President Buhari has Finally #Rann Out of Excuses

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“Sai Buhari”
“Sai Baba”
Those were the chants that permeated the air by optimistic fans of General Muhammad Buhari when he beat President Goodluck Jonathan in the hotly contested Nigerian Presidential Elections of 2015.

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In the most gracious and a very un-African move, President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat and congratulated the President-Elect thereby paving the way for a seamless and violence free transition of power.

With such optimism for a better future, a corruption free government, terrorist void country and financially buoyant economy, President Buhari was sworn in as Nigeria’s President. His second stint as leader ruler of Africa’s most populous nation after seizing power through a military coup in 1983. As in the famous words of Douglas Mac Aurthur, “Old soldiers never die…”

Today makes it 603 days (365 days in a year) or about 86 weeks (52 weeks in a year) which is exactly 413 working days (3304 hours) since President Muhammad Buhari took the oath of office on Friday, May 29th 2015.

I am not here to whine about his many failed campaign promises or his thoughtless and unproductive numerous travels out of the country.

Neither I am using this platform to rant about the nose diving economy (it’s apparently the fault of Jonathan’s administration or the dwindling oil prices).

I am also not here to burden you with the rampant and regular abuse of court processes, disregard for court orders and a denial of fundamental human rights by the Government.

No, I am not here to vociferate about the continuous bombings, killings, maiming and death of innocent citizens by Boko Haram insurgents with the Government continually claiming to have captured their base in Sambisa Forest.

Neither am I here to expound on the numerous failings of the Government in protecting human lives with the gratuitous killings of people by Fulani Herdsmen in many parts of the country, the Southern Kaduna killings that has claimed and continues to claim the lives of over 200 people in the last few months, the unjustified and unwarranted killing of Mrs Olawale Elisha whose crime was preaching the Word of God or the elderly lady that was murdered in Kano for asking a Muslim man not to pray in front of her shop.

I am really not here to chew over those indiscretions of the Buhari led Government because they have been examined, debated over and analyzed by innumerable writers and social bodies and well meaning citizens.

For the above, I am among those that have vehemently defended the Government.

“Give him some time”, I would say.
“Let the oil prices stabilize”, I would vocalize.
“Wait for two years before we judge his performance”, I regularly say in defense of his many failings.

But after #Rann, he ran out of excuses and my patience has became exhausted.

Yes Rann.

I am actually here to discuss Rann.

Let me bring you up to speed for those unenlightened by the happenings in their dear Country or my Non-Nigerian readers.

Sometime on January 17th, 2017 an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Borno State was “accidentally” bombed by an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

You heard it right.

The Nigerian Air Force bombed and killed over 50 innocent people and injured over 100 people that they were supposed to be protecting “accidentally”.

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How can a fighter jet accidentally bomb the wrong target?

We are running away from Boko Haram insurgents, should we now be running away from our own Military forces?

What level of incompetence would make a fighter jet bomb the wrong target and an Internal Displaced Person’s Camp at that?

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One of General Muhammad Buhari’s campaign promises before 2015 elections reads “Establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious and communal clashes”.

Key word is well trained and goals driven. Will a well trained and goal driven Nigerian Air Force “accidentally” bomb its own people?

Now talking about where was actually bombed: An IDP camp. The same camps that Boko Haram insurgents have been trying to infiltrate?

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What a coincidence…………….

 

The same people that ran away from Boko Haram insurgents and camped in an IDP camp were “accidentally” bombed by the same people mandated to be protect them?

According to Director, Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa said “The NAF is saddened by today’s accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in which innocent lives were lost. The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted”.

It was also reported that six Red Cross members killed and 13 wounded according to The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman.

Can you imagine?

Medicine San Frontiers (MSF) one of the humanitarian aid group affected by the misfiring Airforce fighter jet in a statement issued by its Director of Operations said “This large scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable”.

In all my rancor about this development, what was the President’s take on this rather unfortunate incident?

A visit to the site to commiserate first hand with the dead and gravely injured fellows?

No.

A nationwide broadcast showing how deeply regretful the incident was and what he was doing to lead first hand rescue efforts?

No.

A call to the bodies engaged in making sure the fatality rate remains as minimal as possible?

No.

So what did the President do?

Issue a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and send out a tweet on his Twitter handle (a tweet obviously not written by him).

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That’s all.

So where is the President now?

Just a few days after the incident?

He is in London.

For what?

He is on a short leave (10 days) for rest and to undergo a routine medical check-up.

This being the third “vacation/medical checkup” by the President in one year. He had earlier embarked on a six day vacation between February 5 and 10, 2016 and also June 6, 2016 he embarked in another 10 day vacation to attend to an ear infection.

What stops him from delaying his leave by a few days and staying in the country to take first hand control of the situation?

This is the same President that vowed in one of his numerous campaign promises that he will “Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world standard and ban medical tourism by our politicians”.

A President going on vacation when such an precarious and mind bugging incident as of the Rann bombing has the redolence of an insensitive Leader.

Is this the time to berate the President?

No.

I am not even a political writer or a journalist, I am just a concerned Nigerian troubled by the path this Government is taking.

A probe must be conducted to find out the root cause of such regrettable incident and the guilty parties brought to book. No more sweeping such issues under the carpet.

It’s time for every Nigerian to stand up, ask questions and demand change (Pun intended). #SpeakOut

I pray for the hearts of those that lost loved ones and a speedy recovery to those recuperating at various hospitals.

God bless this country.

The Village Love by An Igbo Man

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True life story.

So I was in England a few years back studying for my Masters. It was a very beautiful experience I must say

Nna men, Ndi Oyimbo amaka. They are so beaurifull. Their life di very peaceful. Apart from the unholy cold, living abroad was a memory I would forever cherish.

But in all the euphoria of learning how to speak through the nose (British accent), eating chicken and chips, drinking tea and biscuits, wearing blanket thick jackets to avoid freezing to death, standing in queues (not a Nigerian thing), enjoying unlimited wifi and not worrying about NEPA.

Something was missing……

As the typical Igbo boy that I am. The tall lanky glasses wearing son of Anambra parents born somewhere in Onitsha. For an unrepentant son of the  Igbo soil like me, even living in the UK left something missing….

I was missing my village…..

I missed preparing to travel with my siblings by going Christmas shopping.
I missed showing off my new clothes in the village.
I missed hearing people left, right and center speaking Igbo.
I missed the most beautiful drink on Earth; fresh palm wine.
I missed eating the World famous akpu and fresh oha soup.
I missed waking up to the calm serene and peaceful atmosphere in the village.
I missed going to greet my grandparents at the balcony.
I missed seeing my grown-up cousins and remarking “you have grown so big since I last saw you”.
I missed visiting my Uncles and Aunts in one far village house.
I missed struggling to speak the Igbo language while they laughed me to silence.
I missed hearing Biafra war stories told by my grandfather.
I missed feeding the goats at the back of grand pa’s house.
I missed chasing the fowls around.
I missed coughing at the sight of those firewood stoves.
I missed attending Bazaar.
I missed forming Senior with my siblings and cousins whenever it was time to go get food.
I missed listening to Igbo music and Igbo speaking OAPs on the radio.
I missed going to Eke market to buy things for the house.
I missed being told ” you are getting so tall” by my relatives.
I missed going to Catholic Church close to grand pa’s house where the Priest speaks Igbo.
I missed eating abacha on a regular basis.
I missed plucking fruits in the compound with stones and stick.
I missed fetching water in the well just in front of grand pa’s compound.
I missed going to the school compound close to grandpa’s house to play football with the village boys and my cousins.
I miss attending weddings in the village. Weddings where you actually eat proper Igbo food.
I missed going to the farm to see how grown the cassava was becoming.

Going back to the village isn’t just a thing Igbos do because we get bored of City life or just feel like spending money.

Going back is like going to see your long lost father. It’s an identity reaffirming ritual for us.

No matter where we are, who we are or what we are doing, going back to the village is one of the most awesome experiences every Igbo man, woman, boy or girl looks forward to every year.

It’s that time of the year again.

Ka anyi jebee…..

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The Exodus of Ndi Igbo To The Village

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Going back time immemorial, when Nigeria became independent from the British Colonial masters. Ndi Igbo were mostly spread across the while country. In fact Nigeria was so united back then that most prominent Igbo people were born outside the shores of Igboland.

  • Dora Akunyili of blessed memory was born in Makurdi, Benue Stats (Northern Nigeria).
  • Orji Uzor Kalu attended school in Kaduna and Borno States (Northern Nigeria).
  • Late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was born in Niger State (Northern Nigeria) and started his education in Lagos (Western Nigeria).
  • Alex Ekweume (first elected Vice President of Nigeria) schooled in Lagos (Western Nigeria).
  • Rochas Okorocha (Present Governor of Imo State) schooled in Jos (Northern Nigeria).
  • Late Nnamdi Azikwe (first President of Nigeria) was born in Niger State (Northern Nigeria).

I could go on and on but the message is clear. Igbos started off well spread across the looks and cranny of Nigeria. They were and still are very adventurous, hardworking and business minded individuals. Igbos were rich and very influential within the business and political sphere in Nigeria with Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu one of the richest men in Nigeria back then.

Igbos held power in various positions with the first President of Nigeria (Nnamdi Azikwe) an Igbo man.

Many Igbos were in the Northern regions of Nigeria mostly for business and enjoyed an amicable relationship with the accommodating Northerners.

Igbos built houses and owned properties mostly outside their hometown in Lagos and even in the North with many marrying from their adopted lands.

Igbos had the respect and revenence of Nigerians for their up-and-do attitude, resourcefulness, tenacity to succeed no matter the odds and undiluted love for money.

Igbos had it good but then something happened.

Something happened that made Igbo people a scorn even among their fellow Nigerians. Something happened that makes Yoruba parents very apprehensive when an Igbo man comes for their daughter’s hand in marriage today. Something happens that makes an Hausa man extra careful when doing business with an Igbo man.

Something happened….

That ‘something’ that happened is called the Biafra war.

So as not to bore you with so much information, I will be very brief in this regard. Ten steps to understanding what led to the Biafra war and Nigeria’s enmity towards Ndi Igbo.

1. The first coup d’etat was conspired by an Igbo man (Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna) and led by another Igbo man called Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu in January 1966.
2. That first coup led to the assassination of 11 politicias including two prominent Northern leaders; Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Premier of Northern Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello.
3. The coup was however not successful which led to the taking over of the Government by Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (an Igbo man).
4. The Igbo man who took over however failed to meet Northern demand for the prosecution of the coup plotters who were mostly of Igbo origin. Some of the coup plotters were maintained in the military on full pay.
5. The coup, despite its failure and since no repercussion was meted out to the coup plotters was seen as an Igbo coup. Mostly because a majority of the coup plotters were Igbo and Northern and Western politicians were killed with no significant Igbo political leader affected.
5. The Northerners were berieved and plotted a counter coup led by General Murtala Muhammed overthrew and killed General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (the Igbo man).

Do you get the drift?

Igbo men killed Northerners. Northerners avenged and killed Igbo men. Let’s continue….

6. After Gowon was installed as Head of State, Igbos were slaughtered in their thousands in the North by Hausa-Fulani soldiers and civilians who sought revenge for the earliar aforementioned coup.
7. This resulted in the forced Exodus of millions of Igbos to the Eastern Region.
8. This pogrom (meaning an organised massacre of a particular ethic group) was the precursor to Ojuwku’s Declaration of Eastern Nigeria’s secession from the federation as the Republic of Biafra and resulted in the Nigerian Civil War.
9. The Civil War lasted almost 3 years with millions of Igbos killed, mostly dieing from starvation.
10. After the war, houses, properties and businesses owned by Igbos in the West and North were auctioned off and never returned to them. £20 was given to any Igbo person with money in the bank, no matter how much they had in the bank. Igbos had to start from scratch.

Many years after the war, Igbos have dusted themselves up, started afresh and have come a very long way.

One thing has changed from the olden days, Igbos are now smarter. They have learnt to build at home before you build elsewhere.

It’s only an Igbo man that would live in a rented apartment in Lagos but have a mansion in the village.

It’s only an Igbo man that would live as a tenant in Abuja but build houses in the village.

Times have changed but the Exodus of Igbo people from wherever they are to their villages during Christmas and New Year celebrations could be linked to their desire to know, see and experience their roots because at least their homeland can never be taken away from them. No matter what.

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Reference From Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dora_Akunyili
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nnamdi_Azikiwe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orji_Uzor_Kalu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Odumegwu_Ojukwu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochas_Okorocha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_heads_of_state_of_Nigeria
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakubu_Gowon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murtala_Mohammed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_Civil_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_anti-Igbo_pogrom
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Ifeajuna
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Aguiyi-Ironsi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chukwuma_Kaduna_Nzeogwu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_Nigerian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abubakar_Tafawa_Balewa