s presentation casuistry and a cheat on logic because the mere  mentioning of some logical terms means nothing. You have to put those terms together in an argument. Baby prebendalist Sadiq Abacha did not.

Let us take Sadiq Abacha element by element.

He mentioned “Law of Identity”.  We will ignore his muddling through an important tool of thought. In his muddling, he purported to account for the objectivity of facts rather than their relativity. Unfortunately like all prebendalists who suddenly develop amnesia when the fingers are pointed, Sadiq ended relativising facts even when he started out to defend the objectivity of facts.

This are the “fact” the Abacha prebendalist family  wanted Nigerians and Africans to know. Under Sani Abacha’s regime, Nigerian foreign reserve climbed to 9.6 billion dollars in 1998. The following are the facts same Abacha family did not want Nigerians and Africans to know. Under same Sani Abacha regime Nuhu Ribadu said  in London in November 2006, that “Abacha took over $6bn from Nigeria,” and that $2bn of the loot had been recovered. Ribadu repeated the same figure in the same month during the 12th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Guatemela.

Also, recently, Ribadu repeated the same claim in Dakar at the 2nd Annual High Level Dialogue on Governance and Democracy in Africa. As Minister of Finance in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, in 2005 – a year before Ribadu made his claim – at a news conference in Switzerland reportedly said that Nigeria had recovered about $2bn total of asset from Abacha. Today same Mrs. Iweala claimed only $500m was the amount recovered when she was in government. And just last week, the United States government froze 458million dollars of Sani Abacha prebendalist family’s assets abroad.

Let us ignore (I am not saying accept) for the purpose of argument and clarification the usual contradictions among Nigerian ministers and public officials on looted public funds and resources by their fellow class men, women and children, my question is: how did junior prebendalist  Sadiq Abacha “forget” this cold objectivity that his father stole up to 4.3 billion dollars out of which 500m dollars or 2 billion dollars was “recovered” and 458 million dollars are frozen  when Sadiq Abacha was bogusly talking about some “law of identity” in an incoherent and intellectually dubious attempt to account for objectivity of fact?

It seems Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha are uncomfortable with these facts hence they want to relativise them by talking about only AN ASPECT (my father brought foreign reserve to 9.6 billion dollars in 1998) while ignoring THE WHOLE (your father, Sani Abacha stole close to 4.3 billion dollars out of which Nuhu Ribadu said on different occasions that  2 billion was recovered, while the minister for Finance also forgot about this 2 billion and mentioned 500m dollars. And while this was happening the United States government froze about 458million  dollars assets of your prebendalist father. And both you and your prebendalist family are sitting on the unrecoverable part of the Nigerian public money your father stole)

It is intellectually dubious and a moral cheat on fact and logic for Sadiq  Abacha  to purport to talk about objectivity of facts in his incoherent talk about “law of identity” while ending with a relativisation of facts of Nigerian history  in order to suit  the attempt to rehabilitate his disgraced rogue father.  It is only in Nigeria and in Africa that inheritors of a rogue legacy have the moral audacity to talk especially when they are  being honored by  current rogue presidency –Jonathan Goodluck presidency-for the sake of the latter’s political survival.

Law of Excluded Middle.  It seems Sadiq Abacha simply thinks throwing logical terms around implies an argument. The critical thing is that Sadiq’s father Sani Abacha stole close to 4 billion dollars of Nigerian money some of which Sadiq and  Gumsu Abacha and their mother Mrs. Abacha in Kano Northern Nigeria still sit on as inheritors of stolen Nigerian  money. So how does the Law of Excluded Middle disprove this?

If the ill digested reference to the law of excluded middle by “baby” prebendalist  Sadiq Abacha is to show that Soyinka  created the FRSC under Ibrahim Babangida’s regime, the point is how does that ill digested reference show that Sadiq’s father is not a thief? If Sadiq is aiming for an argument this might be one of  the arguments “You Soyinka created FRSC under IBB therefore my father is not a thief..”

Or is it that “You Soyinka created FRSC under IBB, therefore you cannot criticize my thieving father?” Whichever one prebendalist  “logician” Sadiq Abacha  chooses, it is a dead end. Any of my children will throw this out as silly, and incompetent and will say simply “It does not follow-period”, for what logical connection is there between the fact that someone X created FRSC under another thieving dictator –IBB and that (i) either your father-Sani Abacha  is a thief or that (ii) that person cannot  show that your father is a thief?   Again, it is only in Nigeria where education is in complete ruins caused  by  the prebendalism of a few roguish Nigerian families such as the Sani Abacha family that this will make rational “sense”

Law of Contradiction.  I read and re-read Sadiq Abacha’s  inchoate and ill digested allusion to law of contradiction to see if he  Sadiq Abacha understood what it means, I could not see  that  his post showed any understanding of what this means in the context of the rogue legacy of his dear father. The principal issue is the Kleptocratic  character of someone called Sani Abacha. Now suppose it is  claimed that X a person called Soyinka contradicts himself, my question is:  how does that show that a person called Sani Abacha is not a thief?

But  given that Sani Abacha father  belongs to the conclave of Nigerian rogue families who use the Filial-Kindred-Fraternal as a network of prebendalism to loot, it will be legitimate to say that we should  talk about all the Nigerian rogue families-both known and unknown, both past and present- who steal public funds and use the proceeds to set up their children both at home and abroad  just like  rogue father Sani Abacha did for Sadiq and  Gumsu Abacha.

But to suggest that an ill digested notion of law of contradiction   proves that   Sani Abacha is not a rogue must be a serious display of casuistry and a basic cheat on reason.  Again, it is only in an African “intellectual” terrain where education is in tatters that this will make rational “sense”. In other words, it does not follow. You have not and  cannot use your mere mentioning of a law of thought to prove that  your father Sani Abacha was not a rogue, which he was.

Into the middle of the essay, Sadiq Abacha appealed to emotions and pity by asking Nigerians to come together. My question is : come together for what when Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha  as  children of a rogue are sitting pretty fat on  the unrecovered and unrecoverable (given the way their rogue father must have dodged the funds) Nigerian public fund? Sadiq and Gumsu  need to look Nigerians straight in the face and disclose the locations of the rest of Nigerian money their rogue father took out and must have placed in their care.

Deliberately for the  purpose of an argument and clarity, I put it out there that my  own children and their mother  are not inheritors of stolen Nigerian public funds and will never be for I will never touch public funds like Sani Abacha did. Let every Nigerian parent say the same. Having said this I ask pointedly if  Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha will expect Nigerian children  who are not beneficiaries of stolen funds like them to sit down with them and children of other Nigerian rogue families  from all Nigerian ethnic groups and talk while these inheritors, these baby prebendalists  are sitting fat  on stolen public funds?

To Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha and other children of Nigerian rogue families, what will Nigerian children who are not inheritors  and beneficiaries of stolen public funds say to you and your children who are inheritors and beneficiaries of a rogue legacy and stolen public funds in such morally dubious  call of “coming together”? Let us pat one another on the shoulder “forget” the past while you sit on stolen funds and move on?  What will children who are not inheritors of stolen public money, who are not baby prebendalists   say to children of Nigerian rogue families, baby prebendalists in such “coming together”?

And for those who may say that this is too much, I retort without any apology that  the failure to be blunt with ourselves is the core of the moral failure in public governance in Nigeria and in Africa

Now I have a simple last conclusion. Hypothetically speaking as we say in an argument, suppose all what Sadiq Abacha  claim in his  reference to the laws of thought are true, what validly follow? In general does it follow that their  father –Sani Abacha-was not a rogue?  In specific terms does it follow that it is wrong to talk about one rogue,  one prebendalist –Sani Abacha and not all  Nigerian rogues  and  prebendalists?

The point is that  shocked  by the sharp moral rejection of their father’s thieving legacy and prebendalism by most Nigerians who still believe in the possibility of a morally just Nigeria, the baby prebendalists  Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha needed to tweet and  shift the conversation.  And the way they have done that is to again conduct another form of cheating. This time it is  a cheat on logic, reality, and historical and empirically verifiable facts of Nigerian history. They attempted to cheat on the laws of thought. But the laws of thought are what they are. They are un-amenable to the new cheating of the junior prebendalists of a rogue legacy such as that of Sani Abacha. Sadiq and Gumsu Abacha should therefore look for another way to cheat.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Jonathan’s Canonization of Dictatorship, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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President Goodluck Jonathan put ash and dirt in the mouths of Nigerians when for reasons of his own political survival recently  “canonized” Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha.

Post-civil war Nigeria, the regime of Ibrahim Babangida effectively marked the commencement of the combination of the official institutionalization of corruption and state sponsored political assassinations by state persons and non-state persons.  The high point of this culture of state sponsored assassination was the death of Dele Giwa in October 19 1986 under the watch of Ibrahim Babangida.

The following ex-military operatives  Cols.  Haliru Akilu and A.K.  Togun both Director and Deputy Director of Directorate of Military Intelligence   under Ibrahim Babangida on one hand and Major  Debo Bashorun former Chief Press secretary to Ibrahim Babangida know the linkage between the then head of state General Babangida and Dele Giwa’s death.

Dele Giwa died of parcel bomb from the Nigerian military on October 19 1986. Shortly after his death Col A.K. Togun gave an interview to airport correspondents on October 27, 1986 where he said of Dele Giwa’s death ”…one person cannot come out to blackmail us. I am an expert in blackmail. I can blackmail very well. I studied propaganda so no one person can come and blackmail us after an agreement…”.  My questions are: which agreement? And between who and who, with who?

Using a traffic metaphor A.K. Togun further said  a cyclist was driving dangerously and he was warned but he refused  the warning. While driving dangerously, the cyclist was knocked down by a motorist. Col Togun asked: why must we blame the motorist? My questions are: who was the cyclist? Who was the motorist Col. Togun talked about in 1986?

After the death of Dele Giwa,  under pressure, Ibrahim Babangida set up a panel to “investigate” Dele Giwa’s   death. The panel was headed by the then Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Jimeta. Col. Haliru Akilu, Col Togun’s boss at the Directorate of Military Intelligence was a member of that panel. Untouched, the report of that panel is in the dustbin of Nigerian history. These happened under “Saint” Ibrahim Babangida as head of state who Mr. Goodluck Jonathan recently “canonized” .

As a witness to the truth of that deadly period of Nigerian history I will like to know if President Jonathan asked for the Mohammed Gambo Jimeta panel report of the death of Dele Giwa before he Jonathan  “canonized”  Ibrahim Babangida.

After the election of June 12 1993 won by MKO Abiola, disgraced and under pressure Ibrahim Babangida handed the  evil torch of death and power  to Sani Abacha who then became the new head of state. Under Sani Abacha, the culture of corruption,  theft of public money, graft and political assassination was deepened. Nigerians who resisted the cancelation of the results of the June 12 1993 elections were murdered on the streets.  Many  fled to exile.

Professor Wole Soyinka has rightly described the award given to Sani Abacha as the “canonization of terror”. Vintage Soyinka, he  spoke the minds of Nigerians.  Nigerian children both at home and in the Diaspora this is the basis of  Wole Soyinka’s apt moral voice. Sani Abacha, Nigerian military head of state 1993-1998 (among others who are not known during the nature of that sad period)  killed the following who are known: 10 Ogoni leaders including  Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995, Pa Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola.

Contrary to the brute data of Nigerian history, in canonizing terror for his own political survival and fortunes, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan said among other things that  “Mr. Abacha oversaw an increase in the country’s foreign exchange reserves from $494 million in 1993 to $9.6 billion by the middle of 1997; and reduced the external debt of Nigeria from $36 billion in 1993 to $27 billion in 1997… reduced an inflation rate of 54 per cent inherited from the Ibrahim Babangida administration to 8.5 per cent between 1993 and 1998, while the nation’s primary commodity, oil, was at an average of $9 per barrel…”

After reading Goodluck Jonathan eulogy on Sani Abacha I am inclined to ask what other things  heads of state do and  if what Goodluck Jonathan said  is all about the brute data of Nigerian history of the Sani Abacha period. If Goodluck Jonathan is right, then let the world put Adolf Hitler, the Nazi on the hall of fame in United Nations.

It is strange how Mr. Jonathan could  talk economics without ethics and honor. If according to Jonathan Sani Abacha regime “oversaw an increase in Nigerian foreign exchange from $494m in 1993 to $9.6b in 1997”  which was his job as a coup plotter who became president, it is on record that the Nigerian state recovered $500m stolen money from the same Sani Abacha, his children and wife.

The operating word here is “recover” which means that is not all what Sani Abacha stole as Nigerian head of state. If it is on  a factual state record (not an allegation) that $500m was recovered from Sani Abacha, his children and wife, then Sani Abacha was a thief who stole Nigerian money. This is the same thief Jonathan has “canonized”.

If the Nigerian state recovered $500m from Sani Abacha’s children and wife, it is reasonable to assume that  there is more in the hands of Sani Abacha’s surviving children, wife and political acolytes. So what is the basis of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan’s  eulogy of Sani Abacha in “canonizing” him that he increased Nigeria’s foreign exchange which was supposed to be his job anyway if  Sani Abacha thought he has one.

To put it plainly,  Mr. Goodluck Jonathan must have a miserable sense of honor and ethics if one of his predecessors –Sani Abacha –stole over $1 billion(if $500m was recovered) or $4.3b as widely reported and documented while the same Jonathan lauded this thief of a president for increasing Nigerian foreign exchange to $9.6b. In simple arithmetic   if over $500m was officially recovered from Sani Abacha, his children and wife,  and if there is at least a balance of $500m in their hands then Sani Abacha stole  at least 5%  or more of Nigerian foreign exchange  of $9.6b , the figure he was said to have brought the foreign exchange to from 1993-1997. The unofficial figure of what Sani Abacha stole is put at $4.3b.

In contrast to the picture of Sani Abacha, which Mr. Goodluck  Jonathan painted in “canonizing” him, I present an alternative history of this period. Please read this:

“Nigerian police have recovered a stash of gold and diamond jewellery worth thousands of pounds from robbers who targeted a home of the country’s most notorious former dictator. Officials in arid Kano, in northern Nigeria, said four men swiped $125,000 (£77,000) of jewellery last year – a staggering 20m naira in local currency, or 100 years’ income for the average Nigerian – after raiding one of many sprawling, lavish homes of the former military ruler Sani Abacha. “We are still investigating. Not all the stolen jewellery has even been recovered,” said a Kano police inspector, Ibrahim Idris, as officials displayed a glittering pile that included two dozen gold necklaces and some 40 pairs of gold earrings. The greed of Abacha, who ruled for five years after a 1993 coup, shocked even Nigerians used to plundering on a grand scale. He is believed to have stolen $4.3bn while in office. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/05/nigeria-sani-abacha-jewellery-police)

No doubt Mr. Goodluck Jonathan is fighting a frantic  last-ditch battle of his life to get re-elected in 2015. In this process history,  truth, honor and ethics  become endangered and  casualty in his hand. In particular they become  tools in his hands to twist, muddle and  garner support for his re-election.

So canonizing  thieves and  murderers as a form of political appeasement is part of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan’s strategy for his re-election bid in 2015. This canonization represents the continuous low moral point in Nigerian history.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Sanusi’s Suspension and the Limits of Hasty Judgment, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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With the “suspension” from office of Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, the question of the lack of reason and law   had again been centered in Nigerian public governance. Like the case of the former Court of Appeal President Justice Ayọ Salami, President Jonathan again displayed his preference for illegality and unreason.

But President Jonathan is not the problem. The problem is the argument Mr. Jonathan’s defenders and aides advance to back this clear assault on the country’s collective sense of reason. It is such defenders that embolden unreason, illegality and impunity in the affairs of the country.  One of these is Mr. Mike Ozekhome.

As a Nigerian and as lawyer I submit that Mr. Ozekhome and others in this mode of reasoning who subscribe to this clear unreason and illegality   have right to their views. However, it is that same right that invites and justifies a rational interrogation in the public domain of their clear hasty judgment and rationalization of Mr. Sanusi’s “suspension”.

For example, Mike Ozekhome reportedly argued that President Jonathan’s “suspension” of Mr. Sanusi is legal. He backed this up thus:  “Constitutionally and legally, what President Jonathan did was correct. He does not require the consent of the National Assembly to do so (sic)…Anyone who is an employee has to know that he is answerable to his employer. You cannot bite the finger that feeds you (sic)…The Nigerian Constitution and the CBN Act give the President the authority to suspend or remove the Governor of the CBN,”

Mike Ozekhome and others in this frame of thinking gave other non-legal, emotive and purely subjective reasons for their claim. I will endeavor to quote Ozekhome who gave succinctness to this unreason or bread and butter “finger, food and feed” public service “ethics”.

Ozekhome submitted that: “You cannot bite the finger that feeds you… Mr. Sanusi had deviated from his primary duty of leading the apex bank to the path of monetary stability. A governor of a Central Bank in any part of the world should be seen and not heard… In Nigeria, what we have is a CBN governor that has been fighting the government of his country.”

Therefore, what follows?  On this moral code even where your feeder is committing an unreason and illegality, but since your feeder feeds you, you must abide by your feeder’s illegality and unreason. So the justification for the “correctness” of a feeder’s illegality against the one he is feeding is food, just food and feeding bottle and feeding finger.

Ozekhome is a known lawyer. While making known his personal views on legal matters the least one expects from a lawyer who is speaking on a constitutional issue of grave importance to a country with a potential for leadership in Africa and the world is to cite the section of the constitution that supports both his “constitutional” arguments and his personal, emotive and subjective arguments.  Sadly, Mr. Mike Ozekhome did not do this.

I invite Nigerians who are still committed to the rational and lawful path to check the CBN Act (See “Sanusi’s Suspension as CBN Governor: What the law States” Premiumtimes February 20, 2014), which provides the legal and rational basis for the tenure of a CBN governor. This section is pertinent. Under Section 11 of CBN Act:

“A person shall not remain a Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank if he is  a,b,c,d,e and

…. (f) Is removed by the President:

Provided that the removal of the Governor shall be supported by two thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed.”

The operating word is “remove”. The Nigerian people, state and presidency can live with whatever impunity and unreason they allow. But these are grave times. Therefore, for the records and future of our children who will read this, we must proceed with the rational interpretation from an independent, non-Nigerian but universal source. That source is a common English language use. And the external criterion is the English language dictionary.

This is the account of “remove” from an ordinary English language standpoint: (1) take (something) away or off from the position occupied, (2) take off (3) eliminate or get rid of (4) dismiss from a job or office  (5) detach, unfasten; pull out, take out, disconnect (6) take out, produce, bring out, get out, pull out, withdraw (7) take away, carry away, move, transport; confiscate; cart off (8) discharge, dislodge, displace, expel, oust, depose; fire, sack, kick out, boot out (9) withdraw, abolish, eliminate, get rid of, do away with, (10) delete, erase, rub out, cross out, strike out, obliterate (11)  pull out, eradicate (12)  cut off, chop off, lop off, hack off.

So the question is: Is President Jonathan removing Mr. Sanusi from office? If so he shares the power of removal with the country’s national assembly according to the law and ordinary meaning of “remove”. But he has not shared that constitutional power. Perhaps, this is why he used the word “suspend” rather than “remove”. So he has “suspended” Mr. Sanusi as CBN Governor, he has not “removed” him.  But how could you have  “suspended” or not have “removed” and you are submitting the name of a new CBN Governor to the parliament as Mr. Jonathan has done?

You cannot have a “suspended” CBN Governor and a substantive CBN Governor except your “suspension” is fully loaded and coded as “remove”! The two cannot co-exist at the same time in rational context and civilized climes. Their being made to co-exist is against common sense. But they can co-exist in Nigeria for Nigerian governments and Presidents are not known for rational and civilized values that are taken for granted as norms in civilized societies.

The same dictionary the basis of a common rational understanding gives the following as account of “to suspend”  (1) temporarily prevent from continuing or being in force or effect (2) officially prohibit (someone) from holding their usual post or carrying out their usual role for particular length of time (3) defer or delay.

From an ordinary non-political and therefore non-Nigerian but universal meaning of “to suspend” the CBN Act does not support Mr. Goodluck Jonathan’s action in “suspending” Mr. Sanusi as the CBN Governor. Hence, Mr. Jonathan and his defenders have to search for new grounds upon which to base the “suspension”.

Of course Mr. Jonathan as the typical Nigerian president as   all Nigerian presidents often do can and do act outside the law and reason. This is where Ozekhome’s “you do not bite the fingers that feed you” become pertinent.  Outside the failure to cite any legal provision that justifies Mr. Jonathan’s act, the “you do not bite the fingers that feed you’ “ethics” becomes the basis for Mr. Jonathan’s action.

It is morally shocking though that a country will base the “suspension” of its Central Bank Governor on the “you do not bite the finger that feeds you” “ethics” of you did not play ball with the president, therefore you have to go.

So the following questions are relevant. Did Mr. Jonathan withhold “disciplinary” action against Mr. Sanusi before now because he, Mr. Sanusi did not bite the finger that fed him and actually fed the finger that fed him? Is Mr. Jonathan deploying “disciplinary” measures now because Mr. Sanusi has now bit the finger that fed him and stopped feeding the finger that fed him?

The situations of other ministers who served and are still serving under Mr. Jonathan are relevant. Was Mr. Jonathan reluctant in initially asking Mrs. Stella Oduah to leave because Stella Oduah did not bite the finger that fed her and was actually allegedly feeding the finger that fed her ?

Also, Nigerians know that Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke the petroleum minister is deeply involved in allegation of corruption in the oil industry and NNPC under her watch. For this reason a Ribadu Task Force on the Oil Industry was once set up.  The report was duly submitted to President Jonathan but who quietly threw the Ribadu report away. So, is Mr. Jonathan shielding Diezani Alison-Madueke because she has not bit the finger that feeds her and because she is actually allegedly feeding back the finger   that feeds her .

Since the break of the news of the fraud and clear theft in NNPC by the Nigerian state and non-state persons under the active watch and connivance of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke as Petroleum minister, one has been baffled and sad to see otherwise respected personal friends who are fairly experienced lawyers in Nigeria and known perhaps in the past for their respect for and defense of law and human rights but who now today speak   from both sides of the aisles and perhaps mouths.

So, Mr. Ozekhome’s collapse to extreme emotivism and subjectivism in his reference of ‘“You cannot bite the finger that feeds you… In Nigeria, what we have is a CBN governor that has been fighting the government of his country” as a defense of his rationalization of Sanusi’s “suspension” reminds one of the “come and chop” Nigerian politics which was branded by PDP in more contemporary times.

Mr. Ozekhome’s “finger, food and feed” metaphor reminds one of the reference of the late PDP politician –Mr. Sunday Afọlabi- to the radical posture of Mr. Bọla Ige who though belonged to a different party but agreed to serve under the then head of state-Mr. Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ.

Coming from a more liberal progressive political tradition, the late Bọla Ige took a radical opposition to the conservative and corrupt PDP policies. Alarmed at and uncomfortable with such radical posture of Bọla Ige to a government of his own party-PDP-Mr. Sunday Afọlabi said “Bọla Ige “was invited to come and eat” therefore his radical stance on PDP government policies was unacceptable.

The defenders of Mr. Jonathan in the case of the “suspension” of Mr. Sanusi need to know that the “you were invited to come and eat” and  “finger, food and feed” metaphor as the un-ethical basis of public service is the major setback for the delivery of quality governance in Nigeria and in Africa.  To make such claim as part of the ground for the “suspension” of a CBN Governor shows a continuation of the sad and grim days of bad governance and moral failure of service delivery in Nigeria.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Fallacy of Division and Nigerian Corrupt Ministers, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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Last week four Nigerian ministers were relieved of their services. Some of them had been pointedly accused of corruption.  They are Stella Oduah (Aviation), Godsday Orubebe (Niger Delta Affairs), Caleb Olubolade (Police Affairs) and Yerima Ngama (Finance).

Interestingly, from the relieve, it seems the “national quota” and  “ethics” of “federal” character commission are at work!  Thus the question is: will it ever be possible for a Nigerian president to take the morally right decision as each corrupt case arises without “balancing” it with some ethnic consideration? Time will tell.

Corruption is a universal poor ethics. It is not peculiar to Nigeria or Africa, nor is it genetic or ethnic. However two things are Nigerian about corruption. They are failure of the Nigerian state to act decisively and prosecute corruption and the deliberate ethnic muddling of corruption cases by common folks in Nigeria and     especially those in surprisingly “high” places.

The supposedly “well read” Nigerian would normally waive the ethnic flag when officials they think are from “our” ethnic group are accused of corruption!  That was the case with some of the recently sacked ministers and those ministers President Jonathan continues to protect and shield for reasons of his own personal economic interests and political survival.

Here I am talking about Ms. Diezani Alison-Madueke the   corrupt minister of petroleum who sits on the most reported corruption in Nigerian history in the so-called Nigerian oil industry. I am sure Stella Oduah must be chuckling cynically at Nigeria and her sack while the main source of corruption in the Nigerian presidency Diezani Alison-Madueke is jealously guarded by an equally corrupt president!

At the time President Jonathan was “sacking” some corrupt ministers without prosecuting them, here in the Diaspora something similar and morally instructive unfolded. The former Mayor of New Orleans in Louisiana State, Mr. Nagin was being convicted for corruption charges.

And far away in Europe, the 28-member country European Commission released a report, which indicted corrupt European countries. The Commission’s Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecelia Malmstrom, described the findings of the report on European corruption as breathtaking because under European graft and corruption   €120bn are lost annually to corrupt practices and shady deals. Also, in the report we know that 60 per cent of Europeans say that corruption has increased in their countries as opposed to 47 per cent three years ago.

These continental cases show that corruption does not have any ethnic coloration, which Nigerians deliberately give it to muddle the issue and defend the corrupt. Take Mr. Nagin’s case in America for example. Remember hurricane Katrina where lives   were  lost?  As the mayor during that sad period of hurricane Katrina, Mr. Nagin was the face of the call for help and succor that came to the survivors of the hurricane. It was the same sadness and grief which hurricane Katrina brought that Mr. Nagin allegedly turned into a source to milk the American public through abuse of his office.

The interesting thing is that Mayor Nagin is black like me. But there was not a single reference to his race or ethnicity in his prosecution and conviction. In his case there was no fallacy of  division  where it would have been awkwardly and dubiously   said that Mr. Nagin was being prosecuted because of his race or ethnicity.

That Mr. Nagin is corrupt  does not mean that we  peoples of African descent   are corrupt.  No one referenced his blackness, race or ethnic origin  in his prosecution and eventual conviction.

Legitimately, in Mr. Nagin’s conviction  it was  all about law and ethics.  Shame and jail are the prices  the corrupt individual  pays for his/her corruption. So Mr. Nagin goes to jail like any other corrupt persons black or white or whatever. But this is not the case with respect to my country, Nigeria. Abuja, New Orleans, two cities, different ethics.

In Nigeria, it is duly documented for all eyes to see that Ms. Stella Oduah was one of the major funding sources  of President Jonathan’s campaign in the last election.  This is a fact that  the most fervent defenders of President Jonathan cannot refute. The organization Neighbor 2 Neighbor owned by the sacked  Stella Oduah  and Godwin Orubebe was one of the illicit conduit pipes for the support for President Jonathan in the last election.

So it is silly that when the story of Mrs. Stella Oduah’s corruption   broke religion and ethnicity were deployed in her defense.  Like the case of Mr. Nagin, those who accused   Stella Oduah  took her on  as an individual who allegedly abused her office  to her own  personal benefit, the companies she has interest in  and to the benefit of  her  political sponsors in the Nigerian presidency and the companies like Coscharis  Motors-they are invested in.

But unfortunately like most Nigerian  politicians if not all of them, Stella Oduah and her handlers  muddled the issue.  Behind the scene, like  the typical Nigerian politician, they deployed ethnicity.  It was so bad and ridiculous that chiefs and ethnic organizations   were lined up  to show how she is innocent.

I  do hope that these chiefs, persons ,ethnic organizations  and Oduah handlers who openly said Stella Oduah was being prosecuted for ethnic reasons will have the good sense to rethink their bad faith and breadth-   given how intensely corrupt Stella Oduah  has proven to be.

But the problem goes beyond Stella Oduah.  Diversity is a good ethics in multinational societies, which our country, Nigeria is.  However, when officials/ministers/commissioners are appointed principally  as representatives of ethnic groups and not for their moral merit, then it is no longer about the goodness of the pragmatism of the  ethics of  diversity but  an un-ethical political appeasement. The dubious and immoral  ethnic then trumps otherwise good  pragmatic ethics.  This is why corrupt ministers and their companies appeal to the ethnic when  they are caught pants down.

Finally, here in America, companies which are  cited sites of corruption that are used by pubic officials to perpetuate corruption are made to  inherit the opprobrium of the same corrupt  public officials who used them to loot. But this not  the case in  Nigeria.  Companies like  Coscharis Motors who are cited sites of corruption go scot-free even when public officials that collaborated with them are sacked for corruption!

But as corrupt public officials fall, companies they have used to steal must go down with them. The EFCC must beam its searching lights on  companies that are cited sites of corruption like Coscharis Motors.

Like all immorality corruption is a teamwork, it is a network. To take out a few individuals while leaving the network  will only  re-grow corruption and strengthen it.

So, this is the time to ask Coscharis Motors and other companies, which are, cited sites of corruption to come clean and inform us about what they know in the looting and moral destruction of Nigeria.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

 

Government Shut Down: From Obama to Jonathan, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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The attempt by the All Progressives Peoples Congress-APC to slow down the   passage of the 2014 budget as a democratic tool to extract commitment on the part of the ruling party-PDP- to respect the Nigerian constitution on questions of liberty, freedom and more economic good for Nigerians    has been likened to the situation last year when the Republican party in the US shut down the democratic party led government of President Barack Obama. Given the false analogy commentators are drawing between the two, the question is:  are the two situations the same?

Two issues were and are still at stake when the Republican Party shut down the democratic government of President Barack Obama.  They are substantive questions of ethics and democracy.  President Barak Obama’s health care program popularly called Obamacare is the ethical issue. The democratic issue is the constitutional duty of the American Congress over the executive.

By constitutionally and democratically expanding the scope of the number of Americans who will have access to basic healthcare the Obamacare commits the American state and society to a more holistic health care for Americans. For this reason the Obamacare as a policy has become a moral issue. To use Congressional power to block or slow down the implementation of Obamacare as the Republican Party did last year during the budget gridlock is also to raise a moral question.

The democratic issue is that under the American constitution, it is constitutional for the American Congress to use its power to audit and inspect the policies of the executive. This is a constitutional power we all know and accept in America. It has nothing to do with which party is in power or with which party has the majority in the Congress. Like we say: It is about the constitution.

So the face off between President Obama and the Congress last year produced the clash between the ethical commitment of the American constitution and state on one hand and its democratic commitment on the other hand. Thus the question is: Is it undemocratic to uphold the ethical commitment of the American state and constitution as the democratic party government of President Obama has done with the Obamacare or is it unethical to uphold the democratic commitment of the American state and constitution as the Republican Party led Congress did?  Like all issues most if not all American citizens took position for or against this issue.

Therefore, to argue that the Nigerian and American situations are the same is to draw a false analogy.  President Jonathan’s PDP led government is not upholding nor is he defending a moral or democratic position such that it becomes questionable constitutionally for the Nigerian House of Representative to slow him down or block the passage of his budget.  On the other hand, President Jonathan’s led PDP government is engaged in undemocratic and morally questionable acts such that it becomes a legitimate constitutional issue to use the power of the Nigerian Parliament to call his attention to these acts.

Let us look at the issues. The House argued that there is a Fiscal Responsibility Act, which guides the submission of the budget to the House by the President.  Under this Act the 31 agencies, which include the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, are required to submit their budgets to the National Assembly through the Finance Ministry. The question is whether this is part of the due process under the law and constitution for the submission of the budget to the House. If it is the law, then there is a reason in the eye and wisdom of the constitution and its makers why it is made part of the law. It therefore must be upheld if it is the law.

But the political anarchy, impunity and the use of state power to violate the law openly are subtexts to the threatened government shut down in Nigeria.  The anarchy in Rivers state is one example.  The PDP and the loyalists of President Jonathan and his wife Mrs. Patience Jonathan have been fingered as the primary causes of this anarchy. The Nigerian Police, which ought to be neutral in all crisis situations, has been found to be openly partisan in favor of President Jonathan and his supporters. A fall out is the transfer of Mr. Mbu; the erstwhile Rivers state police commissioner who is perceived to be acting out a script on behalf of Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

It is the questionable part of Nigerian politics that wife of a President vicariously gets involved in actual act of governance either at the federal level or at the local level of state.  But the point is that the anarchy in Rivers state and other parts of Nigeria   has become part of the conversation of the debate of the 2014 Nigerian budget. The APC majority House has asked Mr. Goodluck Jonathan to call his loyalists to order in Rivers state and let peace reign otherwise it will slow down the passage of the budget.

So in the Nigerian case there is just one question. And the question is: Is it constitutional and democratic for the House of Representatives to use its powers of budgetary auditing and control to ask President Jonathan’s government and party to respect the constitution in Rivers state on one hand and elsewhere and the Fiscal Responsibility Act on the other hand?

And if indeed the Fiscal Responsibility Act is an inherent part of the due process in passing the budget, a failure to uphold it becomes more fatal for it further raises serious two ethical questions because the question of a Responsibility Act is an ethical one.  The ethical questions are: Is it ethical for President Jonathan and his government to have submitted the budget in violation of an ethical due process by failing to uphold the Fiscal Responsibility Act? And is it not constitutional and lawful for the House of Representatives to ask President Jonathan and his government to follow the ethical due process in submitting his budget proposal?

Finally, if it is constitutional for the House of Representatives to pass the budget in deference to a moral act which the Fiscal Responsibility Act is, then the House of Representatives would be violating the law and Nigerians if it passes the budget in disregard to this Act. Therefore to slow down the budget passing process will be lawful and ethical because it would be   in due and lawful deference to a moral Act and the constitution.

This is why it is a false analogy to liken President Jonathan to President Obama because the Nigerian situation is not the same as the American situation.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Al Mustapha, the Apostle Paul, and Nigerian Parenting, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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Parenting is the greatest gift we can hand over to society in our world today, for the home is the morning of the human adult.  This is why, having straddled home and Diaspora, and given what we take to be the challenges to the moral health of children in contemporary society, my wife and I take very seriously our roles as parents.

Thus, one cannot but feel apprehensive when Hamzat Al Mustapha said he was setting up an NGO called Al-Mustapha Peace, Unity, Development Initiative, APUDI- (Premiumtimes January 26 2014).

According to the story, Hamzat Al Mustapha’s NGO will cater to the “ needs” of the youths. Trust Nigeria, very soon Hamzat Al Mustapha’s NGO will be awashed with millions of naira-cash! Hamzat Al Mustapha will also be invited to “present” “papers” as an NGO resource person!  The question therefore compels a response: what did this man do in the past? And given his pedigree, what will he do now to Nigerian children and youths?

There is a legitimate basis to be apprehensive about the contact any assassin suspect or known person with morally, psychologically and socially questionable pedigree is going to have with our youths. This is because the moral character of children is the greatest gift any society can bequeath itself.

For those who are wondering why this position is necessary, I have this to say. General Sani Abacha was the Nigerian head of state between 1993 when he took power after the cancelation of the June 12 elections won by MKO Abiola and June 8 1998 when he died. Under Sani Abacha 9 Ogoni environmental activists including the famous Nigerian writer Ken Saro Wiwa were unjustifiably slaughtered. This was the period of military dictatorship when Nigerian democrats were hacked down to death in the cold hands of military goons such as Hamzat Al Mustapha.

 Hamzat Al Mustapha was then the chief security office of General Sani Abacha. Together with Ismaila Gwarzo Sani Abacha’s Security Adviser, Frank Omenka of the then deadly Directorate of Military Intelligence, as the chief security officer of Sani Abacha, Hamzat Al Mustapha is a major suspect in the death of many Nigerian democrats including Kudirat Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane and hundreds of others who died or were driven into exile.

Of course Hamzat Al Mustapha has denied that he participated in the massive hacking to death of Nigerian democrats during the military dictatorship of his boss General Sani Abacha. Even a court of law under the political influence- according to Dauda Birma, a former minister and a PDP politician- of the Nigerian state and President Jonathan has judicially freed him of guilt.

So if Hamzat Al Mustapha is right that he is innocent, then confessed state assassin such as Barnabas Jabila (a.k.a Sgt Rogers who confessed they killed Nigerian democrats including Kudirat Abiola) does not exist. But if these confessed assassins exist, and they at a time hacked Nigerian democrats to death, then according to Hamzat Al Mustapha’s alleged “innocence” these state assassins acted on their own   in murdering Nigerian democrats. Or worse still perhaps Nigerian democrats who were murdered died in the hands of petty criminals or thieves. In other words Kudirat Abiola and other democrats  were not killed by the sponsored assassins of Nigerian state under the supervision of suspects like Hamzat Al Mustapha, Ismaila Gwarzo, and Frank Omenka. Rather Kudirat Abiola must have been killed by some common criminals. It is not difficult to dismiss this fiction, this  fairy tale.

There are those who may want to defend Hamzat Al Mustapha in making a case for his NGO to “cater” for youths by appealing to the biblical Saul the Christian persecutor who became Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ.  In this regard, their argument would be that Hamzat Al Mustapha has suffered enough, he is penitent, and he should be left with his NGO for Nigerian children as a form of his atonement.

It is true that the conversion of Saul the persecutor of Christians to Paul the apostle of the Christian faith is one of the greatest conversions in the history of theism, faith and human society.  However, the truth of Saul’s conversion to Paul the apostle of goodness and Christian faith says nothing about the life and times of assassin suspect like Hamzat Al Mustapha such that we are unable to allow him touch our children.

There is a moral agency in us humans when we are involved in conversion from badness to goodness.  That moral agency inclines us to admit our errors and ask for forgiveness before God, Human and Society. This was the case with Saul the persecutor’s conversion to Paul the apostle of Christ. This why Paul today in Christian faith and theology remains one of the finest if not the finest witness to the truth of theism and faith from an ordinary non-angelic human point of view. He witnessed the faith and wrote as a common folk on the street of Oṣodi or Ọjọta, Lagos with no claim to being pure and above human.

On the contrary Hamzat Al Mustapha has not shown that he has any moral agency that will make him admit his errors and those of his dictator-boss –General Sani Abacha. Therefore, he has not asked for forgiveness from Nigerians. Rather backed by the Nigerian state under President Jonathan he carries on with impunity with which his contemporary state sponsors are known.  Backed by the present Nigerian state he turned the ethics of conversion from badness to goodness    upside down on its head by dubiously claiming he the suspect forgives Nigerians.

Hamzat Al Mustapha’s failure to admit to his own heinous crimes under the military dictatorship of his boss General Sani Abacha is the reason Nigerian parents must be very careful with Hamzat Al Mustapha.  To allow Nigerian youths go near Hamzat Al Mustapha and his NGO is to put Nigerian children under the tutelage of an unrepentant and deadly assassin suspect. It is more dangerous and deadly for society when such suspect is backed by the Nigerian state under the present regime. Nigerian parents must be very careful.

Hamzat Al Mustapha’s case is no conversion.  His NGO-Al-Mustapha Peace, Unity, Development Initiative, APUDI- must be seen as   a public relations package to screen off and hide the sickening face of one of the most sinful and evil period of military dictatorship in Nigeria and Africa-the Ibrahim Babangida/Sani Abacha military dictatorship. Hamzat Al Mustapha remains who he is until he admits to his heinous crime and evil before God, Human and Nigerian society.

I maintain this position in the name of truth and the dead who no longer can wake up to bear witness to this evil period.  We, by divine grace hold those who died during this evil period of Nigerian history a duty and shall continue to discharge that moral duty of bearing witness until we ourselves are called eternally.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Of Snipers, Unresolved Murders, and All That, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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After former Nigerian president-Mr. Oluṣẹgun Ọbasanjọ- made the allegation that the government of President Jonathan keeps snipers and has a list of 1000 Nigerians under watch, the Nigerian Human Rights Commission announced its preparedness to investigate state sponsored assassinations in the country.

While this is welcome, a successful outcome of the Commission’s work depends on many unresolved questions. These will make anyone to be skeptical of what the Commission can achieve.

 Shortly after the gruesome murder of Bọla Ige, Professor Wọle Ṣoyinka observed that the PDP keeps a nest of killers.  Mr. Oluṣẹgun Ọbasanjọ was then the head of state.

Though, Bọla Ige’s death has not been resolved, there are allegations which are yet to be proved that some known politician in the western part of the country, who later became a PDP Senator, may have information on the circumstances of Bọla Ige’s death.

That same Senator is now embedded in one of the Afẹnifẹre groups, which recently paid a solidarity visit to President Jonathan to show support for his national conference.

So with respect to Mr. Ọbasanjọ’s allegation of snipers, and Ṣoyinka’s observation that PDP has a nest of killers, it is up to Ọbasanjọ to inform us what he and his PDP know about Bọla Ige’s death particularly this PDP Senator.

Nigeria runs an informal state where documentation and quantification are deliberately made fuzzy by state operatives to entrench abuses and to make it impossible to detect them when they occur.  This is why many cases of corruption fizzle out immediately the whistle blower exposes them.

Given this informal nature of the Nigerian state, most important decisions and actions that affect the people are done informally. And that includes the deployment of assassins after political opponents. These are stealthy, covert, infernal and deadly operations that become sophisticated when backed by the might of the Nigerian state.

So formally, we may not know about Bọla Ige’s death. But informally, given the informal nature of the Nigerian state, somebody knows, because it happened under the watch of Mr. Ọbasanjọ as president and a known PDP politician in the western part of the country was allegedly involved.

This mode of reasoning is further strengthened because of Mr. Obasanjo’s letter to President Goodluck Ebelo Azikiwe Jonathan, the current head of state. In the letter Mr. Ọbasanjọ made two allegations.

One, that President Jonathan keeps snipers. Second, that President Jonathan has placed about 1000 Nigerians on a political watch list. Many Nigerians have asked for evidence. The issue of hard-wired evidence in a Nigerian state that operates informally is where the work of the Dr. Chidi Odinkalu National Human Rights Commission becomes complicated.

This informality of the Nigerian state that does not quantify nor document anything makes the kind of work the Human Rights Commission is embarking on very difficult. Nigeria,  is notorious for skirting around things. It is a feature of the informality of the Nigerian state and our lives.

And more importantly, the conceptualization of state sponsored killing, as a human rights issue by the Nigerian Human Rights Commission is helpful but limiting. The sponsored killings and assassination by the Nigerian state goes beyond human rights violation, it is a moral and political failure of the Nigerian state.

So the work can proceed as a human rights issue, for the reason stated, but it cannot end as a human rights issue. It is about the political and moral nature of the Nigerian state.

To proceed in a conventional manner, as the Commission is likely to, will limit the work of the Commission. First, cold, deadly, stealthy, covert, and infernal operations are never documented. Second, documentation is a formal exercise. No one documents anything in Nigeria for Nigeria by nature is an informal state.

Good examples abound. Check the corruption cases in Nigeria and how obvious culprits are difficult to prosecute. The most recent and most celebrated is when the Nigerian Supreme Court declared Mr. Bọde George not guilt of corruption in a case of obvious abuse of office.

Take another example of a PDP Mr. Dauda Birma who openly confessed that President Jonathan, Bamanga Tukur former PDP chairman and the structure of PDP were involved in the judicial freedom of the suspected assassin Major Hamzat Al Mustapha.

To ask for documentation in these cases beyond the obvious and patently clear is to speak to Mountain Kilimanjaro-a dead wall.  Nigeria runs an informal state, which does not document anything.

This is why the Human Rights Commission and we need to see a trend in political killings and the similarity in Mr. Soyinka’s claim that the PDP keeps a nest of killers and Mr. Ọbasanjọ’s claim that Mr. Jonathan has snipers.

Those who know these gentlemen –Ṣoyinka and Ọbasanjọ-know that they are not particularly warm to one another. So they could not have sat down over a cup of coffee to coordinate their revelations about nest of killers and snipers in the corridor of power of the Nigerian state.

More importantly, they made the same allegations at different times in the history of the country. And in a historical manner both hold fundamentally different political and moral views. They are just not the same persons yet their views coincide from different aisles of the political spectrum on the nature of the PDP run Nigerian state.

So, even when the National Commission for human Rights is investigating Mr. Ọbasanjọ’s claim, the investigation may be dead on arrival. The reason is the informal nature of the Nigerian state. The National Commission On Human Rights needs to recognize this nature.

In informal states, you see the consequences of actions. From the consequences of actions one can trace back the cause.

This is the best one can get from an informal state whose informal nature does not dispose it to any written form of cold objectivity the Human Rights Commission may be looking for. An informal state like Nigeria is a shadowy state, stealthy but deadly.

Hence, consequences are the best testimonies and justification of Mr. Ṣoyinka’s nest of killers, which is embedded in PDP, and the nest, which has resurrected as snipers in Mr. Ọbasanjọ’s letter to president Jonathan.

The death of Bọla Ige, Senator Abe’s narrow escape of death, and the deadly disruption of the Save Rivers Movement rally in Bori Rivers state where two persons were shot by suspected militants show the existence of nest of killers and snipers in the PDP run Nigerian state.

So if the National Commission On Human Rights is looking for hard evidence of snipers it should proceed this way. In order for it to be efficient and be not illusory, it must accept that it is dealing with an informal state. You will not get any hard-wired paper-documented evidence.

However, in the case of Senator Magnus Abe which is still fresh (unlike the case of Bọla Ige) the Human Rights Commission must ask the Rivers state commissioner of police Mr. Mbu to inform on what it knows about the attack on Senator Abe, Mr. Tony Okocha, Governor Chubuike Amaechi’s Chief of staff, and the deadly attack on two persons during the disruption of the SRM rally in Bori.

 Snipers and nest of killers are not registered as companies either as business organizations or as NGOs. They do not have registration papers or known fixed addresses. Nest of killers and snipers are shadowy, stealthy, covert and secretive. They merge with the environment where they operate.

If the National Commission On Human Rights takes its task seriously, it must recognize this reality in order to know the kind of evidence it will look for and gather.

The Nigerian state, run by the PDP, may be that nest of killers and core snipers. Scrutinize the effects and consequences and you will get the causes. What do you think?

Adeolu Ademọyọ aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Justice Ayọ Salami and Nigeria’s Moral Burden, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

“…Nigerians do not naturally want the truth to be told. Whoever dares to tell the truth is marked for destruction…” Justice Ayọ Salami (Lagos, Nigeria, January, 2014).

As a teacher, I am often interested in the meaning of words and how words sometimes say more than what we mean, and how words might mean more than what we say.   This is the case with Justice Ayọ Salami’s recent characterization of “the Nigerian”. Mr. Ayọ Salami is not an ordinary person. He was a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. Therefore, I will take him seriously for I think he knows what he says.

As an old judge who belongs to the old tradition of scholarly rigor, Salami would know the origin of ideas and how these ideas affect human actions. At the 10th Gani Fawẹhinmi Annual Lecture recently in Lagos he asserted: “…Nigerians do not naturally want the truth to be told…” Two words, “naturally” and “truth,” are relevant in his assertion because what sustains a family, and a country, are the untruth we defend publicly and privately, and the truth we refuse to uphold publicly and privately.

Though Justice Salami was addressing a specific issue, his claim is a trope that helps unravel “the Nigerian” persona. On reading him, my mind ranged through the scope of Nigerian, and African history. Was Justice Ayọ Salami right that “…ordinary Nigerians do not naturally want the truth to be told…?

Ayọ Salami has unconsciously touched a crucial issue; the question of ethics for truth saying is often bounded with ethics-at least in African thought. He was talking about the ordinary Nigerians—you and I. If Ayọ Salami is right, it may mean that the “Nigerian character” is “un-ethical” about certain things that require saying the truth.  This is grim.

But take the amalgamation, the struggle for independence—who did what and who did not do what? Take the unfortunate civil war—who did what, who did not do what, how was the story told, by who and to whom? Take how we ignorantly and with prejudice account for the leadership strength and vision of Nigerian political and historical leaders, our founding mothers and fathers –past and present without having read their books thoroughly.

The Nigerian will make voluminous categorical pronouncements on Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Kuti, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello etc. But ask him/her if they have read any book written by these founding mothers and fathers where their thoughts are contained they look askance. But how do they know what they claim? Obviously from ethnic hearsay, and not independent reading!

So is there a reason that in spite of the fact that some of them are recognized world leaders and thinkers in their own individual rights, none of them is a national hero in Nigeria?

Let us introspect a bit, and look within our minds to the seat of ideas.  Can the fact that none of these men and women is national heroes today in Nigeria be accidental? Ethno-national blinkers may be the reason there is some truth in Ayọ Salami’s assertion with regard to matters beyond what he said. It seems obvious then that ethnie [the essential, irreducible element in ethno-nationality] ultimately defines ethics in Nigeria, hence we naturally do not want to say the truth, and are incapable of imagining heroes and heroism if it does not come from our ethnic group.

We are searching for “our Mandela” our hero, but because we are incapable of saying the truth, we are scared to look within because the “Mandela”, the hero we will see will not fit our ethnic expectations, after all, for us, ethnie is the driver of our ethics!

Again, take the issue of corruption, by presidents, Governors, ministers, local government chairpersons, government officials etc. Take how our politicians forge certificates.  Take how our ministers claim degrees they never have etc. Take the defense of such or explanation of such on ethnic grounds by ordinary Nigerian folks that Ayọ Salami talked about.

In all these cases, you will see the legendary natural tendency of the “Nigerian” to evade the truth.  This is what I call “The Forged Certificates, The Relativity of Truth in Nigerian History.”  It is all around us.  All you need do is take any book, or literature, on Nigerian history, and you see such blatant relativisation of, and retreat, from truth.  The truth about Nigerian history and events are often narrated privately to children and publicly from a standpoint such that we naturally we evade the truth because in most cases the ethnie defines our ethics!   “X is good because X belongs to Z’s ethnic group” or “Y is being said to be corrupt because of Y’s ethnicity”.

At least someone has put a dark humor on this grim natural tendency, this characterization of “the Nigerian.”  He is no other than Dokubo-Asari.  Rationalizing the theft in the oil industry, Dokubo-Asari asked how anyone could call taking what rightly belongs to the Niger Delta person an act of theft or corruption! In other words, according to Nigerians of this frame of mind, the corruption under President Jonathan is not corruption because the act and art of stealing public money is taking what rightly belongs to those who take it.

Justice Ayọ Salami might have unknowingly touched something important and hidden. To naturally evade the truth may mean, it is in the nature of the way things are constituted. We need to therefore look into how those things have been constituted.

If Justice Salami is right, it gives fillip to two types of skeptics (i) about the possibility of Nigeria and (ii) about doing public good in Nigeria because the philosophically muted, the philosophical un-said, drills deep in the definition of reality.

However on truth, Ayọ Salami is not all skepticism. He betrays a Heidegerian streak when he concludes,  “… history and posterity will bring out the truth and eventually unravel what went wrong in the fullness of time…” This is the errancy in truth; that is to say we continue to struggle with it, to reach it.

But there must be a space for this pursuit to happen hence Salami’s deep moral that “…The elite must have a rethink if Nigeria is not going to collapse.” In other words, truth is when it is a nation.  This must set everyone thinking. What do you think?

Adeolu Ademọyọ  aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Facebook, Nigerian Presidency, and the Freedom Of Speech, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

I ended 2013 with an   essay on how ethics and ethnicity will play a major role in Nigerian public space in 2014 and beyond. People are often surprised, or even derisive, when one raises the question of ethics in public governance in Nigeria.

After decades of abuse, especially through the use of poverty as a grinding tool of blackmail, Nigerian politicians have managed to breadth the lack of ethics into the DNA of Nigerian populace.

As a Christian and a catholic, ethics is at the core of my thought. With a God-enabled moral privilege of a distance from Nigeria and its challenge with kleptocracy, I have come to the conclusion that Africa’s biggest challenge is an ethical one. African countries big or small, the one-nation state, or the multi-national state, will all have to deal with the ethical question in the 21st century if they want to make it.

But really my family’s Catholicism is not the issue here. The issue is the moral tenor of my fellow Nigerians, the general question of ethics and how Facebook, an American institution, may become a tool in the hands of Nigerian corrupt politicians to violate free speech.

So the ethical is the context of Facebook story, which started almost innocuously. A while ago I got a letter from a reader who said unlike before he was unable to access my essays via Facebook. I wrote back and said I would inform Premium Times and get back to him. I did not because I did not suspect anything other than a temporary technical problem.  Then the problem seems to get bigger until Premium Times itself became a victim of cyber-attack attacked not too long ago.

Whenever I open my essay or any story critical of President Jonathan’s government on Premium Times, I will notice a message emblazoned in Facebook setting   that “this X, Y, Z story/essay is unreachable…” In other words, technically, readers cannot reach the essay via Facebook.

 I am a teacher. So I checked what it means to be “unreachable”. “Reachable” means “to get in touch with” “extend”  “outstretch” “hold out” “contact” “get through to” “speak to” etc. So?  “to reach” is to “speak to”.  To be “unreachable” is not “to be able to speak to”.

In other words, whoever or whatever makes someone to be “unreachable” violates one’s freedom to “speak”. This is too much. I have cut and pasted some of the warning messages for readers to see:

Warning:http://www.premiumtimesng.com/opinion/152234-creation-nigerian-imperial-presidency-adeolu-ademoyo.html is unreachable.

Warning: http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/152367-jonathan-reduces-aso-rocks-billion-naira-feeding-bill-by-n494-million.html is unreachable.

Let me give  examples of what is happening in Nigeria in the 21st century, which were made  “unreachable” via Facebook when they were published. In the last  Governor’s election in Anambra state, it was reported and alleged (INEC needs to investigate this and confirm) that INEC the electoral umpire, registered a bowl of rice as a voter in the election. The bowl of rice has a voter’s card, PIN  number, a profession, and a gender. And allegedly, the bowl of rice actually  voted at the election at  a  polling booth in Nigeria!

I wrote about this to help Nigeria get out of this shameful practice. Why will any country register a bowl of rice as a voter and the same bowl of rice must have voted? If the bowl of rice voted, what is the moral credibility of such election? And why will an American originated company Facebook, bound by the Fourth Amendment Act technically collaborate with Nigerian presidency to make the report that a bowl of rice voted in a Nigerian election to be unreachable?  In other words why will Facebook technically prevent this from being known, reached, read and spoken about?

The alleged registration of a bowl of rice as a voter in my country’s election shows that Nigeria does not run real elections.

Here are a number of examples to give a vivid illustration of the problem: The collaboration between the Nigerian state and antidemocratic forces such as Dokubo-asari, Hamzat Al Mustapha, a suspected murderer. How about the failure of Nigerian state to properly disclose its covert collaboration with Elbit, the Internet security company?  How indeed is the case of Mr. Olabode George (a  PDP Nigerian politician, and former chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority) and his team, where the Nigerian supreme court changed the argument by ruling that Mr. Olabode George’s deployment of his public office(in Ports Authority)  to enrich himself is not an abuse of office? All these issues were made “unreachable” when they were published in the essays at that time.

Although it appears that there is a thaw in this censorship practice-this “technical” “problem”- in the last few days, I do not know if Facebook is aware of this. It will be interesting to know if Facebook does this deliberately whenever it happens. Where this to be so, it will clearly amount consciously collaborating with President Jonathan’s government and his media crew.  Such a blatant violation of the freedom of free expression of a human being as facebook and the media handlers of Nigerian presidency seem to have done is a serious matter.

Here in the United States, the spirit and letters of the Fourth Amendment Act bind us all. However, the situation of the media handlers of the Nigerian presidency is different. Desperate,  shadowy and secretive, some of their operations are covert, anti-democratic  and can be deadly. Given their stealthy and covert operations they are not bound by the American Fourth Amendment Act or its Nigerian equivalent if there is any.

When critical essays become “unreachable” on Facebook without any explanations, it may  amount to  vicariously doing the bidding of the Nigerian presidency –either knowingly or unknowingly. Inadvertently, Facebook may be violating the Fourth Amendment Act.  This is a serious  ethical issue, which should be of concern to  Facebook and  the world beyond Facebook.

Unlike President Jonathan’s government and the media team of President Jonathan who either do not know or know, but do not care,  I want to believe that Facebook, though a company,  ought to  be aware of ethical issues which are at stake.

Here in America, there is a materiality to that concept we call ethics, and to which we are all bound by.  To make something “unreachable” as facebook has done “technically” (either intentionally or unintentionally)- in tandem with media handlers of Nigerian presidency- without any explanation or question  is to violate one’s freedom to speak or be reached. It violates me. It violates those who care to be reached.  It violates the American Fourth Amendment Act. Facebook needs to look at this, for it has an ethical question to respond to if it must be taken seriously as a well-behaved American company.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Bode George’s Guilt and the Logic of Deduction, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Mr. Ọlabọde George is a member of Nigerian ruling party-PDP. Under the regime of President Oluṣẹgun Ọbasanjọ, he was a chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Together with others, Mr. Ọlabọde George abused his office as Chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority.

In a court case between Mr. Ọlabọde George,  Architect Aminu Dabo, Captain O Abidoye, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminu Tafida, Alhaji Zanna Maideribe and Engineer Sule Aliyu v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, Justice Olubunmi Oyewọle convicted the accused of   abuse of office and disobedience to a lawful order issued by constituted authority. The logic of meaning draws a distinction between the particular and the general. And the logic of meaning which appeals to a universality shows that abuse of office and disobedience to a lawful order issued by constituted authority,  is a general statement and not a particular statement because it is a general form which gives warrant to a particular matter.

Mr. Ọlabọde George and others appealed their conviction.  The Supreme Court over ruled the decision of the lower court. The Supreme Court based its ruling on the particular.  The logical and by extension legal and ethical question is: Is the Supreme court right to have based its judgment on the particular while it gave the impression that it examined the ruling of the lower court which based its judgment on a general statement of offense under which Mr. Ọlabọde George and others were charged and convicted by the lower court?  Does the Supreme Court have the logical, and by extension legal and ethical basis to shift the argument?

I am interested in this matter from the standpoint of logic and ethics. This is because the most important challenge to African countries today-whether big or small, united or gradually disintegrating-is ethics and the question of rationality, even when the national question is a legitimate question but is often confused with the clannishness it has assumed in the country.

As it is being shown in the fate of Southern Sudan, which recently, separated from the old Bigger Sudan, African countries –(regardless of whether they are a single ethnic/nation country or multi-ethnic/national country)-will continue to suffer setbacks if they do not respond to the questions of ethics and rationality in the affairs of women and men.

To be ruled by sentiments-and not rationality and ethics- is to tread the path of immorality, corruption and ultimately perdition as we have it in many African countries today. This is the case of Nigeria today. And that is what we have witnessed in the Supreme Court’s decision to change the argument in the middle in order to judicially free Mr. Ọlabọde George and others in a clear case of abuse of office and corruption.

Back to Ọlabọde George.  For the benefit of fellow countrymen and women, lawyers, judges, common folks and those who still have time to care I will try to make digestible and readable in basic terms the basic thinking in deductive reasoning which the lower court relied on to justifiably convict the accused and inductive reasoning which the Supreme Court relied on to unjustifiably free them.

In deductive reasoning, you move from the general to the particular. For example a general statement is: (a)  “Every mother is kind”. A particular statement is: (b) “Bọla is a mother”.  From a and b I can deduce that (c) Bọla is kind. However, if I assert, that is say that  (d) “Bọla is a mother and she  is not kind” I will run into an assault against basic reason-this is what is called contradiction. Why? For me to say (d) “Bọla is a mother and  is not kind” I have to deny a and b. But I have affirmed a and b, so I can no longer deny them without raising serious ethical questions. So (d) cannot stand before reason. And (c) is the judgment  that can stand before reason.

The conviction of Mr. Ọlabọde George by honorable Justice Oyewọle follows legal pattern of a deductive reasoning for good  laws are formulated in a way to prevent their abuse by accused, judges, lawyers and lay people. And to follow an inductive path in legal reasoning  as the Supreme Court judges had wrongly done where the law under which the accused were tried is formulated (as a general  law against abuse of office) to prevent such induction will be morally problematic and logically chaotic. I will show this presently.

But what the Supreme Court judges have just told Nigerians and the world through their inductive path is that there is nothing called abuse of office by rulers and politicians in Nigeria. With due respect to these judges, this is morally frightening and logically absurd.

The general statement of offense against Mr. Ọlabọde George under the law belongs to the (a) kind in our illustration. The particular belongs to the (b) kind in our illustration.  To therefore depart from this as the Supreme Court has done in freeing Ọlabọde George and others  of a general offense they are   guilty of under the appropriate law is with due respect   a war against  law, basic reason and ethics. The Supreme Court followed an inductive path while giving the false impression that it is still faithful to the deductive path of the charge and conviction  in the lower court. This is morally and logically  unacceptable. The Bar and the Bench ought to take this up to save reason in the country if they wish.

In inductive reasoning you reason from the particular to the general. In order to make things simple and uncomplicated I will use exactly the same example I used with deductive reasoning. Just reverse what we did with deductive reasoning. For example a particular statement is (e) “Bọla is a mother. Bọla is   kind”. (f) Bukọla is a mother. Bukọla is kind.  There are general statements that can be rightly or wrongly  “induced” (inductive) from (e) and (f).  We can say (g) Every mother is kind. or (h)  Mothers are kind or (i) Not every mother is kind.

The question is: Can or do (g) and (h) follow from (e) and (f)? Can we say (g) “Every mother is kind” or (h) Mothers are kind because (e) Bọla is a mother and Bọla is  kind  and (f) Bukọla is a mother  and  Bukọla is  kind? No, because you have to check all mothers in the world before making such induction. And this is not possible practically. This is why for any serious country that is fighting corruption, laws against abuse of office are general categorical laws. Public office holders (such as Ọlabọde George as former chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority) including President and Governors must not use their public offices to serve any interest other than the interest of the state- in this case Nigerian state and the public. When they do that the name is abuse of office.

Law against abuse of office where the office belongs to the Nigerian state  belongs to the Categorical General Law as codified in  specific and concrete codes in states.  For example take my university as a country hypothetically. I am a teacher. If  in a class of ten students, I trade my grade  for money or body gratification to  two students,  such trade is a particular act, which is an abuse (general) of my office   and role  as a teacher. If my university  or country has a Categorical Law against abuse of office, then I am guilty  for I have “particularly” i.e. “specifically” sold my grade for money and body gratification. I have abused my office for  a  general university law  or code exists against abuse of office.

Contract  splitting is an instantiation or if you like a sub set  of the general. Justice Olubunmi Oyewọle of the Lagos High Court tried  Mr. Ọlabọde George and others for a general offense, which  is known to a general law specified in a  code. Contract splitting is  a particular act like the hypothetical example of my grade trading , which does not serve the interest of the Nigerian state and public just as my trading my grade for money, or body gratification does not serve the interest of my university and the country where I teach.

Mr. Ọlabọde George’s contract splitting  as erstwhile chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority and my trading of grades as a teacher  are  known to a general offense called abuse of office such that if someone  under the law is found guilty of the general offense he is guilty of the particular precisely because if (a) Every mother is kind(general) and (b) Bọla  is a mother (particular) , then (c) Bọla is kind(the judgment).

What the honorable justices of the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria  have told the world in freeing Mr. Ọlabọde George and others in the case of  Mr. Ọlabọde George,  Architect Aminu Dabo, Captain O Abidoye, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminu Tafida, Alhaji Zanna Maideribe and Engineer Sule Aliyu v. Federal Republic of Nigeria is that I  have not abused my office and role as a teacher if I  (as a teacher) trade my grades for money and body gratification  because  the university law against abuse of office does not cover grade trading. This is frightening, deadly and morally grim. It ought to send cold chill down the spine of any moral being.

If my reasoning in this essay is  an illustration of what lawyers such as Mr. Jiti Ogunye and Mr. Fẹmi Falana have canvassed, and if this is a faithful illustration of the two forms of reasoning –deductive and inductive reasoning, then the Supreme Court erred in freeing Mr. Ọlabọde George and others of guilt. I move further to say with due respect that the Supreme Court not only erred , the honorable justices have not been faithful to the truth, they have  actually been very hostile to truth.

I maintain this position for the following reason. To invent a straw argument as the supreme court justices have done  either deliberately or by an act of omission is to be unfaithful to truth, is to be hostile to truth. This is what the supreme court has done. That is the Supreme court gave the impression that it was dealing with the case before Justice Oyewọle as the ground of the appeal. But Justice Oyewọle’s judgment is a deductive   judgment for he tried Mr. Ọlabọde George on a general statement before him. On the other hand the Supreme court’s judgment is an inductive one for it focuses on the particular.  In other words, the justices of the Supreme Court shifted the argument in the middle.

This is a serious professional and ethical failure. With all sense of responsibility and deference to knowledge, I put it before Nigerians and the world that the Nigerian Supreme Court in the case of  Ọlabọde George and others Vs Federal Republic of Nigeria and in freeing the  accused  the Supreme Court has conducted a major offense against law, morality and reason.

The Supreme Court shifted the argument completely while giving the impression that it has not.  Since what we are dealing with here is universal knowledge, these claims could be checked with any institution of  knowledge (i.e. a university) in any part of the world. This is the way of knowledge. This is how we should proceed.

The Supreme Court’s judgment is a moral failure, a knowledge failure and a failure of the rational.

But as previously argued on this platform, our position is that everything in the world is ethical. Any injury to the ethical in us as the judgment of the Supreme Court has shown is a moral threat to our collective being. It is this regard that the judgment of the Justices of the Supreme Court is a violation and a threat to our collective being. It is legally unstable and logically insecure.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

The Creation of Nigerian Imperial Presidency, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

Diaspora imposes a burden and enables a privilege – the critical evaluative privilege. The privilege is that of an intellectual and moral distance from one’s original country. This allows you to see the affairs of your country in a different manner. Call this Diaspora Gazing.

But the state of Diaspora gazing is also a political and social burden because you the Diaspora gazer are your original country’s  “passport” in your Diaspora environment.  Anywhere you go in the Diaspora you are like a local “embassy” that reminds your Diaspora environment of the moral dirt of a country.

Diaspora subjects and gazing differ especially given their level of moral and social commitment and sacrifice to their original home country before their departure. Understandably, this difference produces different moral burdens.  Some of us share this burden differently and carry it with complete equanimity.

Thus, we simply gaze on with private profound peace and critical silence. For some of us with a deep historical emotional, non-chauvinistic, non-exhibitionistic, non-opportunistic, investment in the country it is an internal injury, to witness the near moral collapse of a country that we thought once held the biggest hope for Africa.

This is why as the year comes to an end we must put on record two things that will define the fate of the country in 2014 and beyond. They are ethics and the misuse of the ethnic-the moral question and the distortion of the national question. Nigerians will be caught in between these two. The way the two are resolved or used to resolve relevant questions will create and deepen Nigeria’s bourgeoning Imperial presidency under President Jonathan as its impunity continues to constitute a threat to the security and fate of the country.

I will be succinct in isolating the issues to refresh Nigerians’ legendary short memory. It may help those who hold different opinion to self examine if they wish.

Boko Haram. The very symbol of evil in contemporary Nigeria. Any moral agent knows what you do with evil. But for political reasons Boko Haram will continue o be useful tool in the hands of Nigerian politicians on both sides of the divide. Please watch.

President Jonathan, Boko Haram and MEND October 1 2010 bombing. President Jonathan once said Boko Haram has infiltrated his government. On October 1, 2010, Nigeria’s independence celebration in Abuja was bombed. President Jonathan on record absolved MEND. On the other hand, MEND claimed responsibility. This is an “ambiguity” too close to be ignored. This “ambiguity” means that President Jonathan and Nigerian politicians use terror and violence as negotiating tools.

Dokubo-Asari. His commitment to violence and his rescue from the Republic of Benin by the Nigerian government. Dokubo-Asari put it on record that he together with his comrades will unleash terror and violence on Nigeria if Mr. Goodluck Jonathan loses the election in 2015. 

Today, we do not know the offence Dokubo-Asari  committed in Republic of Benin when he was detained and hurriedly procured by Nigerian authorities under the watch of President Jonathan. Mr. Egon of the ministry of foreign affairs of Benin Republic confirmed this to Reuters News Agency.

Mr. Egon is a live human being. He breadths. He exists and made this statement. Reuters exists. Human beings run Reuters. They breadth. They exist.  Fortunately, Reuters is not a Nigerian news media that could be accused of “ethnic” bias. The Nigerian government has stealthily kept quiet about this report but the Nigerian government owes Nigerians the obligation of public disclosure.

Some Nigerians have read ethnicity to the call that President Jonathan owes Nigerians and the world- who are concerned with increased terrorism and threat to security in Nigeria -an explanation on Mr. Egon’s claim that Nigerian government put pressure on Benin Republic to release Dokubo-Asari , a disciple of violence and terror.

On this, I wish to put myself on the spot just so that this is clear to those who wonder why this is an issue.  I believe that if today I commit a crime in the U.S. and I am detained, and if the Nigerian authority procured my release, the authority must inform and put on record explicitly the nature of my offence. And the United States government must and will also inform her own citizens the nature of my offence that (i) warrant police action and (ii) hurried procurement by Nigeria if U.S. government grants such request. The case of Umar Farouk  Abdulmutallab, the failed 2009 Christmas Day  underwear bomber, who was arrested in the U.S., is a good example.

Public disclosure  is basic, standard and straightforward in a democracy.  But this has not happened in the case of Dokubo-Asari. Such hushed act by President Jonathan  is a violation and a breach of Nigerian security. No amount of Christmas platitude for “peace” by Nigerian politicians should be allowed to  brush this threat to security away.

Sadly any call on President Jonathan and the Nigerian government  in this regard to publicly disclose what they know about Mr. Egon’s statement is tagged “ethnic”. The silence and support of some Nigerians for this high level secrecy, and the reading of ethnicity to a call for openness on this issue is an equal threat to security and part of what is promoting an  imperial presidency in the country – a recipe for the continuous wreckage of the country.

Today, some states -Bayelsa state is on record – are sending youths to train in  a “university” established by same Dokubo-Asari in Benin Republic. Question is: what will youths learn in a “university” established by someone who has put on record his faith in the use  of violence and terror to resolve a democratic process which the outcome of voting represents? What will Nigerian youths learn in a “university” founded by a disciple of violence and terror?  In a democracy, the minimum that is required to clarify things  is called openness. Nigerian government owes the world a duty to respond to Mr. Egon’s claim on Dokubo-Asari and inform on the reason he was detained and hurriedly released.  Some Nigerians who object to this call for openness and appeal to ethnicity need to state why they think the  call for openness and public disclosure is wrong.

Hamza Al-Mustapha. The controversy that has followed the judicial release of Hamzat Al Mustapha  has followed the same pattern of ethnicization of the June 12 democratic act.  Given the deliberate attempt to ethnicize the issue, I will invite young  Nigerians to independently  search for the truth. Go to the libraries and read the newspapers of that period. Read memoirs. Balance the memoirs.  Read the sponsored  comments  and balance them with your findings in the libraries . Come to your own independent conclusions.  That is the way of knowledge.

In this regard, of relevance is the view that the PDP and the Nigerian presidency influenced the judicial release of Hamza Al-Mustapha.  Just as in the case of Dokubo-Asari where Mr. Egon gave fillip to the Nigerian government’s subterranean influence in procuring the release of Dokubo-Asari, Alhaji Dauda Birma -a PDP member and an ex-minister – has given fillip to the PDP and the presidency’s subterranean influence in the release of Al-Mustapha.

 Sadly, those who are witnessing just a moment – 2013 – in the long  history of the country have deliberately tribalised  the issue. This ethnic clannishness  will define Nigeria in 2014 and beyond. To have subterraneously influenced the release of a suspected murderer like Al-Mustapha and simultaneously tribalise the issue raises questions of impunity with an implication  for   Nigeria’s collective security.

Elbit Internet Security systems. Again  in view of the impunity that the contract has raised, those who defend this contract –regardless of its secret history – from a clannish  standpoint  has willy-nilly deepened an Imperial Presidency who, according to President Jonathan’s handlers, must never be told that he has a moral obligation of public disclosure to the people.  It is  a mystery how  the ethnic champions are comfortable with the fact that (i) while the Israeli company disclosed the contract to its own public, the Nigerian government did not and (ii) the contract figure given by the federal government differs from the figure given by Elbit on the same contract. Nigerians who respond to just a moment  on an issue for purely ethnic reason fosters an imperial presidency. It is unethical.

The sad thing is that these ethnic champions know that the Israeli state – the country of the company – or any self respecting state that respects her own people will never behave this way to their  own citizens. How the defenders of the Nigerian presidency on this issue think that Nigerians deserve this contempt is a mystery to me. It perplexes me.

Corruption. There is no single case of corruption today whose  defense is not ethnicised.  But the  case of Mrs. Stella Oduah, the aviation minister  is clear, crispy and sufficient. I take this just as a  trope of explanation.  Granted that Mrs. Stella Oduah is innocent, how come we have  the presentation of conflicting chassis numbers of the armoured cars by Mrs. Oduah’s handlers in their defence of her innocence? That the Nigerian state and Mrs. Odua’s defenders will overlook such major contradiction in Mrs. Oduah’s case shows that the Nigerian state under President Jonathan’s watch  will  reconcile itself with corruption now and for some time.

Epilogue:  The Bowl of Rice as a  Nigerian Voter.

Our epilogue for the year is the indication of the complete moral failure of the Nigerian state. The INEC, according to a news report on the site of the online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, allegedly registered a bowl of rice as a voter  in the last governorship election in Anambra state. The alleged voter registration number of the curiously animate bowl of rice are –Number-90F5b17871295274448. The occupation of the bowl of rice is Civil Servant. The gender of the  voter bowl of rice is male. And the bowl of rice is thirty-seven years old.

I call on INEC to please investigate this. This is a serious ethical issue. That we registered a bowl of rice as a voter in Nigeria is a tragedy of the Nigerian state. It is even sadder and more tragic that any critical examination of this dirty and  unethical symbol  of the Nigerian state is resisted, and ethnicity is evoked. It is a moral loss of the capacity for rational discourse. This indicates that the failure of the Nigerian state is a moral one. And this is why it is deep, and its redemption is open-ended.

As we round off the old year and begin the New Year, I wish Nigerians profound peace as we beckon onto the New Year with peaceful foreboding.

Adeolu Ademoyo (aaa54@cornell.edu) is of Africana Studies And Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Al-Mustapha and Elbit: How Nigerian Politicians Sell Nigerian Security, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

In the Diaspora, one’s immediate family (Children, Mother, Father) is the first platform with which one re-connects with one’s original country. The family and home are more or less an “embassy” abroad. So last week a video posted on Sahara Reporters caught the attention of my wife and I  here in the Diaspora. The title of the video clip is “Sgt Rogers On How Major Hamza Al Mustapha Operated The Killer Squad That Murdered Kudirat Abiola.”

Watch the Sgt. Rogers Video here.

It caught our attention because I once came face to face with a deadly member of the evil triumvirate leadership coordinating  the Sani Abacha death machine during the whole June 12, 1993 democratic act, which unfortunately is being consigned to the dustbin of history by Nigerian politicians including the present President– Goodluck Jonathan.  Given that some of the witnesses to the encounter that made the video catch my attention are still living in  Nigeria, I will cut out that aspect of the story for the sake of their security.

We are Christians, though my wife is deeper in faith than I.  I continue to work on my faith.  Sometimes I fail, sometimes I falter. Sometimes I rise up. I reflect all the weaknesses  and limitations of our human mortality.

You may wonder what religious faith has got to do with security this morning. It does in a paradoxical sense given the nature of Nigeria today as we continue to imagine the outcome of the Nigerian union.

The video clip is a short moment of the proceeding of the  Independent Commission on the numerous deaths that occurred during the Sani Abacha regime.  The main person in the video is Sgt Rogers. Rogers revealed how the deadly Strike Force coordinated  by Major Hamza Al-Mustapha operated.

This is the same Mustapha whose judicial freedom was enabled by the PDP and President Jonathan. This position remains true until the Nigerian presidency under Mr. Goodluck Jonathan comes out openly before Nigerians to rebut Mr. Dauda Birma’s ( a PDP member and a former Nigerian minister) open confession on the PDP and President Jonathan’s role in judicially procuring Hamza Al-Mustapha’s release from jail.

From Sgt Rogers, we learn that members of the  Sani Abacha strike force were trained by Israeli and North Korean security. This is the point where Nigerian politicians both in and outside uniform sell Nigeria cheap and expose us to danger and expose our security to foreign interests. Also this is where faith comes in.

Even when many Nigerians profess religious faiths,  they fail to pay attention to its implication in the real world of security and politics. Mention Israel.  Regardless of whether it is biblical Israel or modern day Israeli state the first thing that comes up in the mind of average  Nigerian Christian is  Christianity and the biblical Jerusalem.

Sadly,  in terms faith, the old Biblical Israel is not the same as the new  modern state of Israel and the two do not have the same meaning for faith. Modern Israeli state does not make any pretense to being “Christian.”  It is basically Jewish. So that we do not go on quibbling,  the recent failure of Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of modern day Israel to  attend Madiba Mandela’s funeral is instructive here.

In our contemporary world where all lovers of peace,  reconciliation, divinity and spirituality of love converged on South Africa two weeks ago for Mandela’s funeral and  to honor the apostle of peace, reconciliation and indivisible unity of love, the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu did not go. He did not send a delegation. Why? Mr. Netanyahu  said the trip to South Africa to honour Mandela  was too “expensive”.

But we know that during and after the end of apartheid regime in South Africa, the hands of the modern Israeli state drilled with the blood of innocent South Africans during the anti-apartheid struggle.  The  African forces of liberation were called “terrorists” who were hunted down through the military help of the modern Israeli state and its security-Mossad.

Having failed to attend Mandela’s burial to honor the apostle of peace and reconciliation, the modern Israeli state  shows that it represents one of the few unrepentant supporters of the defunct apartheid regime.  And this  loyalty of the modern Israeli  state to apartheid and racist  forces  could not have been  derived from God, who is a God of Love, peace  and reconciliation.

Rather the loyalty of the modern Israeli state to apartheid and racist forces   was  motivated by commerce, economic interests and  the modern Israeli state national  interests which I concede the modern Israeli state has  a right to defend. The important thing is how  that affects us in Nigeria and how Nigerian politicians fail to center our own interests in relationship to other countries and allied companies. If Israeli politicians legitimately put their interests first,  the minimum I expect from Nigerian politicians is to do the same i.e. put Nigeria first.

There was the old biblical Israel. There is the modern Israeli state. This distinction is lost on some Nigerians including the politicians. Hence, they commit serious category mistake  when  they blindly  mortgage  Nigerian security to Israel and her  companies such as Elbit Internet systems as if such mortgaging  is a commitment to and support for  Christian values. It is not. There is nothing Christian about the modern Israeli state or its security unit Mossad or private companies. But you see that category mistake made  in the body language of the questionable contract awarded to Elbit Internet systems, the Israeli Internet security company and the body language of some  Nigerians on this.

So in reflecting on the past and the present fate of Nigeria, my wife and I did not miss how Nigerian politicians both past and present mortgage Nigerian security to foreign interests out of their own pecuniary, political, economic and selfish consideration.

Take the regime of Sani Abacha and his death squad.  The regime  invited Israeli Mossad,  according to Sgt Rogers, to  train members of the Nigerian  killing squad called the  strike force. Why? According to Sgt Rogers in the video,  Sani Abacha and Hamza Al-Mustapha called we Nigerian democrats “terrorists”.

 The modern Israeli state thus has the script with which they trained these murderers Hamza Al-Mustapha coordinated, and who were supposed to hunt down democrats  who were referred to as  “terrorists” by Sani Abacha  dictatorship. Al-Mustapha himself must have the script with which he supervised the death of many democrats then. As the Nigerian state continues to wobble from one contradiction to the other without any progress, the modern state of Israel and Mossad hold a copy of how Nigerian democracy was thwarted during the Sani Abacha period through their training of the Strike Force. Such knowledge is a privilege, a lack of it is  a weakness.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Elbit, another Israeli company, has been brought in to monitor terrorists. This time around perhaps the scope of who are terrorists has expanded under President Jonathan. To the people of Nigeria we have the Boko Haram and the Niger Delta and Creek terrorists. To the Nigerian presidency, the media especially online media, the opposition and public intellectuals  will join the list of “terrorists” to be monitored and perhaps  to be  hunted down.

This is why it is instructive that the defense of this Elbit Internet system illegal contract is sometimes vicariously   linked to faith. The questionable body language is that  “it is okay if our security is in the hand of Israel.” Besides the low esteem this represents, I call our attention to the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu refused to attend Mandela’s funeral. Nothing more than this indicates that every country puts and has the right to put the interests of their countries first.   Nigerian politicians do not this.  They need to.

Nigerian politicians are this unpatriotic because of pure economic calculations-what they and members of their families gain from selling Nigeria cheap and exposing us to serious risks. This is how Nigerian politicians mortgage the future of the country, your future, my future and the future of our children. They do this to serve their interests and those of   their families.

To refresh your historical memory please  watch the video, download and keep. It is short but instructive. It will be useful for our future, which is already festooned with meanings.

Adeolu Ademoyo (aaa54@cornell.edu) is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

How Jonathan and Nigerian Politicians Manufacture Terrorism and Criminality, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

“Conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it”-Uthman Dan Fodio

Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, Mohammed Junaid, and Hamzat Al-Mustapha do not need any introduction. While Junaid is a trained medical doctor, Dokubo-Asari claims to be a businessman in the Republic of Benin. Hamzat Al-Mustapha headed the death squad under General Sani Abacha.

 According to Dokubo-Asari, part of his investments includes a “university” in the Republic of Benin to which a Nigerian state- Bayelsa state- has been sending youths  for training.

But despite their overt vocations as medical doctor and businessman, one covert act unites  Mohammed Junaid and Asari Dokubo. That covert act is their takes on violence and terror depending on the outcome of the election in 2015.

Recently, the police authority detained Dokubo-Asari in the Republic of Benin. The Nigerian authority, which used Nigerian resources to facilitate Dokubo-Asari’s release from detention,  has not told Nigerians why he was arrested and detained in Benin Republic. Secrecy as a statecraft continues to grow under President Jonathan.

A man of ever shifting identity, Dokubo-Asari does not hide his belief in the deployment of violence and terrorism to achieve set goals. Sometimes, he is called a militant-whatever that means. But as a strong believer in the use of violence and terror, it is on record that he has deployed indiscriminate violence as a tool to realize the goals of the organization he heads-the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force. He recently put on record that  capacity for violence and terror and his readiness to use them in defense of President Jonathan’s   political goals.

On the other hand, while Dokubo-Asari would deploy violence and terror on behalf of President Jonathan in 2015, Mohammed Junaid was a bit cautious on violence. When he was confronted with his views on violence, he, characteristic of Nigerian politicians, said he was misquoted. With the antecedent evils of the terrorisms of Boko Haram, MEND, the Niger Delta creek terrorism, which are clearly sponsored by Nigerian politicians, Mohammed Junaid’s clarification can only be taken with a pinch of salt.

On the other hand Dokubo-Asari has not told Nigerians that he was misquoted on his readiness to deploy violence and terror in 2015 if the outcome of elections does not favour his principal-President Jonathan.

Beside the physical indelible bruises which terrorism and criminality wrought, terrorism and criminality have their consequences in the moral injury they wreck on truth and historical memory of humans who are the bearers of history .  So it is with the questionable judicial release of Major Al-Mustapha- allegedly facilitated by President Jonathan and the PDP. Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha headed the underground Strike Force, the terror and death squad of General Sani Abacha.

The Strike Force was responsible for the death of many democrats during General Sani Abacha’s military dictatorship.  Some of us are living witnesses. Regardless of the consequences to our lives and families we have decided in the names and memories of the dead to defend and stand and never to waver at the gate of truth and history on this for the dead (during the defense of  June 12 1993 elections) and their memories are part of the moral foundations of contemporary Nigerian democracy  which sadly  is already mangled and destroyed.

So on Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha’s release we have on record the open disclosure of one of Nigerian politicians. His name is Dauda Birma.  Dauda Birma openly told Bamanga Tukur in appreciation that he knew how much he Bamanga Tukur-the chairman of the ruling party PDP, and the Presidency (meaning President Jonathan of the same PDP) did to procure Hamzat Al Mustapha’s freedom. For more on this, go here, here and here). The PDP, Aso Rock and President Jonathan have not denied this statement nor have they distanced themselves from Mr. Dauda Birma’s open disclosure and  betrayal of his stream of consciousness, his slip and trip of tongue.

Therefore, given the preceding, I am puzzled for some reasons, which I am sure many Nigerians and non-Nigerians know.

Talking about tracking terrorism, the first puzzle for me  is why  we have to spend either $40m (the figure quoted by the Israeli company-Elbit Security systems) or $60m (the figure quoted by the Presidency) on an un-bidded contract awarded to a foreign company, the Israeli company-Elbit Security systems  to monitor our cyber space for potential and actual terrorists when we have in print the  violent and terror commitments of potential and actual causes of terrorism and criminality in the South South  creeks of Niger delta and the Northern part of the country.

Second, I am puzzled because  Junaid Mohammed is a known figure. He has been invited by the SSS  as a result of his statement on violence.  I am just wondering whether  Junaid Mohammed  is so small a needle in a hay stack such that we need to spend $40m to find him and ask him to explain himself with regard to his claim about new outbreak  and continuation of terrorism and violence  in 2015.

Third, besides Junaid Mohammed, I am completely dumbfounded at the open romance between President Jonathan and  Dokubo-Asari who has put it on record that he would deploy violence and terrorism on behalf of President Jonathan in 2015 if he loses the election. In other words,  if there is 2015 for Nigeria and if President Jonathan loses election, Dokubo-Asari  will  energize the terrorism in the  South South Niger Delta creek and other parts of Nigeria. The SSS  invited Junaid Mohammed, we do not have it on record that the SSS invited Dokubo-Asari.

Though I know the Aso Rock media crew may not  mean old people like us as “the children of anger” (at least we are not biologically speaking “children”) when they wrongly characterize the legitimate rejection of  President Jonathan’s failed government,  rule of impunity and corruption  by Nigerian youths  as the ‘fury”   of “children of anger”, it is still important that we put things on record in black and white so that we are not accused of engaging in “gossip”.

When Dokubo-Asari was detained in the Republic of Benin and later freed Mr.  Benjamin Agon, spokesperson  of the ministry of Foreign affairs Republic of Benin   told Reuters “It was under pressure from the Nigerian head of state that the authorities freed the rebel chief on Friday at around midday.” This is a diplomatic issue and the Nigerian government has not denied this statement.

Fourth, I am puzzled because both Nigerians and non-Nigerians know the huge corruption going on in Nigeria today. The three most recent are Elbit Internet Contract where we have two figures for one un-bidded contract, Stella Oduah N255m armored car scam-an unbidded contract, yet to be accounted for 8 Trillion naira unremitted NNPC oil money which involves the coordinating minister for the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and President Jonathan.

Both Nigerians and non-Nigerians know that there is a massive storage of arms both in the North and in the Southern  Niger Delta. Both Nigerians and non-Nigerians, and any sensible person  know that there is connection between the unexplained movements and disappearances of public money and the storage of arms by non-state forces. Arms are bought with money or bartered by oil. This is basic common sense.

When barrels of  oil and  huge  public funds are missing and the government does not offer an explanation, it is the right time for critical voices to speak up. The Jonathan presidency owe us an explanation on constant oil losses,  missing public funds and the storage of arms in the country.

Therefore, in view of Dokubo-Asari’s terrorist credentials,  and in the name of a global open society, we want to know the following.

What is the nature of the offense Dokubo-Asari committed in the Republic of Benin that invited the intervention of President Jonathan?  Is it true as the spokesperson of the Republic of Benin ministry of foreign affairs claimed that the Nigerian government facilitated the release of Dokubo-Asari from detention in Benin Republic? If so, under what law and protocol? If true, did President Jonathan facilitate the release of Dokubo-Asari from detention in a foreign country in order for him – Dokubo-Asari-  to help President Jonathan foment terror and violence in 2015?

Why hasn’t President Jonathan and the PDP deny  Mr. Dauda Birma’s  open public disclosure before Mr. Bamanga Tukur that President   Jonathan and the PDP influenced the judicial release of Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha?  Why hasn’t the Nigerian Judicial Council  and other relevant bodies called and asked Mr. Birma to explain what he meant?

If President Jonathan openly facilitated (i) the judicial release of Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha as claimed in print by Mr. Dauda Birma, (ii)  the  release from detention of a terrorist like Dokubo-Asari,   and (iii)  in view of Mohammed Junaid’s own statement, then we have good reasons to hold President Jonathan and some Nigerian politicians responsible for the manufacture of  and spread of terrorism and criminality  in Nigeria.

May I end this by saying with all sense of  responsibility and quiet commitment to the country that if any of the names mentioned in this article feels maligned, they should please take me to a Nigerian court and sue properly and openly.

I maintain this position because what I have put my signature into in this essay is no cyber  “gossip”. I am a known human, with a face and a name that can be sued. So please sue properly in a court  if you feel maligned. We will meet in court. And I free Premium Times from any culpability in agreeing to publish this. I take responsibility for my action and what I write.

And for those  in government who may misread what we do as “cyber-activism”,  or some form of “radicalism”, I ask that  they do a re-think and look elsewhere for the “radical”. I am not. I am just a plain  regular human being without a  label.  While radicalism is  a legitimate and justified moral act in situations of injustice, however  were it not  for country duty  moral call and obligation to one’s society, some of us prefer the ordinary folk  private  life  we have always lived  when we were younger than to be obliged to be   in the  open  in our twilight age. But when the morals of history call,  common folks do not have an option than to respond to the moral call.

 I am a  parent and a common folk on the street like any other. That is all.  That is who I am. And I want President Jonathan to  forget his being a President only for one second (of course he is the president), and answer this as a  President, a  human being,  and as a  parent.

We do this because  it is just important that  we say the truth for the sake of the dead and their memories, our children and  generation to come. It is about the future of our children, the future of our country, the future of our continent, the future of our race-the African and black race,  hence our passion.

Again, “Conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it”. I do not own this eternal moral truth. It belongs to better minds-the sages in the ages. We have only reported this wisdom from  street conditions.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

 

Madiba Nelson Mandela (1918-2013): Only The Deep Can Call To The Deep, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

He gave us many signs that he was leaving.  But we fell on our knees to beg him not to leave instead of falling on our knees to learn and imbibe his ethics. He told us in no uncertain terms that the work of the labourer is finished that he has to leave.  We said we understood but that he has to stay.  He trudged on and said “I will pass the baton to you.” Because our ethics failed us, we knew but we continued to plead. In clear terms, he said, the worker has completed his task on earth and the infinite is calling. Because we never learnt from him, we knew but we continued our plea. 

We pleaded that he should stay for we knew that after this, nothing else again can be miraculous in the moral voice of Mr. Soyinka as he, Soyinka gave public face and moral force to the private street and neighborhood mournful intuitions and voices on the transition of the soul of Africa, the soul of the world. But again Madiba said the spirit is ready but the body is weak, he is being called. He has to leave. It is becoming urgent.

We knew he was passing into the ages as Mr. Barack Obama, the American President, gave public face to our intuitions for Madiba will no longer partake in the eating of matter but in the ethical ideal. Yes, gone into the ages, gone to meet and join the pantheons of ideal beings whose moral teachings live on. So we become nervous, frightful, unsteady, uncertain for we have not done what we morally ought to do in our societies, so we fell on our knees and pleaded that he should tarry a little.

He mused and nudged us gently that the eternal ideal is calling, beckoning that his mortal earthly job is done and that he has to answer the owner of life.  When the giver of life calls, we must answer. It is a compulsory immortal tax, an eternal categorical obligation. We knew but because we were not prepared morally we failed to recognize that.

He was called. We know he was called. The called is known through their moral voices.  The moral voice that apprehends the feelings of the poor, we know he was called. The moral voice the weak, the vulnerable choose to speak with and for them, we know he was called.   The moral voice the workers breadth their pains and voices into, we know he was called. The moral voice whose big shoulders the voiceless lean on, we know he was called. The moral voice in which the disadvantaged see an advantage, we know he was called. The called is known. The called is revealed. The called is a sign, a moral signifier.

Now that we know that he was called. Now that we know that he answered the call to come and live with us for a while. Now that we know that he has answered the eternal call to return for his job is finished here what shall we do, what shall you do?  What did you tell your children about him who was called here and has been re-called back?

Remember he said, “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” Ask yourself, what you will do in Mandela’s position when inevitable death comes calling? Yes, it is good that you declared three-day mourning period for Mandela in Nigeria. Will it not be a good way to honor Mandela’s memory if the one who declared a three day mourning in Nigeria also declare at least one-day war against corruption, against the un-ethical in our lives-just in memory of him-Mandela who gave his all? Should he who declared three day mourning in Nigeria not also work hard to see the death of corruption and declare a day to mourn corruption and immorality?   Have you told Nigeria about the N255m aviation armored car contract?  Did you not give multiple figures for the same Elbit Internet security contract in order to loot government treasury? How did you “build” that “church” in Otuoke, in Bayelsa state? And to your predecessor and mentor, how did you “build” that “library” and farms in Otta Abeokuta, Ogun state? With whose money? And did you not declare a three day mourning by Nigeria  from a foreign hospital in Germany for Madiba who died in an African hospital in Africa? Answer Mr. presidents, tell the world before you shed crocodile tears on our Mandela’s transition.

Recall that he said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Did you tell your children this, that it is not the number of cars, the number of houses you used stolen government money from fake armored car contract to acquire that matters but the difference you make in peoples’ lives? Answer before you “mourn” Mandela’s death. Did you listen to him?

Do not forget that Madiba said: “Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.” Where were you when you heard this?  Or did you even hear this for you both want to add years to your presidency while Mandela who you are “mourning” never did? Were you not morally missing in action? Did you gather your children together to let them imbibe Madiba ethics?

Tell your children that Madiba said….“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally
to the human heart than its opposite.” Remember Martin Luther King in Madiba and Madiba in Martin Luther King?  That is the power of love, the divinity, unity and spirituality of love. Did you gather your children at dinnertime and reveal this to them? Did you reinforce this in these children? Please do if you have not.  Me? Oh yes I did that here in the Diaspora. Trust.  Believe. I did in honor and  celebration of our Madiba.

Make it known that Madiba said, “…A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.” Did you listen? Did you not say recently that the truth the press write is “gossip’? Answer.

Announce it on the mountain tops that our Madiba said….“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” Did you tell your children this? I told mine.

The African mind privileges the thickness and connectedness of time and space rather than their limited  linear atomized sense. It is not about Madiba. It is not about me. It is not about you. But it is about “us/we” as a connected indivisible totality. So, when my family heard that Madiba finally answered the call, mom gathered the children.  Memory bristled in space and time  like spring flowers with a touch of African morning sun. Like we used to do back home in our African cities, towns and small villages from Ile Ife, to Ondo to Lagos, to Ibadan in Nigeria to Cape Town, to Johannesburg to Soweto in South Africa back to Binghamton New York, mom connecting back to Africa from the Diaspora told the children to hold hands together in a circle of prayer in the circle, cycle and spirit of African collectivity and family-hood, in a circle of prayers, holding hands, kneeling with heads bowed in complete reverential submission to HIS WILL in prayer for him- Madiba Mandela- who was called for Life and who has answered the call of Life.

Adieu Mandela, you now belong to the ages for nothing miraculous again after this. You will no longer partake in   material death and the dirt of our material mortality any more, you will now partake in perpetual profound peace and love, in eternity, in the ideal and in the adoration of peace with your fellow ideal ones, the heavenly ones…we will remain connected and united in the divinity of the eternal path of life…  The Ethical Ideal in our lives is eternal, it lives on-it is the first and last principle in life. The Ethical Ideal trumps everything. Madiba Mandela, You represent this. There is nothing else meaningful outside the Ethical Ideal. The African mind represents this thus:

“Sun re o, Mandela Ma jọkun ma jẹkolo. Ohun ti wọn ba n jẹ lajule ọrun ni ki o ba wọn jẹ. O darinako. O doju ala. O dọjọ ajinde-For You Shall Be Raised Up On The Last Day.  O digba ”. Ẹyin rẹ ti dara.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Madiba Nelson Mandela: Only The Deep Can Call To The Deep, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

He gave us many signs that he was leaving.  But we fell on our knees to beg him not to leave instead of falling on our knees to learn and imbibe his ethics. He told us in no uncertain terms that the work of the laborer is finished that he has to leave.  We said we understood but that he has to stay.  He trudged on and said “I will pass the baton to you.” Because our ethics failed us, we knew but we continued to plead. In clear terms, he said, the worker has completed his task on earth and the infinite is calling. Because we never learnt from him, we knew but we continued our plea.

We pleaded that he should stay for we knew that after this, nothing else again can be miraculous in the moral voice of Mr. Soyinka as he, Soyinka gave public face and moral force to the private street and neighborhood mournful intuitions and voices on the transition of the soul of Africa, the soul of the world. But again Madiba said the spirit is ready but the body is weak, he is being called. He has to leave. It is becoming urgent.

We knew he was passing into the ages as Mr. Barack Obama; the American President gave public face to our intuitions for Madiba will no longer partake in the eating of matter but in the ethical ideal. Yes, gone into the ages, gone to meet and join the pantheons of ideal beings whose moral teachings live on. So we become nervous, frightful, unsteady, uncertain for we have not done what we morally ought to do in our societies, so we fell on our knees and pleaded that he should tarry a little.

He mused and nudged us gently that the eternal ideal is calling, beckoning that his mortal earthly job is done and that he has to answer the owner of life.  When the giver of life calls, we must answer. It is a compulsory immortal tax, an eternal categorical obligation. We knew but because we were not prepared morally we failed to recognize that.

He was called. We know he was called. The called is known through their moral voices.  The moral voice that apprehends the feelings of the poor, we know he was called. The moral voice the weak, the vulnerable choose to speak with and for them, we know he was called.   The moral voice the workers breadth their pains and voices into, we know he was called. The moral voice whose big shoulders the voiceless lean on, we know he was called. The moral voice in which the disadvantaged see an advantage, we know he was called. The called is known. The called is revealed. The called is a sign, a moral signifier.

Now that we know that he was called. Now that we know that he answered the call to come and live with us for a while. Now that we know that he has answered the eternal call to return for his job is finished here what shall we do, what shall you do?  What did you tell your children about him who was called here and has been re-called back?

Remember he said, “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” Ask yourself, what you will do in Mandela’s position when inevitable death comes calling? Yes, it is good that you declared three-day mourning period for Mandela in Nigeria. Will it not be a good way to honor Mandela’s memory if the one who declared a three day mourning in Nigeria also declare at least one-day war against corruption, against the un-ethical in our lives-just in memory of him-Mandela who gave his all? Should he who declared three day mourning in Nigeria not also work hard to see the death of corruption and declare a day to mourn corruption and immorality?   Have you told Nigeria about the N255m aviation armored car contract?  Did you not give multiple figures for the same Elbit Internet security contract in order to loot government treasury? How did you “build” that “church” in Otuoke, in Bayelsa state? And to your predecessor and mentor, how did you “build” that “library” and farms in Otta Abeokuta, Ogun state? With whose money? Answer Mr. presidents, tell the world before you shed crocodile tears on our Mandela’s transition.

Recall that he said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Did you tell your children this, that it is not the number of cars, the number of houses you used stolen government money from fake armored car contract to acquire that matters but the difference you make in peoples’ lives? Answer before you “mourn” Mandela’s death. Did you listen to him?

Do not forget that Madiba said: “Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.” Where were you when you heard this?  Or did you even hear? Were you not morally missing in action? Did you gather your children together to let them imbibe this?

Tell your children that Madiba said….“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally
to the human heart than its opposite.” Remember Martin Luther King in Madiba and Madiba in Martin Luther King?  That is the power of love, the divinity, unity and spirituality of love. Did you gather your children at dinnertime and reveal this to them? Did you reinforce this in these children? Please do if you have not.  Me? Oh yes I did that here in the Diaspora. Trust.  Believe. I did in honor and  celebration of our Madiba.

Make it known that Madiba said, “…A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.” Did you listen? Did you not say recently that the truth the press write is “gossip’? Answer.

Announce it on the mountain tops that our Madiba said….“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the
shadow of death again and again before we reach the
mountaintop of our desires.” Did you tell your children this? I told mine.

The African mind privileges the thickness and connectedness of time and space rather than their limited  linear atomized sense. It is not about Madiba. It is not about me. It is not about you. But it is about “us/we” as a connected indivisible totality. So, when my family heard that Madiba finally answered the call, mom gathered the children.  Memory bristled in space and time  like spring flowers with a touch of African morning sun. Like we used to do back home in our African cities, towns and small villages from Ile Ife, to Ondo to Lagos, to Ibadan in Nigeria to Cape Town, to Johannesburg to Soweto in South Africa back to Binghamton New York, mom connecting back to Africa from the Diaspora told the children to hold hands together in a circle of prayer in the circle, cycle and spirit of African collectivity and family-hood, in a circle of prayers, holding hands, kneeling with heads bowed in complete reverential submission to HIS WILL in prayer for him- Madiba Mandela- who was called for Life and who has answered the call of Life.

Adieu Mandela, you now belong to the ages for nothing miraculous again after this. You will no longer partake in   material death and the dirt of our material mortality any more, you will now partake in perpetual profound peace and love, in eternity, in the ideal and in the adoration of peace with your fellow ideal ones, the heavenly ones…we will remain connected and united in the divinity of the eternal path of life…  The Ethical Ideal in our lives is eternal, it lives on-it is the first and last principle in life. The Ethical Ideal trumps everything. Madiba Mandela, You represent this. There is nothing else meaningful outside the Ethical Ideal. The African mind represents this thus:

“Sun re o, Mandela Ma jọkun ma jẹkolo. Ohun ti wọn ba n jẹ lajule ọrun ni ki o ba wọn jẹ. O darinako. O doju ala. O dọjọ ajinde-For You Shall Be Raised Up On The Last Day.  O digba ”. Ẹyin rẹ ti dara.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

The Moral zilch in Jonathan’s Trip to Israel and Britain, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

“…I have never regarded myself as having a monopoly of wisdom. The trouble is that when most people in public life and in the position of leadership and rulership are spending whole days and nights carousing in clubs or in the company of men of shady character and women of easy virtue, I, like a few others, am always busy at my post working hard at the country’s problems and trying to find solutions to them. Only the deep can call to the deep.”  Obafemi Awolowo (1909 – 1987)

The President of a country is not a private person. Hence, people  are morally justified to ask questions when public governance is personalized.

President Jonathan’s two trips have raised serious moral questions in the minds of Nigerians because of the unjustified personalized  “presidential” activities during the visits.  Secrecy in public governance is an enemy of the open society. But rather than respond to the legitimate concerns of Nigerians about the lack of propriety and openness in public governance under President Jonathan, aides, such as Reuben Abati, have in a strange manner dismissed serious ethical questions about the imperative of openness in governance in 21st century as “mere gossip”!

Thus, Presidential aides like  Mr. Reuben Abati and others  have worsened the moral case for President Jonathan on these issues.  Also, the silence and complicity of some Nigerians –for primordial ethnic and questionable “religious” reasons have further damaged President Jonathan’s case. We do  know that both  President Jonathan  and his handlers do not care about moral questions. But whether they care or not,  our job as social historians is to set the  record straight and allow posterity to take care of the rest as we all collectively begin to resolve the nature of the union.

Just so that we are all on the same page on this, the following questions will be helpful. Can anyone imagine a visit by President Obama to a foreign country where the agenda and schedule of activities during the visit are not publicly stated and known to the American people? Can anyone imagine President Obama marking his birthday secretly and covertly as President Jonathan allegedly did either on plane or in a London  hotel or anywhere he was said to have marked it during his last London visit? Surely, covert and stealthy acts by heads of state and officials are not responsible acts of  public governance.

So, if the  failure to accept the imperatives of the open society is what President Jonathan and his handlers want us to accept, it may be high time we took a clear decision about what we want to do with this Nigerian union. This is because  an extremely primitive, personalized, covert, stealthy, clan and sectional based orientation to public governance in the 21st century is just unacceptable to the ethically inclined,  fair and just section of the Nigerian populace for we the people(not the stealthy president or government officials) bear the burden to defend the country when Nigeria is negatively put on the spot either at home or in the Diaspora.  Contrary to the thinking of Jonathan presidency  no personalized act of mis-governance  can be hidden.   Walls are globally perforated. They have ears.

President Jonathan traveled to Israel recently.  But we did not know whether it was a “holy trip” or state visit or a combination of the two. Mr. President took along on the Israel trip Mr. Oritsejafor the controversial president of Christian Association of Nigeria whose moral and faith credentials are questionable. By the way, I am a parent, a Christian and a very strong family person-as an African in the Diaspora there is no messing around with the family institution. Therefore, given what we know of Mr. Oritsejafor in the public domain, Mr. Oritsejafor’s faith credentials are morally questionable and unchristian. Why?  It is a major faith contradiction for a Christian to warmly  kiss and bless corruption with the bible as Mr. Oritsejafor often does gleefully.

Similarly, Princess Stella Oduah who was  and is still facing a major moral charge of corruption was covertly smuggled onto that trip! Mr. Oritsejafor was one of those who “prayed” for President Jonathan in Israel.  We do not know if Stella Oduah also “prayed” for President Jonathan or she was “prayed” for.  So the question is: Was the Israel trip a “holy trip” or a state visit?

Before, President Jonathan’s Israel visit, the presidency had a running battle with Nigerians on the moral credibility of the Elbit Internet Security contract   for reasons that have been well documented.   Nigerians did not know about this contract until the media found out through the disclosure of the Israeli company –Elbit Security. Contrary to Nigerian laws, the  contract did not follow due process. The National Assembly is investigating the contract.

 Initially, Mr. Reuben Abati, on behalf of the presidency denied the existence of the contract. In other words, consistent with Reuben Abati lingo, Elbit Security Contract was  “gossip”. Just as Abati denied the existence of the contract, the security hawks in the presidency confirmed its existence. The presidency dodged the status of the contract until now when suddenly it was reported that Elbit Security system has started working in Abuja!

Since the Elbit Internet Security contract did not follow any open bidding that will compel public disclosures to Nigerians about its activities (like Stella Oduah’s N255m armored car scam never followed any open ethics) Nigerians are interested in knowing how the Israeli company Elbit Security systems got to Nigeria. Who introduced the Israeli company Elbit Security Systems to  President Goodluck Jonathan and when?

Nigerians this is 21st century , your government owe you the moral obligation of public disclosure, of open ethics in governance! The same contract Mr. Reuben Abati dismissed as untrue and therefore as  “gossip” is what is being implemented. The question is: how is it that  a “gossip” is being implemented in Abuja? Did President Jonathan perfect this his “gossip” (apology to Dr. Reuben Abati) contract with Elbit Security Systems while “praying” with his  “holy” white Jewish cap  by the “wailing wall” in Israel?

These are the serious moral and security questions that become central to the life of a country when governance is raised to an illicit and personalized  cult act as it is with President Jonathan’s presidency.  Politically, since we humans are yet to dissolve our identities, thus as an African, rationally my country comes first before any regional icon of faith such as Israel or Saudi Arabia–be it Christian or Islam.

So I put my birth country Nigeria and adopted country US before Israel and Saudi Arabia and I hope other Nigerian Christians and Muslims will do the same. In an age where identities are yet to be dissolved, this is what any Jew, Israeli , Asian, Caucasian or Saudi citizen or any rational, confident and self respecting  person does and will do any time, any day. It is basic common sense and enlightened self-interest –a virtue that sadly the people in the Nigerian presidency have not displayed as a result of lucre and  other questionable personal  interests.

However, the dust about the covert nature of President Jonathan’s Israel visit has yet to settle when President took off for London with a partially disclosed agenda and a covertly lined up private activities.

In 21st century, any private activity during a foreign trip of a president of a modern nation that is not disclosed to the people is illicit. And the failure to disclose such so-called private activity which is filled with questionable gaps and inexplicable absences from duty of officials-both male and female- is where patriarchy and matriarchy merge for illicit and publicly un-disclose-able agenda in President Jonathan’s government.

The center of gravity of such illicit agenda is constituted and run by the dubious and shameless icons of matriarchy and patriarchy in President Jonathan’s government. And this is why Mr. Jonathan’s London visit has raised serious moral questions he has to live with, now and forever  after his presidency.

Any watcher of Nigerian politics would know the immoral and indecent intersection of matriarchy and patriarchy in Nigerian politics.  It is on record that a sitting Nigerian head of state died on top of a prostitute right there in the so-called “hallowed” chambers of Aso Rock. Another one is alleged to have illicit relationship with the wife of his son.

Yet  similarly, another one is engaged in equally sleazy and shameless  relationships, has  morally questionable and un-disclose-able  private and family relationships, has drinking challenges such that personal concerns  are worked into so-called official and state visits to foreign countries.

This cesspool of immorality to which our rulers have sunk has proved right those who argue that (i) stable family, stable marriage and (ii) scientifically proved  mental test ought to be basic criteria for those who want to contest for public office –especially the president of the country because public service is a  focused conscious  self sacrifice. You do not come near it if you are not ready. Leaders prepare themselves to lead.

But Nigerian politics  is a space where patriarchal  male politicians pass women around as illicit trophies and matriarchal  female politicians  melt down so-called “powerful” male politicians, toss them around  and twist them on their  palms and  fingers as illicit trophies.

In this smelly  intersection of matriarchy and patriarchy the deployment  of the male and female  illicit flesh  and bodies become  major  tools of governance and loyalty  to a government that is innately  and instinctively corrupt. The consequence is the acute poverty of ideas about governance and the  impoverishment of governance. This is what we have had to live with under the administration of President Jonathan.

President Jonathan was hale and hearty before the London flight. But President Jonathan “suddenly” took ill either after a birthday party on flight or in his hotel room. Then what followed? Disappearance acts of President Jonathan, minister and government officials from public functions. And some Presidential aides want us to live with this.

In the Diaspora, though one is  physically far away from our birth place-Nigeria- from this debauchery and illicit center where the indecency and debauchery  of patriarchy and matriarchy has merged as an immoral  mode  and code of public governance, one cannot hide. It is a Diaspora burden. In the Diaspora, identify   yourself with Nigeria and your friends prick you and throw this dirt at you. We are   left  to deal with this stench.  Thus we have to deal with this union once and for all.

But the moral clock ticks every second and this clock reminds me of the thought of one of Nigeria’s founding fathers, Obafemi Awolowo about public ethics and public governance. I have used it in the introduction of this essay. Please go back to the source of things-it is the ethical.   I will repeat it for emphasis. The sage said:

“…I have never regarded myself as having a monopoly of wisdom. The trouble is that when most people in public life and in the position of leadership and ruler ship are spending whole days and nights carousing in clubs or in the company of men of shady character and women of easy virtue, I, like a few others, am always busy at my post working hard at the country’s problems and trying to find solutions to them. Only the deep can call to the deep.”

This is no “gossip”! “…company of men of shady character…women of easy virtue…” Please Read. Think. Act. And Pass It On. Only the  truly deep can call to the deep.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Ahmed Gulak’s Assault on Ethics and Reason, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Adeolu Ademoyo

“As far as the President is concerned, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and not Amaechi.”-Ahmed Gulak, Special Adviser On Political Matters To President Jonathan (November, 2013).

I do not know Mr. Ahmed Gulak.  Hypothetically, if asked to, for purely ethical reasons, I will not want to meet him. In the Diaspora where we live, as best as  we can my family and I  tend to recoil quietly and seamlessly from the un-ethical in life for we believe the foundation of life is ethical and everything in the world is ethical.

We believe the ethical has a material body we humans need to pay attention to. That ethical material body exhibits  the  indivisible unity of  everything in life, in the world  and the  unity of the private and the public as a moral truth.

However, though I do not know Mr. Gulak in person, I know that Mr. Gulak is the special adviser on political matters to President Jonathan. Hence, I paid attention to what Mr. Gulak said last week about the position of President Jonathan on  a  serious democratic and moral issue. That issue  is: who is the democratically elected Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and by extension, who is morally qualified to be so designated?

Last week I called the attention of readers to what President Jonathan could learn from  the exceptional manner President Obama is handling  the challenges he has to contend with in some domestic policies. I called that instruction “the burden of leadership and the moral obligation a leader has towards his/her people”. Part of the substance of that moral obligation is credibility which a president, or leader must work hard to earn. Ethics is at the core of  that credibility-both in private and public lives. With Mr. Gulak’s open declaration, I am not sure the Nigerian presidency understands this basic truth.

Given, the notion of moral truth which  is very  strong in African ethics, one wonders if President Jonathan’s advisers care about credibility or whether the president himself does because his advisers may just be reading his lips and body language. I say “African ethics” justifiably because there are countless things to say about “ethics”. Just google the word “ethics” you will see what I mean. Begin to show conscious interest in ethics and ethical discourse and see where it leads you.

But let me caution. Being moral has nothing to do with religion.  But being religious has everything to do with being moral. For example, a Christian who is corrupt is a fundamental contradiction. Also, a muslim who is corrupt is a fundamentl contradiction. You cannot be Christian or muslim and be corrupt at the same time. You have to choose. The ethical stands at the foundation of religion.  No amount of visit, “pilgrimage” or so-called “holy trip”  to Israel and Mecca will ever make you a Christian or muslim if you are corrupt.

In talking about moral truth especially in African ethics, I do  not own the concept  of “moral truth” in the affairs of women and men  even when I accept it. I am only reporting the best and finest minds in African Ethics. With “moral truth” we are called upon  to  do the following.  We are called to check what has been said and  the moral character of the person. So I will repeat what Mr. Ahmed Gulak said which shocked  and scared my moral veins.

Mr. Gulak said: “As far as the President is concerned, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and not Amaechi.”(Nigerian Punch, November 18, 2013).

Mr. Gulak did not appeal to democratic principles in Nigeria’s public life. Mr. Gulak did not appeal to moral principles. He appealed to a human being called President of Nigeria. Therefore a human being is the measure of Nigeria’s democracy and not moral and democratic principles. Consistent with African ethics-I take my face  and body away from Mr. Gulak’s statement.  My moral justification for turning my face and body away from Mr. Gulak is the  African Yoruba variant of it which says: “Kò bójúmu”  which means  it ethically violates our being, our essence, our moral space.  Thus, we strongly recoil from it with a measure of civility and candour.

Before now we do not have  in print  the official position of President Jonathan on who he thinks is the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, though that does not matter in a democracy for in sane democracy a president has just one vote like any other voter.  But with Mr. Gulak’s public disclosure, it is now official that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes the loser of the NGF election as the chairman of NGF! And the measure for that is not democratic and moral principles, but the president himself.

Let us go back to the records. An election held in the year 2013 in a place on earth called Nigeria. 35 Governors voted. Two governors-Mr. Amaechi and Mr. Jang- contested the election.  Mr. Amaechi got 19 votes. Mr. Jang got 16 votes.  President Jonathan, our President is calling the person that got 16 votes the winner and the person that got 19 votes the loser.

Please let us  set aside the airs  about who and what we are and talk as common folks in the living rooms and on the streets.   I am talking here like a common folk, a parent. I do not know how many of our ministers, presidential advisers,  legislators, president, etc are parents who take seriously the moral act of parenting. I do precisely because the home is the first moral port of socializing the human child  before we send them to society to play their role.  So, I do not know if  ministers, aides, of Mr. Jonathan’s presidency  think what they say have any impact on their own children, on other Nigerian children both at home and in the Diaspora.  I do not know what they tell their children in their homes about moral truth and the moral conduct of women and men  in private and public lives.

Friends, what Mr. Gulak has just said is a serious matter. It has grave impact on our children. Parents must not stand reason on its head before their children  the way Mr. Gulak has just done, otherwise we morally lose these children.  And to be honest we are losing them. Is there a difference between the 419 ethics that underline the presidency’s position on the NGF election and yahoo yahoo boys’  419 ethics?

The questions my own children have asked me since Mr. Gulak’s confirmation of the official position of the President of Nigeria  are as follows. Is there a special Nigerian mathematics that makes 16 greater than 19?  Is number 16 greater than number 19 in Nigeria? Does President Jonathan  think that 16 is greater than 19? How will he prove it?

If this moral wretchedness  is all what we have  in the Nigerian presidency, then there must be something wrong with   this presidency and perhaps us as a people. Mr. Gulak, you remind me of the moral wretchedness of the  old Soviet Union  “Gulag”- a  physical and moral prison where morality and truth were the first casualty towards the capture, domination  and termination of the human spirit.

Thus Mr. Gulak,   with your disclosure of the  official position of President Jonathan  on who the chairman of the Nigerian Governors forum is, a disclosure which turned 16 into majority against 19, the Nigerian Presidency has   dealt a major blow against the human spirit, against ethics, against reason, against our children and their minds,   it has violated the ethical in us and in the world, the Nigerian Presidency  has appealed  to what does not endure in life, it has appealed to the temporary in the affairs of men and women.

But I believe that there must be more to life than all these. For this reason,  for this presidency, and for Nigeria under this presidency,  ethically, this is the beginning of the end. Only the deep can call to the deep. It is a moral call.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.