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 [ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] – Since the Ombatse Cult of Nasarrawa State murdered over one hundred Nigerian Police and State Security Service personnel on manhunt for  the head of Baba Alakyo , Governor Al-Makura had pretended that he is not aware of his complicity in the matter. To the best of my knowledge, Ombatse Cult was formed as a response to the constant harassment, murder and rape of Eggon tribesmen by Fulani Herdsmen, and it took the fetish potency of a Muslim medicine man, Laye Ahgu, popularly known as Baba Alakyo, for the Fulani to beat a retreat and leave the Eggon people to live in peace.
This fetish potency made the 76 year old Baba Alakyo popular that people recourse to him for spiritual healing and deliverance. The Eggon people of Nasarrawa state including Christians, Muslims, Pagans, atheists in their midst revere the medicine man as alternative protection against a failed state. Therefore, Ombatse cult is Nasarrawa people’s fetish alternative to failed justice and security. This same lack of confidence in state protection and justice led to the formation of Bakassi boys in Aba and Onitsha in 2001. The fetish Bakassi killer group used juju means to pursue , arrest and kill armed robbers and those who allegedly used witchcraft to kill others. By the time they descended on Onitsha and Aba cities of Nigeria, lots of criminals disappeared while numerous others were killed. Robbery reduced by 90 percent in the two cities until politicians hijacked and used Bakassi boys to hunt and kill opponents and dissenting views.

Politicians from the Eggon tribe have severally confirmed that Ombatse has Christians and Muslim adherents and sympathizers including Labaran Maku, present Minister of Information. Governor Al-Makura was said to have been taken to Baba Alakyo by Senator Solomon Ewuga when the former was desperate to become the Governor of the State. Al-Makura was said to have promised Baba Alakyo that he would rule for one term and make way for an Eggon man in 2015. Based on this promise, Baba Alakyo signaled his people to support Al-Makura and also fortified him with charms so that he can defeat the electoral malfeasance of the ruling PDP and the then incumbent Governor. To the surprise of electoral pundits, opposition CPC won in Nasarrawa States while they failed in their major strongholds of Kano,Kaduna, Katsina, Niger,Bauchi.

Al-Makura was said to have confided in the same Senator representing the zone, Ewuga of his intention to go for a second term, a proposition Baba Alakyo was said to have rejected. The issue of Nigerian politicians dragging people to shrines is not new. Former Governor of Anambra State, Chris Ngige was dragged to Okija Shrine to swear oath of allegiance and surrender of State funds to the family of a presidential aide under the distant approval of former president Olusegun Obasanjo. Former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State dragged the incumbent Theodore Orji and some of his aides to the same shrine to swear oath of perpetual ‘yes man’. A picture of Governor Theodore Orji wearing undies at Okija Shrine is still all over the internet. Therefore, the Nasarrawa situation, despicable as it is, is not strange in Nigeria’s brand of democracy.

There is a wide belief among Eggons that the refusal of Baba Alakyo to endorse his second term plot made Governor Al –Makura to desperately seek means of breaking the fetish oath he swore so that his tenure extension beyond 2015 can be successful. There is an allegation that there was a powerful female juju priestess from Mali (others claim the woman is from Igbirra tribe) allegedly used by the Hausa-Fulani community in Jos to neutralize the fetish potency of Berom indigenous community. Al-Makura was said to have contracted this woman to visit Alakyo and neutralize the powers of the Ombatse cult. The said woman walked naked towards the town, encountered success as earlier attempts to either apprehend or cut her with machete, knives, spears and gun failed. The Ombatse people had to send distress calls to Baba Alakyo and after using a few hour old dog for incantations, the charm of the woman was destroyed. The boys captured and severed the head of the Juju woman, amidst jubilation.

With the death of the woman, the witchcraft kingdom where she belongs allegedly wanted her head so that they could crown a successor and Al-Makura was mandated to either bring her head or that of the person that killed her to avoid repercussions. The Governor, in order to escape the wrath of another witchcraft kingdom, and to use the same occasion to destroy the powerful Ombatse cult, with the head of Baba Alakyo severed and brought to him as evidence, in the order of Biblical John the Baptist, deceived security agents to embark on a sacrificial journey. It was in the process that over one hundred personnel were killed .Baba Alakyo, giving sketchy insight into the bloody manhunt told newsmen that ''It is the governor that asked the people (thugs in police uniform) to come here and kill me, cut my head and take my head to him. When they came, because they were themselves drunk, my god did not allow them to come to me even though I was not around and they died on the way. The question I ask is; has the governor ever invited me and I refused to go? But he sent people to come and kill me and to destroy Lakyo as a whole. That is just what it is.

Another incidence that boosted the confidence of this Ombatse Cult is the alleged congratulatory message some elders of Plateau State sent to Baba Alakyo over the successful murder of the strange juju woman. According to sources, the juju priests of Jos and surrounding villages had always referred to the activities of a strange woman as responsible for the series of defeats they suffered in the hands of Hausa-Fulani indigenes of Jos during the bloody religious riots of Obasanjo and Yaradua regimes. Some Plateau State elders are planning to understudy the secrets of the Ombatse cult with the intention of applying the formulae to Jos crisis. This disturbing plan by Plateau elders from Berom, Anaguta and Afizere tribes is as a result of mounting insecurity and inability of the state to curb the activities.
Innocent members of the State Security Services and the Nigerian Police Force were shepherded to fight a cause that is of no concern to them, a cause they were not properly briefed about. A cause they would probably have declined if the underlying truth was laid before them. This calls to question the ease with which politicians use security officials to settle political scores. If the SSS and the Police had actually taken time to ponder over the security reports, they would have discovered that the intelligence they relied upon to carry out the operation was biased and wrongly analyzed. Politicians have been known to frame people with reports in order to crucify them. It is true that Ombatse cult was forcing some people to adhere to their fetish oath, but the reason for that ill fated operation was not to stop the oath but to destroy obstacle to 2015 elections.
Governor Al-Makura should be held responsible for wasting the lives of personnel of the Nigerian Police and SSS in a vindictive attempt to obtain the head of his erstwhile medicine man. The SSS should be blamed for not acting on their good judgment by withdrawing their personnel from the attacks when they got feelers that something is fishy somewhere. The Police Commissioner should take blame for allowing self to be pressurized into deploying personnel for an operation even when reports showed that the attack is already compromised. Why he embarked on such operation few days to his retirement is a mystery. The army personnel initially billed to follow in the operation were said to have backed out when they couldn’t justify the reasons for the attack.

The Nigerian State, electoral umpires like INEC , judiciary and other organs saddled with ensuring that people’s votes count should also take blames because if the electoral processes are flawless and the courts are ready to return all stolen mandates, people like Baba Alakyo will have no political patronage and relevance. Al-Makura’s manhunt for the head of his erstwhile juju man, Baba Alakyo, led to the death of unsuspecting security men; he should stop grandstanding and apologize to a traumatized nation while laws to stop public officials from surrendering our collective mandate to fetish cults should be enacted to prevent another re-occurrence of such stigmatizing mortality.

Obinna Akukwe (

*Photo Caption –  Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, Nigeria.

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - The Monday, June 24, 2013 public execution of Citizens Richard Igago, Chima Ejiofor, Daniel Nsofor and Osaremwinda Aigbuokhian on the executive orders of the Edo State Governor, South-south, Nigeria, is not only shocking but also savagely. Since June 1999, when the civil rule was restored on the polity, over 58,000 citizens have been killed outside the law in the country. The latest public execution of the four controversially processed convicts has brought the country thousands of years backward from being a member of the comity of civilized countries and human rights respecter countries. Nigeria is steadily descending dangerously into the abyss of savagery and cannibalism. The country now earns notoriety as a country not in war, but in war. She now records one of the highest global incidences of unlawful killings per month with monthly average of 200. When a political system is corrupt and weak to safeguard lives and property, incidence of safe-help method in inter-personal and group’s disputes grows astronomically dangerously-says Emeka Umeagbalasi today in Denver, Colorado, USA. A modern country that engages in public execution of its citizens whose actions are said to be in conflict with its criminal law, whether anachronistically or globally blended, is not only a direct descendant of the butchery of the old, but also instills homicidal militancy in the psyches of its civil populace to slaughter at will even in mere dissent verbal exchanges-further says Emeka Umeagbalasi. Factually speaking, over 1,400 Nigerian citizens have been killed since........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (including Edo State) and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT) 

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - A man engulfed in flames hung out a car door as the vehicle sped down Old Liverpool Road the morning of Jan. 11 before smashing into a wall. The man was dead before firefighters arrived. So began the final mysterious chapter of two lives lived by one man. The investigation into the fiery car crash would eventually tell the tale of a black man living under a white man's name, a Nigerian musician who became an unemployed American mechanic, and a secret revealed only by death. Detective Jon Seeber and several other detectives from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office began the tedious process that morning of piecing together what clues they could find. Their goal was to identify the man and notify his family. The body was badly burned. The car's registration gave detectives a name: George Clark. Fire investigators soon sifted through the wreckage. A New York driver's license in the man's wallet - which he had been sitting on - was spared from the flames. It also belonged to George Clark. The driver's license listed an address at P.O. Box 26, at the Postal Service's South Salina Street office in Syracuse. As several detectives talked with witnesses to the crash, others searched for........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Grave of Eteng Ikpi Itam ( lived double life as George Clark ) at Loomis Hill Cemetery, Syracuse, New York, USA. 

 [ Masterweb Reports: Chris Onyishi reports ] - I was glossing over a brother’s posts in the FACE BOOK recently and I stumbled over where he dropped a link to an article in the TheGuardian Nigeria, with the caption “Foreign Direct Investment: A Vote for APCON Reforms” which is credited to one Edwin Madueme. An excerpt from that article read thus: "The thing our government must do and urgently too, is to properly define who a foreign investor is. And for the avoidance of doubt, foreign investment does not include someone coming into the country to feed from values already developed and milk a market already ripe while funneling proceeds to his or her home country. A foreign investor is one (either an individual or a body corporate) with capital in terms of finance, technology or product capable of boosting the economy, generating income for the citizens and raising the standards of life in the........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT) 

 [ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Abuja-Lokoja road has become the most dangerous highway in Nigeria due to the numerous death from accident and blood spillage of Nigerians. It is obvious to spiritually discernible persons that the constant death on Abuja-Lokoja road is a deliberate conspiracy between the local witches and the politicians in Aso Rock, National Assembly and Federal Ministry of Works.
This road has become a constant feeder of blood to the tank farms of Nigerian politicians and administrators which they use to refresh and empower themselves to continue the looting spree and impoverishment of the masses. These fetish minded politicians deliberately refused to budget enough money for the completion of the road project since the past eight years and will most likely continue with the hide and seek till probably 2015 or even beyond  till their blood tank farm is filled. This blood tank has refused to get filled because these blood sucking human beings are not patient enough to allow the tanks to get filled before they start drinking from it.

This very road was built by former president Abdulsalami Abubakar between 1998 and 1999 and then travelers can get to Lokoja from Berger roundabout in Abuja in less than 2 hours. Today, the journey takes nothing less than three hours due to high volume of traffic on the roads, The activities of lorry, tanker and haulage vehicles on the road is very worrisome. These truck drivers especially from the North are not mindful of smaller cars and buses and once they start overtaking other vehicles, the driver will either run into the bush or face eternity in heaven or hell. The same road has some dangerous stretch of bumps causes by swollen coal tar which had causes thousands of vehicles to somersault on the road, killing lots of victims.

Therefore, it's obvious to  all that the road is in urgent need of dualization. The contract for this all important road has been given since eight years ago and yet the road is yet to reach fifty percent completion. It would be recalled that the present road was built in less than 15 months with all the bridges, culverts and other necessities when Nigeria had less oil money to spend. To dualize this road has become too difficult for these politicians because they need the blood of victims for refreshment.

This road also has no known equipped hospital, except probably Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital which is at the beginning of the 159 km stretch, therefore, if a passenger meets with accident near Abaji, Geku Beku etc , then only the blood of Jesus can save the victim. There is also no emergency rescue hospital or clinic on the road.

The danger to life posed by this road is such that passengers and drivers cherish the services of emergency pastors who pray for the safety of travelers on this road so that God Almighty would send angelic protection for the commuters as they pass through the highway of death. The heavy number of soldiers on some spots on the road adds to the fatigue of the journey and tired drivers usually sleeps off. All these things wouldn't have been if the road had been dualized.
Below is the list of witches and wizards who have contributed in one way or the other to the death and permanent disability of road users on Abuja Lokoja road. For the purposes of this discussion, all of them, male or female, are given titles of witches because they have become part of the blood sucking mess on the road
1.      Senior Witch Olusegun Obasanjo-President-1999-2007
2.      Senior Witch Umaru Yaradua- President-2007-2010
3.      Senior Witch Goodluck Jonathan- President 2010-date
4.      Deputy Senior Witch Atiku Abubakar- Vice President-1999-2007
5.      Deputy Senior Witch Namadi Sambo- Vice President-2010-date
6.      Assistant Senior Witch Tony Anenih- Former Minister of Works
7.      Assistant Senior Witch Chris Ogiemwonyi- Former Minister of Works
8.      Assistant Senior Witch Sanusi Daggash- Former Minister of Works
9.      Assistant Senior Witch Adeseye Ogunlewe- Former Minister of Works
10.  Assistant Senior Witch Hassan Lawal- Former Minister of Works
11.  Assistant Senior Witch  Mike Onolememen- Current Minister of Works
12.  Assistant Senior Witch  Bashir Yuguda- Current Minister of State Works
13.  Trainee Senior Witch  Danladi Bamaiyi- Former Chairman Senate Committee on Works
14.  Trainee Senior Witch Julius Ucha- Former Chairman Senate Committee on Works
15.  Trainee Senior Witch Ayogu Eze- Currentt Chairman, Senate Committee on Works
16.  Trainee Senior Witch Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi- Current Chairman House Committee on Works

The list is by no means exhaustive, but as these people's pockets grew in leaps and bounds, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians die on the most important link road to Nigeria's Federal Capital while they look the other way. All these people are blood sucking witches even if they travel to Mecca, Medina , Jerusalem, Rome or build Churches and Mosques. Even if they paid tithes to their priests and pastors and did Zakat and all these religious obligations, they have equally contributed in making millions of children to be fatherless, motherless, orphans, widows, widowers and thrown many families into anguish and penury.
They contributed in sending unprepared Nigerians to face eternity, they have cut short people's destinies. While some of them embezzled the money meant to finish the roads, others refused to budget enough to complete the roads. Witches and Wizards, the blood of all that died on this Abuja-lokoja road will be your  heads and may the Almighty God who is saddened by the constant cutting short of destinies of innocent Christians and Muslims on that road  rise and save his people and ensure that judgement falls on these blood sucking witches in Aso Rock, National Assembly and Federal Ministry of Works whose acts of commission or omission resulted to death of the innocent in Jesus name.
Obinna Akukwe ( ).

*Photo Caption - Scene of an accident on Abuja-Lokoja Highway

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - Nigeria Masterweb News Desk was on ground last week, June 12, when Ex-Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) visited University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (UWM) where he was a guest speaker promoting future relations and strengthening of ties between UWM and African Nations. Masterweb was also there the previous night during his arrival as guest at an exclusive hotel in Milwaukee. Milwaukee community leaders including Dr. Sunday Olafintila, Mr. Idowu Oguntade of Progressive Alliance Movement, Mr. Enobong Umohette (Wisconsin State Heavy Weight Boxing Champion), Mr. Okey Akubueze, Engineer Ben Eruchalu, Mazi Chris Nwonye, Rev. Chris Ikanih, Chief Charles O. Okereke (Publisher – Nigeria Masterweb & Composer God Bless Africa – African Union Award Winning Anthem) and selected cross section of others were also at the hotel reception. Below are some of the photos taken both at the hotel and UWM event during OBJ’s visit; more photos will be........ Read More
*Photo Caption - Enobong Umohette (Wisconsin Boxing Champ) raises Ex-President Obasanjo’s hand as winner of the shadow boxing between him and the ex-president. 

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - Firstly, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria; ably represented here in Washington DC, USA, by Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, wishes to appreciate, deeply, the invitation of its Chairman of the Board by the US Department of State, to participate in the internationally respected and prestigious International Visitor(s) Leadership Program for NGO Management in USA & related others. We appreciate, commend and congratulate the Department of State of the United States and Its officials, distinguished members of the ECA/PE/R/V and the FHI-360 Project teams, respected and reputable IVLP colleagues and all other institutions and persons involved directly or indirectly in the ennobled program scheduled to cover the US States and Cities ranging from Washington and Washington DC; Seattle, Louisville, Kentucky; Huntington and Birmingham, Alabama; East Lansing, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; to Denver, Colorado. We wish all the participants in the program and its organizers huge successes at the end. The program was opened on Monday, June 10 and expected to end on June 29. The leadership of Intersociety celebrates the nomination of its Chairman of the Board, Emeka Umeagbalasi as the only Nigerian nominated to join other 23 international personalities drawn from twenty-four countries around the world including........Read More
*Photo Caption - Map and Flag of Nigeria 

 [ Masterweb Reports ] -  Nigerian lawmakers recently agreed to prohibit same sex marriages and even to prohibit any outward manifestations of same sex Love in public  maintaining the ban on homosexuality –whilst the whole world awaits President Goodluck Jonathan(a Catholic Christian)  to sign the bill into law many are moved to prayer & fastings at this great disastrous point in Nigeria’s Timeline.  The prohibition has placed  the Nation between the devil(who stands against Faith) & the deep blue sea (consequence of not following  democratic processes).  Whilst many feel that the stance for defeating the same sex marriage prohibition is a Human Rights one , I like many others believe that it is only through Religious arguments & discourse that we would successfully avoid  this disastrous path for it is a Faith issue even a faith crisis, If GEJ signs it –it is a personal faith one & by not signing it  is a democratic crisis one.
Muslims & Legalistic Christians (Christians that live under the Law of Moses as opposed to under Grace – the Law of Christ )hold the view that homosexuality (gays & lesbians) and cross dressers & Transgendered ( yan daudu etc) are abominable in the sight of God & are” a sin”.  Christian LGBTs ( Lesbians Gays, Bi-Sexuals and Trans people including Cross dressers)  yes there are “such people “and straight Christians under Grace agree that whilst it is true that God did ban it and stipulated under the Law of Moses that it must not be done see Leviticus 18:22,  any Christian that is worthy of their salt and are truly under Grace will know that we are not to live under the Law . Hebrews 10 v 9 tells us Jesus’s mission statement ,  He came to abolish the first and establish the second.    Hebrews states that because  there was a change in Priesthood there was also a necessity of a change in the Law, Jesus changed the Law He said it in Mathew 22v37-40 where there are ONLY 2 Commandments to replace the 630 odd Laws given under the Law of Moses - 2 Corinthians 3:6 states that we are only to preach the new testament.

Christian LGBTs believe that Jesus died for them to be who they are , Galatians 3 ;13 states  He became a curse for us and paid the penalty for our sins, not only did He do that but He took the law all the way out of the Way in the Change of Priesthood now where there is no law there cannot be any transgression! .  Jesus is the only One  that offers penalty free religion  (He Redeeming us from the Curse of the Law became a Curse for us)He is the only Way.

For these reasons Nigerians should not advocate a ban and penalty on same sex marriages or homosexuality as Jesus paid the penalty and to do so would be a violation of Jesus ‘s Law and a fall from Grace - a Faith Crisis. 

Whilst it is true many are not comfortable with same sex relationships , many people do want a policy of live and let live which is what Jesus basically also said. 

As Christians we KNOW that EVEN if we felt that someone was sinning they are entitled to their sinning ways our job is ONLY to go and preach the Truth to them , if they say we should leave they don’t want to hear we are to obey that is the directive God gave us. We are not to use force “in convincing” as that is not faith in Him.

As Christians  Same Sex relationships  questions Christians faith in all denominations  worldwide , what do you really believe? Do you believe that Christ abolished the law and established Grace ? that is the issue here  - if you don’t believe that He did  it would mean that one would still be in ones sin  -  If one does not accept that the Law of Moses is no more, the SACRIFICE  that He is would not benefit one  and that would be a great Crisis of Faith in Him and in what God has done.

Elizabeth F Obisanya reports. Elizabeth F Obisanya is a Born Again Christian film maker  & lobbyist currently attached to the Human Rights and same sex marriage activist Peter Tatchell Foundation in London.  She is a Masters Graduate of Goldsmiths College London, her film works include –Cashback paper or plastic©, DBW© The Trouble with Paul©, and more recently the Christian lesbian short film – Magda’s Lesbian Lover© She is a partner member of Creflo Dollar ministries ( US) and  a member  of the Inclusive Church in London. She lives in Royal Greenwich London.

*Photo Above – Map of Nigeria

 [ Masterweb Reports: Philip Amiola reports ] - From the tides of terrorism that have reached a climax in Nigeria to the torrents of similarly horrifying tidings across the world, it will probably take a full time job to keep track of the tragic events that have become a normal part of our day-to-day life. I was badly shaken when I read of a 25-year old man in Ogun state, Nigeria who was accused of slaughtering his ex-girlfriend and having sex with the cadaver. In a similar development, a 48-year old British father has admitted slitting the throats of his son and daughter in the aftermath of a bitter divorce with their French mother. And just as I prepared this piece for publication, news filtered in from London – a British soldier has been killed in a savage assault after being stabbed and hacked with a knife and meat cleaver! Almost every day, someone somewhere exhibits some savagely cruel and depraved behaviour, putting the rest of humanity in jeopardy.
Whilst there is absolutely no justification for acts of violent extremism and terror, the pressure of social change and the resultant maladjustment could readily predispose generally responsible people to actions and behaviours which ordinarily, they wouldn’t have considered. Although most people would not take extreme actions like slitting someone’s throat or unleashing terror on the community, a good number have sought solace in self destructive habits in a bid to vent their frustration; and many more have contemplated suicide. According to World Health Organisation, suicide rates have increased globally by 60% in the last 45 years. Such alarming statistics!

We may not be able to analyse the facts of each case, but one thing is clear – these are precarious times. Over the past few decades, we have paid so much attention to global issues like terrorism, climate change and economic crisis while little or nothing is being done about the more personal issues of family life and community re-orientation, character development and value-based education. While it is vitally important that we address global problems, it is equally important that we tackle the more fundamental challenges of everyday life as personal transformation is the precursor for global development.

As I contemplated the oppressive and depressive waves of terror that have threatened to engulf us, I remembered the words of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live, can bear almost any how." Then I realised that most people are simply going through the motions of everyday life without a clearly defined life mission and appropriate support systems to accomplish that mission. To this end, it is vitally important that we audit our lives from time to time. What are we really living for? How are we making the world around us better than we met it? What contributions are we making to humanity in general? Much more than ever before, we must consciously take charge of our lives as we accept personal responsibility for our happiness and self-fulfilment without violating the common good.

Recognising the fact that this life is not all there is, we must determine how our existence will impact positively not only on our immediate environment but also on our posterity. We must then create the right climate to actualise this as we develop the right attitudes, cultivate the right habits and form the right associations. My heart goes out to the families that have been affected by the horrendous trends, and I grieve with them. May we be strong enough to maintain a positive outlook regardless of the depressing circumstances.

Philip Amiola is a teacher, writer and campaigner of empowerment. He reports from Lagos, Nigeria and tweets from @PhilipAmiola.

*Photo Caption - An assault rifle. *One of the tools of evil in Nigeria and around the world.

 [ Masterweb Reports: Theophilus Ilevbare reports  ] - The proclamation of emergency rule on three states of the North-East by a resurgent President Goodluck Jonathan was given the blessing of the National Assembly, as legislators of opposition parties broke party ranks to rally support for the President, his decision they believed was in the best interest of the country.
Mr. Jonathan must be commended for summoning the political will to assert the country’s authority as a last ditch measure to wrestle the North from the shackles of the rudderless Islamist fundamentalist. Leaving the governors and the entire political structure in the states, where the protracted security has become a challenge,  to discharge their constitutional responsibilities was a paradigm, a clean break from the sack or suspension of sitting governors by the Obasanjo administration.

ln a previous essay published in the Punch entitled: The dilemma of Boko Haram amnesty, I posited that to win the war against the rampaging insurgents and maintain our territory integrity and sovereignty as a nation, the use of military might at some point in the time should not be completely ruled out. The counter-terrorism war has not been won anywhere in the world with amnesty or any kid glove measure.

The carnage of the past could have been averted if a state of emergency was declared earlier by President Jonathan, in just one state, Borno, from where the terrorists birthed few years back. That the prolonged battle with insurgents took the lives of over 80 security agents in Nasarawa before it sank into the President that a state of emergency was imperative is reprehensible. My word! It was long overdue.

It remains to be seen what will now become of the work of the amnesty committee. The rug has been pulled from under their feet. They can’t be negotiating with a sect that is being shelled on a daily basis in war with the special forces. Clearly, their role in peaceful resolution of the conflict has been undermined. Moreover, who negotiates with a gun to his head as a member of NASS quipped?

Nigerians must begin to be wary of politicians who elevate negative progressivism beyond state interest, whose definition of opposition politics is to criticise every move, good or bad, of the ruling government. The ACN described the declaration of emergency as lacking in original thinking. To them the blood thirsty charlatans should be allowed to continue their rampaging assault on the state, preferring that the government beg the terrorists with amnesty, even if they’ve rejected same by spitting on President Jonathan’s face, declaring, that it is the government instead, who needs amnesty from them. Any right thinking Nigerian will agree that the use of force becomes a sensible alternative to smoke out the terrorists. Else, how do we hold them accountable for the gruesome killings over the past years? Lai Mohammed and the Action Congress on this note, got it wrong! Contrary to the vituperation of the opposition camp, rejecting the presidents’ move in totality, describing it as one that will be counter-productive, the emergency rule has started yielding commendable results already. Security report have it that the “insurgents have been dislodged from their previously safe havens and camps while many have been apprehended, and their activities in the affected states have been brought to a total halt.”

It was a declaration of war on the North, the Northern Elders Forum had charged, forgetting that if the status quo was maintained, they would soon be caught up in the orgy of attacks that does not guaranty their safety as well, as the attempt on the life of the Emir of Kano had shown. Their sense of reasoning seem to be beclouded by their preoccupation of wrestling power from the South by all means possible come 2015. They seem not to be bothered either by any genuine efforts geared towards ensuring the country remains united. Such ‘elders’ have to stop and think for a moment… Even if the North had power, it needed a country to govern! The real enemies of Nigeria under whose outstretched arms the ghosts of terror have received blessing to terrorise the country are being unmasked.

Afterthought, we begin to marvel why it took President Jonathan so long to declare a state of emergency in the troubled northern states after three years of onslaught by the Jihadists on innocent law-abiding Nigerians. It gives us ample room for speculation that Mr Presidents’ dilly-dallying on sundry national issues is the very reason his administration is moving the country at “Jonathan speed”. Think of the gains that would have been made in power, education and petroleum sectors for instance if timely, well thought and strategic decisions are taken.

The renewed synergy and determination shown by the combined team of security operatives have yielded laudable results. But in the aftermath of the state of emergency, there will still be terror lurking if the dispersed sect members in neighbouring states and border West African countries find safe haven to regroup and launch fierce vindictive attacks on the state. Boko Haram hotbeds like Nasarawa, Bauchi, Kano and Gombe would been under a kind of quasi-emergency rule, maybe in restive local government areas, to flush out and ward off other extremists from resettling. The frontiers bordering Bauchi should be well guarded so the fleeing militants find it difficult to gravitate to the country after the emergency period has elapsed. The fear of the dreaded sect regrouping is real.

The much talked about carrot and stick approach employed in quelling militancy in the Niger Delta region by former President Obasanjo is being implemented masterfully by the Jonathan administration. With the state of emergency running concurrently with the amnesty offer still on the table, and the government’s renewed promise to ensure the amnesty plan is not derailed, there is optimism, that the wings of the insurgents will be clipped sooner rather than later. Meantime, the Presidency has reiterated its offer of amnesty to any member of Boko Haram who surrenders.

In the long run, a holistic approach is imperative to rid the entire country of every elements of insurgency or terrorism. The task of curtailing the cocktail of bloodshed is one that goes beyond the emergency rule. The task of securing the lives and properties of Nigerians is a continuum. We can recall that the amnesty to Niger-Delta militants did not get to the root cause of their agitation. It is worrisome that so much has been expended on the amnesty programme itself but so little in arresting the deprivations that snowballed into banditry. In recent time, we’ve seen the rise of oil bunkering and kidnapping in these regions.    

Kudos to President Jonathan once again for not upsetting the political applecart by dislodging the elected governors. The overwhelming support that greeted the emergency is a pointer that for once Mr President hit the right note. It was time a halt is brought to the wanton loss of lives and attacks on state institutions, that in a most profound way, has threatened the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Nigeria.

Theophilus Ilevbare ( ).

*Photo Caption - President Goodluck Jonathan