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Honor Amongst Cops & Robbers

The world was caught in a mystified glare at the images of Nigerian lawmakers scaling fences and gates as they break into the National Assembly. It all started after the Speaker of the House Aminu Waziri Tambuwal defected from the ruling party PDP to the opposition APC.

You see the PDP is run mob style, once you are a “made man” you just don’t quit and take your services to the next family. So in true Gambino fashion President Goodluck Jonathan ordered “muscle” in the form of Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to prevent the Speaker and other lawmakers from entering the National Assembly.

Hon Kawu Sumaila Deputy Minority Leader House Of Representatives
Hon Kawu Sumaila Deputy Minority Leader House Of Representatives

A President many claim is weak and timid has sure had his way bullying his opponents while sailing with ease through way too many corruption allegations of his own. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the Governor of the Central Bank accused the administration of fraud in a scheme were billions of dollars were allegedly transferred by the administration into private accounts. The president immediately fired Sanusi on trumped up charges, and had Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on the run, until saved by the bell when crowned the Emir of Kano.

Then there are the oil subsidy fraud allegations against billionaire Femi Otedola a close friend and coconspirator of the president and other Dons of the “Oil Cabal”. This is the same “Oil Cabal” that kidnapped the finance minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s mother for ransom for trying to end the oil subsidy fraud, which made the cabal billions of dollars.

Nigeria Lawmaker Breaking Into The National Assembly
Nigeria Lawmaker Breaking Into The National Assembly

Femi Otedola allegedly gave a bribe of $500,000 to Hon Farouk Lawan a respected member of the House who headed the investigating committee into the fraud allegations. He managed to capture the alleged transaction in a self-produced video recording.  Femi Otedola also allegedly bribed the secretary of the committee Boniface Emenlo $120,000 in installments of $20,000 and $100,000. All conspirators are moving around the world freely, while in Nigeria under the protection of the NPF.

There was the announcement by Aso Rock that a ceasefire and agreement to release the 200plus kidnapped girls of Chibok was reached by the administration and Boko Haram, that was months ago yet Boko Haram continues to bomb and displace masses of Nigerians indiscriminately.

SEP 1962 – Diary Of Western Nigeria’s Political Crisis – As parliamentarians in the Western House of Assembly riot, some MPs seek any means of exit. This record of the crisis in Western Nigeria serves as a reminder that we must never again allow political difference to get so disastrously out of hand. ( Photograph by Matthew Faji ©BAHA)
SEP 1962 – Diary Of Western Nigeria’s Political Crisis – As parliamentarians in the Western House of Assembly riot, some MPs seek any means of exit. This record of the crisis in Western Nigeria serves as a reminder that we must never again allow political difference to get so disastrously out of hand. ( Photograph by Matthew Faji ©BAHA)

Then there were the illegal arms deals involving Aso Rock, the head of the Christian Association of Nigeria Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor, private jets, millions of dollars in cash and illegal arms dealers in South Africa.

Through this laundry list of allegations President Goodluck Jonathan had the Honorables and his opposition house trained like toothless dogs scared to bark at the president, unable to impeach the president. President Jonathan wields such power and control over the House and his opposition for the one simple fact that Nigerian runs on a Federal system.

Governors, senators, ministers, obas, chiefs, thieves, pastors are all protected by the NPF. So while the honorable senators, ministers and governors are rolling to their churches or mosques with their NPF security detail, picking up bribe money in “Ghana Must Go” bags or having rendezvous with their many side chicks on the peoples dollars intelligence is gathered by the NPF, a federal agency.

The average Nigerian believes the NPF are a bunch of bribe collecting mumus daily harassing the average citizen, yes that is true but then they are also very good at gathering and reporting intelligence, you know it takes a thief to catch a thief. Eventually the information gathered purely for political blackmail purposes makes it’s way to the Oga Pata Pata.

Ogbeni Ayotunde

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Kano and The Paradox of High Divorce Rate

In December 2013 Kano State governor, Mr. Rabiu Kwankwaso announced the state had spent ₦250k per couple on mass marriages for 1,111 divorced women. This is an attempt by the state government to intervene in the ever-increasing population of divorced women in the state. The matchmaking process included screening for HIV/AIDS and interviewing potentials suitors for individuals.

Just over a week ago, the new Emir of Kano Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II stated at a meeting that he would like to see divorce rates in Kano brought under control. His proposal was to have stiffer penalties for men that will prohibit them from seeking divorce based on minor excuses and complaints that could have been easily sorted among couples.

In his interview with BBC editor Mansur Liman, the Emir highlights child bride issue, lack of education for girls, lack of respect for women’s consent in their choice of whom to marry and the choice of culture over individual happiness as the key areas he sees to be contributing factors to the high rate of divorce in Kano.

Mallam Sanusi also made points regarding education and child brides, which is very common amongst Muslims especially in Northern Nigeria. He noted that child marriage is more of a
Cultural practice than Islamic, that Islam preaches education for all and Western education as a key to liberate minds of his people.

Mallam Sansui’s strong stance on finding lasting solutions to curb high divorce rates in Kano is long awaited news to forward thinking Nigerians. It was met with resistance by a handful of critics however, those that see change as an attack on their culture and religion

There is an organization set up for divorce women to voice their concerns and plight. Under the current system men are allowed to marry up to four wives. They are also allowed to send any of their wives packing for something as trivial as ‘She didn’t let me sleep with her two days in a row.’ or ‘She cooked the kind of fish I didn’t like for super.’ Seriously, I read a case just a little while ago about the fish example and their customary court granted divorce based on just that.

If education is to do any good to the present situation, I believe everyone needs to be carried along. Parents and children need re orientation about what is good for them versus holding on to harmful traditions.

As it stands today, parents believe their daughters must be married off when she reaches puberty, which means 13years old for many girls or a little earlier for some. In this case, whether or not the little girl understands or wants it, she will be married off.

Wasilu Umar’s story earlier this year is an example of this. Wasilu a 14year old girl was forced to marry a 35year old man. She was not attracted to the Mr. Umar and did not want to marry him. The only way she believed she could get out of the unwanted and loveless union was to do something drastic.

She killed Umar with rat poison. Kano courts operate under Sharia law and Wasilu was sentenced to death. There was an outcry from Nigerians that Wasilu is a child, and she has the rights to be tried in a Juvenile court. There is a legitimate defense she acted in self-defense.

Mass weddings seems like a temporary solution with good intentions however, millions of naira wasted on these marriages could be better invested in community education where families can get the needed education to help them make informed decisions about how important it is that children and couples are not forced into unions.

The Emir’s stiffer penalties for men getting divorced on frivolous reasons will not offer the permanent solution he yawns for because people will always find their way around this law. As he rightly stated in the interview, education is the key.

According to UNICEF, 26 % of girls in Kano do not go beyond primary school and more than 50% gets married off by 15. Maybe keeping the girls in school is the priority for now as they are less likely to be married off when in school.

Kano is one of the poorest states in Nigeria therefore many parents marry off their little girls in hopes of better living. Here I believe the state could have spent the ₦278million it spent on quick fix marriages on job creation, education and family planning. | Folakemi Odoaje for #JujuFilms

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What If Jonathan Is Right?

What If Jonathan Is Right?