The Moors, also called Moricos, were a race of Arab origin who lived in North-West Africa, with some of them invading and settling in Spain between the 8th century AD and 1492, the peak of their tragedy. Those of them who remained in Spain were subjected to stiff persecution and conditions such as being forced to be Christians, forbidden to speak or write Arabic, own any book written in Arabic and non-observance of their traditional ceremonies or festivals. Like the Jews, the Moors suffered severe tragedies and persecutions, but strangely they always grew prosperous through hard work, wherever they settled.
The issue of the travails and tragedies of the Moors over many centuries was raised at an International Conference, with a suggestion that the “Arab spring” and global terrorism associated with Islamic militancy have something to do with centuries-old root-causes. No doubt, the Moslem World has sad stories to tell about global oppression and persecution especially during the Dark Ages. The Christian World had actually referred to the founder of Islam as a false prophet, with available historical records of horrors and tragedies arising from persecution. The Punic Wars, destruction of Carthage and the Crusades serve as examples of hostilities.
No matter the origin and places of settlement of the Moors, they were resilient, hardworking and a shrewd race, capable of turning abilities into assets. They were people who could suffer severe pains, tortures and agonies in silence. They were Moslems and the Spanish Inquisition was their source of torment but the rich ones among them paid bribes to officials of the Inquisition to escape from the tortures which heretics were subjected to, so that they would recant and accept the Christian faith.
Historical records tell us that in 1563, Guerrero, Archbishop of Granada “had visited Pope Pius IV whom he told that his flock in Granada called themselves Christians but were such in name only. “The King of Spain Philip was begged to “Children between the ages of three and fifteen being taken from their parents to be brought up in the Christian Faith.” The Moors prepared to fight for their freedom and on 23rd December 1568, there was a revolt which was crushed in a bestial manner.
The King of Spain sent his half-half-brother Don John to command the army which dealt most cruelly with the Moors. History records say “men were massacred by the thousands, and the women and children captured that they might be sold as slaves”. The battle of Galera was bestial, bloody and callous, with Don John ordering that “not a living soul in Galera should be spared”. We are told that “for this gallant exploit, the Pope hailed Don John as the Champion of Christendom!”
The suffering of the Moors who could not be massacred became too much for the conscience of Don John to bear, that arrangements were made to relocate them in different places, with families forcefully separated. Like the Jews, the Moors who were allowed to settle here and there soon began to prosper, to the envy of their tormentors. Obviously, the hatred of the Moors was based more on their prosperity and resilience than on differences in their religions.
Like the Waldenese in France, the Moors, despite flogging and tortures, held on to their convictions but merely pretended to accept Christianity. In the various new settlements, complaints brought against them were that they never went to war, pretended to be Christians but were devoted solely to their work. The persistent persecution and plight of the Moors were such that some of them became bandits and mercenaries. An example of such mercenary was Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice. Similarly, the role of his personal assistant lago (his Ancient) depicts the degree of contempt the Moors were held in Europe.
There was a time when Spain was dominated by great Islamic scholars until about 1608 when Philip III put forward some schemes for ridding Spain of the troublesome Moors and create an all-Catholic Spain. Despite their travails, tortures and the anguish of splitting families, the Moors did not become heartbroken, even though many left Spain as destitutes. Expulsion of the Moors was a state policy which lasted for centuries, with attendant acts of bestiality. When Philip III introduced alcabala, a tax levied on sales and purchase like modern day Value-Added-Tax (VAT), the prime targets were the Jews and the Moors.
The Archbishop of Ribera was eager that the Moors should be expelled from Spain, since it was impossible to kill them all. Those who were clamouring for the extinction of the Moors did what they could in their own private ways to cook up complaints and bear false witnesses against the Moors, including charges of conversing in Arabic in their privacies.
Apart from the battle of Galera where the most atrocious bestiality and destructions were committed, other centres of butchery and massacre of the Moors included Granada and Valencia. In the district of Aragon, some of the Moors were allowed to continue with their industrious lives because of the level of prosperity which they created for the Spaniards. Even though six percent of the Moors were allowed to remain, those sent to Balary for deportation to various places were given most callous and bestial treatment. Many died.
Any Nigerian reading this true historical summary of the fate of the Moors in Spain would wonder what the motive of bringing up this matter could be, and may even doubt the veracity of the facts stated here. Some international conferences where studies in the bestiality of power feature as themes use such opportunities as a mirror for understanding current global events. Would any reader dismiss the axiom that history repeats itself from era to era, and that those who cannot learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat historical calamities!
For example, global terrorism associated with Islamic militarism, including Boko Haran etc, may have more explanations than what is commonly known. Is it not believable that the “bread” we cast upon the sea can return to us after many forgotten seasons? Whether the proverbial bread returns in the form of cake or unpleasant plague, the truth is that majority of humans can be described as grossly myopic. The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) has records that are quite scary.
RSG Debunks Receipt Of N78bn Refund From FG …Dissolves Taskforce On Illegal Street Trading, Motor Parks …Pulls Out Of FG’s Public Works Programme
Rivers State Government has debunked the misconception that it has received N78 billion refund from the Federal Government.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, made the clarification yesterday in a Radio Programme.
Pastor Nsirim explained that there is a huge difference between approval and release of funds.
“As at today, the Rivers State Government is yet to receive the N78 billion. There is so much misconception out there. There is a difference between approval and release of funds.
“When the money is released it cannot be a secret because in government circles such an information cannot be hidden.
“Let me state categorically that if the money is received today, it will be made public. So, this idea of peddling propaganda that the money has been received by mischief makers is quite unfortunate,” he stated.
He also used the opportunity to clear the air on the questions being asked in several quarters over what the State Government needs more loans for when it has N78 billion, saying, “you cannot plan with what you do not have.”
The Commissioner also assured Rivers people that when the refund is finally received, the State Government would use it judiciously for the benefit of the people.
“If the refund is received they can always count on Governor Nyesom Wike to use it judiciously to increase the infrastructural development of the State.
In another development, the State Government has approved the dissolution of the State Taskforce on Illegal Street Trading and Motor Parks with immediate effect.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim said “consequently, the Special Assistant to the Governor in charge of the Task Force, Mr. Bright Amaewhule has been relieved of his appointment”.
The statement continued that “members of the Taskforce are hereby directed to return the operational vehicles and Identity Cards of the body to the Office of the Secretary to State Government not later than 4pm tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
“They will be paid their salaries as they return the vehicles and Identity Cards. Government will reconstitute the Taskforce after proper orientation and training”.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has pulled out of the Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government where 774,000 unskilled Nigerians were supposed to be employed.
Nominee of the Rivers State government in the committee, Erastus Awortu, made the decision of the state known in a letter addressed to the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, SAN.
Awortu, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on NDDC, alleged that the implantation of the programme, which was designed to employ 1,000 persons per local government area, has been hijacked by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
The Rivers State nominee described the Special Public Works Programme as a scam.
Awortu said in the letter, “At the beginning, some guidelines were set on how the slots should be shared among the various interest groups. The various interest groups are 35 and have representatives in the committee but unfortunately, that is not being done by the committee. The guidelines are not being followed.
“The committee has been asking people to process their applications but we found out that they also gave out forms to APC members in the state. Which means they already know those they will shortlist for the programme and they are only stressing other people to apply. They are doing that to justify that due process is being followed but that is not the case.
“I find it very misleading and as the representative of the governor, I will not be part of that kind of process where the populace will be made to apply for what is not available. It is an absolute scam.
“Accordingly, I want to say that since the slots are not defined as per the guidelines that the state is willing to allow the programme be run fully as an APC empowerment programme for their members and cease to be part of it forthwith,” Awortu said.
The Chairman of the Special Public Works Programme in River State, Dr Innocent Barikor, had on a radio programme over the weekend in Port Harcourt, said the committee had no plans to undermine the state government in the implementation of the programme.
According to the letter made available to The Tide, Awortu copied the Rivers State Governor, Chief NyesomWike and the Chairman of the Public Works Programme, Dr Innocent Barikor, in the withdrawal letter.
Assailants Murder Obiano’s SSA On Security
Unknown assailants yesterday stormed the residence of Mr Azubuike Ekwegbalu, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on Security, leaving him dead after allegedly stabbing him with a kitchen knife.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred early hours of yesterday at his residence at the Commissioners’ Quarters, Awka, a high brow area for government officials.
An eyewitness said the late Ekwegbalu, who hails from Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area of the state, was a close relation to the wife of the governor.
“He was murdered by unknown men last night at the commissioners’ quarters, Awka.
“This is barbaric. May his soul rest in peace.
“Security operatives must do all that is possible to bring the killers to justice,” the source said.
Confirming the incident in a statement, the spokesman for the Police Command in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed, said one suspect, who was seen in the premises had been arrested.
“On August 9, 2020, about 1:30 a.m., there was a report of alleged murder of one Azuibuike Ekwegbalu, aged 43 years, native of Ogbunike in Oyi LGA but resident at the Commissioners quarters Awka.
“Following the report, Police detectives attached to ‘B’ Division Awka led by the DPO, CSP Emma Ogbuanya visited the scene and rushed victim who was found in a pool of blood to COOUTH Awka for medical attention.
“He was certified dead by the medical doctor on arrival while his corpse was deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy,” he noted.
Mohammed said a careful observation on the deceased body revealed stab wounds while a blood-stained kitchen knife was also recovered as an exhibit at the scene.
“Consequently, one suspect who allegedly was in the premises has been arrested and the case is under investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident,” he stated.
Insecurity In Nigeria, Alarming, Wike Alerts …Suspends JAAC Accounts From Defaulting Banks
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says insecurity in Nigeria has reached an alarming proportion.
He has therefore called on security agencies to redouble their efforts in curbing it.
Governor Wike expressed the concern yesterday when the new General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Olu Irefin paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
He noted that the prevalence of insecurity in every State of the Federation seems to overwhelm the military.
Governor Wike stated that the situation is different in Rivers State because of the robust collaboration between his administration and the security agencies.
“Our determination is to keep the State safe but development also attracts criminality, so we can’t say we are totally free.
“There are still pockets of criminal elements. So, as a professional whose role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country, fight crime and do not involve in politics.
“We are willing to collaborate with you as a government because security is important for us. Just let us know what you require to succeed in the fight against criminality.
“That way, we will be partners in progress and make the State safe for all residents,” he stated.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General OluIrefin commended Governor Wike for his developmental strides.
He said on assumption of duties, his commanders told him that they have enjoyed tremendous support from the state government in the discharge of duties.
He pledged to sustain the existing collaboration in protecting lives and property in the State
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has directed the removal of Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) from banks that gave unauthorised loans to some Local Government Chairmen in the State.
Governor Wike gave the directive on Wednesday, while swearing in the substantive Chairman of the Asari-Toru Local Government Area at Government House, Port Harcourt .
He directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the defaulting Banks.
Governor Wike said both the Banks and the Councils that defaulted would suffer the consequences of the illegality.
He noted that the Banks cannot seek refund of the loans because they contravened extant Laws of the State.
“We have taken a decision that for all those loans taken without approval, the affected accounts must leave the defaulting banks.
“I have told the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take necessary steps. The Banks cannot go and seek for refund from the Local Governments. When you default the Law, you suffer for it.
“Council Chairmen who want to take loans from banks must get official approval. You cannot take loans that will mortgage the future of the people”, he stated.
Governor Wike charged Mrs. AlasoJohnbull Obi to use her new position to make a difference because the people are yet to feel the impact of the Council.
“Go and put your local government together. Do not allow busy body politicians to distract you. Use this opportunity you have to make a difference.
“We never thought that Chief Odiari Princewill will die but as God will have it, he is dead and we have to abide by the constitution.
“That is why you, as the deputy, has to step in as the substantive chairman of Asari-Toru local Government Area today.
“In choosing your Deputy, you must consult widely with all the stakeholders of the Party. As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself,” he added.
Until her swearing in, Mrs. AlasoJohnbul-Obi was the Vice Chairman of the Council but the death of the elected chairman, Chief Odiari Princewill on the 27th May, 2020 created a vacuum that needed to be filled.
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