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KANO: HISTORY, PEOPLES, POLITICS, AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF ITS RELIGIOUS UPRISINGS ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF THE NIGERIAN STATE (2)

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Law and Society

The districts created by the British are as follows;(1)The Birni  occupied by the Hausa Fulani kanawa hegemony under the city walls who refused to acknowledge British rule until it became difficult to ignore. This area was exclusively reserved for them and Christians were not permitted to live in this district by the British apartheid Policy. The British also created the Sabon gari for the Christians in 1911 for two primary reasons, to prevent cultural shocks and to prevent the Christians who were far better educated from corrupting the indigenous peoples to resist British rule. One of the ways the British achieved their second purpose was by indoctrinating the indigenous people of the notion of Christian domination in the event of sudden independence as the wave of anti colonialism continued to rise. This resulted in the Northern resistance against self rule when Enahoro moved a motion for independence.

The Northern Muslims migrants who were ready to work with the British settled in Tundun wada and gwargwama and with sabon Gari formed the second district.

The third district was the township and the centre of British rule, where administrators and top civil servants resided. The Christians occupied most of the positions as the Muslims held western education in great suspicion and where resultantly marginalized. This suspicion of western education is therefore a historical fact and one of the goals of the Boko Haram insurgency remains the displacement of Western Education for koranic and Islamic Scholarship; a theme which developed earlier, in Kano.

Although, the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency, is concentrated in the North East of Nigeria, many of its sympathizers were deeply rooted in Kano and influenced by the passions of war against the infidels and considered Kano Home. The impact of Boko haram especially in the Sabon gari Bus terminal bomb blasts which killed and wounded hundreds is a courtesy to its history of religious violence.

The British introduced divide and rule and apartheid first in Kano Nigeria by their administrative and political policies , by creating separate districts for Christians and Muslims; perhaps because they realized that Christians and Muslims cannot peacefully exist on account of their religious differences but yet lumped them together in one country.

By 1968, Kano was transformed to a state by the amalgamation of the emirates of kano, Gumel, kazaure and Hadejia  nevertheless the preminence of  Christians in Kano Bureaucracy gave the largely Muslim City, a Status it found embarrassing and did not want to identify with until the latter northenisation policy of state  largely revised that.

The Igbo became the symbol of western decadence and Christianity in pre civil war northern Nigeria and were specially targeted and killed en mass from 1953 to the present day. These mass murders of Igbo and Christians gave Kano a bad name in global media and it was distanced by investors as unstable.

The Post Nzeogwu Coup of 1966 gave the anti Igbo public the opportunity to perpetrate the worst systemic slaughter of the Igbo in the history of the nation and the annihilation of the Christians became a cause to be achieved in the quest to regain its cultural identity as a Muslim state and the political ascendancy of the sponsors.

The secular federation of Nigeria remained sterile letters of the constitution which was better ignored than followed by the Northerners in so far as Islam was concerned. The kanawa, the indigenous people and Muslim settlers of Kano saw the establishment of the Sabon gari as a citadel of infidels that must be destroyed by the forces of Islam.

This pogrom to a large extent was aided by the migrant North Africans in their zone of settlement in Kano. The first clash of the kanawa with the Christians at sabon gari however took place in 1953 in   which tens of people died, as a masked opposition to self rule in which they received the support of the British. But there were other considerations for this attack. The Kanawa detested the Igbo for their superior economic aggressions which made them the most successful merchants not only in Kano but the entire northern Nigeria. The evidence of Igbo wealth was clear in the city. They lived and built the best houses in contradistinction to the many Hausa who lived in poverty housing. It was only natural that there should be hatred and distrust.

The other reason why the Igbo were hated is because they refused unlike the Yoruba to convert to Islam and largely looked down on their Hausa hosts as inferiors.

These led to various attacks and by the time of the failed 1966, coup in which Tafawa Balewa, the prime minster was killed with the premier of Northern Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello was gunned down, the fury of the kanawa and Kano was unleashed and the North was thrown into the most unprecedented slaughter in which the Igbo were killed including countless women and children. They were far from their homeland and the apparatus of state security and the intelligence services stood by and allowed the genocide. In fact, the  mutinous army and the police took part in the genocide and the entire northern Nigeria became a grave yard for the Igbos.

Much as it has been argued about the Nzeogwu coup to the contrary, It was infact an Igbo coup based on the result.

On their part, the people of Kano saw the coup as an Igbo coup and were more widely concerned by the unitary decree pronounced by Ironsi rather than the deaths of their leaders which gave the Igbo ascendancy as the dominant power in Nigeria, direct rule of Muslim lands.

Thus unitary rule was ill advised and led to the subsequent assassination of ironsi. According to   Prof. Al mazuri, the Igbo were always the subject of recurring slaughter In the North in his book on the triple heritage of Africans. This summation is a painful truth which crystallized in the Kano Sabon Gari bomb blast in which tens and hundreds of them were killed, or wounded in the so called citadel of infidels.

The beheading and street parade of Spiked Akaluka’s head in later years before the media and security agents was the greatest humiliation of the Igbo race and showed their vulnerability, lack of political cohesion and defined their neighbours. Although, the principal actors of the brazen genocide are known over the ages, the Igbo leadership has shown lack of interest to ensure their prosecution or make these events the subject of national or international inquiry because of their economic and selfish interests.

The Igbo has been targeted and killed en mass at Bus terminals, at markets and in their homes in Kano and the North without any meaningful intervention of the federation or the punishment of the participants  and sponsors; the federal government has never offered compensation for their human and property losses in the various upheavals but has rather spent billions of naira to settle the almajirai community who were used in the wanton destruction of lives and properties particularly in kano in the backdrop of the Boko haram terrorism.

To be contd.

 

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The Data of Forgiveness

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The Universal Character of Salvation

The most important ingredient in today’s media economy is data. The amount of data available determines how much and how long we can work or play on the internet. Currently, many of the service providers offer unlimited data plans but we know that those “unlimited” plans are not always unlimited. Sometimes, your download speed can get slowed down when you cross a certain point. Today, however, Jesus gives us the divine model of an unlimited plan. It is the unlimited bundle of compassion and forgiveness which never gets slowed downed shut down for maintenance. The theme for this week is that we must learn to forgive without limits no matter the injury committed against us.

In Matthew’s Gospel, today’s teaching on unlimited forgiveness comes after Jesus had told his disciples the parable of the wandering sheep, so it is plausible that some would have wondered among themselves how many times a good shepherd should go after the same sheep if it keeps wandering away. In those days, people believed that forgiveness was limited to three times only – a fourth transgression was not to be forgiven. So, by asking Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Peter was probably aiming to increase the limit to seven times. And Jesus makes it clear that we are to forgive others, “not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:22).That means we must dispense an unlimited data bundle of mercy.

In Jesus Christ, we have the forgiveness of a debt we could never pay. Sin is an offence against God and a direct rebellion against his authority and creation. The debt of 10,000 talents mentioned in today’s parable symbolizes the magnitude of the offence that sin causes in God’s eyes, but he is always willing to forgive without limits. However, we can easily cut ourselves off from God’s river of mercy when we refuse to forgive others. We end up restraining God’s mercy and putting ourselves under strict justice. To unfold his mercy without compromising his justice, God leaves each person free to choose between the two. If we insist on strict justice when we are offended, we bring God’s strict justice upon ourselves. But if we offer an unlimited bundle of mercy to others, we draw God’s unlimited data of forgiveness upon ourselves.

The secret to forming a forgiving heart lies in recognizing the evil of our sin and the immensity of God’s goodness in forgiving us. Until we see the ugliness of our ingratitude and selfishness, we will never appreciate the generosity of God’s forgiveness. Let us examine ourselves now to see how much forgiveness we are giving. Is there someone we still cannot forgive even after they have expressed sorrow for their actions? Have we judged someone too harshly because of something they said or did that we did not particularly like? How many times have we failed to help somebody because we are still dwelling on an injury that we suffered many years ago? How many times have we treated someone differently based on preconceived notions or stereotypes? These are some of the factors that shackle us like chains and that disrupt the unlimited data of divine grace in our lives. When we close ourselves off to people or dismiss them based on our preconceptions, mistaken judgments, and prejudices, not only do we make them suffer, we suffer as well.

But it does not have to be that way. Jesus came to free us from and the burden of sin and unhappiness. Forgiveness is like mercury, which runs away when it is held tightly in the hand but is preserved by keeping the palm open. When we lose forgiveness, we lose the ability to give and to receive love because love is the foundation of forgiveness. And since God is the foundation of love, whoever refuses to forgive automatically rejects the love of God. This is the essence of today’s parable and it is highlighted by the contrast between what was owed by each man. The wicked slave owed his master some 10000 talents. In gold terms, that is 350 tons and at today’s price, he owed his master USD21.8 billion. This was way more than King Solomon made in a year which was 666 talents of gold or USD1.45 billion in today’s value (cf. I Kings 10:14). So, this unforgiving servant owed his master what no individual could never payback. In contrast, his fellow servant owed him the equivalent of one talent of gold or USD2.1 million; so a man who was forgiven $21.8b could not let go of $2.1m, and his wickedness landed him in the hands of torturers.

Dear friends, forgiveness is an act of compassion which is expressed in the free choice to pardon one another’s shortcomings every day, and to also pardon ourselves for own mistakes Forgiveness transcends the fear of being wounded again; it is a deliberate act in imitation of the redemptive work of Jesus, the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, and the loving kindness of the Father. The whole point of today’s parable is that our Father in heaven will do the same to anyone who refuses to forgive others. Whoever refuses to forgive is doomed to a life of bitterness, and as the ugly trend continues, the person ends up building invisible walls of resentment around themselves, thereby blocking off not just one’s relationships with other people but with God as well. Forgiveness is not just an emotional expression or a sense of righteousness; it means being merciful not only when there is an explanation or apology, or a promise of amendment from the offender, but even when the offence is deliberate, and the offender is adamant. Forgiveness is a precious gift of grace, which does not depend on the worthiness of the receiver. Forgiveness is what we called to do, and the Lord’s grace is sufficient for us in that regard. Amen.

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Imo Deputy Governor’s giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture

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Imo Deputy Governor's giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture
By Joy Opara

The increasing cost of Agricultural products in Imo State in recent times has continued to be a major source of concern to the citizens of the state.

A critical appraisal of the development of Agriculture in this state reveals that successive governments had neglected this major sector of the economy, over three decades now, and this has adversely affected the revenue of government.

In line with the vision of the “shared prosperity” government of the Hope Uzodinma administration, the revolution of agriculture is among its cardinal programmes for which a high powered committee (on agricultural master plan for Imo State) has been set up.
For the purpose of resuscitating all moribund agricultural industries and facilities in the state, it is not surprising that this committee is headed by a world class Professor of Agriculture and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku.

The need to diversify the economy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a well known fact that there is no better and more sustainable means of diversifying the economy than through agriculture. It would be recalled that after the inauguration of his committee, the deputy governor went into action, first by visiting all moribund agricultural facilities in the state, which included Adapalm in Ohaji/ Egbema LGA, Avutu Poultry farm in Avutu, Obowo LGA, Songhai farms, Okigwe road, Owerri, ADP farms in Nekede, Owerri West. Others are Acharaubo farms in Emekuku, Owerri North, Imo Rubber Plantation in Obiti, Ohaji/ Egbema, amongst others.
Prof. Njoku in one of his speeches during the tour described agriculture as the economic base of most countries of the world. Considering the dwindling oil revenue, he said it should be a source of worry to people of good conscience that the vision of our founding fathers to generate revenue, food security, economic advancement, industrialization, employment and eradication of poverty was destroyed by successive governments.
The Deputy Governor, who not only is acknowledged as one of the greatest professors of Animal Science, a renowned Agriculturist and former Vice Chancellor of a leading University of Agriculture, the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, made it clear that the present government led by Governor Hope Uzodinma is desirous to return agriculture to its former glory.

The Ikeduru-born technocrat and farmer per-excellence said that the 3R Mantra of this administration namely: Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery is a base for making the dream of Imo State as the food basket of the nation come true.

Noting that government is a continuum, the deputy governor promised that his committee will build upon what is already on ground by rehabilitating the ones that could be rehabilitated and bringing in new facilities where necessary to ensure that the passion of the governor towards agricultural revival is achieved.

Meanwhile, in most of the establishments visited by the committee, it was discovered that indigenes of the communities had badly encroached into the lands and converted them to personal use. Investigations by the committee revealed that agents of some past governments in the state connived with the communities to make it possible, for their personal aggrandizement.

The deputy governor, whose humility has become legendary pledged his total support to the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma whom he described as God sent to right all that were done wrong by the previous administrations in the state. He called on all to give this administration the needed support to rewrite the history of Imo State in gold, especially the agricultural sector.

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Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust

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Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust
By Christian Uzoukwu

Some years ago, while as a kid, I fell out with my father due to an occasion of sheer disobedience and on that very day, I was given no food and was ultimately battered by hunger. Child abuse includes both acts of commission and omission on the part of parents, guardians as well as care-givers.

These acts have led to a lot of actual and threatened harm meted out on countless number of children. In 2014, the WHO made an estimate of 41,000 children (under the age of 15) that are victims of homicide and other related offences. This estimate, as expounded by this world body is grossly below the real figures due to the views of the society in relation to corporal punishment experienced by children. Girls are always most vulnerable to different forms of child abuse during unrests and in war-thorn territories.

Cases of child abuse can be established in some deadly human vices such as child trafficking, child labour, forced adoption as seen in the one-child policy prevalent in China. In the Asian country, women, by law are only allowed to have one child. Local governments would sometimes allow the woman to give birth and then they would take the baby away stating the mother violated the one child policy. Child traffickers, often paid by the government, would sell the children to orphanages that would arrange international adoptions worth tens of thousands of dollars, turning a profit for the government.

Other striking examples of child abuse are the various forms of violence against the girl-child which involves infanticide, sex-selective abortions, female genital mutilations (FGM), sexual initiation of virgins in some African cultures, breast ironing in some parts of Cameroon – involving the vicious use of hot stones and other tools to flatten the breast tissue of girls who have attained the age of puberty. As if those were not enough, female students are also subject to maltreatments in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is not to talk of recurring kidnapp of female students in some parts of Nigeria, as we saw in the case of Dapchi and Chibok schoolgirls.

Based on simple analysis, child abuse can be defined as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.

This definition by WHO also falls in line with the definition propounded by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that child abuse are acts of commission. This commission includes “words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child”, and acts of omission (neglect), meaning “the failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm.

In Nigeria, most cases of child abuse have become cumbersome due to the fact that these acts of abuses are regarded as mere punishments to unruly young ones and by so doing, should be justified and doesn’t call for any further discussion and/or scrutiny. According to various statistical studies and researches, child abuse is a vast societal cankerworm and has four profound tentacles viz:

Physical Abuse: this involves undue hitting, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, burning, strangling, insertion of pepper into the eyes and pubic regions of children, maltreatments from house-help(s) and seniors at boarding/day schools, suffocating and forcing children to live in unwholesome conditions.

Sexual Abuse also includes persuading a minor into acts of sexual intercourse, exposure of the child’s private parts, production of child-related pornographic contents and actual sexual contacts with children.

Psychological Abuse of children can be seen in cases of excessive scolding, lack of proper attention that children should be receiving from their parents and guardians, destructive criticisms and destruction of a child’s personality.

Neglect of children can also lead to children dropping out of schools, begging/stealing for food and money, lack of proper medical care for minors and realities of children looking like ragamuffins.

Consequently, the causes of child abuse can be judiciously related to sex, age, personal history, societal norms, economic challenges, lack of Rights’ Protection Agencies, parents battling with traits of alcoholism and family size. These causative agents of child abuse can bring untold effects upon the society at large and these effects can be emotional, physical and psychological as the case may be, giving rise to individuals with dissociative lifestyles.

Furthermore, the treatment of individuals who have been malformed with respect to the abuses they experienced abinitio, can be a long process because it involves behavioral therapy and other forms of neoteric therapies. Treatments of psyche-related problems are not just a one-day process due to the long-lasting effects of abuses on various conscious mental activities. It is also noteworthy to point out that, prevention is always better than cure and holding fast to this true reality, entails that agencies who have the responsibility of protecting the rights of children must continue to do the needful which requires proper oversights of parent-child relationships.

To conclude this piece therefore, we must agree that untold hardships have been a great challenge for children especially in Africa and some parts of Asia. Children with long histories of abuses turn out to become societal misfits. To this end we encourage that: Children should be given a free platform to express themselves on many topical issues and issues relating to their existence.

Children should also be allowed to freely ask questions on any issue, no matter, how weird it seems to be.

Governments should make regulations outlawing societal norms and values that might amount to child abuses.

Corporal punishments by parents, guardians and care-givers should be discouraged at all levels, thereby making parents/guardians/care-givers who seem to be incorrigible, to face the full weight of justice enshrined in the law of the land.

Education system (both conventional and unconventional) in Nigeria should be able to train up young ones into becoming critical, analytical and evaluative individuals with a view of defending the vulnerable.

And again, since children are said to be leaders of tomorrow, it is pertinent to note that to secure their future, their present existence must be cherished and protected.

Christian Chimemerem Uzoukwu
08100029867 / 09025760804
Admin Critical Thinkers’ Forum.

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