Nigeria is battling to halt the spread of corona virus

By NCF Chief Research Officer in Nigeria, Jibrin Ado Abubakar

The novel virus with the code name Covid 19 has made it successful landing in Nigeria.

The virus has gained a foothold in Nigeria’s pretty dense population, with a total record of 42 cases as of yesterday Monday around the morning hour.

The virus has been found positive on Senator Bala Muhammad, the governor of Bauchi State in the north eastern part of the country. The news was announced in a press release by the governor’s media aid, on Monday.

The Nigeria Center for Control of Disease NCCD had confirmed the test. The governor contracted the virus on an air trip when he interacted with son of Atiku Abubakar, Vice President from 1999 to 2007, and former presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party PDP in the last presidential race.

Mallam Abba Kyari, presidential villa Chief of Staff has also been tested positive and he is under quarantine alongside the Bauchi State Governor.

Another person, Suleiman Achimugu, who flew into the country recently was also found to have contracted the new virus and died immediately. The federal government has closed down all federal institutions. Only those that deal with emergencies are operational, like hospitals, police stations etc.

The level of austerity in the country will really put the campaign to combat the new virus under strain. This since a great percentage of the population depend on daily searching for basic needs, and keeping them at home will prove difficult, making it difficult in turn to battle the virus. But efforts are being made to meet with religious leaders, unions and NGOs in order to garner their help in educating the people on the need to stay behind closed doors.


Nigeria and Terrorism: Is there still hope?

There are reports of continuing atrocities in Nigeria by the radical group Boko Haram. It is thought as many as 200 people have been killed in recent weeks as a result of attacks in the Gwoza hills, near the border with Cameroon in a brutal campaign of violence.

Our intern Abubakar Ado Jibrin in Nigeria writes of the latest developments in his country as follows:

It is of very important to note that the violence in Nigeria is not wholly religiously motivated.  That said the Lords Resistance Army, (LRA), that has been responsible for the killing of over 200.000 innocent lives in Uganda and other parts of East Africa are doing what they are doing in the name of religion. They claim to advocate the use of “The Ten Commandments” as the guiding framework in governance.

In this regard, “Boko Haram” and the “LRA”, have real commonality, since Boko Haram want to govern by the caliphate’s doctrine.

But an unbiased study of the phenomenon, leads one to understand that they hide under the cloak of religion to conceal their goal and objectives which are politically motivated rather than just purely religious.

On the other hand, the killing of Christian in the middle belt region of Nigeria can be traced back to the manipulation of tribal adversaries, which politicians exploited tactically and used to remain in office.

Karl Marx had it right, when he said that religion is the opium of the masses. Then why does no one question how skillfully politicians manipulate the people in a country like Nigeria where illiteracy and lack of political awareness prevail.

Tolerance means resistance to what you feel is not compatible to your respect for the other. Then why don’t we promote something more diplomatic and even less complicated: The concept of Recognition. It simply means acknowledging the vast difference in religion and ideology and even our cultural differences, and agreeing to settle down harmoniously without any disagreements and giving great respect to those points of disagreement that do arise.

The Nigerian political system is failing with regards to promoting the principle of recognition of the rights and traditions of the other. We must not allow anyone to try to supplant the long decaying gospel of tolerance.

More Concerns about Nigeria’s recent elections

Our intern Abubakar Ado Jibrin in Nigeria writes of the latest developments in his country as follows:

Democracies differ. The recent election in Nigeria gave the incumbent “Muhammadu Buhari” a second tenure, with a duration of four years. The election was full of uncertainty and a brilliantly conducted malpractice that is difficult to examine, but some sources have argued that those international observers that were present, including those affiliated to the British government, had not closely examined the real happenings in southern Nigeria during the presidential election exercise.

Military personnel disrupted the election in southern part and in the south western region, in Lagos in particular the home town of the vice president Yemi Osibanjo and the home town of ruling party top elite, such as Ahmed Bola Tinubu. Political thugs were seen carrying election boxes in the street and these factors have put a question mark with regard to organizing a free and fair transition which could only be obtain through a well manage and organised election exercise.

Also in Lagos, in areas that are believed to be Igbo majority, thugs were burning ballot papers to block the Igbo natives (where the running mate of PDP presidential candidate is from).

The election was so full of imbalance and unfair status that the PDP filed a case to the election tribunal to set the result aside, and the tribunal has called for scrutiny of the election result from the Independent electoral body data base so as to obtain the actual scores made by the two contestants.

In my opinion, the high level of illiteracy was a major factor in contributing to a lack of discernment as to who will best make Nigeria what she should be, no longer a paper giant in Africa but a realistic and visible rising economy.

The non participation of Next Century Foundation and other NGOs as election observers, has meant that there were vast areas uncovered which became election malpractice areas. This has resulted in the rebirth of a questionable government and we don’t know when our voice will be heard for free and fair elections. Elections should pave ways for transition and transition brings about social change for the betterment of the populace.

From Our Man in Nigeria

Our new intern Abubakar Ado Jibrin in Nigeria writes of the latest developments in his country as follows:

As we were just about entering zero hour, it was announced on both printed and non printed media outlets that yesterday’s 16th presidential and upper and lower Senate house has been postponed until next Saturday.

This was decision was aired after a joint stakeholders meeting held by the chairman of the independent electoral body at Abuja.

The president was interviewed by a white foreign journalist with regards to what has led to the postponement of the election.

The president lamented that election sensitive materials where delayed from reaching the polling station; he argued that the excuse was not worthy of the postponement.

But from the other perspective we heard from the pro Atiku, that it was clear that if the election had been held yesterday, the chances of the incumbent being the one to loose in the the race were obvious.

That they just held to an unworthy claim of not distributing electoral material in due time.

Having said which, it is important to point out that some decisions are taken without the consent of the president, possibly to promote the self centred interest of elites in the ruling party.

It could said that the independent electoral body does not have the technical know how to organize an election in a terrain that is so divided along so many ideological lines.
Conclusively, the common Nigerian will now have less or no trust in the credibility of the independent electoral body.

As regards the issues in this now postponed election, the nature of Nigeria’s political terrain makes it difficult to give a clear direction with regards to the possible outcome of the election between incumbent retired general Muhammadu Buhari of the APC ruling party and Alhaji Stiku Abubakar of the PDP.

It is good to understand that Buhari’s regime is dysfunctional, since does little more than cut down the rate of insurgency in the North Eastern Nigeria border with Niger, Cameron and Chad.

But the regime has an immense record of allowing for general insecurity amidst Nigerians, which has generated tension and fear.

This condition has dragged Nigeria to almost the state of nature which was proposed by John Hobbs. Where there is no art, no letter no maritime, no law, man chasing man.
The issue is one of human kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery on highways, massive corruption within top government officials, partially those associate to the ruling regime, political thuggery and many more irregularities and incompetence by the APC ruling party.

On the other hand, Atiku who is contesting with the incumbent, has been accused of corrupt practices from 1999 to 2007 when he served as a vice president to Olusegun Obasanjo.

The one million dollars question is that this is a race between the devil and the deep blue sea.

This current regime depends on the ignorance of people, particularly Northern people where Buhari hails from, and the support of the south west where Osibanjo the vice president comes from.