Tag Archives: Politics

Opinion: The ‘defeat’ of Boko Haram by Sonala Olumhense

Editor’s note: The author Sonala Olumhense in this piece talks about the declarations made by different officials in authority that the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram has finally been defeated.

Last Monday, Nigeria’s highest authorities declared Boko Haram, the militant group which has caused tremendous violence and agony for nearly 10 years, finally contained.

Speaking during a Town Hall gathering in Maiduguri, the ground zero of the menace, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, the Minister of the Interior, described the group as “completely decimated.”

He added that the group’s structure was degraded and its leadership, dismantled.

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed cited the “resumption of flights, bubbling nightlife, and football matches in Maiduguri” as signs normalcy has returned to the Borno State capital.

It is interesting to note that the report of the event was filed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and nobody explained why the national and international media in the area appeared unable to find the venue.

As part of the back-slapping, Defence Minister Mansur Dan Ali announced that at least 30,000 hostages kidnapped by the insurgents were freed by the troops.

Two days earlier, also in Maiduguri, Rogers Ibe Nicholas, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, also declared Boko Haram “completely defeated.” Speaking at the inauguration of the Nigeria-Cameroun Military Joint Mission, he explained that only the previous day, his troops had overrun Boko Haram’s “Camp Zero,” dislodging the militants and occupying the area.

“We have broken the heart and soul of Shekau’s group, taking over the camp and its environs,” Nicholas said. “They are on the run and we are pursuing them to wherever they go. This time around there is no place for escape anywhere.”

The news comes some six weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari first made the announcement of the militants’ fate. In a statement on the eve of Christmas 2017, he declared “the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest.”

That was followed on January 7 by another affirmation by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, that his troops have won the war against Boko Haram.

The declarations come exactly three years after President Buhari said Nigeria had “technically” won the war. But the militants had then mounted more attacks against troops and populations.

All of this comes six months after Mr. Buratai gave the soldiers 40 days to capture Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist group, “dead or alive.” He ordered the then Operation Lafiya Dole chief, Ibrahim Attahiru, to spare no trick in his wine-skin bag “to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria.”

Given Shekau’s habit of re-appearing each time the army claims he has been killed or wounded, there was little surprise that after 40 days, the army could present to Buratai neither the militant nor his head.

On the contrary, there followed a new wave of Boko Haram attacks upon Nigerians, and an embarrassed military early in December went on a face-saving mission. Major General Attahiru was summarily removed and shoved to a desk assignment described as “policy and planning.”

While it would be incorrect to attribute the latest developments to the military wizardry of Nicholas, what he has achieved in such a short time is highly impressive. Despite that, using such language as “totally defeated,” or “crushed,” or “completely decimated” seems overblown, particularly with Shekau still in play.

And he didn’t take too long last week to announce himself. On Wednesday, he published a new video in which he declared Nigeria’s version of recent events to be false, affirming that he is in, and still controls Sambisa forest.

Obviously, until the challenge of finding Shekau is answered and his means and methods decapitated, the claim the insurgency has been defeated will continue to sound hollow. Among other questions is: where are the remaining Chibok High School girls? Where are the members of an oil exploration team the militants snatched in July last year which included policemen, NNPC researchers and University of Maiduguri professors? It is notable that Shekau brags about this point in his latest video, which he autographs as “the one that is an invincible enemy that you are fighting.”

These evident elements of doubt may explain why only NAN directly reported the government’s landmark celebrations last week. But the declarations of victory raise a key question about the $1bn the government announced in December it wanted to take from the Excess Crude Account allegedly to fight the insurgents.

Where do we go next? Despite the giant strides the Nigerian military has made in the combating Boko Haram, Buhari lack of both vision and patriotic ambition as a leader have become apparent in the past three years, and one of those areas is in sadly mistaking propaganda for action.

To that end, how does the government intend to handle the huge rebuilding and restoring challenge in the northeast, given how much officials such as the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal have taken advantage of Buhari’s weaknesses to exploit the poor and dispossessed.

In November 2016, the United Nations said in Abuja that Nigeria faced a massive humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency, and that 26 million people would be affected by the crisis into 2017. At the time, it also warned that about 75,000 children could die from hunger within just two months.

On March 30, 2017, the New York Times reported that over 130,000 people fleeing Boko Haram had amassed in Niger’s Diffa region, along National Route 1 in the southeast of the country, with nowhere to go. In May, Medicins San Frontieres, quoting the authorities, said that number had almost doubled, to 240,000. Nigeria has never responded to their presence.

Only last week, UN-OCHA announced that over 8.5 million persons need life-saving support due to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency; in 2017, it had targeted 6.9 million displaced persons.

This is a good time for the government to come up with a massive plan not only to help victims of the insurgency, including those outside our borders, but to address the national problems that facilitated the rise of Boko Haram in the first place. Sadly, those problems exist all over the country, and we have seen how they drive Nigerians into desperation, and sometimes out of the country into slavery and death.

The question is whether Buhari, given his alarming and disappointing record in the past three years, and confronted over the next with trying to remain in power in 2019, can summon the inspiration and strength he has lacked in three years, to tackle these problems.

The truth is that in view of Nigeria’s burgeoning population, business as usual is no longer an option. The tens of millions who have barely survived Boko Haram, in addition to the tens of millions all over the country who continue to be neglected while officials connive and help themselves to a lifestyle of opulence and privilege in the face of a weak anti-corruption preachment, is a tinderbox waiting to consume the unwary.

The poverty of purposefulness in high places must end now. Hopefully, it is clear to all that the days of hoodwinking the populace—like the days of coup-plotting and election-rigging—are over.

Boko Haram is not defeated until Nigeria is not just a political playpen.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of africanentertainment.info

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Former Governor, Donald Duke And His Wife Spotted On A Monster Bike In Calabar. Photos

It was a show of amusement and opulence on Wednesday at the third edition of the Calabar Bikers Parade in Cross River State as a former governor of the state, Donald Duke and his wife, Onari, emerged in a monster power bike.

Attendees, passerby and participants were thrilled as the couple stole the show.

The bike awe the crowd, who continuously chanted ‘Donald Donald’ as he drove through the carnival route with his wife.

The bikers carnival, introduced in 2015 by Ben Ayade, Cross River governor, is aimed at adding to the rich content of the Calabar carnival.

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Obiano speaks on ‘2019 presidential ambition’

Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano has insisted that there was no truth in the recent rumour that he intended to fly the flag of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the 2019 presidential election.

The governor in a Christmas message signed on his behalf by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr James Eze dispelled the speculations.

He said, “I dismiss them as a mere political stargazing which has no bearing on the facts on the ground.”

The governor urged the people of the state to seize the opportunity of the Christmas to touch the lives of their neighbour positively with love as they commemorate the birth of Christ.

Obiano described Christmas as the season of love when Christians are expected to rise above all inhibitions to show love to their neighbours.

“Christmas underscores the salvific role of Christ to mankind and reminds us all of the centrality of sacrificial love to a more peaceful and harmonious world. So, in the birth of Jesus Christ, we Christians are reminded that love is the first condition for a better world.”

Speaking further, Governor Obiano observed that Nigeria was in a period of time when only sacrificial love can heal the deep-seated wounds and harrowing agonies that harangue the people on a daily basis.

“We need to be kind to one another, encourage one another and support one another. Nigeria is at a time when we must all come together to seal the cracks between us with love and the celebration of Christmas gives us a perfect opportunity to do just that,” he further advised 

He assured the people of the state of his commitment to ensure that he surpasses his first term performance during his second term.

Obiano thanked them for voting him overwhelming in the just concluded governorship election.

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Atiku shuns supporters, journalists after closed-door meeting with IBB

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar declined to speak with journalists and shunned supporters after meeting behind closed doors with former military head of state Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda in Minna. 

Atiku, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). arrived Minna Airport in a private jet with registration number T7888 at about 10:45 am and was received by the Deputy Governor,  Ahmad Muhammad Ketso and former Governor Dr. Muazu Babaginda Aliyu as well as  PDP executive in the state.

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The former vice president alighted from the private jet to a rousing welcome party members and supporters who thronged the airport as early as 8:am.

Atiku was driven to the hilltop residence of the former military president were they held closed door meeting for one hour 45 minutes.

The former vice president, Aliyu and other entourage were received at the private quarters of the former leader but Aliyu and others were excused out of the meeting. 

About two hours later,  the former vice president came out  with long face and declined to talk to journalists.

He was driven back straight  to the Airport after the meeting where he also declined to speak to journalists who waited for hours to have an interaction with him and also refused to wave back at supporters who waited at the Airport for his return from the town.

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People of South Africa on the National Democratic Revolution!

Mxolisi “Laview” Khanyile writes:

introduction:


It is of a paramount importance to trace back where the NDR was originated, the strategic concept of the National Democratic Revolution was developed within the international communist movement from it 2nd congress in 1920. To be more detailed, the congress discussed the relationship between national oppression and class struggle. The 2nd congress’s commission on national and colonial question, VI Lenin and MN Roy from India played a leading role in this commission.

Lenin reporting back on behalf of commission he says “we have discussed whether it would be right of wrong, in principle and in theory, to state that the communist international communist parties must support the bourgeois-democratic movement in backwards countries. As a result of discussion, we have arrived at the unanimous decision to speak of the nationalrevolutionary movement rather than of bourgeois democratic movement” it was for this argument that urged the communist parties to work close with, and intensify the national struggles and led to SACP introducing the term NDR in the ANC 1928, that forms the common program of the alliance.

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THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION (NDR) AND CLASS STRUGGLE IN SOUTH AFRICA:


In order to understand the relationship betweenthe NDR and class struggle, we should get clear distinctions for the two. For NDR it is significant that we understand the current phase we are in which is the second radical phase and understanding simply schematic outline, in which we must understand separately pillars of NDR (the ‘N’, ‘D’ and ‘R’):

The National Dimension of the NDR embrace (i) progressive nationalism the NDR needs that we continue emobilizing people of south Africa around the “National Grievance” of the historically oppressed. In this phase we must not abandon the “National question”. This must be the task of Black and White South Africans.

(ii) nation building this is very import in south Africa as the nation that is too diverse culturally, racial, religiously and ideologically. all south African a from different diversity must be party of nation building condemning act such as black Monday were group of white farmers (Boers) burning the flag of the republic And showing racial discriminating acts. National building going and with redistribution of economy to the historically disadvantaged especially the blacks.

(iii) Democratic national sovereignty building a National consciousness, patriotismand ownership of and responsibility to south Africa by black and white.

The democratic dimension of the NDRthe1994 political breakthrough is part of the achievement of the NDR because democracy is the culture of broader and equitable participation in decision making very important to note rule (demo) by the people (cracy). Democracy includes elections, humanrights, equality of constitutional right, civil rights, Freedom and rule of law.

The revolutionary dimension of the NDR this refers to not an events but to revolutionary struggles for deep Structural transformation for our socio- economy to continue to develop radical transformation those structural features that continue to produce the crises of radicalized (and class and gander) in equality, poverty and unemployment.

The relationship between national struggle and class struggle, we must understand it correctly because a failure to understand the class content of the national struggle and then national content of the class struggle in the current existing conditions can hold back the progress of both democratic and socialist transformation which we want.

Comrades Joe Slovo was quoted saying [the immediate primacy of the struggle against race tyranny flows from the concrete reality of our existing situation. The concept of national domination is not a must I fixation to divert us from class approaches; it infect every level of
class exploitation. Indeed, it divides our working class in to colour compartments. Therefore, unusual categories such as ‘white working class and ‘black working class’ are unscientific but simply describe the fact.]

Class struggle is the period of capitalists hegemony, where the working class’s ultimate goal is to win power. But it is well know that the content of this class struggle does not remain fixed all the time, it is dictated by concrete situation at a given historic moment. When the working class is involved in the national struggle to destroy race domination they are surely at the same time engaging in the class struggle.

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Class struggle does not fade when workers forge alliance with other class force on a commonly agreed minimum programs. There is no such thing as pure class struggle.

PHASE ANDS SECOND PHASE OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION.

The first phase of the NDR was absolutely necessary on the political and juridical terrain.(i)The 1991-1994 multiparty negotiations (CODESA).(ii)The 1994 democratic electoral breakthrough itself and (iii)The consequent 1996 of adoption of a new constitution. It crucial to note that the first phase was itself radical. It abolished (politically, judicially, constitutionally) white rule.

The first phase has also been the platform on which a massive socio- economic redistributive programs has been launched. The democratic breakthrough of the mid-1990s has been used by successiveANC-led administration to drive major REDISTRIBUTIVE socio- economic programmers.

But even more importantly we must continue to ask ourselves difficulty questions like why are crisis levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality still produced? To answer this question and the question of what do we mean by a second phase of the NDR?
It is because (i) There has been socio-economic RE- REDISTRIBUTION but insufficient STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION.(ii)This redistributive effort has been almost entirely conceptualized as a TOP DOWNSTATE “DELIVERYPROCESS”. It has been for those who are politically connected.

CONCLUSION

In closure it will be important to remind people of south Africa that the NDR is for all people black and white. The NDR seeks to empower all people of South Africa, by fighting race dominations, class domination and gender domination.

The Mogorogo “strategy and tactics”document clearly associated the an with the national revolutionary line of march “our nationalism must not be confused with chauvinism or narrow nationalism of previous epoch. It must not be confused with classical drive by elitist group among the oppressed people to gain ascendancy so that they can replace the oppressor in the exploitation ofthe mass”

The same document introduced an important note of caution “we do not undermine the complexities which face a people’s government during transformation period nor the enormity of the problems of meeting the economic needs of the mass of our people. But one thing is certain in our land this can not be effectively tackled unless the basic wealth and the basic resource at disposal of the people as a whole and not manipulated by sections of individuals be they white or black

ALUTACONTINUA!

By Mxolisi “Laview” Khanyile. YCLSA Smiso Nkwanyana (UNIZULU) Branch Chairperson.

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Mugabe Saying No Military Coup Can Remove Him From Power

 

At the moment, Zimbabwe is in turmoil. The whereabout of its 93-year old president, Robert Mugabe is unknown but the military assures that he’s in safe hands with his family.

There’s unusual military movement in the capital and many punidts suspect it may be a coup and despite taking over the state owned media house, ZBC, the military insists all is well.

Below is a 1980 interview that Mugabe granted to BBC shortly after he took power. In the interview, he said no military can remove him as he intends to rule the country with firmness.

Watch below…

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