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Opinion

That Essay, Cornflakes for Jihad

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By Ibraheem A. Waziri

To most Non Muslims researching and writing about BokoHaram, the problem generally begins with Muslims and Islam in Northern Nigeria and to some degree, across the globe.

To them, BokoHaram is synonymous to the issues of ontology and epistemology of Islam. That is why their narrative of it can encircle, Shehu Dan Fodio, Late Sheikh Gumi or even Ahmadu Bello, the Premiere, Northern Region, during the Nigeria’s first republic. They also do find its bits of ideological nuggets in the earliest of the Islamic literature!

But to the most Muslims ones or their sympathisers, BokoHaram, is a persistent story of a fringe rebellious elements among the larger Muslim population, across history. Who are especially rigid and resistant to any contemporary interpretation of the Islamic canons, that goes with the present circumstances and gives maximum level possible of peace, harmony and cooperation among Muslims; and between them and non-Muslims.

The non Muslim researchers point generally at Islam as the source of the problem. The Muslims point at Khawarijism (rebellion) against any Muslim wide social consensus (like Nigeria as it is presently constituted), at a particular point, as the problem.

The non Muslims argue that the problem is deeply historical and so they travel back the archives and exhume positions, at one time, of individuals, such as Sheikh Daurawa, Sheikh Gumi, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, Auwal Albani, Sheikh Jaafar Mahmud, etc, to drive home their points.

While the Muslims are inclined to reject such notion, arguing that social consensus is a transitional thing by nature, and Muslims embody the concept of Transition Personalities most. [Transition person as a concept is sufficiently delineated upon by Stephen Covey, in his, The Seven Habit of Effective People].

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That, it is embedded in Muslims traditions and part of their essential social jurisprudence, that what is a norm today may not necessarily be the norm tomorrow; and that the internal problem of the Muslim communities are those fringe elements who do not reflect the power of transition and acknowledge the value of consensus building, with new variables that new situations always present.

The very recent article by a certain David Hundeyin, that is making waves through social media, Cornflakes for Jihad, also reflects the usual sentiments identified with many non Muslims researches about BokoHaram.

Apart from the basic factual errors it contains – which were diligently pointed out by Prof. Abdulbasit – it also concluded with logic barren childish conspiratorial arguments that send us a millennia backward in our struggle searching for the appropriate problem definition, analysis and solution recommendations on the issues of BokoHaram.

Contrary to the essay’s claims against Ahmed Idris Nasiruddeen (NASCO); Nasiruddeen has lived a life of a pious Muslim who was using his wealth to help Muslim friends, associates and organisations.

Of course as any other friend or associate one might have helped, they too are naturally transition personalities (not necessary in the positive sense) living in a transitional world. One can help a person or an organisations, for a certain general reason or objective, only later in life for them to shift their objectives; metamorphosing into something different.

The fact that the NASCO conglomerate is at one time allegedly accused of financing terrorism (by whoever) does not mean it actually intentionally did. The fact that Sheikh Yakubu Musa was once allegedly accused of financing terrorism (by whoever) does not mean he is actually guilty.

Until we begin to look at the ontology and epistemology of issues around BokoHaram in this kind of light, our analysis about it will always leave undesired dangerous result born of misdiagnosis. We may begin to indict people like Dangote and BUA because we are likely to – now or in future – find that the Imams, Mosques or organisations, they have once helped, are enmeshed in terror wave of related accusations. Then we will begin to write warped essays like Cement or Sugar for Jihad.

Writing informed public commentaries or being a sound public intellectual, is beyond the ability to flawlessly and flowerily write essays, making endless references to large swathe of literature and records. No. It requires multidisciplinary insights, great deal of patriotism and deep sense of intuitive social measurement; appreciation of people and cultures from both etic and emic perspectives, history and sound ability in social system projections.

Certainly one cannot have a Nigeria of great value today or in future, if they have a large heart sufficient enough to accommodate Ahmadu Bello, Sheikh Gumi, President Buhari, BokoHaram founder, Muhammad Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau, lumping them as one and the same people, who worked or are working, to turn Nigeria into an absolutely imaginary Islamic state.

Opinion

Annual Malaria Scourge: Call for Pro-active Actions

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By Sani Surajo Abubakar

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria is a disease caused by Parasite that spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. People who have malaria, usually feel very sick with high fever and shaking chills.
As fever may means symptom of many ailments, most a times malaria comes with; fever, chills, general feeling of discomfort, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle or joint pain, fatigue, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, cough as symptoms that may begin few weeks after infection.
WHO 2023 World Malaria report identifies Malaria as one of the most severe public health problems worldwide. It is a leading cause of death and a disease in many developing countries where young children and pregnant women are the most affected.
The report elucidated further that nearly half of the world population lives in the areas at risk of Malaria transmission in 85 countries and territories.
The 2022 WHO malaria report shows that Nigeria has the highest burden of malaria globally, accounting for nearly 27% global burden as it is the major public health concern in the country with an estimated 68 million cases and 194,000 deaths due to the disease in 2021.

On April 25th this year, while addressing a press conference on World Malaria day, Kano State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf said, ‘in Kano, it’s recorded that malaria is the single most common reason for about 60 percent of outpatient visits and consultations. It is estimated that in the year 2023 alone, more than 3.2 million hospital visits were due to the menace of malaria which is a preventable disease
In the year 2023, the outpatient attendance relating to malarial cases was 3,435,750 with total fever cases screened for malaria recorded at 3,247,651, and 2,348,264 confirmed to have malaria. Meanwhile, 448 mortality was recorded’. added Commissioner Labaran.
In what seems like an annual scourge, many states in the country, Kano included do experience hundreds of thousands of malaria cases mostly occasioned by the rainy season and aggravated by other factors.
The piece intends to offer some suggestions to avoid the recurrence or reduce to the bearest minimum the severity of the annual pandemic in view of its negative consequence on the socio-economic well-being of people and the burden of its management on the concerned authority.

 

First and foremost, governments must intensify awareness campaigns via the conventional, social media platforms and any available medium on the need for the public to adopt preventive measures of contacting disease. This will greatly be impacted in reducing hospitals visitations, save- out- of- pocket spending and reduce the pressure on health facilities with minimal government’s commitment in managing the burden.

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Secondly, authority concern should provide enough testing equipment and drugs especially at rural areas where there are scarce health facilities. If possible, door-to-door testing and treatment need to be initiated and implement to assist those in need.

Furthermore, governments at all levels in collaboration with Non-governmental Organizations, philanthropists and donor organizations should provide long lasting treated mosquito nets (LLTN) and distribute free to people living in the prone areas especially in the rural communities.

Also, to avert or minimize the recurrence of malaria cases, concerted efforts needs to be made to clear drainages and made places of works, residences not harboring stagnant water. By so doing, the breeding of mosquito larvae is avoided.

On the other hand, to complement what governments did, members of the public too needs to reciprocate and do their own part to achieve the objective of keeping malaria cases at bay and improve healthy living.

One of such things to do is people should be aware and always seeks to know malaria symptoms. Despite the fact that medical experts had identified many of its symptoms, yet people should be aware of the common symptoms for early diagnosis and treatment.in this respect test is a very paramount as Rapid Diagnostic Teste (RDT) is cheaply available for detection of malaria.

In addition, agencies responsible for refuse evacuation and environmental sanitation in towns and cities should fumigate areas prone to harbor mosquitoes, this will pave way to have safer habitat convenient for safer habitation and free from diseases.

Those with symptoms should visit the nearest health facility for diagnosis and treatment. Those diagnosed should adhere to medical procedure and prescription and ensure completion of the treatment plan. It is on record that many patients experienced relapse of malaria by failing to complete treatment prescribed at the onset of the disease.

People needs also to seek for medical intervention at early stage and ensure procurement of standard medication. At this juncture, it is of paramount to make a clarion call to governments to provide free complete malaria treatment to all citizens.

 

Where residents became recalcitrant in disobeying sanitation rules and regulations, stiffer punishment must be meted to those who build and dump refuse on waterways and also fail to clean their environments or exhibit attitudes detrimental to healthy environments.

People must also develop the habit of sleeping under mosquito treated nets (LLTN) always. This is proved to be one of the cheaper, and simple method of avoiding contracting malaria.

With concerted efforts of all the stakeholders in containing the annual scourge of malaria, surely positive results will be achieved at the end and wipe out or minimize to bearest minimum of the disease and enjoy healthy living by people.

A stich in time save nine.

Sani is an Assistant Chief Information Officer, Government House, Kano

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Opinion

The Benefit of State Creation, By Adnan Mukhtar

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Comrade Adnan Tudunwada
Adnan Mukhtar Tudun Wada

 

 

On July 11, the Senator representing Kano South Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila sponsored a bill for the creation of a new state, Tiga State.

This is not the first time that people from different parts of the country are agitating for the creation of new states in their region.

The call for the creation of Tiga State didn’t start today ,During the regime of Late General Sani Abacha the creation of Tiga state gatheres momentum ,Insiders in the Presidential Villa confirmed that General Abacha have already made up his mind to carve out Tiga state from the present Kano state but due reasons best known to him the Late Head of state announced the creation of Zamfara state from the Northwest on 1st October 1996,even with that the agitation did n not die down , I came across agitators for Tigari State from Kano North and Tiga from Kano South while in Secondary school during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Ned Nwoko, a Senator from Delta State sponsored a similar bill for the creation of Anioma State.

Young men like me who are in their early 30s and not current with issues in the country may think that the recent move by Senator Sumaila was the first of its kind.

There were similar requests for the creation of Okura state out of Kogi, Aba from Abia, Hadeija from Jigawa, Katagum from Bauchi, Karadua and Kafur from Katsina, Lagoon from Lagos, Borgu, Kainji and Gurara from Niger and many more.

In 2013, the House of Representatives received more than 50 requests for the creation of new states.

The creation of states began in 1967 when General Yakubu Gowon created 12 states after abolishing the regional system, General Murtala Mohammed 7 states, General Ibrahim Babangida created 11 states between 1987 to 1991 and General Sani Abacha created 6 states.

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Some young men on social media were criticising the move by the Senator by expressing their pessimistic thoughts that the bill may not scale a second reading or get the assent of the President. They argued that such requests had never given any priority since the return to democracy 25 years ago. The idea of creating more states is dead on arrival.

Some are of the view that such moves require a very long process because constitutional amendment in the country is a very difficult thing.

While states in the country relied on federal allocation to survive, they can’t pay salaries and their internally generated revenue has been very poor; the creation of additional states is adding a burden to the Federal government at this time of economic instability.

Nigerians are facing the most difficult economic condition under President Tinubu. Sadly, the President doesn’t care to address this critical issue by going ahead to purchase a presidential aircraft that’s worth 150 billion dollars although the president has yet to increase the minimum wage, long queues at the filling stations, a bag of rice is close to 100k with a 30k minimum wage; I wonder whether the president is serious enough in attending to this matter of National concern.

Some of the agitators of this are seeking the expansion of platforms for their citizens to utilise their potential under a federal system of government.

It was not a wrong thing to come up with this idea but a constitutional right. I’m sure most of these agitators and bill sponsors are speaking the minds of their people.

Some people are accusing Sumaila of trying to divide the people of Kano. These sets of people are deceiving themselves. The people of Kano South have been crying about marginalisation and being denied the dividends of democracy since 2011.

Abubakar Rimi was from Sumaila in Kano South, he governed Kano in the second republic. Kabiru Gaya governed Kano in 1993 and since then, the people of this zone are yet to be given any chance to govern Kano.

They have also been crying that most of the developmental and infrastructural projects are been centred in Kano Central while abandoning the rural areas.

State creation in states like Kano with 44 local governments will enhance development and bring government closer to the people.

While I support the idea of having more states like in the US, we should put this at the back of our mind states are building blocks for development in the Federal system of government and will boost democratic governance.

Adnan is a political PR consultant, he teaches Islamic History, Culture and Civilization at Federal University Dutsin-Ma. He can be reached at adnanmukhtaradam@gmail.com

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Opinion

The Political Motivations Behind Nigerian State Creation: A Historical Analysis

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Nigeria's Map
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Abdullahi Dahiru

Many proponents of state creation believe that Nigerian states were created for progress and development but history tells us otherwise.

Sarkin Kano Sir Muhammad Sanusi had dispute with the then Northern regional government leading him to abdicate the throne in 1963. Many Kano people were angry with the way the Northern regional government treated Sarki Sanusi and decided to form a pressure group called Kano Peoples’ Party, KPP. KPP agitated for creation of Kano state out of the then Northern region because many Kano people believe the regional government unfairly treated Kano province even though the province contributed revenue to the regional government more than any other province. KPP also agitated for the reinstallation of Sarki Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

After 1966 military coup, there was tension between the Eastern region and the central government. The governor of the then Eastern region Odumegwu Ojukwu decided to secede from Nigeria to form an independent nation of Biafra. Just 3 days before Ojukwu’s decleration of independence, the head of state Yakubu Gowon abolished the regional governments and created 12 new states. The purpose of the state creation by Gowon was to reduce the power of Ojukwu and get the support of minorities and other sections of the country. Kano province was among the new states created as Kano state partly fulfilling the wishes of the KPP.

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State creation became an important aspect of military rule. Murtala regime created seven more states bringing the total number of states to 19. In 1987, Babangida’s political bureau recommended creation of two additional states to make the total number of states divisible by three, so as to get a perfect number when 2/3 of states is being computed to determine the winner of presidential election. This was to prevent the recurrence of dispute of 1979 election about what is the 2/3 of 19 states. So Babangida created Katsina and Akwai Ibom states in 1987.

Babangida and Abacha created more states in 1991 and 1996 bringing the total number of states to 36. The 1991 and 1996 exercises were done when there were pressures for Babangida and Abacha to handover power to civilians.

During the military regions committees were formed to recommend states to be created when there were plans to do those exercises. The committees receive requests from different groups for creation of states but the ultimate decision was done by the military council. The military do that often to satisfy lobbies from high ranking military officers and powerful Nigerians. It is often not about the people or development.

State creation was easy under miltary regimes since the constitution is usually suspended. A sole administrator is posted to the new state and take up grant given by government. That is very difficult in civilian administrations because of many bottle necks.

Whoever analyses the history of state creation in Nigeria he will know that it is almost exclusively done by military regimes and it is not something done for development or anything but political expediency. The most economically viable Nigerian state has remain a single state since 1967. Civilian administrations have tried several times to create new states without success. Many states that were created are surviving only because of monthly revenue allocation from the Federal Government. Without that federal allocation, they are nothing.

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