Thursday, April 11, 2019
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Bonn, Germany

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation (Adlai E. Stevenson)

After a Billion Dollar removed from excess crude account for defence,the nation is resorting to Hunters,Bullets charmers and prayers for its own defense. ... When we speak about insecurity,they say it’s false alarm;When we speak about kidnappings,they say it’s fake news;When we speak about mindless killings,they say it’s opposition. In denials,our society gradually moved to woes and tragedy. ... (Senator Shehu Sani)

Bandits killed 50 Nigerians yesterday. 24 hours later, silence from Muhammadu Buhari. Not a word of condolence or comfort to the people of Zamfara. A terrorist kills 49 people in New Zealand and within 4 hours, Buhari was crying more than the bereaved. How can the world value your people if you as President don't value them? The funniest thing is that Zamfara votes for #NextLevel and New Zealand did not (Reno Omokri)

wanted to take a break from commenting on Nigerian issues until the judiciary retrieves Atiku Abubakar's stolen mandate, but the constant or unabating killings going on in Nigeria won't let me have a peace of mind. What's happening in Nigeria is heart-wrenching for me, making it impossible for me to be quiet.

How can it be possible that "a man will be chasing rat when his house is on fire"? How can a man who calls himself the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces be "fiddling while Nigeria burns? It's incomprehensible that President Buhari is occupying himself with unimportant matters while neglecting priorities during crises going on in Nigeria. I agree with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, when it decried the incessant killings in the country, especially the armed banditry in the northeast, and called on the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibilities in the protection of lives and property.

There are killings and kidnappings, by bandits and herdsmen, going on in Zamfara, Kaduna, Borno, Lagos, Katsina, Taraba, Delta, Ebonyi and Anambra States. Instances abound: Lagos State fire service boss and 7 others were kidnapped; A Police station in Kaduna State was attacked, and two cops were killed there; In Maiduguri, Bornu State, 5 were killed, and 46 were injured, in a blast; in Zamfara State, hundreds have been killed, allegedly by armed bandits, while the clueless federal government then ordered foreigners to quit mining sites, in the state, within 48 hours; etc. Who's really in charge here?

Muhammadu Buhari is a hypocrite; he's more interested in the well being of other countries than the one he calls his own; he shows lack of focus on anything Nigerian, and prefers to spend more time abroad than in Nigeria he claims to rule. While all these and more killings were going on, the president jetted off to other countries. When confronted for doing nothing to tackle the insecurity in the country, all he said was that it would be “ridiculous and unfair” to suggest that he was not concerned about the killings. How can president Buhari be concerned about the killings, in Nigeria, when he jetted off to Senegal; wanted to be in Jordan for an economic forum, on Thursday, April 11; and, was also supposed to fly to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Sunday, April 14, to participate in the ninth edition of the Annual Investment Meeting, from April 8-10, 2019? As I was writing this article, news then came that he cut his foreign trip short, and had to return to Abuja, because of the crisis in Zamfara State. That must have been an after-thought after he was heavily criticized for not living up to his responsibility as a president. He's just pretending to be in charge when he's not.

What's the meaning of all these? Buhari jets off always, claiming to participate in one economic forum or investment meeting or the other, and still, Nigerians see no result from all these wasteful ventures. Instead of his investment meetings abroad attracting investments to Nigeria, rather, most of the foreign investors already in the country are leaving in droves. The president is wasting our scarce resources in his flying spree that brings nothing to Nigeria. Why can't he stay at home? The other day, he was lamenting that Nigeria loses a whopping N400 billion annually to medical tourism, but he failed to tell Nigerians how much his medical trips to England and that of his family have cost Nigeria. Who are the worst culprits here, if not Buhari and his family?

Why is it that the president, who promised to leave Nigeria better than he met it, is failing woefully? We overestimated his capability, and now, he has rigged the election to remain in power, when he should have been packing his things to leave Aso Rock. Buhari flimflammed the Nigerian people during the presidential election. Our last hope of retrieving "the cup from the chimpanzee" will be the judiciary, and if it fails to be the last hope for the poor Nigerians, we will then forget Nigeria for them, and will hands off, knowing that there will be no more hope of its rescue.

Let's concentrate a bit on the Zamfara State killings: many of us didn't know, until now, that gold is being mined in Nigeria, and that some foreigners were licensed for it. Who gains from the mining? Where does the money from the sales of the gold end up? I suspect that only a few people have been gaining from gold in Nigeria. Let it not be that the proceeds from the sale of oil and gas in the southern part of Nigeria go into the federation accounts, and are shared among all the states of Nigeria, while the proceeds from the sale of gold in the northern part of Nigeria go into few individual pockets, or, into the northern states' government coffer. Oil from the south can't be for every Nigerian, while gold and other solid minerals from the north are for the north alone.

Fatade Bamidele wrote: "So Zamfara has the precious stones called Gold in her belly? Gold exists freely and requires little investment to mine out. ....but $1 BILLION was expended to prospect for nonexistent oil in Northern Nigeria? If you are not angry enough over the manner Nigeria is run, I am deeply sorry for you! In fact, more worrisome is the fact that the Zamfara State government can do nothing over the mineral deposit it has. The state government has to await the actions of an effigy sitting pretty in Aso Rock to give direction over raw gold lying waste in that state! True federalism benefits all; otherwise, we all lose.... 9JA NEEDS HELP."

The acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, explained that there was a link between mining and banditry in Zamfara State, adding that that government’s first move was to immediately suspend all mining activities in the state until further notice. He warned that any foreign miner, who flouted the order, did so at the risk of losing his operational license.

I know that Nigeria has many solid minerals buried in the northern part of Nigeria, but, I didn't know that some of those minerals were being mined. I'm asking how and when were the operating licenses issued, and who benefits from the mining? Nigeria can't be mining gold and drilling oil, and still remains the poverty capital of the world. It makes no sense.

Chike Nnamani, in his writing, "Zamfara and The Conspiracy of the North", noted (excerpts) that "the real reason why Zamfara killings are not abating is gradually coming out. The North is obviously playing with the intelligence of the South.

So we even have "illicit" miners in the North? How come the army never warned them as they do with the "illegal" oil bunkerers in the South? What are they really mining? ...Gold? Diamond? Or Uranium? Why haven't we officially prospected for solid minerals in the North with the billions of dollars we are wasting prospecting for oil in the North?

(The IGP talked about revoking license) License revoked? Which license? So, they were even licensed? Licensed to mine what? Where is the generated revenue going to? We know about the Oil Mining License (OML) and Oil Prospecting License (OPL) in the South, but which license are these guys talking about in Zamfara?

So, some foreigners are licensed to mine something in Zamfara but we don't know? Why don't they arrest them if it's an "illicit" activity? How can foreigners invade your country and illegally mine your resources without getting arrested? We can now deduce that the Zamfara killing is all about "territorial control" by budding militants, just like in the early days of Niger Delta. In those days, the quantity of the territory you control and the power you exert will determine the number of Royalties you will get from the foreign oil companies."

Chidi Cali wrote: "Gold is being mined in commercial quantity in Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, and few other States in the last few years. As his usual tactics, President Buhari is threatening to revoke their licenses, implying that Buhari issued the illegal gold miners licenses on assuming office in 2015 without the consent of Nigerians or the National Assembly. Bet me, no one will hear about these miners again, as Buhari’s Govt. will cover their operations. Sadly, the same Buhari used the Airforce to destroy all the modular refineries in the Niger Delta, and on the other hand, legitimize the activities of illegal miners in the North."

Whenever Nigerians are killed, the president doesn't give a damn about it, but when only one cow is killed or stolen somewhere, or, when it comes to rigging elections to perpetuate himself in power, our president will spring into action. He will then send the security forces to act. What a government that sends the Army to help rig elections for its officials, but will send hunters to fight armed bandits and terrorists? Buhari is a man who loves cows so much that one can say that his government is of the cows, by the cows, and for the cows.

Some people are blaming the Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, for the killings in the state, and even journalist Kadaria Ahmed, a Buhari's apologist, called him Nigeria’s most useless governor in history. I want to tell Ms. Ahmed that the word "most useless" does not fit the governor of Zamfara State, who controls virtually nothing, but should only be reserved for the person who calls himself the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Charles Ogbu wrote that "In case you've forgotten, Madam (Kadaria Ahmed), in 2016, when the Fulani herdsmen complained that thieves were rustling their cows in that same Zamfara, it was not governor Yari that acted to stop cattle rustling. It was President Muhammadu Buhari who donned a military uniform, for the very first time since leaving power in 1985, to launch a special military task force against CATTLE RUSTLING".

Reno Omokri was right when he twitted: "Remember the large army of policemen M. Buhari sent to Kano to help Governor Umar Ganduje rig the Kano rerun elections. If he had sent that quantum of policemen and soldiers to Zamfara, the killings of Nigerians there would have ended. Power is Buhari’s priority, not the Nigerian people.

Now, we know that the crisis in Zamfara State is not just about bandits or Fulani herdsmen, but about massive gold deposits being mined by locals, and gang wars being fought by different groups, clans, and ringleaders to control the mining sites. Just like what happened in Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and other African countries where precious minerals are located, what's happening now in Zamfara State is a deadly war to control those resources. Those foreigners mining those minerals do cart away the profits to their home countries, without caring about the environmental hazards they are subjecting the people of the areas, where the mines are located, to, while also leaving the locals to kill themselves, because of the crumbs from their masters' table.

The question is why is Africa that is richly endowed, in terms of mineral resources, also so poor? Why should the mineral resources of Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general, be the curse of riches? Just as Tom Burgis wrote in his book "The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa’s Wealth”, "although the African continent is blessed with gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, iron ore and other valuable resources, its inhabitants have long numbered among the world’s poorest. While a few sub-Saharan African nations are doing relatively well, most are mired in poverty.

That a continent’s abundant natural resources can, in so many cases, have so little effect on its people’s quality of life over so many years is one of the great mysteries surrounding the grouping of 49 nations located south of the Sahara desert. It is particularly vexing to the many international organizations, foreign governments, and private groups that have been trying, since the era of independence, to promote regional development, food production, education, better housing, health care, improved infrastructure, jobs, and economic growth.

Although more than five decades have passed since the end of colonial times, African governments often still appear clueless when it comes to lifting their people from extreme poverty. Change can seem impossible. Everyone seems to have a pet explanation for this tragic phenomenon, citing pervasive corruption, dysfunctional democratic institutions and justice systems, greedy multinational corporations, shady local and international elites, incompetent or ineffective international aid agencies, resource wars waged by domestic militias, as well as outside armies and the vestiges of colonialism — or the advent of a new type of colonialism driven by players like China and Israel."

Just as the PDP noted, if the President is finding the “job too difficult to do, he should call for help or quit! He needs to rejig his security architecture and find lasting solutions to the myriad of problems facing the country and the citizens. But the problem is that he's clueless on how to go about it. I agree with Charles Ogbu, in his memo to Kadaria Ahmed, that "What is happening in that state (Zamfara) and most states in Nigeria proves that our country is currently being led by a President and Commander-In-Chief whose rank as a General in the Army ought to be investigated. Our silence over it is nothing short of a moral tragedy" (Read the whole write up, below).

Unless Nigeria gets a president who knows what his job is supposed to be, and who also values every Nigerian life (and not cows' lives more than those of human beings), these killings and hardship in Nigeria will continue unabatedly. I hope and pray that the judiciary will help us in this regard, by retrieving Atiku's stolen mandate. That's the only way to save Nigeria. For now, there's no sign of any federal government in Nigeria. There is no hope that Nigeria will make it through as a nation unless urgent action is being initiated to make all have a sense of belonging in it, and I hope that's what Atiku can do, as the president, if he gets the chance.