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Bestiality Of Power: The Moorish Tragedy (3)

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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.

 

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PH Law School Campus’ll Be Best, Chiroma Confirms

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Director General, Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Hayatu Chiroma, has expressed optimism that the new Port Harcourt campus of the institution would be the best in the country.
Chiroma made the assertion when he paid a working visit to inspect ongoing civil construction work at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The director general was accompanied the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to assess progress of work at both the Nabo Graham Douglas Campus, Rumueme and staff quarters at New Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
He expressed gratitude to the state government for the intervention to build and deliver the Port Harcourt campus in order to help address the challenge of inadequate lecture and accommodation space for the ever-increasing number of students seeking to acquire vocational legal training at the current campuses of the Nigerian Law School in the country.
“The last time we were here was when the ground-breaking ceremony took place, and today, there is massive construction going on, and there is progress. I want to thank the governor and the good people of Rivers State for this progress.”
Chiroma, who observed that the teeming rainy season in Rivers State has slowed down the pace of work, noted that the amazing aspect of the project is that the quality of materials used for the raft foundation at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas campus is world class.
“The kind of materials used with what we have seen on ground, it is unimaginable, it is excellent. I can assure you that the problem we will be having is about our students, who will prefer to be posted to this place with what I have seen.
“That is the battle we are going to be faced with. But, I can assure you that all our Law School Campus are the same, but with the development going on here, it is going to be a problem for us to decide who comes to Port Harcourt. From what I have seen it is going to be the best.”
Facilities under construction at the Port Harcourt campus will comprise 14 structures, including 1,500-capacity classroom blocks, hostel blocks, students’ multipurpose hall, 16 units’ 3-bedroom flat staff quarters with swimming pool, gymnasium and lawn tennis court.
Other facilities are, library, moot court/law clinic building, sick bay, administrative block, cafeteria and sporting facilities for students.

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Nigeria, Suffering From Leadership Failure, Wike Affirms

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that it was regrettable that 61 years after Independence, Nigeria was still grappling with leadership challenge.
The governor pointed out that because of such leadership failure, Nigeria was now at a point in its history needing God more than ever.
Wike made the assertion at the Interdenominational Church Service organised in commemoration of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor stated that there was hardly anything for Nigerians to celebrate as the country marks 61st Independence anniversary because its leadership continues to entrench hatred, mediocrity, promote ethnicity and religion.
“This is the time that Nigeria needs God more. The country is gone. Insecurity everywhere! Everyone needs to say God; we need you because man’s leadership has failed this country.”
The governor noted that, perhaps, the only thing Nigerians can boast of celebrating was the existence of the name, Nigeria.
“At 61 years, Nigeria is full of enmity, full of divisions, hatred, and ethnicity: A country that cannot put itself together.
“Everybody has responsibility; so, ask yourself questions, have I done my own part?”
Wike also observed the sorry state of Nigeria, and said at 61, it was far removed from being a country that can compete favourably with prosperous countries of the world, given its abundant resources.
The governor bemoaned what has become of the nation’s Legislature that continues to approve anything for the Presidency, and not minding the consequences.
He also decried how the nation’s Judiciary has succumbed to intimidation because its judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear, and wondered what fate Nigerians would have under such seeming tyrannical atmosphere.
“We cannot do the right things. Other countries are talking about how their elections will be transparent; we are talking about how we will rig the election in 2023.
“Simple thing, transmit election results electronically to show transparency, that really that the person you’re declaring won the election but we are afraid.”
“Where is the Legislature? A Legislature that cannot think, a Legislature, anything they bring is right, a Legislature that cannot say that Nigeria has nothing to regret from conducting free and fair election.
“A Legislature that you’ll close your eyes, anything they bring, about borrowing, you say borrow. A Legislature that cannot say that this money we are borrowing, where is it? Where are you applying it? You have no confidence to ask questions.
“The courts have been intimidated. The judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear. You’re seeing something that is wrong, but because you will be summoned in the night, you abandoned your responsibility.”
Wike also blamed the woes the country has suffered on all Nigerians who have refused to do the right things, but rather allowed the wrong things to be perpetrated in all facets of the society.
He noted how ascendancy to leadership was no longer by merit but by ethnic affinity and religious consideration, even when such persons do not have the capacity required to function in such offices.
Speaking further, Wike berated the church leadership over the inordinate dressing of a young man that he saw in the church, and attributed such sight to lack of enforcement of discipline in the church.
In his sermon, Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, noted that only foolish people despise God and attribute their successes in life to personal efforts and ingenuity.
Ihunwo said such foolish people abound in Nigeria because they have hearts of corruption, treat humanity with disdain and delight in doing abominable things and divert public funds for personal use.
According to Ihunwo, it was baffling that despite having leadership over the country, there was unabated spree of killings, a seemingly thriving kidnapping business with some officers of the military killed without drastic measures taken to return Nigeria to the path of sanity.
While charging the church to rise to speak courageously against wickedness in the land, Ihunwo declared the judgement of God upon the sponsors of such killings and kidnapping that have put Nigeria in a pitiable state that its people cannot celebrate independence of the country at 61 years.
Special prayers were said at the service for God’s favour and grace upon Nigeria and its leaders, Rivers State Executive Council, Judiciary and the Legislature, for the governor and his family, as well as the church and its leaders.

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Dreams To Achieve Peace, Dev In N’Delta Achieved, FG Boasts

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The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, has said that the Federal Government has achieved its dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development.
Dikio said this, last weekend, when an ex-militant, High Chief Biobopere Ajube, was conferred with a chieftaincy title in Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Beleukoriwei (Pathfinder) by the Paramount Ruler of the kingdom, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, in his palace in Arogbo, Ondo State.
According to him, the present administration has succeeded in curtailing the restiveness in the region through engagements with the ex-militants.
He assured them that government would not renege in its promises to ensure that the region and its people are developed.
Dikio called on ex-agitators to emulate the disposition of Ajube in peace and entrepreneurship.
He lauded Ajube for leading the charge for a peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta, noting that he was the face of what can happen in the region.
According to him, “with the likes of Ajube, who had undertaken the task of having 400 ex-agitators trained in his Bradama facility under the PAP’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, the dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development is achievable.
“We’re here to tell this community and indeed the world what Ajube means to us. He is very special and we’re excited that he bought into our vision in PAP which is tailored to change the narrative in the region.
“He took the lead of our Train, Employ and Mentor initiative and has pledged to have 400 of our people trained in his facility.
“He is the face of what can happen in the region and there is no doubt that with people like him, the Niger Delta can truly be the place to live and do business”
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, described Ajube as a proud son of Ondo, who had made a tremendous impact in the lives of his people.
He said the honour was a testament of all he had been doing for his people, and urged him not to relent but extend similar gestures to other parts of the state.
“We’re gathered here to celebrate a man who through self-development and engagement is where he is today. We’re proud of him as a true son of Ondo State. All he thinks about is development, peace and empowerment which is a good thing”.
Also speaking, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe said Ajube, during the height of militancy in the Niger Delta, was grossly misunderstood by the Federal Government but as head of the Amnesty Programme, he stood firmly by his side, to explain that he meant well.
He said, “This honour is well deserved. The story and struggle of the emancipation and dealing with the issues in the Niger Delta will not be complete without the mention of High Chief Bibopere Ajube. The story is deep for some of us.
“So, I’m proud that we’re gathered here to celebrate peace, excellence, leadership, strive for sustainable development, honest, and sincere man that loves his God. I know him when he had nothing. He is a man that has the interest of his people in his heart”.
The Traditional Ruler of Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, said it was not a mistake that Ajube was honoured with the highest title, noting that the kingdom has been blessed by him and decided to display that by conferring the prestigious title on him.

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