Elected Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, upon death of Pope John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger found a compelling desire to visit two areas that truly defined his person, his native Germany in August 2005 and to Poland in May 2006. And of all places in Poland the new Pope chose Oswiecim, also called Auschwitz by the Nazis and Adolphus Hitler’s most notorious death camp
There, hit by the memory of human lives lost, Pope Benedict lost his voice. But when he eventually found it, visibly moved to tears, he wondered allowed saying: “To speak in this place of horror, in this place where, unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible and it is particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a pope from Germany.
“ In a place like this”, the pope continued ‘ words fail, in the end, there can only be a dead silence, a silence which itself (is) a heartfelt cry to God. Why, Lord did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?
Painfully, after what seemed a long pause, Pope Benedict went further to ponder on the propriety of silence in the words: ‘ In silence, then, we bow our heads before the endless line of those who suffered and were put to death here, yet our silence becomes in turn a plea for forgiveness and reconciliation, a plea to the living God never to let this happen again”.
The moving speech is merely an attestation to the value God expect man to attach to the lives of fellow men , an expectation which appears to be vanishing from one of Nigeria’s once mostly peaceful cities with ambrosia to tempting to ignore. Today, not only is Jos gradually becoming what Pope Benedict XVI called, …This Place of Horror” it is succeeded in raising vital questions about the quality of unity Nigerian professes as a people.
On Sunday, March 8, 2010, a day many predominantly Christians inhabitants in Jos south, like other Christians, consider a day of worship some Hausa-Fulani fighters, believed to be Moslem fundamentalists attacked Dogo-Na-Hawa, Ratsat and Jeji villages in Forondistrict of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State
After the attacks on the Berom Villages as early as 2am, no fewer than 300 dead bodies of mostly women and children littered the area. That massacre took place while a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the city since after the January crisis, in which more than 350 died, was still in place.
Clearly, by nature of the attacks and number of people killed, that it had an ethno-religions colouration could not be completely ruled out. That was perhaps why former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi suggested the breaking –up of Nigeria along religion lines, as was the case between India and Pakistan.
Expectedly, the competition to berate the Libyan became the only test of patriotism among the political class, while the many deaths and how to halt the vicious circle must wait.
Why kill Gaddafi for our sins of silence? Who in this country does not know that religion has been taken to such a disturbingly choking level that makes nonsense of the secular nature of our constitution? Why are we pretending not to know that former President Ibrahim Babangida in 1991 created Jos North Local Government Area specifically to favour the predominantly Hausa/Fulani Moslems while leaving the South to remain in contention? One and half versus half.
Why are we so quick to condemn Gaddafi and yet too slow in calling for release and implementation of the reports of the various panels of enquiry set at different times to address the near frequent instances of bloodbath and senseless killings?.
These questions have become necessary because the March 7, 2010 would not be the first time mindless sadists have made nonsense of human life, akin to those of the Oswiecim death camp which Pope Benedict XVI decried.
Between September 7 and 17, 2001 when the first ethno-religious riot occurred in Jos, more than 1,000 persons were killed but not one person was punished for such inhumanity to man. Those, who were today vilifying Gaddafi were born, but none moved as quickly and with the same vigour that we now sense in trying to over blow the oneness Nigerians share as a people, only to prove the Lybian wrong.
Lets be remained of what the sages often warn against and that is that, the greatest incitement to crime is the hope of escaping punishment. “ And because that was the case and seeing that the death of 1,000 earned no one any punishment, in 2004, the Plateau boiled again. Following clashes in Yelwa, more than 500 were reportedly killed, but the best then president Olusegun Obasanjo could do was to declare a state of emergency. Again, none was held accountable.
Since 500 lives were not worth quarreling over, hiding under disputes over council elections, same masterminds of the mayhem shook Jos North and in that crisis 700 lives were lost. Again, nothing tangible was done except the familiar enquiries which reports hardly leave the dingy chambers of the cockroach-infested book shelves of history, often forgotten by time.
As if begging for positure action, on January 17, this year, a minor dispute over a plot of land reportedly claimed as many as 350 lives, although no official casualty figures were released.
In the attacks on villages in Jos south, more than 300 lives were feared to have been lost although Christians leaders said the figure was far higher than 500.
In all these as usual, nothing tangible was done. Instead in every attempt at halting the near frequent killings, those trusted to do right end-up being a Portuguese committee, a group of people who individualy cannot do anything but would meet and resolve that nothing could, indeed be done.
Such has been the fate of a one peaceful city and great tourist paradise because of the pleasant climate condition and more. And so, it took these number of deaths for the Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang and other before him to make public reports of various panels and commission on the matter.
It is only now, just only now, that Nigerians have come to know that the Prince Bola Ajibola Commission had, in fact, indicted the Hausa Community for its complicity in the 2008 crisis in which 700 lives were lost.
That the report has also blamed the crisis on acts of violence initiated by some Hausa/Fulani Moslems.
But something close to why the Ajibola report never saw daylight can now be found in the caliber of very prominent people that the commission insisted police must investigate more deeply. Such people include the then deputy Senate President and Champion of Obasanjo third term agenda, Ibrahim Nasiru Mantu, former minister of State for Information and Communications, Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, Sheikh Sani Yahaya Jingir, Alhaji Saleh Hassan , Sheikh Jengre, Danladi Pasali and Nazif Mohammed, among others.
If all the other reports had been made public and recommendations implemented, were necessary, perhaps the killing of this year would have been avoided. That is why, I find it most annoying that Governor Jonah Jang, who could not summon the courage to make public the Ajibola report up until recently, could blame the recent killings on complicity by some soldiers, saying that he made calls to alert the army of a likely attack, but as chief security officer did nothing to fore- stall the looming massacre.
My Agony is that those often paid to fight, maim and kill the innocent or even get killed in the process, never ever includes children of the so called “ Big men”, the untouchable lot, who fund the killings because theirs are either schooling in Ghana, South Africa, Europe or America.
Even worse is the fact that human life means little to them since such deaths never ever include their own. But now unmasked, what those in high places should do, is not to waste precious time demonizing Gaddafi for saying what many would want to voice but can’t, and instead push for the implementation of the reports.
Here’s where Acting President Goodluck Jonathan must demonstrate a strong political will to halt the Jos vicious circle, by insisting that the law takes its full course, not minding whose hoxse is gored.
That way, Jos will no long be , “this place of Horror” but return to its glorious days as the dreamy Tin City that cherished human life, leisure, friendship and indeed peace. We should not wait for more killings, restart another blame game and wish it off for yet another bloodbath.
Gaddafi is not the enemy. We are our own enemy because, over the years, unable to make what is just strong, we have continued to make what is strong just as Blasie Pascal cried out in his pensees’
Sadly that what our silence over the rift between Hausa/Fulani Moslems and Christians in Jos South on the Plateau appears to me . Gaddafi too.
Insists Tinubu Can’t Determine Obaseki’s Fate …Urges Edo People To Use Election To Liberate The State …Assures Of The Support Of All South- South Governors
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use the Edo State Governorship election to create hope in the electoral process.
Wike, who is also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship Election, made the appeal during a Live Television Programme in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
He stated that the outcome of the election would provide hope for the general elections of 2023.
“Let everyone that loves this country ensure that the September 19, 2020, election is credible, free and fair.
“The police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should show Nigerians that they can support credible elections.
“INEC should ensure that result sheets are not in the hands of unauthorised individuals. Security agencies should not whisk away collation officers and later bring them back with cooked results.
“Complete manipulation of the electoral process causes violence. No politician will cause violence, if the police and INEC do not compromise,” he added.
Wike said there would be high turnout of voters on Saturday because the people of Edo State were prepared to put an end to godfatherism.
He stated that he carried out an independent assessment of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s achievements, and was quite satisfied that he would win the election convincingly.
According to him, “no amount of money or intimidation will make the people of the state not to vote massively for Governor Obaseki”.
The governor urged the people to be vigilant and protect their votes because enemies of the state were hovering around to truncate their will.
“The agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is to win at all cost for us to go to the tribunal. That is why Edo people must be vigilant.
“I must commend the United States and the United Kingdom for the visa ban placed on election riggers in the country.
“They should go ahead and publish their names so that a lot of things will change in our electoral process.
“Election rigging is worse than armed robbery. So, whatever sanctions that can be imposed will be highly welcomed by the PDP,” he added.
Wike also disagreed with Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu over his comments about the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, not being a democrat.
The chairman of national campaign council on Edo election, said that despite his respect for the Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu cannot determine if Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki was a democrat or not.
He said only Edo people can determine and decide if they want Obaseki or not.
Wike maintained that without the interference of the Federal Government and its agencies, Obaseki would win Saturday’s election squarely.
“I will say it anywhere; Bola Tinubu is one of the politicians I respect highly.
“Going by what happens in Lagos that one person determines everything, it can be allowed to happen in Edo. You cannot allow that.
“And with all due respect, if Bola Tinubu says Obaseki is not a democrat that is his own view. Many of us know that Obaseki is a democrat, and it is left for Edo people to determine if Obaseki is a democrat or not.
“If it is by popular voting, we can go and sleep knowing that the election is over but because we know that it is not over because they are relying on the Federal Government, that is why I am calling on all Edo people to take this election as their own contribution to the development of Edo State,” Wike added.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Edo electorate must be mobilised for the gubernatorial election with a focus at liberating the State.
Governor Wike gave the charge at a meeting organised for leaders and elected representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Benin City.
He said they have done extensive campaigns from ward to ward and should work together to deliver the PDP during the election.
The governor who is also the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council advised them not to be violent in their determination to liberate the State from godfatherism.
“This is an opportunity for you to fight for the liberation of Edo State.
You must all say enough is enough.
“One man should not be allowed to continue to insult Edo people. The godfather thinks what he says will always be. This is time to stop him.
“We want all the States in the South- South to be united. So, it is the best time to join your kits and kins from other Niger Delta States. This election is a fight for the destiny of the region. Edo State cannot continue to be alone,” he said.
He said party faithfuls also need to know how to be part of history in securing the future of the State.
Governor Wike urged them to discard fear and threats of violence as they resolve to participate in all the electoral processes.
He charged them to monitor the distribution of electoral materials and be vigilant to protect their votes.
“The electoral battle may not be easy. But God is with us. With the people also on ground, we will win.
” Let me tell you, God forbid that APC wins. If they do, all of you here would have failed because your political life will be in jeopardy.
“They will come with federal might. But do not fear because we have the electorate on our side.
“They did the same in Rivers State. The people resisted them by protecting their votes,” he stated.
Also speaking the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki said the meeting was at the instance of Governor Wike, the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council for Edo State.
He noted that the meeting would address grey areas and other important issues required to secure electoral victory for the Party.
Edo State Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Anthony Aziegbeme said they have started to be vigilant and would resist any form of hijack of electoral materials.
Buhari Signs Police Bill 2020 Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Nigeria Police Bill, 2020.
Buhari, in a memo dated September 16, 2020, communicated his assent to the Bill to the National Assembly, through the Clerk of the Legislature.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, yesterday, explained that the Act repealed the Police Act Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation, 2004, and provides for a more effective and well organized Police Force, driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.
According to the statement, “Among others, the Act establishes an appropriate funding framework for the police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions, enhances professionalism in the Force through increased training opportunities, and creates enduring cooperation and partnership between the Police Force and communities in maintaining peace and combating crimes nationwide.”
RSG Redeems N30m Bounty Pledge On Bobosky
The Rivers State Government has redeemed its promise of N30million bounty to anyone with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the notorious criminal, Honest Digbara, a.k.a Bobosky.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the presentation of a cheque for the amount to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Mr Joseph Mukan.
Wike said the gesture was in fulfilment of the pledge he made to facilitate the capture of the notorious criminal.
He said when Bobosky was terrorising Rivers State, he made a promise that anybody that would give the police information that would lead to his arrest would be rewarded with N30million.
“We were elated last week, when your command reported that the elusive Bobosky has been arrested after a serious gun battle.
“I want to thank the police officers under your command for the gallantry displayed in arresting that deadly criminal. Let me also thank the informant who had confidence in you and also trusted government.
“My administration will continue to support security agencies to rid the state of criminal elements.
“I thank the police officers for the gallantry in arresting the criminals and I also thank the informants who cannot be mentioned here.
“As a government, we keep our promises. That was why in the case of Don Waney who was terrorising the state at that time, the sum of N200million promised was also redeemed”.
Responding, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan, thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for redeeming his promise, and assured that the gesture would go a long way in motivating security agencies to perform their duties.
Mukan announced that the command has been able to dislodge three criminal camps in Ogoni and that a notorious criminal known as VIP terrorising Ahoada area would soon be rounded off.
“On behalf of the Inspector General of Police, we appreciate the governor, and we assure the people of Rivers State that we shall do our best to keep the state safe”, he added.
Mukan stressed that the capture of Bobosky caused the police sleepless night, even as he said police exhibited professionalism throughout the operation.
The CP said that the IGP Community Police Scheme was working well in information and intelligence gathering which helps the police in reducing crime in the state.
He assured that the police would not relent in their duties of restoring sanity in the state, promising to capture the remaining members of the Bobosky gang.
- Business4 days ago
Ugandan Appointed Managing Director In Nigeria
- Editorial4 days ago
RSG’s Ban On Keke
- Politics4 days ago
Appeal Court Reaffirms Victor Oye As APGA National Chairman
- Politics4 days ago
PFN Harps On Peaceful Conduct Of Edo Poll
- Opinion4 days ago
Western Media And Africa’s Dev
- Politics4 days ago
Natasha Akpoti Applauds US Over Visa Ban On Election Riggers
- Business4 days ago
Become Job-Ready With a National Criminal History Check
- Politics4 days ago
Soyinka Backs Obasanjo, Says Nigeria More Divided Under Buhari