Total Pageviews

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Short Essay 40: Deportation of Nigerian Pilgrims

Deportation of Nigerian Pilgrims: The World is Teaching Us a Lesson Other nations will continue to teach Nigeria basic lessons in civilization and governance so long as its leaders fail to live up to their responsibilities by ensuring that rule of law is entrenched in our society. Three things have happened of recent in this regard. After the corrupt Nigerian judicial system gave a clean bill of health to James Ibori, a former state governor, a powerful adviser to former President Yar’adua and the biggest financier of the ruling PDP in 2007, British courts found him guilty of the same corruption charges and sent him straight to jail. Our judges should burry their heads in shame. Some Niger Delta youths that were on his payroll even threatened to attack British oil interests in the Niger Delta, proving further that Nigeria is a jungle where thieves and cannibals go about free and celebrated as leaders. South Africa refused some Nigerian passengers entry when it discovered that their claim to vaccination was false. When a Nigerian presents a yellow card at any airport in the world, the general perception is that it is false. And, truly, it is, except in few cases. Nigerians, as usual, complained. The third case is the recent deportation of 1226 Nigerian Muslim female pilgrims from Jeddah for the failure of each to comply with the requirement of the company of a muharram – a person who is prohibited for life under shariah law to marry the woman. Space is made on the visa form and card for the name of the muharram but Nigerian pilgrim officials always play “419” by writing false names on the card and presenting them to the Saudi embassy for approval. The embassy has no option but to issue the visa. When the female pilgrim arrives Jeddah, there would be nobody answering the false name that accompanies her. During the lesser hajj, female pilgrims concoct what is called "mijin visa", or visa husband, to get around the rule. This is just any man the woman picks among pilgrims in the trip. Nigerians! The Saudis have been overlooking this perfidy for years. This year they decided to put an end to the nonsense. Nigerians, again, complained. The President sent a delegation to plead with the Saudi authorities. No one cared to listen. In spite of the appeals, the pilgrims who were detained in a cage like kangaroos under subhuman conditions were eventually deported back to the jungle. Officials of the National Hajj Commission and the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, like our corrupt judges, should burry their heads in shame. They have brought unnecessary hardship on the female pilgrims and disgraced the nation in no small measure. But they are not alone. They are just like numerous other Nigerian officials at various levels of government: nobody feels that it is imperative to apply rules. Their perception of office is that it is a shop for making profit. Against these officials should our anger be directed, not against the Kingdom that is simply applying its laws. This, however, I understand, is not the popular reaction of Nigerians to the crisis. Now that we have been hurt by the deportation, our officials will finally start to pay attention to the provision. But only now, after the damage is done to the pilgrims and to our image. The world has realized that the only way to get us know that laws are important in the management of any nation is to strictly apply them on us. If we have destroyed our country by turning away from rule of law, they are telling us that other nations are not that primitive. They are ready to teach us a lesson. The question is: Are we ready to learn? No, unless it becomes necessary, like when we go on pilgrimage or visit other countries. But once in Nigeria, we are happy to lead a life of the jungle where the strong flouts every rule and go Scot-free. No wonder, our security problem continue to increase by the day. I am sorry to say that the end of our desire to live primitively is not in sight, yet. Thank God, we are not the only homo sapiens inhabiting the planet. Other nations are ready not to allow us destroy it as we destroyed our country. Bauchi 29 September 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Discourse 349: Muhammad and Freedom of Expression

Discourse 349
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

Muhammad and Freedom of Expression

The recent caricature of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in an American video has provoked anger across the Muslim world. Demonstrations of disapproval of the caricature continued throughout last week. The violent one recorded was in Libya where the American consulate in Benghazi was attacked and the Ambassador there killed.

Reactions of Muslim leaders and commentators throughout the Muslim world are unanimous in condemning the use of violence as tool for expression of opinion or anger in this case. So we also join them to express our disapproval on the violence that led to the killing of the Ambassador and his staff. The blasphemy was the act of an individual, not the country.

This will certainly not be the end of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet by people who have the least regard for his noble personality. It has been a recurring decimal since the advent of Islam. The Qur’an itself has predicted its tenacity to the present time and beyond:

“You (Muslims) shall certainly be tried and tested in (the loss of) your wealth and lives and you certainly receive from the People of the Book and the polytheists a lot of insults. But if you are patient and God-fearing, that will be the most determining factor (for your success).” (3:186)

There are, therefore, bound to be further expressions of anger in any such instances from the Muslim world in the future. This was not the first. The Danish and French cartoons of the Holy Prophet in the early 2000s, and before them Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in 1989, are still fresh in our minds. This will certainly not be the last, especially given that the reaction of Muslims is now predictable from the trend that emerged since the Satanic Verses. Far right and extremist groups that are interested in widening the gap between the West and the Muslims world have now in their hands an assured recipe for provoking havoc.

Whenever such reaction occurs in the future, we pray that it will not lead to further loss of life or property. The Holy Prophet himself would not have approved the killing of a diplomat in his domain. His heart was certainly bigger than that. He has received diplomats even from hostile countries but never has he ordered the execution of any. As President Mursi of Egypt said, diplomats are guests and they deserve our utmost protection.

America on its part should see the loss of the Ambassador as an unfortunate incident and play restraint. Libya is still volatile, very unstable. Anything can happen to anybody there. Gangs still have a free hand. Personal safety measures are paramount, but especially among foreigners. Where an established, stable central government is absent, the posting of diplomatic staff need to be seriously evaluated not only on the balance of strategic interest but also on that of personal safety of the diplomats that will be posted there.

Now, beyond the condemnation of violence, one could say, after listening to several commentators in several English and Arab channels that the whole world, including the American government as clarified by its foreign affairs spokesman on BBC Arabic television channel last night, recognizes the right of Muslims to demonstrate as an expression of their anger against the blasphemy. This is an era of democracy and no opinion should be suppressed.

The point, however, is not much about the expression of opinion by Muslims only. Their anger is mainly directed at America – even among those who do not support al-Qa’ida or Sheikh Omar Abdurahman – because they perceive that it has not shown any resolve to stop the rising tide of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet, the Qur’an and Islam generally in its territory as it stood firmly behind the UN resolution against anything that disputes the Jewish narrative of the Holocaust. As an Egyptian commentator said on BBC Arabic, a way of getting round the problem is for Muslim countries to propose a UN resolution that makes blasphemy against the Prophet a crime. Would America support it or veto it?

However, such a resolution, I suggest, should include the protection of all holy places and personalities belonging to all religions. Here, the Muslim world itself, to tell the bitter truth, has some unfinished work in its domain. We have recently witnessed the most unfortunate destructions of Muslim tombs in Somalia, Mali and Libya in the name of Monotheism. An historic idol of Buddha in Afghanistan was also destroyed under the Taliban regime in 2000. The mutual respect and tolerance of Islam for divergent beliefs and ways of worship are what made such sites and structures to survive in the Muslim world for the past 1400 years. Respect is a three dimensional: the one we have amongst ourselves, another we give to others and the third we expect from them.

Yesterday, MBC 2 showed the Da Vinci Code in which Jesus was portrayed as having a relationship, and even a child, with a female disciple of his. MBC is Saudi financed channel, if I am not mistaken. When the Satanic Verses were published, the Kuwaiti government had substantial shares in the Penguin Books that published it. I am raising these points just to plead for prudence on the part of the Muslim World.

The blasphemy of Basil is not different from that committed by the Danish and French journalists before. When the debate over the Danish cartoons broke out, I published a discourse titled In Defence of Muhammad. Though it was Eurocentric in its references, I think there is no need to rephrase the arguments again. I hereby reprint it for the benefit of my new readers. Those who have read it before may also wish to refresh their memories on its contents.


Discourse 206

In Defence of Muhammad

By Dr. Aliyu Tilde

International headlines have been dominated in the past three weeks by the reactions of Muslims to the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him (PBUH). Muslims consider the cartoons as deliberate insults against the Prophet, the person they revered most. In Islam, the personality of all Prophets, including Moses, Jesus, etc, is sacred. It must not be desecrated through mockery or ill comments. For Muhammad, this prohibition extends to drawings and other forms of graphic depictions.

If a Muslim violates the personality of the Prophet, he is accused of blasphemy. Islamic law prescribes his repentance and execution. The most pronounced case in recent times of this kind of blasphemy was the publication of Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie on which late Imam Khomeini (may God have Mercy on Him) promptly delivered a fatwa of death sentence. This is the Muslim side of the ongoing row.

On the other side, the Danish journalist who drew the twelve infamous cartoons does not believe in Islam; neither does he live under its political domain. His basis for the publication is founded on freedom of expression – a concept, a right and a practice that is regarded as a hallmark of contemporary West. Under the umbrella of this concept, writers in the West could say anything regarding norms, beliefs and, ideally, anything under the sun, as long as it is not restrained by law. This has put the writer in the difficult position of self-censorship because in many circumstances the line between the allowed and the restrained is blurred by culture and politics.

In the West, freedom of expression has four basic premises: it is held, one, for moral autonomy of individuals; two, for arriving at the truth; three, to further the cause of democracy; and, four, for self fulfilment of the individual. This can be reduced to saying that freedom in the liberal society which the West claims cannot be realised unless individuals are allowed, through open expressions, to discover the truth and make choices of their own in matters of politics and morality.

We must, as Muslims, recognise that freedom of expressions is one of the most sensitive values of West. It justifiably feels strong about it; and it is ready to guard against its infringement in any form, apart from the few areas of restriction that the law has permitted. That is because it is a heritage they earned at a very high cost, after a long period of suffering and domination by the Church. Though even by the 18th Century, the Church as a political establishment in Europe was already defeated by Enlightenment secularism in the arena of science and philosophy, the influence of its ethics on law and society remained dominant well into 19th Century. This is abundantly clear when we read On Liberty of John Stuart Mill which was written in the middle of 19th Century and much of it was an objection to the restriction by the Church of England to freedom of belief and expression. It is of significance to note that Mill’s essay was published in 1859, few years before Frederick Nietzsche boldly announced that “God is dead”!

This is the more reason why Western politicians and writers found it difficult to apologise for the cartoons. Together with the editors of the newspapers that published them, at their best, they could only say they regret that publishing the cartoons has caused so much offence to Muslims. However, they are also unanimous in drawing the attention of Muslims to the fact that freedom of expression is a hallmark of their society. This response is, for example, typified by the Norwegian Foreign Minister in all his response to questions on the issue in the BBC program Have Your Say last Sunday.

Again we think differently here, our Muslims and Christians alike. As a youth from a traditional society, I was shocked in 1986 to watch Jesus the Evidence, a documentary in which doubts were cast about the very existence of Jesus (May the Blessings of God be upon him)! As if this blasphemy was not enough, ‘evidence’ was adduced to portray him, that was assuming that he actually existed, as someone who had an affair, the nature of which I cannot print on this page. Certainly, my Christian brothers in Africa and other societies where traditional values are still practiced will equally find such films intolerable. As I was too, they will also become stunned to know that the main scholar in the documentary, Dr. Sharosh, was a staff of Oxford , an establishment of the British government. That is why the Christian Association of Nigeria was quick to condemn the cartoons. The West, contrarily, has lost its sense of anything sacred.

But, still, I think the West is either economical with the truth in its defence of the cartoons or it is grossly ignorant of its legislations. To hold that blasphemy is not a crime in the West as the author of the cartoons adduced portrays him as a grossly ignorant person. Though the European Charter on Human Rights has protected freedom of expression under Article 9, it has listed restrictions to that freedom. The European Court on Human Rights has treated a number of appeals regarding infringement of this freedom in cases that involve religion. I will present four of them below.

When Gay News published seditious poems of Professor James Kirkup, ascribing homosexual practices to the disciples of Jesus, both the editor and the publisher were convicted of blasphemous libel. This ruling was upheld by the European Court on Human Rights on the grounds that it interfered with the ‘the right of others’ exception to article 10(2) of the European Charter on Human Rights. Commenting on the judgement in her book Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Helen Fenwick (2004) said, “It was found that once it was accepted that the religious feelings of citizens may deserve protection if attacks reach a certain level of savagery, it seemed to follow that the domestic authorities were best placed to determine when that level was reached.”

There was also the case of Otto Preminger Institut v Austria in which an order was given for the seizure of the film Council in Heaven. “The film”, wrote Fenwick, “portrayed God as a senile old man, prostrating himself before the devil. Jesus is portrayed as a mental defective and is shown attempting to kiss and fondle his mother’s breast. God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary agree with the Devil to punish the world; the Devil suggests infecting the world with a sexually transmitted disease; as his reward, he demands freedom of thought.” Subhanallah.

“The Austrian Government,” Fenwick continued, “maintained and the (European) Court accepted, that the seizure and forfeiture were aimed at protecting the ‘rights of others’ within Article 10(2). The Court found that ‘the manner in which religious doctrines are opposed or denied is a matter which may engage the responsibility of the State, notably its responsibility to ensure the peaceful enjoyment of the right under Article 9. The Court found that the responsibilities of those exercising the right under Article 10 include ‘an obligation to avoid as far as possible expressions that are gratuitously offensive to others and thus an infringement of their rights and which therefore do not contribute to any form of debate capable of furthering progress in human affairs’. Therefore, it might be considered necessary to prevent such expressions.”

Then there was also the judgement of the European Court in Wingrove v UK . In that case, the British Broadcasting and Film Corporation (BBFC) refused to certify a film called Visions of Ecstasy. Fenwick again: “The film depicts erotic visions experienced by St Theresa of Avila , a 16th Century Carmelite nun. In short, … she is depicted in a white habit suspended from a cord being erotically embraced by her own psyche, represented by a half-naked woman. That scene is intercut by scenes showing St Theresa, as part of her fantasies, kissing and embracing Christ who is fastened to the cross. She kisses his wounds and sits astride him in manner reflecting intense arousal. The BBFC took the view that if the video had been granted a classification certificate and shown in the UK, a private prosecution for blasphemy might have been brought successfully.”

In this case, the Court found that “the restriction was prescribed by law, taking into account the fact that the BBFC was acting within its powers… that while the margin of appreciation allowed in to States would be narrow in relation to political speech, it would be wide in relation to offending ‘intimate personal convictions within the field of morals or, especially, religion … that the decision of the BBFC that it would outrage and insult the feelings of believing Christians could not be said to be arbitrary or excessive. The national authorities have not overstepped their margin of appreciation: the exception applied and therefore no breach of Art 10 had occurred.”

With this record, we may ask why our European authors and their political establishments find it difficult to apply the same rules when a blasphemy is committed against Islam, why they could not ban the inciting caricatures of Prophet Muhammd, for example. There are two reasons: one is legal. That is to say the courts of European countries that have blasphemy laws are not willing to extend the laws of blasphemy to cover religions other than Christianity. So, even the European Court is reluctant to do so, not withstanding that there are millions of Muslims under its domain.

The above limitation of the law is sufficiently expressed in the United Kingdom, for example, where blasphemy has been a crime since 17th Century and it remains so to date; the only difference is that the offence applies only to the Anglican Church. If sedition is against other religions, it is not regarded blasphemous. That is why the magistrate courts refused to grant summons against Salman Rushdie when he published his blasphemous book, Satanic Verses. When an appeal was made, the Court of Appeal in Chief Metropolitan Magistrate ex p Choudhury, the fourth case in reference, failed to extend the offence of blasphemy to cover other religions. It ruled that ‘the offence of blasphemy was clearly confined to publications offensive to Christians.” Moreover, it reasoned, if an extension of the law is attempted, there would be the need for a precise definition of religion, something that the courts considers impossible to arrive at sufficiently.

The second reason is political. The Western establishment has always viewed Islam, mistakenly I believe, not only as a religion but as an antagonistic civilisation. In the aftermath of the Cold War, it regards Islam a competitor. Partnership in humanity has never been the contemplation of the West. Its main ideology has been imperialism for over two centuries now. This explains why any blasphemy against Islam gains a very wide acceptance and support of all European and American political establishments. The recent condemnations of the cartoons by Bush, Blair and Chirac were clearly superficial: America and Britain are already in a mess, while France is yet to recover from the racial riots that took place in many French cities two months ago. Their condemnation of the cartoons was intended to prevent a repeat of the riots, in the case of France , and worsening the already terribly bad image of America and its allies in the eyes of Muslims. Otherwise, Bush, for example, lacks the moral locus to demand that journalists should behave responsibly because his invasion of Iraq is the most irresponsible and reckless action embarked by an American President since World War II.

In fact, the caricatures and their publications were politically motivated. There is nothing that prevents the author to fight against terrorism using his own trade. The Muslim World would have supported him if he had done so without resorting to insults. If his caricature had depicted Ben Laden, al-Zawahiri, al-Zarqawi or Abu Hamza, for example, few people would have cared to respond and it would have passed unnoticed because, justifiably, these are the actual perpetrators whose terror does not differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims. But going beyond these figures and capturing the Holy Prophet is clearly intended to insult Muslims and court attention.

Beyond the selfish urge for recognition which the author sought and got, I cannot see how the cartoons have helped the cause of the West against Muslims. I have not heard a single Muslim, not even the most nominal, who supported the publication. For the first time, all Muslims rallied to support one cause: the defence of Muhammad. That is a plus for Bin Laden and his group, and a minus for the West.

Iran is not left behind. While we try to test the limits of freedom of expression by reviewing cases on the matter, Iran followed a shorter route. It run a competition on the holocaust, depicting it as a Jewish fabrication. This move is calculated to spite the West since, from its position of guilt, economy and power, the West is very sensitive to anything it regards anti-Semitic.

However, I beg to disagree with my Iranian brothers on two reasons. One, in any case, we must realise that in a war of insults, Islam will be the loser. As al-Qardawi has repeatedly said, Islam is not against Jews, people to whom it has given sanctuary whenever they were expelled from Europe in the Middle Ages; it is only against Zionism, the political ideology that has deprived Palestinians of their land and right to dignified living.

Two, on the one hand, the West has long lost it sense of things sacred. It does not even spare God, as we have seen in the comments of Nietzsche and Council in Heaven above. To Muslims, on the other hand, we cannot make a caricature of Jesus or Moses; both are Holy Prophets and Messengers of God; we believe in them and pray for their peace, as we do to Muhammad. As for Mary, we regard her as the greatest woman that has ever lived. Not only our cousins, the Jews and Christians, we are not even allowed to insult the idols worshiped by others because, as God said in the Quran, “the idolators will insult God (in return) out of ignorance.”

The best option for us, therefore, is to uphold the Islamic values of respect to the religion of others, along with whatever they regard sacred or that which will touch their deep feeling. If the Gay News and Otto Preminger cases were brought before a Muslim jury, nothing would have prevented their conviction for blasphemy. This is the stand of Islam which will never change. I understand that suppressing the temptation to retaliate in kind requires a strong resolve. But this is exactly what God has prescribed in the Qur’an on this matter when he said: “You shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received The Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you persevere patiently and guard against evil, then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.”

Here, I completely agree with Prince Hasan bin al-Talal of Jordan, who called for dialogue and for the evolution of an international code that will streamline ethics such that contradictions like these are minimised. If, as in this case, on the one hand, blasphemy against Christianity is regarded an offence by the European Court on Human Rights or by the domestic legislation of countries like Britain and, on the other, it is also regarded an offence throughout the Muslim world against both Islam and Christianity, then we have a common ground for an international legislation that will protect religion and its values against the vilificatory excesses of reckless authors. The excuse that there will be a difficulty in arriving at a sufficiently clear definition of religion is not a valid excuse because we may equally argue that few things are sufficiently clear in law or at the inception of any legislation. Law always starts somewhere; then it is refined over time in accordance with demand.

International legislation on ethics is required also to protect other religions from excesses in the Muslim world. For example the Taliban destroyed an ancient Budhist idol and the international community was handicapped to do anything other than condemnation. The Muslim world did not support the destruction because such actions are against its long standing teachings and practice of tolerance and respect for other religions. In Egypt , Syria , Iraq , India , etc, for example, Islam has for centuries preserved even the idols of past civilisations whose religions have become extinct.

The call for dialogue between Muslims and the West was long made in 1998 by Khatami, the former Iranian President, as an alternative to Huntington’s clash of civilisation. Carried by its sense of victory, the West was less interested in any dialogue. In its place we now have a dialogue of violence: terror attacks, missiles, nuclear weapons and, now, cartoons.

So, both the probability of this civilizational dialogue and the prospect of that legislation on international code of ethics are bleak because from all indications, as Prince Hasan has observed, Muslims and the West are in a cold war which is not cold at all.

15 February 2006

Thursday, September 13, 2012



Due to the disturbance witnessed on our second day of disbursing the relief funds to the Jos flood victims before the last Sallah festival, table payments were suspended for the sake of safety until the committee agreed on the suggestion of paying the beneficiaries through their banks. Where a beneficiary did not have a bank account, he or she was asked to submit that of someone he knows and trusts. The beneficiaries were contacted through their phone numbers and the bank accounts were sent to us only through the same phone numbers they provided earlier during the field assessment exercise to prevent fraud.

There were problems with some beneficiaries though. Some of the phone numbers are incorrect making it difficult to reach their owners; few of the beneficiaries do not have phone numbers; and some gave wrong account numbers. The committee is trying to sort out these problems. It has deferred decision on the payment of N2,000.00 consolation relief to those who still live in their houses and do not require rent as a result of the misunderstanding the earlier payments to this category developed.

The list below shows how the sum of N1,499,000.00 was disbursed, first through the table payments made before Sallah and secondly through the bank payments that started today. Payments will continue as the above mentioned problems are sorted out.

The reader should please bear with the inability of my blog template to support tables, hence the manner in which the data is presented below.


1/abdullahi idris/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
2/abdullahi muhd /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
3/abdulmumin ayuba/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
4/abubakar abdullahi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
5/abubakar garba d./TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
6/abubakar mohammad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
7/adam faruq/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
8/adam umar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
9/adama adamu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
10/adamu ahmad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
11/adamu yarima/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
12/ado sani/TABLE PAYMENT SAME/2,000.00/PAID
13/alfa dauda/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
14/alhassan shuaibu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
15/ali abdullahi /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
16/aliyu sa'adu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
17/asmau adam/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
18/ayuba salihu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
19/baba haladu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
20/badamasi muhd/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
21/bala usman/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
22/bello ishaq/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
23/danlami baban dadi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
24/fatima aliyu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00 /PAID
25/fatima usman/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
26/gambo adam /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
27/hamza dikko/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
28/hauwa adam/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
29/hauwa + fadema yusuf/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
30/hawa'u rabiu sani/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
31/ibrahim adam(fatima ibrahim)/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
32/idris alhassan muhd/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
33/idris dauda+fadimatu dauda/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
34/iyami ashiru/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
35/khadija umar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
36/lawal adam/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
37/mariya shuaibu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
38/mashood zakariyya/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
39/mohammad shuaibu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
40/muhammad husaini/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
41/muhammad yusuf/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
2/munkaila shehu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
43/musa Muhammad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
44/musa tsoho/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
45/mustapha usman/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
46/namadi adamu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
47/rabi Ibrahim/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
48/rabi mohammad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
49/rabiu ibrahim /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
50/sale auwal/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
51/salisu dauda muhd/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
52/sani Ibrahim/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00 /PAID
53/sani maiturmi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
54/sani muhd+rabi sani/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
55/shehu Muhammad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00 /PAID
56/talatu yahaya/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
57/tijjani umar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
58/umar abubakar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
59/umar muhd sani/khadija muhd/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
60/usman hashim/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
61/usman musa/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00 /PAID
62/yahaya hudu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00 /PAID
63/yakubu ahmad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
64/yakubu lawal/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
65/yusuf hussaini/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
66/yusuf Khalid/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
67/zainab ahmad yahaya/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
68/zubairu muhd /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/2,000.00/PAID
69/abdulmumin iliyasu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
70/abubakar nasir/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
71/adam dalhatu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
72/ahmad Muhammad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
73/aisha muhd/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
74/alhaji abdullahi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
75/aliyu al-qasim/aisha aliyu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
76/anas sani adam/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
77/auwal muhd abdullahi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
78/auwal umar /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
79/ibrahim A. waziri/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
80/ibrahim idris/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
81/ibrahim jibrin /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
82/idi kwayal/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
83/kabiru musa/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
84/kabiru usama/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
5/khadija Ibrahim/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
86/khadija Ibrahim/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
87/khadija Suleiman/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
88/khadija yunus/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
89/khamis Muhammad/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
90/muktar umar /TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
91/nafisat danjuma/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
92/sagir idris/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00 /PAID
93/salisu tijjani/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
94/tijjani Suleiman/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
95/usman rabiu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/10,000.00/PAID
96/abdullahi abubakar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
97/abubakar Ibrahim/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00 PAID
98/adamu muhammad tafida/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
99/asbe Hassan/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00 /PAID
100/fatimatu abdullahi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
101/hansatu rabi'u/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
102/hashim dubu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
103/ibrahim ya'u/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
104/ibrahim yunusa/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
105/ishaq adamu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
106/lami ali/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
107/safiyanu ahmad/TABLE PAYMENT SAME/15,000.00/PAID
108/salamatu abubakar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
109/salihu abdul-aziz/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00 /PAID
110/sani umar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00 /PAID
111/shuaibu abdulrashid/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
112/shuaibu yahaya/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
113/umar abdullahi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
114/usaini isa/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
115/zailani danlami/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/15,000.00/PAID
116/abdulhamid hussaini/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
117/abdullahi garba/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
118/alh. Isyaku maigoro/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
119/dr khamis usman/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
120/habibu abubakar/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
121/ibrahim kabiru/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
122/ibrahim wanzami/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00 /PAID
123/jummai ubale/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00 /PAID
124/mohammad dahiru muhd/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
125/mukhtari rabiu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00 /PAID
126/muktari rabiu/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00 /PAID
127/musa abdullahi/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00 /PAID
128/usman musa/TABLE PAYMENT/SAME/20,000.00/PAID
129/zubairu Muhammad/ACCESS/ibrahim zubairu/20,000.00/PAID
130/umar ibrahim/ECOBANK/abubakar zakari/10,000.00/PAID
131/sabo isa/ECOBANK/isa abdulrashid/10,000.00/PAID
132/umar bala/ECOBANK/umar bala/10,000.00/PAID
133/sani hussaini/ECOBANK/alh. Haruna Muhammad/20,000.00/PAID
134/idris abdullahi/FINBANK/ibrahim muazzam/10,000.00/PAID
135/ali Ibrahim/FINBANK/aliyu muhammad gobir/15,000.00PAID
136/mal. Ahmadu goma/FINBANK/muntari m. ahmad/20,000.00/PAID
137/abdullahi ismail/FIRSTBANK/shehu alkali/10,000.00/PAID
138/haruna/FIRSTBANK/haruna umar/10000.00/PAID
139/kabiru musa/FIRSTBANK/salihu muhammad auwal/10,000.00/PAID
140/late mal. Adam/FIRSTBANK/ibrahim suleiman garba/10000.00/PAID
141/isa haladu/FIRSTBANK/Ibrahim d. danjuma/10,000.00/PAID
142/khadija yakubu/FIRSTBANK/sani auwal/10,000.00/PAID
143/muhammad auwal/FIRSTBANK/yusuf adam/15,000.00/PAID
144/mallam dausa/FIRSTBANK/dauda Muhammad/15,000.00/PAID
145/abdulmalik usman/FIRSTBANK/abdullahi abubakar/15,000.00/PAID
146/salisu musa/FIRSTBANK/alh. Hassan mai kwalla/20,000.00/PAID
147/usman musa/FIRSTBANK/usman abubakar musa/20,000.00/PAID
148/sulaiman hussaini/FIRSTBANK/s. abubakar sadi/20,000.00/PAID
149/hassan danjuma/GTB/abdullahi A. abdullahi/10,000.00/PAID
150/hama dahiru/GTB/ukhasha abdulrashid/10,000.00/PAID
151/yusuf hassan d. nile/GTB/yusuf Hassan/10,000.00/PAID
152/abdullahi na maigari/GTB/ibrahim haruna Rashid/10,000.00/PAID
153/salisu hamisu/GTB/ishaq musa bello/10,000.00/PAID
154/yakubu Muhammad/GTB/adam isyaku/15,000.00/PAID
155/rabiu Ibrahim/GTB/salisu Ibrahim/15,000.00/PAID
156/hamisu sani/GTB/jemilu abdullahi/15,000.00/PAID
157/abdulsalam Muhammad/OCEANIC/rufai ahmad/15,000.00/PAID
158/rabiu adamu/ZENITH/babale idris/10,000.00/PAID
159/mal. Musa/ZENITH/mohammed I. Mahmud/15,000.00/PAID
160/mal. Ibrahim/DIAMOND/aliyu abubakar garba/10,000.00/PAID
161/mishawa /DIAMOND/yahaya khalid salihu/10,000.00/PAID
162/sabo Hassan/DIAMOND/adam Mustapha/20,000.00/PAID
163/umar abdullahi/KEYSTONE/hassan bukar.20,000.00/PAID
164/jamila shehu/UBA/lawandi ibrahim datti/10,000.00/PAID
165/alhassan yusuf/UBA/udo kingdom Paul/15,000.00/PAID
166/muhammad abdullahi/UBA/auwal shehu adam/15,000.00/PAID
167/adam/UBA/adam abdulwahab/18,000.00/PAID

Relief work on the Fulani IDPs has been completed.

All the funds collected have been expended except a N105,000.00 that is a transfer from the Jos Flood account mistakenly placed there by the donor and a N20,000 that was returned by one of the commmittee members. The final details of every donation and expenditure on that activity will be published online within a week, isA.

Thank you.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

Friday, September 7, 2012

Short Essay 39: Telecoms and Boko Haram

Short Essay 39
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

Telecoms and Boko Haram

The much expected claim of responsibility for the attacks on offices and installations of telecommunication companies (telecoms) in Nigeria by Jama’at Ahlus Sunnah lid Da’awati wal Jihad – or Boko Haram as they are popularly called – finally came yesterday. With it, it is certain that the two elephants are logged in a fight that would leave ordinary Nigerians at the receiving end.

The contention, I believe, is all about management of private information received on trust, and not about terrorism per se. Last February, Boko Haram issued a warning on possible attacks on properties of telecoms for passing the content of communication among its members to Nigerian security and law enforcement agencies. By attacking those targets after six months, it is clear that, in the judgement of Boko Haram, the alleged collaboration between the telecoms and the government agencies has not stopped.

At this point, I think a denial by the telecoms, if the allegation is false, is critical. Boko Haram has thrown two challenges at the telecoms: the allegations and the attacks. Both have been replied with silence, if not with further collaboration, by the telecoms. If the companies are not collaborating with the security agencies by passing over private information of their suspected Boko Haram customers, something that contravenes the ethical and legal fundamentals of the industry, they should say so such that further attacks by the sect can be avoided. In fact, I expected the to put up even a “white lie” to avoid the present catastrophe. But they have not.

Well, the grammar above is just for the purpose of understanding the positions of both sides. On the one hand, telecoms are under pressure from government to pass over information about locations of callers suspected to be Boko Haram members and what they say in their calls or text messages. One can easily see them obliging such requests either as their ‘patriotic’ contribution in the fight against Boko Haram or in a bid to play the ‘good boy’ before government even if it contravenes the law. This understandably and instantly places them on the group’s hit list.

Boko Haram, on the other hand, definitely needs the privacy of their information to succeed in eluding the authorities. However, this is a desire that may hardly be granted to any insurgent group anywhere under the sun today. More than that, however, I must say that it is wishful in the first place. Anyone using digital technology must know that he is liable to hacking by the authorities. His location is the easiest thing to find. Since the row between Blackberry and China, India and a number of governments in the Middle East in 2009, it became clear that hardly would any technology be permitted into the market today without its “antidote” known to western governments. Technologically advanced countries were quiet on the BB Messenger row precisely because they have many such antidotes in their security stock. Boko Haram must understand the simple logic in this Hausa proverb: “kowa ya sayi rariya ya san za ta zubar da ruwa.”

For now, the Inspector General of Police has directed that security be provided to every office and mast of telecoms in the country. This is a good gesture though, unfortunately, a practically impossible one. I cannot see any Nigerian police playing a martyr in defence of a telecom installation in the bushes and villages of Northern Nigeria. He will be offering too much for nothing in return. Families of policemen who died in such circumstances are always complaining of neglect by the authorities. But that is even taking the argument too far. The basic reality is that with three to five masts in every village in the region there are just not enough policemen to safeguard the hundreds of thousands of such telecom masts even if all the policemen in the region are diverted to the project. I concede that there could be a reasonable number for their offices and, perhaps, personnel. But all masts? Kai, Mr. IGP.

The telecoms must therefore invent a practical equation to secure their installations, offices and staff. They must be ready to forego a scratch on the surface of the billions they daily harvest from Nigerians in protecting their assets with the formidable private security personnel for the foreseeable future. But please let them not pass the cost to us – the consumers. Let this not be an opportunity to return the cost of calls to N50/minute wo!

As for Boko Haram, my advice is that hardly would reliance on conventional telecommunication channels guarantee safety from surveillance of anti-establishment group. In fact, even without the collaboration of the telecoms, there are dozens of equipment that can intercept digital communications available over the counter for authorized bodies all over world. If it must survive, the group must keep this in mind and think ahead in its communication strategy. Hitting telecoms underlines its lack of its sophistication. More importantly, it undeniably puts the people that the group claims to protect centuries backward in economy, scholarship, culture, etc. Without modern communications, the North will eventually be reduced to its colonial era of kar ta kwana in which mails were delivered by a chain of native pedestrian human couriers until they reach their destination, non-stop. This is a fate that the group must work to avoid as it does not serve its cause in any imaginable way.

Finally, let me reiterate my analysis in my previous discourse. The whole Boko Haram insurgency and the general violence pervading Northern Nigeria is a product of the prevailing corrupt leadership in the country and the silence of Northern political leaders and intelligentsia over the injustice that such corruption perpetrates. This has led everyone outside the cliques of political and economic consortiums feel alienated, frustrated and hopeless. In that state of social perversion, anarchy cannot be avoided. In that state of affairs, the rich – like the telecommunication companies – and the strong – like the law enforcement agents and politicians – will both share in the tears of the desolate downtrodden whose life depicts the popular dictum: aluta continua. It is an analysis on which I remain unrepentant.

7 September 2012