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Banditry in Zamfara: Between Sheikh Gumi and his critics



By Abdulmumin Giwa

Recently planned operations against the Zamfara state bandits by the Nigerian government has raised debates on the social media platforms following the comment attributed to the the renown Sheikh Ahmad Mahmud Gumi.

The cleric is said to have said that the military assault on the bandits will not resolve the problem of banditry in the region.

This has led a lot of people to making different kinds of comments mostly opposing and in some cases even insulting the cleric on the social media, especially on Facebook.

Based on this, I decided to review the issue from the point of view of the Sheikh and make some few analysis.

Yes, is true we differ with the cleric in ideology and religious jurisprudence. I mentioned this from the beginning to free the mind of whosoever might think I am of him or doing something for him, in fact, I have criticised him severally on several other issues. As I asked his critics to be fair to him because he is entitled to his own views, I render this analysis based on how I see it from his point of view.

As I have stated earlier, the cleric is entitled to his views. More so, it is true that there has never been any war that ended without negotiations and resolutions because you can’t kill everybody and will never attempt to. We as Nigerians have all seen how the Niger Delta crises was settled with the creation of the Niger Delta Development Cooperation, NDDC. Before that, all the military operations in the region, including Zakibiam killings did not end it. So it is not wrong to put in place machinery for better and more effective conflict resolution, instead of butchering everybody.

Someone argued that the Niger Delta youths were not killing their people as the bandits are. I agreed with him, but made a point to him that the Niger Delta youths took up arms and were on the one side while the Nigerian military was on the other trying to stop them from whatever it is they were doing.

These bandits have also taken up arms on the one hand doing whatever it is they feel they are doing and the Nigerian military is on the other side with its arms trying to stop them. This is simply what has likened the two, bearing arms.

It is not the issue of negotiation the way a lot of people blindly see it that I am talking about here and in fact it is because of the crude way they see it, that is making it impossible to resolve the problem using force. If it is negotiations with the bandits in the crude way people are thinking, I don’t support it. But if the necessary mechanisms are to be put in place for the negotiations, I will support it.

These Zamfara youths practically see that, as a generation in Nigeria, they have no future, no education, no basic life facilities while they watch the children of their leaders, and the leaders themselves, being educated in Harvard and going for medical checkups abroad. What is the government doing for them to have a better life and future? Is it the schools without qualified teachers, no furniture, no education facilities, no even roofs in the classes or is it the hospitals without basic health facilities? Let’s ask ourselves.

These are children of the downtrodden, the children of the poor living in an age that is progressing with speed in technology and ICT being neglected and left without access to the opportunities of their age. What would one expect of them?

For those who defend the idea of using force to crush them, ask yourselves, how much is the Nigerian government spending in killing all those misguided youths of Zamfara? The airplanes, the missiles, the ammunition, the guns, the lives of the personnel, the allowances and even the loss generated from the downing of access to digital facilities and compare it to how much will be spent to create a better life and future for the youths of Zamfara. Provide them with access to good and quality education, job opportunities, access to life facilities and a bright future and see if it will cost as much as killing all of them.

Definitely the clampdown on them is more expensive and has virtually a result that will never last. Certainly, killing them will not solve the problem because the solution to the problem that might have pushed them to the bush has not been met.

Sheikh Gumi can be right to seek fairness and justice for the oppressed youths of the northern region instead of killing them. Because the leaders in the north have failed them. This is a region that is defined as the capital of Nigeria’s poverty even as it is the region that has produced not only most of the leaders Nigeria ever had, but also the richest man on the African continent. Yet the youths of the region are neglected and exploited by their leaders who only remember them when it is election time, give them dangerous weapons and all sorts of drugs and use them as thugs to harass their opponents. Thereafter they dump them and do nothing for them.

Media reports have emerged that virtually 70% of the youths in Zamfara are in the bush because they have no future and are neglected by their leaders. This is in a state that is endowed with mineral resources including gold.

Because you trust in the man in power in Nigeria does not mean you should not listen to Sheikh Gumi. It is true you cannot kill them all nor stop them by force, let’s not deceive ourselves. This has nothing to do with politics.

Hence, you should rather engage them and get them rehabilitated to become responsible human beings by shunning your greed as their leaders and providing them with the life needs. But time will tell. We wait to see when they get all killed.

The real issue is that we must tell ourselves the bitter truth that the system has failed. The institutions on which the Nigerian system is run are weak as the leaders appear to be even stronger than the institutions. That is even why the government is engaging in killing its citizens by itself. We have seen this happened in Zaria in 2015 where the army spent three days killing unarmed men, women, children and infants for the crime of belonging to a religious faith the president and his men disagree with. Two wrongs can never make a right.

Those in power have failed and have lost focus that is why the situation is worsening by the day. The right approach is never given to anything that concerns the people especially the poor. Is not for us to turn into praise singers of hopeless leaders. So I agree that the only way out is not by killing everybody but by rendering governance as it should be, with fairness and justice to all irrespective of tribe, race region or religion.

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The heat is on, the daggers are drawn




By Adamu Aminu.

Sequel to the petition lodged in by the seven Kano, APC stakeholders led by Senator Malam Ibrahim Shekarau [Kano North] to the national headquarters to investigates the state party on what they termed as leadership failure to carry all the divergent interests along.

As contained in the 7-man undersigned petition letter sent to the national headquarter, the embattled stakeholders cried out in a foul manner of what they called empirical, underhanded, ingenuity of marginalization from all party affairs.

The stance taken by the stakeholders [breakaway members] has brewed resentments and nailed them to the cross of party outrage, to the extent of branding them with a new sobriquet as “Banza literally Bakwai” literally means as “7 inglorious bastards”

Well, this kind of political tug-of-war isn’t peculiar to the Nigerian model of politics.

A politics in Nigerian usage is publicly known not only as a game of numbers where those the majority emerges victorious, but also a game of survival, rivalry, mistrust, backstabbing, seeking for supremacy and craving for power at any cost.

This at a swords points rivalry within or among the opposition parties usually emanates as the clock commences ticking fast to the days of general elections.

The time when the incumbent power holders blindly scrambles for seamless relevance to keep one’s afloat within the fortress of power, in fear of being dumped, mired deeply under the dustbin of political irrelevancy.

While the aspiring ones will be striving to grasp the mandate at any cost – for a reason – to get a sense of bonafide citizenship within the ranks of frontline beneficiaries.

Therefore, since the party Congress is closely around the corner, the daggers are brought out of their sheath, the demarcated line is drawn.

Some questions need to be asked as follows;

a. What is the status of the embattled members who lodged in pa petition to the APC national headquarter?

b. What’s their political future if they didn’t or not allow to partake in the state party Congress?

c. What are the measures taken by the party national headquarters towards reconciliation of the breakaway members and the Kano state APC?

d. If none of the above questions was affirmative, what would be the future of APC in Kano in the forthcoming general elections?

Does it mean the two Senators and couples of the house of representatives members haves or haven’t a role to play in the bid for APC in Kano emerge successfully in the 2023 elections?

Whatever the case may be, time always came along with fair judgement.

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Muhammad Usman: The Change Maker




My name is Muhammad Usman, I am 17 years old and lives in Kano State. I am a Child Right Advocate, Poet, Youngest Humanitarian, Researcher,Sidra Bangladesh Ambassador in Nigeria.
My passion to humanity is driven by the menaces that Almajiri children/ Orphans encounter in life such as lack of access to education, health amenities and social welfare.

I remember when I was 12years old I always used to ask my parents about almajiri children and street children who live in my community. Some of them were my age mates while some are below my age. I always think of there future and the hardship they may encounter in their life.

I have started thinking of the ways through which I will contribute to the betterment of Almajiri children/street orphans.

In 2019 I have organized an enlightenment program with the title “Almajiri Is Also A Child” the program is aim at sensitizing people about the important of helping almajiri child and ways through which we can aid in reforming the system.

In my effort to contribute and motivate young people like me I also introduce an initiative in my school which actualized through working of enlightening and inspiring students.

Moreover, i was able to impact lives especially Almajiri children through feeding projects and education programmes. My program title “Almajiri Iftar Food”
was among the huge program that impacts 500+ almajiri’s here in Kano state.

In 28/3/2020 I realized that I can’t make change along or impact the lives of less fortunate I have to partner with some young people that have the zeal to contribute to this goal. So, I form a charity organization
called “Young Developers Foundation” this is a charity foundation that aid in helping and reviving the lives of Almajiris and Street Orphans.we are eligible to lunch a lot of projects which include: Orphans Skill Acquisition Program, Recap On Your Future Skills and many more projects.

Lack of support from some of some of my family relatives.
Misunderstanding From Close Friends: some of my classmates and close friends are misunderstanding my aim in serving humanity. most of them believe that I just want to get fame on media and be proud of.
These and many more are some challenges that I faced in humanitarian work but one thing that always inspired me is my parents support me 100%.

Social Media Manager @ World Voice International.
Campus Ambassador @ IMUN (4weeks internship).
Certificate Of Completion On Employee Stress And Wellbeing online course by UK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT.
Certificate On Media Journalism By Reuters.
Certificate Of Appreciation By Sidra Bangladesh.
Ambassadorship From Sidra Bangladesh.
Certicate On Critical Thinking By Educlick.
Certificate Of Completion On Business Innovation From Jobber man.
Critical Thinking Skills
Leadership Skill
Presentation Skill
Being in activism field has made me sharpen and broading my knowledge in different field.
When I feel like giving up I used to tell my mind this quote ” I can do spirit” it always ginger my mind.

I praise on my efforts, i believe that what I am doing people who are 20 years older than me can’t push themselves to do. i inconvenience myself and the several “enjoyments” youths of my age should validly be embracing.
I have amazing plan’s that I think when used will accelerate a progress to the development of my nation but sometimes when I came up of those ideas I get discouraged because the authorities that are capable of implementing such stuffs did not respond to me. just recently I have this idea of creating a software which will enhance the smooth running of many business ventures in Kano state but I wasn’t giving the right opportunity to build up the idea.

In a nutshell, this how I run my life and this is level of success that I have gotten.

Protecting the right of children and humanitarian work is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

©Muhammad Usman

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Roses tinted promises, hard-hitting realities




By Adamu Aminu.

The time crept so past. What’s is done, has been done. Six years out of eight is enough for the discerning to make a fair judgement.

Those who have confidence in the leadership capabilities of the present crop of leaders have many reasons to rejoiced.

While those who felt disappointed by how the polity is moulded and shapes to the likes of a few have many justifications to cry and writhing.

To the few, running an affluent living on the power corridor have every reason to think, perhaps in a self-deceptive mode, they are the luckiest and the national resources is their patrimony.

In the polity where national resources are scoops deeply by few with Caterpillar shovel and give superficially to the malnourished populace with a teaspoon.

While the majority, the sidelined, the downtrodden and the masses wallowing in penury and tribulations, which attested that commoners were not less than subservient to the dominance of the few.

Some of the key promises made by the gap-toothed leader during the last campaign to the victory include insecurity, unemployment, economic recovery, inflation and fighting corruption from stem to stern, among others.

The question is which one among the aforementioned challenges brought down to its knees within these years?

Down to the state level, most of the pledges and promises made during electioneering campaigns, are seemingly sugar-coated and merely lips-serviced.

Despite all the proclamation of resuscitation of education and health care system, none of them patronizing public schools or hospitals within their states.

Wards enrollment in foreign universities and also going for health tourism to cure even for a mild infection is what’s all about.

Where are the promises being made to improve education and healthcare that will cater for all and sundry?

Of course, the return of President Buhari in 2015 sends jittery down the spine of political pirates, which is reminiscent of his hardline brand of governance in a short-lived 20-month of his military administration.

Which indicated the Messiah has returned to salvage the nation – as he was previously seen and thought like a Tiger, feared for his nigritude in past.

But now seen as a scarecrow – frightening from afar, but harmless at the close range, just for his timidity and indolence when it comes to stamped his hammer at the appropriate time for the misdeeds.

Despite the foregoing, President Buhari still holds the trophy for being a man with integrity and transparency, who is universally known for not upholding the tenets of thievery from the public coffers.

With all the pledges he made to fight corruption in all its ramifications, but his party has glaringly become a haven for those who are overtly ambitious to elevate their self-worth.

This happens at a time, the common man is grappling to survive in a nation sandwiched between economic depressions fuelled by a deluge of debts, currency devaluation, unemployment, hyperinflation and insecurities.

Inarguably, the pledges made to deal with the scorching waves of terrorism and other forms of insecurity were at the top of the scale of preference during the electioneering campaign.

Even though the attacks were relatively subdued, but later catapulted to armed banditry in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger, Katsina and Kaduna states respectively.

This has turned out to be carnage In the affected states in which dozens of people are massacre, hundreds fleeing their homestead almost daily.

While in the Southeast heightening fears resulted from security breaches from militias in were treated with a pinch of laxity.

What would be the hopes of the people from the arm-bandits riddle states, with regards to the promises to safeguards their lives and properties?

At the time, when a high-profile, glitz and glamour wedding of first Son and Bichi Princess took place in Kano, without considering to make the event low-key to mourned the innocent souls massacre by bandits.

What does that portray in the minds of the surviving victims who will think that this happened under the government of their dreamt Messiah? promises to protect their lives and properties?

And apart from that, even to revamp the economy as vigorously pledged with punching-fisted in the air during the campaign is now appears to be a mirage.

People should forget and look ahead. What wasn’t achievable in six years, can’t be achieved in less than a couple of years to come.

To be truthful, the hard-hitting reality is the majority of Nigerians are in severe poverty due to a malnourished, ailing economy.

Anyway, all that’s done has been done. Thanking God for what one’s have is the viable option, and is much better than groaning for what one’s longing for.

But, People are fed up with the brim of penury.

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