Translational inhibition due to CHEAP RETIN-A the fact that the path of the excitation occurs Br neuron. recurrent inhibition     Carried intercalary brake cells (Renshaw). Axons of buy nolvadex online canada motor neurons often give collaterals (branches), ending with Renshaw cells. Renshaw cell axons terminate on the body or dendrites of the motor neuron, forming inhibitory synapses. Arousal that occurs in motor neurons travel in a straight path to the skeletal muscle, as well as collaterals to inhibitory neurons, which send impulses to motoneurons and inhibits them. The stronger the motor neuron excitation, the more excited Renshaw cells and the more intense they exert their inhibitory effect, which protects nerve cells from overstimulation. lateral inhibition    
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Emeka Ekene C. reports ] - After months of speculations, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Andy Uba has finally dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress.
 
The gentleman Senator noted that his old party, the PDP lacked ideology and focus which were what he saw in APC and was attracted to it.
 
It will be recalled that Senator Andy Uba had maintained principle stance and undivided loyalty to his old party even when the party was not kind to him each time he was at crossroad.
 
So, by joining the APC, Senator Uba is not only bringing principled and undivided loyalty to the party, but he is also coming to uphold the ideology of the APC under the able leadership of Senator Chris Ngige in Anambra State.
 
Like I rightly noted in my previous article titled: 'Andy Uba: The Man Who Will Make Anambra Great Again,' Senator Uba has pacesetting records which he is going to repeat in APC.
 
Because of the bold decision to join the APC, the Senator and his network of friends and acquaintance all over the country have agreed to move en-masse to the party.
 
Finally, it will serve Anambra's interest if Senator Uba emerge as APC governorship candidate in the upcoming party primary election.
 
However, since power belongs to God, whoever emerge as APC candidate will definately win Anambra State with Senator Uba's support as well as re-align the state to national politics and development.
 
Mr. Emeka Ekene C. ( Email: ekene22k7@yahoo.com ) reports from Awka, Anambra State.
 
*Photo Caption - Andy Uba

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Intersociety, Onitsha Nigeria: 25th January 2017)-Nigeria’s Government grossly belated and reprobated ownership of the high death toll following its Air Force wilful bombing of the Rann IDP Camp in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria on 17th January 2017; is a clear case of commission of War Crimes and violation of the UN Purposes and Principles and the Fundamental Rules of the International Law and Humanitarian Principles- Emeka Umeagbalasi, Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies and Board Chair-Intersociety Nigeria.
 
Since August 2015, the Nigerian security forces or Armed Forces led by the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force; joined by the Presidency, have continually bastardized and corrupted the concept of the Rules of Engagement of the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949 under the UN System. The bastardization and corruption have been carried out by way of violent crackdowns on unarmed and defenceless citizens engaging or agitating non-violently for their constitutional, regional and international rights to religious and ethno-racial self determination through night vigils and street or road processions, matches, rallies and protests; other than armed rebellion or conflict. The mass killings by Nigerian security forces following street rallies, processions and protests by millions of unarmed citizens have been criminally labelled “exercise of their military mandates under the Rules of Engagement”.
 
Again, since late May 2015 till date, the present sixth civilian central Government in Nigeria has steadily and grossly threatened and undermined the nobility and aristocracy of civil government and reduced same to government founded on falsehood, rascality and gangsterism. Expressions and explanations of government policies and conducts have been mired in confusion, misdirection, criminal spinning, misrepresentation, executive recklessness and rascality; to the extent that out of every five executive explanations or statements made on major issues of public concerns, four are founded on falsehood or untruth till date.  
 
It is recalled that the Nigerian Armed Forces particularly the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force have since 2009 engaged in counter insurgency operations against the Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast Nigeria with attendant gross rights abuses. Camps for the internationally displaced persons (IDPs) were created and clearly mapped and marked. Severally the Nigerian Military had claimed that it was very mindful of civilian populations or settlements in its air attacks in the area. In December 2016, the Army Chief, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai declared total victory against Boko Haram terrorists and claimed that its stronghold and the Sambisa Forest have been totally cleared of the terrorists. Hundreds of arrested and held Boko Haram terror suspects have also been released as uninvolved or repentant.
 
Shockingly, on 17th January 2017, strongly suspected government influenced news broke out, claiming that “there was a mistake air bombing of an IDP camp in Borno State claiming few lives and scores of injuries”. Some aid agencies most likely under pressures from the Nigerian Government later disclosed that “54 citizens died including some aid workers with dozens of others injured”. Almost a week later, the Chairman of Kala-Balge LGA of Borno State, where the wilful bombing and killing took place; Babagana Malarima, courageously disclosed publicly that “they buried 234 citizens excluding two that just died in Maiduguri Hospital”. Over 90 others were critically injured; and barely two days ago, the Presidency accepted the death toll figure as given by the LGA Chairman.
 
Consequently, we at International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law see the wilful air strike and accompanying killing of 236 defenceless and war traumatized citizens as nothing short of war crimes and gross breach of the Rules of Engagement under the UN System. Till date, the Minister of Defence, National Security Adviser, Minister of Interior, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff are still hanging on to their official positions as if nothing has happened. The Presidency, on its part, appears busy fighting to cover up the massacre and no serious or credible international investigation has been carried out. The international aid agencies working in the area particularly those that lost scores of their staff in the wilful air strike have also done little or nothing. It may likely be that they are under intense pressures from the Presidency to shut up and cover up. 
 
Technically and expertly speaking, the modern journey to the enactment of the Laws of War or Geneva Conventions under the present UN system started as far back as in 1864 when the Swiss Government convened the first international conference in Humanitarian Law, leading to the first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Conditions of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. The Laws of War or Geneva Conventions simply mean the rules guiding the conduct of the war, the war itself and its aftermath; violation of same amounts to war crimes on genocide.
 
Preceding the Laws of War or Geneva Conventions is the concept of Just War or why and how wars are fought. The three main facets of the concept or theory of Just War are: Jus Ad Bellum-justification and ground for going to war; Jus In Bellum-ethical rules of conducts during the war such as ethical standard expected of soldiers and other combatants in war time: i.e. rules of engagement; and Jus Post Bellum-regulations of how wars are ended and transition from war to peace. These were fully incorporated into the Geneva Conventions by way of rules of engagement, legitimate use of force, self defence and concept of non-military necessity.
 
Further, in 1929, the Geneva Conventions were reviewed and the treatment of prisoners of war was added. In 1949, the Geneva Conventions increased to four with the addition of the protection of civilians in time of war; in inter-State or international conflict. In 1977, two additional Protocols were included in the Geneva Conventions for the purpose of strengthening the protection of victims of international or inter-State conflict; and addition of a new protocol for the protection of civilians or non combatants in Intra State or non international conflict (i.e. Boko Haram insurgency and its counter insurgency operations in northeast Nigeria).
 
One of the gravest violations of the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War is attack or fatal bombing of civilian population or settlement in conflict affected areas by warring parties particularly the host political territory and its armed forces. This is also called “attacks on non military necessity”. It is expressly a commission of war crimes with monumental legal consequences on the part of the defaulting party. Mass killing of civilians who are unarmed and defenceless in non war situation expressly amounts to crimes against humanity.
 
 Nigeria as a leading UN Member-State from Africa is morally and legally bound by the Principles of the United Nations; which clearly states as follows: The principles of the UN are to save future generations from war, reaffirm human rights, and establish equal rights for all persons; in addition to promotion of justice, freedom, and social progress for the peoples of all of its member states.
 
Nigeria is also bound by the Customary International Law under UN System particularly those that are inviolable by virtue of their principle of “substantial uniformity by substantial number of States” or “Opinio Juris” (i.e. a general belief binding on all Member-States that a non-treaty is legally binding on States); and importantly, the principle of “Jus Cogens” (i.e. absolute rules of general international law binding on UN Member-States for which no derogation is permitted). These include prohibition on illegitimate use of force, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, slavery, torture, etc.
 
We hereby call for extensive international investigations into the air strike killing of 236 defenceless citizens on 17th January 2017 in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria. We reject any form of “internal investigation” by the Federal Government of Nigeria led by Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari or any of its military or civilian agencies. We consider such investigation, if any, as a clear case of “being a judge in its own case”. Besides, the present Federal Government of Nigeria grossly lacks moral standing to conduct any form of investigation and if it is truly concerned over the wilful mass murder; then it must sack as a matter of uttermost immidiacy the Chiefs of Air Staff, Defence Staff, Army Staff, the National Security Adviser, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Defence.
 
We specifically call on the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council to rise to the occasion by competently exercising their mandates in Article 24 of the Chapter Five of the United Nations by ordering for extensive investigations into the wilful mass murder. The authorities of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are also called upon to carry out similar extensive investigations into the mass murder including the killing of scores of their aid workers. Nigerians also want to know the age bracket, gender, ethnic and religious identities of the slain defenceless citizens.
 
Signed:
 
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org
Website: www.intersociety-ng.org
 
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348180771506
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.
 
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - As United States president Donald Trump moves ahead with building the "great wall" between America and Mexico at its southern border, there is an important benefit of the wall that has little been considered: the Mexican point of view.
 
While the border wall is mostly reviewed for its function in preventing unwanted and risky, undocumented immigration into the United states; the wall will serve a perhaps more important and critical function: strangulating and extinguishing the Mexican drug billion dollar industry, saving lives and improving the quality of life in Mexico.
 
"Gangster Warlords" author Ioan Grillo in his recent video published in Business Insider "Narconomics: How Drug Cartels Make Billions," revealed how notorious Mexican drug cartels make billions of dollars through the cross-border drug trade into the United States. We are talking about a billion-dollar industry used to fund deadly violence in Mexico and destroy the fabric of the US' southern neighbor.
 
The United States is the largest market for Mexican drugs with authorities estimating as much as $19-29 billion dollars wired to Mexico every year from drug proceeds. Once drugs get to the US border they are sold at triple their cost in Mexico. The money remitted from these drugs sponsors Mexican drug gang violence and leaves a massive trail of death with over 15,000 gang-related homicides reported every year. Half are attributed to cartel-related violence according to Mexican reports.
 
Mexico should be as enthusiastic as the United States in curbing this dangerous and deadly drug trade across the border that leads to half the deaths in the eleventh most populous country and most populous Spanish-speaking nation in the world. By now the Mexican leadership should at least have agreed to pay half, $6-7.5 billion for the wall. 
 
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: drbrimah@ends.ng ) reports.
 
*Photo Caption - U.S. President Donald Trump

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Nigerians knew this would happen. When former Lagos state governor Tunde Fashola was quizzed during his confirmation hearings on the reported looting of millions of dollars Lagos state funds, he ridiculed the nation by saying, "I am only trained in law and I did not personally sign the cheques." 
 
The pretentious governor who was in essence the chief economic officer of Lagos state and therefore in charge of all budgeting, insulted the intelligence of the Nigerian senate and people.
 
Rather than disqualify him and send him to agencies for prosecution in the face of looting or otherwise grand misappropriation of millions, via building single boreholes in Lagos through his friend, Tunde Olowolafe at $500,000-a-piece and other similar fraudulent activities, the senate approved him. The senate thus put their rubber-stamp on Fashola's brazen style of stealing public funds.
 
Again Fashola made headlines during the 2016 Nigerian budget padding scandal. He had again listed the cost to drill single boreholes at a whopping $850,000 a piece. N140 million was listed in his ministry's submission for just two boreholes.
 
Recently again, news broke of how Fashola was ignoring procurement regulations and approaching signing off almost a billion dollars in contracts to a company serially indicted state fund mega looter Atiku Abubakar used for his heists during the Obasanjo era.
 
The Bureau of Public Procurement has quizzed Fashola's inflation of contracts to the tune of N166 million (~half a billion USD) and award of them to "unqualified firms." In Fashola's typical market-boy thug style, Nigeria's minister of housing and power "defended himself" that it was agents in the ministry he oversees – the evaluation committee – and not himself personally that oversaw the contract awards.
 
PremiumTimes slammed the "arrogant and insolent" minister fond of insulting Nigerians' intellects with 10 questions.
 
Blinded by looting and working with looter cabal, minister Fashola has published no such and appears to have no road-map to take Nigeria out of darkness and has only pushed price-hike proposals to further levy Nigerians in the interest of the cabal owned power companies.
 
As it is evident that President Muhammadu Buhari is tone-deaf to the corruption in his cabinet, we pray Nigerians seriously and unabatedly protest for a total clean up and prosecution of the corrupt looters embedded in the Buhari administration. Ultimately we must all pray to the Almighty to rescue Nigeria from the hands of these shameless serial looters.
 
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: drbrimah@gmail.com ) reports.
 
*Photo Caption - Tunde Fashola

[ Masterweb Reports: Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia reports ] - Very recently, the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Chief John Nnia Nwodo came under severe verbal attacks from some Igbos for saying that Ndigbo have borne the brunt of the contradictions in the Nigerian State. However, Nwodo’s remarks are anchored on solid facts of history and no one needs to be a rocket scientist to appreciate the enormity and factuality of Nwodo’s claims. Nwodo is not alone on this.  
 
One is happy that even high-ranking Igbo elites in the ruling APC have come to appreciate the significance of Nwodo’s remarks. For instance, the former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, GCON, on Sunday, January 22, 2017, while registering as a member of the APC at his country home in Amechi-Uwani, in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, echoed Nwodo’s convictions on the fate of Ndigbo in Nigeria when he admitted the existence of serious imbalances in the country in relation to the Igbo nation. Nnamani said that one of his reasons for joining the APC is to correct the imbalances in the country. According to him, “even if we want to ask that the imbalances in the country should be corrected, we have to ask for that from inside”. He argued that one “cannot stay outside to criticize” the federal government.
 
 
  The pitiable condition of the South East of Nigeria has remained a recurrent decimal such that on November 22, 2015, a meeting of the  South East leaders was convened at Enugu by the South East Governors Forum (SEGF). The well attended meeting issued a four point communiqué red by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State. According to Okorocha: “After a compassionate review of the recent MASSOB/IPOB agitations in the country, it was resolved that a committee be set up to dialogue with MASSOB/IPOB as well as the Federal Government with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issue. The elders also examined other issues including the poor state of infrastructural facilities in the South East, marginalization in the federal appointment and other socio-economic issues that impact on the South East of Nigeria”. Okorocha further informed that “a delegation of the South East elders has been mandated to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issues raised”
 
 
. There is no doubt that Ndigbo have largely borne the brunt of the contradictions of the Nigerian State and paid the heaviest price. The genocidal pogrom preceding the civil war, the atrocities committed against our people during the war, the use of starvation to annihilate our people, and the deliberate plot to shut Ndigbo out of economic relevance are not spontaneous developments but deliberate policies by the Nigerian State to possibly rout the Igbo out of existence. On the other hand, it is being placed on record that there is no tribe in Nigeria or even in the whole world whose blood has been spilled and forced to pay the supreme sacrifice for national unity more than the Igbo of Nigeria.
 
 
     Ohaneze condemns the unconscionable massacre of innocent and harmless Igbo sons and daughters by the Nigerian security operatives on the pretext of quelling pro-Biafran protests. We cannot continue to watch as thousands of our children are killed and buried in mass graves by the State. This is objectionable and repugnant to the collective conscience of humanity.
 
 
One of the most agonizing imbalances that Nwodo noted in his speech is that “within the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, it is only the South East zone that has five states. The rest have six and seven states respectively. Similarly, within the 774 local government configuration of the Nigerian federation, just three northern states have more local governments than the whole South Eastern states combined”.
 
 
Nwodo equally lamented that “under this lopsided structure of the Nigerian state, the commonwealth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria continues to be distributed on the bases of states and local governments” On political appointments made by the incumbent Nigerian president, Nwodo regretted that President Muhammadu Buhari has maintained, as an official policy, that political rewards will be based on the voting ratio of 95 percent to the areas that voted him into power and 5 percent to the areas that did not vote for him. Ohaneze considers this policy very unpresidential, un-statesmanly and unacceptable. According to Nwodo, the Igbo representation in the current federal government is very abysmal and falls short of the constitutional provisions for the reflection of federal character in the appointment into important government positions. He pointed out that no arm of the government namely, “the legislature, executive or the judiciary is headed by an Igbo. No section of the armed forces or paramilitary organization is headed by an Igbo..Etc….”
 
 
 Ohaneze notes that it is the cumulative effect of these unstatesmanly policies against the Igbo that has given vent to agitations by MASSOB, IPOB and other pressure groups in Igbo land.
 
 
A Nobel laureate and erudite professor, Wole Soyinka in his characteristic sincerity, acknowledged that “the Igbo have been wronged desperately”. According to him, “they have been brutalized in a way that justifies their feeling that they were not part of the nation” Soyinka expressed that “the Biafran agitators are not entirely innocent in this affair, but the unleashing of such venom and devastation on them as a people was sufficient to justify their decision not to be part of the nation. On his part, the former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017, while speaking in Abeokuta, Ogun State when the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ogun State visited him stated that “the problem of marginalization has been a major source of conflicts between ethnic and regional divisions in the country. For purpose of equity and justice, Obasanjo threw weight behind a president from Igbo extraction. These are noble thoughts by men who have come to appreciate the plastic power of truth in shaping the society. Ohaneze salutes them.
 
 
 However, in October 2016, the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzo Kalu, stated that the Igbos are their own worst enemies. It is against this backdrop that Igbo traitors, renegades and job seekers would issue statements alleging that Nwodo is Inciting the Igbo Against the Federal Government. I am yet to know any society that is devoid of such petty characters. And we shall not dignify them by mentioning their names. But, let it be known that in Igbo cosmology as in other African cultures, a curse is often placed on any person who deliberately goes against the collective corporate interest of his group. Such a curse, contrite and remorseful as one may later show, resides in the person and his or her offspring in perpetuity. This is why those who sabotaged the Biafran spirit during the Nigerian Biafra war still recoil in shame, 47 years after.
 
 
For emphasis, all politics, according to Tip O’Neill, is local. Politics is not always the art of the possible, as Otto Von Bismark tried to posit; rather it is most times the art of choosing between the sacred and the profane; the sublime and the ridiculous; the grace and disgrace. This accounts for the ageless caution by Plato when he implied that wanting things just for the immediate gains can turn a man’s life into a marshmallow on a stick over a hot fire.
 
 
 
For the avoidance of doubt, Ohaneze Ndigbo as a socio-cultural organization transcends partisanship. On the other hand, Ohaneze does not espouse any political party. Rather, Ohaneze is allergic to the persistent injustice to the Igbo and wherever it rears it’s ugly head. Irrespective of political affiliations, Ohaneze Ndigbo is well disposed to working with anybody or organization that appreciates the naked structural imbalance targeted against Ndigbo and willing to address the Igbo question in Nigeria.
 
 
Ohaneze advocates for a political arrangement that does not shortchange any tribe in Nigeria including the Igbo. Ohaneze envisions a country where the innate potentials that are locked by the structural dysfunctions are unleashed for the prosperity of all Nigerians. Ohaneze advocates the core imperatives of a true federal structure along the six geopolitical zones. A structure that encourages the vast resources that are long buried in the subsoil of the federating unit to be explored and harnessed for the benefit of mankind. These and more informed the Nwodo epic.
 
 
Every Igbo person appreciates the above facts irrespective of party persuations. Ohaneze Ndigbo, therefore, salutes the likes of Governor Rochas Okorocha and Chief Ken Nnamani for their courage in admitting the obvious imbalances skewed against the Igbo in Nigeria. This, exactly, was the thrust of the inaugural speech by Chief John Nnia Nwodo wherein he lamented that “the South East of Nigeria has remained a dangling appendage of the Nigerian State in every sphere of our national existence”.
 
 
 Ndigbo, both at home and in the Diaspora are proud of His Excellency, Chief John Nnia Nwodo,Ike Ukehe, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo World Wide. He is a man with the spark of God and a stellar ancestral history with heroic pedigree. Above all, his knowledge of national politics stands him out. We commend him for hitting the nail on the head. By all standards, Nwodo embodies the consciousness of the Igbo.
 
 
 Ike Ukehe, they will strive, though as villains, to weave a net of infamy around your neck, simply because you thrive in the firmament of wisdom, candour, courage, intellect, character, heroism and prophecy. Weary not for these are indestructible spiritual elements that in spite of adversaries move on to accomplish their missions. I have spoken and so mote it be.
 
 
Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia
 
(Okeosisi Ugbo)
 
President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Enugu State.
 
*Photo Caption - Chief John Nnia Nwodo
 
 

[ Masterweb Reports: SKC Ogbonnia reports ] - Donald John Trump is finally the president of the United States of America. Expectedly, there is a palpable tension around the world. The Americans themselves have remained apprehensive. Countries in the East and the West are gripped in fervent fear. Even those in Africa are not left behind, all quivering as if though they have never encountered an American horror movie before. Nigeria, however, must not expose itself to the flitting phobia. As Mr. Trump himself would say, what the hell do we have to lose? 
 
Actually, Nigeria may as well gain more under Donald Trump than under any other American president before him. But the path behooves a paradigm shift. Instead of maintaining subservient profile, Nigeria ought to approach Trump from a position of strength.
 
The American president, remember, has begun his reign on a gratuitous promise of radical nationalism. The implication is that Trump may finally dump Nigeria's oil for good and, of course, care less about our internal affairs. The United States may also no longer appropriate funds for humanitarian aids and petty loans to Africa. Moreover, America’s relationships with foreign countries, according to Trump, will be on mutually beneficial terms. These, to most, portend a troubling future for Nigeria-US relations.
 
Predicting Donald Trump, an enigma, has never been a cake walk. Though the man is well known, everything about him is largely unknown. Therefore, even as he is set to make bold changes, the extent remains unknown. Even where known, it is difficult to figure out the cause and its course. 
 
But I had seen the movie first hand in the full glare of the main characters and their convictions. It may also interest you to know that I have been a Republican for three decades. Although I vigorously campaigned against Trump, the dissent did not stop me from penning series of articles perfectly predicting his victory, including one with the title, “Why the Weird Trump Can Win”.
 
Of course, campaigning against the Republican contrary to my gut instincts and conservative values was a difficult decision. But any attempt to stop Trump was worth the effort. His labile character remains a threat to world peace. More relatively, his fiercest venoms were directed towards the people of colour and developing nations, my native country of Nigeria well included.
 
Now that he is president, here is a strikingly different perspective rooted on the genius of the old saying: every disappointment is a blessing. To that end, the Trump’s doctrine might turn out to be the right tonic for Nigeria after all.
 
His style notwithstanding, the New Yorker believes that many nations are not doing their part to sustain global peace and stability. Donald Trump is of the opinion, and rightly so, that every country must demonstrate a true sense of independence by maximizing the resources within its local environment for the good of their people. He claims to despise corruption in government and is amazed, as the ordinary folks, why those in position of power exploit the masses.
 
Such concerns have every merit. In fact, one would think that Donald has Nigeria in mind in his idea of impenitent nations. But that is only half of the story.
 
Mr. Trump also sees anything foreign as a bad omen for America, the nation of immigrants. Even the US NATO allies, the Pope, and the Queen have suddenly become suspects. His increasingly strident rhetoric towards nations associated with Islam does not need to be rehashed here.
 
Now, under immense pressure to turn his quixotic world view into a reality, Trump is desirous to make any weak country the ultimate fall guy. His recent verbal salvo on Boko Haram is a preview. But Nigeria should not fall into the open trap.
 
Instead, here is the silver lining in the Trump horizon. Being a cavalier personality, who acts and talks any how, it is not difficult to grasp his open disdain for weak leaders as well as beggarly nations. But the rationale is not exclusive. Revering the strong and bold rather than the meek has always been the American way and a vital principle of her foreign policy. However, unlike other presidents before him, Trump is only being Trump to vouchsafe the obvious. This scoop is profoundly instructive, and every developing nation has to be better for the inherent frankness.
  
It is incumbent upon Nigeria, therefore, to present and demonstrate a can-do outlook moving forward. For instance, rather than grappling to visit the new American leader, as in the past, the first logical bold step is to turn a blind eye to Mr. Trump—for now. Of course, there is the need to still maintain cordial relationships with the United States through the standard diplomatic missions, but it has become imperative to discard the type of master-servant mentality that did nothing but turn the African nation into a sorry spectacle.
 
Further, at the opportune time, Nigeria has to be proactive and demand to renegotiate relations with the United States purely from a position of strength. The requisite strengths to compel Trump to see mutual benefits are not difficult to fathom.  



 
Start with the latent truth that Nigeria is the African “super power”, whatever that means. Combine it with the fact that the 7th largest country in the world is not only the most powerful black nation on earth but also endowed with overflowing resources well envied worldwide. Cap off the argument with the reality that Nigeria is a bastion of exceptional talents and qualified manpower as exemplified by her citizens in the United States and other large economies. Finally, demonstrate the capacity and willingness to replicate such feat within Nigeria. If strategically presented, America will crave for Nigeria instead of the other way round.
 
Similar to Trump’s inauguration decree, yes, it can be done. The name of the game is a new Nigerian independence. It entails maximizing the abundant resources within our local environment for the public good and promoting local goods. The rebirth also calls for Nigeria to lead Africa to solemnly demand a slot in the UN Security Council or else explore to leave the union entirely.
 
Frankly, Trump’s xenophobic doctrine might have finally provided Nigeria a unique opportunity to critically look inward to unleash her strengths both at home and in the world stage. In event the approach fails, there is really nothing to lose. The African nation has endured fifty six years of passive diplomatic relation with the United States but has nothing to show besides a façade of petty aids basically designed to further the American interests. The next four years under Trump is only a pint in the ocean.
 
SKC Ogbonnia ( Email: SKCOgbonnia@firstexasenergy.com ) reports.
 
*Photo Caption - U.S. President Donald Trump
 
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Jude Ndukwe reports ] - Since the travel of President Muhammadu Buhari to the UK for medical reasons, the nation has been rife with the rumoured death of the president which, thankfully, his spokespersons, Femi Adeshina and Garba Shehu, have debunked. In fact, there is a picture in the cyberspace showing the president to be relaxing and watching TV over there in the UK.
 
While some, for whatever reason, had celebrated the rumoured death, some others have given knocks to such people for rejoicing over the rumoured demise of another. Thankfully, our president is alive, or, so we are made to believe. Only time will tell, and in a short while, too.
 
Then comes the issues of actual death where the Air Force under the command of General Buhari (rtd), as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, bombed an IDP camp in Rann, Borno State, and it was mischievously termed a “mistake”.
 
One wonders what manner of mistake could that be when this same military had told us many times in the past that they had refrained from attacking Boko Haram camps because the terrorists were using women and children as human shield.
 
The question that arises from here is when did the air force stop seeing women and children from the skies that they did not notice that the camp they were about to bomb was filled with vulnerable women and children queuing for food and especially as the camp was not new and was well known to the military?
 
It is even more disheartening to hear from one of the survivors, Abdulwahab Adam, while recounting the incident of that day, that the fighter jet involved dropped the bombs thrice. “The bombs were dropped on us thrice and there was no way a mistake could be made thrice”, he said.
 
That incident committed by an arm of the military under Buhari’s watch should have elicited enough empathy from Buhari to compel him to visit the camp himself, commiserate with those who lost loved ones and give them his assurances on a number of issues bedeviling the IDPs.
 
But like a majority of Nigerains, Buhari seems to have also lost his own sense of humanity!
 
Having stolen their foods and medicines, the only way the IDPs could get compensated by government was to get bombed. Thrice!
 
Beyond rumours, deaths in the IDP camps are real. Although official figures tended, as usual, to reduce the number of casualties, the chairman of Kala Balge Local Government Area, where the incident occurred, Babagana Malarima, revealed that a whopping 234 persons were killed in the “mistaken” expedition.
 
It was for this reason that I became apprehensive when it was announced that Nigeria would be sending a contingent of military personnel to The Gambia to help oust that country’s erstwhile dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
 
My apprehension came from the fact that our military might end up bombing Ghana by mistake instead of Gambia. Such a mistake would have had very fatal consequences for Nigeria. Thankfully, Jammeh relinquished power without a jet being flown or a bullet being shot.
 
On Friday, 20th January, 2017, our security agents also went berserk in Port Harcourt in an attempt to repress pro-Biafra supporters on a peaceful rally in support of Donald J. Trump on the occasion of his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.
 
On that day, it was reported that 11 or more pro-Biafra peaceful demonstrators lost their lives to the raging bullets of Nigeria Police. This is surely the umpteenth time such most unfortunate incident would be happening without provocation, and again, under Buhari’s watch.
 
The attempted justification by anyone of such murderous act by the police shows how far we have lost our sense of humanity and citizenship as Nigerians. Some have blamed the demonstrators for holding the rally in Port Harcourt instead of a state in the south east and for making Trump the subject of their demonstration.
 
The question is, is there any law that forbids any Nigerian from exercising his/her rights and expressing him/herself peacefully anywhere in Nigeria? Or is anyone restrained by our laws from supporting or opposing a president of the United States for whatever reason?
 
When Nigerians are supposed to be alarmed at the murderous clampdown of peaceful demonstrators by state agents but choose to blame the victims of state-organised-carnage for attempting to express themselves peacefully, then we know we have lost our humanity.
 
Is it then a surprise that some Nigerians rejoiced at the rumoured death of president Buhari while some are still waiting with restrained enthusiasm for the confirmation of such rumour?
 
It is even more ironical and befuddling that while the police were allegedly mowing down pro-Biafra supporters of Trump in cold blood in Port Harcourt, anti-Fayose demonstrators were at the same time receiving royal treatment from our security agencies in Abuja. What a nation!
 
My take is this, Buhari must not die. He must live to face the shame and take responsibility for leading a once prosperous nation into abject poverty where malnourishment, hunger and disease of civil war scale are now the order of the day.
 
Dying now would be a cheap escape for Buhari from disgrace that comes with crass ineptitude, gross incompetence, brazen tribalism, humongous and asinine official stealing of our commonwealth and from the IDPs, double standard in the acclaimed war against corruption, barefaced persecution of political opponents, religious bigotry, economic hardship, extra-judicial killings, massacres of fellow citizens by his tribesmen, the Fulani herdsmen, and others too numerous to mention.
 
Buhari has to live to cringe in shame for all these. It would be a painful thing if he dies now. How can he lead us thus far, sailing our collective ship of destiny towards abyss and escape through the backdoor?
 
No, he brought this upon us and he has to be alive to be haunted by the wailing blood of the innocent ones he failed to protect; those who have died out of hunger and “mistaken” bombings; those he has persecuted out of vengeance, vendetta and or for not belonging to the same tribe as him or for belonging to a different sect of Islam from his, or for expressing different opinions from his. Whichever way, Buhari must live to carry his cross.
 
He must learn while alive that power is nothing but a privilege which must be used to serve people and that there would always be consequences when it is used to enslave them.
 
Finally, Buhari and his marabouts, both political and spiritual, must not be astonished at the seeming joy gripping Nigerians at his rumoured death. How the people react to a man’s demise is totally dependent on how the man treated his people while alive and in power.
 
If he used power for the benefit of the people, sorrow would naturally engulf the people when he dies, but if he misused power while alive, joy will fill the city at his demise, for the Holy Bible says “The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the wicked die” (Proverbs 11:10 NLT).
 
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari  

[ Masterweb Reports ] - Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State accused detractors of plotting to pitch him against President Muhammadu Buhari. In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Val Obienyem, Obi said those behind his leaving his former political party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), were responsible for the plot. What is clear to the general public is that Obi governed Anambra well. Masterweb declared him one of the best governors in Nigeria after their team embarked on a tour of Anambra State in 2011. What is not clear is the colour Obi will take on national level either as federal appointee
or elected official.
 
Some elements may have been responsible for Obi’s exit from APGA but not his entry into People's Democratic Party (PDP) because there were many other parties he would have joined, including United Progressive Party (UPP). The truth was that he calculated that Goodluck Jonathan would win the election being the incumbent as no sitting president ever lost re-election in Nigeria. Obi foresaw juicy appointment coming his way with Jonathan’s victory. He joined PDP for his personal interests and not those of Ndigbo - his reason for not pushing for the inclusion of Igbo owned news media in Jonathan’s campaign organization where he was Deputy Director-General. Yoruba owned news media saturated the rank and file of the campaign while Igbo outfits withered with Obi destroying the ladder of ascension.  Some of these Igbo news media meritoriously served Obi during and after his tenure as governor but were locked out of PDP presidential campaign bounty. Why should they not partake in Jonathan’s bounty considering the fact Obi may have short-changed them in the past? He either did not pay them or underpaid them for their services before his entry into PDP.
 
Most Igbo leaders become self-centered once given federal appointments as opposed to appointees from other regions who put sectional interests first. This is where Obi stands. If the preceding statement is wrong, he (Obi) should start doing things from his ‘refuge’ PDP that will point in the opposite direction.
 
Pius Anyim was given a petition affecting a victimized Igbo scholar (Charles O. Okereke) by Ohanaeze for delivery to then President Goodluck Jonathan and nothing was heard of the document to-date.Anyim did not communicate to Ohanaeze whether or not he delivered the petition ( http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/OhanezePetitionOnMyBehalf.html ) and accompanying Encyclopedia of National Anthems to Jonathan. He remained silent to the group (Ohanaeze) that nominated him for the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). What a shame!
 
If federal appointments are empowerment and development, Igboland would be better than what it is today. Who really cares if President Buhari accords Igbos more federal appointments to reflect federal character? Those that expect to benefit from such appointments, their families and friends care but not the general masses, including those agitating for Biafra. The activities of MASSOB, IPOB and other Biafran groups precede Buhari and cannot be solved with more federal appointments to Igbos. Bad governance resulting to unemployment and strangulating economy are responsible for all agitations and militancy in Nigeria. The states are as responsible as the federal government for these societal ills emanating from incompetence and corruption. 
 
Peter Obi even though performed above standard as governor, knocked down the Igbo ladder just like others before him during his ‘shelter’ and appointments in PDP. What Igbos need are good governance and representation, and not federal appointments that on the aggregate have not benefited them. Igbos should not be deceived by politicians who failed Ndigbo as public servants and now decamping to APC and shouting “change”.  Nothing has changed about these people and as such cannot bring positive change to Nigeria and Igboland. They are courting IPOB and MASSOB for their selfish ends towards 2019 election – just ignore them.
 
*Photo Caption – As seen.
 
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Intersociety, Onitsha Nigeria, 15th January 2017)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is deeply pained as it concerns Nigeria’s steady sink to lawlessness and governance brigandage. Nigeria’s justice and liberty governance and ethics have been so damaged that their recovery from the catastrophic damage is practically a difficult task.
 
Sad too, is the fact that the country now witnesses the rise and official institutionalization of criminal sainthood; where criminal entities that have practically taken up arms against the Government and People of Nigeria and massacred over 25,000 mostly religiously and ethnically targeted Nigerians such as predominant Christian Ethnic Nationalities of Igbo and others since 2009, are now governmentally rewarded and seemed to have been enlisted for national merit awards; whereas innocent citizens who non-violently assert their constitutional and international rights to citizenship, development, identity, worship and self determination, are labelled and treated governmentally as “terrorists” and “treasonable felons”.
 
Just recently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai was quoted and heavily criticized for describing the Free Chibok Girls Campaigners as Advocacy Terrorists and their campaign as Advocacy Terrorism. As we speak, thousands of arrested Boko Haram suspects are presidentially petted and treated as repentant Boko Haram members or released in droves as “cleared Boko Haram suspects”; while scores of innocent, nonviolent and defenceless Nigerians are being violently attacked by SSS and clamped into incommunicado detention without trial over spurious criminal allegations of “being terrorists” and “treasonable felons”.
 
It is recalled that Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (as he then was) had in the dark hours of 31st December 1983 violently ousted the democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and enacted Decree No 2 of 1984, cited as the Nigerian State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No. 2 of 1984, which allowed for indefinite and incommunicado detention of Nigerian citizens. The State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree Number 2 of 1984 also suspended indefinite the constitutional freedoms or Fundamental Human Rights Chapter of the then 1979 civilian Constitution and empowered the chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters, to detain indefinitely (subject to review every three months) anyone suspected of "acts prejudicial to state security or contributing to the economic adversity of the nation." The Decree also authorized any police officer or a member of the armed forces to arrest and detain such a person at will and without trial.
 
The Buhari Administration has also technically suspended the Fundamental Human Rights Chapter of the 1999 Constitution and taken refuge in moribund and obnoxious legislations such as Section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013 as well as the moribund Decree No 2 of 1984 under which scores of innocent Nigerians including the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Zaky El-Zaky, his wife, Malama Zeenatu and over a dozen nonviolent Pro Biafra Campaigners and members of IPOB have been clamped into incommunicado detention for several months without trial.
 
 
 
Under these obnoxious provisions which grossly run contrary and inconsistent with Section 1 (3) (supremacy of the Constitution above any other law) and Section 35 (4) (detention of citizens for whatever alleged crimes not exceeding 60 days without bail and 90 days with bail, but without court trial) of 1999 Constitution; innocent and dissent voices are recklessly arrested by SSS, labelled  “terrorists” and clamped into incommunicado detention for several months without trial and tortured severely in custody. All the citizens presently in the SSS custody, drawn from IPOB and IMN have never used or advocated violence. They were arrested in their sleep or shops or on transit.
 
The arrested citizens are routinely stigmatized and criminalized by the State and its SSS and where any detained citizen is rarely arraigned; he or she is expressly subjected to prosecutorial vindictiveness or slammed with obnoxious and trumped up criminal charges. Most of them are also arrested in their sleep, detained for months after which roguish ex parte orders are sought and obtained to further detain them for 90 additional days with limitless renewal upon expiration of every three months until the investigation is concluded. These the Buhari Administration and its SSS do under obnoxious Section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013, among other questionable procedures and processes.
 
Court orders and other judicial pronouncements condemning detention of citizens above 60 days and ordering for their unconditional release in accordance with Section 35 (4) of the 1999 Constitution have been flouted and disobeyed by the Buhari Administration and its SSS with reckless abandon.
 
For instance, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim Zaky El-Zaky and his wife, Malama Zeenatu are the longest serving detainees without court trial in the history of democratic Nigeria or since 1999. The Shiite leader and his wife have been held incommunicado by SSS for over 13 months. They were shot and battered by soldiers after a thousand of their followers were killed or went missing between 12th and 14th December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State. While the IMN leader had 18 bullets reportedly removed from his body, his wife had four bullets removed from her body as well. It is feared in some informed quarters as whether the IMN leader and his wife are still alive or have died in SSS custody. Since they were shot half dead by Lt Gen Tukur Buratai led Nigerian Army and taken into SSS custody on 14th of December 2015, they have not been brought to public or allowed access to be seen by their biological relatives.
 
13 nonviolent Pro Biafra Campaigners and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have also been arrested and detained incommunicado by SSS for several months without trial in the ongoing violent crackdown launched by the Buhari Administration and its SSS against IPOB members particularly in the Southeast and the South-south regions of Nigeria. The Buhari Administration also massacred over 250 of the group’s members and supporters and terminally shot and injured over 300 others in over eight different locations in Anambra, Abia, Delta and Rivers States between August 2015 and May 2016.
 
The names of the solitarily detained IPOB members are:  (1) Citizen Justice O. Udo. He was arrested  by SSS in Port Harcourt, Rivers State  in the mid night of 13th July 2016 and thrown into indefinite detention without trial till date; a period of over six months or 18 days. (2) Citizen Sunday Chukwuka Obasi was arrested by SSS in the late night of 16th August 2016 in Nnewi, Anambra State; shot at his two legs and thrown into indefinite detention without trial as at December 2016; a period of over four months.
 
(3)  Citizens Ikechukwu Ugwuoha, (4) Asochukwu Boniface Ugochukwu, (5) Sunday J. Okafor, (6) Ekene Onuoha and (7) Joseph Okorie (Ogbuawa) were arrested by SSS on 24th August 2016 at Ugba Junction, near Aba in Abia State at about 7.30am on their way back from Kuje Prison (where they had gone to see their leader, Nnamdi Kanu) and thrown into indefinite detention without trial till date; a period of almost five months each. (8) Citizen Bright Chimezie. He was arrested by Police in Akwa Ibom State at business hours of 16th September 2016 and handed over to the SSS, which took him into incommunicado detention without trial till date; a period of four months. (9) Citizen Ndubuisi Arum (High Chief Oko) was arrested by SSS in Aba, Abia State in October 2016 and detained incommunicado without trial till date; a period of over three months.
 
 (10) Citizen Eta Stephen Bassey is a 45yrs old Principal of the Wisdom Child International School in Bokokiri area of Port Harcourt in Rivers State.  He is also the Financial Secretary of IPOB in Bundu Unit Town Zone 1 of the organization in Rivers State and hails from Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State. He was abducted by SSS at the business hours of 3rd November 2016 around Victoria Street/Aggrey Road area of Port Harcourt in Rivers State where he had gone to buy “suya” meat and till date; a period of 72 days, he has remained in solitary detention of the SSS. His mobile phone number as released by his close associates is +2348034284857.
 
(11) Citizen Moses Agbo is a member of the Biafra Family Writers. He was arrested by SSS on the Christmas Eve of December 2016 after he visited Citizen Nnamdi Kanu in Kuje Prison and till date; a period of 21 days, he is still held incommunicado by the SSS without trial. (12) Citizen Udochukwu Nelson, (13) Citizen Echeie Osten and (14) Citizen Rose... were arrested at their market shops at the  business hours of 13th January 2017 by SSS in Rumuola area of Port Harcourt in Rivers State and they are still being held incommunicado as of today. Information available at our advocacy disposal also clearly indicates that all of the SSS detainees are gravely tortured to incriminate themselves and confess to spurious allegations of their involvement in “terrorism” and “treasonable felony”. Citizen Bright Chimezie, for instance, is said to have had his two legs broken by his SSS torturers in the Akwa Ibom State Directorate of the Service in Uyo.
 
All the circumstances, processes and procedures under which the above named innocent Nigerians were arrested, accused, tortured and held incommunicado are totally foreign, strange and unknown to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and  the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; all ratified by Nigeria in 1983 and 1993.
 
By Section 1(3) of the 1999 Constitution, the 1999 Constitution is supreme, commander-in-chief and general overseer of all other laws in Nigeria. By Section 35(4) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013 is dead and buried; by virtue of its gross inconsistency with the said Section as it concerns deadline for detention of citizens accused of whatever crime in Nigeria. By Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, all other existing and newly created laws in Nigeria are mandatorily subject to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and shall be brought in tandem and consistency by amendment or modifications with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. By Section 287(3) of the 1999 Constitution, the decisions of the Federal High Court, the FCT High Court and the State High Court shall be forced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons and by other courts of law with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the above named courts.
 
 Instances of decided cases also abound. In a landmark judgment delivered on 17th December 2015 by Hon Justice A.F.A Ademola of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/873/15 (SSS v Nnamdi Kanu), the Judge while reversing his 10th November 2015 unconstitutional ex parte order for additional 90 days detention of the Applicant (Nnamdi Kanu) for spurious allegations of “terrorism and terrorism financing” by SSS held as follows:
 
 ....besides, there is no doubt that constitutional provisions remain supreme and every citizen’s rights are strictly protected and jealously guarded by Courts-see also Hassan v EFCC (supra). For the period spanning over two months, the Applicant (Nnamdi Kanu) remained in Respondent (SSS)’s custody. The Applicant is yet to be charged formally of all terrorism suspicion before a Court of competent jurisdiction.
 
From the foregoing, therefore, this Court holds that: (a) the Respondents are not ready to grant the Applicant bail as per the Order of the Chief Magistrate Court; (b) the Respondents lack enough material to prosecute the Applicant; (c) the Respondents are yet to make up their mind on the Applicant.
 
Therefore, whilst the Respondents are pondering on their next steps, this Court holds that the Applicant’s detention for more than two months in Respondent’s custody without filing charges before a Court of competent jurisdiction on suspected crime is contrary to Section 35(4) of the 1999 Constitution.
 
The Applicant (Nnamdi Kanu) is hereby released unconditionally pursuant to Section 35 (4) of the 1999 Constitution and in view of the Respondent’s admission that there is no pending charge against the Applicant.  This landmark judgment was not only flouted and disobeyed by the SSS, but also the Nigerian Army at the Onitsha Bridgehead in Anambra State shot and killed over ten innocent citizens and wounded scores of others in protest.
 
Similarly on 1st December 2016, another Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, presided over by Hon Justice Gabriel Kolawole declared the continued detention of the leader of IMN, Ibrahim El-ZakyZaky and his wife, Malama Zeenatu without court trial as unconstitutional and ordered for their unconditional release within 45 days as well as payment of monetary compensation amounting to N25Million each to Malam Zaky El-Zaky and his wife, Malama Zeenatu.
 
The duo had been in solitary detention without trial since 14th of December 2015. They were shot severally at close range by Nigerian Army and a total of 22 live bullets were reportedly removed from their bodies: 18 bullets from Malam El-Zaky’s body and four from his wife-Zeenatu. It is unclear whether they are still alive or dead in SSS custody. Today marks the expiration of the 45 days judicial order for their unconditional release and as expected, it is again flouted and disobeyed by SSS.
 
Yesterday being 14th January 2017 marked 390 days or 13 months since Malam ZakyZaky and his wife Malama Zeenatu were taken into SSS custody and detained incommunicado without trial. This is unheard of in the history of democratic Nigeria or since 1999. Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and Citizen Dave Nwawuisi have also marked 450 days or 15 months in solitary detention yesterday having been arrested by SSS on 14th October 2015. Citizen Benjamin Madubugwu had also marked 18 months or 540 days in solitary detention having been arrested since July 2015. The trio of Kanu, Nwawuisi and madubugwu have remained at pre-trial proceedings or detained without bail till date.
 
We are therefore compelled to add our advocacy voice to that of the Legal Defense team of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and ors who disclosed in the open Court on 10th January 2017 that “nine IPOB members who visited Nnamdi Kanu in Kuje Prison have been killed by SSS after they were arrested and taken into its custody”.  This is in addition to the fact that Citizens Justice O. Udo, Sunday Chuks Obasi, Ikechukwu Ugwuoha, Asochukwu Boniface Ugochukwu, Sunday Okafor, Ekene Onuoha, Joseph Okorie, Bright Chimezie, Ndubuisi Arum and Eta Stephen Bassey have been solitarily held dead or alive by SSS for several months after they were arrested and detained without trial. Since the dates of their arrest, their families, lawyers and physicians have been denied access to them.
 
Consequently, the authorities of the SSS are hereby called upon to produce publicly and bodily alive the named solitary detainees in its custody including Malam Ibrahim Zaky El-Zaky and his wife-Malama Zeenatu. Their public presentation must be covered by the trio of dependent and independent print, visual/audio visual and online media. The solitary detainees, who must include all the 13 detained IPOB members, must not only be publicly and bodily produced, but also be made to speak to Nigerians independently and coherently in live media coverage.
 
These the SSS must do within two weeks; otherwise all Nigerians including this Organization shall have cogent reasons to conclude that some or all of them including the detained Islamic cleric and his wife have been killed by SSS in its custody as alleged. We also demand for immediate and unconditional release of all 13 detained Pro Biafra Campaigners and the leader of Shiite Muslim and his wife.
 
As we have repeatedly demanded, the SSS and the Buhari Administration must end violent crackdown on nonviolent Pro Biafra Campaigners and members of the Shiite Muslim Community. Such huge State energies and resources being wasted in persecuting Pro Biafra Campaigners and Shiite Muslims shall be adequately channelled towards the terrorist, felonious and genocidal activities of Boko Haram and Fulani terrorists that killed over 2000 innocent citizens in 2016 alone.
 
Note: The attached pictures are: 1 Citizen Ekene Onuoha, 2 Asochukwu Boniface, 3 Bright Chimezie, 4 Moses Agbo, 5 Justice O. Udo, 6 Ugwuoha Ikechukwu, 7 Sunday Okafor and 8 Ndubuisi Arum (High Chief Oko).
 
Signed:
 
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Call Line: +2348174090052
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org
Website: www.intersociety-ng.org
 
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
 
Call Line: +2348180771506
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.
 
 
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Annotated remarks at Terrorism in Africa seminar By James M. Dorsey, Singapore 18 January, 2017. ] - There is much debate about what spurs political violence. The explanations are multi-fold. There is one aspect that I’d like to discuss tonight as it relates to Africa and that is the role of Saudi Arabia. Let me be clear: With the exception of a handful of countries, none of which are in Africa, Saudi Arabia, that is to say the government, the religious establishment and members of the ruling family and business community, does not fund violence.
 
It has however over the last half century launched the single largest public diplomacy campaign in history, pumping up to $100 billion dollars into ultra-conservative interpretations of Islam.[1] That campaign has succeeded in making ultra-conservatism a force in Muslim religious communities across the globe. It involves the promotion of an intolerant, supremacist, anti-pluralistic interpretation of Islam that even where it rejects involvement in politics creates an environment that in given circumstances serves as a breeding ground, but more often fosters a mindset in which militancy and violence against the other is not beyond the pale.
 
What that campaign has done, certainly in Muslim majority countries in Africa, is to ensure that representatives of Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism have influence in society as well as the highest circles of government. This is important because contrary to widespread beliefs, the Saudi campaign is not primarily about religion, it’s about geopolitics, it’s about a struggle with Iran for hegemony in the Muslim world. As a result, it’s about anti-Shiism and a ultra-conservative narrative that counters that of Shiism and what remains of Iran’s post-1979 revolutionary zeal.
 
The campaign also meant that at times resolving the question whether the kingdom maintains links to violent groups takes one into murky territory. Again, I want to be clear, certainly with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and its affiliates in Africa and elsewhere, and even before with the emergence of Al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia has made countering jihadism a cornerstone of its policy. That is however easier said than done.
 
What is evident in Africa is that the kingdom or at least prominent members of its clergy appear to have maintained wittingly or unwittingly some degree of contact with jihadist groups, including IS affiliates. What I want to do in the time I have is anecdotally illustrate the impact of Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism on three African states – Nigeria, Niger and Mali – and how this at times relates to political violence in the region.
 
Let’s start with Nigeria. One of the earliest instances in which Saudi Arabia flexed its expanding soft power in West Africa was in 1999 when Zamfara, a region where Islamic State affiliate Boko Haram has been active, became the first Nigerian state to adopt Sharia. A Saudi official stood next to Governor Ahmed Sani when he made the announcement. Freedom of religion scholar Paul Marshall recalls seeing some years later hundreds of Saudi-funded motorbikes in the courtyard of the governor’s residence. They had been purchased to enforce gender segregation in public transport. Sheikh Abdul-Aziz, the religious and cultural attaché at the Saudi embassy in Abuja declared in 2004 that the kingdom had been monitoring the application of Islamic law in Nigeria “with delight.”[2]
 
Like elsewhere in the Muslim world, local politicians in Zamfara were forging an opportunistic alliance with Saudi Arabia. If geopolitics was the Saudi driver, domestic politics was what motivated at least some of their local partners. Nonetheless, the lines between militant but peaceful politics and violence were often blurry. Political violence analyst Jacob Zenn asserts that Boko Haram even has some kind of representation in the kingdom.[3] A Boko Haram founder who was killed in 2009, Muhammad Yusuf, was granted refuge by the kingdom in 2004 to evade a Nigerian military crackdown. In Mecca, he forged links with like-minded Salafi clerics[4] that proved to be more decisive than his debates with Nigerian clerics who were critical of his interpretation of Islam.[5]
 
Once back in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno state, Yusuf built with their assistance a state within a state centred around the Ibn Taymiyyah mosque and a compound in the city centre on land bought with the help of his father-in-law. Yusuf’s group had its own institutions, including a Shura or advisory council, a religious police force that enforced Islamic law, and a rudimentary welfare, microfinance and job creation system.[6]
 
It operated under a deal struck in talks in Mecca brokered by a prominent Salafi cleric between a dissident Boko Haram factional leader identified as Aby Muhammed and a close aide to former Nigerian President Jonathan Goodwill.[7] Under the agreement Yusuf pledged not to preach violence and to distance himself from separatist groups, an understanding he later violated. Boko Haram has further suggested that before joining IS, it had met with Al Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia.[8] Moreover, a Boko Haram operative responsible for attacking a church in Nigeria reportedly spent months in Saudi Arabia prior to the attack.[9]
 
Yusuf’s religious teacher, Sheikh Ja’afar Adam, a graduate of the Islamic University of Medina, presided over a popular mosque in the Nigerian city of Kano that helped him build a mass audience. Adam’s popularity allowed him to promote colleagues, many of whom were also graduates of the same university in Medina, who became influential preachers and government officials. Adam was liberally funded by Al-Muntada al-Islami Trust, a London-based charity with ties to Saudi Arabia[10] that has repeatedly been accused by Nigerian intelligence a British peer, Lord Alton of Liverpool, of having links to Boko Haram and serving as a platform for militant Islamic scholars.[11] Al Muntada, which operates a mosque and a primary school in London, has denied the allegations while a UK Charity Commission investigation failed to substantiate the allegations. Kenyan and Somali intelligence nonetheless suspected Al-Muntada of also funding Al Qaeda’s Somali affiliate, Al Shabab.[12]
 
Among scholars hosted by Al Muntada are Mohammad Al Arifi, a Saudi preacher who argues that “the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honour for the believer.” He also reasons that the Muslim world would not have suffered humiliation had it followed “the Quranic verses that deal with fighting the infidels and conquering their countries say that they should convert to Islam, pay the jizya poll tax, or be killed.”[13]
 
Abd al-Aziz Fawzan al-Fawzan, a Saudi academic, is another Al Muntada favourite. Al-Fawzan advises the faithful that “if (a) person is an infidel, even if this person is my mother or father, God forbid, or my son or daughter; I must hate him, his heresy, and his defiance of Allah and His prophet. I must hate his abominable deeds.”[14] Organizationally, the charity also maintained close ties to major Saudi funding organizations, including the Muslim World League (MWL), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), and Al Haramain Islamic Foundation,[15] a Saudi governmental non-nongovernmental organization that was shut down in the wake of 9/11 because of its jihadist ties.
 
Adam publicly condemned Yusuf after he took over Boko Haram. In response Yusuf in 2007 order the assassination of Adam, a protégé of the Saudi-funded Izala Society (formally known as the Society for the Removal of Innovation and Re-establishment of the Sunnah), which sprang up in northern Nigeria in the late 1970s to campaign against Sufi practices and has since gained ground in several West African states. Much like Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism’s relationship to jihadism, Izala after spawning Boko Haram became one of its main targets. The group has since the killing of Adam gunned down several other prominent Saudi-backed clerics.
 
Nigerian journalists and activists see a direct link between the influx of Saudi funds into Yusuf’s stomping ground in northern Nigeria and greater intolerance that rolled back the influence of Sufis that had dominated the region for centuries and sought to marginalize Shiites. “They built their own mosques with Saudi funds so that they will not follow ‘Kafirs’ in prayers& they erected their own madrasa schools where they indoctrinate people on the deviant teachings of Wahhabism. With Saudi petro-dollars, these Wahhabis quickly spread across towns & villages of Northern Nigeria… This resulted in countless senseless inter-religious conflicts that resulted in the death of thousands of innocent Nigerians on both sides.” said Shiite activist Hairun Elbinawi.[16]
 
Adam started his career as a young preacher in Izala, a Salafist movement founded in the late 1970s by prominent judge and charismatic orator Abubakr Gumi who was the prime facilitator of Saudi influence and the rise of Salafism in northern Nigeria. A close associate, Gumi represented northern Nigeria at gatherings of the Muslim World League starting in the 1960s, was a member of the consultative council of the Islamic University of Medina in the 1970s and was awarded for his efforts with the King Faisal Prize in 1987. All along, Gumi and Izala benefitted from generous Saudi financial support for its anti-Sufi and anti-Shiite campaigns.[17]
 
Adam and Gumi’s close ties to the kingdom did not mean that they uncritically adopted Saudi views. Their ultra-conservative views did not prevent them from at times adopting positions that took local circumstances in northern Nigeria into account at the expense of ultra-conservative rigidity. Adam’s questioning of the legitimacy of democracy, for example, did not stop him becoming for a period of time a government official in the state of Kano. In another example, Gumi at one point urged Muslim women to vote because “politics is more important than prayer,” a position that at the time would have been anathema to Saudi-backed ultra-conservative scholars. Similarly, Adam suggested that Salafists and Kano’s two major Sufi orders, viewed by Saudi puritans as heretics, should have equal shares of an annual, public Ramadan service.[18]
 
Peregrino Brimah, a trained medical doctor who teaches biology, anatomy and physiology at colleges in New York never gave much thought while growing up in Nigeria to the fact that clerics increasingly were developing links to Saudi Arabia. “You could see the money, the big ones were leading the good life, they ran scholarship programs. In fact, I was offered a scholarship to study at King Fahd University in Riyadh. I never thought about it until December 2015 when up to a 1,000 Shiites were killed by the military in northern Nigeria,” Brimah said.[19] “Since I started looking at it, I’ve realized how successful, how extraordinarily successful the Wahhabis have been.”
 
Brimah decided to stand up for Shiite rights after the incident in which the military arrested prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky following a clash with members of Shiites in Kaduna state.[20] The Nigerian military confirmed that it had attacked sites in the ancient university town Zaria after hundreds of Shia demonstrators had blocked a convoy of Nigeria's army chief General Tukur Buratai in an alleged effort to kill him. Military police said Shiites had crawled through tall grass towards Buratai's vehicle "with the intent to attack the vehicle with [a] petrol bomb" while others "suddenly resorted to firing gunshots from the direction of the mosque.” Scores were killed in the incident.[21] A phone call to Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari in which King Salman expressed his support for the government’s fight against terrorist groups was widely seen as Saudi endorsement of the military’s crackdown on the country’s Shiite minority. The state-owned Saudi Press Agency quoted Salman as saying that Islam condemned such “criminal acts” and that the kingdom in a reference to Iran opposed foreign interference in Nigeria.[22]
 
Brimah’s defense of the Shiites has cost him dearly and further illustrated the degree to which Saudi-funded Wahhabism and Salafism had altered the nature of Nigerian society. “I lost everything I had built on social media the minute I stood up for the Shiites. I had thousands of fans. Suddenly, I was losing 2-300 followers a day. My brother hasn’t spoken to me since. The last thing he said to me is: ‘how can you adopt Shiite ideology?’ I raised the issue in a Sunni chat forum. It became quickly clear that these attitudes were not accidental. They are the product of Saudi-sponsored teachings of serious hatred. People don’t understand what they are being taught. They rejoice when thousand Shiites are killed. Even worse is the fact that they hate people like me who stand up for the Shiites even more than they hate the Shiite themselves.”
 
In response to Brimah’s writing about the clash, Buratai, the Nigerian army chief, invited him to for a chat. Brimah politely declined. After again, accusing the military of having massacred Shiites, Buratai’s spokesman, Col. SK Usman, adopting the Saudi line of Shiites being Iranian stooges, accused Brimah of being on the Islamic republic’s payroll. “Several of us hold you in high esteem based on perceived honesty, intellectual prowess and ability to speak your mind. That was before, but the recent incident of attempted assassination of the Chief of Army Staff by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and subsequent events and actions by some groups and individuals such as you made one to have a rethink. I was quite aware of your concerted effort to smear the good name and reputation of the Chief of Army Staff to the extent of calling for his resignation. He went out of his way to write to you and even invited you for constructive engagement. But because you have dubious intents, you cleverly refused…. God indeed is very merciful for exposing you. Let me make it abundantly clear to you that your acts are not directed to the person of the Chief of Army Staff, they have far reaching implication on our national security. Please think about it and mend your ways and refund whatever funds you coveted for the campaign of calumny,” Usman wrote in the mail.[23] Brimah’s inbox has since then been inundated with anti-Shiite, anti-Iranian writings in what he believes is a military-inspired campaign.
 
Brimah was not the only one to voice opposition to Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism. Murtada Muhammad Gusau, Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’ s Mosque in Nigeria’s Okene Kogi State took exception to the kingdom’s global effort to criminalize blasphemy, legitimize in the process curbs on free speech, and reinforce growing Muslim intolerance towards any unfettered discussion of the faith.  In a lengthy article in a Nigerian newspaper, Gusau debunked the Saudi-inspired crackdown on alleged blasphemists citing multiple verses from the Qur’an that advocate patience and tolerance and reject the killing of those that curse or berate the Prophet Mohammed.[24]
 
Brimah and Gusau were among the relatively few willing to invoke the wrath of spreading ultra-conservative, sectarian forms of Islam across a swath of Africa at an often dizzying pace. In the process, African politicians and ultraconservatives in cooperation with Saudi Arabia have let a genie of intolerance, discrimination, supremacy and bigotry out of the bottle.  In the Sahel state of Niger, Issoufou Yahaya recalls his student days in the 1980s when there wasn’t a single mosque on his campus. “Today, we have more mosques here than we have lecture rooms. So much has changed in such a short time,” he said.[25]
 
One cannot avoid noticing Saudi Arabia’s role in this development. The flags of Niger and Saudi Arabia feature on a monument close to the office tower from which Yahaya administers the history of department of Université Abdou Moumouni in the Niger capital of Niamey. Sheikh Boureima Abdou Daouda, an Internet-savvy graduate of the Islamic University of Medina and the Niamey university’s medical faculty as well as an author and translator of numerous books, attracts tens of thousands of worshippers to the Grand Mosque where he insists that “We must adopt Islam, we cannot adapt it.”[26] Daouda serves as an advisor to Niger president Mahamadou Issoufou and chairs the League of Islamic Scholars and Preachers of the Countries of the Sahel. “Before, people here turned to religion when they reached middle age, and particularly after they retired. But now, it is above all the young ones. What we see is a flourishing of Islam.” Daouda said.[27]
 
What Daouda did not mention was that with Africa, the battleground where Iran put up its toughest cultural and religious resistance to Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism, was witnessing the world’s highest rates of conversion to Shi’a Islam since many Sunni tribes in southern Iraq adopted Shiism in the 19th century. Shiites were until recently virtually non-existent in Africa with the exception of migrants from Lebanon and the Indian subcontinent. A Pew Research survey suggests that that has changed dramatically. The number of Shiites has jumped from 0 in 1980 to 12 percent of Nigeria’s 90-million strong Shia community in 2012. Shiites account today for 21 percent of Chad’s Muslims, 20 percent in Tanzania and eight percent in Gaza, according to the survey.[28]
 
Ironically, Mali a nation where Shiism has not made inroads and where only two percent of the populations identifies itself as Ahmadis, an Islamic sect widely viewed by conservative Muslims as heretics, is the only country outside of Pakistan that Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat (AMTKN), a militant anti-Ahmadi, Pakistan-based group with a history of Saudi backing, identifies by name as a place where it operates overseas.[29] The fact that AMTKN, which says that it operates in 12 countries, identified Mali is indicative of the sway of often Saud-educated imams and religious  leaders that reaches from the presidential palace in the capital Bamako into the country’s poorest villages. The government at times relies on Salafis rather than its own officials to mediate with jihadists in the north or enlist badly needed European support in the struggle against them. Moreover, cash-rich Salafi leaders and organizations provide social services in parts of Mali where the government is absent. In 2009, the Saudi-backed High Islamic Council of Mali (HICM) proved powerful enough to prevent the president from signing into law a parliamentary bill that would have enhanced women’s rights. Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita reportedly phones HICM chief Mahmoud Dicko twice a week. Malians no longer simply identify each other as Muslims and instead employ terms such as Wahhabi, Sufi and Shia that carry with them either derogatory meanings or assertions of foreign associations.[30]
 
Dicko condemned the November 2015 jihadist attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako in which 20 people were killed but argued that world powers cannot enjoy peace by fighting God through promotion of homosexuality. Dicko said the perpetrators were not Muslims but mostly rappers with drug-related charge sheets. “They rebel and take arms against their society. This is a message from God that the masters of the world, the major powers, which are trying to promote homosexuality, must understand. These powers are trying to force the world to move towards homosexuality. These world powers have attacked the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) into his grave... These masters of this world, who think that the world belongs to them, must understand that we will not attack God and escape safely. They cannot provoke God and get his clemency, his mercy. They cannot have peace and peace with such provocations towards the Creator of the world down here. They will not have peace. God will not leave them alone.”[31]
 
Like elsewhere, ultra-conservatism as a cornerstone of Saudi soft power has proven in Mali to be a double-edged sword for the kingdom and its beneficiaries. Iyad Ag Ghaly nicknamed The Strategist, a Malian Tuareg militant who led tribal protests in the 1990s and emerged in 2012 at the head of Ansar Eddine, one of the jihadist groups that overran the north of Mali, found ultra-conservative religion while serving as a Malian diplomat in Jeddah. A Sufi and a singer who occasionally worked with Tinariwen, the Grammy Award winning band formed by veterans of Tuareg armed resistance in the 1980s and 1990s, co-organized an internationally acclaimed annual music festival outside of Timbuktu that attracted the likes of Robert Plant, Bono and Jimmy Buffett, and hedonistically enjoyed parties, booze and tobacco, Ag Ghaly grew a beard while in Saudi Arabia. His meetings with Saudi-based jihadists persuaded the Malian government to cut short his stint in the kingdom and call him home.[32] Pakistani missionaries of Tablighi Ja’amat, an ultra-conservative global movement that has at times enjoyed Saudi backing despite theological differences with Wahhabism and Salafism, helped convince Ag Ghaly to abandon his music and hedonistic lifestyle. He opted for an austere interpretation of Islam and ultimately jihadism.[33]
 
This pattern is not uniquely African even if Africa is the continent where Iranian responses to Saudi promotion of Sunni ultra-conservatism have primarily been cultural and religious in nature rather than through the use of militant and armed proxies as in the Middle East. It is nonetheless a battle that fundamentally alters the fabric of those African societies in which it is fought; a battle that potentially threatens the carefully constructed post-colonial cohesion of those societies. The potential threat is significantly enhanced by poor governance and the rise of jihadist groups like Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and Al Shabab in Somalia, whose ideological roots can be traced back to ultra-conservatism but whose political philosophy views Saudi Arabia as an equally legitimate target because its rulers have deviated from the true path. At the bottom line, both Africans and Saudis are struggling to come to grips with a phenomenon they opportunistically harnessed to further their political interests; one that they no longer control and that has become as much a liability as it was an asset.
 
Thank you.
 
Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title, Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario and a forthcoming book, Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa.
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.