THE FULANI HERDSMEN AND SECURITY DILEMMA IN NIGERIA

Fulani herdsmen grazing their cattle across farmlands in southeastern states of Nigeria
Fulani herdsmen grazing their cattle across farmlands in southeastern states of Nigeria

In recent times, so many Nigerians have taken to Facebook, posting, commenting, and debating what they call the influx of Fulani herdsmen into southeastern states, using their cattle to graze farmlands and in the process killing farmers and villagers who protest the destruction of their farmlands and crops by these herdsmen. With AK-47. It used to be poisonous bows and arrows when we were kids. Now they are getting sophisticated.

The pictures of these killings are as gory as they are grotesque. The narration of the carnage and the pictures of helpless villagers fleeing their village as these herdsmen sack their villages are soul touching. And understandably, the outrage and the anger directed at the federal government of Nigeria over its inability to protect vulnerable Nigerians from fellow countrymen who are carrying out evil deeds against them are justified. Who in his right mind would stand by and watch their farmlands, which they spent energy, time, and most especially money to cultivate being destroyed by nomadic cattlemen. And just do nothing? And what sane neighbor or relative will sit idly and watch errant cattlemen overrun their kin who has the right to at the least protest the invasion of their farmland. As they they hacked to death?

In my analysis of these occurrences, I initially differed from most compatriots on who to place the blame on for the insecurity of lives and properties in the southeastern states where these Fulani herdsmen are perpetuating evil. To me, the governors and the local government chairmen or mayors of the affected states and local governments are the chief security officers of their various states and localities. It is their responsibility therefore, not only to rule their own people, but to also provide them with security. So if there is a breakdown of security or lawlessness, the mayors and the governors should be held responsible for such. They are the ones that has failed their people, and not President Buhari. But then I met Honorable Kwande Suleiman, an honorable member of the Federal House of Representatives in Nigeria and he reminded me that the federal system of government as practiced in Nigeria is completely different from what is obtained here in the United States. And that is what has incapacitated the governors from carrying out both their moral and constitutional duties of securing the lives and properties of their people from the invading Fulanis.

For example, here in the United States, every locality, every city, and every state have their own law enforcement units. Independent of federal government control. You have the county sheriffs, you have the city police departments, and you have the state troopers. They are all under local and state control and they serve their various communities within the state. But in Nigeria, the police are federalized. Only the president has control over them. In this instance, President Buhari. And a state governor, who is supposed to be the chief security officer of his own state does not have control over the commissioner of police that works within his state. The governor cannot give orders to the police commissioners. Furthermore, here in the United States, we have what we call the national guard, which is the reserve component of the U.S. military but which is under dual control of the states and the federal government. In emergency situations, the governor(s) of the affected state(s) of the union reserves the authority to call out the national guard to safeguard lives and properties and maintain order. In Nigeria, even though we have at least a military barracks in almost every state of the federation, the state governors do not have power over the garrison commanders and does not give them orders. So for a governor whose tools to secure lives and properties within his state are the police which he does not have power over, and or the military which he cannot give orders to do, how then can he protect his own?

But is that truly the case?

I lived in Nigeria for 25 years. I lived through several election cycles and I participated actively in most of them. And I saw firsthand how governors, local government chairmen, and even individuals of influence, USED, not only the regular police and their paramilitary unit (popularly called mobile police), but also the military, to rig elections, to harass their political opponents, and many a times to indiscriminately kill youths who did not support their political aspirations. So if state governors and local government chairmen in southeastern states can call out these law enforcement agents to do their bidding, to help them secure political power, whether they bribed their commanders or however they pulled it off, now that they have the power, nothing stops them from calling out these law enforcement agents again, this time to protect the governed. Or is the security of lives and properties of the governed not worth it?

Continue reading

Weeping for America

choiceOur dear leader Donald Trump is a white supremacist. He has nothing in his character that is presidential. Ted Cruz is a charlatan. Hillary Clinton is as uninspiring as she is a liar. She will deceive and manipulate in order to occupy the Oval. And Bernie Sanders; poor Bernie, a true man of the people. If Bernie gets elected, the powers that be, unfortunately, will not allow him to serve his 4 years’ term fully and carry through with his promises to the people. They will gun him down. The same way they gunned down Kennedy. That is a given.

Vice President Joe Biden, the best man for the job, chose not to step up to the plate and continue his service to his country. He said it was due to the loss of his son. Since Biden took himself out of the picture, the next best person to occupy the Oval Office in this present time with its challenges could have been Speaker Paul Ryan. He is the most rational and the most electable Republican to the office of the President and Commander-In-Chief. He is young, smart, charismatic, and a policy wonk. In a time of surging national debt and budget deficit, America needed someone in the person of Paul Ryan who is well grounded in fiscal policies to lead the country. And he could’ve easily defeated Hillary Clinton. He, also took himself out of the picture.

The good guys are being besought to take the most significant job in the world, albeit on a platter, and save their country and the world. The good guys in an unprecedented fashion are refusing the higher calling in their numbers, rather retiring themselves into inconsequential roles, while crazy people run amok, preaching hatred, divisiveness, and intolerance. Seems like whatever is bent on tearing America apart has a supernatural and vehement fierceness about it. It stymied men of reason who aspired for the office. It harasses proven men from aspiring for the job despite an easy path for them into the office. But it keeps making clear and smooth the pathway for clowns, charlatans, and liars into the office. Time will tell.

One more thing.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender – LGBT

Some people find themselves naturally born into one of these classes of sexual orientation. Some others morph into it because of past unpleasant experiences with their heterosexual partners. Whether folks in the LGBT community are born naturally into it or they morphed into it, that is their choice. They have the right to practice whatever their sexual preferences are and everyone has to respect their rights of choice as far as those rights to practice their sexual preferences does not meddle with another person’s right.

Continue reading

ABUSE OF THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION, THE ACLU QUAGMIRE, AND THE MUSLIM FAITH

blogFour days ago, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against a Wisconsin company that fired 7 Muslim employees for taking unscheduled time to pray. They were observing the teachings of their religion. They were practicing their faith as enshrined in the constitution of the United States. Yet they lost their job – their means of livelihood – consequently. Why?

On hearing the news, the first thought that may prop up the mind of an average Joe is that the discriminatory white employers is at it again. They hate Muslims. They are intolerant of the Muslim faith. And of course they hate those who do not look like them. So they fired them.

But are any of these probable claims factual in this context?

First, if the employers hated these Muslim employees, they wouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

But that is not the crux of the matter. The issue here is about an individual’s right to practice his or her religion as he or she deems fit at his or her place of work.

When an employer hires you, depending on your role at the organization, you can either have a one-time one-hour lunch break for every single day you walk through the front doors of the company. And the rest of your time at the company for that day will be dedicated to doing the business of your employer. Or for some who work at a high demand manufacturing environment, you can have a one-hour or 90 minutes allotted break time which can be broken down to 3 or less number of breaks (at the discretion of your supervisor) to give you time to rejuvenate yourself for optimum performance.

Now your break time, be it a one-off one hour lunch break, or a 90 minutes multiple break times, are yours to use for whatever personal use you deem fit. You can go on a date with it. You can pray to God with it. You can be on your phone for the duration of your break. Or just like me, you can go to the breakroom and seek out folks who do not work in your department and you know, network with them. You can put to any personal and private use your entitled break time for each day you go to work. It is your own. But once your break time is over, the rest of your time belongs to your employer who is actually paying you for those times. Whether your religion demands that you pray seven times a day or not.

Continue reading

MY MANIFESTO (3)

BY

A REPUBLICAN PARTY CONTENDER FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

subversiveAs your President and Commander-In-Chief, my solemn duty to America and to the American people would be to protect and defend the integrity of this great nation from both external aggression and internal uprisings.

On the count of external aggression, the prescriptions of our constitution and the prescriptions of the laws of the land are there to guide me on how to war against our enemies, defeat them, and return glory and spoils of war to the land. But when the aggression is coming from within, sometimes the laws are not clear-cut on how to address threats that seek to undermine our national security.

In recent times, it has been reported widely that citizens of this great nation have traveled overseas to fight for ISIS, a terrorist organization that is at war with the United States. And some of them after fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq have returned home to this country.

When our citizens go abroad to fight for an entity that is at war with us, they are denouncing their own country and taking sides with our enemies. Ipso facto, they declare themselves enemies of this great land. Subversives. And by every parameter should be considered as such.

Of course they were already radicalized and have no more allegiance to the United States. Hence their resolve to travel abroad to fight on the side of our enemies. Of course while they were abroad fighting for the haters of civilization, they would be indoctrinated further that America is the enemy and needs to be brought to its knees. And of course their indoctrinators after indoctrinating them are somehow convinced that they have secured for their evil agenda some devout disciples in these American citizens  – who by the way have unfettered access to every nook and cranny of our country   – who would do their bidding whenever they bid them to and whatever they bid them to. Hence ISIS’s promise to us that they ‘Will Raise the Flag of Allah in the White House.’

This is not an empty threat. That is why I called it a promise even though the caption on the newspaper where I culled it from captioned it a threat.

With their pedigree and the rate at which they have grown over the years, it would be remiss on our part to ever again underestimate ISIS and their threats. Our president was wrong when he referred to them as a JV team and they have repeatedly embarrassed him for such underestimation.

Never again.

Continue reading

MY MANIFESTO (2)

BY

A REPUBLICAN PARTY CONTENDER FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

There has been fierce debate across the aisle about how to fix our deficit, about the need to grow our economy, about the need to create lucrative and rewarding jobs, and about the need to – through a host of smart economic policies and programs – replicate the Clinton-era balanced budget and economic surplus.

By the way, as a Republican, acknowledging that a democrat achieved the great fit of securing for us economic surplus, and in partnership with a Republican House Speaker, achieved a balanced budget doesn’t make my politics bad. It rather reinforces my professionalism and statesmanship. Giving credit to whom credit is due is not bad politics. And should not be viewed as so.

So how do we reduce our deficit, create jobs, and accrue excess revenue for the treasury?

First, by incentivizing our youth to go to school to acquire the skills relevant for the 21st century economy. And how do we do that? By making access to funds for education easier for them. For all American youth and be it for graduate school, college, or community college education.

There are so many jobs in the IT and health sectors that are out there waiting for folks to fill them up. But we have a dearth of professionals who have the skills for these specific jobs. The caveat however is that some of the times folks are enthusiastic for these kinds of jobs but most of the times do not seek to pursue a career in them because they presume that these kinds of jobs are not for folks that look like them. The role my administration will play in this situation will be to encourage employers, especially those in Silicon Valley, to demonstrate through their recruiting processes that these jobs are up for anyone who have the required skills and not just for certain people. I will also encourage the institutions that grant funds to acquire these skills to make their process impartial so that anyone who is desirous of further education can have easy access to funds.  When more Americans are gainfully employed, the costs on government of social welfare such as unemployment benefits and food stamps will be reduced. When folks are gainfully employed rather than depending on government for handouts, the more money government will be making through taxes that folks will be paying. And the more the people who are employed and independent of the government, the more money that can be freed from the social nest to tackle other pressing needs the country do have, such as fixing our infrastructure. And fixing our infrastructure also creates jobs. This is an all-round win for the economy.

We have deficits because our revenues are less than our expenses; hence our need to borrow money to offset our budgetary deficits. To fix our deficit – that is, to stop borrowing more money and to start repaying our debts – we have to find more ways to generate more revenues. That is it. There is no other way around that. And one of the ways to generate more revenues for the government would be to raise taxes on Americans. So read my lips. I am a Republican and I will raise taxes on the rich. The poor and the middle class are already paying their fair share. Some are paying more than 25% of their gross income on taxes. I am not seeking to punish the rich because they are rich. But I will make our tax system fair. Hence as your president, I will propose to Congress an across-the-board flat tax rate of 25% for all Americans. I will not simply propose it to Congress and abandon the fight just like most presidents do after their State of the Union address. I will work hard with men of good conscience in Congress to make it a law. That is a promise.

Continue reading

MY MANIFESTO

BY

A REPUBLICAN PARTY CONTENDER FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

My opponent, Donald Trump has always talked about making America great again. Of course America is great. A country that consumes 80% of its domestic product is great. But I have no doubt that America can be greater than it already is. I also have no doubt that the glory days of this great nation still lies ahead. Therefore I will not promise you that I will make America great when it already is. Rather I want to promise you that if I am elected your president, that I will partner with you and your elected representative in Congress to make America greater and reclaim its promise.

As your president, I will not seek to deport the 11million illegal immigrants in this country.

Let me digress a bit.

I call them illegal immigrants because they entered this country illegally, and unlike Mrs. Clinton who has no conviction but goes wherever the wind blows, I will call them what they are –  illegal immigrants.

Mrs. Clinton was at a campaign event recently and during her speech, she referred to the illegals as illegal immigrants and that did not sit well with Hispanics in the crowd. And they booed at the remark.  And she changed her position there and then and said they are no longer illegal immigrants but undocumented workers.

That is not the kind of person you want in the White House. Mrs. Clinton is a person who will say whatever you wanna hear in order to get your vote even when her original thought is right and what you wanted to hear from her is wrong. She is also a person who does not have the courage to say to a supporter ‘hey, you and I see eyeball to eyeball on most issues but on this one, I respectfully disagree with you because you are wrong.’  She is not seeking to ride to the White House on the wings of her invariable policy positions upon which voters can vote her in as their president. She has no set of convictions or concrete position on issues.  She just wants to be president as an end in itself and not as a means to an end.

I on the other hand am seeking to be your president as a means to an end. And that end is to make your life better than it already is, to invest in educating our posterity, to create an enabling environment for businesses to create rewarding  jobs, to fund research and developments, to rebuild and modernize our infrastructure, to return our economy to its prior and enviable position as the largest of all economies, to restore our military to its prideful place as the unrivaled global force for good, and to lead the coalition of progressives who are passionate about solving our most challenging problems in contemporary times. Problems such as our broken immigration system, our dysfunctional and unfair tax code, and our biased criminal justice system.

Back to the issue of illegal immigrants.

Continue reading

THE DILEMMA OF AN EVENTUAL CLINTON NOMINATION TO THE REPUBLICANS AND THE CHANGE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY MUST MAKE TO PRECLUDE A CLINTON PRESIDENCY

blogBy announcing that he won’t be seeking his party’s nomination for the Office of the President of the United States come next general election, Vice President Joe Biden has literally handed the Democratic Party’s nomination to Hillary Clinton. Former first lady, former U.S.Senator, and former Secretary of State.

Hillary’s two out of four opponents in the first Democratic Party debate held earlier this month has withdrawn from the race for their party’s nomination. Only Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland are remaining on the Democratic Party field. But you can bet your money that the Clinton tide will easily sweep Senator Sanders and Governor O’Malley away once the primary season kicks in. You can bet your tuition money on that. Her campaign is poised to never repeat the mistakes and indiscipline they characterized their 2008 run. They are ready this time around. Suffice it to say then that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee for the 2016 presidential election and a breathe away from the Oval Office in 1/17.

A Hillary Clinton’s presidency has been trumpeted by Republicans as a third term for President Obama. As an opposition party, the Republicans see Obama’s presidency, irrespective of the progressive policies and programs the Obama Administration has put in place for the past 7 years, as a disaster. Hence a Clinton’s presidency will be a continuation of that disaster.

So assuming for a moment that Republicans are right, then who among their candidates or a combination of their candidates will be their weapon to prevent an almost palpable Clinton presidency from happening?

Continue reading