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Fasoranti and rise of Nigeria’s un-Nigerian President | By Festus Adedayo

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The killing on Friday of the daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, 94-year old leader of Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba group, may yet be throwing up two apparent equations in a post-Fulani herdsmen-sympathetic Nigerian leadership which may begin in 2023.

The first is that, President Muhammadu Buhari may be the last Nigerian president. We will get so riled as a people by this daily bloodshed inflicted on us by an evading army of bloodthirsty Fulani nomads, sauced by Buhari’s obvious unpretentious Fulani leader leadership of Nigeria, that the hurt regions will demand, with a baffling stubbornness, their right to go their different ways. This equation is still mutating in the womb of time. Second, and the most apparent, which is also related to the former, is that Buhari is certainly unfolding as an un-Nigerian Nigerian president. We do not need a diviner to look into the Ouija-board for us to know the apparentness of these obvious permutations. I will explain presently.

Mrs. Funke Olakunrin was said to have been killed by yet unidentified but suspected Fulani herdsmen along the Ondo-Ore road. The killers, according to a modus operandi that is a profile of their brutality in the South West of Nigeria, were said to have suddenly emerged from their bush domicile, taken over the highway and began sporadic and indiscriminate shooting at oncoming vehicles. In the process, Mrs. Olakunrin was hit.

As I write this, the omnibus reactions from Buhari’s regimented information machinery is yet to be unleashed on the information highway. They will, assuredly. Buhari will express his regrets at this nefarious activity – a la his information night soil men; he will talk tough; he may even order the Inspector General of Police to vacate his “slimming, hard-working session” (excuse me while I laugh!) to make Ondo State his temporary office. His Man Friday, Yemi Osinbajo, may even be hurriedly suborned to visit Pa Fasoranti to advertise a governmental contrite face, talk tough in the process and get photo-ops suggestive of government’s decision to rout the banditry. Mark my words: You will never hear Buhari, the Nigerian President, personally verbalizing these alleged regrets.

Second, there will never be, as there has never been, any arrest to be made. Third, the Buhari online cyber leopards will be unleashed on the stratosphere to bay our blood. They will straddle the information highway with justifications, rationalizations and permutations to explain off this unfortunate killing. Their recruits, many of whom hail from Fasoranti’s ethnic stock, will tell us how even in America, such killings are no big deal. Anyone like us who volunteers an opinion contrary to legitimizing Buhari’s Fulani ascendancy, they will argue with certainty of algebra, yesterday held a meeting with Atiku Abubakar, bribed with huge sacks of dollars to say what they are saying. All Progressives Congress (APC) governors in the South West will convoke on Fasoranti’s house like mourning Salamanders to shed crocodile tears; they may even call an emergency meeting “to address the menacing insecurity” in the region. They are all a familiar route of the tragedy of the dead burying their dead that has become our lot as Nigerians under Buhari.

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The killers of Nigerians, said to be Fulani by their victims, have literally strewn themselves round many parts of the country. Why South West is the core place of harbor they chose to moor their deadly ship is yet inexplicable. Hardly does a week pass without this apparent alien force, deadly and without any iota of humanity, unleashing weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth on their victims. It will appear that their banditry and blood-thirstiness are gaining notoriety by the day, encouraged by a government that is ostensibly not bothered by the incessant blood spillage and is thus flinging its hands up in surrender.

Things have gone really very bad in Nigeria under Buhari. The most bothersome is that neither he nor any member of his government is bothered about the calamity that this portends. The division and ethnic fissures in the country have become hugely pronounced in the last four years. Issues that separate us are the most dominant of the things that link us together today.  There has never been a moment – perhaps, except during the civil war – when divisions of ethnicity, religion and political party affiliations have been this pronounced. Buhari is apparently not bothered. In his silence, his pronouncements, body language, appointments and other indices of governance, he does not pretend that he is not an Un-Nigerian Nigerian President. He is Fulani, Hausa and then probably Nigerian, in that order. The last, for him, is secondary.

Those who can lend their voice on the side of right and righteousness have shut their mouths, lest they be tar-brushed with ink of tribe or party. You must be a PDP lickspittle to ask Buhari to respect the contours of our nationhood pretentions. Those of us who volunteer opinion, do so at the huge risk of being demonized. Yet, it will be criminal conspiracy to allow this sorry pass under the Buhari government become a model without a voice of dissent.

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The way things are playing out in Nigeria, Buhari’s silence on killings in the country, which are becoming really alarming, will continue, probably till 2023. I remember Ilorin, Kwara State-born Ddadakwada music exponent, Late Odolaye Aremu, warning us that with the rain that is yet to subside, no one can claim to be immune from the drench of its merciless downpour. So those who are abetting Buhari in this drive should continue in their follies. I have, countless times, psycho-analyzed Buhari as seeing himself as a Fulani President and not what we thought he should be – the Nigerian President. To reinforce this psychosis, he looks away from the bad of his ethnicity and shovels goods in its way. The RUGA policy is an attempt to do the latter and the killings by herdsmen example the former. In the last 20 years of Nigeria’s democratic experiment, the closest to Buhari as an un-Nigerian Nigerian president is Goodluck Jonathan. But even Jonathan is far way out of the class of Buhari in ethnic irredentism. It took Olusegun Obasanjo a straight ethnic jab out of power to realize what Obafemi Awolowo saw decades ago about him merely queuing up at the bus-stop of people whose orientation is basically provincial. If Obasanjo is accosted in the private today, he will express his regrets.

Umaru Yar’Adua was very nationalistic in his thought process. You will recall that he was the one who began granting Niger Delta militants amnesty. The major blight on Jonathan’s national apparel was when he denied that his kinsmen, the MEND militants were blowing up installations. He also ensconced his government with his native South-South people. It also manifested when this same Niger Delta ascendancy aspiration and Northern Nigeria machination theory of his blinded him from believing security reports on the kidnap of over 200 girls from their dormitory. Jonathan’s variant of Buhari’s irredentism was reinforced further by his wife’s brusque and infelicitous we no dey born pikin trowey thesis.

In the case of Buhari, the rest of Nigeria, except his Fulani/North, were like the farmer who cultivated a groundnut plantation beside a squirrel-infested forest who, after the squirrels mowed down his plantation, now laments his loss. We should have known from the outset that he was irredentist in cognition. We were blindfolded by the quantum of hate provoked against Jonathan by leg-men of Buhari’s party. When Buhari harangued Jonathan for attacking our Boko Haram, upbraided late Oyo State governor, Lam Adesina for “your people attacking my people” on this selfsame Fulani attacks in the North of Oyo State, Buhari was acting the unshakeable script of a permanent mind construct. No matter how many people are killed by these thirsty hound kinsmen of his, the C-in-C will not budge.

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What that tells me is that, if and when Buhari eventually leaves office in 2023, whoever takes over from him cannot act out the script of a Nigerian Presidency any longer. If he is Igbo, his people will prevail on him to remember that their own time too had come; if he is Yoruba, his people will tell him to learn from the pitfalls of Obasanjo who believed, to his eternal regret, that he represented a non-existent nation called Nigeria.

I extend my condolences to Pa Fasoranti on this huge loss. The inexplicable way of providence manifested in this avoidable murder. How good would it have been if the child of the person murdered was that of those who tell us daily that there is no Fulani onslaught in the South West or even in Nigeria; that kidnappings and killings by nefarious Fulani herdsmen – of course with the connivance of accursed Yoruba accomplices – are only the rheum off the nostrils of those overblowing it for political advantage?

 

 

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Opinion

Plates of rice | By Tunde Busari

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Without being prematurely critical, I can only fold my arms and sit to see results which the Southwest Security Network (Amotekun) would bring to the geopolitical zone after yesterday’s passing out of 1500 personnel in Oyo town.

Oyo State Governor Engineer Seyi Makinde has incontrovertibly blazed the trail since all the Southwest governors loudly spoke in unanimity in 2019 to confront headlong the threatening insecurity in the region. So help them, God.

However, I maintain my reservation on the implementation of the security agenda given what looks like hurried pace with which the Oyo State Amotekun was trained and presented to Governor Makinde yesterday. I’m still not convinced that three weeks training can be adequate to face the monstrous problem at hand.

Yes, reports have it that within the three weeks, members demonstrated full grasp of march past. But march past is ceremonial than operational required now. How many weeks do it take secondary school pupils to learn the art to put up flawless displays at annual inter-house sports fiesta?

Anyway, without being critical, I want to believe that Colonel Olayinka Olayanju, the commandant, has, in the past three weeks, subjected the recruits to appropriate reorientation to meet the public expectations in curtailing crimes. I want to believe intelligence gathering skill was intensively taught and exhaustively explored because, in my view, that’s what should be the strong point of the Amotekun in all the states.

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Let us see the police, civil defence and army in their uniforms. We are used to seeing them. We are familiar with them. Let us, conversely, not see Amotekun. Let Amotekun work like undercover. Let them be anonymous. Let them be faceless. Let them work like ghost. Let them walk like Elemosho in Baba Lere Paimo film.

Should Amotekun members also parade themselves on the streets in their flashy maroon uniform, there is tendency that they will abuse their oath and also end in the convoy of politicians at social gatherings. Later, they would also be struggling and fighting themselves over plates of rice and amala. They would be disgracefully giving compliment to every Dick and Harry, including criminal elements assumed to have some Naira notes to throw at them.

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Six Consequences Of Being Stingy

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According to the dictionary, ‘Stingy’ simply means unwilling to share, give, or spend possessions or money. Interestingly, many people are yet to discover that selfishness is one of the reasons they remain the way they are.

This is because there is a step on the ladder of greatness that a selfish person may not go beyond. They could live comfortably but they can never be a world changer.

A good way is to critically look at the consequences of being stingy, which is the opposite of being generous and they are as follows:

Inability to take risks

Since the stingy person does not want to lose anything at all and as a result of that , they might find it difficult to take risk in investment. Businesses is all about risk and the higher the risk, the higher the returns and vice versa. Similarly, religion is all about faith, so people take the risk in faith and that’s why they consult God before investing in any business. The stingy does not have faith because they believe their money will be lost if they take a giant step to move further.

Erode people’s blessings

There is blessing in giving. Therefore, failure to give is failure to get blessing. If the Bible which other religions also shared same sentiment with says, “give and it shall be given unto you”, meaning that if you don’t give , nothing shall be given in returns; because if you do not let go the seed, you cannot reap the fruits.

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Deters business expansion

Selfish people lack human relationship because selfishness send people away from you and no matter how talented you are, if you cannot work with people, you may not go far in business world. Most of the times, when you give , the blessing that would come will come through your business or your job but if you are selfish , the blessing that is supposed to come through the business will be denied and thereby deter the expansion of the business.
Selfish people even finds it difficult to pay salaries of their workers and when the workers are not happy, how can the business expand ?

Loneliness

Being stingy discourages friendships and relationships, thus people would prefer not to associate with such individual. Giving attracts people and where the spirit of giving is lacking, people will not like that person and this may cause loneliness to the fellow

Negative confession

“I do not have” statement have ruined many and they didn’t know. Stingy people always saying negative confession, even when they have more than enough they would still not fall short of this negative confession, “I don’t have ” which is a negative prophecy.

Greed

Investigations revealed that the selfish people are much greedier. They always want to get everything to themselves. They are full of ‘I before others’ attitude. Unfortunately, greediness prevents people from the way to greatness.

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#EndSARS: The Melancholic Beats Of A Two-Faced Drum | By Wole Adejumo

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I entered Akinola Maja Street, Jericho, Ibadan and approached the Superintendent of Police who was the most senior officer on the scene and after checking his name tag, I greeted him and identified myself, in my characteristic manner; “my name is Wole Adejumo, I work with The Street Journal”. I told him I noticed unusual movements and I came to check what was going on. “It is nothing serious, just a routine exercise”, he replied. So I stood by, blended with the already gathering crowd and looked on.

As the officers marched the suspects out of the premises of a petroleum haulage outfit, I brought out my camera and clicked away. I had barely taken the second picture when a hand tried to snatch the camera from behind me. I turned round to face the person and ensure that I didn’t lose the camera. Behold, it was a police sergeant and within a minute, another policeman had joined him.

I kept struggling until it crossed my mind that struggling for a camera with two men carrying Kalashnikov rifles might not be a very sensible thing to do, especially with the many cases of ‘accidental discharge’ that I had heard of. Help was not coming from any of the bystanders. I left the camera and almost immediately, the Sergeant bellowed at me, “sit down there”.  Of course seeing that the rifles were no longer on their shoulders but in their hands, my compliance was not delayed.

Right there, I was dispossessed of my phones and voice recorder. Minutes seemed like hours and the two policemen were already accusing me of being a “spy”. They put a call through to their superior officer while I sat there on the asphalt. Fortunately, the phone was on speaker, so I heard the conversation audibly. When the Sergeant reported that they had caught me, the response from the other end was “is it the guy wearing a green shirt and blue trousers? Leave him, he is a journalist”. That was how I got to know that it was the Superintendent at the other end. The Sergeant however gave reasons for which they should hold me. “He is a spy, we caught him taking pictures, sir”, he said. This time, the Superintendent said “don’t mind him, he is a foolish man. Wait for me”.

On his arrival, I was ordered to stand up and move towards the patrol van he rode in. He asked what they took from me. When I told him the items, he looked at the Sergeant and said “return his phones”.

By the time I retrieved the camera from the office of the Police Public Relations Officer later, the pictures had been wiped. My voice recorder was never found! Of course, being an expert in damage control, the PPRO apologized and said they were doing their job just as I was doing mine. He gave reasons we should be friends, especially since we had the same godfather. That was around June, 2010.

It didn’t come as a surprise that the then Superintendent’s name appeared conspicuously on the list of officers rumoured to have been penciled down for reprimand by the Force as a fallout of the Anti-SARS protests. Though the Force debunked the list, it might be an indication that the senior officer in question has always had potentials for controversy.

While I cannot claim to have had an encounter with the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), I have friends who cannot say the same.

Way back in 2003, Tunde Aluko was caught in their web twice. The first was when policemen came and claimed that he and two other neighbours were apprehended at the scene of a robbery and they were in SARS custody. The second was when he stopped by at one of the ‘joints’ on Ring Road to buy cigarettes. Gun wielding policemen came and arrested him.

My friend left Nigeria some months after. Why? One of the SARS officers issued him what seemed like a personal threat. “You know this is the second time they would bring you here. You wear designer clothes, expensive watches and jewelries, yet you claim to be a student. If you are brought here a third time, I will shoot you”, the officer told him. Since his mum, who was the source of the designer clothes and watches was not ready to lose him to an embittered policeman’s bullet; she took the all-important steps of taking him out of the country.   

As we already know, SARS is not self-existent; it is a unit in the Police Force. As such, officers in the disbanded unit will be transferred to other units, thus retaining them as members of the Force. They will undoubtedly operate with the same character.

The truth is that the whole Police Force needs to be overhauled. For instance, the officer that shot and killed Jimoh Isiaka during the #EndSARS Protest in Ogbomoso was not from SARS.  Gone are the days when the Force enlisted passionate young people. Not a few of the present crop of policemen are doing the job for want of a better choice. That explains why many officers are unhappy when they see someone that appears to be doing well.

The squalor in the Police College has become an open secret and one wonders how officers trained under such squalid conditions are expected to be happy to secure other citizens.

Quite unfortunately, it is not just a police problem. Earlier in the week, a truck parked on what was supposed to be the fast lane at the popular Mobil Junction leading to Oluyole Estate. Not only did the truck obstinately obstruct traffic, some youths were beside it dancing right there on the road. It was just around 6:50 when people were returning from work. They were marketing a certain “bitters” which was relatively new in the market. They rebuffed my efforts to make them realize that they were wrong to have blocked the road. “Motor wey big pass your own don pass here, oga dey go”, some of them told me as they started banging on my car.

It may not be wrong to infer that from politicians to policemen, community and religious leaders; it is with relentless vigour that people use their positions as tools of oppression and enrichment.

That explains why internet fraudsters suddenly became the prime target of SARS officers. Policemen want money and since Yahoo Boys are cashing out illegitimately, police officers have taken it upon themselves to get a piece of the cake.

Who would blame the policemen? The dilapidation in the average police barrack is more than enough to becloud the vision and competence of even the most upright man in the force. Hardly can any officer living in such an environment give peak performance at work. And sadly, years ago, the Police, SARS inclusive became a tool often deployed by big men to harass people and settle scores.

So when SARS started arresting fraudsters, no one bothered to ask whether powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were being usurped or whether the Police Anti-Fraud Unit had become extraordinarily useless to the point of not being able to handle internet fraud.

Given the same opportunity under the same conditions, many of the #EndSARS protesters and by extension, average Nigerians would fare worse than the people they are protesting against. So, it is not just the Police Force that needs reforms, the government of Nigeria at all levels, and every Nigerian needs to be reformed and re-orientated in one way or the other.

While we look towards ending police brutality once and for all, we also need to look into other forms of abuse that have impeded Nigeria’s progress thus far. For instance, the Manager who will not employ a female applicant unless she warms his bed, the female student who is willing to give sex in exchange for good grades, the lecturer who is willing to aid such student, the civil servant who will not move a file unless he gets a tip and the electorate who sell their votes to the highest bidder are all as bad as the police officers we are all criticizing.

Sir Winston Churchill once said “if you are going through hell, keep going”. The youth have channeled a course and with the assurance that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, the journey into a better Nigeria seems to have only just begun.

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