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[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Perry Brimah reports ] - There was jubilation today in Ilorin Thursday as Biodun Baba, a civil servant who was sacked from his job and taken to court for criticizing senate president Bukola Saraki, was discharged by the Ilorin Magistrate’s Court today.
Mr. Jimoh Adeshina, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara Central Senatorial District and "a rabid supporter of the Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki," had filed a criminal complaint on July 18 against the teacher, claiming that Mr. Baba libeled the Senate President via a Facebook post.
Biodun Baba was supported by several groups and individuals including Kwara Mass Movement and #CabalMustGo nationwide group.
Giving a press statement at the NUJ, Barrister Sambo listed dozens of atrocities of Senator Saraki while describing that "Kwara state did not have a governor, but a stooge for Saraki."
He complained about the N750,000-a-piece street light scam and processes in the senate where Saraki was pushing bills to steal power from the presidency and absolve the Nigerian president of power to accent bills among a list of other allegations.
Biodun Baba has not yet been recalled to his job. He later took pictures wearing a "Cabal Must Go" shirt with other members of the organisation including Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed of the Kwara branch.
INEC Refuses To Release Voters' Register For Saraki Recall
Also today, in continuation of the Recall initiative against Senate President Bukola Saraki, Kwara Must Change organisation and other supportive groups including #CabalMustGo Kwara chapter, proceeded on appointment to the Kwara INEC office for the response to KMC's letter dated July 26th, 2017 in request for a certified INEC copy of the voters' register.
To their dismay but not surprise, the Kwara state INEC office continued to block the process by again failing to release the voters' register, with the administrative secretary, Paul Atser, sending the citizens all the way up to the commission chairman.
"With reference to your letter dated 26th July 2017 on the above. I am directed to request you forward your request to the Honorable Chairman of the commission for his consideration."
A Recall is a local process and under the jurisdiction of the state INEC office. The obstruction of the process has caused suspicion that the embattled Kwara state senator implicated as owning assets abroad in the Panama Papers damning investigative report, has materially influenced the Kwara INEC office.
#CabalMustGo group who have lately joined Kwara Must Change and committed to following them in the campaign to Recall senator Bukola Saraki, have vowed to protest INEC's delaying the justice of the people.
"This is not an Abuja matter. It is within this jurisdiction and we will protest it," Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed said.
Dr. Perry Brimah 
*Photo Caption - As seen.



[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Perry Brimah reports ] -The disparity in application of justice and rendering of governance in Nigeria appears to have no limits. Justice was immediately meted out on four police officers implicated in the stripping of the house of Nigeria's former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja. Goodluck Jonathan is not deemed to be pure himself; he is accused of robbing the nation of billions of dollars, however the Buhari administration granted him full recourse of the law with speedy administration of justice...apparently because he is a cabal.
But when it related to the robbing of millions of dollars from the millions of affected ordinary masses in the northeast which SGF Babachir Lawal has been accused of, the Buhari government has since found it impossible to mete out justice to this "important person." 
In Nigeria there are two sets of laws; one for the affluent and one for the ordinary.  
Paradoxically, while Jonathan is accused of robbing millions of Nigerians he gets the better treatment. But the Borno victims, robbed by the Jonathan administration, already dying from starvation who got robbed again allegedly by Buhari's secretary general get no respite. Babachir Lawal has not been arrested or fired a full months after he was exposed to the senate.
To think of it, these were police officers, poorly paid, sacrificing their lives in one of the worst employment conditions in the world, yet they got the full hammer of the law. Compare that to the SGF who earned his appointment by cronyism and not experience or merit. Contrasting the two events is like comparing night and day.
A Muslim hadith by Bukhari (Vol 4, no 681) says that towns are destroyed when the law is favorably applied for the rich who are forgiven, while harshly applied to the poor. In the hadith the prophet of Islam is reported to have said he would cut his own daughter's hand if she stole. The Bible also says in Proverbs 29:7 that "the righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern."
But in Nigeria it appears no one fears God or His wrath. Little wonder the nation always takes a step forwards and ten backwards. The wickedness of our leaders and our election, tolerance and support of them has evidently earned us God's wrath.
In my recent article, I lamented the way out of about all 10 posts on spokesman Garba Shehu's page over the last month period, while half contained messages from Buhari condoling the families and governors, and commiserating over the losses of various elite lives, including from the most recent, Aregbesola's, Sokoto government over Wamakko, Biso Akande and Kano government over Maitama Sule, there was not a single mention byBuhari of the recent Boko Haram attack in Borno talk less a show of empathy and condolence over the loss of dozens of lives of the soldiers, civilian-JTF, University staff and others killed in the horrendous attacks. These were nobodies.
It is almost occult, the open and limitless loyalty the elite have for each other and the disdain and disregard they have for the masses. May God deliver Nigeria from the cabal.
For Nigeria to grow, the #CabalMustGo!
Dr. Perry Brimah
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Special Report ] -"May St Yared continue to dance in Aksum square", Intangible heritage for Peace building in the Horn Region, Discussion with Dr Kusum Gopal, UN Technical Expert by Zaidyn Sikainga, Aamiina Faarax Caydiid, Bekele Habtom, Garem Afewerki, Abisimil Khalif Ghedi and Chanday-Gladness Warsama in London.
Q: Thank you very much for the fresh insights into our cultures, it gives us hope; we are from various countries of the Horn region. You lay great emphasis on the critical importance of intangible heritage, our region’s indigenous cultural traditions for removing poverty, for security of personhood and for peace-building. Please state again for our readers what is intangible heritage?
Certainly. The UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage and protecting cultural diversity 2003 is extremely relevant for our times.  For millennia, the Horn of Africa has nourished exceptionally rich and powerful traditions of conviviality, hospitality and tolerance, a template for embracing its intangible heritage, for peace building. We need to learn from, to appreciate and to disseminate such understandings for resolving innumerable disputes which torment humankind in various regions of the world. I am inclined to believe that an ethnographic blue print can be prepared for a pilot project with interventions to initiate dialogues and employ successful measures for conflict resolution, thereby supporting sustainable development, building local trust for good governance. To paraphrase the ICH Convention, “Intangible Cultural Heritage constitutes the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. Thus, intangible cultural heritage can be recorded but cannot be touched or stored in physical form, embodied through self-expression and beliefs transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.”Thus it includes, oral traditions and expressions; languages, symbols and behaviours;Performing arts; Social practices, rituals and festive events; Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe as also, traditional craftsmanship—all these aspects of human expression are regarded as vehicles of intangible cultural heritage which must be safeguarded in the interests of sustainable development.It must be mentioned that the democratic socio-cultural system, Gada of the Oromo has been inscribed on the UNESCO representative list last year, recognising the importance of indigenous knowledge.

Q: And, please give us other examples from the Horn Region.
Examples of intangible heritage? Well, for instance, let’s discuss, finaa,an important pre-colonial social institution, integral to culture of the Afar clans who have integrated with other communities in the Horn region and who like the Oromo’s’ Gadahave successfully relied upon of their traditional authorities for customary dispute settlement and, governing all other aspects of the social system including financial and livelihood support systems. As it is the unit that executes or enforces sanctions passed by clan leadership, it strengthens the authority of traditional leaders, the customary law (Afar-madaa) and Afar values guaranteeing peaceful relations not just within the communities herebut with all other communities. Also, what springs to mind is Erecha an ancient ritual ceremony witnessed recently performed by the High priestess on the shore of Lake Hora Arsedi, under a female Sycamore tree; it is said to renew spiritual energies - the environment, habitat of the ayana, the Waka, source of the indigenous life as we were informed. By the periodic enactment of the Erecha ritual, oral traditions/memory transmit ancestors’ wisdom and values; remembering and accessing, preserving, and transmitting ancient knowledge of etiquette farming, fishing, cattle rearing, weaving, and self-reliance from one generation to the next.  Most importantly, the Erecha ritual is inclusive, indeed, iterative, building on events through which Ethiopian devotees remember their histories of oppression in order to envisage a better life in the future experiences embodying knowledge of customs, of humanistic values for the preservation of region,the sanctity of personhood, communities and the environment- all of which is an embodiment, being Ethiopian. Similarly, another important indigenous form of learning is the Somali custom of Wadaado for priests, folk astronomy based on seasons for migration, but with instructions on timing of rituals to avert not just calamities from jinn and iftrit (spirit possession), but also applied for prophecies and healing. And, as in Ethiopia, the sophisticated forms of governance included financial institutions such as Iquib and Idir among the local communities which guaranteed security of livelihood and sharing of scant resources. There are innumerable examples shared by the communities, indeed, in every kebele!
Q: Yes, we do. Could we discuss specific understandings of our region with reference to Heritage? By our region we wish to include the entire Horn region.
This is indeed a rather challenging…let’s consider, in parts. Firstly, it is critical to draw from the composite elements that have shaped the cultures of this region for over three thousand years; seek to understand their distinctive histories, belief systems, languages and communities,their sense of time, of the many calendars, of customs of social interaction, traditional medicines, of attire, of music, of dance, of literatures, proverbs folklore, and of cuisines. But above all, by recognising the diversity and untrammelled spirit of co-existence we will begin to see so many similarities that span millennia that constitute a shared Biblical Hebraic Orthodox heritage.As the scholar, Dr Ayele Bekerie quotes an ancient Amharic proverb, 'Ishehye yebeltal kesheh which he translates as “to be agreeable is better than a thousand” illustrating how various communities and traditions coalesced, co-existed. For millennia Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been profoundly influenced by the indigenous philosophies, spiritual representations in these cultures underpinned by the region’s syncretic foundations. Take for example, the shared calendars which inform the pilgrimage of Zïqwala. Indeed, as Pankhurst has noted, these two pilgrimages occur side by side on the same occasions on different sides of the crater lake. The Oromo mainly attend the ceremony in the forest by the Sida stone, while the Amhara and some other groups including Guragé and Tigraway are devotees of the Tewahedo Church in the monastery. Although the two pilgrimages are in a sense distinct, in fact there is a remarkable degree of connectedness since they occur on the same mountain in close proximity on the same two annual days dedicated to Saint Abbo. Moreover, many adherents of the traditional Oromo religion also revere the Christian church, have children baptized on this occasion, follow the tabot round the Lake, buy tapers for the Church, receive blessings from priests, take home holy water, etc. Many of the Christian pilgrims likewise visit the stone “seat” and “bed,” some of them bowing to the stones and kissing them since they believe in their powers in a similar way to the Oromo worshipping of the Sida stone. in that “two religions exist side by side, sometimes at close proximity and on the same occasion, with some mutual influences,” but also that “this co-existence in no way precludes rivalry and competition.
Expressively, it was to here, a Christian kingdom that Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in 615 A D instructed his followers among whom included eminent personages such as Uthman and his wife, Prophet Muhammad's daughter Ruqayah, Zubayr ibn Awwam, Mus'ab ibn Umayr, Abdurrahman ibn Awf, Abu Salama and his wife Umm Salama, to seek refuge from persecution by the Qurrayish in Mecca because the Aksum Empire was reputed to be a land of righteousness where no one was wronged. This flight of the Prophet’s followers was followed by more, thus Islam in Ethiopia is as old as the Hejaz region. Indeed, the sacred Negash Amedin Masjid is regarded as the second Mecca. The King gave land and protection to them upon arrival; he refused repeated requests from the Qurraysh who had pursued them to the return the followers. Indeed, it is believed that as a result the Prophet Muhammad declared exemption of this region from jihad--“Utruku-al habasha ma tarakukum.” Al-Habasha is the name applied in Arabic to the land and peoples of Ethiopia.
Recent scholarship discussing the Sahaba episode by Muhammad Sa'id Nawad's Iritriyd, Tariq Al-Hijrdt, records the names of more than a hundred companions who emigrated in three successive waves.
Elsewherein the south, the settled communities helped the followers to transform a long winding limestone cave – Holqa Sof Omar caves near Oriomia region into a sacred site of Islam. To this day, Muslims in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia attach unique symbolic importance to what is known in early Islamic Tariqa as the hijra al-ula (first emigration) celebrating the inter-connectedness with the Hejaz.
Also, the Judaic Falashas helped to build Orthodox Christian places of worship; they shared a common culture, spoke the same languages and indeed, shared livelihoods; they also chant from the holy books written by Orthodox Christian scribes. Such millennial associations and collective experiences have created memories and valuable traditions. Thus, when the late Emperor Haile Selassie stated, "Ayer YE GAVA new hajjmanot ye gel new," the nation is for all, religion is a private affair”, he drew upon such critical episodes which remain reposed in the regional narratives.
Q; We are extremely proud to belong to this shared heritage and we appreciate the unique role of the Orthodox church. Can we discuss this more?
I am not a scholar of religion yet the relations between different traditions remain ebullient. It is clear that the belief systems and rituals of the Orthodox church rooted in the syncretic traditions made possible inclusive literary and oral methods of transmission; entire texts and translations came to be assimilated through local motifs just as the Scriptures themselves. Ethiopians were profoundly influenced by the Hejaz and Egypt, even writing their state and geography into Bible stories. The source of the Blue Nile became the Gihon, one of the four rivers that flowed from the Garden of Eden. The 14th century C.E. narrative of origins connected Ethiopia’s rulers to the Old Testament and repeated in the Kebra Negast. We know how the deep rootedness of the syncretic traditions within Tewahedo Church from historical evidence; Tewahedo means Union --the complete union of the Divine and Human Natures into One Nature to accomplish the divine salvation for individual believers and also, for humankind. Opposed to these Immanent tradition precepts, during the 16th centuries the Portuguese actively sought to enforce their Catholicism for half a century. However, the conversion of the Atse Sussenyos led to mass uprisings and his abdication-  European Christian Missionaries were banned for 350 years; there remained a deep mistrust of the ferenj or foreigners– gold was paid to the coastal communities to prevent missionaries from entering-- illustrating the strong attachment to the immanent tradition in this region. Indeed, this was what prompted the Solomon Empire’s expansion to the Red Sea which began in earnest for greater protection of their heritage.
Interestingly, the linguist Zafer has elaborated on the East African influence in Biblical-Hebraic Orthodox Christianity and early Islam – the Christological vocabulary in the Holy Qu’ ran, for instance, he observes is in Ge’ez, an ancient language which has retained its pristine form and has not changed over time.So many common customs are shared by the three great religions such as lefafa sedeq by tying a parchment scroll to guide the body after death; or the tradition of wearing of amulets or hanging them on walls for protection by Muslims, Christians and Falasha Jews. Certainly, the distinctive lyricism and lexiconical expressions of the human condition—stages of love, of friendship and life itself reflect in the phonetics of Tizita, and of sacred ethos contained in  bati, ambassel, and anchihoy forms of music cherished widely in the entire Hornregion; devotional  expressions of sene qal sene tsehufy kine tibeb, senezema, and sene akal  Eskista dancing styles in Gojam, Gondar and Menjar,jumps of the Oromos, the chefaras of the Guarges, Hamars walking over bulls; great literary and aesthetic traditions, such as Zemma, Qene, and Semena Worq, oral traditions and so forth. Indeed, the guarded erudition of Temhertä Hebu’at or secret knowledge where the experience of the sacred and belief in magic is even today privileged over prosaic understandings of ‘religion’ founded upon the sacred doctrines of the Tewahedo Church;its profound hermeneutics in the exegesis and transmission of authoritative scripture cannot be underestimated. Such an immeasurably valuable shared syncretic heritage must be acknowledged as it contains the wherewithal for promising dialogues for unity, for co-operation, good governance and for prosperity.

Q: These connections make us confident about solutions for the Horn region on account of our shared heritage – Dr Gopal, what other connections do you see?
I am impressed by the diverse reckoning of time, indeed as diverse as the Ethiopians– the many calendars and the juggling of time systems. Ethiopian chronographers, it appears from scholarship managed to keep all these scales of time consistent with each other throughout the centuries. Most ancient cultures such as those of the Indian Subcontinent were guided by the moon and seasons- daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities with a schedule of work, dietary restrictions, prayers, festivals, fasting as also to calculate, astronomical event of abeqte, a lunar cycle. Indeed, since 300 BC the Oromos have Gada system:A lunar-stellar calendar which relies on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven particular stars or constellations. Oromo months (stars/lunar phases) are Bittottessa (Iangulum), Camsa (Pleiades), Bufa (Aldebarran), Waxabajjii (Belletrix), Obora Gudda (Central Orion-Saiph), Obora Dikka (Sirius), Birra (full moon), Cikawa (Gibbous moon), Sadasaa (quarter moon), Abrasa (large crescent), Ammaji (medium crescent), and Gurrandala (small crescent).  And, in the south and northern regions of the Horn primacy is given to the Islamic calendar.
While the church determines the terrestrial and the spiritual rhythm of life, it choreographs ceremonial, and organisation of time continually which is seen to guarantee the longevity and strength of spirit of the Ethiopian nation. As I have also learnt, the Tewahedo conscription of time, Amate Mehret or Year of Mercy remains tied to the Zemene Firit –Era of Creation established the Ethiopian calendar as both religious and civil. Interestingly, this region ‘s stubborn attachment to its own received truths is an aspect that distinguishes its culture, celebrating Christmas on 06 January; the small but extremely well integrated Ethiopian Catholic community celebrates Christmas at the same time as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.  Some theologians believe that the Ethiopian way of counting time of the Incarnation is more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar. Rather than being seen as exclusively Christian, it is regarded as inclusive --sharing this "uniquely" Ethiopian time, a source of pride for the importance of the plurality of traditional institutions in peacemaking and governance. There may be numerous other ways of time reckoning in the country and they appear to have become incorporated into the collective sense of time. It also brings to mind what an Ethiopian scholar noted on the Millennium, Amaat or Isra Meet which embodied the ability of a people to define and control their time; those who control time, control their past; and those who control their past control the present and have vision for the future. There is a general consensus that what is being done is reasserting the honour (keber) of the community by honouring time. Honour complex, known in Amharic as keber includes patronage, hierarchy, affiliation, ceremonial behaviours such as homage, and maintaining spiritual purity, and a pride in ancient civilizations of the region, tentawi new.
Q: There has been for over three thousand years as you have rightly pointed out, uninterrupted” syncretic co-existence”. We are not in agreement about colonial ethnic divisions which have caused separatist groupings based on religion, race and languages.  We say, “qwanqa bəc a bäqi aydälläm”, one language is never enough!Could you discuss diversity continuing with insights into our heritage?
Yes, I agree. I am averse to using terms such as tribe or race- so much interbreeding of human populations makes it redundant usage and unscientific! Indeed, imposition of ethnic zones and other similar classifications in this region as also, the presumption of ethnicities, of tribes has been catastrophic. Undoubtedly such categories are rooted in Cartesian/Utilitarian logic derived from strains within European philosophies, as also, categories of race—anthropometry and narrow understandings of religion which imposed European ways of seeing, not just here but also, in rest of Africa, MENA region, as also, the Indian Subcontinent, indeed in all colonial territories.
Although lacking both local knowledge and the linguistic sensitivities, the intent of the colonial draftsmen/magistrateswas to promulgate a European demand for sameness/homogeneity which   invented taxonomies and separate identities while making these out to be ‘natural’ differences. Denominations establishing typologies of inhabitants were formally institutionalised as Ordinances with their varying and controversial provisions. When we reflect upon these terms/denominations, the way they were produced, and how they were co-opted into official laws and the administrative infrastructure, the raison d'être for the ongoing conflicts originate here! Gaim Kibreab in his perceptive study notes that in Eritrea, the British government aimed at establishing states on the "basis of conscious affinities of ethnic similarities and economic interdependence. . . This was expected to result in "a notably homogeneous and compact unit of population..."But this was not possible because as Kibreab notes, the population in the Northern hills comprised a complex variety of groups of people which defied any attempt of classification based on livelihood, religion, ethnicity, etc. They included the Habab, Mensa, Maria, Béni Amer, and several other Tigrinya and Arabic speaking groups immersed in a synergetic, complementary, inter-dependent relationships and also, of livelihoods- communities adapted and interacted to share resources; there was also in the past no definitive pastoral sedentary divide or a fixed community. Thus, interchangeability, the amorphous nature of linguistic, religious identity, of community has been a feature of the Horn region.
Q: Could you give some examples please for the entire region?
Take for example Djibouti-the Afar clans of the north followed transhumance migration into largely Afar and Issa areas ofMäräb Melläsh (now Eritrea) and Ethiopia, while the Issa Somalis grazed into present-day Somalia. They were loosely grouped into several Sultanates whose combined territory ran from the shore of the Red Sea in the east to the foothills of the escarpment in the west, the Dire Dawa region in the south, and the vicinity of Massawa in the north. Incidentally, Märäb Melläsh region was bound by the Marab, Balasa and Muna rivers comprising the Kabasa which consisted of three provinces Hamasien, Saraye and Akkal Guzay along with the great port of Massawa– all shared the rich culture including common religions and political organisations which they shared with Ethiopia for over three thousand years.Thus, prior to Italian rule, highlanders speaking Tegrenna identified with their kin in the south in Ethiopiatravelling to other parts."Ta Netjeru”, Land of the Punt original name for Djibouti have traded with these neighbours as well as those across the Indian ocean and the Arabian Peninsula for centuries. Also, the bilad al-Barbarregion, now known as Somaliaencompassed the geographical area between the Bab el Mandeb and Cape Guardafui. Here, the  Darod and other clan families, the Isaaq (Dir), the Hawiye, and the Rahenweyne, part of the Adal and Mogadishu Sultanates, indeed, Gulf of Tajdoura had  established very sophisticated forms of governance with successful trading posts, for instance, Seylac and Berbera on the Gulf of Aden and Marka, Baraawe, and Mogadishu.
The extent of inter-dependence of the inhabitants of the Plateau, highlands and the lowlands with the south and the coast was so intimate and powerful it was difficult to distinguish between the various groups who utilised resources and territories in common. Customarily, all communities sent their sons in all directions from their region; their children were received without any difficulty and sometimes children and strangers surpass them in numbers as a contemporary traveller, Muntzinger noted of the Afar. There was no need amongst the communities here for boundaries and social mobility of the inhabitants made for fluidity of identities; other communities who moved into these areas such as Menafere and Hazowerta learnt local dialects and assimilated. Alsonomadic herders, pastoralists and agriculturists change livelihood status at will. The Rasahida who were from the Yemen came to the Sahel region and east Sudan where they graze as pastoralists and speak Arabic. Co-operation and social interaction were and still are sine quo non for survival requiring the development of intricate informal institutions and enforcement mechanisms not only to ensure sustainable use of scarce resources but also to avoid conflict over such resources or to solve such conflicts. The institutional development process regulating access to, and use of scarce resources between neighbouring groups resulted from complex and dense formal and informal negotiations, as well as long-term interactions. Importantly, people’s explicit recognition of all human conditions and the intimacy with their environment, their beliefs and their existence are woven into these physiological associations and cultures.
Q: Currently all our governments have ethnic zones and it remains a burning issue--as you say catastrophic! And, such divisiveness has been co-opted into our Constitutions.Can we discuss this?
Yes, there are very strong parallels with the ancient cultures of the Indian Subcontinent and its immanent syncretic tradition, the divisive legacy of the Utilitarian/ Cartesian Ordinances. The late Emperor Haile Selassie was a nationalist and wanted the entire region to unite and worked for agreements with Djibouti and, Eritrea. He opposed ethnic and racial classifications and nurtured Ethiopia’s unique cultural syncretism. Indeed, he has become the symbol for Ethiopia's social and psychological integration as a nation, also inspired the African continent on account of his identification with the anti-colonial cause, his critical role in the founding of the OAU; indeed, also his promotion of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as a cultural bridge between Ethiopia and New World. And, he had lived through two world wars; he belonged to another era and, at the end was too frail to address the enormity of economic suffering which led to his overthrow ending 2000 years of the Solomonic dynasty which, given the Mengitsu regime that took over has not improved matters. We can begin with the Dergue regime which I think was forced to succumb to European classifications as the other regions surrounding Ethiopia were governed thus—political theatre and strategies! The 1992 Constitution for example, Article 39 of 1995 states explicitly: “A 'Nation, Nationality or People' for the purpose of this Constitution, is a group of people who have or share large measure of a common culture or similar customs, mutual intelligibility of language, belief in a common or related identities, a common psychological make-up, and who inhabit an identifiable, predominantly contiguous territory. Thus, these divisions: Afar, Amhara, Benushangul- Gumuz, Gambela, Oromia Somali Southern Nations and Nationalities, Tigray Harari and two cities of Addis Ababa and   Dire dawa, all this contained within 68 zones and 550 woredas classified  as eighty ethno-linguistic groups, the four largest deemed officially as Oromiffa, Amhara, Somali, and Tigrayans. Indeed, as one scholar has noted, it was indeed a paradox that when the Dergue decided to revitalise ‘ethnicity’, it was the Southern region that refuted outright such policy and resistance remains strong here; their role in the daily challenge to the politics of ethnicity can hardly be over-estimated.  He notes further, this region is the glue that has kept Ethiopia from falling apart.  We can discuss later with reference to recent developments.
Similarly, in Djibouti, the remarkable scholarship of Bezabeh and Imbert- Vier has shown how the emergence of ethnic identification, its use was created by French rule-- colonial administrative chronology. The French established through Ordinances fixed ethnic identities and, shaped the divide between the communities. Afar who comprised 40% of the population were privileged over the Issa Somalis and other Arabic speaking clans who were 60%; their sophisticated forms of governance by Sultans and cultural institutions by Sultans was wiped out by French in 1883 who also tricked the Emperor who had been promised Obock. Certainly, it was very difficult for the local populations; there was resistance to their rule and the Somalis were marginalised further. At the threshold of independence in 1977, Djibouti wasembroiled in bitter strife between the three main ethnic communities, namely the Afar, the Arabs, and the Issa Somali. Various claims were put forward as to whose nation this was, who constituted the majority, and who should be in power: it proved impossible to achieve a political and organisational consensus! Thus, French rule had successfully divided the Afar, the Issa Somalis and others. These representations establish the access rights to the country’s resources. Encouraged by France's favouritism towards one ethnic group, the gradation of citizenship in what was then referred to as the Côte Françoise des Somalis started as soon as politics was introduced in the domain of the sujet Françoise. Throughout the territory's colonial history France supported first the Arabs and then the Afars, and this eventually led to discourses of expulsion by those who were marginalized. This practice of calling for the expulsion of those who are favoured started with the first election for the conseil représentatif in 1946. Bezabeh notes that the sovereign power of the Djiboutian state through the Nationality Law allows the marginalization of its citizens; graduated citizenship emerges both from the practice of ethnic discrimination and also as a result of the Nationality Law. But as the scholars have argued, these two elements should not be viewed as separate, as they overlap considerably. An experienced Issa politician, Hassan Gouled, became President, but despite his calls to abandon ethnic differences in the early months of independence his government actively discriminated against the minority population. Notably, the national representation built within the single governing party explicitly includes representatives of different “national groups” the same way the colonial administration did.By the time of Djibouti's independence in June 1977, 3,000 Ethiopians of Issa Somali ethnic origin had already fled into the country from villages along the railway between the border and Dire Dawa. Within six months the number of refugees had grown to 8,000, three-quarters of whom were accommodated in primitive camps near the towns of Ali Sabieh and Dikhil. By the middle of 1980, when the Ogaden conflict had flared up again, the refugee population totalled 42,000, over 10 per cent of the country's inhabitants. These tensions continue, the Frud revolt of the 1990s mirrored the enormity of people ‘s suffering. As Bezabeh notes further, another application of identity categories occurred in 2003 with the expulsion from Djiboutian territory of 80,000 refugees called “foreigners in irregular situation,” nearly 15 percent of the country’s inhabitants. The Djiboutian identity, djiboutienneté invokesa national, and not ethnic, identity, but it is window dressing; the expulsions continue and the initial attribution of Djiboutian citizenship continues to be determined on the basis of criteria elaborated during colonial times. Clearly there is a persuasive need to resuscitate traditional forms of governance and conviviality, co-opt these customs into inclusive Nationality Laws.
Q: As Somalis we are particularly distressed by the current label of ‘failed state’. Also, piracy in the high seas and the bad press we get. What solutions can be offered to improve this situation in keeping with our heritage?
It took three hundred years for nation states to evolve naturally in Europe and even today the Westphalian state is still being negotiated. In Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and the MENA region moral fault lines were drawn by Europeans within weeks without consulting people by dispassionate cartographers fragmenting people and alienating them from their genealogies and their shared heritage; indeed, the way people related to each other particularly of livelihoods and sharing of resources. Professor Asiwaju's for example, shows that 103 international African boundaries cut through a total of 131 communities; Some of these groups are partitioned by more than one boundary. Undoubtedly, the destruction of the heimat of this region is the root cause for not just perennial conflicts and militarisation, but also for the grinding poverty, loss of livelihoods and governance.
In my view the nation state cannot be thrust onto people or populations especially when sophisticated, indigenous institutional forms of governance have gradually evolved and thrived for over three thousand years from the Red sea to northern Kenya. Let’ s begin with the various Sultanates during the 16th century - Ajuran Sultanate, the Adal Sultanate, the Warsangali Sultanate, the Sultanate of the Geledi and the Majeerteen Sultanate.The populations of Afar Somalis, Beja, Gallo, Dir, Hawiye and other communities were mainly engaged in pastoralism, agriculture with very successful trade both in Berbera, Gulf of Aden and other parts. They enjoyed great freedom, under this governance with communities assisting each other. The scholar Ebraib mentions the most important mechanism for post-crisis herd recovery is called iribu, a permanent gift of any species and of either sex, although female stock is usually preferred for the regeneration of the herd. It would be unusual for an Afar to fail to find such assistance, failure to provide assistance to others in turn can be severely sanctioned. As an ethnographer has noted -- Elders are responsible for enforcing the rules of iribu and ensuring that the appropriate assistance is provided from the appropriate donor. We give help to the people who are poorer. What a man doesn't need for his house, he shares with the poor man . . . We punish people who don't give help. We tie them up and also we kill his cattle ... If he refuses, we punish him. The punishment is called dinto seeasan. Ayrana is the slaughtering of his cattle, Dubukiria, Bargile.
Also, it must be stated that the influence of Islam was marginal among the nomadic pastoralists, they valued warrior like qualities although they venerated saints.  Here the main influences had been  Daraawish  inspired Sufism  derived from Ash’ariyah theology, Shafi’i jurisprudence. The  oldest being the Qadiriyah, the Idrisiyah, and the Salihiyah tariqas; within the Horn region Oromo and Afar and other communities were followers belonging to the jama’ah of one or the other of these orders; Daraawish or Dervishes wandered through the region singing and preaching mystical  beliefs, veneration of saints and also helping with agricultural practices. Thus, interpersonal linkages between communities existed in the Horn region. We know with the purchase of Assab by the Italians and the creation of Djibouti by the French and the British occupation of the Gulf of Aden the forms of polity introduced were coercive and discriminatory of the local populations who were pitted against each other. It was not surprising thator  Hajji Hafiz Sayyid Muhammad `Abd Allāh al-Hasan  of the Salihiyya brotherhood spearheaded a twenty year  guerrilla war against the British and called for a united Somalia. His father was from the Ogadeni clan, and his mother was Dhulbahanta. Indeed, he was a poet and regarded today as a nationalist stating that the British "have destroyed our religion and made our children their children." His wife Hasna Doreh was also a commander of his Daraavish army. Another one of his poems which I have been reading and here it is---“I have no forts, no houses, no country. I have no cultivated fields, no silver or gold for you to take — all you can get from me is war, nothing else. I have met your men in battle and have killed them. We are greatly pleased about this. Our men who have fallen in battle have won paradise. God fights for us. We fight by God’s order. If you wish war I am happy; if you wish peace I am also content. But if you wish peace, go away from my country to your own. If you wish war, stay where you are!” Such sentiments remain and urgently need to be reflected upon and peaceful solutions found for this region.
British Somaliland, (like Eritrea), had a colonial origin that was separate from that of Italian Somaliland, both of which constituted the Republic of Somalia at independence in 1960. The problems lay largely in the abysmal failure to consider the practical problems posed by an amalgamation of British and Italian administrative styles and methods, in areas such as taxation, judicial activity, local administration, and even the language of government. Thus Somalia from its conception as a nation state inherited an appalling fragile political structure which sealed its fate. How could a nation state ever take root? President Siad Barre’s scientific socialism attempted to improve matters; he argued it was in keeping with the Holy Qu’ran and religious sentiments. But as there were no changes done to the colonial infrastructure, none of the serious issues could be resolved. In a critical way, the collapse of the Barre government and the genocide which followed adversely affected the UN peace mission. UN Security Council Resolution 733 and UN Security Council Resolution 746 led to the creation of UNOSOM I, the first mission to provide humanitarian relief and help restore order in Somalia after the dissolution of its central government. United Nations Security Council Resolution 794 approved a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers in 1992. But in 1995 UNOSOMII had to cease operations. There is an imperative need to re-investigate the past colonial enterprise in the region—and its pernicious legacy needs to be discussed publicly and consensus from the local populations on the forms of governance that would be agreeable to them. There is also an even more urgent need to address matters of livelihood and security of personhood- resuscitate indigenous pre-colonial institutions that had worked well for good governance.
Q: The high influx of refugees into Ethiopia and neighbouring regions from Eritrea continues. As an Eritrean I feel disturbed by the politics in my country? What solutions can there be?
We need to recognise how the artificial creation of Eritrea by the Italians after their defeat at Adwa, a battle that inspired the resistance to colonization in many parts of the world in time has separated Eritreans from their own millennial syncretic heritage, their ties to other Ethiopian communities and, the Horn region. By the end of Italian rule Eritreans were divided into two main camps - those who sought unconditional union with Ethiopia under slogan of "Ethiopia or Death" and those who campaigned for unconditional independence, with a minor group in between opting for conditional union. During the thirty years' war (1961-1991), many Eritreans found themselves torn between the Ethiopian identity that they had either inherited from their parents or had been imposed on them by the Ethiopian ancestry, a matter that cannot be easily unresolved.
The British Military Administration’s military infrastructure which Eritrea has re-activated. Despite its small population Eritrea hosts largest militaries on the African continent Kibreab notes in active duty, with another 200,000 in militarised work and 120,000 strong reserve army; it is the highest producers of refugees as a percentage of the population. Since 1991, the meanings of self-reliance, scholars note has become integrated with militarisation, forced conscription and servitude to the nation; all citizens have to participate in order to identify themselves as a people and a nation. As Rignall observes, it has led to encampment, enclosure and mass imprisonment, in the face of waning sovereignty. The forced conscription of all able bodied men and women since 1994 explicitly combining military training, developmental labour and political "education-- including the shaping of other institutions," hierarchies, identities, and narratives in ways that legitimate military action. “All citizens work for  pittance to fulfil the labour needs of government-directed development projects, from the building of roads, to the digging of trenches at the contentious Ethiopian and Djiboutian borders. Kibreab states that since 2002 the Warsay-Yike'alo Development Campaign (WYDC) preoccupation with building walls and barriers has increased the refugee influx. This narrative of "self-reliance" and associated policies were core elements of the nationalist framework for self-determination throughout the struggle for independence.
This goes against the  lifestyle and belief systems, the Orthodox regard Aksum as their spiritual home and,  the Muslims, Negash. Eastern Eritrean Muslim traditions recall and still venerate Faqzh Muhammad, the Hijazi cleric responsible for the initial spread of Islam among their societies; there is  the upsurge manifested itself in the activities of Sufi brotherhoods deepening Islamic practices and piety. But none of these are allowed to be expressed. In all instances, there has been a gross violation of human rights abuses and, poverty and loss of livelihoods has caused immeasurable suffering. An increasingly militarised world magnifies the challenge of inculcating the values of non-violence and effective problem-solving.
The  border tensions need to be addressed urgently, Indeed, the government has isolated itself as it fiercely protects its territorial status with a discourse that runs against history contending that Eritrea had a separate and independent history of its own even prior to its creation by Italian colonialism, Nevertheless it has appropriated the Ethiopian victories against Egyptians in 1875 & 1876 Italians in 1887 on what was then Märäb Melläsh; they are now seen as Eritrean victories by General Ras Alulawho was Ethiopian. Thus, politics of attrition needs to be resolved through dialogue that would benefit not just Eritrean government and the people but also Ethiopia with whom they share the rich millennial heritage, communities, indeed, strong ties.
Q: Thank you Dr Gopal!
Bäṭam  amäsäggänallähun
*Photo Caption - As seen.









[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Hope, disgust, anguish, fatigue were seen in the faces of the parents, guardians, school administrators, and Government officials over the kidnap of the six students of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe 35 days ago.
A socio-civic group, the Progressive Solidarity Forum (PSF) has commended the efforts of those who were directly involved in seeking the release of the students alive.
The group described the incident as "one of the darkest period in the Nation's educational history" in a statement signed by her Lagos State Director of Media, Information, and Publicity Mr Olalekan Adigun today.
The group said "We empathize with the relatives of those kids and what they must have gone through in perhaps the longest and darkest 35 days in their lives."
The group said further: "We wish to commend the Lagos State Government for its efforts to get the students back alive.
"We must equally thank the security agencies for their prompt responses to the ugly incident.
"We urge the Lagos State Government to improve the presence security agencies in schools in the state. They must monitor with eagle eyes all movements in .and out of the schools and raise alarm on suspicious persons in the neighbourhood.
"We are equally saying that all schools in Lagos must be properly fenced and regular security operatives must be on 24 hours patrol scanning the environment for criminals.
"We must not forget to commend Lagosians, and by extension, Nigerians for their prayers during these trying times for the lads.
"We therefore recommend proper rehabilitation programme for the lads as they are integrated back to the society. This must be the very last of such in Lagos state." The statement said.
Olalekan Adigun
Director of Media, Information, and Publicity
Progressive Solidarity Forum (PSF)
Lagos State chapter
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman reports ] -As a vehicle is useless without the fuel likewise a state cannot be run in the absence of good governance. Good governance is a real drive behind a state’s development. It protects the human rights, delivers the justice, maintains law an order and provides equal opportunities to the masses. It delivers the fruits of progress and development to all and sundry. People of Kogi State can now enjoy equal rights under the good government of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. Minorities live freely and are now proud of their state of origin. No one now considers himself the owner of the state. Everyone, no matter how influential he is, have to follow due process and are treated on equal terms. Good governance means governing the people in a way that the interests of the people of all sections are preserved rightfully.  
The era of ethnicity and sectionalism is gone forever in Kogi State, the people of the state now see each other as one indivisible family. The cabals are angry with Governor Yahaya Bello, because he has opened the eyes of the masses to the untold hardship melted on them by the previous government. Who nurtured and breed ethnic hatred for over 17yrs and hide under it to enslave the people. Governor Yahaya Bello must be commended by all for having the gut to pull away from the old ways and ensure that the state is on the path of progress. The kind of rascals that have rule the state are now scared of their political future and so they are throwing everything to ensure that the government of Yahaya Bello sees no peace, but the people have resisted and their resolution will be deliver to the cabals during the 2019 general elections. The kind of characters that have held the state hostage are the ones who threaten to impregnate a distinguish senator of the Federal Republic. Honestly, on a moral ground, such a character should have been suspended by the red chamber, but as we all know, nothing seem good with 8th national assembly.
When all is said it can be concluded that the crisis, which is at the root of all other crises, is that good governance has arrived Kogi State and it must be sustained. Problems like poverty. Illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, energy crisis, water and food shortage that weakens our state is gradually coming to an end. In the gloomy scenario the previous government left the state, good governance is the dire need of the hour and Governor Yahaya Bello seems to be the answer for now.

Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman
Former Chairman Nigeria Community In Ukraine
*Photo Caption - Governor Yahaya Bello




[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. C. K. Ekeke reports ] - July 18, 2017: Last week, the U.S. President Donald J. Trump travelled to Paris to celebrate France Bastille Day – also known as Independence or National Day. President Trump was invited by the young and emerging global leader, Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year old newly elected president of France.
According to historical records, the French Revolution 1787–1799 began when the commoners stormed the Bastille, a fortress used as a prison in Paris – demanding for social, political and economic reforms designed to eliminate the budget deficit by increasing the taxation of the privileged classes. The commoner and peasants joined to fight for freedom, justice, and liberty against the aristocrats. The efforts they made to enforce fiscal reforms in spite of resistance by the privileged classes led to the massive revolt and resistance against the aristocrats.
The protest and revolts waged by the commoners and peasants against the aristocrats during that era led to the weakening and dismantling of many corrupt social structures and political institutions against them.
It has been written that the French Revolution of the 18th century sparked numerous violent revolts against the corrupt political and social structures of the Western nations and around the world.
Before the French revolution, the United States of America was under the colonial rule of England.
According to historian and author of the "Concise History of America Revolution," Robert Allison, writes that:
America was not an independent country before 1776. Rather, it was a group of colonies that England controlled and many American Colonists did not want to be controlled by the British government anymore. The Colonists were unhappy for many reasons. They couldn't make their own laws or have their own government. Moreover, they are heavily taxed.
And so, in1770, many Colonists began to protest against British control in order to be free from England. In 1774, while the Colonists were preparing for revolution, one of their leaders, Thomas Jefferson wrote an important document called the "Declaration of Independence." In a nutshell, the Declaration stated "all men are created equal," and that everyone has "the right to life, liberty and happiness."
In 1775, War called the "Revolutionary War" broke out between the American colonies and England. Even though the British army was stronger, bigger and had more of everything, the American people did not give up. They fought with everything they had. Farmers, sailors, business owners, and teachers became soldiers and joined the war. Even many African American slaves joined to fight the British. Also American women helped during this time, too. They worked on the farms while the men fought. They also grew food, made clothes for the army, and took care of wounded soldiers. Other countries, like France, helped the Americans by sending soldiers or supplies.
The American people eventually won the war. Even though the war did not officially end until 1783, but on July 4th, 1776 the "Declaration of Independence" was signed. Representatives from all thirteen colonies signed the document. Today, Americans celebrate their freedom from England – also known as their Independence Day every year on July 4th with pomp and pride (emphasis added).
Human freedom and independence are highly cherished in the United States of America and most of the Western nations.
Because of this inherent desire to be free, throughout human history, people and nations have paid the ultimate price fighting for such freedoms and for their liberties. Millions have died fighting for freedom and in pursuit of justice. Nearly all wars that have been waged between peoples and nations have been for quest for freedom.
The Biblical Text teaches that Man was born free. Our Creator did not make Man to be a robot. Mankind was created to be free — and given the ability to make choices including the choice of whom to worship. The same Sacred Text also teaches that Jesus Christ was born into this world to free people from the bondages of self, sin, and slavery.
The Apostle Paul writes, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery" – Galatians 5:1.
In Second Corinthians 3:17, he added this statement: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Freedom is one of the central themes of the Bible and the most important value proposition of the Christian faith. Freedom is the essence of Christianity and it is what distinguishes it from all other religions on the planet.
Samuel Bowles, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, said "the cause of freedom is the cause of God."
Being redeemed and set free from sin, self and Satan is the ultimate goal of Christian faith. Freedom in its true sense is a quality of God, just as love, grace, beauty, harmony, joy; abundance and peace are qualities of God.
Thomas Jefferson who wrote the "Declaration of Independence," once said, "The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."
Therefore, freedom, liberty, and justice are the very nature and essence of who we are as human beings and as creation of God.
And because of this innate nature of mankind to be free, human beings have always fought with all their might to be free.
For instance, the major part of the 16th and 17th centuries witnessed an astonishing moments in the history of human race as nations battled for freedom. The empires of — Babylon, Rome, Ottoman, Greece, etc., conquered and ruled the world during their time because of their strength and power.
In the 20th century, human race also witnessed numerous revolutions and wars — the partition and sharing of Africa by the French, British, Portuguese, Arabs, and Africa fight for Independence from her colonial masters. Several world wars and civil wars led to conquest and collapse of empires and tyrannical regimes and despotic rulers such as the fall of Adolf Hitler of Germany, Mussolini of Italy, Idi Amin of Uganda and the collapse of the communist Soviet Union and the rise of America as the main super power today.
It would be hard to overstate the significance of freedom for the affected nations or the world in general. For years, philosophers, scholars and thinkers have argued and debated that human freedom is the supreme value of the human soul. It is the yearning of every human heart – whether poor or rich. All human beings possess the same intrinsic desire – to be free, to pursue unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because the human spirit is endowed by its Creator with the desire to be free to pursue life, joy, peace and prosperity. In nutshell, freedom is the ultimate pursuit of the human spirit.
Because of the supreme value of freedoms and liberties, the United Nations produced a document called: "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected."
It recognizes the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
For instance:
Article (1) affirms that: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
Article (3) states that: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
Article (9) states that: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."
Read more on the thirty articles here:
Today, the United States of America is the champion of that freedom and liberty worldwide. Human freedom is the greatest ideal of the American society and the essence and beauty of their democracy. It is also the glory of free-market society economy. And that is the ideal that attracts millions of people around the world to emigrate and seek refuge in the United States.
For instance, in their most famous and sacrosanct document – the Constitution, there is a sticking paragraph that is idolized by every single American and it reads:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
In his 1963 speech, President John F. Kennedy, said, "The cost of freedom is always high but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose and that is the path of surrender, or submission."
Despite America’s and Western nations love for freedom, they rarely support such freedoms in Africa and other third world countries.
In Africa, the battle for freedom has not be different. In fact, the quest to be free has claimed millions of lives and continues to claim lives today. Millions have been massacred while agitating for freedom. Such freedoms as — freedom of speech, religious freedom, social freedoms, economic freedoms, political freedoms, freedom from bondage, captivity, and servitude, freedom to think, freedom of dialogue, freedom of association, freedom to protest, etc.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, most African nations fought for their freedom and independence from their colonial masters — mostly Britain, France, Portugal, Italy and the Arabs.
Thousands were slaughtered fighting for independence from their colonial slave masters and their imposed totalitarian regimes. Others gave up their freedom for a life of bondage and servitude instead of imprisonment and mass murder by their tyrannical and fanatical rulers.
The struggle for freedom and independence reminds of me of Nigeria’s long battle for her own independence from Britain in the late 50’s. Nigeria’s independence was granted due to sustained national grievances of nationalist leaders against the British system of indirect rule.
In 1960, Nigeria became an independent nation. However, ethnic bias and hatred, political instability, bad leadership, systemic injustice, radical religious ideology, intolerance and violence quickly marred the nation's prospect for genuine development and progress.
Soon after, the variants groups that were amalgamated as Nigerians discovered that they not the same people. Their vast cultural, social, linguistic, religious differences and political divide led to several riots, violence and the orchestrated genocide and ethnic cleansing and extermination of Igbos in the North and South-west regions of Nigeria. Igbo men, women and children were slaughtered like animals and their stinking lifeless bodies were transported in cargo trucks and dumped in the Eastern region.
The events of that turbulent period led to the political crisis, political instability, tribal and religious killings, military coups and counter coups, that eventually led to unforgettable genocidal civil war of 1967-70 which decimated more than three million Biafran lives – mostly women and children, which has left so much bitterness, anger and hatred among the major tribes of Nigeria.
Since then the Nigerian people have not enjoyed any freedom, human rights, political peace and national prosperity but poverty, torture, violence, and killings.
Today, Nigerians hate one another so passionately. There is enormous ethnic hatred among the three major tribes: Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo. There is too much envy, anger, and bitterness amongst them.
Currently, there is a renewed agitation for an independent State of Biafra. The corrupt political leadership, Arewa Youths, selfish Nigerians and coward citizens are currently wagging their tongues and threatening another war against Igbos even when Biafra youths are peacefully seeking self-determination through referendum as enshrined in the United Nations Charter General Assembly Resolution of September 2007 – articles 1 and 2, and article 20 of the African Charter on human rights recognizing and supporting the rights of all ethnic nations and peoples have the unquestionable and inalienable rights to self-determination of which Nigeria is a signatory to.
Moreover, the Indigenous People of Biafra and Biafra youths are peacefully exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.
According to United Nations Charter General Assembly Resolution (A/61/295) of September 2007:
"Self-determination" is the principle and practice whereby an ethnic group, for example, an ethnic nation is in control of its own people, its own land, its own resources, and its own governance, independent of any other subtending political structure. "
Nigeria is a member of United Nations Body and signatory to that resolution. Although referendum, which is the means to self-determination is not a stipulation in the 1999 constitution like the earlier version 1979; however, constitutional freedoms of speech and expression as enshrined in the Nigerian law, do not forbid anyone from canvassing peaceful self-government which in any event is legally permissible under diverse international humanitarian laws including the Covenant on Civil and political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR) which Nigeria as a United Nations member signed on to.
Therefore, the agitation for an independent State of Biafra is proper and fulfills the requirements of the United Nations Charter on self-determination.
Self-determination is not a call for war. Britain did not declare war on Scotland when the Scottish MP called for referendum. Spain did not call for war when Catalonia called for self-determination and referendum. Canada has not declared war on Quebec for calling for independence from Canada. European Union (EU) did not declare war on United Kingdom when she voted to exit European Union.
Why is Biafra call for self-determination and referendum being perceived as call for war? It is not a declaration of sovereign State of Biafra as was in the case in 1967 when Emeka Odumegwu Ojuwkwu declared succession from Nigeria because Gowon and his northern leaders reneged on Aburi accord. Gowon then declared war against Biafra.
The quest for a sovereign State of Biafra is an issue the federal government must tackle with dialogue and try to negotiate with IPOB and its leadership rather than resort to killing the youths and applying force to stop the fire the Nigerian State will not be able to quench. Nigerian government, perhaps, has not realized or read from history that agitation for human rights, freedom, liberty, and justice cannot be quashed with military force – China, Egypt, Tunisia, and even Turkey today are examples where courageous citizens stood their ground to fight for their freedoms and defend democracy.
The Southeast and South-south is currently under siege. On several occasions, peaceful and unarmed young Biafran protesters have been shot and massacred for exercising their fundamental human rights. There are seemingly abuses of rule of law and human rights abuses against the former Eastern region. Biafran people are denied from exercising their fundamental human rights of peaceful protest and quest self-determination through referendum as enshrined in the United Nations charter of 2007.
Why has human freedoms and human rights, which are the highest ideals of the Western societies and essence of who we are as human beings remained a mirage and illusive and difficult to attain in Africa despite the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights document? Even now in the 21st century and with the explosion of information technology and social media platforms, the struggle for freedom remains one of the horniest issues of our time for Africans – Nigeria being a case-in-point.
In the early 2011, the United Nations and African Union facilitated a referendum in Sudan that eventually divided the country into North and South Sudan after much bloodshed.
We do not want bloodshed in Nigeria because it will devastate entire Africa and impact global economy.
Since the 1990’s, we have seen nations that have peacefully divided without war.
1. Former Soviet Union: between 1989 and 1990s divided into 15 republic—Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine, Belorussia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kirgizia.
2. Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ended in 1991 and 6 countries—Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (including the regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina) and Slovenia. Today, those six nations are prospering in peace.
3. Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1991 and Eritrea were granted rights to its own government. In fact, today Ethiopia and Eritrea are living in peace, harmony, and prospering.
4. Quebec is currently asking from independence from Canada.
6. Scotland is asking for independence from Britain.
7. Catalonia is seeking self-determination from Spain and will conduct referendum soon.
8. And finally, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet – all these nations used to part of the Indian empire in the past before they were peacefully separated.
So why is the United Nations, an organization formed to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples lackadaisical and ignoring Biafra? Why is Biafra’s case different — a region that covers a total area of almost 30,000 square miles, thus almost as big as Gambia and Sierra Leone put together, bigger than Togo, Rwanda and Burundi combined, and is four times the size of many countries in the world.
The United Nations and global powers must mediate in Nigeria versus Biafra situation. Biafra is demanding self-determination through referendum. She must be granted that desire to vote if her people want to remain in Nigeria or be a separate nation. Scotland was granted that wish – even though those against separation from United Kingdom won. Scotland is planning to conduct a second referendum. Last year, United Kingdom voted to exit European Union (BREXIT). Catalonia will soon conduct a referendum to decide whether to remain in Spain or be a different country.
Biafra’s quest for freedom must not be different? The Biafran people must not remain in perpetual bondage and slavery in Nigeria by force. The State of Biafra cannot continue to remain in an adulterous and violent marriage. The Biafran people — an indigenous people of seventy million are capable to control its own people, its own land, its own resources, and its own governance, independent of any other subtending political structure. Moreover, Biafra’s quest for an independent State fulfills the requirements of the United Nations Charter for self-determination.
It will be sheer hypocrisy if the same rights, privileges and resolution enacted by United Nations of which Nigeria is a signatory to, that have been carried out in other regions of the world, but will not be effected in Nigeria. Is Nigeria above international law? It will be pure hypocrisy and cowardice on the part of the United Nations and global powers if self-determination by means of referendum is not granted to the people of Biafra.
The world knows quite well that the amalgamation of various ethnicities to create Nigeria in 1914 was an indescribable mistake. The amalgamation was a forced union and the colonial contract has expired since 2014. Moreover, for over 100 years, millions of Biafrans have been maimed, tortured, raped, imprisoned, enslaved, marginalized and massacred in Nigeria.
Just last week, the Arewa elder and spokesperson, Prof. Ango Abdullahi said:
"There is nothing sacrosanct about the unity of Nigeria as one indivisible entity because it is a mere human creation. I have never seen anything absurd as insisting that this country is indivisible. "Nigeria is not God’s creation; it is Lugard’s creation. Lugard was a colonial adventurer who came and conquered us. It was not God that sent him to come and conquer Nigeria. And it wasn’t God that asked him to structure Nigeria the way he did. We sat down and decided that we wanted to live together, even after the amalgamation."
In the past, some of the Founding Fathers have made the following statements about Nigeria:
Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1948 said:
"Since 1914 the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any signs of willingness to unite … "Nigerian unity is only a British invention.".
In 1947, Chief Awolowo said:
"Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. "There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English,’ ‘Welsh,’ or ‘French.’ "The word ‘Nigeria’ is a mere distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria and those who do not."
In 1964, Dr. Azikiwe said:
"It is better for us and many admirers abroad that we should disintegrate in peace and not in pieces. "Should the politicians fail to heed the warning, then I will venture the prediction that the experience of the Democratic Republic of Congo will be a child’s play if it ever comes to our turn to play such a tragic role."
It is time the United Nations and global powers end Nigeria forced amalgamation and false unity. Nigeria will never be one. Nigeria does not have shared value system, patriotic principles, religious and political ideologies to be one country. Nigeria will never genuinely develop and proposer as a nation without peaceful division of the country. The systemic injustice, economic strangulation, political oppression, religious intolerance, ethnic hatred and envy against the people of Biafra are unacceptable, intolerable, unbearable, and insufferable.
An independent State of Biafra may be the only suitable solution to fix Nigeria’s corrupt political system, lawlessness and failed institutions. Freedom for Biafran people will be freedom for other indigenous populations and freedom for millions of young Biafrans from unemployment, poverty, disease, and hopelessness.
Biafrans want to be freed from subjugation, oppression, marginalization, mediocrity, incompetence, jihadism, tyranny, poverty, disease, and hopelessness of Nigeria. Biafrans are tired of living in bondage, slavery and servitude. It is time for Biafran people to live in freedom, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness and prosperity like other civilized peoples and nations.
France and especially Americans have a holy hatred for tyrants, dictatorship and destroyers of the human freedom. Every July, the U.S., Canada, France, etc. celebrate their Independence Day and reflect on their fight for freedom and battle for liberty.
It is time Western powers support to liberate Biafra from bondage, slavery, Islamic radicalism and jihad in Nigeria. It is time International Community – United Nations, United States of America and others intervene to give the Indigenous People of Biafra – a nation of seventy million people, a State of their own. It is time to dismantle Nigeria and free unarmed Biafran people from looming civil war that will have devastating consequences on Africa and global economy. It is time to end slavery of Biafrans in Nigeria and free her to compete like other nations in the world. It is time to liberate and free Biafran people from ethnic hatred, systemic injustice, economic strangulation, political oppression, religious violence, and radical Islamic political ideology of the Nigerian State.

C. K. Ekeke ( Email: ), Ph. D., is a theologian, author, consultant, and leadership scholar and lecturer.
*Photo Caption - Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra



[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - The Malian Ministry of Culture and the Institut français, co-producers of the Rencontres de Bamako, announce the artists and collectives selected to take part in the Pan-African exhibition of this 11th edition, entitled Afrotopia.

40 proposals have been selected from more than 300 applications from artists based across the continent of Africa or in its diasporas. The selection committee was composed of the Artistic Director, Marie-Ann Yemsi, Delegate-General of the Rencontres de Bamako, Samuel Sidibé as well as members of the Curatorial Advisory Committee, Sammy Baloji, Olfa Feki, Rébecca Lamarche-Vadel, Lekgetho James Makola, Aïda Muluneh, and Azu Nwagbogu.
The Pan-African exhibition at the National Museum of Mali represents the heart of the event. The Rencontres also take place at various locations throughout the city of Bamako, such as the Musée du District and the Institut français. The complete programme of exhibitions and events will be announced at a later date.
Full list in alphabetical order:
Neil BELOUFA (France - Algeria) (South Africa)
Zied BEN ROMDHANE (Tunisia)
Girma BERTA Sibusiso BHEKA
Heba Y. AMIN (Egypt), Dawit L. PETROS (Eritrea / Canada)
Mai AL SHAZLY (Egypt), Yvonne BUCHHEIM (Germany), Magdalena KALLENBERGER (Germany), Hagar MASOUD (Egypt), Nadia MOUNIER (Egypt), Omneia NAGUIB (Egypt)
Joana CHOUMALI (Ivory Coast)
Julien CREUZET (France)
Mounir FATMI (France - Morocco)
Gabrielle GOLIATH (South Africa)
Eric GYAMFI (Ghana)
Délio JASSE (Angola)
Lola KEYEZUA (Angola)
Youcef KRACHE (Algeria)
Michael MCGARRY (South Africa)
Fototala King MASSASSY (Mali)
Teddy MAZINA (Burundi)Baudouin MOUANDA (Republic of the Congo)
Joseph MOURA (DR Congo) 
Qudus ONIKEKU (Nigeria)
Alain POLO (DR Congo)
Athi-Patra RUGA (South Africa)
Fethi SAHRAOUI (Algeria)
Christian SANNA (Madagascar - France)
Zina SARO-WIWA (Nigeria)
Bogosi SEKHUKHUNI (South Africa)
(DR Congo)Sarah WAISWA (Uganda - Kenya)
* * *
Organised by the Malian Ministry of Culture and the Institut français, the Rencontres de Bamako are the main event devoted to contemporary photography and new forms of imagery in Africa.
A platform for discovery, dialogue and visibility, they are a key opportunity for presenting African photographers and offer a moment of dialogue with the Malian
public and with professionals from all over the world.
Since it was created in 1994, the Bamako Biennale has become a major feature of cultural life in Africa and amongst its diaspora. It has contributed to revealing African photography and bringing it to the forefront of economic and social development. Many renowned photographers (such as Malick Sidibé, Pieter Hugo, Samuel Foso and more recently Baudouin Mounda, Kiripi Katembo, Mimi Cherono, Lebohang Kganye and Omar Victor Diop) who were discovered at Bamako have since developed international careers, and are now represented in the fairs, galleries, and collections of great institutions all over the world.
After Bamako, the 11th Rencontres will be shown in April 2018 in the Netherlands in partnership with the Museum of World Culture.

Media Contact:
Leslie Compan

*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Bashir Abba Sharif reports ] - By the sanctity of its hummer, the Supreme Court has, at long last, decisively decided on the overstretched litigation between the two warring factions of the People`s Democratic Party. Delivered recently, the judgment has it that the Makarfi faction is the authentic and therefore legitimate leadership of the crisis ridden party, consigning the claim of Ali Modu Sharff to the domain of history. Needless to say, the judgment is both exciting and nostalgic, with many celebrating what many lament. After all, as democracy is a matter of choice, the court also has to decide one way or the other.
However, beyond the sadness and joy of those that stand by their entitled preference, the import of the judgment is significant for many reasons. In the first place, it abhors and moved to curtail, more than ever, the absurd manipulation by our politicians to exploit the inherent weaknesses of the judicial process by blatantly using technicalities, including moving from one court to another on same issue, to unduly delay proceedings knowing that they will remain in office for as long as the case lasts. More often than not, this attitude forces the court to give technical instead of substantial social justice, leaving the victim with the feeling of being robbed of justice and, as a result, the motivation to explore other means to express dissent, to regain and emphasize self respect.
Secondly, it adds value to the unique position of the judiciary in having the last word in all disputes. The Supreme Court has now implanted in the doubting Thomas that it can mediate conflicts before they subvert, with impunity, the rule of law. It is instructive that, by the immediate gesture of Ali Modu, the ruling remains, even if outwardly, accepted as sacrosanct while Makarfi has taken over the affairs of the party without any hindrance or encumbrances, making the PDP the overall winner. The party now has the chance to develop a coherent representative template that can shape and channel popular preferences into government.
Thirdly, the judgment impliedly admonished party stakeholders that the era of impunity, where imposition and excessive use of money held sway, should be phased out if democracy were to be deepened in the country. Lesson is now learnt that, irrespective of real and imagined profile, the PDP must now reconstruct its legitimation and the basis on which to seek for power again. It must be sufficiently democratic, in all manners and characteristics, to not only justify its appellation but also the trust and confidence that every political party yearns for.
Assuming that the PDP would do the needful, including taking a little more than its share of the blame for loading an inept administration over the country before now, apologize for the catastrophic consequences and regain the confidence of Nigerians, it can pose serious challenges to the ruling All Progressives Congress in some states.
Admittedly, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has, within the two years it has been in office, recorded monumental achievements that, for a long time to come, will remain indelible on the minds of Nigerians. Even by international standard, the administration is being commended for substantially subduing the insurgency that, before now, had forcefully taken control of the North East, apart from catastrophic strikes on soft targets across the country like Friday congregation at Kano Central mosque. We can also notice how, by serious commitment, the administration elevated our food security situation to over 75% from mere 26% during the former administration. Other areas where it has, to the delight of many, done so well, in spite of institutional odds, include the anti-corruption crusade, Single Treasury Account regime and gradual control over the economy.
However, what one finds in some of the APC states is lack of moderation, that licenses abuse of power and flagrant disregard for due process and the rule of law. Out of this scenario, a bizarre dichotomy of wholesome and half cast members is wantonly created, where the former are being involved wholesomely and the later disregarded and denied what legitimately belongs to them. Indeed, the situation of the half cast members of the party is a metaphor of a recalcitrant child destined to be cramped and diminished. With the assumed PDP resurrection, the half cast in those states are most likely to bring their current situation into focus, and decide how they can survive and become relevant.
Sounding simplistic, this challenge is real and must therefore not be taken lightly by the APC, especially as the states in question cannot again ride the waves that they did not initiate, at the time of need.
Bashir Abba Sharif
N0 4C, Marhaba Road, Farm Center, Kano.
*Photo Caption – PDP logo   

[ Masterweb Reports: Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman reports ] - As a vehicle is useless without the fuel likewise a state cannot be run in the absence of good governance. Good governance is a real drive behind a state’s development. It protects the human rights, delivers the justice, maintains law an order and provides equal opportunities to the masses. It delivers the fruits of progress and development to all and sundry. People of Kogi state can now enjoy equal rights under the good government of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. Minorities live freely and are now proud of their state of origin. No one now considers himself the owner of the state. Everyone, no matter how influential he is, have to follow due process and are treated on equal terms. Good governance means governing the people in a way that the interests of the people of all sections are preserved rightfully.

The era of ethnicity and sectionalism is gone forever in Kogistate, the people of the state now see each other as one indivisible family. The cabals are angry with Governor Yahaya Bello, because he has opened the eyes of the masses to the untold hardship melted on them by the previous government. Who nurtured and breed ethnic hatred for over 17yrs and hide under it to enslave the people. Governor Yahaya Bello must be commended by all for having the gut to pull away from the old ways and ensure that the state is on the path of progress. The kind of rascals that have rule the state are now scared of their political future and so they are throwing everything to ensure that the government of Yahaya Bello sees no peace, but the people have resisted and their resolution will be deliver to the cabals during the 2019 general elections. The kind of characters that have held the state hostage are the ones who threaten to impregnate a distinguish senator of the Federal Republic.

Honestly, on a moral ground, such a character should have been suspended by the red chamber, but as we all know, nothing seem good with 8th national assembly.
When all is said it can be concluded that the crisis, which is at the root of all other crises, is that good governance has arrived Kogistate and it must be sustained. Problems like poverty. Illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, energy crisis, water and food shortage that weakens our state is gradually coming to an end. In the gloomy scenario the previous government left the state, good governance is the dire need of the hour and Governor Yahaya Bello seems to be the answer for now.
Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman
Former Chairman Nigeria Community In Ukraine
*Photo Caption - Governor Yahaya Bello

[  Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports  ] - It has become a pastime for me to write about political parties and movements since I submitted my first degree dissertation, Political Parties and Democratization: The Effects of Party Politics on Nigeria's Democratic Experience (2003-2011) at the Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2012. My fascinations with political parties and elections started when I worked as a polling clerk, in a ward at Itire (in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos state) during the 2003 general elections which gave me insights into the drama of politicians (then in the old Alliance for Democracy, AD, and People's Democratic Party, PDP) and elections. Writing about political parties and elections has become some sorts of hubby for me.
I gave this background against the request by someone who wondered why I am "always attacking the PDP" in all my write-ups. My response to him was that I never attack the PDP or any other political party for that matter unfairly at any time. I point out what they are not doing well for them to improve and commend when they are getting it right so that our democracy can thrive!
Before the "victory" (which I will call a Pyrrhic victory for obvious reasons) about a week ago, I was among the first commentators to warn PDP about making Ali Modu Sheriff its National Chairman. Understandably, blind party supporters who thought Governors Ayodele Fayose and Nyelsom Wike could do no wrong told me to mind my business which I did immediately after writing the article, PDP, WHO STOLE THY THINKING CAP? What happened later, as they say, is history!
After the "victory" I want to sound another warning. If the news making the rounds is anything to go by that Femi Fani-Kayode is interested in becoming the party Chair, I submit that things can only get worse, not better, for the crises-ridden party. Some people will ask or wonder why I made this point. Like Modu Sheriff, people like FFK, as he is fondly called by his supporters, are motivated by blind and unregulated ambition for power, money and in most cases, women. Femi does not hide the fact that a bowl of porridge is just enough to sell his birth right. Like Sheriff, he is a bad market for the already "brandless" PDP.
I am one of those who still maintain that one of the main reasons former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election is FFK. GEJ's appointment of someone like FFK to handle his media in a make or mar election like 2015 made things easier for the All Progressive Congress (APC) to unseat the PDP. It was goofing after goofing for the Ife man. He got nothing right and got everything wrong. The only thing he's good at is insults, which has never won any arguments. Let me make this clear that the APC 2015 presidential campaign was not spectacular in any way but was made easier by poor agents like FFK.
Also, FFK as far as I know him has never headed any responsible party position successfully. He headed the 2015 GEJ media team which led to disaster. The Aviation ministry he headed is better not talked about. His profile in party management is nothing to write home about. Let me not bring in his father, Remi Fani-Kayode. That's another story altogether!
Another candidate jostling for the position is Chief Bode George. I understand apart from his military career, he's played active roles in PDP for several years. He's also, from what I know, a loyal party man. Unlike FFK who can sell the party when its members are asleep if the price is right. George, was elected as PDP Deputy National Chairman (South) which makes him understand the internal workings of the party.
The greatest George's undoing is his conviction for Corruption. Even though he was later pardoned by GEJ after being cleared disappointingly by the Supreme Court, many still see him as integrity-challenged. This was why I posted some days ago that the difference between George and FFK is like trying to look for the eldest among puppies.
While I think PDP will struggle hard to convince most Nigerians that it's no longer the looting party it's known to be should it elect Bode George, electing FFK will bury the party earlier than predicted!
Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN ( Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080;Email: ) is a political analyst and an independent political strategist for a range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.