Category Archives: Opinion

BREAKING: 16 die as Boko Haram attacks Cameroon IDP camp

Fighters from the Boko Haram jihadist group killed at least 16 people in an attack on a camp for displaced people in northern Cameroon, an official said on Sunday.

“The toll is currently 16 dead, it is clear that it was Boko Haram that was responsible,” local mayor Mahamat Chetima Abba told AFP Sunday following overnight attack.

Details later…

[Opinion] Of Suspension Jinx In Nigeria’s Anti-graft Boss Office

Since the establishment of the anti corruption agency known as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission saddled with the responsibilities of combating financial and economic crimes and also to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, by Olusegun Obasanjo Administration back in 2003, four high profile police officers with very vast experience of financial crime have assumed the head of the commission.

There haven’t been an eagle that lacks the capacity killing a chicken among them, but despite their crusade in ensuring that the corruption becomes a thing of history in this country, none of these four have left office without facing at least one or two allegations that will inadvertently lead to their removal or suspension from office. The latest been Ibrahim Magu.

The suspended EFCC boss who is still answering questions from the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel became the boss of the anti-graft commission in 2015. He is been questioned over the allegations which emanated from a report by the Attorney- General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami ( SAN ) and a DSS report which was submitted to the Senate in 2016 and 2017. Magu was accused of living above his means, fraternising with corrupt individuals, diversion of recovered funds and many others.

The anti-graft boss was also accused of insubordination as well as discrepancies in the figures of funds recovered by the EFCC, disposing of assets, especially buildings seized from corrupt politicians and others, without approval, or knowledge of the AGF’ s office, which is the supervisory ministry of the EFCC .

He succeeded Ibrahim Lamorde who was suspended in the early days of Buhari’s administration for allegedly mismanaging N1. 3trillion recovered by the anti-graft agency and also on the account that the presidency was angry that the EFCC did not take action on former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke until the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom invited her for questioning.

Lamorde himself took over the mantle of leadership in the anti corruption agency after his predecessor who was the second Boss of the agency was asked to vacate office by President Goodluck Jonathan over the accusation that EFCC had been selective in its investigations and there was news of her falling out with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke over the prosecution of cases that were brought before the court. It was also alleged that Farida Waziri might have compromised the investigation into financial misappropriation against the former governor of Bayelsa state, Timipreye Sylva.

Nuhu Ribadu, the first EFCC chairman who also set the sack/suspension record associated with the last days of anyone who has ever sited on the apex chair in the anti corruption agency’s office was not only sacked from office but was demoted from Assistant Inspector General of Police to Commissioner of Police. He was alleged to have been involved in abuse of human rights of suspects among other things and it was also believed that Ribadu’s troubles was link to his refusal to terminate the corruption trial of James Ibori, former governor of Delta state and Yar’Adua’s close ally.

As observed, no EFCC boss have been able to receive ‘thank you, you have done well’ message as they leave office, despite been an alpha-dog against corruption in the country. And the question is why is it so? This was partially answered by a source in a report published by Dailytrust on July 8, this year particularly on Magu’s saga. The source said “I can tell you that all the allegations against Magu are untrue. I see the whole situation as a power play. He concluded by saying; “Preparations for the 2023 elections are another reason they want Magu out because he knows too much.

To large extent, one will agree with the source that perhaps EFCC bosses always know too much that is why there is hardly a farewell funfair for them as they leave office but rather a suspension or sack notice. One can also say( as held by some quarters) that it is perhaps, due to the fact it is not possible to fight corruption in this country, because it seems it always fight back, something sort of a karma. But why is karma not fighting anti-graft crusaders in other climes?

Things will surely continue as they’re and the onlookers will as usual be taking the country for a joke until it finds a means of ensuring that the looted funds recovered are not relooted by those responsible for recovering the funds and the government itself.

The next EFCC boss will not be able to break the suspension jinx until the government begin to be using the recovered funds for tangible projects which will not be of benefit to some set of people but to the general public, so as to make us know that the corruption agency isn’t set up just to humble those that don’t want to be licking the government’s butt.

Written by: Hassan Temitope

Twitter: @hatdapoet

[Opinion] Mass Protest: A Cure To Northern Nigeria Underdevelopment?

Comparing the pace at which development unfold in the Southern part of Nigeria albeit much more slowly, to what is obtainable in the Northern part of the country, it would be an unquestionable fact that the North is in total stagnation. This is so because the North, unlike its southern counterpart has failed woefully to hold its leaders accountable for their words and in actions.

Since Nigeria became an independent state in 1960, it has witnessed series of protest mainly in the form of general strikes, boycotts and mass demonstration organized and led by labour unions, youth movements and social activists to press home a variety of demands and grievances.

About 90 percent of those protests took place in the South. Much as the south controls to a larger extend both mass and social media, yet, we always find them on streets demonstrating their anger and disagreement with certain government policies.

Although, unfortunately, the North has more pressing issues to demand from their governments ranging from: rampant poverty, poor educational system, high unemployment, poor infrastructures, better wages, better living conditions, corruption etc, but has never found wisdom in demonstrating grievances through mass gathering and street matchings which would have fetch more government attention and speedy response.

Election which is most common form of political retaliation in the North is too ritualistic and periodized, citizens therefore, as to wait for four good years to be able to affect any political or social change. Little wonder, those political office holders usually find their way back to their offices by manipulating elections.

With strike however, people can demonstrate their need for political change, or ventilate their anger on certain Political issues they do not agree with, those in power can ignore letters, phone calls, emails, agitations from the radio and television platforms but they can’t ignore people gathering together and making their voices heard.

Even though protest usually came with some consequences basically because those in power detest it, it however, remain the best option to attract the attention of the government. A good example could be driven from the recent (Stop the killings in Katsina) protest, even though some of the leaders of the protest were arrested but they have succeeded in driving the attention of government to them which manifested to the president sending the IG of Police, DG of DSS and the National Security Adviser to Katsina so as to end the killings.

By and large, its only in the northern part of Nigerian that a governor would stay in power for eight years without anything tangible to show while followers does nothing about it. Sadly enough, 60 years behind independence, till today the North still battle with illiteracy, poverty, unemployment poor infrastructures etc, despite producing more than half of the presidents and heads who ruled the Nation.

Also due to lackadaisical attitudes and lack of supervision of federal projects, a number of infrastructural projects which would have help the North reduced its unemployment rate, reduce poverty and bring about foreign investors in the region have been halted either deliberately or due to embezzlement, projects such as the Baro land port which is located in Niger state though commissioned since 2019 by the president is yet to commence operation, sadly nobody is asking questions.

Mambila hydro power project which located in Adamawa state is taking forever to be constructed despite the fact that the federal government has approved funds for it. A number of federal roads among other projects located in the north have been abandoned and nobody seem to be too bothered about it, and might not continue basically because we failed to demonstrate to the government how much we needed them.

That been said, I think Northerners should begin to hold every leaders in the region accountable for the sorry state in which we are now. Let’s move out from conservative shell in order to get the government do what it’s voted to do. That’s the language that the government seems to understand, let’s speak it.

Abdulmajid Bala Kangiwa writes from Sokoto, Nigeria. He is a freelance journalist and can be reached via
abdulmajidbala49@gmail.com

[OPINION] RAPE: When The Perennial Monster Knocks This Time

Covid-19 reports these days seems not to be news that many are eager to know how well about any longer, compare to days before now. Government relaxing the lockdown and opening of some parts of the economy is one of the major reasons and perhaps, as no cure is in sight from the lab, thus, people can’t wait forever – they have to learn how to live with Covid-19. Indeed, we have to.

Though, cases are still on the rise throughout the world and fatalities are not reducing either but the fear for the pandemic has drastically reduced as we can see in some climes where protests are on going (due to dearth of justice) in which people are no more adhering to the 2-meter apart social distance rule and face masking associated with coronavirus.

As it is in other climes, so it is in Nigeria, however Nigeria seems to be faced with another ‘endemic’ called RAPE, though it has been a crises since God knows when but the reportage of rape here and there – from the national dailies, to the online media, to the various social media platforms down to all means of communication have been very alarming. A day hasn’t gone without a rape or alleged rape case been publicised.

Like earlier stated, rape isn’t an issue that started just yesterday, it has been since time immemorial, however, the manner in which the recent ones got to the hearings was a shocker. A 22-year-old university student Uwaila Omozuwa, was gang raped and left to die inside a church in Benin. Inside the House of God? One will wonder what sort of human does that, perhaps a psychopath or person living in a society with more house of worships, but less Godly people.

Few days after the gory incident in Benin, similar case was recorded in the Ibadan, Barakat Bello, 18, was raped and murdered in the comfort of her home. A 13 year-old girl was raped by a 25 year old man in Niger State. In Jigawa, eleven deranged men raped a 12-year-old child. Then there was the rape of a 17-year-old sachet water hawker in Ado Ekiti. A 42 year old man lured another 12 year old girl into his apartment and forcefully had canal knowledge of her. The victim has been reportedly sent a message to the rapist while narrating her order. She said: “God will Judge”. This happened in Otukpo, Benue state.

Also, in Kwara state, a 15 year old girl was defiled by an alleged well-known Musician. Across the online space, series of rape allegations have been trooping in like some sort of contest. And as at the time of writing this, a corps member with the National Youth Service Corps was gang raped in Uyo by two friends when she went to their apartment to charge her phone. There are other news of minor defilement and aged ones are not spared either. It is just frustrating and disturbing at the same time as the reports keep rising day in day out.

One would wonder the reason why all what is in someone’s thought is to perpetuate sexual assault in today’s world if not psychopathy, for there is no, in all ramifications, a justification for rape.

Another thing that will come to mind is asking about the punishment for rapist, since it is agreed that indulging in the act of forcefully coercing someone into sex is an offence. It has been observed that one of the reason why rape crisis hasn’t been eradicated is because of low conviction of rapists despite the fact that the law of the land frowned at the act.

Most cases usually be dead on arrival due to lack of substantial evidence which is enshrined in the criminal code as “prove of penetration and the requirement of corroboration”.

It is high time government at all level reviewed this law and be more up and doing in ensuring that justice is been upheld whenever pressing issue like sexual abuse is been presented. Though some quarters have called for castration or death penalty as the best punishment, but that might not be effective enough as it has been tested in some places without result to show. A castrated person still has at least, 10% probability to be sexually aroused and a person sentenced to death will have no regret of his action.

Also, death sentence hasn’t been a deterrent to more perpetrators, while Imprisonment has also been questioned too.

There will be a way for rapist to suffer for their crimes, government should look into that without necessarily executing irreversible punishment. And as rapist gets their punishment, anyone found wanting in wrongly accusing someone of sexual abuse should also not go without been punished.

Government should also make compulsory provisions for the care of sexually abused victims, just as pioneered by the Governor of Ekiti State who signed into law a Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence bill which is meant to augment the Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law of 2012.

Written by: Temitope Hassan (@hatdapoet)

OPINION: How To Become A Popular Cops

Mummy, I wan to be a policeman, so that I can be arresting thieves and other bad people”. I overheard a boy around 10 years old, whose police themed home dramas might have made him to dream of seeing himself as a member of law enforcement agency in the nearest future telling his mum while I was passing by on a street. I was shocked, very shocked – I hardly hear people wanting to be a police officer, they prefer other uniform security related jobs.

The boy actually gave a rather precised role of policing anywhere in the world which is nothing but protecting life and properties of the populace and maintaining law and order in the society. However, looking at the ways in which our police have been operating against its work principle over the years have alley huge prejudice about the force in many places in the world and especially in Nigeria.

That gave a little insight to why many hardly pray to be a police officer. The popular saying “police is your friend” means “police is your enemy” to larger people in the society. Reasons for this is simply because – the police notoriety defies human comprehension and reeks of outright incompetence, deliberate violations of human rights, extra-judicial killings and unbridled extortion.

I had heard people saying if corruption is eradicated in the country, there won’t be anything called police in the country – police is synonymous to corruption. Let’s assume they are not the only one here as they have like-minds-in-crime – the politicians, directly and indirectly extorting the people’s and nation’s purse. However, it seems police brutality is more rank than other crimes perpetuated by the blue-black uniformed men. If not why is there rise in police brutality in recent days?

One would think that during this time that everything is upside-down, and when everyone is trying to find new way of facing life’s reality, one would think the police too is together with the world and finding a lasting ‘vaccine’ for the virus which has eaten the body of the force up to its soul. But, surprisingly unsurprising, our police rather massively, keep pouring fuel to their show of inhumanity.

In far away America protest has been ongoing in most of its cities which resulted from inhumane activities of some cops. A 46 year old man, George Floyd, from Minnesota on May 25, 2020, died, when Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and some seconds which resulted into deceased death. The officer in charge and three others has been relieved of their duty after public out cry.

While that was going, Nigeria again had its latest unfortunate experience of police brutality in Lagos. One Musa Yakubu, 35, was injured and a stray bullet hit Tina Ezekwe, a 17 years old girl. The bullet pierced through the left upper side of her lap. She was rushed to the hospital but died two days after.

The trigger-happy policemen, Theophilus Otobo (ASP) and Oguntoba Olamigoke (Inspector) attached to Bariga Police Station have been reportedly subjected to internal discipline proceedings.

I do not want to peel the healed wound, I would have given accounts of people brought down by police that’s why I stopped at the fresh ones. The numbers are even countless.

A thorough findings on the reason why this act will keep increasing from cops who are suppose to protect one’s life but turning out to be life terminator reveals that most of these officers if found wanting in whatever investigation they might have been subjected to hardly go with cogent punishment and this is even more worsened by the fact that many people who made a complaint against police were brought up on counter-charges such as resisting arrest, defamation, and assault.

Government on its part has given less concern about the public cry of as regards to the way police are treating citizens. Drastic measures should be put in place to avoid revolts from the masses like it is ongoing in Minneapolis and police should have a rethink of their irrational and inhumane acts. Corruption is enough in making the police a thing to reckon with, brutality shouldn’t be added. Please!

Written by Hassan Temitope (@hatdapoet)

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