Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Ten year old teenage suicide bomber arrested




Hadiza Musa, a 10-year old suicide bomber belived to belong to the dreaded Boko haram sect was arrested Tuesday at 10pm along zaria Road, Tuun wada area of Funtua metropolis, Katsina State

Nigeria 'on red alert' over Ebola death in Lagos

Medical staff take a blood sample from a suspected Ebola patient at the government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, 10 July, 2014. The Ebola virus has already spread from Guinea to Liberia and Sierra Leone

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Nigeria says it has put all entries into the country on red alert after confirming the death of a Liberian man who was carrying the Ebola virus.
The man died after arriving at Lagos airport on Tuesday, in the first Ebola case in Africa's most populous country.
Surveillance has been stepped up at all "airports, seaports and land borders", says Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.
Since February, more than 660 people have died of Ebola in West Africa - the world's deadliest outbreak to date.
It began in southern Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
'Contact avoided' The Liberian man collapsed on arrival in Lagos last Sunday. He was taken from the airport to hospital, where he was put in quarantine.
Officials have identified the 40-year-old man as an employee of the Liberian government.
Members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) wearing protective gear walk outside the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital, on 23 July 2014 in Conakry. Ebola, which is highly contagious, spreads via bodily fluids, including sweat
Mr Chukwu confirmed that the other passengers on board the flight had been traced and were being monitored.
The patient had "avoided contact with the general public" between the airport and the hospital, he said.
Health specialists have been deployed at all entry points into the country, he added.
The virus, which kills up to 90% of those infected, spreads through contact with an infected person's bodily fluids.
Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive treatment early.
line
Ebola virus disease (EVD)
Coloured transmission electron micro graph of a single Ebola virus, the cause of Ebola fever
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Fatality rate can reach 90%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the virus
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The red alert in Nigeria comes as Sierra Leone launches a hunt for a woman infected with Ebola, who was forcibly removed from hospital by her relatives.
The 32-year-old, who is the first registered Ebola case in the capital Freetown, was described by national radio as a "risk to all".
Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on 30 June 2014. West African states lack the resources to tackle the world's worst outbreak of Ebola
The Ebola cases in Sierra Leone are centred in the country's eastern districts of Kenema and Kailahun, just over the border from the Guekedou region of Guinea where the outbreak started.
Police said thousands of people joined a street protest in Kenema on Friday over the government's handling of the outbreak.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the doctor leading Sierra Leone's fight against Ebola was being treated for the virus.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization said that 219 people had died of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Impeachments: Divine Judgement or Doomsday Conspiracy ?



It was Hamumurabi of Babylon who instituted a code of behavioural laws that covered a range of areas of human conduct. The rules state that if a house collapses and kills the owner, the builder will be put to death. If the house kills the owner's son, the builder's son will die and if a gentleman breaks another gentleman's bone, he shall have his own bone broken . It was a severe code but they were hard times and the code ensured a high degree of law and order in the land which had been fraught with internal strife for a long time.
Nigeria has her idiosyncrasies as a nation and cannot be compared to Babylon. If there should be any comparison, the situation in Nigeria has gone beyond what was obtainable in ancient Babylon before Hammurabi gave his set of rules.
In the recent times, rivulets of impeachments have enveloped the nation and no one seems to know the next state to be targetted. One thing is clear though. The general elections are close by and impeachments are happening all around the country mainly for perceived selfish reasons .
If ex-governor Nyako of Adamawa had been given a prophesy of his impeachment, he might have dismissed it with military fiat. But those who could read political undertones knew his days were numbered from the time he began to pally with strange bedfellows in a state where controversy had continued to remain the order of the day. Nyako had gotten things muddled up in so many ways irrespective of the code of laws that governed democracy.
First, he wrote the controversial letter where he alleged that the presidency is on the verge of breaking Nigeria and even connoting that President Jonathan was behind the killings of Boko Haram as a way of depopulating the North.Even if Jonathan is not  politically sophisticated , Nyako's letter would definitely have brought him to reality.
When Gov Nyako’s memo to Northern Governors’ Forum first leaked to the press, there was a huge argument on whether the letter was real or forged. The memo titled On-Going Full-Fledged Genocide in ‘Northern Nigeria’ dated April 16, 2014 was sent to Vanguard’s mailbox on Friday April 18 and it triggered off an argument in the newsroom as to whether somebody forged Nyako’s signature; whether the memo was real or fake and other security questions.
The first paragraph of Nyako’s memo read:“The adverse security situation in Northern Nigeria in particular and Nigeria in general is being felt by all of us. While every State Government is doing everything possible using virtually all its resources to stem the tide of near disaster facing all of us especially in the North, it is a well-known fact that the present Federal administration has now become a government of impunity run by an evil-minded leadership for the advancement of corruption that is apparently enjoying the protection of the Federal administration but is being denied by the administration using its mass murderers/cut-throats imbedded in our legitimate and traditional Defence and Security organisations. It is very clear that the protection of life and property of innocent citizens in Northern Nigeria and recognising their Human rights and Voting rights in the forthcoming general elections is no longer a cardinal principle of the administration.”The memo went ahead to allege that the victims of Jonathan administration’s evil-mindedness are substantially Northern Nigerians, accusing the administration of determination to bring wars to the North between Muslims and Christians and within them; and between one ethnic group and another or others in various communities in the region. Nyako claimed that cases of mass murders by Jonathan administration’s bloody minded killers and cut-throats are well known and accused the government of attributing the killings to Boko-Haram. In other words, Nyako perceived the killings to have been carried out not by Boko Haram but Jonathan administration’s henchmen.This memo was perceived as most irresponsible and very inciting and many think that such a governor in other climes, ought to have been arrested and tried for sedition and treason.But Nigerian government didn’t take any serious action against him.He wrote further:“Thousands of our young girls and boys have been kidnapped by clearly organised militia in the last few years and kidnapping is now a random affair all over the far North. These organized kidnappers must have the backing of the Federal administration for them to move about freely with abducted children just as those who convey ammunition and explosives from the Ports to the safe-houses of so called Boko-Haram in the North.“We no longer accept let alone believe that our prominent Mallams in the Mosques in Kano and Zaria have been killed by ‘innocent’ Boko-Haram members or Christians in the North, nor do we believe that the killing of the Pastor and other worshippers in the Christ Apostolic Church in Jimeta-Yola was done by any Muslim or Boko-Haram members. We know where we are now pointing our fingers. There have also been attempts to assassinate the Senate President (Northerner) in Imo State, two Executive Governors of States in the North (the Governor of Benue State and my humble self), two of our most prominent Traditional leaders (Shehu of Borno and the Emir of Kano), Senators and others too numerous to mention, all from Northern Nigeria. This is in line with the demonic policy of the evil-few in and around the administration that have advocated how Northerners, both Christians and Muslims, are to be so dealt with, ill-treated and oppressed!
“Fulani communities in parts of the North who have been in their locations for over 100 years are now being raided and uprooted by paid killers within the Nigerian Army for the satisfaction of the Federal administration instead of being protected as citizens with their rights and dignity safe-guarded. This has happened to those communities at Keana L.G. in Nasarawa State and Laddoga and Kachia in Kaduna State. It is presently extended to Benue, Zamfara and Katsina States. Furthermore it is a well-known fact that virtually all the soldiers of Northern Nigerian origin recently recruited to fight Boko-Haram have been deceived in that aspect. They are being poorly trained, totally ill-equipped, given only uniform and are killed by their trainers in Nigerian Army training centres as soon as they arrive in the Nigerian Army camps being used by so-called Boko-Haram insurgents. Virtually all the Nigerian Army soldiers killed/murdered in these operations so far are of Northern Nigerian origin. The administration has also hired militia from all across especially North Africa who have been deceived into accepting to come because they were made to believe that they would be fighting infidels…”
It was perceived as an irresponsible letter to have been written by a serving governor. What did Nyako intend to achieve by those frivolous allegations?
But Nyako escaped that show of rascality.
However, his doomsday came with allegations of corruption that came from his own quarters.
Although impeachment is constitutional, many expressed dismay at how the dramatis personae handled the issue. It was perceived as the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob and as expected, the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), the political party to which Nyako belongs went to court. But the court didn't save him.

Enter Gov Tanko al-Makura
The file of Nyako's impeachment had hardly dropped when his contemporary, Gov. Tanko al-Makura of Nasarawa State began to get impeachment threats over allegations of extra-budgetary expenditure.
Governor Tanko Umar Al-Makura, despite protests over impeachable offences he allegedly committed got served impeachment notice.
The Speaker of Nasarawa House of Assembly, Musa Mohammed, on perceiving that Al-makura was dodging receving the letter in person directed that the governor be served the impeachment notice via substituted means.
Governor al-Makura is facing charges of gross misconduct and financial misappropriation to the tune of N30 billion.
The 16-count charge  leveled against him includes the missing Local Government SURE-P funds and extra-budgetary expenditure among others. The impeachment notice was signed by 20 PDP lawmakers. The state Chief Judge inaugurated a seven-man probe panel directed by the State Assembly less than 24 hours after the meeting between the Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers in the state and the President, where it has hoped to broker peace. Al-Makura has made his first appearance before the panel but the Assembly stayed away, leading to the suspension of its sitting on Monday.
Whether the lawmakers will make good their threat to impeach Governor Al-Makura for alleged gross misconduct and misappropriation of the Sure-P and UBEC funds which accrued to the state under his administration or not is still blowing in the wind.

Gov Chime's Deputy joins the fray
In Enugu State, the House of Assembly would not be left out in the impeachment fray. Hence, it commenced impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor of the state, Sunday Onyebuchi. The 22-member House dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, served impeachment notice on the deputy governor and 20 out of the 22 lawmakers signed the impeachment notice.
Accusing fingers are pointed at the governor, Sullivan Chime who is believed to be behind it due to the alleged ambition of his Deputy to contest the Enugu East Senatorial election next year. According to reports, the governor is believably supporting his Chief of Staff, Ifeoma Nwobodo, for the position currently occupied by Gilbert Nnaji.
The centre therefore could no longer hold between the governor and his Deputy since the former returned from a medical trip overseas. One of the allegations by the governor against his Deputy was that he plotted to remove Ms. Nwobodo while he (governor) was on the trip. The battle is still on.
Meantime, a pressure group, Enugu Rescue Group, ERG, is protesting the alleged decision by some members of the Enugu PDP Stakeholders that the embattled Deputy Governor should resign since Governor Sullivan Chime no longer wanted to work with him.
The Group expressed dismay over the meeting held at the Governor’s Lodge in Enugu on July 27, 2014 as a kangaroo arrangement contrived by Governor Chime to legitimize his unpopular directive to the State House of Assembly to impeach his Deputy; insisting that even though the Deputy Governor was a member of the PDP, he was elected by the generality of the Enugu people, not only by the PDP.
The group described as unconstitutional and the height of impunity, the pressure on the Deputy Governor to either resign or face impeachment and wondered why such a meeting was held without involving the Deputy Governor to tell his on side of the story.
The group urged that the alleged offences of the Deputy Governor be weighed to determine if they constituted gross misconduct and abuse of office as conceived by the 1999 Constitution.

And Ebonyi wakes up
Ordinarily, Ebonyi state has not attracted any mind-blowing political upheaval in a long time to the extent that many wondered if  anything happens in the state. But the state woke up from a deep political slumber recently when the State House of Assembly impeached its Speaker, Chukwuma Nwazunku.
Eight out of the 24 members of the Assembly reportedly voted out the Speaker in a commando-like style after lifting the suspension of three members :Hon Frank Onwe, Hon Eni Uduma Chime and Deputy Speaker, Hon Blaise Orji.
Hon Frank Onwe moved the motion for the Speaker’s impeachment which was seconded by the minority leader, Hon Enyi C. Enyi.


Imo tries a dance
In Imo state, the speculation over Rochas Okorochas impeachment for failure to clear the outstanding salaries and allowances of lawmakers was quickly dismissed by none other than the governor himself through his Media aide.
The Imo lawmakers were allegedly irked that despite spirited attempt to make Okorocha clear the bill, he had failed to do the needful.
The lawmakers allegedly vowed not to accept any payment which is not inform of cash, adding that “if the speaker stands in the way, he would be bulldozed along with the governor.
But the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the Governor on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo dismissed the allegation, saying Okorocha had a good relationship with members of the state assembly.
“There is no iota of truth that such a thing was in the offing. You can verify from the assembly members.The state government has a good working relationship with them and I don’t think anybody is plotting any impeachment. How can they impeach a governor who is performing. It’s not true my brother,” he said.
The House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr. Acho Ihim, also had dismissed the alleged impeachment plot as “baseless and malicious, confirming however, the disparity in the salary of the current lawmakers and the former ones, adding that “during the last administration of Chief Ikedi Ohakim, the House took a loan and it was deducted monthly from the salary of the lawmakers. So when we came in, the Clerk of the House was changed and the new one who was ignorant of any such deductions, started paying with the records he met on ground.”
Who is the next target ?  Only time will tell.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles


 
My sixteen year old daughter has a knack for reading and she reads everything from fiction to social issues and religious issues. I find myself always on my toes monitoring the kind of books she reads and had on several occasions, withdrawn some of the books I found in her possession. It was okay when she started reading anything from Chimamanda's Purple Hibiscus to Half of a Yellow Sun; Americana to The Thing Around Your Neck. I felt those were within her 16-year age range.
When she moved on to begin to read Audacity of Hope by Barrack Obama, The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill; Mind is the Master by James Allen,The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and The Mafia Manager: A Guide to the Corporate Machiavelli by V. St. Martin's Griffin, I tried to remind her that she is sixteen and should stick to reading her academic books and others within her age range to which she responded that she is also a 200 level Law student and should read serious things.
In the recent times, I observed she gets all wired up with ear phones and head phones and carries her laptop and Ipad everywhere she goes. She appears to be permanently surfing the web and as usual, I always follow up on what she is reading. I observed she is presently hooked on reading all she could about the kidnapped Chibok girls; the protests around the world and tries to follow up on what government is doing. She once said that the protests were political and began to read up the Aba Women Riot of 1929, wondering aloud if the protesters should have adopted that riot style to tackle the issue of the girls. She also commented that the protests stopped abruptly as they started, noting also that many protesters and their leaders only wanted to be seen and heard. She wondered why the assistance offered by the United States, Britain and France has not yielded positive results and why after 100 days, government could not get the girls released.
She wondered if government has exhausted all efforts to get the girls released and if nothing else could be done.
I wondered too and I still do.
Why is everything seemingly falling apart in our quest to achieve viable democracy? Why is the centre no longer holding such that even in the face of the on-going confab, our problems and differences as a nation appear to be multiplying?
Suddenly, delegates are not sure of what they were called to do; how they want the outcome of the conference to be treated. While some were asking that the report be submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan for action, others said it should be settled through referendum or be routed through the National Assembly.
Weeks back, the delegates endorsed the creation of 18 states in addition to the 36 states that currently make up the country. This is apart from an additional state the conference agreed should be created in the south-eastern part of the country. If these 19 states are added to the 36 states, it means Nigeria would have 55 states.
The controversy here is that in the face of the increasing high cost of governance, the delegates approved creation of additional 19 more states.
Last week, many who have anticipated a grand showdown over deliberations on devolution of power were not totally disappointed. Amidst protests, the conference recommended that the 13 percent resource control be increased to 18 percent, while another five percent should be reserved for the development of solid minerals in Nigeria.
These recommendations, especially the five percent for the rehabilitation of insurgent ravaged areas drew the ire of delegates from the South, who said the recommendations would not be allowed to stand.
Under the circumstances, the conference was forced to postpone deliberations on devolution of power to enable the committee of elders from the six geo political zones to agree on the areas of controversy.
There appears to be bickerings on all fronts as we approach 2015.From Adamawa where the governor was recently impeached and the Speaker of the House sworn in, to Nasarawa where the governor is served impeachment notice, things seem to be working in tandem against each other.
A lot of young people and teenagers are increasing becoming politically conscious. The social media have opened up awareness on issues of government in ways that are sometimes not very complimentary. Young people go Face book, Twitter, Instagram and Android and post annoying comments on government's perceived shortfalls and in many cases, ridiculing the President, the First lady and key government officials.
My daughter and her friends once concluded that there is no big deal about being the President, governor or First lady if one could be easily abused and ridiculed on the pages of newspapers and the internet by anybody who cares to do so.
Recently, the government spokesperson Reuben Abati found himself saddled with the unenviable task of responding to the comments made on our dear President by The Washington Post on the missing Chibok girls.
In an article titled, “What Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan should have written“, Karren Attiah, an Editor at Washington Post had mocked Jonathan.
Abati had made it clear that President Jonathan would not succumb to pressure to take any action that would endanger the lives of over 219 schoolgirls that were abducted in Chibok, Borno State, stating clearly that “the claim that the president has a “do-nothing” attitude toward rescuing the girls is no different from what was written about President Obama’s decision not to disclose his efforts to seize and arrest the alleged ringleader of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans — until he did just that.
Abati was vehement in defending his boss, saying Jonathan won’t put the lives of these girls at risk by publicly revealing details of the recovery operation for the sake of satisfying his critics.
At the home front, Jonathan has been getting knocks from political opponents on perceived government’s “soft” handling of the matter.
Indeed, it is becoming very worrisome that after 100 days since the girls were taken away from their friends and families, nothing concrete seems to have been done.
No matter how we argue it, no justification appears plausible for failing to find and liberate those girls after over three months of empty promises and grandstanding especially in a country where children of the super rich are having their education overseas and it appears, only the daughters of the ordinary Nigerians are endangered.
No doubt, if children of Nigeria's leaders and the super rich were among these girls, governments at both states and federal levels would have negotiated and even paid heavy ransoms.
The way these things are going, perhaps government should begin to consider the option of applying force to liberate the girls. We can take a sample form Cameroun where the Deputy PM's wife was abducted. She was rescued within hours. If we continue to live in denial or keep pretending that this ugly saga will go away like everything Nigerian, we may never make any headway and it will definitely haunt us all forever.
One is not sure what precisely President Jonathan is doing in secret but the whole truth is that the country is bleeding speedily towards perdition.
Not long ago, the United States decided to cut back on its operations in the efforts to rescue the schoolgirls saying it has no better idea where these girls are. Hence it decided to decrease its surveillance flights in Nigeria wondering that with more flights by other countries, the overall effort remained unchanged.
The initial hopes expressed that the involvement of foreign powers would bring about a swift rescue of the kidnapped girls have since faded. It is equally obvious that the use of force could be tragic as the over 219 girls might have been split up in groups, making possible rescue more complicated.
The Chibok girls saga is one of the nastiest things any nation could experience and for Nigeria, it is a minus for the Jonathan administration whose political ratings has definitely dropped. It is worse for the parents of the school girls who are living with the nightmare of what could happen tomorrow especially in the face of the belief that the vast majority of the girls are not being held in Nigeria.
For how long would we wait for these girls to be released? Are we living out the threats made by those who think their father owns Nigeria to make it ungovernable should a leader emerge from a minority tribe?
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo 's observation is that President Goodluck Jonathan did not react quickly to the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls because he thought it was a ploy against his re-election bid. If government had reacted immediately the girls were abducted, we wouldn't have been where we are today. The Chibok saga would have been history by now.


Theatre of the absurd

We are not yet done with theatrics and distractions. It was like rehearsing a scene from a movie. But this is not Nollywood live! Dame Patience broke down in tears over the unresolved issue of the abducted school girls; alleging that the Borno State First Lady was trying to frustrate her efforts about helping the State Government to rescue the missing school girls.

Her frustration perhaps made her use some unfortunate words for which her critics tried to crucify her. Action: To a woman from Borno; Na only you waka come?; Those bloods that are sharing in Borno; ‘There is God o, There is God o’’.

We have heard it all and seen it all. But it is not time to start apportioning blames. It is not the time to begin to argue whether Dame Patience Jonathan should have spoken in Isoko, Urhobo, Ibo, Ijaw or whatever language. Whether it’s ‘sharing blood; instead of shedding blood,’ whether ‘ na only you waka come’ or ‘there is God o,’ English is not our mother tongue. It is not also time to begin to argue that the issue should have been taken more serious earlier.
Patience Jonathan

Patience Jonathan:  Chai chi There is God oh

The point now is that something is being seriously done. We are not the only country in the world where the ‘emperor’ is playing the fiddle while the ‘empire’ is on fire. It happened in ancient Rome. So, why blame President Jonathan and his political cronies for attending political owambe parties and having a ball when Nigeria is on fire?

And who told All Progressives Congress that the tears Dame Jonathan was shedding were crocodile tears ? We know Nollywood is the in-thing these days but why would anybody think that a traumatised First Lady was acting a script earlier written before the meeting with governors wives and other women groups?

It is not Patience Jonathan that rendered the country ungovernable. Some people swore to do that long before now and they are somewhere making this threat become a reality. Would anybody blame those who think the whole kidnap story was a scam or that those who threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable were the real culprits?

But we Nigerians have our ways. Instead of tackling the issues, we are dissecting the grammatical blunder of the First Lady who has made her point. There is no art to find the mind’s construction on the face. So, you cannot really say. How many of us have seen or felt crocodile tears? Did anybody even see any tears when her white handkerchief flew in instantly to dry them up? So, why not forget that and face the real issues?

Why should APC of all people describe Dame Patience’s tears as distracting and counter-productive, telling a ‘heart broken woman’ that her ‘crocodile tears cannot bring back the girls? Has APC forgotten that the one who points a finger has the rest of the fingers pointing back at him? Why would the party make mockery of a very serious situation?

And why do I keep having this feeling that these girls were taken by familiar strangers who want to frustrate Jonathan’s 2015 ambition such that instead of campaigning, he would be busy looking for the girls? It is true that many would not want to see Jonathan return to power next year but they shouldn’t put these girls’ lives on the line in order to frustrate him.

Anybody who can go to this length in order to muscle out a sitting president and wangle in another should be dreaded as the most deadly enemy. They are the devil’s alternative.

Dame Jonathan didn’t need to make her point in English if she can’t speak the language. Speaking pidgin which is spoken freely in this country is allowed to drive home her point. She has never claimed to be an English professor and even here, a professor of English can make mistakes! I have heard and seen errors on CNN, New York Times and other printed and spoken words in world class newspapers and magazines. They are just errors and as bad as they seem, we should not lose sight of the message being conveyed.

We have over 250 distinct ethnic groups and even the BBC allows translations in other languages. She made her point and did not let herself down despite her language. Under the circumstances, she could be allowed to speak in ‘tongues’!

How could a First Lady of a country convene a meeting of smaller First Ladies and be ignored? Imagine, only one person waka come from the troubled zone when more people were expected to waka come from the zone.

Her first meeting was not attended by the governor’s wife.

Who would not weep on learning that a whole secondary school in a Boko Haram zone had no stand-by power generator and no extra security was provided at the school?

Who would not be devastated that the wife of the governor whose state is burning did not show up at two important meetings?

Would you also blame the First Lady  for insisting that the state government and the Commissioner for Education be blamed for the abduction of the girls as they allegedly failed to act on the letter from the Minister of Education for relocation of West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) candidates to Maiduguri or safer places? And they could not even afford ordinary ‘I pass my neighbour generator?’

Who would forgive the consistent inconsistency over the exact number of candidates in the school?

And to imagine that the parents of the girls who escaped from the abductors and teachers from the school had this lackadaisical attitude concerning the meeting. So, because their daughters escaped from the kidnappers den, they forgot how important these meetings could be?

And no student who escaped from the terrorists came for the meeting. Imagine?

And to add salt to injury, the vigilante group, wife of the Chibok village head, the gate man of the school, chairman and secretary of the Parents- Teachers Association and the school matron were also absent! These are the chief mourners who should provide vital information that could help the security agencies. They were the people on ground who would have seen and heard things but they behaved as if they had something to hide.

The only mistake here was that the presidency should have sent one of the presidential jets to fly them from Borno to Abuja for the meeting.

How would anybody take them serious with all kinds of allegations flying around against them. Somebody even observed that the principal of the school had a calm mien and didn’t look traumatised in the photos published in the papers. She ought to have known that people expected her to have pour ed ashes on her head, rolled on the ground and gnashed her teeth before posing for the photo.

But she came with a swag.

And who has ever seen the Borno First Lady as a mother complaining? Who has seen her crocodile tears?

And when our dear mother and First Lady cried, they began to criticise her. Imagine!

Listen to Dame Jonathan: “I told the governor’s wife to call the parents of the abducted children; she did not honour it till today. The next thing I saw were women demonstrating on the streets. Now again, before Friday, my protocol (officer) called her and she gave 100 per cent assurance that she will be here on Friday. But she did not.

“Now again, she is not here. Because she is the mother of Borno, she is the mother of those children and I am their grandmother. She should feel more concerned. But she is not. I and the Nigerian women are calling her, but she is not here.

“It is left for you. If you tell me you are not pained, why should I cry more than the bereaved? If I do so, the world will ask me questions.

“You people are playing games. This thing will not help us. After today, if these Borno people say we should not help them, you Nigerian women should not go out to demonstrate because they are playing games. You can keep it in Borno and let it end there.

“The Police came with their own; the Army came with all their own, WAEC came with all their own, but the Borno government waka come with a few. No parent is here to tell us that a child is missing. They cannot produce a parent whose child is missing.”

Now, what has the Borno First lady got to say about these allegations? Nobody wants to believe she has a heart of stone. I only saw Gov Shettima shedding his own crocodile tears in a photograph. And the inconsistency in figures is not eradicated yet. While the school principal, who claimed that her grand-daughter is among the missing girls, said 395 students sat for English subject, the WAEC official, Charles Eguridu told the meeting that 387 girls sat for English subject before the abduction and 80 girls sat for Maths after the attack.

The principal said she was not around during the abduction as she was in Maiduguri for diabetic treatment. According to her, she goes to Maiduguri every two weeks for the treatment.

The Commissioner for Health told the gathering that she had not seen any of the abducted girls that escaped from the terrorists.

So what are we saying?

The First Lady broke down and wept the second time towards the end of the meeting saying: “You want to kill my husband; you want to make me a widow before you go and rest. My God will never make me a widow.”

And to that, I say Amen!
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