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Sunday, 15 January 2012


Today is January 15th. 45 years ago a group of young officers led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu attempted to overthrow the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, killing the Prime Minister and several politicians. This event was the catalyst of a chain of events that led to a counter coup, massacres of tens of thousands of Nigerians and the civil war. The situation and circumstances that led to the coup are evident today in a manner that could have been incomprehensible to Major Nzeogwu and co. A country with no pretence of governance, no pretence at the rule of law, where the corrupt are not only untouchable they are so untouchable that it is deemed better to inflict hardships on the nation than to touch them. Let there be no mistake the issues in Nigeria currently do not in any way make any sense if you look at them through an ideological prism, or even through a religious prism. There is no battle currently between those who want state intervention in the means or production or those who wish to promote the free market. There is no battle between those who wish a particular religion to prevail over the polity, there is no battle between the interests of the North or the interests of the South. The only way anything that is going on in Nigeria makes sense is if it is looked at purely through the prism of organised crime. Nigerians are essentially the grass upon which the cabalistic elephants are fighting. In the last elections we had several battles, Jonathon vs ‘the Northern consensus candidate’, Jonathon vs Buhari, Buhari vs Ribadu etc. In none of these battles was a single policy position used as the basis of argument. The Northern consensus candidate did not put forth a platform for the North, there was no mention of the North of Nigeria’s development needs, any mention of its issues or problems merely we should be there because it’s our turn as per ‘the zoning agreement’. In Jonathon’s case he did not put forward a case for better governance merely his was a nice story, ‘the Nigerian Dream’ as it were so we should vote for him. When the elections were concluded, by hook or by crook one section of the cabal had lost out. And in terms of losing out this did not mean stripped of their wealth or status or businesses. It simply meant their hands were a little bit further from the cookie jar than before, this led to the opening of the 2nd front in this war-Boko Haram.
That there was a Salafist Islamic movement called Boko Haram, there is no doubt. That it rose up in rebellion is in no doubt, that it was brutally crushed with numerous extra judicial killings is no doubt, however what is dubious is how this movement metamorphed from a poorly armed fringe group to a terror group capable of carrying out complex attacks just in time for the elections. There is most likely a genuine jihad movement operating in Nigeria, but in essence what we have is one element of the cabal attacking another element of the cabal through proxies. In essence putting sand in the others gari. The original aims of the Boko Haram movement were to return the Northern states of Nigeria to a purer form of Sharia. Now considering Sharia is already the supposed law in most Northern states this is an eminently achievable goal and if Boko Haram had stood for elections or campaigned on that basis maybe they would have succeeded. Boko Haram also asked for an amnesty and compensation for those killed by the security forces in 2010. The government rejected this. When the resurgent Boko Haram reappeared, the Northern Governors shamelessly went grovelling and begging offering exactly the same terms as before with increased cash payouts, but Boko Haram refused, they also expanded their goals to Sharia all over Nigeria. Now even in the minds of the most insane zealot, this is not going to happen so why adopt an non negotiable position and launch attacks deliberately targeting Igbo Christians in their places of worship on one of their holiest days. Non of these acts make any sense as the perpetrators are the ones least likely to gain from this if you look at it from a religious/ tribal point of view, but if you look at it from a gangsters point of view it makes perfect sense. No attempts have been made to target political figures who would be more legitimate targets and maybe more logical if you want to effect a change of government, yet the massive state of insecurity that has been generated has led to N921.91 billion or 20% of the national budget being devoted to security the majority of which is devoted to purchases. Now the 2 most corrupt fields in the world are defence and oil. Defence spending is subject to so many security and confidentially clauses that no one actually knows how much anything costs, who is being paid and by whom, the Col Mohammed Buba Marwa/ Raj Bhojwani case is evidence of this. In all this massive insecurity no one has questioned the utility of the CCTV in Abuja a city without constant electricity or efficient telecoms, or the utility of bomb detection kits. No one has asked how much these vehicles, planes, helicopters cost are they brand new or second hand? Of course our NSA and others are desperate to paint Boko Haram as the new Al Qaeda, with the helpful video released by the alleged spokesman so as to get military aid and diplomatic cover from the US and EU. So we have the perfect storm, an intractable group that has attacked mainly the general public and security services and an international body, a terrified and panicked public and a blank cheque to go on a spending spree for new equipment to solve an old problem. In other words its a protection racket, one set of gangsters attacks the people and appropriates billions to protect themselves. Now lets take the fuel subsidy issue certain elements of the cabal have been getting fat of this slush fund and other members are getting jealous, as they are too powerful to face directly the best way to attack them and divert the funds they been siphoning is take away one of their feeding bowls. Note that in this entire saga the only people who lose out financially are the Nigerian people. The fuel importers are free to sell at whatever price they see fit (compensating them for the loss of the alleged ‘subsidy’), the government ‘saves’ the money it pays, but the Nigerian people face 110% increase in cost of living. It defies logic that a government would inflict this on a traumatised people subject to high unemployment and terror attacks but if your entire focus is on how to defeat your fellow gangsters then everything else becomes blurred. This comes down to the final question of who is the cabal? We Nigerians will descend into an orgy of blame, cursing the Hausas, Yoruba’s, Igbo’s, Ijaw’s, Fulani, Muslims, Christians and so on. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The religious problems in Nigeria are manufactured, not to say there is no tension between tribes and religions but this is the natural tension that exists between siblings living together in the same house or compound. Virtually all religious/ ethnic crisis have a political/ economic motive and have been sponsored or so, even Jerry Useni admitted it when discussing the origins of Boko Haram. The cabal are not just Nigerians, there are many foreigners, mainly Lebanese, involved as well, while we scream and shout about Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Muslim, Christian, North, South. This tiny minority of Nigerians and foreigners get richer and fatter off the chaos they are causing. But maybe just maybe they miscalculated, maybe the lessons of the Arab Spring passed them by, maybe they have not realised that Nigerians have woken up. From Lagos to Kano to Port Harcourt to Minna to London to Washington, Nigerians have woken up.

“Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.” Major Nzeogwu January 15th 1966
Beware the Ides of January

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