Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on July 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Two policemen and a suspected Boko Haram member are believed to have died and several other policemen and civilians were injured when suicide bombers hit two police formations in Sokoto on Monday morning.
Witnesses said the first blast targeted the office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, killing two police corporals and injuring many others.
The second blast targeted Unguwar Rogo Police Station. The suicide bomber died at the Police Officers Wives Complex section of the station.



In Uncategorized on July 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Two cashiers with Shoprite Supermarket were on Monday charged with the theft of the company’s money at a Surulere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
The accused, Olawale Odunbakin, 20, and Ademola Adeniji, 37, are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
The duo, however, pleaded not guilty to the offences.
The prosecutor, Insp. Akeem Raji, told the court that the accused had sometime between June 25 and July 19 at the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall manipulated the company’s computer and stole N404, 999 worth of property of Shoprite, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
He said that the accused allegedly received money from some customers and manipulated the computer to defraud the company.
“The accused persons have been receiving money for goods purchased by people, removed part of it and recorded some in the computer.
“The money was discovered missing in June when the second accused, Adeniji was employed,” Raji said.
He said the offences contravened Sections 285 and 387 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State.
Magistrate A. Tobi granted the accused bail but did not fix any amount for it.
She said the accused should also produce two sureties each with an evidence of tax payment to Lagos State Government for three years as part of the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned till September 28 for trial.


In Uncategorized on July 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

The Kano State Police Command on Monday confirmed the killing of four suspected gunmen in a gun battle at Jan Bulo quarters in Kano metropolis on Sunday night.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr Ibrahim Idris, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kano.
He said that some gunmen attempted to attack a mosque in the area around 10.30p.m on Sunday.
He said the gunmen were confronted by policemen, who engaged them in a serious gun battle resulting in the death of four of them.
He said that security operatives had since taken full control of the situation and normalcy had returned to the area.
A resident of the area told NAN that the mosque was located near the residence of a top security officer living within the vicinity.
“There was loud sound of explosion followed by sporadic gunshots during the night attack,” he said.


In ANYTHING on July 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

A wealthy Nigerian businessman was ‘raped to death’ by five of his wives because he was paying too much attention to the sixth one.

Uroko Onoja from Ogbadibo was having sex with his youngest wife when the remaining five reportedly set upon him with knives and sticks and demanded him to satisfy each of them too.

According to Nigeria’s Daily Post, Onoja, who went on to have intercourse with four of his wives in a marathon sex session, ‘stopped breathing’ as the fifth wife was making her way to the bed, a media outfit reported.

Two women have been arrested in the wake of ‘extraordinary’ incident last week.

The businessman, who is understood to have returned from a bar at around 3 am on Tuesday, headed for the bedroom of his youngest wife.

His other wives, who were said to have held a meeting to discuss their intentions before their husband arrived home allegedly, ambushed Onoja for their conjugal rights.

Although the businessman tried to resist the group’s demand, they eventually overpowered him.

He could not be resuscitated once he stopped breathing during the continuous forced sex session.

His youngest spouse revealed that her five fellow wives ran into the forest when they realized their husband was dead.


In Uncategorized on July 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

The Federal Ministry of Environment has predicted that heavy rainfall and flooding would occur in 18 states if adequate precautions are not taken between now and July 20.

The Deputy Director, Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department,  Morohunkeji Oyeleke,  disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to her,  the areas to be affected are Argungu, Birnin-Kebbi, Bungudu, Bunza, Gwandu, Jega, Kalgo, Ribah, Rijau, Wara and Sakaba in Kebbi.

Others are Asokoro, Aso Rock, Garki 1 and 2, Gwarinpa, Kubwa, Mabushi, Maitama in FCT and Hadeja, Gumel and Miga in Jigawa.

She also listed Goronyo, Gunmi, Shagari, Shinkafi, Wamakko, Silame in Sokoto; Bindawa, Katsina, Jibia and Kaita in Katsina State as well as Echara, Onu-Ebonyi in Ebonyi.

Others are Eti-osa, Ikorodu, Surulere in Lagos; Gwarzo and Karaye in Kano State; Jamaare in Bauchi State; Mutum biyu in Taraba; New Bussa in Kwara; and Shendam in Plateau.

The deputy director appealed to governments of the respective states to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid loss of lives and property.


In Uncategorized on July 11, 2012 at 11:29 am
WHO obtains the best job? Is it always the most qualified applicant? “No,” says Brian, an employment consultant. “The job often goes to the most effective job seeker.” What can you do to become a more effective job seeker? Let us consider five suggestions.

Be Organized

If you have lost a good job or have been unemployed for some time, it is easy to become downhearted. “When I first lost my job, I was optimistic about finding another one,” says Katharina, a dressmaker in Germany. “But as the months dragged on and I was unable to find work, I became depressed. Eventually, I even found it hard to talk about the subject with my friends.”

How can you counteract feelings of hopelessness? “It is crucial that you establish your own ‘workday’ schedule so that you start your day knowing what is to be done,” suggests the book Get a Job in 30 Days or Less. The authors recommend that you “set daily goals and record what you have done.” In addition, they say that “each day must start with your getting dressed for work.” Why? “Being dressed properly will give you added confidence even when talking on the telephone.”

Yes, you must make it your job to find a job, no matter how long it takes. Katharina, mentioned earlier, adopted this businesslike approach. She says: “I obtained the addresses and phone numbers of prospective employers from the employment office. I responded to newspaper ads. I studied the phone book and made lists of companies that might have jobs that were not yet advertised, and then I contacted them. I also compiled a résumé and sent it to these companies.” After such systematic searching, Katharina found a suitable job.

Access the Hidden Job Market

The fisherman with the largest net is the one most likely to catch fish. So, too, your knowing how to increase the size of your “net” will improve your chances of landing a job. If you are looking for work only by responding to newspaper or Internet advertisements, the majority of available jobs may be slipping past your net. A good number of jobs are never advertised. How can you gain access to this hidden job market?

In addition to responding to advertisements, like Katharina you must set aside time each week to call on businesses that you think may have jobs you can do. Do not wait for them to advertise positions. If a manager says that he has no work, ask him if he knows where else you might look and specifically to whom you should speak. If he offers a suggestion, make an appointment with that company, stating the name of the person who referred you.


  • Prepare well for interviews
  • Produce an effective résumé
  • Be adaptable
  • Access the hidden job market
  • Be organized

Tony, mentioned in the preceding article, found a job this way. “I took the initiative to contact companies even though they were not advertising,” he explains. “One company said that there were no vacancies at present but that I should try again in three months. I did, and I obtained a job.”

Primrose, a single mother in South Africa, did something similar. “While I was attending a first-aid course,” she says, “I noticed a new building being constructed across the road and discovered that it was going to be a nursing home for the elderly. I repeatedly tried to make an appointment with the superintendent of the facility. He finally told me that there were currently no jobs available. However, I kept returning to see if I could work there, even as a volunteer. Eventually, I was employed on a temporary basis. I applied myself to whatever tasks I was given. As a result, I gained additional qualifications and obtained a permanent job at the facility.”

You can also ask your friends, family, and other associates to help you access the hidden job market. This is how Jacobus, a safety officer in South Africa, found a job. He says: “When the company I worked for went out of business, I let friends and family know that I was looking for work. One day a friend of mine overheard a conversation while in line at a supermarket. One woman was asking another if she knew of anyone looking for work. My friend interrupted and told the woman about me. An appointment was arranged, and I got the job.”

Be Adaptable

To increase your chances of finding work, you must be adaptable. Jaime, mentioned in the preceding article, observes: “It is unlikely that you will find a job that has everything you hope for. You need to learn to be content with employment that is less than ideal.”

Being adaptable may mean overcoming prejudice against certain types of work. Consider Ericka, who lives in Mexico. Trained as an executive secretary, she was initially unable to find the kind of work she preferred. “I learned to accept any suitable work,” she says. “For a while I worked as a sales assistant. I also sold tacos on the street and cleaned houses. Eventually, I was able to find a job in my field of expertise.”

When Mary, mentioned in the preceding article, lost her job as a clerk, she too saw the need to be adaptable. She explains: “I wasn’t adamant about finding the same type of work I had been doing. I followed up each job opportunity that came along, even if it involved what some might consider menial work. As a result, I was able to find work to support my two children.”

Produce an Effective Résumé

For those applying for executive positions, compiling and distributing a professional résumé is a must.* But no matter what job you seek, a well-prepared résumé can be a great asset. “A résumé tells potential employers not only who you are but also what you have accomplished and why they need you,” says Nigel, an employment consultant in Australia.

How do you compile a résumé? Provide your full name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. State your objective. List the education you have received, highlighting any training and skills that relate to the job you are seeking. Provide details of previous work experience. Include not only what you did but also examples of the goals you reached and the benefits you brought to your previous employers. Also highlight aspects of your previous employment that qualify you for the job you are currently seeking. Include personal information that describes your qualities, interests, and hobbies. Because companies’ needs differ, you may have to adjust your résumé for each application.

Should you produce a résumé if you are applying for your first job? Yes! There may be many things you have done that qualify as work experience. For example, do you have hobbies, such as woodworking or perhaps fixing up old cars? These can be listed. Have you engaged in any volunteer work? List the type of volunteer work you have done and the goals you have achieved.—See the box [below].

Sample Résumé for Those
Without Work Experience

Your Name:

Your Address:

Your Telephone Number and E-Mail Address:

Objective: Seeking entry-level position in manufacturing.

Education: Graduated from Hometown High School, 2004.

Courses: Language skills, mathematics, computers, woodworking class.

Skills and Abilities: Work well with my hands. Regularly service the family car. Made wooden chairs and a table in my home workshop. Enjoy using my math skills while making furniture. Installed roofing material on a volunteer building project. Can use most types of computers and enjoy learning new programs.

Personal Information: Reliable—missed only two days of school in senior year. Honest—returned a lost wallet that contained money. Friendly—regularly engage in volunteer work in the community and enjoy assisting the elderly. Athletics—love playing basketball. Hobbies—enjoy repairing automobiles and woodworking.

References: Available on request.*

*  Reference contacts could include a schoolteacher who knows you well or a family friend who runs a business. By making these names available on request, you can get an early indication that a prospective employer may be interested in hiring you. Be sure to obtain the permission of those you list as references.

When you cannot obtain an interview with a prospective employer, leave a small card—preferably four inches by six inches [10 cm by 15 cm]—containing your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, as well as a brief summary of your skills and accomplishments. On the back of the card, if appropriate, you could even put a photo of yourself or of you with your family. Distribute this card to all those who might help you find work, asking them to hand it to anyone they know who is offering the type of work you are seeking. When a potential employer sees this card, he may grant you an interview—perhaps leading to a job!

Preparing a résumé will help you feel more in control as you search for work. Nigel, mentioned earlier, says: “Writing a résumé helps you organize your thoughts and goals. It also builds your confidence by helping you prepare for potential questions you may be asked during a job interview.”—See the box [below].

A man doing research to find a jobFinding a job requires persistence and thorough research

A hand holding a pen

Questions You May Be Asked During an Interview

  • Why have you applied for this job?
  • Why do you want to work for this particular company?
  • What do you know about the job/company/industry?
  • Have you ever done this type of work before?
  • What kind of machines can you operate?
  • What experience have you had in this area of work?
  • What skills can you bring to this job?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What five words would you say best describe you?
  • Can you work under pressure?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why have you been unemployed for so long?
  • What was your last employer’s opinion of you?
  • How often were you absent from work on your last job?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • When are you available to start work?
  • What are your greatest assets?

Prepare Well for Your Interviews

What is involved in preparing for an interview? You may want to research the company you hope to work for. The more you know about the company, the better the impression you will make during the interview. Your research will also help you determine whether the company really has the kind of work you want or is one you want to work for.

Next, think about what you will wear to the interview. If the job you seek involves manual labor, wear appropriate neat, clean clothing. Neat dress and grooming tell the prospective employer that you take pride in yourself and are thus more likely to take pride in your work. If you are hoping to work in an office, choose modest clothing that is considered suitable business attire where you live. Nigel says: “Choose your clothes long before you are due to attend your interview so that you don’t feel rushed and unnecessarily increase your levels of stress prior to the interview.”

Nigel also recommends arriving for your interview about 15 minutes early. Of course, arriving too early is not wise. But arriving late could be disastrous. Experts say that the first three seconds of your interview are crucial. During that brief time, the interviewer makes assessments about your appearance and your bearing that deeply influence his or her opinion of you. If you are late, you will make an overwhelmingly negative impression. Remember, there are no second chances to rectify first impressions.

Remember, too, that the interviewer is not your enemy. After all, he likely had to apply for his job, so he knows how you feel. In fact, he may be nervous, since he may have received little or no training on how to conduct an interview. In addition, if the interviewer is the employer, he may have much to lose if he chooses the wrong person for the job.

A man having a job interviewA businesslike approach will help you in your interviews

To start off well, smile and give the interviewer a firm handshake if that is the customary greeting. During the interview, concentrate on what the employer needs from you and what you have to offer. Regarding things to avoid, Nigel says: “Don’t fidget or slouch—good posture conveys confidence. Don’t be too informal or overly talkative, and definitely do not use profanity. Also, avoid being negative about your former employers and workmates—if you are negative about them, the interviewer will likely feel you will be negative about this job too.”

Regarding things to do and say during the interview, experts recommend the following: Maintain eye contact with the interviewer, use natural gestures when you speak, and articulate clearly. Be concise and honest when answering questions, and ask relevant questions about the company and the prospective job. At the end of the interview, if you still want the job, ask for it. Doing so will show your enthusiasm.

By following the suggestions outlined above, you may soon have a job. If that is the case, what can you do to increase your chances of keeping it?

*  In some places a similar document is called a CV, or curriculum vitae.

What About Online Employment Agencies?

One of the largest online employment Web sites in the United States has 17 million résumés listed for potential employers to peruse and some 800,000 jobs listed for the unemployed to consider. Surveys indicate that up to 96 percent of people in some countries search for jobs using the Internet. However, research compiled among professionals from 40 countries shows that only 5 percent of the job seekers among them actually find work through this medium.

Posting your résumé online increases the number of potential employers who know you are looking for a job, but caution is in order. It also increases your chances of becoming a victim of fraud. To protect yourself from this fate, industry experts provide the following advice:

1. Read the privacy policy of an online employment agency before you post your résumé with them. Some job sites sell your personal details to mass-market companies or other interested parties.

2. Post your résumé with only a handful of reputable online job sites. It is vital to protect your personal information to prevent its being misused. Your résumé should never contain the information a thief would need to steal your identity and cause you endless financial trouble. Legitimate employers do not need to know your bank account number, credit card number, or exact date of birth.

3. Beware of vague job offers. Pam Dixon, a researcher with the World Privacy Forum, says that the more general the offer, the less valid it usually is. “Vague wording like ‘We have thousands of jobs’ or ‘We work with major companies’ is a red flag,” she states, adding: “Requests to send in a new copy of your résumé can spell trouble, too.”

Remember, even the most reputable online job sites cannot control what happens to your résumé once it has been downloaded by a potential employer or other interested party.



culled from Awake!


In Uncategorized on July 11, 2012 at 11:26 am
  • Take something with me to read. Then if the traffic doesn’t move at all, I don’t get so frustrated.
  • When the traffic is crawling along, listen to the news on the car radio or to a recording of the Bible. In this way you have something other than traffic to think about.
  • As a rule, never use the horn, since it just disturbs others and serves no purpose. By showing courtesy to other drivers, avoid stress and help others to do the same.
  • Try to be calm when you encounter aggressive drivers, and give them a wide berth. There is no substitute for patience.

For short distances, walking or cycling may be the best solution. In many cases either alternative will prove quicker, easier, and healthier. For longer distances, public transportation might be the ideal option. Many cities are trying to improve bus, metro, and rail services to entice people to leave their cars behind. Using these services may also mean saving money. Even though you may have to drive part of the way, you could possibly use public transportation for accessing the city center.

If you must drive, consider the possibility of carpooling. This is one of the most effective ways of reducing rush-hour traffic. In the United States, 88 percent of all commuters use automobiles, and about two thirds of these travel alone. Convincing a significant percentage of people to travel together to work “could produce dramatic effects on the levels of delay and congestion during peak periods,” states Stuck in Traffic. Furthermore, in many places fast lanes have been designated for cars with two or more persons. Cars with only one person are not allowed to use such lanes.

If you have some control over the time when you travel, try to avoid rush-hour traffic. This will make things easier for you and for other motorists. And if you park properly, your vehicle will not impede the free flow of traffic. Of course, even the best plans will not guarantee that you don’t get stuck in a traffic jam. At such times, having the right attitude can do a lot to ease the frustration.


  • Clearly, if you live in a large city, you will have to live with traffic congestion. Nevertheless, by individually taking responsible measures and by displaying courtesy and patience toward other drivers, you can learn to cope with the trials of traffic.City driving and punctuality are not always compatible. courtesy, Awake!


Nigeria’s President Is ‘Confused and Incompetent’, Says Balarabe Musa

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former governor of Kaduna State, explains to JAMIU YISA and ISA ISAWADE why the country will remain one in spite of the current tensions

 To what do you ascribe the various problems of development plaguing the country?

It is not the leadership that is the problem because leadership itself is a product of something. That something is the social, economic and political system controlling development in the country. It is based on self interest as opposed to public interest. It is that system that says private enterprise should play the leading role in the economy instead of the state playing leading role in the economy. It is that system that produces the leadership, which appropriates it. It is, therefore, the system that is the problem and not the leadership. Leadership is only a product of the system.

For example, during the colonial era and the First Republic, despite the imperfections, the leading role was played by the state and by implication public interest. Self interest or private interest came second. Our problem since the Second Republic is that we reversed the role. Instead of the leading role of the state and public interest, we now have the leading role of private enterprise and self interest. Now, this has produced disheartening problems for the country. These include corruption, stealing, criminal waste of resources, unemployment, poverty and insecurity.

Don’t you think that the leadership we have is what we deserve?

No. Every nation is governed by social and economic systems. In every country and throughout history, since the emergence of the idea of private interest, there has always been a system controlling development in the country. That system always produces a political leadership appropriate to it. So, it is a misrepresentation of reality to say that every nation gets the leadership it deserves. It is the system that decides the leadership, not the other way round.

Do you agree with the view that Nigerians do not challenge their leaders enough?

Efforts have been made a few times to challenge the government. But all the same, the leadership is being challenged.

How do you think we got to this state in which corruption has become very pervasive? 

First of all, let me go back a little. This corruption, stealing and criminal waste of resources, which are part and parcel of the same thing, result from the system. This is a system of free for all. Therefore, it  inevitably results in this level of corruption and there is no way you can avoid this level of corruption as long as this system exists.

Do you agree with General Muhammadu Buhari that people found guilty of corruption should be shot?

I think you can’t say you disagree with him, but let us not adopt that blindly because we can make more serious mistakes. First of all, let us change the system. If we change the system, we will find out that corruption can even be eliminated and if it still persists, instead of changing the system from one based on self interest to one based on public interest, we can adopt a measure that can lead to the shooting or whatever it is of corrupt leaders.

This is what happens in other countries. But let us not adopt the system of other countries blindly. It is the system and the leadership produced by the system that brings about corruption. If you change the system and the leadership and corruption still persists, then you can have this extreme measure of shooting the thief. If you change the system and the leadership so that you eliminate this survival of the fittest, you are automatically removing corruption. And if you remove corruption, there will be no need for shooting the thief. But it has been said that it has reached such a level that even after changing the system and the leadership, we can still have this corruption. Then the question of shooting will arise.

For example, if you change the system from one based on self interest first to a system based on public interest, will you have this level of unemployment? Will you have this level of poverty? Today, we have between 15 to 20 million unemployed postgraduate students. How can you avoid stealing and corruption under this circumstance? The situation is so bad that it is even virtualy impossible to survive in Nigeria without corruption directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly. Even within the three of us here, how can you be sure that you can survive without some form of illegitimate income source?  So, that is the system.

The system has made it such that survival without some form of illegitimate source of income is virtualy impossible. Under this circumstance, how can you avoid corruption? But if you have a system based on the leading role of the state in the economy, based on public interest first, enlightened self interest second, will you continue to have this level of corruption, stealing and criminal waste? Will you have this level of poverty, unemployment and insecurity? 

I’ll give you two examples: post-First Republic is one, while the period between the end of the Second Republic till now is another. Did we have this level of poverty in spite of the limited resources available to us during the first period?  Did we have this level of hunger? Did we have this level of unemployment and insecurity? No, we didn’t. The problems grew bigger from the Second Republic, when we began to introduce the leading role of the private sector in the economy; when we began to have a system which puts private interest first. Were our leaders during the colonial era and the First Republic thieves? From the Second Republic till today, have we done anything to remove unemployment? No. From the colonial time to the First Republic, we had insecurity, but not of the threatening variety.

But since the Second Republic, insecurity has been a fixture in Nigeria simply because of the reversal of the role of government and public interest. In order words, since the emergence of the free-for-all system, the leaders have become thieves. Everyday, there are credible reports of theft of public funds. A few unlucky ones have been prosecuted successfully. The vast majority of the thieves have escaped. In fact, there is nothing like an anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria. What is happening is a political manoeuvre to destroy all credible evidence of corruption so that when the time comes for proper anti-corruption campaign, there will be no evidence to prosecute the thieves.

Look at what we have experienced with the Farouk Lawan committee. In order to allow the thieves exposed in that committee get away with it, first, the EFCC refused to do anything. They were waiting for the permission of the President through the Minister of Justice before doing anything. But should they wait?

Do you believe that Nigerians are capable of mustering the will to dislodge the PDP in 2015?

Yes. The PDP can be defeated and it should be defeated. I think the time has come to defeat the PDP, but we have to be realistic. The PDP can only be defeated  through free, fair and transparent elections. Now, these elections will be contested by registered political parties and there are 57 of them. Of these 56 minus PDP, the only political party that is truly in opposition and capable of defeating the PDP is ACN. We should not have any illusion. ACN controls at least six states. In any system of election, ACN is strong enough to be a credible opposition and an alternative government. Can you say the same of ANPP, APGA, Labour Party and CPC?

The best way to defeat the PDP is to rally behind the ACN. In other words, ACN should be given a role similar to one given to CPC in the last elections. We can’t give that role to CPC because it has destroyed itself so much that it is now in the sixth position. It is behind PDP, ACN, ANPP, APGA and Labour Party. Even Labour Party controls one state, a whole government. CPC has half a government because in the Nasarawa State legislature, CPC has only four members. PDP has 20. So if we really are prepared to defeat PDP, we have to identify the political party that is most capable and rally behind it.

I know they have problems, but we have more problems in PDP. If we can get PDP out of the way, even if our problems are greater as a result than they are now, we will be able to deal with them when the PDP is out of the way. But if we allow PDP to consolidate its power even more, then it means we will never be able to defeat PDP without a social revolution or a military coup before a social revolution. But let us not rely on military coup because the military has always disappointed. Despite all the struggle of the Egyptians to replace the civilian government of Mubarak with the help of the military, now they are in trouble with the military. They are now attacking the military, but all the same, they got rid of Mubarak’s government and the problem is now easier for them.

But do you see the opposition parties coming together for the purpose of ousting the PDP?

Well, they have to because they can’t continue to suffer. It depends on how the ACN plays its role. If ACN makes the same mistake that the CPC made, it will be bad. This time, it is the leadership of CPC that destroyed Buhari’s chances and the evidence is clear. Now we have to look for another alternative platform to rally behind and I think the only alternative, if we don’t want to deceive ourselves, is to rally behind ACN and hope that ACN will not make the mistake that CPC made. It is clear and simple.

How do you evaluate President Jonathan’s leadership style?

There is no style. This man is confused and he’s not capable. He lacks popularity and legitimacy. Look at how he contested the presidency. His party had a provision of zoning. Whatever we feel about zoning, the thing is that it was the policy of his party. You can’t violate the policy of your party on fundamental issues and escape with it. This zoning, power shift or whatever you call it has existed since the beginning of Nigeria, particularly from 1959, and it has worked to keep Nigeria united and to give every section some sense of belonging. It has gone to the extent that it has even become part of our life.

Even in your family you have to take care of how you treat problems among the  members of your family, so that no one is aggrieved.  Now, with the level of political immaturity, with the level of different contending interests in Nigeria, you can’t impose merit alone. Whether you like it or not, merit has to be tempered. He ignored it, he used incumbency. Incumbency is a big thing in Nigeria and it’s just as bad as corruption. He used incumbency to force his own party to nominate him as a candidate despite the zoning policy. How can you be sure that every member of his party will forgive him for that?

Secondly, he didn’t win a free, fair and transparent election. Everybody knows the amount of rigging that took place. So, he lacks moral base and legitimacy. It is not possible under this system that if you become the leader, then, you become the standard. In other countries, when there is standard, it doesn’t really matter who becomes the president. The standard is there. In Britain, America, Germany and other western countries, competence and experience are important. But the most important thing is that there is a standard that nobody can go below.

In Nigeria, there is no such standard. You become the president, governor or local government chairman and you automatically become the standard. So in such a situation, you need somebody who is clearly competent, who has a record in addition to moral base and legitimacy to succeed.

Do you think that dialogue with Boko Haram will end the cycle of violence we are witnessing?

Who are Boko Haram? Is Boko Haram a legitimate Islamic movement? Is it an agent established for political purpose? Any government that is failing looks for scapegoat. Any government that is failing attempts to take away attention of the people from its failure. It is not impossible that this  government is responsible for creating Boko Haram to deal with the opposition or to divert attention from its failure. We saw this with Maitatsine. Maitatsine was created by the Shagari government to deal with opposition in the North, particularly PRP and GNPP.

Maitatsine was doing exactly what Boko Haram is doing now in virtualy the same areas because Maitasine operated in Kano, Kaduna and the North-east. Eventually, its members were arrested and Maitatsine himself was murdered just the way the leader of Boko Haram was murdered. Its members were arrested. Did you hear that they were prosecuted or punished in any court? No. In fact, what we learnt, through the media, was that they were pardoned and released. Some of them were even given pocket money to go home with and they were just as murderous as Boko Haram is. In any case, hasn’t the President himself said Boko Haram exists in his government? If the President, with so much powers, with so much vote for security, knows Boko Haram exists in his government and fails to do anything about it, what inference can you draw from that?.

Nigerians are sharply divided along religious and ethnic lines, most especially with recent bombing of churches in the North. Do you see Nigeria remaining as family?

We have heard this before. Since the beginning of the Second Republic, because of the failure of government, we have been having insecurity arising from ethnicity and religion. The only difference with Boko Haram is that it is more murderous than what we have experienced before except in the case of Maitatsine.

Do you think the country can remain together despite these wide fault lines?

Yes. We have integrated to a very high level. We don’t seem to realise that because of these problems. We have reached a high level of integration economically and politically and we are making progress in social integration as well.

Interview is reproduced from the 16 July 2012 edition of the TheNEWs magazine

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