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Meet Comrade Godswill Doubra Wuruyai, A Willing Ijaw Youth To Man The IYC National Secretariat

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Comrade Godswill Doubra Wuruyai who hails from Benikrukru and Okerenkoko communities of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West LocalGovernment Area of Delta State, is a tactful, brilliant and brave personality who was born and raised at Okpele-Ama/Tebujoh community at the creeks of the Niger Delta. He is a stable character who is aware and involve in solving the challenges of the Niger Delta people in his capacity.

In 2019, he obtained his Masters of Arts Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the premier University of Ibadan and specialized in Internal Conflicts. With Master of Arts in-view Philosophy at the prestigious University of Benin, Doubra obtained his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Philosophy at Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State. In his love for education and yearn to obtain professional height in peace-building and conflict management, Comr. Doubra in 2018, was trained by the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) and was certified with a certificate on Conflict Analysis, Project Design and Management. By the virtue of his studies and practice, he is tooled with professional negotiation skills, excellent report writing and presentation abilities and a scholar of community development. In his interest to understand both the internal and external challenges of the Niger Delta region, his Masters dissertation was titled “Politics of Mobilisation and Decision-making for Community Development in Ogulagha Kingdom of Delta State Nigeria” where he critically interrogate the various dynamics that negatively and positively influence sustainable development in Niger Delta communities.

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From 2015—2016 he obtained his NYSC certificate haven completed his service year at Model Girls College, Rumueme, Port Harcourt. Comr. Doubra was trained in 2017 by J.D.FOH Development Foundation/IWAI in Collaboration with Shedrack Agediga Foundation and obtained Certificate of Participation in Leadership and Conflict Management. While in 2008 he obtained his West African Senior School Certificate, Comr. Doubra attended and obtained his Primary School Leaving Certificate at Okpele Primary School, Okpele-Ama, Gbaramatu Kingdom.

READ ALSO: Wuruyai Rolls Out Innovative Manifestoes As He Eyes IYC Secretary-General’s Office

Comr. Doubra has a significant and unwavering touch with the grass root of the Niger Delta, and has consistently offer himself to be part of the process to better the lots of humanity in the region. He has served in various capacities which include his current position as the Chairman, Ijaw Youth Council, Gbaramatu Kingdom Structure. Being an active member of the Ijaw Youth Council, from 2014—2017, Comr. Doubra served as the Information Officer, IYC, Gbaramatu Kingdom Structure where he performed remarkably well. In the cause of his services at the clan level, Comr. Doubra and his team led several protests in defense of Ijaw people’s interest both on print and online media outlets. A simple Google search of his name will unveil the numerous advocacy he has made for Ijaw people. From 2017—2019, due to his activeness in youth mobilization in the political scene in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Comr. Doubra was nominated and appointed by the Delta State Government as a Ward Liaison Officer.

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Comrade Godswill Doubra Wuruyai, vying for the position of secretary, Ijaw Youth Council, worldwide

Comr. Doubra has served at various capacities during and after the cause of his studies. Notable among them are in 2015, he served as the Secretary to the Constitution Amendment Committee, National Association of Gbaramatu Students (NAGS), wherein he delivered as expected; in 2014, he served as the Chairman of NAGS Electoral Committee. He is currently a member representing the IYC, Gbaramatu Kingdom Structure in the Gbaramatu Youth Council Constitution Amendment Committee under the leadership of Barr. Samson Bebenimibo. While in NDU, Comr. Doubra was a household name in the Student Union politics, and served in various capacities in that respect. Notable among them are, he was the Vice President, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies; Secretary, Electoral Committee, Faculty of Arts; Public Relations Officer, Electoral Committee, Faculty of Arts; member Electoral Committee, NADESSTU, NDU Chapter to mention but few.

READ ALSO:Father Of Six Kills Self Over Alleged Infidelity In Delta

In all these position he held, Comr Doubra was credited for his brilliant representation and was awarded by the National Association of Philosophy/Religious Studies Students (NAPS/NARSS) in 2013/2014 as the Most Articulate Comrade. Comr Doubra has recognized in several quarters for both his intellectual prowess and diligent service to humanity. Noteworthy, in 2017, he won the Godfrey Pondi Book Club book review competition on Lee Quan Yew’s book titled “From Third World to First: Singapore and the Asian Economic Boom” which was presented to him by the then Hon. Commission for Education,ⁿ Hon. Dr. Jude Seneibe. In same 2017, he was also recognized by the National Association of Gbaramatu Students with an Education Service Award for his “consistent selfless service in support of education and development of Humanity in Gbaramatu Kingdom, inspiring and mentoring the Gbaramatu Child”.

Comr. Doubra conveniently blends with the dynamics of human society without any discrimination and freely interacts with people across ethnic and religious dynamics with a firm understanding on the values and focus of Ijaw nation as she gear towards completely achieving her full potentials through self Determination and Resource Control as enshrined in the Kaiama Declaration. Comr. Doubra seeks to ensure a policy generating Ijaw Youth Council Secretariat which will gradually be an institutionalized Council and strengthen its various organs and chains of command through a collective decision-making process.

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READ ALSO: ‘We Will Not Fold Arms And Watch Nigerians Rights Being Violated’ – NHRC

Why don’t Ijaw youths look toward his direction for the position of the National Secretary, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide?

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Opinion

OPINION: Food, Culture, And Colonialism

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By Nnimmo Bassey

The important position of indigenous food systems in the struggle for food sovereignty cannot be over emphasized. We understand this by reminding ourselves of what the concepts ‘colonial’ and ‘colonialism’
mean. The dictionary defines colonialism as “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” As telling as this definition is, it leaves wide swathes untouched. While it is
true that colonialism is hugely built around political and economic
planks, it also significantly impacts socio-cultural, environmental, agricultural, and other spheres. It impacts all these spheres by controlling and subverting what existed before the conquest. We need to emphasize these approaches: control and subversion.

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The subversion of food systems was intentionally constructed through the colonization of thought, a phenomenon that persists as coloniality. Why subvert a food system? The reasons for this are many. The colonizers needed to displace labour invested for local needs while expanding and consolidating labour to meet the needs of the colonizers. By emphasizing a cash economy, farmers were forced to neglect their own needs, derided as subsistence farming, and to offer their labour in exchange for wages. The colonial powers scored double on this count by introducing plantation agriculture and bringing in the locals as farm hands.

Plantation agriculture encapsulates the core practice of colonialism. It entailed land use conversion — often through massive deforestation and land grabbing. It also promoted monoculture by growing specific crops to meet specific needs of industry and colonial appetites. Monocultures damage soils as well as labour. In Nigeria, predominant plantations included those of oil palm, cocoa, rubber, and coffee. These crops were termed cash crops, meaning that they were cultivated for cash rather than for food. This approach persists today as our governments see useful agriculture as the one that earns foreign exchange, irrespective of the state of food insecurity in the nations.

Colonial agriculture thrived not only by producing crops for export, but
it also benefited from altering the appetites of the colonized. These changes did not happen only through advertisements, the indigenous foods were denigrated as uncivilized and sometimes simply forgotten due to a chronic absence of the crops or ingredients for preparing the foods. Today, the erosion of varieties is exacerbated by many related factors including the prevalence of junk foods, hybridization of crop varieties, genetic manipulations, and hostile seed laws.

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READ ALSO: OPINION: Learning From The Wise

Farming for cash relegated diverse crop varieties needed to maintain
nutritious food systems. The centrality of agriculture and food in our cultures got dramatically eroded through colonial plantation agriculture and the fixation on cash rather than seeing agriculture as a pattern of living. Industrial agriculture has led to the capture of the sector by corporations who care for profit more than the planet. They don’t only muddy the waters in our countries but also do much harm in multilateral spaces where they lobby to erode regulations and safety measures.

When it is said that farmers are poor and are not making a living from farming due to lack of value addition, we should examine the underlying factors to that state of affairs. And unless those factors are addressed, labelling farmers as resisting change or as lazy misses the point. When farmers become landless, that is a big problem. When farmers’ seeds are criminalized while seeds of doubtful value are promoted, those are debilitating factors.

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Our farmers have selected and preserved seeds, crops, and animal
varieties over the centuries. They have kept a stock of varieties that
both provide food and meet our medicinal and other needs. They kept the norms that preserved biodiversity. They practiced rotational farming, mixed cropping, and seasonal fishing. They understood the rhythms of nature and maintained the natural equilibrium by being respectful of the Earth. Colonial agricultural production for industrial and external markets led to the promotion of monoculture plantations. The prevalence of investment in industrial agriculture has given rise to monocultures of the mind, to use the title of a book by Vandana Shiva. This mentality elevated the measuring of agricultural productivity per hectare without considering whether the land has been cultivated with a
monocrop or with a multiplicity of crops.

Decolonizing our food systems, reviving our culture

Without doubt, the decolonization of agriculture is the way towards the preservation of crop and animal varieties, rebuilding our food systems, thereby, recovering our culture. A decolonized agriculture invests on support systems for farmers, including by providing extension services and providing/upgrading rural infrastructure. It also means preserving local varieties, ensuring that farmers have access to land and, funding research institutions to build a knowledge base on healthy soils and resilient indigenous crops. It would also mean putting farmers on the driving seat of agricultural policy, elevating the precautionary
principle in biosafety issues, and outlawing harmful pesticides. It
would again mean placing a moratorium on all types of agricultural modern biotechnology as this is a key means of eroding species varieties besides threatening outright extinctions.

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Decolonizing our food system will liberate our tongues and bring back
forgotten tastes. It is the way to revive our cultures and bring back
vibrancy into the lives of our rural communities. Species harmed by
chemical inputs in industrial agriculture would recover and play their roles in pollination, assuring farmers of bumper harvests and breaking the chains of import dependence. A decolonized food system uncovers the falsehood of genetically engineered crops presented as climate smart agriculture whereas, if anything, they are truly climate stupid.

READ ALSO: COP27: Loss And Damage At Injury Time [OPINION] 

Food and culture are inseparable. Food is at the centre of our festivals
and ceremonies. Food sovereignty is achievable only in a decolonized
food system. In such system, we know where and how our foods are
produced and our farmers are true knowledge holders and cannot be
deceived to plant varieties they don’t know or want. A colonized food and agriculture system enslaves farmers, disconnects people from the soil and exposes citizens to great harm.

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It is our duty to demand safe food, support our farmers, reject
monoculture, and decolonize our foods and minds.

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Opinion

OPINION: Between Atta Ebira And Ohinoyi Of Ebiraland

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By Suyi Ayodele

In our elementary History classes, we were told of three different Attas. One of them is Atta of Ayede Ekiti. The second is Atta of Igala. The third is Atta Ebira. Shame on those who hacked History off our school shelves! The Oba of my town was once known as Oloja Ara. We changed the title to Onise of Odo Oro-Ekiti. At a time, we were known as Ara, then we became Araromi Ekiti and by consensus, we changed to Odo-Oro Ekiti. The people remain the same. If the present Oba decides to go back to Oloja Ara, so be it. He will only be answering the names those before him answered.

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The Paramount ruler of Ebiraland, Dr. Ado Ibrahim, called himself the name of his ancestors. The Kogi State Government is angry. Why? When has it become a crime for a man to answer his fathers’ name? Atta Ebira is the traditional title of the ruler of the Ebira people. That title was used up to the 20th century. A man, our elders say, gives any name he likes to his dog. That axiom has not changed. So, what would be the problem if the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland decided to answer “Atta Ebira”. His forebears answered that title. The history is there. The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland is a modern-day title, given to the traditional ruler when his supremacy was subjugated under the government. What is in a name, itself? If the Ebira monarch chooses to bear any name, how does that affect the content of his response to the query issued to him by the state government?

“Who is your Majesty’s enemy? The Oyo Mesi (Kingmakers) asked Alaafin Aole. Iku Baba Yeye sighed. He was too experienced not to know what his kingmakers were dragging him into. Alaafin Aole ruled the Old Oyo Empire between 1789 and 1796, a period of seven years. And those were seven eventful years in the history of the Kingdom. Yoruba Historian, The Rev, Samuel Johnson, in his famous book, “The History of The Yorubas”, captured the encounter between Aole and his Oyo Mesi under the sub-heading: “The King’s Enemies” (pg 224-227). Oyo Mesi would not ask a question without getting an answer. They knew this and Alaafin Aole also knew that. Once an Alaafin named his enemy in those days, it was customary for his Aare Ona Kakanfo (the Generalissimo) to wage war against the king’s enemy. But at that time, the Aare Ona Kakanfo was Afonja. Aole knew that there was no love lost between him and Afonja. He knew that his kingmakers wanted to drag him into an open confrontation with the warlord, who was also his relation. If he named his enemy and Aare Ona Kakanfo refused to fight, Alaafin would have to wage a war against his Kakanfo. To answer the Oyo Mesi, Alaafin Aole said: “I have told you that my enemy is too formidable for me, and besides, we are the same kith and kin” (Mo ti wi fun yin tele pe eni to lagbara ju mi lo ni ota mi, o si tun je iyekan mi). The Holy Book in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew 10:36 says: “And a man’s foe shall be they of his own household”. Aole knew that the conspiracy brewing would consume him. He prepared for it. His immediate crime was that he restored to one stranger, Alaja eta (he who has a dog that resembles a leopard), a Hausa man, the items stolen from him by the then Basorun Asamu. The pressure was much on Alaafin Aole and he was forced to order a needless war against a forbidden clan, Iwere, which by Yoruba tradition and custom, was a fortified city and forbidden by nature to be attacked. The end led to Aole’s suicide and the 1796 curse he issued on the entire Yoruba Race before he slept too.

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: My Magun Experience

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The worst that can happen to a man is to have to go to war against his family members. A man who has his kith and kin as his enemy is half dead. The first thing that is compromised is his personal security. Nothing breaks a man’s confidence than to see his brother up in arms against him. If the man fights and wins, he is still a loser. African society does not decorate a man for winning a battle against his sibling. Sibling battle is one that must be fought with utmost caution. But the question is: how cautious can a man be when dealing with a relation who is waging a deliberate war against him? The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr. Ado Ibrahim, got an unusual New Year gift from the Kogi State Government in form of a letter, interrogating him on why he was absent when the state government received General Muhammadu Buhari during his presidential visit to the state on December 29, 2022. The president, according to the query, was in Okene, the seat of the Ohinoyi, “to commission landmark projects executed by our dear Governor, His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Bello”. The letter went further to lecture the 94-year old monarch on state protocol and courtesy, to wit: “It might interest you to note that official courtesy demands that when a personality of a President occupying the highest office in the land is visiting or even passing through the State, the Governor and top Public Officers including topmost Traditional Rulers are expected to receive him as a mark of respect for him and the Office he occupies. It is on record that in time past, topmost Traditional Rulers including the President, Kogi State Council of Chiefs do receive the Governor of the State on his return from critical missions undertaken on behalf of the State. But you have chosen to disdain the office of the Executive Governor, and this time, you did it with effrontery before the number one citizen of Nigeria”. Endorsed by Enimola Eniola, Director of Chieftaincy Affairs, the query described the Ohinoyi’s action as “an act of insubordination and disloyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Executive Governor of Kogi State and the entire Ebira nation as a whole”. It ordered the traditional ruler to respond within 48 hours, to show “why disciplinary action should not be taken against you for these acts of insubordination and disloyalty” and added that the Ebiraland monarch should prepare to face a panel that would be set up to study his case.

For students of Stylistics, that last clause: “Oral explanations may be required from you when a panel is set up to study your case”, is the killer point. The only implicature here is that no matter what explanation the nonagenarian monarch might advance for his absence at the all-important function, the state government had made up its mind that the matter would not be settled by mere exchanges of correspondences. The Ohinoyi would be humiliated further when he would be appearing before the “panel”. The fact that it is a middle cadre officer as a Director who endorsed the query to the Ohinoyi is enough insult on its own. Nigerian Tribune, in its Thursday, January 19 Editorial on the matter also agreed that it is a complete insult on the personality of the traditional ruler of the Ohinoyi’s status to have him queried by a Director. Here is what the Tribune Editorial says: “… we believe that while the Kogi State government could indeed have reservations about the Ohinoyi not joining the welcome train for the president, this is an issue that ought to have been taken up by the governor personally in consonance with the revered traditional placement of the Ohinoyi and not through the channel of an official letter of query signed by a Director in the State’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs”. In an earlier paragraph, the paper rightly noted that: “If the Kogi letter illustrates anything, it is the fact that there must have been some disagreements between the state government and the traditional ruler prior to it. Even at that, we find the letter quite condescending and provocative. Purportedly written to elicit a defence…”.

FROM THE AUTHOR: 2023: Remembering Lagos’ Late Labour Leader [OPINION]

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The Ohinoyi, as the quoted Editorial stated, responded to the query, where he stated among other reasons, that he was informed of the President’s visit hours to the event. The Monarch writes: “It was only on the night of 28th December 2022, you visited me at about 9:30pm and informed me that Mr President would be coming to Okene the following day to commission some projects, and that I should stay back in my palace while the president will be coming to pay me a courtesy visit upon his arrival. On 29th December 2022, at about 8:15am, I received an unofficial copy of the visit programme of Mr. President and I noted that Mr. President was meant to commission the Ohinoyi’s Palace at 10:10am. This observation implied that Mr. President was to commission another Palace other than my current Palace that I have been occupying since I was crowned in 1997. It is worthy to note that as the Paramount Ruler of Ebiraland, I have not been officially informed of the existence of any new Palace…” . That notwithstanding, the old man said he made arrangements to attend the ceremony and was almost leaving for the venue “when I heard an earth moving bomb blast at the rear entrance to my Palace close to the new Mosque across the street at 9:00am. While I was in the Palace ensuring that the casualties of the unfortunate incident were being attended to, I was informed that Mr. President had concluded his programme and departed for Lokoja. I also discovered that the main wall of the entrance to my Palace had been breached and all entrances to the Palace had been barricaded to make access to and fro impossible”. In further agony, the Ohinoyi noted that since the unfortunate incident of the bomb blast and the attendant loss of lives and property, “…this Letter of Query is the first communication, written or otherwise from any official of the State to me, without any commiserations or enquiries about the unfortunate bomb blast that led to the intended disruption of Mr. President’s programme, loss of lives of innocent Ebira people, massive damages on my Palace and rancour within my domain” Then he signed the letter with his name and title Atta Ebiraland.

Pronto, the state government rejected the letter on the flimsy excuse that the monarch chose the title “Atta Ebira” instead of the officially recognised title of “Ohinoyi of Ebiraland”. In rejecting the letter, the state government decided to ‘honour’ the Ohinoyi by having Salami Momodu, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, to endorse the rejection letter. What do I make of the whole ‘penkelemesi’ (peculiar mess)? I share the sentiment by the Nigerian Tribune Editorial that there had been no love lost between the Ohinoyi and the state government. If you ask me further, I will volunteer, without any iota of hesitation, that the government of Kogi State under the watch of Yahaya Bello, is just looking for an excuse to hang the Ohinoyi. In the whole matter, I keep getting the picture of how we kill cats in my native neighbourhood. There are many myths surrounding the cat. One of them is the belief that cats are pets of the ‘Owners of the night’ – the esoteric – witches. Many people become ailurophobes because they believe that cats are easily possessed by witchcraft spirits. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. All I know is that in killing the cat, our elders are very cautious. They don’t just grab the lovely pet and slit its throat. What do they do? We have a woolen sack called ‘idoho’ – it comes in brown colour. The cat is put inside the sack, the mouth tied and then they begin to hit the sack against the wall or the floor. And while doing that, they utter the following: “Everyone should come and see that it is this cat that is killing itself”. They put the cat in the sack so that it does not see who is hitting it against the wall. And they utter the words so that the “owners” of the cat will not turn up at night to demand for the blood of the cat from its killer. It is like giving a dog a bad name and then hanging it. The query is the sack; just as the Ohinoyi is the cat. Only the gods can tell where the Kogi State Government will hit the cat on before it kills it.

FROM THE AUTHOR: OPINION: Obasanjo And His Worth

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The Ohinoyi said that he was informed hours before the president’s visit. Nobody has disputed that. He said he got to know that the president would be commissioning a new palace, the existence of which he did not know until 8.15 am on the day of the commissioning. Nobody has contested that, too. Pray, how do you build a new palace without the knowledge of the king? Who will occupy the new palace in the first instance? Or is there a new Ohinoyi of Ebiraland known only to Yahaya Bello and his courtiers? How do you treat your father with such disdain? For crying out loud, Dr. Ado Ibrahim is 94 years old. It is only by the grace of God Almighty that he can spend another 10 years. Ohinoyi is already at life’s departure lounge. Why must he be made to carry any dent when he goes to meet his ancestors? And to think Governor Yahaya Bello, whose government is humiliating the Ohinoyi this way, is a maternal nephew to the monarch makes me puke even at middle age. For the sake of when he becomes old, can someone help advise Governor Yahaya Bello to add to the portion of honour for the elders so that those coming behind him will add to his own portion. May Eledua (God) not allow us to have enemies who are too formidable than us and are the same kith and kin.

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Opinion

Celebrating Buhari, Nigeria’s Man Of Peace

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By Suyi Ayodele

Naira Marley. Where is he now? For those who don’t know him; Naira Marley is one of the best street lingo crooners of the contemporary jargons, this generation calls music. But if you do not love his person, you must love his beats. His real name is Azeez Adeshina Fashola. How he came about the Naira Marley of a name is known to him and his generation. He is also very educated and street wise. His Wikipedia entry says he graduated with Distinction in Business from Peckham Academy and also studied Business Law at the Crossways College, both in England.

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I love the beats of the Agege, Lagos-born songwriter and musicologist. I listen to his lyrics. He did a song titled Soapy. One of the lines in the song is “Inside Life”. Inside Life is a translation of the Yoruba nominal phrase: Nínú Ayé. The full sentence is: Nínú Ayé, orísirísi nnkàn ló nsélè – in this world, all manners of things happen. Orísirísi is also an appellation of an elderly fellow in my native environment. But the name is also a complete sentence. Orísirísi nnkàn ló nsélè ni ile Alágbára. – All manners of things happen in the household of the powerful – is the full name. This is what Naira Marley says in the song” “Inside life l’oo ti ri Five Alive (Inside life you see Five Alive). Inside life l’oo ti ri Deeper Life (Inside life, you see Deeper Life). Inside life awon kan n je’ya, awon kan n chop life (Inside life, there are some who suffer, there are some who enjoy life). Valid words. Things happen in life. At least in Nigeria, things happen in our life as a nation. One of the things that has happened to us inside Nigerian life is the presidency of General Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari himself is our “Inside Life”. True, inside the Buhari government, our ‘life’, there are some Nigerians who are suffering. They are in the majority. We have Nigerians, who in the last seven years and seven months of the Buhari presidency had wished that Nigeria never experienced the Daura-born retired General. And of course, there are some inside the same Buhari, government that are chopping life. There are very few of those. They are the typical politicians, who feed fat on our collective woes. Those ones, the real locusts of our time, are ruled by three creeds: greed, selfishness, and personal aggrandisement. After those three, nothing else matters. Our politicians are our real Ayédé (This is where I am). Our elders say “ Ibi tí ayé bá eni dé ni a únpé ní Ayédé” – it is where life has pushed one to that one calls this is where I am. Where precisely have our leaders driven us to? Our Ayédés are in this government, and they are the ones Marley refers to as “awon kan n chop life”.

Marley, in the earlier lines of the song above sings: “Ati lo a ti de (We have gone we have come back). Eni ori yo o dile (Whoever destiny saves scurries back home). That makes sense. Nigeria has become a jungle of a sort under Buhari. Whoever survives should thank his Ori (destiny). We have never had it so bad. Unfortunately, the one who holds our collective destiny in his hands cares less what happens to us. Buhari, I say again, is our own Nínú Ayé. Ayé (life) continues no matter what happens to the individuals inside it. So is it with General Buhari. Yesterday, Monday, January 16, 2023, Buhari left Abuja for Nouakchott, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. His mission? He travelled to the country to receive a “Peace Award” for “Strengthening peace in Africa”. The statement announcing his departure said that the award is in recognition of Buhari’s leadership role in promoting peace on the continent, through regular inventions, counsels, and conciliatory positions. Femi Adesina, Buhari’s spokesman, who endorsed the statement, said the award would be presented to General Buhari today, Tuesday, January 17, 2023, by the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum, “an assembly of leaders established in 2014 to pursue new ways to embrace inclusive citizenship, promote lasting peace, and work towards a safer and more sustainable world for everyone”. That is a noble body. One of the key elements of the Abu Dhabi group is to “work towards a safer and more sustainable world for everyone”. The group will be rewarding Buhari because in its estimation, the Nigerian president has worked towards a safer and more sustainable world for everyone, Nigerians inclusive, I guess. But is that true of Buhari? While receiving the award, would Buhari beam with smiles and beat his chest that he has made life safer for us as citizens of Nigeria? Inside life!

READ ALSO: OPINION: Obasanjo And His Worth

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Some hours before Buhari jetted out to Mauritania for his peace award, bandits stormed a Catholic Church in Niger State and burnt a priest to ashes in his home. Nigerian Tribune of January 16, 2023, reported the sad story under the headline: “Bandits burn Catholic Priests inside residence in Niger”. The headline has two riders: “Abduct five in Katsina church. Kidnap another Catholic priest in Ekiti”. Reverend father Isaac Achi of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Kaffin-Koro in Panikoro Local Government Area of Niger State was attacked earlier hours of Sunday by bandits, who after failed attempts to enter the priest’s residence, set the building ablaze and waited for it to burn down completely with its occupant, the Catholic priest. Locals said the bandits came into the community at about 1.00am. Wasiu Abiodun, Niger Police Command spokesman, said that the bandits eventually burnt down the priest at about 3.00am. Between their arrival and the setting of Reverend Father Achi ablaze, the bandits had two full hours. No help came the way of the priest, even as another priest, Father Collins, escaped with gunshot wound to his shoulder. Father Collins, where he is will remember Marley’s line, ‘Eni ori yo o dile’. Don’t ask me why no help came for Reverend Father Achi. Kuje Correctional Centre is some 48 kilometres from Aso Rock. The facility came under heavy attacks of bandits on July 5, 2022. General Buhari was in his Aso Rock Villa while the attack lasted. Hundreds of inmates, among whom were Boko Haram members, were in that facility. Yet Buhari heard nothing, said nothing and did absolutely nothing. By the time the avalanche of gunshots was over, the hitherto incarcerated Boko Haram suspects became free men. If the Buhari presidency was too lame duck to rise to the defence of the Kuje Correctional Centre, how would anyone expect a miracle from him for a lonely Catholic priest in faraway Niger State, the closeness of Niger to Abuja notwithstanding.

Reverend Father Achi was not the only thing that happened to life in Nigeria under Buhari that Sunday. In the General’s home state of Katsina, some AK-47 wielding terrorists stormed Maitsauni Village in Kankara Local Government Area at about 7.00a.m and made for a church in the locality. After shooting one pastor, named Haruna, the terrorists kidnapped five worshippers. Ogundele Ayodeji, Niger State Commissioner of police, said “reinforcement has been dispatched to the area and effort is ongoing to apprehend the assailants…”. Count on your fingertips the number of such cases the nation has had the misfortune of experiencing and you will marvel at what ‘life’ is doing to us under Buhari. But the Maitsauni experience was nothing compared to the fate that befell the New Life All Church at Jan-Tsauni, Gidan Haruna Community, also of Kankara LGA, where bandits kidnapped 25 worshippers. Ishaya Jarau, a Reverend, who doubles as Senior Special Assistant to Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State on Christian Affairs, while confirming the incident, said that the bandits “abducted 25 worshippers and left the church pastor with injuries”. That incident happened by 10.00a.m, three clear hours after five worshippers were abducted the same day in the same LGA. You may want to ask again, what happened within the hours? What did the security agencies do? What message did Buhari, who is from the state, pass across to the security agencies? Why should bad things happen in the president’s state and nothing concrete is done about it? If those incidents could happen in Katsina State, what is the fate of Ekiti, Bayelsa, Kogi, Anambra or Taraba States? The two accounts above made the Saturday evening kidnap of Reverend father Michael Olofinlade of St. George Catholic Church, Omuo-Ekiti by bandits along the Itaji-Ekiti and Ijelu-Ekiti road to pale into insignificance. Maybe one day, someone will crack the mystery behind the bandits of this Buhari government and the Catholic Mission in Nigeria. The incidents are too close and too frequent to be mere coincidences.

While terrorists reign supreme in Nigeria, while life has become so short and difficult for an average citizen of the once peaceful nation, and the Katsina home state of the president has become the headquarters of terrorism in the last couple of days, Buhari left Abuja for Mauritania to receive a ‘Peace Award’! And guess what, Buhari travelled with almost the entire nation’s security architecture. On the baseless journey, Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi, the National Security Adviser, Major General Mohammed B. Monguno and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Adesina disclosed. So, who is left behind to watch over our porous nation while Buhari and his entourage enjoy the safety of Mauritania till they return on Wednesday? Not only that, Adesina added: “Before the international recognition for serving Nigeria, and the larger interest of peace in Africa, the President will participate in the Programme of the Third Forum of the African Conference for Peace, where he will deliver a speech on milestones and gains in the African peace process”; in addition to the award. Interesting. Why is our ‘life’ a contrast in Nigeria? Honestly, I am very much interested in the content of Buhari’s speech at the ‘Peace Award’ event. I would like to, if I have the opportunity, see the countenance of his would-be audience, when he begins to talk about peace. I would more than anything else, like to know if there would be any Yoruba person among the audience. If there were any, I would like them to interpret for me the saying by our elders to wit: “Eni ma dá aso fún ni, ti orùn rèlaakó wò – if a man promises to give you clothing, you first look at what he is putting on. What exactly would be Buhari’s definition of peace? What will he make of the daily bloodletting in the South-East? How would he place, describe, and project the roving killer Fulani herders, who daily visit “sorrow, tears, and blood” on Nigerians with absolute impunity? What will the retired General call the almost per-second kidnappings on our highways, waterways, railways and everywhere in Nigeria? Peace? What manner of Peace? Those who wrote Buhari’s speech for the event, what statistics did they use? How convincing were they while drafting the material, or was it just a case of getting the job done regardless of whose ox is gored? Will the Buharideens of this world also add the Abu Dhabi Peace Award emblem to Buhari’s collection of trophies? May the Nigerian kind of ‘life’ never happen to us!

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